Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken optical drive.

Orient the iMac face-side down on a table with the bottom edge facing yourself.
  • Orient the iMac face-side down on a table with the bottom edge facing yourself.

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the access door to the bottom grille of your iMac.

  • The screws are captive in the access door.

  • Before beginning the repair, unplug the computer and press and hold the power switch for 20-30 seconds, to discharge internal capacitors.

As you remove the screws during these steps, place them on a towel or a piece of cardboard. With a Sharpie label a piece of masking tape with the step number from which they were taken from. Then place the removed screws under the tape.

This ongoing step will aid in you having control on your reassembly without searching for and identifying the size and length all the screws that you are about to remove.

R51801 - Reply

Remove the access door.
  • Remove the access door.

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Remove the three T8 Torx screws securing the front bezel to the rear case along the lower edge of the iMac.
  • Remove the three T8 Torx screws securing the front bezel to the rear case along the lower edge of the iMac.

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Turn the computer over. Use your thumbs to press both RAM arms in past the front bezel for enough clearance to lift it off the rear case.
  • Turn the computer over.

  • Use your thumbs to press both RAM arms in past the front bezel for enough clearance to lift it off the rear case.

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While holding the RAM arms in with your thumbs, lift the lower edge of the front bezel enough to clear the rear case.
  • While holding the RAM arms in with your thumbs, lift the lower edge of the front bezel enough to clear the rear case.

you might have more luck by gently leveraging the stand up

Joseph A Borg - Reply

Re-orient your iMac so it sits upright on the stand. Insert a plastic card up into the corner of the air vent slot near the top of the rear case. Push the card toward the top of the iMac to release the front bezel latch.
  • Re-orient your iMac so it sits upright on the stand.

  • Insert a plastic card up into the corner of the air vent slot near the top of the rear case.

  • Push the card toward the top of the iMac to release the front bezel latch.

  • Pull the front bezel away from the rear case.

  • Repeat this process for the other side of the front bezel.

  • It may be necessary to apply several layers of duct tape to the top of the access card to aid in releasing the latches.

  • If the bezel refuses to release, try pressing the lower edge back onto the rear case and repeat this opening process.

  • Alternatively, you can use a strong magnet by holding it to the front top left/right corner of the display. You will hear a snapping sound when the hatch is released.

If it still does not release try pressing in and out (like an accordion) with the card in one hand and the screen bezel in the other until it pops loose.

rick - Reply

Lay your iMac stand-side down on a table.
  • Lay your iMac stand-side down on a table.

  • Lift the front bezel from its lower edge and rotate it away from the rest of your iMac, minding the RAM arms that may get caught.

  • Lay the front bezel above the rest of the iMac.

My A1145 seems to be attached, somehow, on the top via some silver looking strips. It does not seems to want to come off. Is that the wireless?

Chris Arnold - Reply

NO they are clamps on each of the top inside corners of the outside bezel (frame ) if you use a Heavy Spudger Tool & pry not too hard just slightly between the bezel (side) and the display (side) this should pop each off usually by just popping one or the other sides the second will automatically pop as well.

Mark Meininger -

If necessary, remove the piece of kapton tape wrapped around the microphone and camera connectors.
  • If necessary, remove the piece of kapton tape wrapped around the microphone and camera connectors.

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Disconnect both the camera and microphone cables. Disconnect both the camera and microphone cables.
  • Disconnect both the camera and microphone cables.

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Peel the lower EMI shield off the lower edge of the iMac and off the two vertical 4" sections on either side of the iMac.
  • Peel the lower EMI shield off the lower edge of the iMac and off the two vertical 4" sections on either side of the iMac.

  • It is not necessary to peel the lower EMI shield off the display.

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Tape the lower EMI shield up against the face of the display to keep it out of the way while you work.
  • Tape the lower EMI shield up against the face of the display to keep it out of the way while you work.

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Remove the two T6 Torx screws securing the display data cable connector to the logic board.
  • Remove the two T6 Torx screws securing the display data cable connector to the logic board.

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To disconnect the display data cable, grab its connector's black tab and pull it away from the face of the logic board.
  • To disconnect the display data cable, grab its connector's black tab and pull it away from the face of the logic board.

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Peel back the two EMI tape strips from the left and right edges of the display.
  • Peel back the two EMI tape strips from the left and right edges of the display.

  • During reassembly, it is helpful to use several small strips of tape to hold the EMI shielding along the left and right edges of the display footprint out of the way before lowering the display into the rear case of your iMac.

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Remove the four recessed T10 Torx screws securing the display to the rear case. Bit drivers tend to be too short to reach these screws. Be sure to have a magnetic thin-shafted T10 Torx screwdriver on hand.
  • Remove the four recessed T10 Torx screws securing the display to the rear case.

  • Bit drivers tend to be too short to reach these screws. Be sure to have a magnetic thin-shafted T10 Torx screwdriver on hand.

