iMac Intel 20" EMC 2266 Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

Use this guide to replace or upgrade your hard drive for more storage space.

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Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • Lay your iMac front side down on a table with the lower edge facing yourself.

  • Loosen the single Phillips screw in the center of the access door.

  • This screw is captive in the access door.

  • Remove the access door from your iMac.

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Edit Step 2 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • The glass panel is fixed onto the front bezel with fourteen magnets around its perimeter.

  • Stick two suction cups to opposing 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.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Gently pull the glass panel straight up off the iMac.

  • The glass panel has several positioning pins around its perimeter. To avoid shearing these pins off the glass panel, be sure to only pull straight up during removal.

  • Be meticulous about cleaning the LCD and the inside face of the glass panel before reinstallation, as any fingerprints or dust trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the display is on.

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Edit Step 4 Front Bezel  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 12 screws securing the front bezel to the rear case:

    • Eight 13 mm T8 Torx.

    • Four 25 mm T8 Torx.

  • On the 24" iMac Intel Model A1225, the bottom center two screws are long (26mm), four on sides (two left, two right) are medium (18mm), and the remaining 6 (four top, two bottom corners) are short (14mm).

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The front bezel is still attached to the iMac by the microphone cable.

  • Gently lift the front bezel from its top edge off the rear case.

  • Once the top edge of the front bezel has cleared the rear case, rotate the front bezel toward the stand and lift it off the rear case.

  • Rotate the front bezel away from the rest of the device and lay it above the top edge of the iMac.

  • When reinstalling the front bezel, start at the lower edge and make sure it is flush with the rear case before lowering the top edge onto the iMac.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the microphone cable connector, removing tape as necessary.

  • For the front bezel to sit properly, be sure to tuck the microphone cable and connector into the void next to the camera board.

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Edit Step 7 Display Panel  ¶ 

  • Pull the LCD temperature sensor connector straight up off its socket on the logic board.

  • (located at the top of the logic board on the 24")

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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

  • Use the attached black tab to pull the display data cable connector straight away from the logic board.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the eight T8 Torx screws securing the display panel to the rear case.

  • Lift the display panel from its left edge and rotate it toward the right edge of the iMac.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • With the display panel still lifted, disconnect the four inverter cables.

  • During reinstallation, place the four inverter cable connectors in voids between components attached to the rear panel so the display panel will sit flush on the edges of the rear case.

  • (combined into one plug in on the 24")

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Edit Step 11 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • To remove the hard drive bracket, squeeze the middle against the side of the hard drive while rotating the top left edge toward yourself.

  • After the left edge has been freed, rotate the bracket toward the right edge of the hard drive.

  • Lift the hard drive bracket straight up off the chassis.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • If present, remove the small piece of tape covering the hard drive and optical drive temperature sensor cables.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive temperature sensor cable straight away from its socket on the logic board.

  • When removing this connector, it is helpful use your thumbnails to push the ears on either side of the connector toward the top of your iMac.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Rotate the top of the drive toward yourself, then lift the hard drive straight up off its lower pins.

  • The hard drive is still connected via the SATA cables.

  • When reinstalling your hard drive, be careful not to push the rubber grommets through the openings in the chassis with the lower hard drive pins as retrieving them may require logic board removal.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Insert the flat end of a spudger between the SATA data cable and the edge of the hard drive.

  • Twist the spudger to separate the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

  • Disconnect the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

  • Repeat this process for the SATA power cable.

  • Lift the hard drive out of your iMac, minding the thermal sensor cable that may get caught.

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Edit Step 16 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the two T8 Torx screws and their attached rubber grommets from the hard drive.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the two T8 Torx pins from the side of the hard drive nearest the power and data connectors.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Peel off the piece of foam tape covering the hard drive thermal sensor.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • To remove the hard drive thermal sensor, use the sharp end of a spudger to lift the center finger of the thermal sensor bracket while applying slight tension to the thermal sensor cable.

