iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

Replace the hard drive on your iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389.

Use this guide to replace or upgrade your hard drive.

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Edit Step 1 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.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Edit Step 3 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.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • 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).

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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

  • If your fan is spinning full speed after completion, check this connection or the hard drive's thermal sensor cable.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Edit Step 10 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 9 mm T10 Torx screws securing the upper hard drive bracket to the outer case.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Slightly rotate the hard drive out of the outer case and lift it up off its mounting pins toward the top edge of the iMac.

  • Be careful not to contact the AirPort card as you lift the hard drive out of its recess.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the SATA data cable and SATA power connector from their respective sockets by pulling each connector away from the hard drive.

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Edit Step 14 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Before disconnecting the thermal sensor cable, take note of its orientation. It is extremely important to reinstall the connector in the current orientation so the fans will not run at full speed. If you have multiple pins on your replacement hard drive, put the connector closest to the SATA connections and closest to the PCB board.

  • Disconnect the hard drive thermal sensor cable from the hard drive.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Remove the two T8 Torx screws securing the upper bracket to the hard drive.

  • Remove the upper bracket from the hard drive.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel off the piece of EMI foam attached to the front of the hard drive.

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

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

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock


$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups (Pair)

$14.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

1 TB 7200 RPM 3.5" Hard Drive

$99.95 · 7 In stock

3 TB 3.5" Hard Drive

$159.95 · 5 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

I went through all the steps and now when I attempt to boot, I hear the apple chime, but I get nothing on screen.

I thought this might have to do with a loose cord, but when I reattached the suspect cord (the display data cable) it did not resolve the problem.

Anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing the display to malfunction?

Monty, · Reply

I had this problem as well, caused by a small cable coming from the display. It is a Sync Cable with a small 2 Pin Molex connector, and it popped up and got hidden when I removed the display, which caused me to forget to re-attach it during reassembly.


Question for capone99: where did this cable come from? Was it one of the five specified for unplugging in this guide? Or are you saying it came loose by itself during installation?


In step 14, the Apple connector for the hard drive has a locking mechanise that doesn't fit most replacement hard drives. I got an identical hard drive that doesn't have a provision for the connector. A little bit of shaving or filing of the plastic connector did the trick.

mercadoamiel, · Reply

I want to use a (WD20EARX) 2TB hard drive which does NOT have a socket matching the old hard drive for the thermal sensor plug, but rather 8 jumper pins. Can I use this drive as a replacement, and if so what do I do about the thermal sensor?

Robert, · Reply

I replaced my hard drive Samsung 1TB. I put a Seagate Barracuda 1TB instead.

I had the problem of thermal sensor that was not adapted to Seagate. I cut it in half cutter, I connect and everything works perfectly.

castusfrancois, · 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,

Do not try to pull the plug off the circuit board as it's soldered. Pull the cable sideways out of the socket.

Alex Campbell, · Reply

This cable is very short, I would remove it before any of the others. First time I did this, I didn't realize this and this cable just popped out of it's socket. Luckily, the board wasn't damaged.

maccentric, · Reply

i damaged my (step7) cable, and my iMac screen won't work, how to fix this?

Ersan Rasubala, · Reply

I did the same thing. The pins are VERY easy to bend. I replaced it with a new cable from this company.

Waiting for it to arrive.


I don't think this is necessary, I'd just leave it since you're removing the other end from the drive.

maccentric, · Reply

Instead of trying to not hit the Airport card, spend 10 seconds to unscrew the one screw, pull it out of the socket and set it aside.

maccentric, · Reply

You change pictures here and don't specify which hard drive you have. The picture before that shows a different hard drive with a different jumper block. The 13th step shows a 8 pin block but 14 shows a 8 pin block. When reassembling the jumper setting is important for the fan setting.

djhighrise, · Reply

If you're referring to the thermal sensor cable, it's eight-pin, and you don't change it out: the new HD takes the cable from the old one.


I replaced the original HD, Western Digital WD5000AAKS, with an updated version, Western Digital 500 GB wd5000aakX. The connector on the thermal sensor cable is incompatible: there is an extra bit of plastic sticking out up top, and minuscule projections at each corner of the face, and the AAKX doesn't have the notch to adapt for it. I personally chopped it off with a cleaver and melted the offending corners, and it fits fine. But you must be prepared to do this if you order the AAKX.

lewisthegreat, · Reply

my fan is running at full speed but the cable is connected in the same orientation as it was at the old hdd. i have replaced mit 500gb WD with a 1TB WD. the lcd thermal sensor is pluged in, too.

x4re, · Reply

The connector on the thermal sensor cable is also incompatible to my new HD, exactly like lewisthegreat reported, with the extra bit of plastic. I left it unplugged. I can hear the fans but they do not run at full speed. The screen doesn't light up either and the chime doesn't play. I made sure I connected all cables from the LCD to the computer a bunch of times (there are only three plus the thermal sensor, right?). Will leaving the HD thermal sensor unplugged really prevent my computer from starting? Thanks.

Amanda, · Reply

Sounds like things may not have gotten connected properly. You can get rid of the extra piece of plastic for the thermal sensor cable.

Scott Dingle,

The cable for the Seagate Hard drive is different then the cable from the Samsung drive I pulled out. If I replace with thermal cable with a 922-9216 cable for the Seagate - will everything work? I did not see an option to order a Samsung drive from this website - did I miss something?

michaelrenoch, · Reply

You need to replace your Samsung drive with another Samsung. Unfortunately we do not sell Samsung drives.

Scott Dingle,

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