When I removed the 4 screws, my bit wasn't magnetic enough to pick them out and they fell in. I could only retrieve 2 of them. Have a strong magnetic bit! Lucky for me, I was only using this guide to remove the hard drive so I could recycle my old computer.

Ruth - Reply

Lift the lower edge of the display slightly out of the rear case.
  • Lift the lower edge of the display slightly out of the rear case.

  • Disconnect both inverter cables (shown in red) by pulling their connectors toward the bottom edge of your iMac.

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Lift the display until it is nearly perpendicular to the rear case.
  • Lift the display until it is nearly perpendicular to the rear case.

  • Disconnect the remaining two inverter cables (shown in red) by pulling their connectors toward the top edge of your iMac.

Steps 17 and 18 are not strictly necessary if one simply props up the LCD display into a vertical position while the hard drive is removed and replaced. It worked for me anyway!

I would like to send out a big thank you to Andrew Bookholt for submitting this extremely helpful guide!

Mark Orwoll

Mark Orwoll - Reply

Prop the screen with something soft (plastic or wood) so as not to scratch the screen coating.

Mark - Reply

While holding the display perpendicular to the rear case, pull it upward to peel off the EMI shield stuck to its upper edge.
  • While holding the display perpendicular to the rear case, pull it upward to peel off the EMI shield stuck to its upper edge.

If you are changing the power supply - this is a good point to remove the screws to the old power supply to see if the connectors (both of them) are accessible. If you can gently (but firmly) pull the power connector out from under the chassis, you can install the new unit at this step - saving hours of work.

philaro - Reply

See note to step 44 to easyly remove the power supply without dismantling the whole computer (as also suggested by philaro).

danman - Reply

Disconnect the optical drive thermal sensor by pulling its cable toward the left edge of your iMac.
  • Disconnect the optical drive thermal sensor by pulling its cable toward the left edge of your iMac.

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Remove the two T6 Torx screws holding the optical drive connector to the logic board.
  • Remove the two T6 Torx screws holding the optical drive connector to the logic board.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.

  • It is helpful to insert the spudger under the top or bottom edge of the optical drive connector and twist to separate the connector from the logic board.

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Apple's "engineers" didn't learn much about deflection and material stiffness when they went to "college", so this optical drive is particularly difficult to remove because the bracket flexes too much. The next few steps require some patience and a good amount of force.
  • Apple's "engineers" didn't learn much about deflection and material stiffness when they went to "college", so this optical drive is particularly difficult to remove because the bracket flexes too much. The next few steps require some patience and a good amount of force.

  • Insert the flat end of a spudger into the gap between the optical drive and its bracket until it contacts the chassis.

  • Grab the spudger as close to the surface of the optical drive as you can, then depress the release tab with your thumb while pulling toward yourself.

  • The wedge shape of the spudger may cause it to slip out of the gap toward yourself. Be sure to press the spudger in toward the rear case while squeezing the release tab.

try to release the bracket closest the logic board first. Pressing the bracket down a bit to add clearance between the bracket notch and the frame. The other should be easier to press down on the dvd case whilst pressing the lever.

Joseph A Borg - Reply

To avoid the screws falling behind the logic board, lay your iMac stand-side down on a table.
  • To avoid the screws falling behind the logic board, lay your iMac stand-side down on a table.

  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from the lower edge of the optical drive.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to press the bottom edge of the lower optical drive bracket release tab toward the lower edge of the iMac.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to press the bottom edge of the lower optical drive bracket release tab toward the lower edge of the iMac.

  • The optical drive should now be free from the rear case.

  • Maneuver the optical drive out of the rear case, minding the two plastic pins molded into the rear case near the open end of the optical drive that can break off.

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Maneuver the optical drive out of the rear case, minding the two plastic pins molded into the rear case near the open end of the optical drive that can break off.
  • Maneuver the optical drive out of the rear case, minding the two plastic pins molded into the rear case near the open end of the optical drive that can break off.

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Remove the two T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive cable to the optical drive.
  • Remove the two T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive cable to the optical drive.

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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.
  • 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.

  • Pull the optical drive cable connector away from the optical drive.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to remove the small pieces of EMI foam from the underside of the optical drive.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to remove the small 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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Use the flat end of a spudger to remove the long strip of EMI foam from the underside of the optical drive.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to remove the long strip of EMI foam from the underside of the optical drive.

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

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Remove the two T10 Torx screws from the side of your optical drive.
  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from the side of your optical drive.

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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.
  • 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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Using the tip of a spudger, press the optical drive bracket tab out of its slot on the side of the optical drive.
  • 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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Use the tip of a spudger to press the optical drive bracket tabs out of the slots in the top of the optical drive.
  • 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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Pull the optical drive bracket toward the open end of the optical drive to free it from the optical drive.
  • Pull the optical drive bracket toward the open end of the optical drive to free it from the optical drive.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive thermal sensor off the adhesive securing it to the optical 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 this to your new drive.

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

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Conclusion

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

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