iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Hard Drive replacement.

Upgrade your hard drive for more storage space!

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Edit Step 1 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • 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 (as highlighted in the second picture).

  • While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle (as highlighted by the third picture).

  • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a damp soft, lint-free cloth. (Dampen with distilled water, and if needed, an equal ratio of distilled water and white vinegar for best results.)

  • Do not use the suction cups to carry the display glass.

  • The original iMac box makes a good place to store the glass panel.

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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 T10 Torx screws securing the LCD to the outer case.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Carefully lay the iMac stand-side down on a flat surface.

  • Due to tight tolerances, you will have to use a thin hooked tool to lift the display out of the outer case. As seen in the third picture, we made one out of a bent paperclip.

  • Use a thin hooked tool to lift one side of the top edge of the display by its steel outer frame.

  • After lifting the top edge of the display on one side, hold it out of the outer case while you use a hooked tool to lift the other side. A pencil or pen can be placed under the top edge of the display, parallel to the top edge and extending past the edge of the computer, to keep the first side propped up while lifting the second.

  • Do not lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case too far, as several short ribbon cables still connect the two components.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Use a pair of tweezers to pull the vertical sync ribbon cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

  • On some iMacs this may not be a ribbon cable but four separate, very fine and very fragile wires. Be very careful, if the tweezers slip off the plug, you will very likely pull a wire out of the assembly.

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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.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Squeeze the two display data cable connector arms together to unlock it from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Lift the display for enough clearance to 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. The thermal sensor connector socket is very fragile, so be very careful when you connect back the 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.

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Edit Step 10 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 thermal sensor, SATA power, and SATA data cables by pulling their connectors away from the sockets on the hard drive.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 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 away from the outer case.

  • Lift the hard drive off its two lower positioning pins and remove it from the outer case.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • 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 14  ¶ 

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

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • 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 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$6.95 · 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 · 6 In stock

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

While putting the system back together, I recommend untaping and removing the vertical sync cable from the back of the led screen. Plug it back into the LED Driver board and then into the back of the screen. Reapply the tape and continue reassembling as normal. It is far easier to plug it back into the screen than into the driver board through such a small gap.

Evan, · Reply

My hd failed and i used this guide to replace it with the same model. The problem i'm stuck with now is installing os x again. The installation starts and goes on for a while, while the hard drive makes a weird clicking noise. Then randomly the installation fails and asks to try again. I've done this ten times now.

I'm not here to rant though, i've some useful tips as well.

Instead of buying suction cups, i used a vacuum cleaner inserted into the back of a plastic container to create more pressure per inch. Also used duct tape on edges of the container to create more friction and not damage the glass. Although later i noticed you could wedge the sharp edge of a knife between the glass and the case and widen the gap with a fingernail, then pull the glass out completely.

A note when you're buying screw drivers... The ones with the interchangeable bits won't reach the screws on the lcd, so be prepared to fiddle with strips of paper and screws falling into the sides!

nav, · Reply

I'm supposing my SSD will go before my HDD, but either way this doesn't look like the inside of my 27" iMac. Help?

Thomas Donaghey, · Reply

A partir de l'étape 5, mettre un baton qui sert de cale pour soutenir l'ecran, pas la peine d'enlever les autres connecteurs. Moins de 8 minutes pour le deuxieme Imac que j'ai fait. Apple compte 4 heures de main d'oeuvre...Je n'ai fait que le changement du Disque dur interne sur 2 imac 27 mid 2010. Vraiment à la porté de tous. Une ventouse en haut au centre de la vitre suffit. Rajouter un aimant sur le tournevis torx pour faciliter la remise en place des vis.

docteurfrankenstine, · Reply

I wanted to add a quick note to this after completing my HDD replacement.

As I was going though my reinstall of the OS I got an hardware error because of the disconnected special cable that apparently is used for the fan controls as mentioned in other posts here. Everything works fine though because I took the advice upfront to install HDD Fan Control. Until I installed HDD Fan Control the fans did rev up faster than normal. But it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting or had heard/read. Once installed it took over the fans perfectly. I tweaked the defaults speeds a bit and off I went to restore my data.

I can't thank you all enough for sharing your wealth of information. The breakdown of the iMac and replacement went perfectly due to all the information and additional notes of experience. Thanks. I look forward to doing more repairs now, instead of dreading them.

James Brynildsen, · Reply

I MADE IT!!! thank you very much for this! You saved me a lot of money!! 400 euros actually for just replacing the hard drive. Thank you!!!

Stavros Chatzidakis, · Reply

I had a spudger - which was of great help getting the display off, and also in guiding the scews in when reassembling - the magneic clips on the display were annoyingly grabbing the screws, and the spudger made all the difference in keeping them from adhering to the nearest magnet.

