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The larger of Apple's MacBook Air laptops featuring dual microphones and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity.

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Ribbon cable connector for keyboard backlight broken

Hi guys.

So, I had a well functioning Mac and another one not working so well (unrelated). I swapped motherboards to zero in on the problem on the bad mac, and in the process I managed to break the ribbon cable connector on the good mac, which I believe is for the keyboard backlight. At least that's what I can find out when I look up the name from BoardViewer. Now it won't power on.

I attach some pictures - one picture shows where the connector is placed on the motherboard, another picture shows the broken connector and the last picture shows the healthy connector from a board I have.

My question is:

1) Does it make sense that the broken connector will cause the Mac to now not turn on?

2) I have soldering equipment and a hot air gun. Can the connector be replaced and what method would you suggest?

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Hey, Morten

Yes, the connector can be replaced. There are other chips around it, so I'd suggest heating the connector from the other side, and then removing it and soldering a new chip on. It's possible for the connector to cause the Mac to not power up. I hope this helps and your Mac gets fixed.

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Hi, thank you very much for the answer. Today I attempted heating the connector from the bottom of the donor board, unfortunately resulting in melting of the connector. Not completely - I stopped when it started melting. However, the closing hatch that is used to keep the ribbon cable in place had shifted, so I don't think that is good anymore. I saw I could purchase this part on AliExpress, so I might do that.

However, I tried to turn on the Mac without the keyboard backlight connector ribbon connected, and actually the Mac then powers on. So perhaps I will just leave it and live without keyboard backlight.

Still though, if anyone could give some input on what I experienced when heating the connector from the bottom. Was I too aggressive with the heat, so I have gone slower? Is there an alternative way to desolder such a connector?

Thanks again,




I think the problem might have been that you used too high of heat, which would de-solder it faster, while lower heat would be slower, but may not have melted the connector.


That makes sense. Thank you Russel :)



No problem at all. I hope it ends up working out for you


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