Does anyone know how to totally take the top off the phone? there is that sort of spring loaded axis piece in there and i can't figure out how to get the flip portion off because that thing is in there and it feels like something is going to break if i force it. i assume i will have to separate the two halves to replace the flex cable, but even if not i would love to know if there is a trick to it or what. thanks for any info.
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There are small screws on the silver end pieces that hold the 2 pieces together. You have to completely take the phone apart top and bottom take the end piece out of the hinge and very carefully slide the flex cable through. Go to HowardForums and look for a tutorial there.
the problem your having is caused by a ribbon that connects the screen and the mainboard in the phone.
the ribbon seems to have either come loose or detached.other than that being a problem it will almost certainly be a screen issue where the lcd has burnt out.
but in my professional opinion it will almost certainly be a ribbon issue
As you describe it, your problem is the keypad. Maybe dirty or wet inside though that part is a totally replaceable pad with a connector only so you must buy a replacement and replace the broken one.
About how to do that: being the razr a common phone is pretty sure you'll find guides, photos and maybe videos around the web, googling, guiding you on how to do it. Maybe the shop where you buy the replacement can have a forum or guides. The other option is to pay a technician to do it.