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Use this guide to replace a broken inverter cable.

  1. Use a coin or spudger to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.
    • Use a coin or spudger to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

  2. Lift the battery out of the computer.
    • Lift the battery out of the computer.

  3. Unscrew the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.
    • Unscrew the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.

    • The screws are captive to the metal memory cover so you cannot lose them.

    • Using The Flexible Extension sold by iFixit will help with this step.

  4. Rotate the L-shaped memory cover so it clears the battery compartment opening and lift it up and out of the computer.
    • Rotate the L-shaped memory cover so it clears the battery compartment opening and lift it up and out of the computer.

  5. Remove the following 3 screws:
    • Remove the following 3 screws:

    • One 11 mm Phillips#00 in the middle of the lower case. (Head: 5mm dia. x .75mm thick)

    • Two 14.5 mm Phillips #00 (Head: 5mm dia. x .75mm thick)

    • If the screws stick in the case, you can use a magnetized screwdriver to draw them out.

    • The shorter of the three screws goes in the middle.

  6. Take extra caution with these screws as they can strip easily!
    • Take extra caution with these screws as they can strip easily!

    • You could use a flexible extension to minimize stripping.

    • Remove the following 3 screws from the rear wall of the battery compartment:

    • One 3 mm Phillips #0. (Head: 2.75 mm. dia.)

    • Two 4 mm Phillips #0 on the either side. (Head: 2.75mm dia.)

  7. Remove the two Phillips screws from either side of the right wall of the battery compartment (not the ones closest to the battery connector).
    • Remove the two Phillips screws from either side of the right wall of the battery compartment (not the ones closest to the battery connector).

    • Two 6.25 mm Phillips #000. (Head: 4 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

  8. Remove the four indicated Phillips screws from the front wall of the battery compartment. When working from the left, remove the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th screws.
    • Remove the four indicated Phillips screws from the front wall of the battery compartment. When working from the left, remove the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th screws.

    • Four 3.25 mm Phillips #000. (Head: 4 mm. dia. x 4mm thick)

  9. Remove the following 4 screws from the back of the computer:
    • Remove the following 4 screws from the back of the computer:

    • Two 11 mm Phillips #00, with Shank (2.2mm dia. x 2 mm len.) (Head: 3.2 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

    • Two 7.25 mm Phillips #00, with Shank (2mm dia. x 3.75 mm len.) (Head: 3.2 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

    • During reassemble, install the two longer screws go on the inside, and the two shorter screws go on the outside.

  10. Remove the two Phillips screws from the optical drive side of the computer:
    • Remove the two Phillips screws from the optical drive side of the computer:

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips #00, with shank (2.3mm dia. x 3.25 mm len.) (Head: 3.2 mm. dia. x .5mm thick)

    • It is not necessary to remove the similar screws on the other side of the computer.

  11. There's a trackpad and keyboard ribbon cable connecting the upper case to the logic board, so don't pull the upper case off entirely just yet.
    • There's a trackpad and keyboard ribbon cable connecting the upper case to the logic board, so don't pull the upper case off entirely just yet.

    • Starting near the display and working around to the front of the computer, pry up on the upper case. A plastic opening tool, expired plastic credit or similarly-thick card, or a medium hard guitar pick may help you to do this.

    • The upper case is likely to stick at the connection above the front edge of the optical drive. If this happens, first free all other sides, then proceed to pull upward on the upper case from either side of the optical drive opening.

    • If you stand the base on end to get a better look, you may displace the four grey plastic clips that hold the right side of the upper case in place. Don't panic. They slide into slots at the top rightmost edge of the lower frame, above the front edge of the optical drive.

    • During reassembly, make sure the clips on the right side click firmly into place. They're different from the clips on the left side, and so normally they require a little more pressure to click into place more firmly.

