Fixing my Zune’s broken glass (again) on the cheap!

A while ago I dropped my Zune flat on its face and fixed it myself with some parts from  Unfortunately, it seems that Rapid Repair’s replacement “glass” wasn’t glass at all but rather some cheap plastic that broke while the Zune was in my pocket with my cell phone.
Zune with broken Rapid Repair glass


I had already spent a bunch of money fixing my Zune the first time, so I wasn’t too eager to spend more money.  Since the original accident Microsoft began offering a repair service for broken glass and screens… for $80.  I opted for a cheaper solution in every sense of the word.  Instead of replacing the front glass, I decided to remove the broken pieces and simply put the Zune in a clear plastic case.  I clicked around and found the a cheap clear case for $3.27.  (As of today, the price is $3.10.)  The whole deal as $6.25 with shipping.
Broken Zune with plastic case

The first step in the repair was to remove the broken pieces from in front of the LCD screen.  I began to take apart the Zune, but then I thought I might be able to pick off the pieces with a small pick—I used the flathead screwdriver that came with my Rapid Repair kit.  The process was oddly reminiscent of pealing a hard-boiled egg.  Note that I was only able to peal away the glass because it was the cheap Rapid Repair stuff.  The glass that comes on Zunes is much stronger and stays in one piece even after it cracks.
Pealing away the Zune's broken Rapid Repair glass

After I got all of the pieces off I sprayed a bit of Windex on a paper towel and cleaned  up the remaining dust.  (The blemish at the top of the frame is from when I replaced the glass the first time.)
Zune with the glass removed

With the case on my Zune is basically as good as new.  My only concern now is that dust will get up under the cover and I’ll have to clean it out.  Time will tell for that.
Zune with the glass removed and a plastic case

As for the case itself, the only problem that it seems to have is that it makes the hold switch inaccessible without something like a toothpick or paperclip.  The case does come with the necessary parts to clip the Zune to a belt, so it might not be a big deal if I decide to do that.
Zune's hold switch with the plastic case

I almost decided to ditch this Zune, an 8GB model, for a larger 16GB model, but I hear a new model, the Zune HD, is coming out later this year.  I’ll be paying close attention to that as well!

14 thoughts on “Fixing my Zune’s broken glass (again) on the cheap!

  1. Correction, doesnt sell plastic replacements. Only Glass which is rated for better impact. they have sold thousands of these glass lenses to happy customers all over the world!

  2. the product page says

    All orders will come with a free ThinSkin protective screen cover to function as a laminate for the glass. Using your Zune without this ThinSkin cover can expose you to sharp glass if you should break the front panel again.

    This heavily implies that their glass is fragile. At the very least it doesn’t stay in one piece when it breaks like the original glass. You say that the glass is “rated for better impact,” but better than what? You really lose credibility in your comment by posting as “anon.”

  3. thanks for the info just ordered the case you bought for 2.50 and am going to look into replacing the glass with a thin sheet of plexi.

  4. Really appreciate you putting up all this info. I was really very helpful. Sorry to hear it was a headache for you.

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