iMac Intel 20" EMC 2105 and 2118 Hard Drive Replacement

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Featured Guide

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

Replace the hard drive in your iMac Intel 20" EMC 2105 and 2118.

Upgrade your hard drive for more storage space.

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Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • Loosen the two Phillips screws securing the access door to your iMac.

  • Both screws remain captive within the access door.

  • Remove the access door.

  • Before beginning the repair, unplug the computer and press and hold the power switch for 20-30 seconds, to discharge internal capacitors.

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Edit Step 2 Front Bezel  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws along the lower edge of your iMac:

    • Three 6 mm T8 Torx screws

    • One 8 mm T8 Torx screw (Right side of the RAM slot on 2105)

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Re-orient your iMac so it sits upright on the stand.

  • Insert a plastic card up into the corner of the air vent slot near the top of the rear case.

  • Push the card toward the top of the iMac to release the front bezel latch.

  • Pull the front bezel away from the rear case.

  • Repeat this process for the other side of the front bezel.

  • It may be necessary to apply several layers of duct tape to the top of the access card to aid in releasing the latches. Or use two cards for the additional thickness.

  • If the bezel refuses to release, try lifting the lower edge of the front bezel slightly away from the rear case (detailed in the next few steps) and repeat the latch release process.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Lay your iMac stand-side down on a flat surface.

  • To lift the front bezel off the iMac, simultaneously:

    • Use your thumbs to press in the RAM arms and hold the iMac down.

    • Use your index fingers to pull the small bridge of material on the front bezel toward yourself.

    • Pull the front bezel up with your index fingers.

  • Once the small bridge of material has cleared the RAM arms, lift the front bezel by its lower edge just enough to clear the bottom edge of the rear case.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Lift the front bezel off the rear case and rotate it away from the bottom edge of the iMac, minding the camera and microphone cables still attached to its upper edge.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • If necessary, remove the strip of tape covering the microphone cable connector.

  • The microphone connector is located near the inside of top edge of your iMac.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the microphone cable.

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling its connector away from the socket on the camera board.

  • The camera cable connector and socket are delicate and easily bent. Remove with caution.

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Edit Step 8 Lower EMI Shield  ¶ 

  • Peel up the lower EMI shield from the rear case.

  • It is only necessary to peel the shield up from three sides. Leave it attached to the display.

  • If you happen to rip the EMI shield, use a piece of foil tape to cover the tear.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Tape the EMI shield to the face of the display to keep it out of the way.

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Edit Step 10 Display  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the display data cable connector to the logic board.

  • Pull the display data cable connector up off the logic board by its black pull tab.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Peel back the EMI tape from the two vertical edges of the display.

  • During reassembly, it is helpful to use several small strips of tape to hold the EMI shielding along the left and right edges of the display footprint out of the way before lowering the display into the rear case of your iMac.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Allow the lower EMI shield to hang down from the display.

  • Remove the four 7.5 mm T10 Torx screws securing the display to the rear case.

  • The screws are recessed, so a thin magnetic screwdriver aids in removal. Most bit drivers are too short to reach these screws.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Lift the lower edge of the display and rotate it toward the top edge of your iMac.

  • Do not lift it too much, as the inverter cables are still attached.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Disconnect both inverter cables from the inverter board.

  • These connectors are seated very tightly in their sockets. It is helpful to use your fingernails or the tip of a spudger to push the ears on either side of the connectors to dislodge them from their sockets. A small pair of hemostats helps a lot.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the two inverter cables at the top edge of the inverter using the method explained in the previous step.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Rotate the display until it is nearly perpendicular to the rear case and lift it up to peel it off the EMI shield stuck to its top edge.

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Edit Step 17 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the hard drive thermal sensor from the top edge of the logic board.

  • Pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 9.2 mm T10 Torx screws securing the hard drive bracket to the rear case.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive from its left edge enough to clear the inverter and pull it toward the left edge of your iMac to unseat the mounting pins from the chassis.

  • During installation, do not push the rubber grommets through the chassis with the hard drive mounting pins as retrieving them will require removing the logic board.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Pull both the SATA power and data cable connectors away from the hard drive.

  • Be careful when de-routing the hard drive thermal sensor cable from under the heat sink framework.

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Edit Step 21 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 12 mm shouldered T8 Torx screws holding the hard drive bracket to the connector side of the hard drive.

