Introduction

Your camera's motherboard, the main system circuitboard which processes inputs and produces outputs, is essential to system operation. This guide will teach you how to access and remove the D5100's motherboard.

Using a Phillips #00 screwdriver, remove 5 exposed screws from around the perimeter of the camera. Remember that we're removing the rear panel, so for this step, only remove screws on the appropriate side of the seam separating the rear and front panels.
  • Using a Phillips #00 screwdriver, remove 5 exposed screws from around the perimeter of the camera.

  • Remember that we're removing the rear panel, so for this step, only remove screws on the appropriate side of the seam separating the rear and front panels.

  • The D5100 is held together by a large number of screws, which come in several sizes. Make sure to keep your screws organized so that you don't lose or misplace them!

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Using a fingernail, gently peel back the black rubber thumb grip, which is attached to the chassis with a strong adhesive, and remove the concealed screw underneath it.
  • Using a fingernail, gently peel back the black rubber thumb grip, which is attached to the chassis with a strong adhesive, and remove the concealed screw underneath it.

Note: you don't need to peel it off completely. Peel it just enough to expose the screw. Afterwards you can put the rubber thumb grip back and it'll stick to camera body pretty well (looking as new), unless maybe if you've done this lots of times.

Eugene - Reply

Carefully peel back the black rubber hand grip, which is attached to the chassis with a strong adhesive, and remove the two screws concealed underneath. Carefully peel back the black rubber hand grip, which is attached to the chassis with a strong adhesive, and remove the two screws concealed underneath.
  • Carefully peel back the black rubber hand grip, which is attached to the chassis with a strong adhesive, and remove the two screws concealed underneath.

When reassembling the camera back together, how do I put back parts attached by adhesive? Will they stick back on their own? Will I need to use some glue?

Eugene - Reply

Warning: these two screws are made from a different material than most of the other ones. They're quite fragile and prone to the screw head wearing out. You don't want that to happen! Make sure you use a good quality screwdriver and apply enough pressure so that your screwdriver doesn't "slide" and damage the screw head.

Eugene - Reply

About the rubber grip: most of its corners fit tightly to the surrounding camera body so it's mostly ok when you assemble this back. However, my grip's corners do look a bit worn out and not fully attached to the body, after several camera disassemblies.

Eugene - Reply

Using a spudger, pry off the diopter adjustment dial cover and remove the screw underneath. Be sure to remove the very thin cover from the dial, and not the dial itself.
  • Using a spudger, pry off the diopter adjustment dial cover and remove the screw underneath.

    • Be sure to remove the very thin cover from the dial, and not the dial itself.

    • The dial cover is not shown in this picture.

  • Next, remove the three Phillips screws around the viewfinder.

Spudgers didn't work well for me for removing the dial cover. I only ended up scratching it. What worked for me is a small sharp knife.

Eugene - Reply

Slowly and carefully begin to separate the rear panel from the camera body.
  • Slowly and carefully begin to separate the rear panel from the camera body.

  • You will notice some resistance, as the two pieces of the camera fit together tightly. Take care not to damage the chassis, but use a firm grip to pull the two halves apart.

Make sure SD card section cover doesn't fall out! I had that happen and it's incredibly hard and frustrating to put it back!

Eugene - Reply

Remove the dark orange ribbon cable attaching the rear panel to the motherboard by flipping the black plastic clasp up, away from the motherboard, and pulling the cable out of its white casing in the direction of the cable. Using the flat edge of a spudger can help with this delicate task.
  • Remove the dark orange ribbon cable attaching the rear panel to the motherboard by flipping the black plastic clasp up, away from the motherboard, and pulling the cable out of its white casing in the direction of the cable.

  • Using the flat edge of a spudger can help with this delicate task.

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Remove the silver 16-pin cable by pulling gently upwards, away from the inside of the camera, until it separates from its port. At this point, the rear panel is fully separated from the main body of the camera.
  • Remove the silver 16-pin cable by pulling gently upwards, away from the inside of the camera, until it separates from its port.

  • At this point, the rear panel is fully separated from the main body of the camera.

This is the 40 pin cable for the display and reconnecting this cable may not be as straight forward as described !

dai - Reply

Using a screwdriver, remove 5 Phillips #00 screws to release the motherboard’s steel cover plate. Lift the plate, starting with the left side first, and remove it from the camera body. Set the plate aside. Using a screwdriver, remove 5 Phillips #00 screws to release the motherboard’s steel cover plate. Lift the plate, starting with the left side first, and remove it from the camera body. Set the plate aside.
  • Using a screwdriver, remove 5 Phillips #00 screws to release the motherboard’s steel cover plate. Lift the plate, starting with the left side first, and remove it from the camera body. Set the plate aside.

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Remove each of 6 dark orange ribbon cables attaching the motherboard to the camera’s other components by flipping their black plastic clasps up, away from the motherboard, and pulling them out of their white casing in the direction of the cable. At this point, the motherboard is able to emerge partially from the main body of the camera, but is still tethered by a few wires.
  • Remove each of 6 dark orange ribbon cables attaching the motherboard to the camera’s other components by flipping their black plastic clasps up, away from the motherboard, and pulling them out of their white casing in the direction of the cable.

  • At this point, the motherboard is able to emerge partially from the main body of the camera, but is still tethered by a few wires.

There's actually 7 dark orange ribbon cables. One of them is already removed on these pictures. It's in the top left corner of the motherboard.

Eugene - Reply

Disconnect the twisted red and blue cables from the right-hand side of the motherboard by simply pulling them out of their port.
  • Disconnect the twisted red and blue cables from the right-hand side of the motherboard by simply pulling them out of their port.

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Desolder the four wires -- black, white, blue, and red -- fixed to the upper left-hand portion of the motherboard. Soldering is a dangerous activity that uses intense heat and can produce harmful gases. Take all necessary precautions.
  • Desolder the four wires -- black, white, blue, and red -- fixed to the upper left-hand portion of the motherboard.

  • Soldering is a dangerous activity that uses intense heat and can produce harmful gases. Take all necessary precautions.

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Flip the motherboard out of the camera body and toward the bottom of the device to expose its underside. Using a spudger, peel back the adhesive protecting the large ribbon cable on the underside of the motherboard.
  • Flip the motherboard out of the camera body and toward the bottom of the device to expose its underside.

  • Using a spudger, peel back the adhesive protecting the large ribbon cable on the underside of the motherboard.

  • Disconnect the ribbon cable by flipping its clasp up, away from the motherboard, and removing it from the plastic casing in the direction of the cable.

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At this point, the motherboard is free of all connections to the camera; remove it from the camera body.
  • At this point, the motherboard is free of all connections to the camera; remove it from the camera body.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

9 other people completed this guide.

Liz

Member since: 04/25/2014

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Team

Cal Poly, Team 10-54, Amido Spring 2014 Member of Cal Poly, Team 10-54, Amido Spring 2014

CPSU-AMIDO-S14S10G54

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3 Comments

Thanks for the guide. I would not have attempted this without your help.

After replacing the main board, the only issue I am having is that the top focus point is not lighting up when I select it. It still works as a focus point, but is not light in the view finder as red. I probably did not perfectly seat one of the ribbon cables. It would be nice if someone new which cable controlled lighting in red the focus dots in the viewfinder.

Thanks so much!

David Green - Reply

Hey David, where did you get the new mainboard from? Know of any website that sells them? I need one for D5000. Thanks!

pbmbuss -

ebay seller from chicago area has tons of nikon parts

rongyuanxie |

Feedback Score Of

128606 | 99.2%

(i'm not that seller)

Happy Fixer - Reply

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