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As devices get thinner and lighter, designers are running out of places to put simple repair access ports. Increasingly, they are dual-purposing the LCD of a computer as the access point. With just a flat, featureless piece of glass as your entry port, you need suction for a safe grip.
Tech Specs ¶
Cup Diameter: 2.25 inches
Max Load: 15 lbs each
Height: 2 inches
Weight: .57 lbs
April 16, 2014
April 15, 2014
I wanted to squeeze a few more years out of this computer as it fit my needs very well, and the 24" screen size is just right for my office. The only problem was that my iMac seemed sluggish compared to my 2010 MacBook Pro which I had upgraded with a SanDisk Extreme SSD 2 years before. That upgrade was game-changing and made my laptop feel like a new computer! I worried that the upgrade to my iMac might be more of a challenge than I had bargained for, but I gathered my courage and decided to take the plunge by replacing the rarely used optical drive with a 480GB SanDisk SSD Extreme II, which was on sale at Amazon for $259.
Everything went very well except for two issues.
The biggest of the two problems I encountered was that the original optical drive enclosure mounting holes did not align properly with the 12.7 mm SATA optical bay drive enclosure I purchased from iFixIt. What should have been easy-peasy took me almost a half hour to get only 3 of the 4 screws into the enclosure. I satisfied myself that it was "good enough", but I was very disappointed that the drive enclosure was that far off. The otherwise excellent guide stops at removing the drive enclosure and removing the optical drive. There is no advice regarding any modification that may or may not be necessary to reinstall it or what to do if the screw holes don't align with the one provided by iFixIt.
For the record, I checked that the iFixIt enclosure was installed correctly and mounted correctly in the original optical drive bay. The screw holes were just off and as described above, making the mounting screws almost impossible to reinstall.
The other issue was reinstalling the power supply cable. Disconnecting it the way the guide suggested was straightforward
Use an icecube tray to keep the screws, pieces of tape, thermal sensors et al in place while you work. It makes reinstallation a snap!
If you can't get to the power supply connector during reassembly, loosen or remove the four screws that hold the power supply in place, lift it just enough to snap the connector back in place, then reinstall the 4 screws that hold it in place.
Buy a can of compressed air and carefully blow out all of the accumulated dust from the motherboard, fans, etc. Your computer will run cooler and you'll add years to it's life by making sure it's as dust free as possible. Accumulated dust makes components run hotter and fail sooner. Taking this rare opportunity to clean it with compressed air is something to take advantage of during the upgrade.
Be sure to thoroughly clean the display screen and the cover glass with something like ScreenKleen during reassembly. You don't want a fingerprint, smudge or piece of dust to be on it or you'll see it every time you turn on the computer!
April 14, 2014
Hard disk failed after 5 years of hard work.
The repair went so easy. I confess that my worries were much bigger than the problem.
Well, the enlightenment came from IFIXIT of course. The step by step guide made it so easy to replace the HD that in less than an hour my IMac was back in business, provided that i had a clone on my dead HD.
April 7, 2014
I had an '07 iMac and for various reasons (free upgrade, iCloud, iWork, etc.) I upgraded from 10.6 Snow Leopard to 10.9 Mavericks. While they are compatible, 10.9 slowed my machine down quite a bit. I was considering buying a new machine, but I feel like this one still has some life left in it. It still had the stock 250GB HD and given how Mavericks uses the hard drive I figured a 2TB upgrade would help improve the speed. It's a much smaller investment and if it didn't help it would at least make the iMac more 'sellable' to help pay for a new machine. It ended up being just the trick. The machine now feels as fast as it did with Snow Leopard installed.
I've upgraded many Macs and this was one of the easiest. A newer iMac might have been trickier with the front glass glued in place, but the suction cups opened this one up as easily as a G3 tower. Some people said suction cups weren't necessary, but they were totally worth it. The whole thing went so fast I forgot to take any pictures! My only obstacle was the T6. I thought I had one, but it was a T5. I only needed it for two screws so Murphy's law said one of them was the screw that would be nice and tight. I ended up sacrificing my T5 by filing the tip of the tapered bit off, essentially making it a T6/T7-ish bit (T6.5?). After that everything went very smoothly. I was upgraded, reassembled, and restoring from a Time Machine backup in about 20 minutes. Counting clearing off my desk and the T6 obstacle, the whole thing took about 40 minutes.
I had an extra pill case with a compartment for each day of the week. I used it to hold the screws as a went along with one compartment for each step. Made it much easier to go backwards for reassembly. I also worked with the iMac on it's back and the top of the screen facing me. I think this actually made it easier to remove the hard drive this way by just bracing my fingers and using my thumbs the release the drive. Of course, it also meant all the pictures in the guide were 'upside-down,' but I managed to find a everything. Having the guide on display on my iPad really helped.