  • After removing these two screws, the bracket will fall away from the hard drive.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 9.2 mm T8 Torx pins from the other side of the hard drive.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the thermal sensor board off the adhesive securing it to the hard drive.

  • If you're replacing your hard drive, transfer this sensor to the same position on the new drive.

  • Users have reported that without the sensor connected, the fans will run consistently at maximum speed.

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

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 20" EMC 2105 and 2118 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 26 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

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3 TB 3.5" Hard Drive

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I was able to exchange hard drives between a 17" model and a 20" model. The 17" model has a slightly different architecture inside, but I have made some notes about that on the appropriate Step.

robino, · Reply

I recently used this guide to install an Hitachi 3 TB 7200rpm drive. Works like a champ.

iFixit is a great resource. Thank you!

John C, · Reply

I used this guide in conjunction with this video for reference that was really helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShY8zuT-w... (and part 2). Repair went really easy (just take it slow). Hardest part for me was pulling out the screen. The torx screws are pretty far in and the 26 piece kit I bought from here wasn't long enough to reach (the extension has a large round magnet on it that will not insert far enough because of limited space). Thankfully I had a torx at home that was longer for that specific size, so I was able to unscrew just enough with MY torx and use the magnetic one to grab the screw (absolutely necessary to have a magnetic version). Bought the Western Digital drive and found out that it would not format with the original OS Tiger disk. Only OS Snow Leopard's Disk Utility would read the HD properly and format for Mac. If buying the Western Digital, make sure you have a newer OS to install than Tiger. I read about possible problems with OS Leopard's Disk Utility and WD drives as well, but I cannot speak specifically for that.

rympeters, · Reply

Great guide! I can't think of anything to add. Read it over several times to take in all for the tips, they are helpful. I replaced my dead HD with a 120GB SSD (OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G). It is working great with Snow Leopard. I had to use Trim Enabler but that seems to be working fine. The 2.5 to 3.5 drive adapter was too small to fit the apple attachment be the two sided tape mount seems very secure.

Charlie Tracy, · Reply

A small feedback from my iman. (Late 2006, early 2007 20" display 2.16 intel core 2 duo):

Just changed my hdd and everything worked out fine. Two things are important as I found out that they differed from this guide:

1. In order to release the front bezel latches the card must be not be inserted vertically as shown in the pictures but with a slight angle using the direction from inside towards the upper corner of the bezel. I saw this in the following youtube video:

http://youtu.be/fOQ3joWnU-s

2. The torx requested to release the display screws is not a No 6 but a smaller one. Probably a No. 4, Ι am not sure exactly as I did not have one so I used a normal small screwdriver instead.

I hope I helped, the rest of the guide was very accurate and quite easy to follow.

Peppitos, · Reply

Thank-you, my son and I just replaced our broken hard drive and upgraded the ram. We used parts we bought here and everything is going smoothly! Cross your fingers we get a couple more years out of the old girl.

hammernfire, · Reply

I have never seen a pict of the bezel latch, I hope this picture link helps you to figure out what is inside that you need the cc to hit to release, I had a tough time making it work but managed just before I gave up! http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb35/...

ReneBruce, · Reply

the photo of latch is no longer there at Photobucket

rmshreffler,

When you put this back together, make sure you place the bevel latches UNDER/INSIDE the case frame.

robino, · Reply

Quote from ReneBruce:

I have never seen a pict of the bezel latch, I hope this picture link helps you to figure out what is inside that you need the cc to hit to release, I had a tough time making it work but managed just before I gave up! http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb35/...

Thanks, your picture helped me.

robino, · Reply

Rather than through the vent at the back. Ease the bottom of the front bezel away from the screen and then in the gap created between the screen and the front bezel, insert your card here and push up to release the latch. This is especially the method to use, if you have already tried everything else above, as you may have bent the latches, and you'll never get them to relase the conventional way.

Charlie, · Reply

On the 24 inch model, there are no latches. Instead the front bezel has four tabs which slot into the rear case. It's very easy to remove.

manfred, · Reply

Wow, I really got stuck on the bezel. I tried a credit card, even a flexible metal scraper, nope nothing budged. I finally got going with help from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzuBW3mu7... which the guy has the machine lying on its back, then you can carefully bend the front bezel up until you see the latches, and I got the scraper in front of the screen and un-did the latches that way. Onto the next step!

sleestack, · Reply

Replaced one of the redundant images of the card going into the slot, with the previously linked image of the latch itself. I was struggling to figure out how to get the thing open, thinking it was a latch that pushed *up* to the top of the system, but it actually pushes *forward* towards the screen. That accounts for the bending of the card, and the excess length required to insert it. After figuring that out, the case came off nicely.

