A shattered iPad and a last ditch effort to save it.
I've had my iPad 3 since 2009 and it was in near mint condition. I take meticulous care of my electronics, but it only takes that one mistake to ruin years of effort. I had a protective case, but managed to drop it at just the right angle, velocity, and distance. The screen shattered in the top right corner of the iPad.
I petitioned for a new iPad Air 2 (since my iPad was considered "outdated") but that didn't fly with the wife. I decided to take a desperate measure to get my iPad back and attempt to repair the shattered screen.
Overall, the FIRST attempt at repair was decent. The shattered glass was a bear to remove due to glass flying everywhere and remnants of the shattered glass remaining glued to the metal frame.
Once the front panel and digitizer were removed in its entirety, I proceeded to install the replacement. Once in place...the iPad had the wonderful side-effect of "ghost" gestures. Apparently, due to the new screen not sitting flat (because of a small dent in the metal at the top of the iPad where the glass shattered), the digitizer began to freak out and register ghost gestures. It was like my iPad had a mind of its own.
To make matters worse, I neglected to remove the old remnants of glue from the original front panel, which caused the new adhesive strips to poorly bond to the metal frame. This caused the front panel to be raised in multiple corners after a few days.
All-in-all, this initial repair attempt spanned 2 days and took approximately 4 hours to complete. The most time consuming portion was removing all the glass fragments from the iPad.
Frustrated and defeated, I decided to give it one more go. I ordered the replacement adhesive strips from iFixit and began round 2 of repair. This time, I took special care to remove all the remnant glue--on both the metal frame and the front panel. I used nail polish remover and some q-tips and started to remove the glue along the metal frame. Because I took extra special care and time, the glue came off and left a nice clean surface, ready to be adhered to. I applied the new adhesive strips, reinstalled the front panel and LCD and removed the small dent in the top of the iPad to facilitate the screen sitting flat. I carefully laid the glass down and made sure that it adhered everywhere. I applied pressure to the iPad screen overnight via some books and waited till morning.
I am proud to say that after repair round 2, the iPad is back to normal functionality and I couldn't be happier. No "ghost" gestures, no raised corners and a beautiful new screen. Thanks to iFixit, I was able to restore my iPad to working condition for no more than $60 and a few hours of my time. Much better than the alternatives of a) buy a new iPad, or b) live without an iPad (yeah right).
TAKE YOUR TIME. Don't rush it. There are many things that can go wrong with this repair process. If you foolheartedly rush the process, you'll inevitably do something stupid like sever the digitizer cable or ruin the WIFI antenna, which will just add to your pain and cost of repair.
If I could narrow down to 3 specifics, it would be:
1. Take care to remove all the old adhesive. Nail polish remover works great, or rubbing alcohol. Make sure the metallic parts that the screen adheres to are clean and ready to receive it.
2. Wear glasses when removing the shattered screen. You don't want to "shoot your eye out" with an iPad. That would be quite the story to tell at a Halloween party when people mistake you for dressing up as a pirate.
3. Be careful with the digitizer cable. You have to get it to set/fold just right or it will begin to register those "ghost" gestures I talked about. Nothing was more frustrating than trying to use my iPad and it deciding to go on a schizophrenic rampage. Make sure to observe how the digitizer cable is positioned and placed on your old screen before you remove it.
Good luck with your repair endeavours.