iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

Replace the hard drive in your iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428.

Upgrade your hard drive for an increase in storage space.

Tools (continued)
Relevant Parts

Edit Step 1 Glass Panel  ¶ 

Image #1

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.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 3 Display  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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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).

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 10 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 13 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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

  • Remove the upper bracket from the hard drive.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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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 21.5" EMC 2428 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

TR10 Torx Security Screwdriver

$1.95 · 50+ In stock

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups (Pair)

$14.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Hi guys, the tools arrived today and I did already chage the default harddisk against the WD Velociraptor 500GB. For now everything is working fine. The iMac is in the middle of restoring the time maschine backup. Everything worked out as described. Excellent! I was just a little surprised by the magnetic forces which one needs to overcome gently...

tholst, · Reply

Is there a temp sensor that monitors the HD? I did the upgrade but now my fan is always on. I must've done something wrong.

Funkpolvo, · Reply

Did you use the same brand hard drive? Did check the instructions about cable orientation on the hard drive? Did you double check the LCD thermal sensor cable?

Scott Dingle,

Take a glance at this page for full explanations:

http://www.hddfancontrol.com/imac-hard-d...

I had the same issue here (after replacing the original HDD by a 1TB WB Caviar Blue) and it has been fixed by this utility.

HTH,

Jo Campos,

In response to the software, that does work, however, it can be taken care of hardware wise if our recommendations are followed.

Scott Dingle,

Hi, I'm no stranger to upgrading my Macs (been doing it since 1989). I've followed this guide too since the inside of my '11 iMac is a little less upgrade friendly and my fans spin up afterward as well even if the computer is just sitting there idle. I replaced my factory internal 500GB WD drive with a 2TB WD drive. It doesn't take long before my fans start to spin up. I've checked and rechecked all of the cable attachments. What else could I be doing wrong? What are your referenced recommendations that take care of this with a hardware solution? My best find so far is a donation based version of the above mentioned S.M.A.R.T. tool (http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/).

sash5,

Another device fixed due to iFixit. One iPhone 4, 1 MacMini, 1 MacBook Pro and now an iMac! You guys are better than awesome!!!

ajayme44, · Reply

Thank you iFixit, another successful repair. Upgraded 1TB hard drive to 2TB, no issues at all.

pdwickizer, · Reply

I have been using iFixit for years, so thank you very much for these guides. Invaluable!

But, I have one question.....

It seems that when I replace the HDD, often the microphone goes dead or bad. I never touch the microphone, never touch those cables, so is there any idea why this would happen or what I can do to repair/recover?

I saw one iFixit guide which showed how to replace the microphone, but it gave no source for the part..... help!

David, · Reply

This took me about 15 minutes. Watch step 7 the most; that display data cable is fragile, and you're going to need good lighting to see it.

If you're installing an SSD, you'll definitely need an adapter for it so it seats properly in the iMac's shell. I bought a Newer Technology AdaptaDrive 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Converter Bracket for $14, and it's of excellent build quality. Fits like a glove in there.

Finally, your fan is going to spin up like crazy after your first boot. Don't freak out just yet; follow these instructions after you've turned your computer on (from http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964):

1. Shut down the computer.

2. Unplug the computer's power cord.

3. Wait fifteen seconds.

4. Attach the computer's power cord.

5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.

Dave Mosher, · Reply

Edit: That didn't work, but a free application called ssdfanctrl did. Installed, restarted, set to "SMART" control and... completely silent. http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl

Dave Mosher,

I replaced the HDD with an SSD. Works great thanks to this guide. Also the DVD drive was broken, I replaced that also.

I really needed HDD fan control to reduce the fan speed. A reset did not help for me, so thanks for that app suggestion in this comment post.

mlter2002, · Reply

Actually pretty easy install of SSD HD. Ordered the Newertech converter bracket and bought the fan control: http://www.hddfancontrol.com/imac-hard-d...

My wife had a couple of great ideas to keep lint and dust down: Use newspaper to set the glass and LCD on (then cover with newspaper) because it is very clean, wear powder free latex gloves to avoid hand oils contaminating computer.