Matt Falcon, · Reply

Apple uses a powerful magnet to release these latches, but the official tool is not available. If you have access to a few failed hard drives, you can take out the magnets from those, and stack them up to have a magnet strong enough to easily open these latches.

Simply place the magnet on an upper corner of the machine, and when you hear a click, gently pull the corner of the front case forward. Repeat the process for the other upper corner. Use care not to pull on the iSight cables.

Note: Use care when handling the hard drive magnets, they are powerful, and you don't want them to snap together on your fingers. OUCH!

Zaphod, · Reply

This is definitely the hardest part of this repair. I ended up doing what Charlie did and got it off after a lot of frustration.

aseisman, · Reply

The iMacs I've taken apart open simply with a magnet. I made a video to show exactly how the latch works inside. You do need a strong magnet like the hard drive internal magnet suggestion however they can be found in many places, just look for 'rare earth' or 'neodymium' and you'll find one. probably .3" cube would be big enough.

http://youtu.be/yvq035edr-I

there is the video that shows how the latch works. of course you may need TWO magnets to do both latches at the same time.

awr, · Reply

i posted a note on the next page about disconnecting the microphone and camera cable. may help. reed it before disconnect.

sebalancea, · Reply

there's no need to disconnect the microphone and camera cable. you can work against a wall and carefully rest the frame and the display on the wall.

sebalancea, · Reply

Quote from sebalancea:

there's no need to disconnect the microphone and camera cable. you can work against a wall and carefully rest the frame and the display on the wall.

I didn't even use the wall, I just carefully pivoted the frame backwards and laid it on the table without disconnecting the wires

Bob, · Reply

Be careful. My microphone and camera cables looked a little bit different from this. My camera cable connector did NOT plug directly into the camera board (and I almost tried pulling the cable out of the board), but rather there was a cable to cable connector that was stuffed behind the monitor. I had to skip this step until the monitor was out. I have an early 2006 20" iMac.

avcaruso, · Reply

I didn't see the need to tape the foil to the display (and I didn't want to get any sticky residue on the screen), so I skipped this bit with no problems.

Bob, · Reply

Quote from Bob:

I didn't see the need to tape the foil to the display (and I didn't want to get any sticky residue on the screen), so I skipped this bit with no problems.

I agree, and tape doesn't stick to the screen (I tried and the tape came loose before I was done)

Wizbang FL, · Reply

This would be a really good time to change the PRAM battery. They only last 4-5 years, and cost very little. It'll save another teardown in the near future. (3v CR2032)

Bob, · Reply

Quote from Bob:

This would be a really good time to change the PRAM battery. They only last 4-5 years, and cost very little. It'll save another teardown in the near future. (3v CR2032)

Good idea, I just replaced this. $5 @ radioshack.

sleestack, · Reply

I found that disconnecting the display cable at the LCD end was easier. There are 2 v small clips either side of the ribbon cable, squeeze together and the cable disconnects from the panel.

KazR, · Reply

on this step I just forgot (there always something to forget!!) to connect back display data cable connector to the logic board, after I replaced the hard drive. Don't worry nothing happens. Hwen I switched on the iMac and it was just functioning alright and normal but I wasn't able see anything other than a black screen :)

If you got a black screen but a normal white light on the right bottom corner, think abot the connector !

joleisa, · Reply

This is tricky and took some time and patience. It is best to have some foil tape handy because the EMF shield tears easily. Likewise when reinstalling the screen and EMF shield, it helps to have a partner who can stop the foil to the side of the screen from getting folded under the screen when you lower it back into position, ready to tape it back onto the edge of the screen.

mindzeebeez, · Reply

Quote from mindzeebeez:

This is tricky and took some time and patience. It is best to have some foil tape handy because the EMF shield tears easily. Likewise when reinstalling the screen and EMF shield, it helps to have a partner who can stop the foil to the side of the screen from getting folded under the screen when you lower it back into position, ready to tape it back onto the edge of the screen.

