Sorry to hear that, I made almost the same experience as you. I was lucky to find out by my own, how to disconnect the cables on my A1212 and added a comment to step 17.
ATTENTION for MacBook Pro 17" Model A1212:
If the 2 connectors shown in step 17 are black instead of white: They have to be disconnected by lifting them up, not by sliding them to the left side, as it looks like they would plug off! I used a spudger to go under the 4 cables close to the connector and lifted the cables with the connector gently up. No force needed.
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