Danger
Potentially Dangerous
Injury may result if this procedure is not followed properly. Use caution and follow all warnings.
Danger

Introduction

Use this guide to install or replace RAM.

Image 1/1: '''Before beginning any work on your iMac:''' Unplug the computer and press and hold the power button for ten seconds to discharge the power supply's capacitors.
  • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs can be completed as shown, but are faster and easier with an iMac service wedge.

  • Before beginning any work on your iMac: Unplug the computer and press and hold the power button for ten seconds to discharge the power supply's capacitors.

  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

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Image 1/2: The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. Otherwise, you risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.
  • Starting on the left of the display, near the power button, insert the iMac Opening Tool into the gap between the glass panel and the rear enclosure.

  • The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. Otherwise, you risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.

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Image 1/3: Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle.
  • Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center.

  • Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle.

  • Run the tool up along the left side of the display.

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  • Continue running the tool up around the top left corner.

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  • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

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Image 1/2: You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.
  • Continue along the top of the display.

  • You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.

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  • Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.

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  • Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.

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Image 1/2: At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.
  • Finish pushing the opening tool to the bottom of the right side of the display.

  • At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.

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Image 1/3: Set the iMac face-up on a table.
  • While the opening tool cut most of the adhesive, the display will still be slightly adhered to the case. A plastic card will be necessary to free up the last of this adhesive.

  • Set the iMac face-up on a table.

  • Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, wedge a plastic card between the display and frame.

  • Be careful not to insert the plastic card more than 3/8", or you may damage internal components.

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Image 1/2: Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".
  • Gently twist the plastic card sideways to create a gap between the display and frame.

  • Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".

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Image 1/3: Be sure to '''stop''' before the iSight camera, or you may damage it.
  • Slide the card toward the center of the display to cut any of the remaining adhesive along the top right corner of the iMac.

  • Be sure to stop before the iSight camera, or you may damage it.

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  • Wedge the plastic card into the top right corner once again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.

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  • Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame located near in the top left corner of the iMac.

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Image 1/2: As with the other side, twist slowly to allow the adhesive time to separate, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.
  • Gently twist the card upward, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame.

  • As with the other side, twist slowly to allow the adhesive time to separate, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.

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  • Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.

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  • Wedge the plastic card back into the top left corner.

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Image 1/3: If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the remaining adhesive.
  • With both plastic cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards sideways to increase the gap between display and case.

  • If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the remaining adhesive.

  • Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.

  • Only lift the display a few inches—the display data and power cables are still connected to the logic board.

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Image 1/2: Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connector, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").
  • While holding the display up with one hand, use the other hand to unplug the display power cable. Make sure that you pull the cable out from the plastic tab, and not by pulling on the color wires.

  • Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connector, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").

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Image 1/3: Carefully pull the display data cable from its socket on the logic board.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

  • Carefully pull the display data cable from its socket on the logic board.

  • Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket.

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Image 1/2: At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.
  • Lift the display up to a near-vertical position.

  • At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.

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  • If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.

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Image 1/3: It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.
  • Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac.

  • It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.

  • Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass.

  • Upon reassembly, now is the time to go to the Adhesive Strips Guide after cleaning off all the old adhesive. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Adhesive Strips Replacement

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Image 1/2: Four 3.2 mm screws
  • Remove the following five Phillips screws holding the lower support bracket in place:

    • Four 3.2 mm screws

    • One 1.7 mm screw

  • You may need to peel up the display adhesive lining the bottom edge of the iMac enclosure to access the screws.

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  • Remove the lower support bracket from the iMac enclosure.

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Image 1/2: It is useful to push downward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.
  • Use a spudger to loosen the right speaker cable's connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to push downward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.

  • Pull the connector downwards to remove it from its socket.

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  • Remove the two 10.0 mm T10 screws securing the right speaker to the rear enclosure.

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  • Pull the top of the right speaker away from the rear enclosure, about half an inch, to expose the antenna cable running down its right side.

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Image 1/3: Run the spudger down along the right side of the speaker to pry the antenna cable from its channel in the right speaker.
  • Insert the tip of a spudger between the right speaker and the antenna cable that is routed into the speaker's right side.

