No display after incident

Well, I made a huge mistake following an SSD upgrade on my beautiful 2017 4K Retina iMac. I didn’t replace the adhesive strip immediately after upgrading and walked out of the room for about 20 minutes. When I returned, I noticed that the display had fallen a bit forward. The eDP cable has come unplugged, and the screen was being suspended by the black cable that connects the display to the logic board. Needless to say, I had no display at this point.

I attempted not to panic as I placed the iMac on its back and carefully reseated the eDP and the black display connections to no avail. I even replaced the eDP cable from one found on eBay and I am still not getting any display whatsoever.

Fortunately, the iMac boots and I had previously enabled screen sharing, so I’m able to VNC into the iMac once it boots. The display is not being detected at all, however. In About This Mac, it shows a 23-inch display with no real details and is running in scaled mode at a lower resolution, as would be expected on a generic/non-detected display.

I’m starting to worry now that I have either irreparably damaged the display connections or the pin headers on the logic board. Short of taking this to an Apple store for a costly repair, does anyone have any tips I could try?

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What happens when you plug in an external monitor directly into your system via the Thunderbolt port.

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I don't know quite yet - I'm waiting for a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C-to-DVI adapter to arrive tomorrow and I'll be able to see if it works. I'll post back here when I know what behavior I get.

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The adapter arrived today and I plugged it into a Thunderbolt port. My external display (Samsung Syncmaster 21") is now being detected. I'm currently getting a black screen, though, and no mirroring options. I'll restart and see if it works as a useable display.

Does this information help you diagnose things?

EDIT: After a cold boot, I still get no display on my external monitor. The monitor does successfully receive a signal via the DVI port, but there is just a black screen. When using VNC to remote in, I see that my external display is detected and set as the main display, yet no graphics on the monitor. Mirroring is also not an option, as the only display detected in the System Report is my external display.

I really wish I could get the iMac to detect the built-in display, but replacing the eDP cable has had no effect. Concerned it could be the logic board's eDP connector, or possibly the black (power?) wiring harness could be damaged. If the latter is the case, would I have to buy a brand new display, or is there a detachable connector on the display where I could swap that whole bundle out? Does anyone know the name of that black conector/harness?

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