Introduction

There are many benefits to adding a second hard drive to your iMac such as improved speeds, greater storage space, and less heartache when installing new software. Use this guide to install one using our optical bay hard drive enclosure.

Image 1/1: Loosen the single Phillips screw in the center of the 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.

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

much more safer to use duct tape, instead of torx 6. (glue it along the length of the grid and pull). it will loose instantly and smooth;)

Hofmann78rus - Reply

Anyone know a guide to replace the plastic piece this screw connects to? I accidentally forgot this step - went to remove the front bezel and bent the plastic piece the access door connects to.

Jason Augustin - Reply

  • 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.

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

Russell Knight - Reply

Also, 2" wide packing tape. Maybe a 6 or 8" piece, folded in the middle to give you say, a 1-2" "handle". Make a pair of these. They look like a capital T but with a short vertical part (the handle), and a wide top I the sticky wings). Get the good 3M tape, it's strong, and it peels off clean without leaving any glue from the screen.

Barry Coyle - Reply

Image 1/1: 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.
  • 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.

  • When replacing the glass, be sure there's nothing between the glass and the frame. Stray cables could be damaged or crack the glass.

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Image 1/1: Eight 13 mm T8 Torx.
  • 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).

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

As a rule with iFixit repairs, for years I've been printing the guides, applying scotch magic tape near each picture (which allows me to reutilise the paper prints in the future), neatly putting the appropriate screw next to their picture and taping them down with scotch magic tape.

Even if I have to wait for spare parts, this allows me to neatly file the guide + screws in a copy safe and a binder (or in a cardboard filing box together with the rest of the parts) for later reassembly. Hardly any mistake possible...

Bart Van Dessel - Reply

I think the caption on the picture is wrong here for 24" iMacs - it says: "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)." I think actually bottom centre two are long, then all the rest are medium apart from the two either side of the CD/DVD drive

HBloomfield - Reply

I print out the steps. Get a roll of scotch tape ready. Every screw, or set of screws I remove, I lay on some tape, and then tape them to the number on the directions. Then you have each screw labeled, with direction, and in order, or reassembly. Just working backwards in the directions.

Barry Coyle - Reply

Image 1/2: Gently lift the front bezel from its top edge off the rear case. Image 2/2: 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.
  • 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.

Contrary to the pictures, to lift the front bezel off, start at top of the computer screen lifting up while apply a little bit of pressure to the foam in the upper corners of the screen. This will give you the leverage needed to get the bezel to lift up. Be careful to not pull to fast, as the camera cable is still attached.

armand - Reply

you'll need to add this step in all the other tutorials about iMac 20" EMC 2210, where it is missing ; they all jump from step 5 to step 6, which is a little annoying...

Armel h - Reply

Easy way to remove bezel, insert the longest screws a quarter turn into the two top most edge screw slots. Use the screws as anchors to press against as you pull the bezel toward you. Then a simple twist to remove the screws, and the rest of the bezel comes off easy.

armand - Reply

Image 1/1: For the front bezel to sit properly, be sure to tuck the microphone cable and connector into the void next to the camera board.
  • 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.

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

Ocean Yamaha - Reply

I actually didn't have to remove the cable. With the iMac laying on its back, just rotate the front bezel (bottom edge rotating around top edge) so that it's laying upside down, above the iMac. When reassembling, just rotate back into place.

Brian Tsai - Reply

Image 1/1: (located at the top of the logic board on the 24")
  • 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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Image 1/2: Use the attached black tab to pull the display data cable connector straight away from the logic board. Image 2/2: Use the attached black tab to pull the display data cable connector straight away from the logic board.
  • 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.

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

Image 1/2: Lift the display panel from its left edge and rotate it toward the right edge of the iMac. Image 2/2: Lift the display panel from its left edge and rotate it toward the right edge of the iMac.
  • 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.

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

In this step, as I lifted the display, there was also a small cord in the front, near the fan, that was connected from the display to the inside panel. As I lifted, it unplugged. Anyone know what this is and where it goes when I put it all back together? Pic of the cord I'm referring to: http://i68.tinypic.com/keubkg.jpg

shauhncy - Reply

Image 1/2: 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. Image 2/2: (combined into one plug in on the 24")
  • 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")

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 -

hold the led with my head lmao

b12amyh - Reply

You have to mark the Cables so you can reassembly them in the right order.

If you don't (like me) and go with trial and error you probably have a purple screen.

If so, you might also have been close to a heartattack… do a PRAM Reset by pressing command-Option-P-R at restart.

My iMac works fine now.

