Installing iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 Dual Hard Drive Kit

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Install another hard drive in your iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428.

Use this guide to install a second 2.5" SATA hard drive in your 21.5" iMac. The kit will only work for Mid 2011 EMC 2428 models.

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • Lay your iMac face-down on a soft, clean surface as shown.

  • Be sure there isn't any dirt or debris on your work surface, as it may scratch the glass panel on the front of your iMac. We recommend placing a towel between the iMac and the work surface.

  • Loosen the three Phillips screws securing the access door to the bottom edge of your iMac.

  • All three screws will remain captive in the access door.

  • Remove the access door.

Image #1

Edit Step 2 RAM  ¶ 

  • Gently slide the black plastic RAM pull tab out from the RAM slot.

  • Pull the black plastic tab away from the bottom edge of the iMac to eject the module(s) on that side of the RAM bay.

  • This may require a bit of force.

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Slide the old RAM module(s) out of their slots in the RAM bay and set them aside.

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Repeat the process in the previous steps to remove the RAM module(s) from the other side of the RAM bay.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • When installing new RAM modules, it is important to orient them correctly.

  • Be sure the small notch cut into each RAM module (shown in the first picture) mates with the protrusion in each RAM slot (shown in the second picture).

  • Your iMac has four RAM slots. Be sure to slide each RAM module into its slot horizontally. This will prevent getting the modules stuck between two of the adjacent slots.

  • Once you have oriented the new RAM modules correctly, gently slide them completely into the iMac and use your thumbs to firmly seat them in their sockets.

Image #1

Edit Step 6 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • Before beginning, unplug your iMac and lay it on a soft surface as shown.

  • Stick a suction cup near each of the two top corners of the glass panel.

  • To attach the suction cups we sell, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel. While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle.

  • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a mild solvent.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Gently lift the glass panel perpendicular to the face of the LCD enough to clear the steel mounting pins attached along the underside of the top edge of the glass panel.

  • Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside.

  • During reinstallation, be sure to meticulously clean the inside of the glass panel and the face of the LCD as any dust or fingerprints trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the machine is turned on.

Image #1

Edit Step 8 Display  ¶ 

  • Remove the eight 8 mm T10 Torx screws securing the display to the outer case.

  • The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display.

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Slightly lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case.

  • Do not lift it too much. There are several cables attaching the display to the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Pull the vertical sync cable connector out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Rotate the display out of the outer case enough to disconnect the LED backlight power cable from the LED driver board.

  • Disconnect the LED backlight power cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket (toward the bottom edge of the iMac).

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it towards upwards.

  • Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Carefully pull the display toward the top edge of your iMac and lift it out of the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.

Image #1

Edit Step 15 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • From here, the repair will be easier if you flip the computer around so the base is facing you.

  • Remove the following four screws:

    • One 9.3 mm T10 Torx screw with a large head

    • Three 9.3 mm T10 Torx screws with a normal sized head

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector straight up from its socket on the logic board. Pull parallel to the board.

Image #1

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Lift the inner edge of the optical drive and maneuver its connector past the GPU frame attached to the logic board.

  • Carefully pull the optical drive off its mounting pins on the right side of the outer case to gain clearance for disconnecting the optical drive cable.

  • Allow the optical drive to hang down as you de-route the optical drive thermal sensor connector from behind the GPU heat sink.

Image #1

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the optical drive cable by pulling its connector away from the optical drive.

  • Remove the optical drive from the iMac.

Image #1

Edit Step 19 Optical Drive Fan  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 13 mm T10 Torx screw securing the optical drive fan to the outer case.

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive fan off the pins attached to the outer case.

Image #1

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive fan connector away from its socket on the logic board.

  • Remove the optical drive fan from the iMac.

Image #1

Edit Step 22 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • In the proceeding steps, you will disconnect the following cables:

    • SD Board

    • Left/Right Speaker and Microphone

    • Audio Port

    • Wi-Fi Antenna

    • Right Temperature Sensor, Bluetooth/Ambient Light Sensor/Camera/Left Temperature, and Hard Drive Fan

    • CPU Fan/Ambient Temperature and Power Button

    • IR Sensor

Image #1

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Pull the SD board cable out of its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the microphone, left speaker, and right speaker cables by pulling their connectors toward the right side of the iMac.

