DIY Repairs


@jaysee Unfortunately it isn’t the cause - I broke this backlight board by mistake. I have seen this issue occur with quite a few 27-inch iMacs though and hope to probe around further for the root cause once I can get my hands on one nearby for testing. The last one I worked on was fixed with an LCD replacement, so I believe whatever the issue is, it’s in the panel itself rather than an issue on the backlight board. If I figure it out I’ll report back here.

@cosmichobo I do believe so. For service purposes Apple doesn’t manufacture new boards, instead they rework the old ones. In some ways it’s a good thing, repurposing components instead of wasting resources on manufacturing new ones, but it also has its drawbacks with reliability and rework quality sometimes, as owners of 2011 MacBook Pros have recently discovered when their GPUs fail a second and sometimes third time.

@Oldmacs A screen connector? Ouch. I haven’t soldered down a screen connector before and would probably need to source a hot air rework station before I could do that type of repair. I have a couple of boards myself that need new LVDS connectors so this could be on the cards soon.

Is it the cable connector or the connector on the logic board itself? I think I saw a spare logic board for this model in spares recently so I’ll have another look and see if it works.


Yeah its the actual connector on the logic board for the screen cable to plug into - it just snapped right off - I’ve attached a photo of it :stuck_out_tongue:

The other issue with this machine was that the backlight worked sometimes and sometimes not. When I bought the machine it didn’t work at all, then after a week of having it connected to a monitor it came on, then it worked for 2 months and stopped. Before I snapped the connector off the logic board you could see the display if you shone a torch at it… Ever heard of that? Other than that, the machine is in good nick (besides missing the battery)

@iMic - Is this sort of thing pointless to even try fixing? It just occurred to me that the likelihood of Apple actually having the part available is next to zero…


@Oldmacs I wouldn’t say pointless, but certainly very difficult. I would probably sooner change the entire Logic Board at this point, unless you were specifically aiming to keep serial numbers matching and what not. The connector could be replaced relatively easily, but the intermittent loss of backlight would require further troubleshooting.

If I find a spare logic for that machine, I’ll let you know.

Rescued another machine tonight, this time a 2014 13" MacBook Pro Retina. Wouldn’t power on after some liquid entered through the rear vent, checked over the power rails and found PPVRTC_G3H, the main supply line to the real time clock, was reading at 0.18v instead of the required 3.3v. A small filter capacitor at position C1910 was shorted to ground. I didn’t have another replacement capacitor or the microscopic tools needed to install it, so I desoldered the old capacitor and left it out of the circuit. Somehow I think the clock power supply circuit will survive fine without filtering, and the machine powers up and runs beautifully now.

Component Level Mac Repair
Dark Month for Apple Repairs

@iMic Thanks! The serial number doesn’t worry me, the only reason I thought a repair would a good idea would be a much lower cost!! I’d just like to restore the machine to working condition as a spare Laptop (my White Macbook is stranded on Lion), so its my newest secondary mac :stuck_out_tongue:

Have you got any idea about the backlight issue? Is it at all common? The backlighting would be LED so no inverter right? I read something about a fuse, but IMHO if a fuse had blown than it wouldn’t be intermittent (it just wouldn’t be there at all), though maybe thats me not understanding these things :stuck_out_tongue:

That Retina Pro looks great! Wish I came across computers like that (and had the awesome ability to do that level of troubleshooting and repairs!!)


@iMic Hey mate. Just wondering - I’ve got an iMac 27-inch that has half the screen duller than the rest. Looking at this video it looks like maybe the problem is some dodgy soldering on the display. Do you reckon that’s something that’s fixable?


Should be fixable. Funnily enough, I was discussing this exact issue with someone earlier today and planned to start experimenting with some dud panels for practice.

Some repairers will solder in six wires to where the connector attaches through the small cutout in the frame that the cable routes through. Extremely fiddly, but it can be done. I’d like to see if it’s possible to disassemble the panel, remove the board and solder the connector back into place properly so it’s a cleaner and more robust repair.


What year/model is the iMac?


This guy’s video seems to be that method.

Turns out I had one iMac with the dull left side, and the other with a flickering backlight. I swapped the panels, and I seem to have one working unit… but with weird vertical lines. I think I pinched a cable when putting it back together. Gonna try replacing that cable now. :slight_smile:


Has anyone baked their iMac video card? My 2009 iMac 27 died yesterday (boots to apple then goes grey and unresponsive) after a few graphic glitches over the last week so I’m guessing the graphics card is dead. Reading around it seems to be the done thing to put the card in a 200 deg C oven for 10 minutes to reflow the solder.

Has anyone here done that before? Anything to look out for when doing so? I’ve replaced the HD and optical drive in this machine so familiar with opening it up and the ifixit teardown is pretty good.



brand new card from apple is about $300 installed. i had mine done and its been great.


Yep it’s nice to be able to upgrade stuff and the lack of upgradability (is that a real word?) in modern Macs means that I will not be upgrading - pure and simple. I’ll move back to PCs as at least I can upgrade what I want,when I want.


There’s nothing more satisfying than a DIY upgrade. The journey is as good as the destination.


Wondering if upgrading a late 2011 MBP to 16 GB RAM is worth it for a regular (not pro) user? Or if 8GB would be sufficient.

Also looking at putting in an SSD at the same time (not putting in a data doubler as they use the DVD drive).


My answer would be yes as the cost of RAM and SSDs are now in the affordable range - definitely makes a difference - the only reason why I wouldn’t in your case is if I’m about to upgrade to a new MBP soon.



One of the “gold” MagSafe connections (nearest the screen) on my 2009 13" MBP has half chipped off, now resulting in the connector getting quite hot, but also at best only providing power to run, but not charge (and at worst you get no power at all).

I’m guessing that this would be a full logic board replacement at an Apple repairer? And impossible to buy the component itself to try a Diy other than sourcing a whole new board??

Any advice welcome.



That model has a separate MagSafe board, so provided we’re talking the connection on the computer between the power adapter and machine, you should be able to replace that small board and have it work again.

If we’re talking the connection on the Logic Board, between the MagSafe board cable and the Logic Board inside the machine, then it should be possible to remove a connector from another board and transfer it across. Those are fairly thick pins and traces.

Problem is being a 2009, Apple Stores and AASPs would have a difficult time ordering parts for it. Apple would have classed it as vintage by now. Still, the MagSafe board is easy enough to source, I probably have 10-15 of them around the place and the ones from later models (13" 2010, 2011, 2012) should all be interchangeable.


Thanks, iMic. $25 and 20 steps… I think I can I think I can…

What would be the cheapest solid state option for the 2.23ghz 2009 13" MBP? While I’m in there…


Thanks, iMic. $25 and 20 steps… I think I can I think I can…

What would be the cheapest solid state option for the 2.23ghz 2009 13" MBP? While I’m in there…

I think that a Crucial BX200 is the cheapest… not sure how good they are though. Not sure if its the right Sata gen for your Macbook off the top of my head though.


I don’t fit anything except Samsung aftermarket SSDs. They are solid, and very reasonably priced!


I have a Samsung evo in my own macbook and have fitted a number of Crucial and OWC drives which have all been good.