  12. While holding up the upper case open, pull up the black tab, on the connector end of the silver cable, away from the connector's socket on the logic board. If there is no black tab, you can also use a spudger to gently pry the connector out of its socket on the logic board.  This connector is tall, so be sure to pry straight up. If you happen to break your upper case cable when removing the upper case, we stock the cable individually and we have a guide that makes replacing it easy.
    • While holding up the upper case open, pull up the black tab, on the connector end of the silver cable, away from the connector's socket on the logic board.

    • If there is no black tab, you can also use a spudger to gently pry the connector out of its socket on the logic board. This connector is tall, so be sure to pry straight up.

    • If you happen to break your upper case cable when removing the upper case, we stock the cable individually and we have a guide that makes replacing it easy.

    • While you have the upper case removed, it's a good time to remove dust, hair, etc. It's best to use a can of compressed air, though if you use a brush, make sure that its bristles are made of a material (usually animal hair) that doesn't generate static electricity, which can destroy electronics.

    • Upon reassembly, there are 4 grey plastic clips installed in slots running along the top of the frame in front of the optical drive (refer to second and third pictures). These clips must be installed in their slots for their mating tabs on the underside of the right side of the upper case to snap into them.

  13. Grasp the white plastic tab attached to the hard drive and pull it to the left, removing the hard drive from the computer.
    • Grasp the white plastic tab attached to the hard drive and pull it to the left, removing the hard drive from the computer.

  14. Remove the two Phillips screws from the side of the optical drive.
    • Remove the two Phillips screws from the side of the optical drive.

    • Two 3.25 mm Phillips #000 (head: 4 mm. dia. x .3 mm thick)

  15. Disconnect the orange optical drive ribbon cable from the logic board. This cable can also be disconnected by prying straight up using a spudger.
    • Disconnect the orange optical drive ribbon cable from the logic board. This cable can also be disconnected by prying straight up using a spudger.

  16. Disconnect the newly revealed display data cable. If there is no pull-tab on the top of the connector, it may be helpful to use a spudger to disconnect this connector.
    • Disconnect the newly revealed display data cable. If there is no pull-tab on the top of the connector, it may be helpful to use a spudger to disconnect this connector.

  17. Disconnect the (once again) newly-revealed hard drive cable's plug from the logic board.
    • Disconnect the (once again) newly-revealed hard drive cable's plug from the logic board.

    • When reconnecting the hard drive cable's plug to the logic board, make sure the plug is routed under the cables for the right speaker and the microphone, or else the plug won't sit flush with the logic board, which will prevent the plug from fully engaging with its socket on the logic board.

  18. Peel up the foil tape between the fan and the optical drive. Lift the foil tape from the fan side, leaving it attached to the optical drive.
    • Peel up the foil tape between the fan and the optical drive. Lift the foil tape from the fan side, leaving it attached to the optical drive.

    • During reassembly, be sure to route the cables beneath the tape before reattaching it.

    • If the adhesive on this foil tape no longer sticks, you can hold it in place using a regular piece of tape, but don't block the fan intake.

  19. Pull up the display data cable from along the edge of the optical drive to reveal a silver Phillips screw.
    • Pull up the display data cable from along the edge of the optical drive to reveal a silver Phillips screw.

  20. Remove the 2 mm Phillips #00 screw securing the optical drive.
    • Remove the 2 mm Phillips #00 screw securing the optical drive.

    • The Bluetooth cable may be covering the screw. If so, carefully push it aside. You may need to unscrew the cable's ground lug to free the cable enough.

  21. Lift the Bluetooth antenna board from the right side of the optical drive.
    • Lift the Bluetooth antenna board from the right side of the optical drive.

  22. Deroute the hard drive cable from under the clips along the side of the optical drive.
    • Deroute the hard drive cable from under the clips along the side of the optical drive.

    • During reassembly, reroute the cable under these clips.

  23. Lift the side of the optical drive closest to you, then slide the drive up and out of the computer.
    • Lift the side of the optical drive closest to you, then slide the drive up and out of the computer.

