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Repair guides and disassembly information for Apple's 7th generation iPad. Released September 25, 2019. Model numbers: A2197, A2200, and A2198.

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Ghost touching WITHOUT the digitizer connected!

Today I replaced the digitizer on an iPad 7 due to it being smashed. Everything went smoothly and before I stuck the screen down I went to verify everything worked. When turned on, the screen would go erratic and it locked itself out due to ghost touching. I opened it back up to check everything and can’t seem to find any errors. I’ve checked the connectors under a microscope and they’re all good. I thought I’d try power it up with the digitizer and home button disconnected and to my disbelief.. it was still ghost touching. Can anyone suggest what I be wrong? Someone has mentioned it looks like the lcd may be faulty but I don’t see how that’s possible when it’s detecting touch with the digitizer disconnected. Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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I have the same problem.

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I refurbish iPads as a retirement hobby. I've been doing this almost 4 years and have done over 500 refurbishments. I presently have three 7th Gens and each one of them is experiencing this ghosting problem...all without a digitizer connected! I can understand having one do this, unlikely to have two but three??!! All of these had been updated to iPadOS 14.0 BEFORE the cracked screens came off so I'm just wondering if the update has anything to to do with it. This is a seriously unlikely situation.

Fortunately I own all of them; otherwise I'd be owing three customers a ton of money.

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Hey David you ever get any of your ipads working again? I have the same issue and nothing I tried seems to be working. I'm hoping it has nothing to do with the board itself but since it's ghost touching without the digitizer or LCD connected I think that's the most likely answer.

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Is the housing bent on the sides in any way to where the logic board might be bending? Have you tried cleaning the digitizer connectors on the board with 99% isopropyl alcohol to see if it may fix the problem?

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Hi Ben. There’s no damage to the housing or bored, everything seems in pristine condition. Are you suggesting there may be residue of some sort across the connector terminals causing interference? I’ll try giving all the connectors a clean with isopropyl however as stated above, the ghost touching also happens with the digitizer disconnected which leads me to believe it’s nothing to do with the digitizer itself but possibly the circuitry for it.

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Yeah my guess would of been some sort of residue causing interference like you've said.

I have had ghost touch digitiser issues in the past on iPad 5 / 6 mostly due to either needing to reseat the connector or a faulty digitizer. Haven't had an issue like this where it would ghost touch with nothing connected very bizarre.

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Hey Sean,

I repaired my iPad 7 earlier today and I also verified by turning it on without the digitizer connected, I also had the ghost touch and eventually just decided to reconnect the digitizer. After I did it stopped and the touch works perfect now. I think it may just be the way apple has designed the iPad 7 Logic Board in which when it doesnt detect a digitizer it just does weird things. Wouldn’t be surprised seeing as Apple is well Apple and how they software lock so many of their devices. As i’ve only repaired my iPad today I cant tell if it is a long term problem that will get worse over time but as for now and the past 16 or so hours my touch has been working fine.

I hope this helped in any way.

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I've seen this sort of thing happen when digital signals are allowed to "float" - that is, they're not connected to either a high or a low voltage. What happens is other parts of the circuit leak voltage to where the level is close to the threshold point so any slight variation caused by transistors switching or electromagnetic interference can cause the circuit to think it's been activated on and off.

If indeed it's being caused by an open circuit - which it sounds like it is, since it happens even with the digitizer disconnected, that would indicate that the new digitizer is bad; the motherboard is still seeing that signal in an indeterminate state whether it's connected or not. If it stops when you plug in the old digitizer, that would pretty much prove that the new one's no good.

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Restore it? I’ve had a lot of problems caused by software updates then fixed with a restore (best example: I updated my iPad mini 3 to iOS 9, and the App Store got deleted. I had to restore, lest I loose the App Store)

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Have you managed to fix this issue? I’m having the same problem and even made a similar post on the matter but I haven’t been able to get my lcd to work properly and don’t want to dish out $200+ for a new oem one.

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I managed to fix this on an ipad 7th gen by:

Disconnecting the battery,

cleaning the connectors with isopropyl alcohol

fitting a &new* digitiser to the ipad(not the same old one).

Maybe I got lucky… the ipad in question has had some frame damage and seems to have intermittent issues (according to the owner FWIW) with charging and screen staying on. today was the first time it had been ghost touching with no digitiser connected, but appears to be fine now.

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Did anyone manage to fix this?

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I have the same problem on my iPad 9. It has ghost touch even without the digitizer connected. I got this from someone who smashed the screen of the iPad. She didn't have the receipt as well. So I tried repairing it on my own. I have repaired a number of ipads before. First time experiencing this. Anybody has a solution to this?

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As a professional iPad refurbisher I can tell you that ghost typing on a 9th Gen. (or 7th or 8th) in my experience has caused by digitizers that are not properly seated on the motherboard FPC connectors, (more likely on the one in the left).

The other causes can be bent or missing pins on either of those FPC connectors which can be caused by pressing too hard when trying to seat one or both connectors,

The third possibility is a defect in the digitizer itself other than either of the connectors.

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Great answer!

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