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The iMac is Apple's line of all-in-one desktop computers.

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Should I repair a dead lcd display early 2008 iMac

My iMac shows undulating shades of gray and does nothing else when I turn it on or wake from sleep. I tried a safe start, starting from the cd, zapped the pram, unplugged for 10 minutes and let it on at least 30 minutes. Apple tech said the lcd display is dead and new display and labor is $750. He could sell me a new 2011 iMac and transfer my data for $120 labor.

Is replacing the lcd display a dyi? Can I transfer my data to a new iMac by using another screen added to the old imac? Would I be able to see the desktop on the external screen?

Is it worth the trouble and expense of repairing the iMac or just buy the new iMac?

Thanks for your help.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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After much research online this past weekend my husband thought he could replace the LCD display. Today the tech called and said he bumped the table the computer was on and it worked. He believes the VMware Fusion application is the main cause of my problem and is responsible for the crashes I've had and the display problem. He has used VMware and also found it problematic. He said to uninstall and use Parallels instead. I needed to use VMware so that my husband could access his workplace with Windows XP. He can now use Safari so that's not an issue now. He also said this will happen again if I don't remove the application.

I will back up to an external hard drive asap.

When I mentioned dyi he said you have to be very careful about dust under the glass panel and special tools were needed to remove the panel. And those tools cost $150 from Apple. Hmmm...The how to video we watched from didn't mention any expensive tools, just the torx screwdrivers and suction cups.

But, since the tech didn't resolve my problem he didn't charge me for his $80 per hour diagnostic fee. So at least he was up front about the non repair.

Thanks for your advice, Greg R.

Thanks to, too!

Jean M

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$150 for tools? UGH. Sounds like the guy is trying to justify his labor estimate. I paid $5 for a set of 8 suctions cups at a Menard's store, and can now hang stuff all over the shower if I want. :-) The torx screwdrivers were maybe $3 - $4 each at Sears. Compressed air will take care of dust, and a soft microfiber towel can manage inadvertent fingerprints on glass & LCD panel (being careful of static build up, of course).

Wonder why a software problem would reveal itself by a bump on the table on which the computer is sitting? Curious.

Best of luck!


I see I haven’t updated the solution to my issue. I was able to find a good LCD panel for $40 on eBay in 2015. My husband had no problem replacing the dead panel with tools from ifixit. I updated it to 10.6.8 and use it for photos and editing. What’s nice is I still had older photos on this iMac so I now have a backup to access.


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If you're reasonably comfortable with tools and have a good space to work, there's no reason you can't replace the LCD yourself. There is a take apart guide here that can help you get through if you're comfortable working with relatively delicate electronics.

I would say that $750 is quite high for that job. The hardest part will be ensuring you purchase the correct replacement LCD. Verifying your exact iMac model number is essential to getting the right part.

If you decide to go forward with a DIY replacment, make sure you have the torx screwdrivers on hand (order online if you want, or I bought mine at the local Sears). I purchased a cheap set of suction cups (first steps in the take-apart linked above) at a home center. They are acutally sold as hooks that you can stick to a tile wall in the shower. They worked perfectly to remove the glass.

I quickly scanned through eBay, and noted several options for LCDs. You can get new or used, 20" or 24" for prices ranging from $60 (used 20") to nearly $400 (new 24"). Again, you'll have to verify your model number to be sure of which part you need.

Then it's a matter of deciding if the job is within your capabilities...

Good luck!

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Good morning all! I had forgotten my question here until an email from ifixit. Greg r, as you mentioned, I bought very good used one on eBay for under $50. My husband had the tools he bought from ifixit and installed it without problems and wa la! It works! It will be used for photos and editing. Diy is definitely worth doing.

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Jean will be eternally grateful.
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