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August 16, 2012
Dead OEM hard drive
The repair process took me a little over an hour (1-1.5 hrs.). The instructions are spot on. It is a great feeling to make a fix!
Step 3 - I'm so glade I bought the plastic card (I thought this was a rip-off, but it is totally worth it).
Step 6/7 - I didn't dis-attach the microphone or camera. I left them in place and just laid the bezel cover flat above the computer (I was using the dinning room table so I had plenty of space).
Step 9 - give a good look to both the right and left sides of the EMI shield. I noticed there was a seam that the front facing shield attached too. It was very easy to un-stick running along this seam, otherwise you would need to tear the shielding.
Step 12 (Reassemble) - I was surprised at how easy this step was, I did bend the plastic to allow easier access to the screw holes - nothing he-man, just a little pressure to allow the screw to slip on by the screen.
Step 15/16 - I bypassed this step by leaning the screen against something (in my case an air filled balloon - yeah 1-year old, we had balloons left over from her birthday).
August 7, 2012
Video card died
Nothing exploded, alas, that would have made for a more gripping story... My iMac's video card just died, and I decided to try and fix this on my own. Unfortunately iFixit didn't have a proper card in stock, so I ordered it elsewhere, but I got the toolkits and a 3 TB HD from iFixit. The HD was a nice upgrade compared to the build in HD (much bigger, and faster) so as I had to take the iMac apart anyway, I went for it, too. The replacement of both HD and video card were incredibly easy and straightforward using iFixit's guides and tools. Fantastic experience, everything done in less than 2 hours (well, it was my first time disassembling an iMac, so I took my time!), and everything working like a charm.
Don't listen to all this noise about iMacs being hard to fix. With iFixit's guides, it's a child's play (ask my 7 year old, he actually helped out!).