Also - when levering out the display, instead of the corners, I found one of the steel tabs holding the magnets at the top was easier to lever out a little and then get ahold of.

Another tip - if you can, when you lay this flat, do so such that the base of the mac is facing away from you, and get some good directional lighting - a desk lamp, right into where you will be disconnecting/reconnecting the fiddly display wires. The HDD is a doddle once the display is off.

dannystaple, · Reply

See this explanation for thermal sensor issues: http://www.hddfancontrol.com/imac-hard-d...

Apple uses proprietary thermal sensing firmware included on drives they ship - if you install a stock drive you'll need to install this software - or something else - to use the standard heat sensing system on most drives.

I followed this guide with a 2011 iMac and ended up with my fan pegged at 4000rpm - I installed the HDD Fan Control software and it instantly went back to normal.

Sam Mateosian, · Reply

Why does my iMac look nothing like he one in the pictures? It's a late 2009 27 in, but the screen does not go all the way to edge.. there's metal in the way..

ashkaan, · Reply

You can use a free alternative to the insanely expensive HDD Fan Control :

http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/

It works out of the box. No tweaks or strange things. And it costs nothing (it's donationware).

teresa, · Reply

Switching from 1TB HD to 500GB SSD like a charm - warning : SSD desktop kit required. I highly recommend using softwares as SSD Fan Control and TRIM Enabler in order to get your iMac SSD capable.

Simon DESVERGEZ, · Reply

This guide was a perfect step-by-step and if you follow it you will have a successful repair. I replaced the internal hard drive and my mac is up and running again perfect! Thank you Ifixit!

Frank Gorora, · Reply

In this guide, the first step should be to identify which make of drive is currently installed. If it's Seagate, install a Seagate drive. Ditto WD or Hitachi. I have one that's got the Seagate cable and I am putting in a 2TB SSHD and will report back on if I have the fan issue.

jtowner, · Reply

After upgrading RAM, I recently added a new harddrive to replace the original rumbling 1Gb Seagate. I installed one of the new hybrid drives from Seagate (in this case 2TB) and it is not only very fast but almost silent. I can certainly recommend it. No Fan issues if you install the cables carefully.

Graham Callaway, · Reply

I used this guide to the letter, and everything worked perfectly for me. I bought all my supplies from iFixit- the suction cups, the hard drive, even the 54 bit Driver kit. The long narrow screw driver in the kit made it easy to remove the screws. I guess the only thing I had to supply was the paper clip and the screen cleaner. I was really glad this guide was here to help me fix my $2000 anchor when my hard drive crashed.

elementkim, · Reply

This is a great guide; I have a comment for the lazy/fearful. What I did is installed Mac OS on an external drive (LaCie Firewire), plugged it in the back, and that has become my hard drive. I'm sure it's slower than it should be, but works just fine for my needs (telecommuting, streaming media, internet, etc.). The old, dead hard drive is still stuck inside the iMac, and there it will remain...

E Law, · Reply

Does anyone have any techniques or recommendations for how to make sure you get ALL the dust off the screen before putting the glass back on?

The only aspect of this entire installation process that I'm worried about is that I'll somehow damage the bare panel while the glass is off, or I'll get contaminants in there.

Obviously canned air is at the ready.

Great guide!

dreamstateseven, · Reply

Thank you, iFixit. Without the guide I wouldn't have a nice new SSD in my late 2009 iMac. One suggestion. It would help a LOT if each step in all the guides that involves a connector showed or described how the connector is to be disconnected. For those of us not familiar with all the different kinds, it's sometimes NOT obvious whether to pull UP or OUT, whether or not there is a lock release of some sort, etc. The LCD thermal sensor cable connector (Step 10) was particularly tough, because it is small and the wires are thin and it would be easy to break them (it pulls toward the end where the wires exit the connector, but use something to grab the connector, rather than pulling on the wires!)

Brian, · Reply

Great guide. I followed it but found after removing the logic board there was no secondary sata port!!! Either way I hooked up the original hard drive to power and temp sensor to stop the fan spin up and used the sata for the SSD so works great. One problem! My sound is now greyed out? Any physical reason for this? When the imac powers on it makes a sound but no sounds in Mac OS. I feel it must be physical not software related.

Damian Wright, · Reply

the optical replacement caddy is required in order to fit an SSD as the SATA connector which plugs into the optical drive is smaller and will not naturally fit your SSD!! I couldn't see this mentioned in this guide.