    • Follow these steps to reinstall the optical drive:

    • First, slide its side nearest the rear of the Macbook under the edge of the rear frame to the left of the hinge, then lower the drive partially into the lower housing.

    • Before dropping the drive fully in place, use a spudger to push forward (towards the front of the drive) on the screw hole in the drive's mounting tab, to push forward the slider, which runs along the far side of the drive, to insert the end of this slider into a channel in the lower case's frame, which helps hold the drive in place.

    • When you push the slider forward, if the screw hole in the drive's mounting tab doesn't line up directly over its threaded brass insert in the lower case, the end of the slider hasn't fully inserted into its channel in the frame. Keep trying, but if the slider won't move further, remove the drive to see if the end of the slider is bent.

    • If the end of the slider isn't bent, it may be slightly too long. Use a pair of fine cutters to clip off no more than about 1/32 inch, or just under 1mm, from the end of the slider.

  24. For original Macbook Core Duo and Core 2 Duo models, remove these 3 screws:
    • For original Macbook Core Duo and Core 2 Duo models, remove these 3 screws:

    • Two 3 mm Phillips near the right speaker.

    • One 6 mm Phillips threaded through a hole in a plastic finger above the subwoofer.

    • When reinstalling the screw above the subwoofer, be careful not to over-tighten it or the subwoofer's plastic could crack.

    • For Santa Rosa/Penryn and 2009 models, which don't have a c-channel, remove only the single 3 mm Phillips screw from the right speaker, and skip step 26.

  25. Lift the right speaker out of its housing and set it to the side.
    • Lift the right speaker out of its housing and set it to the side.

  26. If you have a Santa Rosa/Penryn model, skip this step.
    • If you have a Santa Rosa/Penryn model, skip this step.

    • Using a spudger, gently pry up the white plastic slot and slide the metal c-channel to the right and away from the display.

  27. Use a spudger to carefully disconnect the microphone cable from the logic board. You'll want to work from side to side, and slowly wiggle the plug out of its socket.
    • Use a spudger to carefully disconnect the microphone cable from the logic board. You'll want to work from side to side, and slowly wiggle the plug out of its socket.

    • Pulling on this plug vertically will break its socket off the logic board. This connector is removed only horizontally by gently pulling the microphone cable toward the screen while working a spudger between the connector and the socket.

  28. Lift up on the black right speaker cable with one hand, and deroute the microphone cable from the silver metal clip just above the right RAM slot.
    • Lift up on the black right speaker cable with one hand, and deroute the microphone cable from the silver metal clip just above the right RAM slot.

    • This metal clip may not be present in all models. Be sure that the cable is free from any hold downs around this area before proceeding.

  29. If you didn't remove the ground loop retaining screw in step 20 above, remove it now.  It's a 7 mm (may be 4.2 mm in Santa Rosa/Penryn and 2009 models) Phillips screw securing the ground loops in the right speaker cable and microphone cable to the metal frame.
    • If you didn't remove the ground loop retaining screw in step 20 above, remove it now. It's a 7 mm (may be 4.2 mm in Santa Rosa/Penryn and 2009 models) Phillips screw securing the ground loops in the right speaker cable and microphone cable to the metal frame.

  30. Deroute the microphone cable and the black display data cable from the tabs at the bottom of the subwoofer.
    • Deroute the microphone cable and the black display data cable from the tabs at the bottom of the subwoofer.

  31. Remove the single 3 mm Phillips screw securing the ground loop in the display data cable located just above the Bluetooth board.
    • Remove the single 3 mm Phillips screw securing the ground loop in the display data cable located just above the Bluetooth board.

  32. Disconnect the antenna cables from the Airport card: If you have an original MacBook Core Duo or Core 2 Duo model, see the first picture, which shows that there are three antenna cables.
    • Disconnect the antenna cables from the Airport card:

    • If you have an original MacBook Core Duo or Core 2 Duo model, see the first picture, which shows that there are three antenna cables.

