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 1/2: Both screws remain captive within the access door. Image 2/2: Remove the access door.
  • Loosen the two Phillips screws securing the access door to your iMac.

  • Both screws remain captive within the access door.

  • Remove the access door.

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Image 1/1: Three 6 mm T8 Torx screws
  • Remove the following screws along the lower edge of your iMac:

    • Three 6 mm T8 Torx screws

    • One 8 mm T8 Torx screw

My iMac had four 6mm T8 Torx screws (so not one 8mm screw)

floor - Reply

Image 1/2: To lift the front bezel off the iMac, simultaneously: Image 2/2: Use your thumbs to press in the RAM arms and hold the iMac down.
  • Lay your iMac stand-side down on a flat surface.

  • To lift the front bezel off the iMac, simultaneously:

    • Use your thumbs to press in the RAM arms and hold the iMac down.

    • Use your index fingers to pull the small bridge of material on the front bezel toward yourself.

    • Pull the front bezel up with your index fingers.

  • Once the small bridge of material has cleared the RAM arms, lift the front bezel by its lower edge just enough to clear the bottom edge of the rear case.

My iMac did not have the "small bridge of material" mentioned, however the bezel just lifted off easily.

maccentric - Reply

Image 1/3: The third picture shows the top front bezel brackets and their slots cut into the top edge of the iMac's rear case. Image 2/3: Do not completely remove the front bezel, as it is still attached by the camera/microphone cables. Image 3/3: Do not completely remove the front bezel, as it is still attached by the camera/microphone cables.
  • Lift the front bezel off the rear case and rotate it away from the bottom edge of the iMac, minding the camera and microphone cables still attached to its upper edge.

  • The third picture shows the top front bezel brackets and their slots cut into the top edge of the iMac's rear case.

  • Do not completely remove the front bezel, as it is still attached by the camera/microphone cables.

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Image 1/1: The microphone connector is located near the inside of top edge of your iMac.
  • If necessary, remove the strip of tape covering the microphone cable connector.

  • The microphone connector is located near the inside of top edge of your iMac.

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Image 1/3: Disconnect the camera cable by pulling its connector away from the socket on the camera board. Image 2/3: The camera cable connector and socket are delicate and easily bent. Remove with caution. Image 3/3: The camera cable connector and socket are delicate and easily bent. Remove with caution.
  • Disconnect the microphone cable.

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling its connector away from the socket on the camera board.

  • The camera cable connector and socket are delicate and easily bent. Remove with caution.

I found it easier not to remove the cables connecting camera and microphone, but rather to lean the plastic frame agains a pile of books so that it could rest almost vertical avoiding the need to disconnect those two sensitive cables.

Stefano C - Reply

I agree that for a simple, quick battery change, don't risk damaging those delicate wires. Ignore Step 6 and instead of disconnecting the mic and camera wires, keep them in place and just have a friend hold the plastic frame up while you change the battery, or prop it up as mentioned by Stefano C above.

WT Kwok - Reply

Make sure you double check the new logic board for the presence of the GPU assembly before installing. I stupidly installed a new board without moving the GPU from the old one first. So i guess you can say this guide worked for me twice. :)

Trevor Kearsey - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Peel the two highlighted EMI shield tabs off the frame of the LCD.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two T6 Torx screws securing the display data cable to the logic board.

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Image 1/1:
  • Pull the black plastic tab attached to the display data cable connector to disconnect it from the logic board.

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Image 1/2: De-route the inverter cable from its location next to the CPU fan. Image 2/2: De-route the inverter cable from its location next to the CPU fan.
  • Use your fingertips to pull both sides of the wide inverter cable connector out of its socket on the logic board.

  • De-route the inverter cable from its location next to the CPU fan.

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Image 1/1: Remove the eight T8 Torx screws securing the display assembly to the rear case.
  • Before attempting this step, we recommend laying your iMac stand-side down on a table to avoid the display falling down.

  • Remove the eight T8 Torx screws securing the display assembly to the rear case.

  • It is helpful to use a thin magnetized screwdriver to remove these screws.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the display assembly from the iMac.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the strip of tape covering the optical drive cable connector.

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Image 1/2: The retainer should move about 1 mm and stop. Do not attempt to remove the retainer. Image 2/2: The retainer should move about 1 mm and stop. Do not attempt to remove the retainer.
  • Gently pull the cable retainer on the optical drive cable ZIF socket toward the right side of the iMac.

  • The retainer should move about 1 mm and stop. Do not attempt to remove the retainer.

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Image 1/1:
  • Pull the optical drive ribbon cable out of its socket, being careful not to rip it in the process.

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Image 1/1:
  • Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector toward the right side of the iMac to disconnect it from the logic board.

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Image 1/1:
  • Peel off the strip of EMI tape attaching the right side of the optical drive to the rear case.

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Image 1/1:
  • Push down on the optical drive bracket retaining clip while pulling the top edge of the optical drive away from the rear case.

Looking at pic on step 18, if you follow the black plastic release clip downwards there is another clip (just below the drive) so you need to pinch them together (with the optical drive in the middle), rather than just press down on the top clip.

If you look at the picture on step 19, you will see the corresponding release clip (just behind the middle of the orange ribbon cable) but it's not immediately obvious to see unless your looking for it.

Tahir Khan - Reply

Image 1/2: Pull the optical drive away from the right side of the rear case and remove it from the iMac. Image 2/2: Pull the optical drive away from the right side of the rear case and remove it from the iMac.
  • Rotate the optical drive slightly toward the bottom edge of the iMac while pulling it away from the rear case to release the lower retaining clip.

  • Pull the optical drive away from the right side of the rear case and remove it from the iMac.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive cable to the optical drive.

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Image 1/1: Twist the spudger to separate the connector from the optical drive.
  • Insert the flat end of a spudger into the gap between the optical drive cable connector and the optical drive.

  • Twist the spudger to separate the connector from the optical drive.

  • Repeat this process for both sides of the connector.

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Image 1/1:
  • Pull the optical drive cable connector away from the optical drive.

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Image 1/1: Don't forget to transfer these to your new drive.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to remove the pieces of EMI foam from the underside of the optical drive.

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

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from the side of your optical drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from the side of your optical drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to push the two optical drive bracket tabs out of their slots in the top of the optical drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Using the tip of a spudger, press the optical drive bracket tab out of its slot on the side of the optical drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to press the optical drive bracket tabs out of the slots in the top of the optical drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Pull the optical drive bracket toward the open end of the optical drive to free it from the optical drive.

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Image 1/1: Don't forget to transfer the optical drive thermal sensor to your new drive.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive thermal sensor off the adhesive securing it to the optical drive.

  • Don't forget to transfer the optical drive thermal sensor to your new drive.

  • If you have a disk or anything else stuck inside your optical drive, we have a guide to remedy the situation.

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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

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

Conclusion

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

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Brittany McCrigler

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