Introduction

Regain wireless connectivity and replace your inoperative AirPort Extreme card.

Loosen the two captive Phillips screws securing the access door to the iMac. Remove the access door from the iMac.
  • Loosen the two captive Phillips screws securing the access door to the iMac.

  • Remove the access door from the iMac.

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

That is a really, really unnecessarily complex way of fitting a new hard drive. Thanks, but no thanks...

annax - Reply

Quote from annax:

That is a really, really unnecessarily complex way of fitting a new hard drive. Thanks, but no thanks...

annax, if you can suggest a simpler way we're all ears!

Jake Simmonds - Reply

I found this guide to be very useful. The installation was super easy, especially since I've never opened my iMac before. I was able to skip steps 6, 7, 9, 10 and 14. Wish I had one of those long skinny magnetic torx screwdriver's though. I had to use duct tape to hold the screws on the end of the bit for step 12.

I used this opportunity to vacuum out the dust with mini attachments. Much needed after 3 years ;0)

Awesome site!!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and saving me time and $$$!

Eric Patten - Reply

Yes I did it! thanks for this very good manual

Philippe d Anfray - Reply

Remove the following four screws:
  • Remove the following four screws:

    • Three 6 mm T8 Torx.

    • One 8 mm T8 Torx.

T8's on the MA590LL 17" iMac.

Endareth - Reply

8mm screw is 2nd from left - useful when reassembly

Stefano Speriani - Reply

Flip your iMac over and lay it stand-side down on a flat surface. To lift the front bezel off the iMac, simultaneously:
  • Flip your iMac over and lay it 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.

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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.

Apple uses a powerful magnet to release these latches, but the official tool is not available. If you have access to a few failed hard drives, you can take out the magnets from those, and stack them up to have a magnet strong enough to easily open these latches.

Simply place the magnet on an upper corner of the machine, and when you hear a click, gently pull the corner of the front case forward. Repeat the process for the other upper corner. Use care not to pull on the iSight cables.

Note: Use care when handling the hard drive magnets, they are powerful, and you don't want them to snap together on your fingers. OUCH!

Zaphod - Reply

You can use a credit card. Mine survived, though it did get a little bent.

David Bendory - Reply

I used two credit cards for extra thickness and the latches released very easily.

James French - Reply

The magnetic latches are about 2-3 cm from the left and right edges right at the top edge of the case. I just ran a rare-earth magnet over the from of the bezel in this area. You can hear it click when it disengages. RadioShack has these kind of magnets for $3, the call them "super magnets".

James - Reply

This was a nuisance. Had to really move the card around to get it to finally release.

Tim Dougherty - Reply

Be very careful not to damage the metal clips with a credit card. My iMac was very stubborn and I ended up bending the clips in a way they cannot be bent back. The clips do still work and the front bezel does still go back on, however it no longer sits flush with the back of the iMac.

Gary Lefebvre - 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.

I found that it is much easier if you remove the top of the case first, then lay computer back on the stand & remove the bottom as directed.

G A Long - Reply

If necessary, remove the piece of kapton tape(it is ok to toss this) wrapped around the microphone and camera cables.
  • If necessary, remove the piece of kapton tape(it is ok to toss this) wrapped around the microphone and camera cables.

I was able to skip Steps 6 & 7 entirely. The microphone and camera cables had enough slack to flip the front cover off and lie it flat above the rest of the computer.

Carly Hobeef - Reply

Step 4 is completely unnessecary. Just lift the bezel up and wiggle it until the metal clips let go. Then lift the bezel straight up.

Cloudsurfer - Reply

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

Make sure the white wire is on the same side of both parts of the connector before reconnecting.

It is possible to reconnect the microphone cable in the wrong/reversed orientation with the connector. The microphone will still work but will be muted and result in a "tinny" sound on the receiver's end.

creecher - Reply

Can anyone ID these connectors (at least the camera connector) so that I may make an extension (to move the camera out and re-house it myself). I probably have the gear to do the mic already.

Is the camera connector some standard I can order M & F versions online to terminate to an extension cable?

hutchwilco - Reply

Peel up the lower EMI shield from the rear case.
  • Peel up the lower EMI shield from the rear case.

  • It is only necessary to peel the shield up from three sides. Leave it attached to the display.

  • We have found it helpful to tape the EMI shield against the display panel to keep it out of the way.

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Remove the two 4.8 mm T6 Torx screws securing the display data cable to the logic board. Grab the display data cable connector by its black tab and pull it straight up off the logic board.
  • Remove the two 4.8 mm T6 Torx screws securing the display data cable to the logic board.

  • Grab the display data cable connector by its black tab and pull it straight up off the logic board.

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Remove the two 4.8 mm T6 Torx screws securing the AirPort Extreme card to the logic board. Lift the free end slightly and pull the AirPort Extreme card straight away from its socket.
  • Remove the two 4.8 mm T6 Torx screws securing the AirPort Extreme card to the logic board.

  • Lift the free end slightly and pull the AirPort Extreme card straight away from its socket.

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Use a spudger to pry the antenna connector up off the AirPort Extreme card.
  • Use a spudger to pry the antenna connector up off the AirPort Extreme card.

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Conclusion

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

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One Comment

My intel c2d 17" sold in europe had four T8 screws to loosen front. Not the three T6 and one T8.

Martin Rudolfson - Reply

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