  • If the thermal sensor is stuck to the hard drive, skip to the next step.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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

  • If the adhesive gets dirty or will not stick to your new hard drive, place some double-sided tape under the two semicircular ears of the thermal sensor bracket.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to remove the small piece of EMI foam from the top of the hard drive.

  • Don't forget to transfer this to your new hard drive.

  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

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

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 20" EMC 2266 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

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Because there are no instructions for the 24", I used these and they worked fine. I shelled out $10 for the suction cups ifixit provides, but honestly the glass is really thin and lightweight, so cheapo suction cups from Home Depot should work just fine.

Len, · Reply

I couldnt agree more. The "Glass" is of couse plastic. I bought some whimpy suction cups in multi pack from Target and after i stuckem to the glass, it came off almost to easy. I was expecting a fight, i didnt get one.

Scott Mutterer,

I am about as untechnically proficient as you can imagine, yet replacing the hard drive was not as daunting as it first seemed when following these FANTASTIC step by step instructions. I was forced to do this because of a lack of money, but having done it, I'm glad I did. Even if I had the money, it's not worth the $500 it costs to have an Apple dealer or Apple themselves replace the hard drive. Just take your time and don't force anything, and you should be done in no more than an hour. Kudos ifixit!

Len, · Reply

On my 24" iMac, I only needed to disconnect the first LCD Cable (before removing the LCD's torx screws), then I was able to pivot the LCD up 90 degrees, to get access to the hard disk. It was nice not having to disconnect (and reconnect the 2nd and 3rd cables. Now I have 3TB! (Seagate Barrracuda ST3000DM001). Note: I first tried putting the 3TB disk into an SATA USB enclosure, so I could transfer the data before opening up the iMac, but I found out the some of the older USB enclosures don't work with >2TB disks.

Jeff D, · Reply

The grid won't fall off by itself. You'll have to help it. Use the smallest screwdriver you have; the Torx 6 worked fine for me. It should enter in one of the many holes composing the grid. Use it as a lever to ploy the grid a little bit. You may catch it with your fingers and that's it.

Be carefull not to damage the hole by a too strong leverage.

Laurent, · Reply

A good alternative to the two heavy duty suction cups is a regular household plunger.

Russell Knight, · Reply

I would strongly suggest taping the screws down on a piece of paper towel or cloth in the same order you take them out, as there are different lengths in no particular order and they don't all fit into just any hole. Unless you keep track of which hole each screw belongs, there is no other way of knowing. I stress taping because I didn't tape mine down and after bumping the table I was working on they scattered, leaving me to guess.

Len, · Reply

Even better, use an ice cube tray to keep the screws from each step together.

maccentric, · Reply

how about using the magnets near the screws to keep their positions?

Andy, · Reply

I use an 18 count egg carton (or two) and label each egg slot with a Sharpie. Works great.

airira, · Reply

During reinstallation of the LCD panel, be sure that the iSight microphone cable does not become trapped behind the panel.

Ocean Yamaha, · Reply

I found this to be the most frustrating thing to remove out of everything under the hood. I had to have my wife use her skinny, smaller fingers to jimmy it up, but the tape kept pulling up and separating from the connector. I was worried that I was pulling in the wrong direction (what do I know about logic boards?) and that the tab was going to come off as it is slick tape. She eventually got it, but she did have to use some force. If you don't have a set of skinny fingers, just be patient and use a little force. I think the instructions should tell you to pull straight UP on the black tab, rather than 'away from the logic board', for those of us that don't really understand the technical components/guts of a computer. Honestly, my wife knows less than I do, but she could have done this as easily as me.