April 3, 2014
Machine at a university with the hard drive failing (would not install OSX 10.9). Do a memory upgrade at the same time.
No problems - the glass is awfully thin though and it would be nice to know it was held by magnets.... Took less than an hour.
Maybe swap around steps 6 and 7 as the display data cable is shorter than the LED backlight cable. Use a magnetic tipped screwdriver as the screws holding down the display can quite easily fall into the unit. I magnetised mine using the magnets holding the glass.
April 3, 2014
April 1, 2014
March 26, 2014
So one day our iMac (2007) decided it just didn't want to respond to us anymore. The backup didn't work, the music files were all missing, and it was very slow. We took it into the Apple store to have them look at it, and low and behold, the hard drive had suffered physical irreparable crash an needed to be replaced. The options were to send it off somewhere where they would have charges us $100 just to look at it plus $50 an hour and replacement parts... Or if it myself. I build PCs for fun, so I decided to try to fix it, the I was directed to iFixit where I saw all the tutorials if ever need.
After we got the parts in, my wife and I started working at it. Of course it was a lot for difficult than I had hoped, but her small hands came is handy (pun intended). I almost put things back together wrong several times, but each time managed to fix the problem. It was hard, but it worked!
Honestly there Gould be instructions to put things back together. Just going in reverse misses things that are important, like te microphone wire and the chassis assembly.
March 25, 2014
Original Seagate HDD failed. Yes, I got a recall notice in 2012, and put off the repair until it was too late to get it done for free in early 2013. So ... it had been working fine anyway. What's to worry about?
Nevertheless, I reviewed the iFixit EMC 2308 HDD replacement guide a year ago and printed it out.
On a Monday morning, bootup failed -- no disk recognized, etc. It's dead, Jim.
Called my loyal son, who did time as a repair tech, to confirm my diagnosis and to ask about the possibility there were other things wrong. Don't worry about those other things, he said -- the odds are astronomical. Time to order a replacement drive and the tools to resurrect the computer.
The repair went pretty much as described in the replacement guide. An easy hour's work at a deliberately slow pace to triple-check every step.
1) Placed the suction cups and tugged a little with no release of the magnets. I took one of the guitar picks and used it to pry a little in tandem with the suction cups, and it let go easily. Placed the glass on sheets of waxed paper in hopes of avoiding the dreaded dust issues.
2) Removing the display's hold-downs went smoothy. Pulling the screws and having some of them fly straight to the magnets presaged challenges with re-assembly.
3) It's nice to have small hands. Clearances for disconnecting four cables are quite tight, even for me.
4) Removing the drive itself was a piece of cake. Marked the thermal sensor cable, though on this drive it can only be inserted one way.
5) Putting in the new drive was also a piece of cake.
6) Re-assembly was also smooth.
7) Buttoning things up? Not so smooth. Replacing the display's hold-down screws was like trying to control a live Ouija Board -- the magnets pulled both screw and Torx driver every which way. Braced right hand against case to control the driver, and held screws with braced left hand and tweezers: success!
8) Worked, like, really really hard to clear dust from display and glass.
9) Reinstalled glass, powered up, restored from 36-hour-old Time Machine backup. It's alive!
Even if you rent a clean room, it may be well-nigh impossible to completely avoid annoying dust. (I'm told Apple's repair centers aren't successful at preventing this.) I wound up with an eyebrow hair in the void between display and glass -- must have frowned too much while doing the work.
Don't be shy about attempting this repair: Despite having done drive and other component swaps on a number of previous computers (dating back to XT clones in the early 1990s, running through four previous Apple boxes, a Toshiba laptop -- nightmare install -- and a simple Dell laptop), this one intimidated me. I guess the machined aluminum and glass shell makes things look all high tech and complicated. The guide was clear, and the process had no major hard spots other than magnetic pull on screws and tools.
Do regular backups! I've been religious about weekly backups in recent years, and it made my life better this past week. Now I'll be running them daily.
Keep serial numbers: Most everything restored perfectly from Time Machine, but MS Office demanded fresh authorization. Grrr.
Be patient: Once all is running, it seems like forever before the software and file restoration is finished. Read a book or something. The first Time Machine backup after restoration looks like it will take weeks, but somewhere in the process it wakes up and finishes quickly.
March 23, 2014
After owning an iMac for 5-6 years, the hard drive had filled up, and the times required to boot and open applications were very slow.
Ordered up the parts for RAM and hard drive upgrades from iFixit and followed the online instructions, referring back to the video guides as necessary. This took me essentially a full working day -- not the replacement of the physical parts, but the restoration of the software/the desktop. The steps involved in the latter were not intuitive and took lots of poking around the Internet to find what I needed. Nonetheless, I got there in the end.
As you go through any procedure in iFixit, follow instructions closely, improvise where you feel you can get away with it, and use Google frequently as you restore your system after replacing physical components.