Also to confirm I ended up replacing the main hard drive with a SanDisk 256GB Extreme II drive and to prevent the constant fan noise problem if you fit a spare 2pin thermal sensor by unplugging the original hard drive sensor it does actually work! I managed to salvage a spare thermal sensor from an old iMac from the optical drive and plugged it in and it works a treat!!

j74656, · Reply

If you are looking to replace the existing factory fitted hard drive with an SSD and you have a 2 pin thermal sensor - like one out of an old iMac's optical drive unit (or a spare ordered online) you can easily use this and replace the factory fitted hard drive thermal sensor. Be very careful as this connector can be fragile but place the replacement thermal sensor on top of your SSD and secure down with sticky tape. Works a treat! The iMac's fan's do not spin at full speed and you don't need any software to control the fan speed. The iMac is truly fooled :-)

j74656, · Reply

You can easily lift the glass panel off the magnets with only your fingernails (or something thin like a credit card or a guitar pick). No need to buy suction cups you will only use once.

Nick Caron, · Reply

Yes, you don't need the specific suction cups to remove the display cover - it's held on by magnets, and if you start at the center by the iSight you can work out to the edges and remove it. I had an iPhone screen suction cup around and it helped with balancing the screen when you pull it out fully, but by no ways is it required.

jtowner, · Reply

Great guide and pretty straight forward the only thing that took me ages and I didn't manage to undo were the power btn cable (step 28) and the thermal sensor (step 25) Seemed like they were glued on! Very difficult to remove and obviously conscious so I didn't break anything!

Eddie, · Reply

Thanks!!! Worked excellently.

I used a plunger (clean first ;-) to get the screen off, and http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/ for fan control.

Then, i did not take out the whole display and left it in the hinges on the bottom side and held it up with two small cardboard boxes. Easy enough to disconnect the hdd then.

I replaced with an ssd, put that into a ssd enclosure. Had to drill an extra hole in it to fasten the pins that hold it in place.

Used Carbon Copy Cloner to make an image from the old hdd, with the sad connected via usb. Checked it of it booted via System Preferences > Startup Disk. It worked so the took the imac apart and replaced the disk. Booted, everything was working as always, only faster!

Frank303, · Reply

I'm replacing my optical drive too. what exactly needs to be plugged into the SSD? I don't have the kit - as I am not sure one is required if I buy something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056OB...

Can you please advise? Can I do it with this piece, or do I need to get the entire bracket kit?

Allen Borza,

you should do this mac up, because, for me, one of the suction cup failed, and the glass fall into the lcd screen. Now there is a big hole in it...

Lau, · Reply

Be careful not to lose these screws when they are unthreaded. Use tweeters to grab them before removing the Torx driver.

Gavin McMorrow, · Reply

To prevent screws close to the magnets to leave your screwdriver, use a straw to encapsulate your screws. This is especially useful when putting them back. See pictures for details: http://cjoint.com/?CLCpN1nmK4M and http://cjoint.com/?CLCpOy6aF9G

Marc66, · Reply

I had a friend with me so all I did was disconnect the vertical sync ribbon cable, and I had my friend hold up the LCD for a couple of minutes as I swapped out my HDD with an SSD, thus avoiding steps 6-9 and going straight to step 10.

Gabe, · Reply

Can I purchase this cable separately?

mamedovmarat, · Reply

After removing the display, I noticed a high pitched whine coming from the machine, different loudness for different levels of display brightness. Reading up on it, it seems that the problem is with the vertical sync cable (and this is a well-known issue with Apple with new machines, too). So be careful when reinserting this cable!

Adam Hintz, · Reply

I noticed that the vertical sync cable seems to have been updated since the guide was produced. It now has a more normal plug and socket and 'regular' wires instead of the flat ribbon cable shown here. I used narrow nosed pliers instead of tweezers to unclip it as I was afraid that just pulling on the wires could have broken them.

Eoin, · Reply

WARNING: Take extreme care when removing these wires as mine were not a ribbon cable but individual tiny wires. I removed them cautiously with tweezers OK but when re-inserting, one of the wires came off. Obviously someone had been in here before.

Peter Sinclair, · Reply

be sure to keep this cable, because it does not come with a new display!

Julian, · Reply

I changed the HD yesterday and when I reinstalled the Display I had the same problem then Peter Sinclair. I started to panic first. But then I reinstalled the Pannel without re-insterting the cable at all and nevertheless my iMac works perfectly since 14 hours now. I'm really confused!

muggooz, · Reply

My vertical sync ribbon cable had two of the four contacts bent back, it may even have been like this originally. I straightened them out as best I could under a magnifying glass, and after reinserting, everything is working OK. Seems this cable is not particularly critical. Also, I used needle nose pliers for this and the other connectors, I can't get enough grip with tweezers.

Andrew Crabb, · Reply

Tweezers didn't work for me due to the angle and lack of grip (they kept slipping and I was concerned about squeezing any harder). I just used my fingers to grab the connector as close to the connection as possible for both removal and insertion and it worked just fine. I have big hands and meaty fingers, so this method should work fine for anyone.

David, · Reply

Step 7 MAY be better done prior to Step 6. 7's cord comes tight before there is enough lift room to get to Step 6's plug in my opinion.

