Creative Zen Disassembly

zen disassembly main Creative Zen Disassembly

If your Zen is in need of repair or you just feel like looking at its guts, take a look at this simple guide. The method of opening the Zen is non destructive and can be opened with a few simple tools. You will need a #0 Phillips head screw driver, a slim pocket knife and/or a set of plastic pry tools. A credit card or driver’s license will work in place of the plastic tools.

The difficulty of this disassembly is moderate with nothing overly difficult, but it’s more getting the guts to dig into your fully functional Zen.


I initially used a pocket knife to slightly separate the back of the Zen from the face. I then slid the pry tool underneath the back to pop the clips. Once at least one clip is popped you can ditch the knife and relax a little cause the player will stay apart until you snap those clips back in.

Now run the plastic tool or card along the sides. (You can use the knife too, but you will be less likely to damage the player.) Several clips will pop on each side. Do this to the three sides that do not have the USB port.

Once you separate the back from the rest, there are several screws. You will have to remove the board in order to get to one of them. The board is clipped on one of the sides. Gently pry back the clips and remove the board.

The last part which you may get hung up on is the button array. There is a small nub that keeps it in place. Just make sure you don’t break that nub.

You are done. Marvel at its hi-tech glory or fix what you need to fix.

PS. Don’t drink a Redbull like I did before opening. As you can see in the video I am a bit shaky. =)


Just for the heck of it, here is the reassembly video. I cut out the boring screw insert part. I was paying more attention to the player at times so there are a few lame camera shots.


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dragnandy on March 8, 2008 12:48 AM

when you use the D pad with the zen, its really clicky and noisy. if you put like a small cloth or something under it and reassemble it back in, would it kind of soften the click sound? making it not so noisy?

JeffreyT on March 8, 2008 1:04 AM

If anybody knows what is causing the white screen of death I will be tearing one of mine apart. I bought a 4g for $13 on ebay.

EnzoTen (Grahm) on March 8, 2008 3:07 AM

@dragnandyThere isnt enough room to fit cloth in there, plus im not sure if it would help@JeffI got the white screen of death before and it seemed to be an issue with the newest firmware.

nywytboy68 on March 8, 2008 3:23 AM

Just wanted to know, is the battery soldered and is it possible to get a higher capacity 1 inside? & PS: sorry for the stupidity Enzo.

EnzoTen (Grahm) on March 8, 2008 4:19 AM

no worries. The battery is soldered. I dont think its possible to get something bigger in there since the room is tight. unless there was a higher capacity in the same psychical size.

Yuki on March 8, 2008 9:38 AM

Are you going to take apart the A816 soon ^^ ?

Alex on March 8, 2008 10:58 AM

Anyone know how or where I can get my screen on the Zen repaired, the LCD broke when my backpack full of text books and my Zen was thrown

dragnandy on March 8, 2008 1:16 PM

alex, im not sure if there are specific stores online that sell them yet, maybe eventually they will. but you can try searching ebay and buying a broken zen for parts. i hope this helps

erik on March 9, 2008 7:38 AM

I love these “XY player disassembled” articles!!!!

dragnandy on March 9, 2008 9:31 PM

hey enzo, did you scratch your zen at all when you did this?

EnzoTen (Grahm) on March 9, 2008 10:03 PM

No scratches, but a very small nick in the side where i slid the knife in.

Dilbert on March 12, 2008 11:29 AM

Interesting. There is obviously a lot of space for more flash chips. Did anyone try to solder additional devices on the open space to increase the total flash memory ?. The question is if the firmware would accept this.

Garrison Chrisjohn on March 15, 2008 8:36 PM

Great article. Very helpful. I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about the battery. I figure that the battery will be the first thing that I need to replace.I found it a little difficult to make out what was written on it in picture #12

Daniel on April 2, 2008 6:08 AM

I would like to know if it is easy to take off the LCD screen?I mean, is it soldered or a can just pull it out easily just like mobile lcd’s?thanks

Daniel on April 5, 2008 10:18 AM

@Garrison Chrisjohni opened mine and the battery is 3.6V lithium 0.55AH

Mike on April 24, 2008 12:59 AM

Dropped mine a few days after buying it. The LCD was messed up. Took it apart and did some googling with all of the numbers on it. I was led here and here: to be the same screen used in the Vision M. I’m going to buy a used Vision M off eBay and find out.

whackpak on April 28, 2008 2:04 PM

mine is broke since a few days, he felt in the swimming pool.I “had” a 4 gig version.I disassembled it to let him dry.But it was 2 late :( Battery is soldered and replaceable, the LCD is attached with a connector you can change the LCD if broke :D I’m gone buy a new one, a 8 gig version now since they get cheaper. Really good player!!!Now I have parts if my new one gets broke

Matthew on May 6, 2008 3:53 PM

does anybody know where to get a replacement faceplate? mine is really scratched up, but everything is working fine. If nobody knows where to get one, does anybody have one they are prepared for sale? don’t mind if it is scratched elsewhere, just not over the screen area. Cheers