Image #1

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry all three AirPort antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort board.

  • During reinstallation, connect the cable with no stripes to the socket marked CH0, the cable with one stripe to CH1, and the cable with two stripes to CH2.

Image #1

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive fan connector toward the top edge of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Use your thumbnails on both sides of the Bluetooth/ambient light sensor/camera/left temperature connector to push it toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • Use your thumbnails to push the right temperature sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket.

Image #1

Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Pull the CPU fan/ambient temperature sensor connector toward the bottom left edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • Pull the power button connector toward the bottom left corner of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Use your thumbs to push the IR sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the IR sensor board up from behind the front face of the outer case.

  • Remove the IR sensor and set it aside.

Image #1

Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Pull the audio port cable connector toward the left side of the iMac to disconnect it from the logic board.

  • Do not pull the cable toward yourself (away from the front face of the logic board) as you disconnect it.

  • Peel the audio port cable off the front face of the logic board and let it hang down as shown in the second picture.

Image #1

Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • Remove the following seven screws:

    • Two 7 mm T10 torx screws

    • One 30 mm T10 Torx screw

    • Two 25 mm T10 Torx screws

    • Two 21 mm T10 Torx screws

Image #1

Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws from the power supply:

    • One 9.3 mm T10 coarse-threaded screw

    • One 25 mm T10 coarse-threaded screw

    • Two 22 mm fine-threaded screws

  • Pull the upper right and lower left corners of the power supply away from the rear case to dislodge the mounting posts attached to the power supply's corners.

Image #1

Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Carefully lift the power supply out of the outer case and rotate it to expose the cable lock as shown, minding the DC-out and AC-in cables still attaching it to the iMac.

  • Disconnect the DC-out cable by depressing the locking mechanism on the connector while you pull the connector away from its socket on the power supply.

  • Once the locking mechanism has cleared the socket, pull the DC-in connector away from the power supply.

Image #1

Edit Step 36  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the AC-In cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket.

  • Remove the power supply from the outer case.

Image #1

Edit Step 37  ¶ 

  • Remove the plastic wall that is installed directly to the right of the LED driver board.

Image #1

Edit Step 38  ¶ 

  • Slightly pull the logic board away from the back of the outer case, then lift it upward to clear the lower front face of the outer case.

Image #1

Edit Step 39 Dual Hard Drive Kit Connecting the Cables  ¶ 

  • In the following steps, you will hold the logic board slightly away from the outer case as you connect the new hard drive cables included with the dual hard drive kit.

  • As you connect the cables, do not put excessive strain on any of the other cables connecting the logic board to the outer case.

Image #1

Edit Step 40  ¶ 

  • First, locate the small connector on the SSD power cable.

Image #1

Edit Step 41  ¶ 

  • Connect the small plug on the SATA power cable to the socket labeled SSD Power on the logic board.

  • The socket is located just below the GPU heat sink.

Image #1

Edit Step 42  ¶ 

  • Next, locate the 90º connector on one end of the SATA data cable.

  • The color of your SATA data cable may be different than the cable shown here.

Image #1

Edit Step 43  ¶ 

  • Connect the 90º end of the SATA data cable to its socket on the logic board next to the SATA power connector.

Image #1

Edit Step 44  ¶ 

  • With both SATA cables connected, they should look like the logic board shown in the photo.

Image #1

Edit Step 45  ¶ 

  • Next, while holding the new hard drive cables against the GPU heat sink, lower the bottom edge of the logic board back down into the outer case.

  • When re-seating the logic board, it is helpful to tape the many connectors that attach to it out of the way to avoid them getting trapped beneath the board.

  • Before pushing the logic board against the back of the outer case, first route the hard drive cables in the channel near the bundle of power cables.

  • As you place the logic board into its recess, route the hard drive cables through the small channel cut into the plastic pressure wall near the fins of the GPU heat sink.

Image #1

Edit Step 46 Installing the Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • In the next few steps, you'll install your new drive into the case of your EMC 2428 iMac.

  • The drive will sit behind the optical drive in the space highlighted in red.

Image #1

Edit Step 47  ¶ 

  • To secure your new drive in your iMac, you will need to place high strength double-sided tape at the four corners on the side of the drive with the SATA connectors.

