How to Fix a Ribbon Cable

Written by greyson ferguson
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How to Fix a Ribbon Cable
Repair your video game system's ribbon cable. (black video games controler or games pad image by Warren Millar from

Ribbon cables are typically used in such electronic products as computers and video game systems to send data between drives (such as hard drives and CD/DVD disc drives). If the ribbon cable is damaged, you need to fix the issue. If you don't, the data transfer does not take place between the two drives and renders the entire computer or gaming system useless. Because the ribbon cable is located on the interior of the system, the damage is not usually extensive and you may fix the problem with a few household items.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Electrical tape
  • Cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Compressed air

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  1. 1

    Power down the device containing the damaged ribbon cable. Disconnect all the cables and remove the screws from the device. Open the computer or video case to expose the interior of the device.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the ribbon cable from the drives. Pull on the cable right where it connects to the drives to separate the cable from the system. Do not pull from the middle of the cable because it might break the cable off of the connection.

  3. 3

    Inspect the ribbon cable for any tears. Such damage is unusual, but tears can be patched with electrical tape. This repair will prevent the data signal from failing to reach the opposite side of the cable.

  4. 4

    Clean out the connection ports with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. The dirt and dust sticks to the damp swab, and alcohol dries faster than water so you don't need to worry about mildew growing in the electrical device.

  5. 5

    Spray compressed air into the connection holes on both the cable and the computer. The collection of dust or other debris prevents the data signal from reaching the two drives. Compressed air blasts the dirt away from the connection.

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