Pascal - Reply

OMG, Thank you for this comment. I didn't initially label the inverter cables either. I did a fan replacement and RAM upgrade on a friends 20" iMac and had staticy, purplish screen. I thought I'd damaged the LCD. The PRAM reset fixed the display issue. Thank you so much for this!!!

gwarren -

I have the purple screen. :( I tried the pram reset. Do I switch the inverter cable connectors first?

jaredrod - Reply

I didn't mark the cables either, and now have a gray screen. I´m doing trial and error but can't get it to work. Any tips on finding the right cables?

Marcus Svensson - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Peel the strip of EMI tape off the edge of the rear case.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the rear case.

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Image 1/1:
  • If necessary, remove the piece of tape holding the thermal sensor wires to the hard drive.

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Image 1/1: 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.
  • Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector 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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Image 1/1:
  • Lift the left edge of the optical drive slightly and pull it away from the right side of the rear case.

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Image 1/1: Twist the spudger to slightly separate the optical drive connector from the optical drive, then use your fingers to pull the connector away from the drive.
  • Insert a spudger between the optical drive connector and the optical drive.

  • Twist the spudger to slightly separate the optical drive connector from the optical drive, then use your fingers to pull the connector away from the drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the piece of foam tape covering the optical drive thermal sensor.

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Image 1/1: If the thermal sensor is stuck to the optical drive, skip to the next step.
  • To remove the optical drive thermal sensor, use the tip 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 optical drive, skip to the next step.

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Image 1/1: If the adhesive gets dirty or will not stick to your new optical drive, place some double-sided tape under the two semicircular ears of the thermal sensor bracket.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive thermal sensor bracket up off the adhesive securing it to the optical drive.

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

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Image 1/1: Don't forget to transfer this to your new drive.
  • Use a spudger to remove the small piece of EMI foam from the bottom of the optical drive.

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

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Image 1/1: Don't forget to transfer this to your new optical drive.
  • Peel the EMI tape off the optical drive.

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

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from both sides of the optical drive (four screws total).

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Image 1/1:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to press each of the optical drive bracket tabs out of their slots on the bottom of the optical drive.

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Image 1/2: Pull the optical drive bracket away from the open end of the optical drive, minding any tabs that may get caught. Image 2/2: If you have a disk or anything else stuck inside your optical drive, we have a [guide|772|guide] to fix it.
  • Rotate the optical drive bracket slightly away from the optical drive.

  • Pull the optical drive bracket away from the open end of the optical drive, minding any tabs that may get caught.

  • If you have a disk or anything else stuck inside your optical drive, we have a guide to fix it.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the three 3.0 mm Phillips #0 screws from the optical bay enclosure.

Hello, is the sata & power cabla from the mac can directly feet inside the SSD?

Roman Quenin - Reply

plug in the back of the ssd

Roman Quenin -

I'm trying to find out as well. I read elsewhere you need something like this without the bracket: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056OB...

However I have NOT confirmed this.

Allen Borza -

If I understand you correctly; the enclosure allows you to use the existing iMac optical cable. Also the enclosure allows for a safe fitting of the optical drive. In my newer machine I had to double side tape the SSD to the back of the iMac and buy a special cable. Note: this was not an optical drive replacement scenario or I would have done exactly as this tutorial suggests.

EkDor - Reply

I bought another caddy, not the one from the description. i had to extract the plastic adaptor from the optical drive and put in on the new caddy 12,7mm

Cristian Pizarro - Reply

The SDD caddy I purchased was 22 pin SATA both inside and outside so that the optical drive cable (13 pin) would not fit. Does anyone know where I can find a SDD caddy with 13 pin SATA outside for the optical cable and 22 pin SATA inside for the SDD?

benja.mcg - Reply

Image 1/3: Continue to pull open the two halves of the enclosure until they separate. Image 2/3: Continue to pull open the two halves of the enclosure until they separate. Image 3/3: Continue to pull open the two halves of the enclosure until they separate.
  • Starting from the left edge, gently pull open the optical bay enclosure.

  • Continue to pull open the two halves of the enclosure until they separate.

This is the 12.7mm caddy.. but, the caddy 9.5 mm fit fine as well? or it doesn't fit on imac mid 2010

Cristian Pizarro - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 3.0 mm Phillips #0 screws securing the faceplate to the optical bay enclosure.

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Image 1/3: You will no longer need the faceplate or the two Phillips screws that held it in place. Set those parts aside if you ever wish to put the faceplate back into the enclosure. Image 2/3: Reassemble the optical bay enclosure without the faceplate, reusing the original three 3.0 mm Phillips screws to keep it intact. Image 3/3: Reassemble the optical bay enclosure without the faceplate, reusing the original three 3.0 mm Phillips screws to keep it intact.
  • Lift the black plastic faceplate out of the optical bay enclosure.