  • Peel the backing off one side of the double-sided tape and place the pieces at the four corners of the hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 48  ¶ 

  • Connect both the SATA data and SATA power connectors to your new hard drive.

  • The SATA connectors will be nearest the top of the iMac when the hard drive is installed.

Image #1

Edit Step 49  ¶ 

  • Remove the backing from the double-sided tape and place the hard drive inside the iMac.

  • Carefully set the drive into the iMac optical bay as close to the lower left corner as possible.

    • Do not to repeatedly stick and un-stick the tape, as the adhesive will become weaker.

  • Once you are happy with the hard drive's placement, firmly press down along its edges to ensure full adhesion.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order from Step 33.

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 device page.

Related Products

Comments Comments are onturn off

It should be noted to anyone doing this that RAM should be removed first. When you get towards the end things go bad if your RAM is still in there and you start moving the mainboard around.

azkaban1, · Reply

You are correct. I followed the ifixit guide on youtube and it was not mentioned to remove the RAMs. But in fact the RAMs should be removed in order to pull the logic board.


Seconded ... remove ram first! Spent more time reinstalling main board than anything else.

Added bigger HDD as well as SSD. Buy HDD Fan Control to fix fan speed.

A curse on Jobs & Apple for making it this tedious to add SSD & HDD.

Cudos to ifixit!

tonybaczynski, · Reply

Did it, my imac is extreamly speedy now with the ssd compared with the origional hdd.

Tool me about two hours to do, had to have my brother help me when i was removing the logic board and screen.

Found that the logic board was extreamly hard to remove.

Good tip is to selotape the cables before removing / inserting the logic board as i traped my microphone connector underneath. Luckely i could reach it with a pair of tweesers.

Over all glad i did it.

garethvincenthall, · Reply

Can anybody explain why the PSU module needs to be removed (steps 34-37)? I saw a similar guide elsewhere and it skipped this completely. Is this not required? If so, that might explain why this guide says that to re-assemble do the reverse from step 33 and not 38 as expected!

markbart, · Reply

I can confirm that you do not need to remove the power supply to do this - you can safely skip these steps! Anyway, this install went well for me, not as scary as I thought it would be. You just need to be prepared, remain calm and keep track of all the screws!


Having read this comment, I initially skipped the PSU removal steps. While removing the logic board was a bit difficult, putting it back in place seemed impossible until I figured one of the plastic walls (step 37, although it was the one on the other side) was getting in the way: some pieces have a diagonal cut from top to bottom and they have to fit together, and the diagonal shape forces one to be placed before the other (one on bottom, then the other on top, so to speak). I had to remove the PSU to be able to remove the plastic walls, get the logic board in place properly, and then put the plastic walls back "on top" of a piece attached to the PCB.

So while I guess it could be possible to skip the PSU removal steps, I found it easier to put everything back into place by removing it. YMMV, just keep it in mind, and you can always do as I did, skip the steps and do them afterwards if needed.

Vicente Aguilar,

How long is the Sata data cable?

Is a 10" too short for the job??

Help asap would be awesome!


Jordan Shababy, · Reply

The cable is a standard length, but I feel it was too long as it needed to be folded to fit. A 10 inch cable will be fine.


Very helpful guide, easy to follow. Took me around an hour and a half to install an SSD.

For the record, instead of using them independently I configured them as a Fusion Drive. Works like a charm, more info here:

Vicente Aguilar, · Reply

this is a very helpful guide, I did it success!

86630529, · Reply

Very helpful guide. I did it in 1 houre without removing the PSU.

Thank´s for the help!!!

Markus Unglert, · Reply

sorry if it's been asked already.

I was wondering, why not just connect DVD drives cable, i thought there is a power and same as SSd, SATA.

Soyib, · Reply

Be advice, I buy the kit and try. It cost me 800$ to repair it after. Yes, I broke the logic board!!!!

patrickfxdelage, · Reply

I was able to do this on my Mid 2011 iMac without too much difficulty. The actual removal of the glass is really easy as it's held by magnets so no need to worry about glue or anything like that.

frank, · Reply

Also, after you get your drive installed and try to create your own Fusion Drive volume, you'll need to make a bootable USB drive and boot from that by holding down Option on a boot. If you try to boot from the internal drive and then create the Fusion drive you'll get a "Error: -69879: Couldn't open disk" error which basically means the disk is in use. Of course, when you do this, all your data will be wiped so be sure to backup via Time Machine before you create the Fusion Drive!

frank, · Reply

Installation d'un SSD samsung 500go avec le kit d'installation Fixit sur iMac 21 mi-2011

L'installation s'est très bien passé. Ce n'est pas si difficile que cela même si c'est assez impressionnant au début.