Nobody on May 24, 2008 11:20 AM

A better way to pop the case is to pry up the case at the headphone/USB/power switch side. There are no clamps there, and you can easily work a credit card in there without a knife. Then, you can slide the credit card around the edge of the case, popping all the connector latches.I did this because I was looking to add some extra flash to the Zen. Anyone have any leads on where to obtain Hynix flash chips?

dragnandy on May 26, 2008 1:53 AM

@Nobody= is that possible? to add more flash into the zen??? i know this is a kind of old post but i think its really interesting.

james on June 18, 2008 6:37 PM

I broke my ZEN doing this, so be careful. I think it was cuz i tried to pull off the battery with a butterknife it might have damaged the charge control circuit or something but most loikely my switch is messed up.BE REALLY CAREFUL WHEN YOU DISSASEMBLE YOUR ZEN!

james on June 18, 2008 6:44 PM

I broke my ZEN doing this, so be careful. I think it was cuz i tried to pull off the battery with a butter knife it might have damaged the charge control circuit or something but most likely my switch is messed up.BE REALLY CAREFUL WHEN YOU DISASSEMBLE YOUR ZEN! it turns on and is functional with the charger and it will still be on if you unplug it, but when you turn it off, you cannot turn it back on. Also, when it is on hold, i can grip the player and it turns off of hold for a moment and then back on. it is now pretty much useless! another thing, when it is plugged into the c harget, the brightness is what i set. when i unplug it from the charger, the display gets really dark, but still visible.

GMan on July 24, 2008 1:56 PM

Hello, Anyone fixed a bricked zen? I have got mine open and started probing around.Not sure if there is a known issue. I bricked it by repeatedly hitting the reset button and power buttons together after having the white screen of death.The Battery is okay and the processor/memory clock fires up for a few seconds when i hit the power. No LED or LCD activity though? Any Ideas

Jack on July 25, 2008 7:25 AM

Hi guysmy zen’s screen is just white and ive tried using creatives suggestions to try and fix it but no good. Any suggestions please

sassafras on July 26, 2008 4:30 PM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Enzo you should really be a hand model.

Oscar on July 28, 2008 8:28 AM

Can you use the Flash Memory inside Creative zen to used it in other products? Like VideoCamara, etc.

Jarrod on August 16, 2008 2:02 PM

Hey all-I dropped mine a week ago and the screen is totally shot. Has anyone found a store online where you can buy a replacement screen? or has anyone found out for sure if Mike’s thought is right about the screen being the same as the vision:M?Cheers,Jarrod

lasp on August 21, 2008 8:45 PM

Hi,I bought a zen 4gb and when tried to plug it to the car radio (pionner old one) via RCA-stereo-plug cable it shutted down and didnt woke up, now it doesn’t turn on, not even the blue charging led turns on when charging, any idea of how to fix it??I assume maybe somehow the ZEN was short circuited, hope is not so serious..I havent checked yet if there is a short circuit on the car RCA cables, that may be making them to have a voltage output.thanks,

Tray on October 18, 2008 11:04 PM

I don’t know what to do. My Zen Mosaic froze on me and i thought i could reset it like an ipod but I don’t know how.

Matthew on December 5, 2008 6:38 PM

The casing of my Zen has become really scratched (my fault) with really deep scratches over the screen which is REALLY annoying!! does anybody know where i can get a replacement face plate or does any one have one for sale or anything?! cheers.

Emanuele on January 29, 2009 6:59 PM

Hey!! I have the solution for the white screen problem! My Creative Zen 8GB has the same problem :) but it’s really simple to fix it. I’ve noticed that my Zen falls in “white screen of death” mode ONLY when it auto-shut’s off after it was playing AND the keypad was locked. Seems that this is a problem caused by the “screen saver” mode zen enters into to save battery. So, how to repair, really simple: turn on your zen and try to make it play music…ora a video…doesn’t matter what, just play something; plug in your earphones to be sure it’s playing for sure. When zen is playing just lock the keypad, wait ’till the screen shuts off in “screen saver” mode, than unlock the keypad and…TA DAAAAAH! SCREEN WORKS! AND WORKS FINE!Do not be too happy..this way the problem IS NOT really solved…it will happen again and again…but the solution always works. If you need more infos about it just feel free to mail me!.PS. sorry, my english is terrible…but i’m italian :p

Emanuele on January 29, 2009 7:02 PM

Ops…thought my email would be linked to my name in the post. My email is:

Curtis on February 25, 2009 7:40 PM

lasp,Those RCA plugs on car stereos are not inputs, but outputs. You most likely blew out the audio on the ZEN. Does it power on at all? show anything on the screen?If you can verify the LCD is good I’ll buy it from you – my daughter just broke hers.

Jose on March 10, 2009 9:51 PM

I have a zen mp3 like the one on the video and it does not turn on at all.When i connect it to charge, the screen flashes on and off and it also does not show the charging symbol.Does anyone know how i can fix it or what can be wrong with it?

Reducto on April 5, 2009 3:39 PM

Thanks for posting this! Using these instructions I was able to clean out some dust that had gotten between the LCD and the case. The part with the knife did leave some chips in the edge. I have the 32G model and all 4 chip slots are occupied by Samsung K9HCG08U1M-PCB0 8G chips.

