Introduction

iMac won't read disks? Use this guide to replace a non-functional optical drive.

  • 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.

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

That's a bad idea. using a metal tool to pry off glass is likely to end with an expensive broken front glass.

Suction cups are common. Find a couple and do it the safe way. I use some cheap ones that came with iPhone repair kit.

max damage -

Hello, I just need to replace a slightly cracked screen on my iMac. Where is it best to place the suction cups? Thanks in advance

michelemiller0 - Reply

No need for suction cups, I just stuck my nails (short like guys usually have) between the top part of the screen and body, and it came off easily. I've never done it before, so it seems to be very easy.

Nikolas Lintulaakso - Reply

Nails worked for me too

Rob Dale - Reply

Just completed the replacement of the optical drive with an SSD using an OWC Data Doubler kit. Attempted to remove the optical drive without disconnecting any cables but found it a bit fiddly to orient the screen for good access. I bit the bullet and disconnected them and found the process less daunting than I imagined. Reconnecting them was similarly straightforward if you're careful.

Tip: you can skip the step for removing the optical drive thermal sensor connector from the motherboard. Still need to remove the sensor from the optical drive but you can leave that hanging and reattach it to the SSD later.

osienna - Reply

I have an odd question -- I want to remove the polarizer from the LCD. With some monitors this is trivial, others not so much. My question is whether it is bonded to the Liquid crystal, or whether it's loose, or cutting it with a razor blade would remove it. Obviously I'd like to know before I go to the trouble of dismantling the thing... Thanks. Paul

Paul Kwiat - Reply

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.
  • 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.

What's the best product to clean the face of the LCD?

Steve Speirs - Reply

Microfiber Cloth

Leonardo Fournier -

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. The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the 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.

8 vis, pas 2

Charles Daenens - Reply

On reassembly, it is REALLY HARD to align those screws, because of the field of the strong magnets that hold the glass cover on. I'm sure there's a trick to it, but I'd love to know what it is for future reference.

Peter Shenkin - Reply

Slightly lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case.
  • 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.

When putting the display back I have resistance from the foam elements (on the top end where the iSight is) and have to press down really hard. Is that okay?

gm.konsortium - Reply

Well, stupid me put the 3.5" to 2.5" cage the wrong side up. ;)

gm.konsortium - Reply

Pull the vertical sync ribbon cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac. The vertical sync ribbon cable has a ZIF style end, but the socket has no lock or retaining flap. Simply pull the cable away from its socket toward the optical drive side of the iMac to disconnect it from the LED driver board. The vertical sync ribbon cable has a ZIF style end, but the socket has no lock or retaining flap. Simply pull the cable away from its socket toward the optical drive side of the iMac to disconnect it from the LED driver board.
  • Pull the vertical sync ribbon cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

  • The vertical sync ribbon cable has a ZIF style end, but the socket has no lock or retaining flap. Simply pull the cable away from its socket toward the optical drive side of the iMac to disconnect it from the LED driver board.

The vertical sync cable was snug initially and now is loose. I checked and the cable is intact. Has anyone had experience with making it fit better?

Rajan - Reply

Scotch tape on the upper side and sliding this in helped to secure the cable.

Rajan - Reply

Reassembly of this part was the closest I came to disaster on this project. I tried inserting the connector a few times without success, and when I looked it it the leads, which are fragile, were all mangled. I smoothed them out by hand as best I could and and reinserted, very carefully this time. The trick is that the tip of the connector should be pointed somewhat upwards when reconnecting.

I was pretty sure that when I was done, I would reboot but have no display; but fortunately, everything worked.

Peter Shenkin - Reply

Hi, I still have a question. What is the "Job" of the vertical sync ribbon cable. Thanks

Lutz Blum - Reply

So let’s say someone wanted to suck some of the dust off the back of the display before reassembly. Let’s just say that. Someone would likely suck this forsaken cable up into the vacuum tube then, wouldn’t they? They might. And if it were to oscillate in a rushing torrent of air, it might get munged? It might.

Here’s how you overcome such a disaster:

1) cut the end fresh, as close to the end as you can while cutting off any frayed end.

2) abrade the end gently, repeatedly, along the connector wire axis. I used emory paper. Your goal is to expose the copper conductors in the last 1/4” of the fragile evil wire.

3) Tape a small stiff cardstock to the back of the end of the connector. This is essential to press the connector wires into the connector.

4) Gently insert, taking special caution to not peel the copper off of the connector.

5) Tape that connector down deftly, without letting it move a millimeter and securing it for all time.

sydnius - Reply

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). 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).
  • 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).

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Squeeze the two display data cable connector arms together to unlock it from its socket on the logic board.
  • Squeeze the two display data cable connector arms together to unlock it from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board.

in Step 7, my connector (new 21.5 iMac - Dec 2010) was not attached that way and just came of easily.

erin - Reply

Aperte as duas exibição do conector do cabo de dados braços juntos para desbloqueá-lo de seu soquete na placa lógica.