I found that using the plastic card to remove the cover worked well in lifting the EM tape from the screen. Also step 10 & 11 appear to be reversed since you can't get to the screws until you have lifted up the display (this can only occur once you have dealt with the EM shield)

Wizbang FL, · Reply

This is a Torx T-9 on the 24" iMac Core Duo

jrmn, · Reply

Quote from jrmn:

This is a Torx T-9 on the 24" iMac Core Duo

This is also a Torx T-9 on my 20" iMac Core Duo, probably manuf'd around the same time.

Daniel, · Reply

Quote from Daniel:

This is also a Torx T-9 on my 20" iMac Core Duo, probably manuf'd around the same time.

My mistake, it's actually a T-10, but the T-9 was the only one I could get to work due to the limited angle.

Daniel, · Reply

I believe this is where the $4.95 looong T-10 screwdriver shown in the recommended tools would have come in handy. We managed to make the driver from the 54 bit set work by holding the bit driver with a vice grip, which made it possible to get down in there. The various holders that came with the set were just a hair too thick.

Justina Hayden,

These four screws are tricky to deal with. They are well recessed and hard to spot at first. A magnetised screwdriver is a prerequisite. Another way is to glue the screw heads to the screwdriver with some very weak glue, and let it almost set before trying to locate the screws back into their holes whilst re-assembling. I lost one screw somewhere inside the computer! It is alright with 3 but I hope it doesn't touch something vulnerable on the circuit board.

mindzeebeez, · Reply

Quote from mindzeebeez:

These four screws are tricky to deal with. They are well recessed and hard to spot at first. A magnetised screwdriver is a prerequisite. Another way is to glue the screw heads to the screwdriver with some very weak glue, and let it almost set before trying to locate the screws back into their holes whilst re-assembling. I lost one screw somewhere inside the computer! It is alright with 3 but I hope it doesn't touch something vulnerable on the circuit board.

Try sticking the screw onto the driver with a tiny piece of blu-tac. Worked for me.

Bob, · Reply

I found it easiest to lie the computer on its back and rest all four screws in the display. Then all you have to do is lower the display slowly and evenly. The tricky part with this method is to make sure the EMI shield doesn't catch on the screws on the way down.

Andrew, · Reply

If your Torx screwdriver isn't magnetized, rub the tip 8-10 times on the magnet inside the white plastic cover (the one that holds the remote to the side of the monitor). Prestro... your Torx screwdriver is now magnetized!

John Way, · Reply

The lower left screw of the display can be sometimes reached directly from the corner rather through the hole.

Bob, · Reply

If you remove the inverter wires after dealing with the EM shield you can flip the display without detaching the LCD data cable. Use the foot of the iMac (with a towel to protect the display) to hold the display while you work inside.

Wizbang FL, · Reply

The 17" model is nearly identical until this point. You will not have to disconnect on the 17" model for either Step 15 or Step 16.

robino, · Reply

I would mark the top of the large inverter cable connectors somehow, with a marker or pencil. My connectors had writing on the bottom, not the top as pictured, and I bent the pins trying to reinsert it incorrectly since the top and bottom look similar. Nearly all the other connectors have an obvious top and bottom.

Marko, · Reply

You don't need to peel off the display from the top. Just lean it toward a wall etc. in a perpendicular angle. If you don't move the mac while you perform the following steps, it won't flip or fall down. You can also save step 15 this way, as the wires are long enough to stay connected.

Martin, · Reply

Why peel it off? I just left it there in the perpendicular position leaning against the wall. Didn't annoy me at all when I changed the hard drive.

alex, Jul 02 2012

alexanderfaussner, · Reply

I've seen a few people comment having found their Airport dead after hard drive swap. It's really easy to rip off the wire from Airport antenna (up there nearby the mic and camera, to the left from them). The wire goes through the holes of upside EMI shielding and raising the display too high while trying to peel the shielding off can yank the wire so it gets loose from the soldering.

Tee, · Reply

On my iMac (20" intel core duo Model A1207) this was not a "connector" rather it was four separate (loose) wires! So I did not remove them for fear of reconnecting them in the wrong order. Instead I first loosened the drive bracket and removed its cables, then I pryed the thermal sensor from the side of the drive.

sanjaygovindjee, · Reply

Quote from sanjaygovindjee:

On my iMac (20" intel core duo Model A1207) this was not a "connector" rather it was four separate (loose) wires! So I did not remove them for fear of reconnecting them in the wrong order. Instead I first loosened the drive bracket and removed its cables, then I pryed the thermal sensor from the side of the drive.

