I had the same thought as I almost proceeded without noticing the red text warning.
I especially think the second warning about not touching the contacts on the data connectors should be listed before the instructions on removing it.
Thanks for calling this out. I took a picture of the socket after disconnecting. I can see why it might have been less obvious on reassembly.
It's interesting that you had to remove the heat pipe screw. This didn't seem to be in the way for me. The I/O board came out quite easily without any issues.
But… it could be different for others as it was for you. I just thought I'd share my experience.
Adding to the other comments, the fan is very light and has no resistance lifting out of the place it sits in.
I carefully lifted the fan just before there was any tension on the cable.
With the fan held in my right hand and spudger in my left, I moved the spudger under the fan approaching from the left side.
This allowed me to easily place the flat end of the spudger under the cable where the thicker plastic sits and gently pry the cable up until the cable broke away from the body.
I then used the pointed part of the spudger to gently pry the connector part of the cable away from the socket while gently pulling the fan away until the cable was disconnected and the entire fan was free.