How does one re-attach the LCD data cable to an iMac 27" without breaking it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by omvs, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. omvs macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    On thursday my desire for better performance outweighed my good sense, and I attempted to upgrade the video in my iMac 27. It went better than I expected, except for the reassembly part. I usually have trouble re-attaching the LCD data cable, and this time I managed to break off some pins.

    I thought I was totally screwed - managed to get the machine working with external monitors, though I had to use SMC overrides to stop the fans from going wild. But today I was looking at the cable again, and after peeling some of the tape off the monitor, I realized the cable detached, and was replaceable. Woohoo!

    Ordered one, but before I screw up again, does anyone have some advice on how to attach the cable without breaking it?

  2. Oggy macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2010
  3. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    make sure it slides in straight, not at an angle.

    a good way to do it, is to use the pull tab to guide it into the slot then secure it in place.
  4. omvs thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    That's more or less what I was trying, but I had a hard time lining it up - couldn't get the angle consistent holding from the tab, so I tried holding from the cable end instead.

    I had been doing it with the iMac standing upright, the bottom of the panel in the imac and the top pulled outward. (I think this is how ifixit showed it). However, this doesn't give a heck of a lot of room, so even with my relatively small hands i had problems. Is there a better way?

    Thx again
  5. jwhazel macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    Yes. Basically do it the exact opposite way. Lay the imac down flat (I usually do this with the top facing towards me/stand facing away). Put the LCD in top first and tilt up the bottom, connect lcd cable, thermal sensor, and inverter power cable. Then position lcd in the case, lift up the top and connect inverter sense cable.

    When you connect stuff with the bottom of the LCD up, it gives you a ton more room. Another tip: It can easily be done with a single set of hands, but since this is your first time having a second set would make things easier.
  6. omvs thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    Thanks - I'll give that a shot and see if it works better. I've been debating asking a coworker to help, though if something went wrong it could be bad.

    Hopefully this is the last time I ever take the machine apart. I decided to take advantage of it being open to add the third sata cable and remount my optical drive.
  7. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    actually do not do it that way.
    shortcuts lead to mistakes.

    From the guide it instructs you to place the display/LCD in the chin of the iMac first - gives you the necessary support for the display, tilt the LCD out slightly and connect all the component cables and you'll be fine.

    Thats the surefire way to get it installed properly without issue. thats great a trick or hack worked for others...but i'll take it from the apple guide anyday.
  8. jwhazel macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    The Apple guide isn't wrong, but there are plenty of other/easier ways to service an imac safely. Case in point: he pretty much followed the guide and what happened? He broke the cable.

    I'm an ACMT and I've done hundreds of these. We're not "hacking" the hardware here or doing something crazy, just plugging in cables from a different angle.
  9. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    I don't know why Apple connectors and mainboard headers are so damned fragile.

    I have been building PC's since the mid 90's and have never broken anything. But there are countless stories of people pulling headers off the board or stripping cables out of the connector or similar catastrophe when trying to upgrade a Mac. So much so, I chickened out of upgrading my Mac Mini's hard disk and I paid £50 to get an Apple Service Centre to do it. There are just too many stories of broken fan connector, broken IR connector, broken wifi antenna connector, broken sata connector etc etc etc.

    It really shouldn't be like this. You should be able to have a good old pull on a connector without it coming to pieces. The header coming of the board is really unforgiveable. They just can't be soldered on properly.
  10. omvs thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    Well, its not exactly intended to be user serviceable, and they are cramming a lot of stuff into a tight space. Most of the connectors seem pretty reasonable to me - the LCD data is the main exception, and if there was more slack on the panel and/or the panel was lighter, it probably wouldn't be that bad.

    The laptops & imacs have been pretty easy for me to work in. Only other unit I had problems with was the iphone 3GS, and it was another case of hard to get into the space to reconnect stuff. Damaged the retention mechanism on one of the connectors, but the cable stayed in place when I reassembled, so lucked out.
  11. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I took the LCD panel out and have used the external display port for 2 years. The nice thing is how cool the iMac runs now.
  12. Gambit242 macrumors newbie


    Dec 4, 2016
    Where did you order the replacement? Trying to find one with no luck.

  13. mikeboss macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2009
    depends on the exact model you own. for 2012/2013 27" iMacs it's part number 923-0308. search for "apple" and "923-0308" on ebay.

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