Darlan Perira da Silva - Reply

I accidently broke the data cable socket on step 7. Any advice on what i should do?

Sam Tang - Reply

I feel pretty silly. I spent wayyyy too long trying to get these cables disconnected. Happy I found this guide; hopefully, I won't struggle with such simple things since you provide pretty good details! Thanks.

J.w. - Reply

Pas beaucoup de place pour déconnecter ce cable ! En essayant d'ouvrir trop l'écran pour passer mes "grosses mains" j'ai cossé le connecteur : je suis dans le caca :-( (et pourtant j'en fait des démontages !) Alors ATTENTION !!!

divers - Reply

Il vaut mieux déconnecter la partie du côté écran en premier (sous l'autocollant noir)

divers - Reply

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

  • If your fan is spinning full speed after completion, check this connection or the hard drive's thermal sensor cable.

This is important regarding the fan running full speed

http://blog.macsales.com/19617-diagnosin...

tobykirkland - Reply

Is there a way to test the power supply to see if it's dead?

professorminh - Reply

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.
  • 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.

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Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector straight away from its socket on the logic board.
  • Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector straight away from its socket on the logic board.

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Remove the four 9 mm T10 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the outer case.
  • Remove the four 9 mm T10 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the outer case.

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Lift the inner edge of the optical drive and maneuver its connector past the frame attached to the logic board.
  • Lift the inner edge of the optical drive and maneuver its connector past the frame attached to the logic board.

  • Carefully pull the optical drive off its mounting pins on the edge of the outer case to gain clearance for disconnecting the optical drive cable.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to help disconnect the optical drive cable.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to help disconnect the optical drive cable.

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It is not necessary to peel all of the EMI tape off the optical drive bracket. Only peel up the portion highlighted in red that is attached to the body of the optical drive. Peel back the portion of aluminum tape highlighted in red, leaving the rest attached to the black plastic optical drive bracket.
  • It is not necessary to peel all of the EMI tape off the optical drive bracket. Only peel up the portion highlighted in red that is attached to the body of the optical drive.

  • Peel back the portion of aluminum tape highlighted in red, leaving the rest attached to the black plastic optical drive bracket.

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Remove the two T10 Torx screws from both sides of the optical drive (four screws total). Remove the two T10 Torx screws from both sides of the optical drive (four screws total).
  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from both sides of the optical drive (four screws total).

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If necessary, 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. 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 necessary, 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.

  • 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.

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Use the tip of a spudger to peel back the piece of foam tape covering the optical drive thermal sensor. Use the flat end of a spudger to carefully pry the thermal sensor up off the adhesive securing it to the optical drive.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to peel back the piece of foam tape covering the optical drive thermal sensor.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to carefully pry the thermal sensor up off the adhesive securing it to the optical drive.

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

Can you (re)use this exact thermal sensor on the optical drive and attach it to a new SSD?

Ali Mir - Reply

@AliMir - yes, you can reattach the thermal sensor to the new SSD

osienna - Reply

Conclusion

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

23 other people completed this guide.

3 Comments

A word of caution when reassembling. Be sure to replace the LCD thermal sensor connector and the optical drive thermal sensor connector with the contacts facing down. They are both very small and easy to overlook the contact points. If either or both are reinstalled wrong the iMac will not power up. You will get a white screen momentarily and then it will go black. I made that mistake and had to go back in and correctly insert them which solved the power up problem.

cwrd - Reply

I successfully put an SSD (mounted in OWC data doubler) into the optical drive slot.

I got slightly thrown for a moment that at step 10, the iMac was apparently rotated 180 degrees. I didn't really want to change my work position, so I turned my iPad upside down to follow the pictures correctly. Not sure why the perspective changed at that point in the manual.

The other "interesting" task was reattaching the LCD, what with the nearby rare earth magnets trying to steal the screws. Having a heavily magnetized torx screwdriver was a big help; I just took a magnet of my own and stuck it on the handle end of the shaft, and then it held the screw enough to make the job possible.

I was quite relieved when my iMac booted after all this. :)

neilweinstock - Reply

Per error se'm va introduir una targeta portadora de microSD tipus SD a traves de la ranura del lector de CD-DVD.

Seguint aquesta guia perfectament bé explicada i amb les eines adequades, T10 Torx, tornavís de rellotger tipus estrella o philips i en el meu cas dues ventoses solidaries tipus mànec d'enganxar a la paret de la dutxa per no caure; he aconseguit recuperar la microSD, el lector de CD-DVD i el iMAC continua sencer.

Mil gràcies Andrew Bookholt, ets un crack e indubtablement molt bona persona.

atvillarroya - Reply

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