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Old 07-10-2006, 08:35 PM
SolidxSnake SolidxSnake is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 36
Default How to Disassemble Your Creative Zen Sleek/Photo

This is gonna look a little bland, as I converted this from an HTML document, but oh well

  1. Introduction
  2. Materials
  3. Revealing the Screws
  4. Removing the Touchpad
  5. Removing/Disassembling the Guts
  6. Reassembly
  7. Final Thoughts

I'm sure there's MANY people out there who want to open up their Creative Zen Sleek/Photo for various reasons (Replacing the battery, the hard drive, mods, or just for the heck of it). Well, you've come to the right place. Up until a few days ago, I was one of you, hopelessly searching Google on how to disassemble the Zen Sleek with no results. So I decided to jump into it myself. It's very straightforward, and simple.

I am NOT guaranteeing this guide to work for Creative Zen Sleek Photos, however, I believe they are exactly the same to disassemble. I own the original Zen Sleek. If anyone with a Photo can confirm they're the same, please email me (can be found at the end of this article).

Back to the guide, it's a straightforward disassembly. Just have to be a little patient and gentle. So read on and get ready!

  • Creative zen Sleek/Photo (duh)
  • Clean area to work
  • A cup or some tupperware, something of the sort to hold screws and small parts
  • Eyeglass repair kit (with the small precision screwdriver, flatheads work perfect)
  • A Razor Blade or X-Acto Knife
  • A Hot Glue gun, and some got glue sticks
  • Some fairly strong solvent, that's safe on plastics (I used Isopropyl Alcohol)
  • Lint-free cloth, coffee filters, or q-tips.
Revealing the Screws

So let's get ready to do this. To start, get your Sleek ready. This is mine.

From here, get the screen cover removed. Put something in from above it.

I used my fingernails for this part. It is held on by some adhesive of some sort, I'd like to call it hot glue, but it seems a little different. This is what you should have after.

After the cover's off, the next step of business is to remove the top cover. First, remember what the hold switch is set to, it doesn't matter if it's on or not, just remember where it is. Now, get your precision screwdriver ready, and pry off the top cover, like so:

After that's done, you'll see a metal plate with two screws on two of the corners. Remove the two screws, and try as hard as you can not to lose them . Remove the plate. Should look like this:

Next up is the bottom.

Get your precision screwdriver, and start prying on the bottom cover. Go from anywhere to the side, stick the driver in a decent amount, and gently pull up. You may need to hold it up, and then with the screwdriver pry around the other sides while one side is up. Eventually it'll pop off.

Following this is another plate with another two screws. Remove those and then remove the plate. Get this:

On to the next step.

Removing the Touchpad

Time to remove the Touchpad. This is an easy step, but I decided I'd make this it's own little section. I used my thumb for this part. Start from the bottom of the player, and gently push the touchpad away from the player. There are clips on the bottom of the touchpad at 3 of the extremes (lower touchpad, where the down arrow is; left buttons, centered between the rewind and back buttons; right buttons, centered between the fast-forward and options button). Pull up on the bottom until you hear the clips give. Then, take your screwdriver, and place it to the top of the touchpad, under the "Creative" logo area of the casing. Tilt the driver's handle forward, and you'll feel the touchpad slip out a tad. There are two clip-like hinges at the top. Here's the process in pictures:

Removing/Disassembling the Guts

Now comes the easy stuff. This is what you should have now:

Grab the player, and ease the "guts" (logic board, HDD, battery) down. Just press it down from the top.

A view of the guts from the top...

...And from the bottom.

Next is to take out the battery. Just follow the battery's wires to the logic board and pull gently on the connector. No pictures of this.

Now you want to take the ribbon cable off the HDD. Gently pull it away from the HDD, you may need to rock it left and right.


Now's to removing the HDD. Grab it, thumb on one side, index on the other. Rotate back and forth, and try lifting the bottom and top, alternating. Eventually, you'll feel it loosen up more and more as you go on, just keep going until it finally comes off. You'll see it's held on by some tape.

Finally, some views of the logic board (the HDD and battery was put back on for the "on" pics).

Congrats, you've completely disassembled your Creative Zen Sleek/Photo. Now's for the reassembly .


This is straightforward. Do everything you did before in reverse order, for the most part. Here's my process. First, attach the HDD back on to the rear of the logic board. Plug in the ribbon cable. Plug in the battery. There, your guts are reassembled. The next part is the trickiest for me. After this step, I put the screen cover back on the player. Set aside the guts, get the screen cover and the casing. Wipe down the screen cover's inside VERY WELL. Here's where I used the alcohol and cloth. Just wipe everything down. This is also a great time to remove all the other glue residue on every piece of the player. I used my finger to rub off all the glue residue, or the screwdriver in small areas I couldn't reach. Anyway, back to the screen. Here's what you'll have:

Wipe down the screen well, again. Apply hot glue to the top and the bottom, in a straight thin line, and make sure it's still molten when you reapply the screen.

That last pic was of my first glue application. It's on VERY THICK there. Don't apply it that thick, just make sure you put on enough to block from any dust getting in the screen (My player did this before I ever took off the screen cover). Press it on, and hold it in firmly for a 30 seconds or a minute or so. Now, wipe down the LCD on the logic board, and slide the guts into the casing. I went in from the top, and slid down, but it works either way. Now, press the touchpad back in. It'll snap when it's done. Make sure to apply pressure to each of the clips, the left, right, and the bottom. I applied a little glue to the corners of the touchpad to hold it in place, mine was curling before I disassembled. Now, swivel the bottom plate in, and screw it in. Smear a very little amount of glue on the bottom plastic piece, and press it in until it clicks. Insert the top plate, screw it in, and then get the plastic plate prepped. This is where you want to remember where your hold switch is on. Set the hold slider on the plastic plate to match the switch on the logic board. Apply a little glue to the plastic plate, and press it in until it clicks. Done!

Final Thoughts

So this is the completed guide. I think this should cover anything you'll need to disassemble/reassemble your Zen Sleek. One thing I'd like to mention is the plastic clips on every plastic piece (top cover, bottom cover, touchpad). They tend to break easy... almost all of the clips I have on each of the pieces broke. However, the pieces still fit in, they're a tight fit. The glue helps keep them in as well.

Last edited by SolidxSnake; 08-27-2008 at 12:32 PM.
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