I am studying for a Masters in statistics and require specialised software running on windows. While attempting to complete an assignments guess what happened? Yep the HDD died. After doing all the checks it was evident that I need to replace the HDD. Fearing a $500 or more bill from Apple to do the repairs, which I knew should not cost anything like that, I started to look for alternatives. A local firm that said that they fixed Macs did not do hardware repairs, too difficult and needed specialised equipment (obviously they have not looked on the ifixit site). So I found the ifixit site. From the video it didn't look too difficult to replace the drive so I went ahead and ordered the parts. I ordered them on a Friday evening Australian time and they arrived on Tuesday morning, great service thanks. I had my Mac up and running that evening and restored from the backup soon after. I got the assignment in on time by the way.
The repair went very smoothly. The online guide was excellent and showed me clearly what to do and tips for making things easier. I have never hesitated to work on PCs before but an all in one Mac seemed a bit daunting, well it wasn't. It took me about an hour to do the whole repair. I took my time especially disassembling the Mac. How many times have I just rushed in and pulled something apart and then not able to put it back in the same way I don't know so it was careful as you go. There were a couple of fiddly little connections that took a little care to pull out and put back but it was quite straight forward. To my relief nothing exploded and everything connected as it should have. I was so wrapped up in the repair that I forgot to take any pictures, sorry.
So long as you are not the type of person who freaks out when dealing with electronic equipment there is no reason why anyone can't do this type of repair. Yes you have to be careful as there are a number of connections that you don't want to break but if you take your time and follow the guide precisely, also making sure it is the correct guide for your model, there should be no problems. Oh and make sure you have the right tools, an old butter knife will not do the job. Remember the old saying in IT "It is not if your HDD will die it is when!" For well under $200 I replaced the HDD and now have a machine that is running as good as new.