Len, · Reply

Some extra tools I found to be invaluable in this whole process was canned air (used for keyboards and office dust), a microfiber cloth (preferably the one that came with your iMac if you still have it, but you can get these almost anywhere these days)and one of those soft foam monitor covers to put over the monitor while your friend is holding it up (a soft sheet or towel might work too). If your computer is a few years old like mine, there will be a considerable amount of dust that you will want to clear out (and will fly everywhere anyway). Once you cleared that out and replace the hard drive, wait until you've got the bezel and screws back on before using the canned air and microfiber cloth to make sure all dust and lint is clear of the monitor. This is where the second person will come in handy again. They can wipe while you spray. Get your glass top with suction cups still attached ready and wipe that with the cloth and air as well. While your friend does one last wipe of the glass and then the monitor, put the glass on as soon as possible so no more lint or dust falls onto the monitor. I did this and the monitor looks as beautiful and clear as the day I bought the iMac. It is truly a brilliant and beautiful design by Apple and LG.

Len, · Reply

I did a HD replacement on my 24 inch iMac. It's mostly the same, but it does not have disconnectable inverter cables. Instead, there's a single cable that can't be disconnected. It sits too tight to rotate the display to the degree that you can lean it against something, so the only way to get the job done was to call in an extra set of hands to hold the display while I took out the hard drive.

Marijn, · Reply

I'm almost sure by HD you meant HDD (Hard disc drive).

Charles Hess,

As Marijn said, there are no disconnectable inverter cables on the 24" iMac, just a single thick cable in the middle of the back that is heavily taped with black electrical tape. I imagine you could remove that and retape, but it seems like it would be more trouble than it's worth. There is definitely enough clearance for someone else to hold the monitor up and away from the hard drive. For this reason, I would not attempt to replace the hard drive on a 24" without another person to help. The monitor is not heavy, and it doesn't take a ton of time to remove the old hard drive. It would also help if one of you has skinny fingers ;-).

Len, · Reply

Mark them before unplugging so you can reconnect them the right way when reinstalling!

Dirk Simons, · Reply

On the 24" iMac, the single inverter cable can be easily disconnected from the back of the LCD panel after peeling back some of the thin black plastic film. It is not necessary to disconnect the panel if you have four hands, but sure makes the job easier.

Geoff Shepherd, · Reply

sh******t I didn't mark the connectors and now I don't know how to plug them back. I'm doomed ! any trick to identify them ?

cheers

Julien Waroux, · Reply

Same here. What did you do? Try them both ways?

Leon Wagner,

I honestly didn't find the spudger to be necessary for most of this replacement. It is a nice little tool that makes one or two steps easier, but it is far from necessary. I imagine an old stylus you may have laying around would do just as good a job. I would definitely suggest putting the iMac on it's stand straight up to remove the hard drive bracket from it's post, as it sits very tightly in there. I found it popped out a LOT easier on it's stand than laying down, which was next to impossible. You do have to do some careful manuevering with your partner in order to accomplish this, but it's worth it. Take it slow.

Len, · Reply

There was no tape on the drive you sent me...

andymcdonell, · Reply

Quote from andymcdonell:

There was no tape on the drive you sent me...

Transfer the piece of foam tape from the old drive to your new drive. If it is no longer sticky, it is fine to use a strip of electrical or duct tape to hold the foam tape down against the drive.

Andrew Bookholt, · Reply

I found these instructions to be a little unclear. What you are looking at after removing the foam, is a bracket that is basically holding down the thermal sensor at the end of those wires coming out(which you can't see because it's UNDER the bracket). I found the bracket to be fairly easy to just pull up and off. The spudger (or even a tiny flathead screwdriver) can easily accomplish this if it's glued on tight. Once the bracket comes off, the thermal sensor is freed, and in my case fell away from the bracket. Just try to keep those pieces together in the order they came off. Fortunately, as easy as the bracket came off, it was easily pushed back onto the new hard drive with no trouble at all. The foam was pretty sticky still as well, although I had to double tape one side of it to secure it over the bracket.

Len, · Reply

Make sure you don't forget this step! I forgot this step, got everything back together, then had to take it all apart again to affix this! Not fun. That said, the second time went MUCH faster, and I found myself appreciating this design a lot more. It is much less daunting now, and is much easier than upgrading the RAM in a Mac Mini.

Len, · Reply

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