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Salvaged Circuitry

Adventures in Tinkering

Zune Rebuild

So your zune refuses to turn on or charge...How are you going to fix it? Well, if you know that your battery life has been diminishing to zero, then your battery has probably called it quits. With that in mind, how are you going to replace the battery, after all the battery is not user servicable. Well, This guide is here to show you how to replace a zune 80gb battery with the use of a new battery, a soldering iron a hot glue gun and a few other hand tools.

To open up the zune, you have to first remove the shiny plastic piece on top. This can be tricky to do, but a flat head screw driver certainly halps a lot. Unfortunately, it will scratch your case. They sell plastic tools online, but I'd just rather use what I have. You may even have luck with a pop-sicle stick, so you dont scratch your zune case. Once you have the plastic piece off, remove the 2 hex-head screws. put them in a safe place, so you dont loose them. You might want to use some loops of tape to stick the screws to. This helps when your taking apart complex devices. However, there are not too many screws here...

To get to this step, you have to have A LOT of patience. The case is mostly held in by plastic snaps. I used a very small flat head screw driver for this. It really butchered the case though, so you might want to use another tool, such as a popsicle stick or non metallic object (the plastic is very soft and prone to aberrations) The tools in this picture: 2 small flat head screw drivers, a hex-head screw driver and a few toothpicks(didnt work well)

After I removed the back plate, I noticed a strange residue on the back of the shell. This cant possibly be good for the device, and may have been a result of the battery overheating of what not. I decided to remove this with some 220 grit sandpaper.

Sanded shell. *****Make sure you get rid of any metal particles on the case that result from sanding. If these are present, they can short out the device and cause a whole world of problems. To prevent this, put the back case under water and then dry with a paper towel. let it sit for a while. Once it feels dry to you, and not damp, it's fine to put back on the zune.

With the hard drive folded back (the blue thing with the foam on it), you can see the battery and it's wire trace. You will have to pull back some aluminum tape to access the battery leads to the circuitboard. This is where you need to remove and replace the battery.

Here's a view of the battery removed from the top of the device. It is still attached to the zune, rust dislodged from the top of the zune. The battery is only held on by tape and friction, so no trouble removing. The battery with a grey sticker is the new battery, which was ~$28 USD on amazon. ****Note, a label on the battery says that "Blue and white wires are actually opposite from the original battery. You will have to switch blue and white wires locations compared to the original battery." That was really awesome that the company would tell you this. Makes life a lot easier.

With that in mind, make sure you replace the appropriate wire with it's respective match. Thus, replace the blue wire from the original battery with the white wire from the new battery. Replace the white wire from the original battery with the blue wire from the battery. Red goes with red, black goes with black.

Now that you know which wires to replace, and which ones to switch, its time to warm up the soldering iron (the blue thing on the right of the picture). make sure you have some solder handy as well (white spool of solder on the left of the picture). Once the soldering iron is warm enough to melt a piece of solder, your ready to take action. There are two ways to confront replacing the battery: you can desolder and solder each wire, one at a time, or desolder the entire battery and just solder in the new one. It's really your choice, soldering in the new battery one wire at a time would not do any damage because both batteries have no charge in them, and wont harm the device. Of course, if either battery had charge, I would recommend not doing this because the differences in battery cell voltages may harm some components (you may accidentally end up wiring the batteries in parallel, and altering the overall voltage)

With the new battery installed, you want to make sure the device works. So grab your zune charge cable and plug it into the crummiest machine you have, or just use a supplied charger. Of course, there is USB overvolt protection, but just in case... Wait like 5-10 min for there to be enough charge in the battery to do something. see of the zune turns on. If so, you have installed the battery correctly, and you now have a working zune. If not, look back at your wires and make sure they are in the right place. Now, use a hot glue gun to steady the wires. This is a protective measure so if one of the wires comes loose, you dont need to take apart the device again and resolder. If you use hotglue now, you wont have to worry about this. also works as a good insulator.

Now that you secured the battery wires, go ahead and re install the hard drive in it's proper location.

Install the back shell accordingly. Make sure all of the connectors are snug, and that the lock button is on correctly, and the switch moves.

Now, install the hex-head screws and the plastic piece that goes on the top of the device and hides the screws.

Moment of truth.....

And it WORKS!!!!!