I agree!! LEAVE them attached, it simplifies things greatly!

smitty7x, · Reply

I did remove the cables, but I think I have a wrong order now, the fans are on full power when switching on. What is the right order?

post, · Reply

I have tried it. The cables should have the same order than on the other plug. No. 1 to No. 1, No. 2 to No. 2 and so on.

The fans are quiet again now. :-)

post, · Reply

Yep just done the power board on this imac and I say leave the thermal cable connected because its 50% sure to break up! ,just undo the harddrive, carefully move it downwards towards the speaker housing on the logicboad(tape it to the speaker housing).

you will still be able to access the power board cable under the logic board

Supadupa, · Reply

The HDD in the 17" model has a slightly different mount. It is actually a black plastic spring pressure mount, and just slips out when you push down on the plastic spring mount.

robino, · Reply

The 17" model's mount is the reverse of this. Sorry I have no pictures. The mounting pins on the 17" model are on the opposite side of the drive, and the drive itself is turned over so that the drive's circuit board is showing.

robino, · Reply

The thermal sensor on the 17" model is glued to the bottom of the drive. Otherwise, it's pretty much identical.

robino, · Reply

I followed this sites how-to, but didn't get the heat sensor attached very well to the new hard disk (I didn't know if i should reuse the glue it had, use new glue, what kind of glue, etc...) Now, after everything is reassembled, when I try to power on the hard disk/fans rev for 1 second and turn off, and then the light on the front panel blinks continuously and nothing else happens. No beeps, no fans, no display flicker...

Someone suggests here:

http://macosx.com/forums/mac-os-x-system...

that the light could indicate bad ram, which is possible in this case, but I wonder if it is the thermal switch somehow? I would rather not spend the money to replace the ram if this computer is a loss anyway (bad logic board?)

Any suggestions? Thank you for reading...

invoak, · Reply

Figured the problem out, it's definitely a RAM failure

Quote from invoak:

I followed this sites how-to, but didn't get the heat sensor attached very well to the new hard disk (I didn't know if i should reuse the glue it had, use new glue, what kind of glue, etc...) Now, after everything is reassembled, when I try to power on the hard disk/fans rev for 1 second and turn off, and then the light on the front panel blinks continuously and nothing else happens. No beeps, no fans, no display flicker...

Someone suggests here:

http://macosx.com/forums/mac-os-x-system...

that the light could indicate bad ram, which is possible in this case, but I wonder if it is the thermal switch somehow? I would rather not spend the money to replace the ram if this computer is a loss anyway (bad logic board?)

Any suggestions? Thank you for reading...

invoak, · Reply

blinking light its just RAM failure, control if you re inserted well the RAMs

joleisa,

I found elsewhere that the thermal sensor should be reattached with rubber cement. That's what I used, and it seems to be working fine.

mtense, · Reply

Quote from mtense:

I found elsewhere that the thermal sensor should be reattached with rubber cement. That's what I used, and it seems to be working fine.

I used double sided thermal tape (available from electrical component stores). It's usually used for heatsinks etc. so it will stick well on a hot surface.

Bob, · Reply

When removing the sensor be careful to get underneath the adhesive (IE: keep as much adhesive on the sensor) It allowed me to just stick the sensor to the new hard drive (clean the new drive area with alcohol and allow to dry to promote adhesion) Don't get the sensor dirty with the dust etc from inside the mac, the dirt would make new adhesive necessary.

Wizbang FL, · Reply

Question: Does a 2.5" SSD really need a sensor attached, or are they usually cold enough anyway? I know we should keep the sensor connected, since fans go crazy without it, but is it that important to actually mount it on the SSD itself? And if so, exactly where do they get the hottest? Around the connectors? In the middle of the chip cluster? Bottom? Top? :)

Bear, · Reply

A 3.5" SSD would also fit (you'll need an adaptor to fit the 2.5" version).

I've fitted a SSD to my MacPro, and it runs at just above room temperature, so overheating is not an issue. It doesn't get warmer in any specific area, so I'd just stick the sensor where it looks best, and doesn't stress or interfere with any of the cables.

Bob,

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