iMac Intel 27". EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz), EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz)

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Black screen after SSD install (suspect is monitor cables)

Hi ifixit


I'm having black screen(internal monitor) after ssd install.

Here is more details a short & long description:

Short description:

- opened iMac 2009 late, i7cpu

- Installed ssd with ifixit case.

- Problem when boot! Black screen with led glow(no screen signal but looks like backlight led is on)

- I can view computer via external monitor (ssd and everything els works)

-I suspect monitor cables could be damaged, since this is only thing I have touched.

What do you think would be the problem?


Problem Description:

Nothing else than black light on screen. Seems to be display only related issue.


Damaged -

-Monitor Display cable

-Led backlight sync cable

-Logic board connectors


- Monitor is black with backlight so it's a glowing black. See video 1#

- on external monitor the computer works perfect. See pic 2#


Long Detailed Description:

I have experience with building computers and my iMac(mid11) I have installed dual raid ssd with no problems.

I have installed a Evo 850 ssd in my iMac(late09) with a ifixit ssd case.

The display is black with a glow, looks like black with led backlight.

I get nothing on the display but I have a fully funktioning computer since i can use all via an external monitor..

How do I fix my internal monitor or cables?

Seems like it should be a cable issue, since It's the only things I have been touching while opening the iMac.

The cables have been firmly reconnected 3 times now and I don't understand why I see no life. Especially the monitor cable looks tricky but I have inserted it and pullback to make its not loosely connected.

The "Led backlight sync cable" got the wires bended in the start but i have straightened them out now (example in images) though i have read the "led backlight sync cable" is not important for screen to work but it make a hissing sound if disconnected.

Can it be the cable and what cable? I suspect it's the Display Port cable or the led sync cable since these cables look a little weak or have no plastic mounting system like led backlight cable..

NVRAM is reset

SMC is reset

Can I replace these cables or what do you recommend me to do?

What do you think would be the problem?


Relevant links about iMac09late hardware and ssd installation:

Teardown. Guide:

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Teardown

SSD install guide (i followed this one)

Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Dual Drive

Cable suppliers:


Image and Video's i have made of the computer as reference:


Overall ssd installation images:


Focus on Monitor Display cable images:


Let me know if you need pictures of something or other info?

Thanks in advance.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I have the same problem with my iMac after installing an SSD :( Have you managed to find a solution for your problem in the end?


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3 Answers

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@Mads - So I can put a V8 engine into my VW Beatle then ;-}

Sadly it's not so simple. The SATA standard over the years has been improved. The way the different versions of the standard interoperate is not as straight forward as one would like.

So lets see if we can clarify: A fixed SATA device needs to match the systems SATA ports connection or be slower.

  • A fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) device will work in a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) system
  • A fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) device will work in a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) system (SATA devices are upwardly compatible)
  • A fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) device will NOT work reliably in a SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) system (SATA devices are NOT downwardly compatible). The same logic applies for SATA III devices. They will not work reliably in either a SATA I or SATA II system.

Now to confuse you! So far we've been talking about FIXED speed devices. Well, some hardware makers want to sell their stuff to a more people so they offered a jumper on the device to allow one to slow down the device to match the system (SATA II drives often have these to work in SATA I systems, a few SATA III drives had them allowing to set the drive to SATA I). Later on the many device makers added circuitry able to sense the systems I/O speed so it would automatically adjust to the system. This is true for a few HD's & SSD's. So one needs to check the spec sheet. If it states only one speed then its fixed. As a reference here's the Seagate SSHD drive's spec sheet: Desktop SSHD Look at the line SATA Transfer Rates Supported (Gb/s) note the listing shows 6.0/3.0/1.5 which are the SATA III, SATA II & SATA I I/O speeds. Make sure the spec sheet states this if not it's not auto sensing.

OK, so you got the drive in and maybe it even allowed you to install the OS onto it so why are you telling me its wrong when it works? This gets into I/O errors! A mismatched drive will often encounter heavy I/O errors as the interface can't sustain the data flow. If the data flow is slow (installing from a slow CD/DVD or USB drive) the flow is not heavy enough to create many errors. But once the OS is installed an app or the indexer process will fire up causing the system to over heat as the CPU & the drive are in a data fight between the constant reads & writes as most fail so they need to go into retry.

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Hi Dan, the issue here I my black screen. I can see me iMac via external monitor. And I found the 6gb/s hd in drive utility (I still boot my old hdd) I format the SSD and enable trim to prepare it for installation of a clean OSX. I tested the speed of the SSD to 250mb/s as mentioned in main question, so I assume that mean the SSD Is working as it should (I can read/write from it).

So why is my screen still black?


I think we all took a left turn here instead of a right. I suspect you mis-connected your display data & sync cables. Be careful here! If you reversed the connection you will damage the logic bd circuitry.


Ok, here is some focused images in data cable you see any issues? image 1 seems to show a dark spot right on the cable mount, is that a burned port?


As to the SATA issue. I still think you have an issue there. Review the system specs: iMac 27" 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo (Late 2009) This system only has a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) SATA port.


Ouch! Yep you blow the front end logic. At this point you'll need to get a new graphics board (if its removable) or try to fix this one if possible (less than a 50-50% chance).


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This answer was originally to another question.

Of course you formatted and installed the OS on the new drive. Could you be using a SATA III (6Gb/s) drive on your machine thats built for SATA II (3Gb/s), Some of the new drives, although calming backward compatibility, are giving users problems that trace back to having to be manually jumpered to the lower speed.

You might need to do an EFI update while the old drive is installed.

If this answer is acceptable please remember to return and mark it.


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Tried to startup Imac with and without ssd connected. I dont think the ssd has influence on the display. 6gb/s should work fine on 3gb/s logic board it just doesn't get the full speed out of the 6gb/s hd. I speed tested the ssd to 250mb/s r/w normally this ssd can do 500mb/s r/w on a 6gb/s logicboard. But Evo 850 is simply the best value for money SSD in 2015 from my research.


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This answer was originally to another question.

Eco 850 works fine with iMac 2013, format it and try again installing new OS X.

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@Jozo - Yes the EVO 850 is a nice SSD, but the issue is the SATA connection in this series. This is an older system with a different SATA version (Yours SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) this system SATA II (3.0 Gb/s). But thats not the problem presently. Right now the issue is the video which was damaged in the process of the swap out.


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Mads will be eternally grateful.
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