    • If you have a MacBook Core 2 Duo Santa Rosa/Penryn or 2009 model, there are only two antenna cables, and the plug/socket for the black inverter cable is in a different location. There may be a square foam piece over the plug/socket for the inverter board connector.

    • Disconnect the inverter cable from its socket by inserting a spudger between the right or left ends of the plug and the socket, and prying gently vertically. Do NOT pry up on the socket--you must pull up on the plug alone, vertically out of the socket. Do not pull in the direction of the cable wires or you will tear the socket off the logic board.

  33. For original Macbook Core Duo and Core 2 Duo models, see first picture and remove the following 2 screws from the right hinge mount: One 6 mm Phillips on the left side of the hinge mount.
    • For original Macbook Core Duo and Core 2 Duo models, see first picture and remove the following 2 screws from the right hinge mount:

    • One 6 mm Phillips on the left side of the hinge mount.

    • One 10 mm Phillips on the right side of the hinge mount.

    • For Santa Rosa/Penryn and 2009 models, see second picture and remove the following 3 screws from the right hinge mount:

    • One 3 mm smalller diameter Phillips on the far left.

    • One 5.2 mm larger diameter, 4.2 mm head Phillips in the middle.

    • One 10 mm larger diameter, 4.2mm head Phillips from the far right.

    • Before removing the right hinge mount, take care to see how its pieces fit together, including the small white plastic piece. Knowing how the mount pieces fit together will help with reassembly. Lift the right hinge mount with the small white plastic piece out of the computer.

  34. Hold the display with one hand while removing the following 3 screws from the left hinge mount:
    • Hold the display with one hand while removing the following 3 screws from the left hinge mount:

    • One 7.2 mm smaller diameter Phillips from the right side.

    • One 5.2 mm larger diameter Phillips from the middle.

    • One larger diameter 10 mm Phillips from the left side.

    • Before removing the left hinge mount, take care to see how its pieces fit together, including the small white plastic piece. Knowing how the mount pieces fit together will help with reassembly.

    • In 2009 models, the shape of the left hinge mount may be different, but the locations and sizes of its screws are the same.

    • Lift the left hinge mount with white plastic piece out of the computer.

    • Check that the cables coming out of the right end of the hinge are not trapped under other cables.

  35. Grasp the display assembly on either side, and lift it up and out of the computer.
    • Grasp the display assembly on either side, and lift it up and out of the computer.

  36. The following steps should be identical for both white and black MacBooks.
    • The following steps should be identical for both white and black MacBooks.

    • Use a thin plastic card to release the tabs holding the front display bezel to the display assembly. There are five tabs along the left side of the display bezel.

    • Don't use a card that cannot be replaced if damaged. The clips can be difficult to remove and the card can bend and break, rendering it useless.

  37. Continue to free the tabs along the the top edge of the display assembly.
    • Continue to free the tabs along the the top edge of the display assembly.

    • Be careful when working near the iSight camera.

  38. Next, free the five tabs securing the display bezel on the right side.
    • Next, free the five tabs securing the display bezel on the right side.

  39. Lift up the front display bezel from the top and use your plastic card to free the tabs along the bottom edge of the display bezel. Make sure that your card is between the metal frame around the LCD panel and the display bezel and not touching the LCD panel itself.
    • Lift up the front display bezel from the top and use your plastic card to free the tabs along the bottom edge of the display bezel.

    • Make sure that your card is between the metal frame around the LCD panel and the display bezel and not touching the LCD panel itself.

    • After freeing all holding tabs, lift the front display bezel away from the display assembly.

  40. Sometimes when removing the front display bezel, the retaining clips that should remain captive in the LCD brackets come out with the front display bezel. Follow this and the next step to transfer the clips back to the LCD bracket. Use a metal spudger or another thin tool to carefully pry the gray plastic clips off the tabs molded into the front display bezel. A 0.8mm flat screwdriver may be useful for this step.
    • Sometimes when removing the front display bezel, the retaining clips that should remain captive in the LCD brackets come out with the front display bezel. Follow this and the next step to transfer the clips back to the LCD bracket.