    • You will no longer need the faceplate or the two Phillips screws that held it in place. Set those parts aside if you ever wish to put the faceplate back into the enclosure.

  • Reassemble the optical bay enclosure without the faceplate, reusing the original three 3.0 mm Phillips screws to keep it intact.

Just curious, why is it necessary to remove this black plastic faceplate from the enclosure? It doesn't appear to serve any function in or out of the enclosure.

Nic Johnson - Reply

Maybe because it would interfere with the bracket you have to put back on in step 21?

Jeff Dickson -

So I'm confused about the Optical Drive Bracket, the one that originally held the DVD-CD drive. I had an awful time remounting the kit into that bracket as the screws didn't line up correctly. I finally got everything to fit, less one of the four holding screws. Did anyone else experience this problem? I would have expected a much better alignment for this assembly considering the quality of the iFixIt site.

For the record, the upgrade went fine with a SanDisk Extreme II 480GB SSD, but that one step was next to impossible, and not covered in any detail by the instructions.

Ron Lockhart - Reply

Yep, I had exactly the same problem. The alignment was way off.

olafgoy -

My kit also did not line up correctly. I had to put all four screws in at an angle cross-threaded to mount the unit.

Kevo -

Same here. managed to get two screws in at a decent angle on one side and couldn't get the others in. Felt solid enough once I'd screwed the original ODD casing back onto the iMac.

Monkeyrebirth -

I had the same alignment problem, too. I ended up removing the rubber grommets from the plastic enclosure, widening the holes with a small file, then replacing the grommets. All four screws went in, but not in perfect alignment. Should be ok, though.

nickmalmquist -

Another possibility is the part has been designed to be used with different types of iMac and some utilise this component. In this case it apparently doesn't.

EkDor - Reply

I bought a different enclosure than the one recommended ($18 instead of $39) and it came with new screws because the old screws were too big to fit in the holes for the new enclosure.

Keith Mewis - Reply

Hi. Which enclosure did you buy? link please.

Alex -

Where did you get the alternative enclosure from?

Walter Poole -

I completed this guide last night on my iMac and it all worked great until I got to step 26 and none of the holes on the 12.7 mm PATA Optical Bay SATA Hard Drive Enclosure lined up with the black plastic faceplate. Just like what is being commented on by previous fixers, I could only get 2 screws on one side of the enclosure in, but they were crooked and unable to screw in all the way. It was crude, but it worked.

The rest of this guide works flawlessly. This is a great site!

Marc - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the plastic positioner from the optical bay hard drive enclosure by pressing in on one of the clips on either side and lifting it up and out of the enclosure.

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Image 1/3: Gently place the hard drive into the enclosure's hard drive slot. Image 2/3: While firmly holding the enclosure in place with one hand, use your other hand to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors. Image 3/3: While firmly holding the enclosure in place with one hand, use your other hand to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.
  • Make sure that the hard drive connectors are facing down before placing it into the enclosure.

  • Gently place the hard drive into the enclosure's hard drive slot.

  • While firmly holding the enclosure in place with one hand, use your other hand to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.

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Image 1/2: Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure. Image 2/2: Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure.
  • Once the hard drive is snug, reinsert the plastic positioner while holding the hard drive against the bottom of the enclosure.

  • Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure.

Why no mention of attaching the new hard drive to the Optical Drive Enclosure using the enclosed phillips screws?

Once you have securely inserted the new hard drive into the Optical Drive Enclosure and replaced the plastic positioner you should attach the drive to the enclosure using two of the provided phillips screws. Two holes on the underside of the enclosure should align with two attachment holes on the underside of the drive.

nickmalmquist - Reply

Do you need a sata cable to connect the new drive to the board or does it connect via the optical drive cable that we disconnected earlier?

Erik Sawaya - Reply

It does connect to the optical drive cable but if you don't use the optical bay enclosure you'll need a 13 pins to 22 pins sata adaptor (and some tape!)

The sata cable for the optical drive has 6 + 7 pins while ssd and hhd have 15 + 7 pins

Graziano Nora - Reply

Conclusion

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

16 other people completed this guide.

Brittany McCrigler

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One Comment

Hello

what is the bandwith of the ODD "connector" ?

MacTracker doesn't give info. about this …

I suppose it is a SATA II 3Gb/s (300 Mo/s) because this article talks about SSD … but i want to be sure …

Thanks

Sebastien

AEM - Reply

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