Raj on April 9, 2009 5:22 AM

i’ve a zen 8GB. the player dies whenever i try to hit the back button. it turns back on after a week and then it dies when it goes to screen saver mode. its a really annoying problem. does anyone know how to fix it.

Francesco on April 19, 2009 8:30 PM

hi boys and girl,i broke zen X-fi 8gb’s display (cracked)!!!but i can watch on it, there is only a big point on the left if.:___(i would reapair itthere is a possibility?where i ask to do this?and is too much expensive?

glen on April 30, 2009 3:15 PM

This is an old problem for me, but can someone help me out? I was helping my nieghbor tyrap a wire on the underside of his truck with my 60Gb zen vision m in my back pocket. The next morning when I powered it on, my screen was very light in color. I can still make out the pictures/video and menus, but it just is very light in color. Is there a fix or parts that I can replace for this. I have been using the player for 6+ months or longer as is, but would really like a good color screen again.

Jimmy on May 24, 2009 10:08 PM

ok so i was customizing my playlist then the thing froze all of a sudden and when I looked the screen was all black but it was still on. when i plugged it back in the computer it said it was an unknown device. is there a way i can fix it before i decide to take matters into my own hands? right now the screen is still black and the device is on.

willnotassymilatetoipod on June 2, 2009 5:00 PM

My Zen took a spin in the washing machine. Is my best bet to take it apart and dry out? Or am I wasting my time?

anthony quon on June 13, 2009 6:54 PM

i got a parts for a creative zen : m that i want to sell, here’s a list:battery 3.7V w/pigtail plug-inLCD screen samsung ltv250qvf02motherboard pd1580 030611hard drive hitachi htc426030g5ce00- 30 Gig w/modular ZIF ribbon willing to trade for cash or 2.5″ serial ata hard drive 20 Gig or greater, or non-working psp (any version)or whatever!!write me at reflexusa(aT) gmail(dOt)com for more info or to make an offer!!!

germ on June 27, 2009 11:40 AM

Any chance you could measure the value of resistor R105 for me? It’s near the reset pushbutton.Regards

zen_guy on July 9, 2009 9:11 PM

hi enzo! do you know where this little rubber thing goes?’t seem to find a place for it

chadlovesthisvid on July 16, 2009 10:03 PM

this video is awesome :) saved my zen from water damage under the screen and left with one nearly superficial entryway scratch

tune on August 14, 2009 3:44 PM

i have a 30gb zune that started out with the white screen of death-when i turned it on this morning screen was black and orange in center in vertical lines-music still plays fine-i do keep it locked and in my pocked when playing-hardly used-and never dropped-tried to do the white screen of death fix where you lock till it screen turns black and turn lock off -this didnt work-please help someone!!!

RICK on August 15, 2009 11:55 PM

@zen_guy on July 9, 2009 9:11 PMhi enzo! do you know where this little rubber thing goes ?i think its the rubber part for the mic..

doudou on August 26, 2009 8:31 PM

nice job but…where can i find a screen replacement for my creative zen black 8GB?i can’t find it :(

charm on September 1, 2009 1:23 PM

for the zen mosaic that froze/hang up just press the reset button at the lower left using a pin or something . the player will reboot. dont worry the memory wont be erased.

jeff on November 20, 2009 1:48 AM

I can’t use my mp3 player( creative zen 8GB) because this is what happenedMy player freezes before so I reformat it using the reset buttonthem all I can see on my screen is thisRecovery Mode’Creative ZENV1.21.01_0.3.1Clean UpFormat AllReaload FirmwareRebootI tried the recovery tool but upgrade failed is the resultI tried the firmwares on the support of the creative site but firmware upgrade failed alsowhat will I do, I dont know what to do, i dont have any ideai cant use my creative zen mp3 player please is my email

Paul on February 13, 2010 7:26 PM

I have parts for the 4GB 8GB 16GB ZEN for sale. ~ LCD’s, Face plates, Backs, Buttons, Batteries, etc.

David on February 14, 2010 6:09 AM

Paul,Interested in some parts…Do you have a contact email please?

Wayne on March 5, 2010 11:12 PM

Paul, I also need a front cover for a Creative Zen 8Gb, prefer black if possible. Or full housing if not. Thanks.

Tammy on March 18, 2010 4:20 PM

i LOVE LOVE My Zen ..I have the Zen Mosaic 4G…have used it everyday since i got it..and now the power switch has come unconnected on the what i am wondering is if i should live with it…power it on by using the usb cord…or if the fix is an easy one? …and its way out of any repairs worth doing will have to be done by lil ole me ! Any advice? Thanks in Advance :)

Odo on May 18, 2010 10:45 AM

Raj, and anyone else that gets the white screen when the back button is pressed: I had the same issue and thought that a solder connection had came loose which was causing the error. As a last ditch effort before disassembling the player I formatted the player, erased the firmware and reinstalled firmware 1.21.03. That seems to have solved the issue. I have been putting it through its paces to see if I can cause the white screen again, but so far it is working just fine. Hope that helps.

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