    • Use a metal spudger or another thin tool to carefully pry the gray plastic clips off the tabs molded into the front display bezel. A 0.8mm flat screwdriver may be useful for this step.

    • Be careful, as the clips are made of thin plastic and are inherently delicate.

  41. Insert the longer end of the retaining clip beneath the edge of its recess cut into the LCD bracket. Use the edge of a metal spudger to push the shorter tab on the other side of the retaining clip into the recess cut into the LCD bracket.
    • Insert the longer end of the retaining clip beneath the edge of its recess cut into the LCD bracket.

    • Use the edge of a metal spudger to push the shorter tab on the other side of the retaining clip into the recess cut into the LCD bracket.

    • The second picture shows the LCD bracket properly installed.

  42. Remove the three 4.2 mm Phillips screws securing the clutch cover.
    • Remove the three 4.2 mm Phillips screws securing the clutch cover.

  43. While holding the display down with one hand, use your other hand to lift the left end of the clutch cover off the clutch hinge.
    • While holding the display down with one hand, use your other hand to lift the left end of the clutch cover off the clutch hinge.

    • It may help to wiggle the clutch cover as you pull it up from the display.

    • During reassembly, make sure not to pinch the black inverter cable or the Airport wires when snapping the left end of the clutch cover back into place. To avoid pinching, it may help to lift up and hold these cables and wires in place at the top of the hinge, rather than leaving them running along the sides of the hinge.

  44. Lift up the right end of the clutch cover and guide the display data and iSight cables through the gap in the clutch cover.
    • Lift up the right end of the clutch cover and guide the display data and iSight cables through the gap in the clutch cover.

    • Lift the clutch cover out of the display assembly.

    • During reassembly, make sure not to pinch the backlight cable (with the white connector on the right side) when snapping the clutch cover back into place. This cable has two visible wires leading into the lower right section of the LCD display to the backlight. (The models with pink and white wires are usually longer and easier to pinch.)

  45. Lift the inverter slightly out of the display. Disconnect the inverter cable from the left side of the inverter board.
    • Lift the inverter slightly out of the display.

    • Disconnect the inverter cable from the left side of the inverter board.

    • Set the inverter board back down into its recess molded into the rear display bezel.

  46. Gently peel back the strip of tape covering the inverter cable.
    • Gently peel back the strip of tape covering the inverter cable.

    • Remove the single 3.2 mm Phillips screw securing the inverter cable to the left clutch hinge.

  47. Remove the inverter cable from the display. Before ordering a new inverter cable, be sure you are buying one with the correct connector for your machine. The Santa Rosa/Penryn inverter cable has a much slimmer three-wall connector on the side that connects to the logic board.
    • Remove the inverter cable from the display.

    • Before ordering a new inverter cable, be sure you are buying one with the correct connector for your machine. The Santa Rosa/Penryn inverter cable has a much slimmer three-wall connector on the side that connects to the logic board.

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To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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crwdns2917036:031crwdne2917036:0

My cable ended up just being loose and was not even broken so that might be the case for you as well if the cable does not look like it is broken. also follow the guide carefully and keep track of all the screws it was very time consuming but totally worth it!

Jenn - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

This guide worked perfectly. Fixed my inverter cable and my display is good again!!!

Dave - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Fixed my inverter cable and my display is good again, this guide is great, I love it !

One minor tip, I find doing step 46 before step 45 would be better.

H.Le

01/11/12

hieule88 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

i did it! Was quite scary opening and putting those parts together. But screen good as new now! :D :D :D

thecatrecord - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

This fix took me 5 hours to do from start to finish. Most difficult part was removing the keyboard assm on the front left corner. It gets caught under the metal support brace inside the case where the two outside screws are. Very tedious job but worth it because it fixed the backlight problem on my Penyrn Macbook.

johnspaus - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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