Thanks again iFixit! My iMac is much faster.

tcoates52, · Reply

Upgraded 500 Mb hard drive to 2TB. Thank you for this good guide !

birdlike, · Reply

Yesterday I replaced my internal Seagate 500GB with a Seagate 2TB hybrid hard drive without any issues. Was expecting tør fans to speed up due to failing harddisk hardware temperatur check, but everything runs normal :-) improved El capitan startup time from 56 secs to 32 secs. Very happy for this guide

tilst1, · 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,

Very easy to lift the glass out. Don't jerk too hard.

kctipton, · Reply

Success replacing the stock ST31000528AS with a STBD3000100 (Dead 1TB to new 3TB, both Seagate). First try. Using another Mac and a quality Firewire 800 cable, I formatted it using Target Disk mode, 2 partitions (defaults, except I made the first one bigger than the second). To the second, smaller one, I copied a bootable Install OS X Mavericks partition. Tried to boot. It booted, and I installed; nary a glitch. (Running the Installer over Firewire would have been faster, but I didn't want to reboot this machine.)

See part 2 below...

Matthew Elvey, · Reply

(Part 2:)

I SKIPPED steps 6, 7 AND 8! Instead, after doing Step 5, I noticed I then had enough room and cable length to access the screws in Step 11 if I lifted the LCD up an inch or so, rotated it about 20-30 degrees clockwise and moved it a couple inches toward the base, and put it down. After removing them (Step 11), I propped up the LCD (with a spare spudger) and had enough room to do Steps 12, 13, and 14 without much difficulty. Felt safer/less work and risk than not skipping steps 6-8. No risk of the damage Ersan and Michael caused performing Step 7!

Matthew Elvey,

I just edited that step to add a note about the shortcut.

Matthew Elvey,

What the ???

Geoff Wacker has REJECTED my edit: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/history/ste...

I wonder why. What's the deal, Geoff? I mean I'd understand if I suggested folks didn't need the suction cups, as that could cut into iFixit's income stream, but what's wrong with suggesting that a few steps aren't needed? It worked for me; the EMC 2389 I fixed is humming along with a new 3TB HD I installed while skipping those steps.

Matthew Elvey,

I did not have to remove a single cable! After undoing the torx screws from the sides, I was able to rotate the LCD out of the way enough to reach all the screws holding in the ODD bracket. One of them was a bit challenging to get to, but I never felt that I was risking the cables by leaving them connected. Also, it wasn't totally clear, but you have to actually remove the ODD itself from the ODD bracket - 4 torx screws. The SDD mounts into the hard drive enclosure, then the enclosure is screwed into the bracket. Those holes (enclosure <-> Bracket) did not line up correctly for me, and I had to go with only three of them connected in the end. Seems to work fine.

cdansmith1, · Reply

Another comment on DATA & LCD Temp. Sensor cables: I had to remove the vertical sync, and the backlight cable, however, if you have an assistant or/can carefully rotate the screen clockwise/and then have it held up about 5" to 6" at a slight angle, you do not need to remove LCD data cable or LCD thermal cable, however - IMPORTANT: you must have a second pair of hands/or way to securely prop up the LCD. Also, don't rotate too much, since then you will pull out LCD data cable, and it renders the whole exercise moot, or can damage the cable or connector.

MaximBorzov, · Reply

You don't need suction cups. The screen, held by magnets, can simply be pried off using a very thin blade such as a screw driver and fingers.

Deepsurvival, · Reply

The metal near the screws is VERY magnetic. Honestly, the hardest and by far most frustrating step was trying to put these screws back in.

seancourtney, · Reply

I ran into the same problem - easily the most frustrating part of this process. To help deal with it, I took a drinking straw, cut it to be about 2 inches long, and used it as a chute to guide the screw to the hole. Dropping the screw down the straw, it'd still stick to the side due to the magnets, but using my screwdriver, it was easy to push the screw down to where it needed to go, and the straw kept the screw from being pulled out of place by the magnets.

josh,

You can use one hand to hold the edge up while reaching with the other hand to disconnect cables. You may want to have a prop handy (like a small book) or an extra person to hold the edge up while you disconnect cables.

kctipton, · Reply

I am having a difficult time reattaching the LCD cable. A better description or any tips would be useful here.

Ben Bauermeister, · Reply

When putting the display down on the table, be careful not to kink the flat ribbon cable.

frank, · Reply

The replacement hard drive I used doesn't even appear to spin up and the Time Capsule restore process doesn't show it as available. It just stays at Searching for disks and never finds it.

JRBv3, · Reply

I had to use Disk Utility to partition the drive and then it showed fine. Rookie mistake.

JRBv3,

If you're replacing the drive with a 2.5" drive (including an SSD) you will need some kind of adapter bracket, lest the new drive dangle from cables.

seancourtney, · Reply

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