L'accès au cablage du SATA (coté opposé de la carte mère) est délicate (avoir des petites mains c'est mieux).

La différence une fois l'OS installé sur le SSD est impressionnante... ce n'est plus la même machine!

renaultfrederic, · Reply

Couple more comments:

1. This is a really long, laborious process. To keep track of screws, I drew a little chart and taped them to a piece of paper.

2. Make sure when reinstalling the logic board that the RAM slots line up correctly. They didn't for me, so had to undo the whole thing.

3. When my Mac restarted, the fans ran at full speed. Thought I'd broken something. Turns out, just needed to do SCM reset (see Apple docs)

4. If I was going to do this again, I wouldn't. It's a huge pain -- very annoying project.

helrod3, · Reply

Before beginning unplug your iMac.

Henry Barnett, · Reply

i pulled very hard on this tab, could not get it to release?

is this common?

Arjun Govindjee, · Reply

It is far harder than I thought you have to pull REALLY hard and then there will be a little click and than you can gently pull out the RAM.

Alison Newton , · Reply

When reinstalling RAM in this machine or any iMac with upgradable RAM slots push hard to get them to go in (Apple really did make this one harder than it needed to be). If you don't push hard it won't go in and your computer won't work. (trust me on this learned the hard way)

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Change "Before beginning, unplug your iMac and lay it on a soft surface as shown." to "Lay your iMac on a soft surface as shown"

Henry Barnett, · Reply

my imac power sullye not powering

tahir, · Reply

imac 2544 2.5 core i5 i touched the motherboard to supply and it spark now it is not powering

please tell me the directions

thanks witting for answering .

tahir, · Reply

Im sorry to say, If it sparked when you touched it your motherboard s now fried. You need a new one.

Robert Wacker,

When putting the display down on the table, be careful not to kink the flat ribbon cable.

frank, · Reply

For me it was originally the reverse order. No stripes for ch2, one for ch1 and two for ch0

anonymous 9512, · Reply

As another user already posted, cables can be in the reverse order as depicted on the guide. Pay attention before disconnecting them.


Vicente Aguilar, · Reply

It was reversed for me as well. Be sure to verify your own system as you take it apart

frank, · Reply

To simplify this and since there seems to be some variable set ups, take a digital picture of the way it is before following this step so that you can put it back the way it was. (If no digicam then draw yourself a note with paper and pen).

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Be careful when balancing the mother board here, you can damage the RAM bays if not careful. (Had a friend do this, good by motherboard and iMac.) Just be careful and aware of how you have it sitting.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Isn't there a way to fix the SSD by screws?

kdanielalex, · Reply

No. Its just flat aluminum. The adhesive pads will work well. You may even be able to use the picture hanging velcro strips by 3M that you can find any where (they now have ones with stronger adhesive). If using the velcro ones it would make it easier for removal later. I personally have not done it this way, but I think it would work. I just used the red ones they gave (i could find my box of the velcro ones).

Robert Wacker,

Wonderful info and explanations, as usual.

Hope the answer to my question is not very obvious, but can a normal SATA 500GB be installed instead of a SSD drive. The reason being, appart from the cost difference, is that I currently have a PC Laptop that I'd like to "Recycle" into my iMac, meaning memory and HD. Potentially also my Windows 7 with Parallels. Currently have XP, it would be upgrade every way you see it.

Many thanks

Alejandro, · Reply

They have crucial here pictured (we used crucial and it works phenomenal). Also Samsung has a great line of SSDs called EVO (we used it in our Macbook Pro and it works just as good if not better than crucial). {here is their website, Its a second option for ssd hard drives.

Also when installing SSDs make sure to enable TRIM support (crashes can and probably will occur if you don't) TRIM enabler is available free and the pro version is $10 It is the easiest solution for this issue.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 2

This Week: 428

This Month: 1,378

All Time: 87,862