13″ MacBook Pro Retina – fixing no video issue by replacing display cable

posted in: Apple Products | 10

13 MacBook Pro Retina laptop

In this guide I will be fixing a 13″ MacBook Pro Retina laptop with “no video” issue by replacing the display LVDS cable. In this particular guide I’m fixing a Late 2013 model but all disassembly steps should be the same for 2014 and 2015 MacBook Pro Retina models.

I received this laptop with the following problem description: It turns on and chimes but has no video and no backlight. Video still works on the external monitor connected via Thunderbolt or HDMI ports.



I confirmed the issue and it was exactly as described.

Well… if you have a problem like that it can be one of the following:

  • Bad connection between the display cable on the logic board or display side.
  • Failed LVDS display cable.
  • Failed display.
  • Logic board related issues.

Reconnecting or replacing the display LVDS cable should be the first thing to try because it’s the cheapest option.

For this repair you will need screwdrivers for Apple laptops.

STEP 1.

Remove ten screws from the bottom. For this you will need a special P5 Pentalobe screwdriver.

Two screws that I marked with yellow circles are shorter than screws marked with red circles.

Separate the bottom cover from the body and remove it.

 

STEP 2.

You should always disconnect the battery while working with the internal components.

Battery connector

Carefully lift up the battery connector and separate if from the logic board.

Disconnect battery



STEP 3.

Remove rubber covers from both hinges. There is adhesive tape on the bottom side of the rubber cover. Try to keep the adhesive tape intact so you can reuse it.

Remove rubber hinge cover

STEP 4.

Remove left and right hinge brackets. Each bracket is secured by one Torx T5 screw.

Remove hinge bracket

STEP 5.

Unlock the display LVDS cable by lifting up the metal bracket.

Unlock display cable connector

Carefully pull the display cable out of the connector.

Disconnect display cable

STEP 6.

Remove the heatsink gasket.

Remove rubber fan gasket

STEP 7.

Disconnect three antenna cables from the wireless card.

If you look closely, you’ll see that each cable is marked. There is a short black tube on the left wire, long black tube on the middle wire and no tube on the right wire.

Disconnect wireless antennas

STEP 8.

Carefully disconnect the webcam cable from the logic board. Do not pull by the cable or you can damage it.

The cable is attached to the cooling fan with adhesive tape. Separate the cable from the fan.

Disconnect webcam cable

STEP 9.

Place the laptop upside down on the desk edge so the display remains open.

Remove six Torx T8 screws securing the display hinges.

Remove six hinge screws

STEP 10.

Now you can separate the display assembly from the laptop body.

Separate display from body

STEP 11.

You will find two side covers attached to the left and right sides of the clutch cover.

Hinge side cover installed

Start removing it from the back using tweezers.

Lift up the side cover and unsnap it from the clutch cover.

Lift up hinge side cover

Remove the left side cover. Do the same with the right cover.

Remove hinge side cover

STEP 12.

Place the display assembly on the desk and slide the clutch cover to the shown direction.

Slide the cover until it touches the left hinge.

Slide hinge clutch cover

STEP 13.

Start separating the clutch cover from the display assembly. You can use plastic pry tool or guitar pick.

It might be necessary to apply some reasonable force in order to remove the cover. There are hidden latches securing it to the display assembly. Also, it might take some effort to install it back in place.

Probably it’s easier to remove the cover if you start lifting up by the left hinge, not the right as shown on my picture.

Lift up hinge clutch cover

The clutch cover has been removed.

Remove hinge clutch cover

STEP 14.

Remove six Philips screws securing the WiFi antenna board.

Remove wireless antenna screws

STEP 15.

Remove two T8 screws securing the left hinge.

Remove hinge screws

The left hinge is permanently attached to the display cable.

Lift up display cable assembly

STEP 16.

Unwrap black tape securing the connection.

Remove black tape from connector

Unroute the display cable.

Unwrap display cable

STEP 17.

Lift up the WiFi board and separate it from the display assembly.

Be careful, it’s still attached on the right side.

Remove wireless antenna board

STEP 18.

Lift up the metal bracket in order to unlock the display LVDS cable.

Unlock display cable connector

Disconnect the display cable from the LCD screen.

Unplug display cable from screen

Hopefully replacing this cable will fix your problem. I’ve fixed a few 13″ MacBook Pro Retina “no video” issues by doing that.

Sometimes, just reseating the cable connection on the LCD screen fixes the issue.

These cables are cheap, around $10 on eBay. Probably it’s better to buy a new cable before you start the disassembly process, just in case if you need one.

Replace failed display cable


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10 Responses

  1. Joris F

    Hi,

    Just wanted to say THANKS!! This helped me fix a friends Macbook Pro with a black screen.

    Some extra info that may help others: before replacing the cable, when hooked up to an external display, Apple Hardware Test gave Reference code VFD004, additional reference code VFD001.

  2. Nicholas Hine

    Hay this is exactly what I’ve Noom looking for!!! Fingers crossed it works, will update!

  3. Nicholas Hine

    I went through the full process twice once with reseating the old cable and once with the new cable.
    Both times the laptop works perfectly with the DisplayPort or HDMI connections but the internal screen does not work. Have you got any suggestions?
    Thanks

  4. IML Tech

    @ Nicholas Hine,
    Replacing the video cable sometimes doesn’t help but still worth trying because it’s cheap.
    1. Take a look at the display connector on the logic board. Search for corrosion.
    2. If the display connector looks clean and undamaged, most likely you’ll need a new display.

  5. Grand

    Hello,

    My friends macbook is having similar issue. The inbuilt laptop display lights up but there is nothing on it. I tried connecting external monitor and using safe mode. I was able to get in using an external monitor. I could also adjust the brightness of internal display using the keyboard shortcuts but nothing on the internal display. I have tried mirrioring etc in display properties.

    Last time it happened last year and I just reseated the battery. That helped but not helpign this time.

  6. Hyoungrea Yoo

    Is that right?

    Thank you for your post.
    And I found some products in my country’s web site But I could not distinguish the right cable.
    Do you know the right cable product name?
    I’m using MBP late 2013 version.

  7. Mirko Prica

    I just wanted to add a big THANK YOU . Many experts convinced me that is is NEVER the cable on the retina versions !!! So much for experts….. I almost ordered a new screen but stumbled on this page and thought what can I lose to try with the cable first , so I did and voila it was the cable . My macbook is up and operational again thanks to you. Thank you again

  8. John

    Hello i have a 13 inch macbook pro retina early 2015 with the same problem except my backlight is working. Hdmi works but not display screen. Could it still be the cable or should I just get a new display screen.

  9. IML Tech

    @ John,
    Still could be the cable issue. Probably it’s worth trying to replace the cable first, it’s not very expensive.
    FYI, I’ve seen cable failures mostly on 2013 models.

  10. dimi mate

    Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you !

    I was ready to give my mac for spares and followed your guide and screen is working again!!

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