Model A1419 / Late 2012 / 2.9 & 3.2 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac13,2

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Is it possible to run an iMac outside its shell?

Hi folks, I just cracked the screen on my my late 2012 iMac and don't feel like spending the $600+ to replace the complete display (since the screen and the LCD are one thing on this model).

So I'm wondering if it's possible to just put the boards, fan and HDD on a rack tray, and run it like that? I'd buy a cheap HDMI display and connect it to the thunderbolt port, then junk the case (display and all). Bonus points for not having to stare at the Apple logo anymore.

Any reason why Mac OS (10.8.3, I think) won't let me do that?


Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Not an answer, but you'd be able to sell the components as parts on eBay.

Or keep an eye on ebay until a a cheap screen comes up...

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Definitely, I'll open the iMac tonight and see if it comes up w/o the display cable connected to the logic board.


Finally got around to this and once I got the right connections back in place, it worked without problems. Thanks everyone for their input. Off to build a little case for the internals and eBay for the speakers, the shell, broken-glass display, ...


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Others have tried some ended up spending more money than what it would cost just to fix the system.

Apple uses custom design parts so you can't use any standard case or power supply.

Even though its a costly repair I would just bit the bullet and get the display replaced. Think of it this way working you can at least sell it.

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Thanks for the reply. I'd still use everything inside the iMac, including the power supply. It just wouldn't have the monitor plugged in.


Lets look at this from a mechanical perspective so you can see whats involved here.

You would need to place mounting studs at the correct height and location on the base these need to be conductive to the base.

You would need to create a means to emulate the internal display at the connector interface so the system thinks its there. The systems boot process and thermal management need the connection.

As the external connections are on the face of the logic board you would need a means to extend them to the edge.

The last is the hardest! The iMac is designed as a chimney so the air enters the bottom passively and exits at the top . Laying the logic board on its back introduces cooling issues, as you are no longer able to create the chimney effect.


Ah, so the OS/boot process need something plugged into the monitor port. That's really the only blocker here, I've no idea how to do that.


Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.8.2 (12C2037) Maximum MacOS: Current*


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echoplex will be eternally grateful.
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