Gavin McMorrow, · Reply

Maybe it's just me but I couldn't see how to unclip this. It felt like it should just be a case of squeezing both sides and then pulling, but it was so stuck I was concerned about damaging it.

If anyone has a little more detail on this step it'd be useful.

Chris, · Reply

The connector has a simple locking mechanism, essentially a ridge on the top where the thumb is placed in the picture. If you push down gently there the latch raises and you can pull the cable out.

Rob Purcell, · Reply

I just spent 100€ at the Mac shop to learn this: when reattaching the display data cable be sure you get the ends right. Even if the cable fits perfectly the other way round, the computer won't even start.

Julian, · Reply

NOTE!  The internal video connector on the logic board is quite fragile - proceed with extra care when disconnecting. There are many postings of Mac users who have broken the display connector and are then left with quite a challenging proposition to replace it. Here is the link to one such thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.p....

thorjurgen, · Reply

Be very very careful when you pull out this plug as it is extremely fragile and also reattaching the LCD thermal sensor plug and very very gently ensure that the pins are actually going into the connector before you push the plug in. i damaged the top part of the plastic housing which then made it difficult to insert the plug into the connector. I can't believe how easy it was to damage this connector!! If you don't attach the LCD thermal sensor plug correctly the Mac fans will go crazy at full speed. It took a good 15 minutes to get the pins to finally go into the plug and they can bend easily.

j74656, · Reply

I just put a 2 TB WD (WD2001FASS) Black in a 27″ iMac. I had issues with the hard drive fan staying on and the system showing the thermal sensor wasn't working. I tried the pin a number of ways but I finally figured out I had to have the connector closest to the SATA connection and the black wire had to be on the board side (toward the LCD).

philomathius, · Reply

Note that the thermal sensor cable is no longer present on the mid-2011 iMac.

Robert Slifka, · Reply

Speaking of the thermal sensor, I just bought 2 2tb internal HDD (Hitachi Deskstar 3.5 and a seagate barracuda green) and both of them have different thermal sensors. Baraccuda is 4 pin, and Hitachi is 2 pin. the pics of the stock western dig looks like it has 6 pins, from a video I saw online of this. I want to trade out my hard rive myself, but I don't want to #$&@ it up, so any suggestions or comments would be greatly appriciated ( I have a 2007 27in 2.66 i5)

William Evans,

I put a 1.5 TB seagate barracuda in (before that there was a 1 TB seagate barracuda). but my fans stay on 4000 rpm. the connector in my machine can only go in one way, so i can't change connections like Philomathius wrote. the connection on the drive is the same: 4 pins, the cable has only 2.

peter, · Reply

This step is somewhat important if you want to use the thermal sensory with a multiple pin style drive. My comment is to just read the instructions a few times before and make sure you use the two pins that are in the top row on the side of the SATA cable.

mike, · Reply

I hate to say this guys, because this guide is really well put together and has been helpful, but I am a little furious at the fact that I bought the recommend Western Digital HDD #WD10EZEX to replace in my mums iMac and the HDD doesn't even have a port to fit the thermal sensor pins in. It just has 8 pins for inserting a jumper. After finishing the process and fitting the new HDD it doesn't even notice that it's there upon boot. I can't see it being an issue with the iMac (however I will now have to take it apart again just to confirm and troubleshoot) but why would you recommend something that doesn't fit the bill?

.

Speechless.

.

If this an error on my behalf and anyone could help I would be very grateful, otherwise I'll have to sell the HDD and buy another...

Rhys, · Reply

Hi Rhys,

That HD should work great. If it's not showing up at all then there is another issue in play. Most of the older WD drives had a cutout for the jumper cable. The new ones don't so just remove the extra clip on the iMac's thermal sensor cable.

Scott Dingle,

The best solution for the Thermal Sensor issue is to use a 2N3904 transistor as explained here: http://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/85991...

.

I used that exact solution yesterday and it's working like a charm: http://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/85991...

Marc66, · Reply

For solve reving HDD fan issues with SSD install, I removed the fan and a plastic barrier...

See here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252...

Gerd24, · Reply

My 27" 2374 iMac required a torx T9 to replace the hard drive bracket.

etk0770, · Reply

Shout out to a great guide! I managed to put the sensor in step 8 in upside down and the fan did indeed whirl. Got it right the second time and everything is great!

mailericla, · Reply

Many thanks for this excellent guide.

The vertical sync cable took a bit of looking at but it really does just pull out tho had to use pliers to get enough purchase. From there just propped the display up with a DVD case at each end which gave enough clearance to remove the drive. All sweet from there on in. Reinserted the sync cable ok but need to use tweezers to hold some of the case screws in place to overcome the magnets.

Rohan, · Reply

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