  • Run the spudger down along the right side of the speaker to pry the antenna cable from its channel in the right speaker.

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Image 1/3: Lift the right speaker straight up and remove it from the iMac. This may take some force, both hands and rocking the speaker right and left to get it out.
  • Pull the right speaker straight up about an inch, toward the top of the iMac.

  • Lift the right speaker straight up and remove it from the iMac. This may take some force, both hands and rocking the speaker right and left to get it out.

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Image 1/1: Two 21 mm T10 Torx screws from the left-hand hard drive bracket.
  • Remove the following screws securing the hard drive bracket to the rear enclosure:

    • Two 21 mm T10 Torx screws from the left-hand hard drive bracket.

    • One 9mm T10 Torx screw.

    • One 27 mm T10 Torx screw.

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  • Remove the left and right hard drive brackets from the iMac.

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Image 1/3: Use the tip of a spudger to push each side of the power button cable connector and gently "walk" it out of its socket.
  • The next few steps bring your hands close to the exposed face of the power supply. Do not touch the face of the power supply to avoid a high voltage shock from the many large capacitors attached to the board.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to push each side of the power button cable connector and gently "walk" it out of its socket.

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  • Gently push upward on each side of the power supply control cable connector with the tip of a spudger to gently "walk" it out of its socket.

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  • Remove the two 7.2 mm T10 screws securing the power supply to the rear enclosure.

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Image 1/2: Tilt the power supply forward.
  • When working on the power supply, be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

  • Tilt the power supply forward.

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Image 1/3: Rotate the power supply counterclockwise, lifting the right side up about an inch higher than the left.
  • Pull the power supply slightly up and out from the rear enclosure.

  • Rotate the power supply counterclockwise, lifting the right side up about an inch higher than the left.

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  • Slide the power supply to the right to clear the screw posts on the rear enclosure.

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Image 1/3: '''Do not''' try to completely remove the power supply from the iMac yet—it is still connected to the logic board.
  • Rock the power supply forward and remove it from its recess in the rear enclosure.

  • Do not try to completely remove the power supply from the iMac yet—it is still connected to the logic board.

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Image 1/2: Flip the top of the power supply towards you to access the DC power cable connection behind the logic board.
  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

  • Flip the top of the power supply towards you to access the DC power cable connection behind the logic board.

  • Squeeze the DC power cable connector tab and pull it straight out of its socket on the back of the logic board.

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Image 1/3: Use the flat end of a spudger to push the clip on the side of the AC inlet cable connector inward.
  • You may find it helpful to set the iMac down on its back on the table for the next couple of steps.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to push the clip on the side of the AC inlet cable connector inward.

  • While holding on the release clip with the spudger, grasp the AC inlet cable, and pull the connector straight out of its socket.

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  • Remove the power supply from the iMac.

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  • Gently pull the fan cable connector straight away from its socket on the logic board.

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  • Remove the three 12.3 mm T10 shoulder screws securing the fan to the rear enclosure.

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  • Remove the fan from the iMac.

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Image 1/3: The hard drive is attached by two cables, do not attempt to fully remove it from the iMac.
  • Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the logic board and pull it slightly out of its recess.

  • The hard drive is attached by two cables, do not attempt to fully remove it from the iMac.

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  • Disconnect the SATA power cable.

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  • Unplug the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

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  • Remove the hard drive from the iMac.

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  • Remove the single 7.2 mm T10 screw securing the hard drive tray to the rear enclosure.

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  • Remove the hard drive tray from the rear enclosure.

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  • Push on each side of the left speaker cable connector with the tip of a spudger and gently "walk" it out of its socket.

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  • De-route the left speaker cable by pulling it straight up out of the retaining clip in the back of the rear enclosure.

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  • In a similar fashion as the previous step, de-route the SATA data and power cables up out of the retaining clip.

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Image 1/3: Pull the iSight camera cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.
  • Use the flat edge of a spudger to flip up the metal retaining bracket on the iSight camera cable connector.

  • Pull the iSight camera cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

  • This is a delicate connector that can be easily damaged.

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Image 1/3: Note the original positions for each connector when reconnecting the cables.
  • Use the flat edge of a spudger to disconnect each of the four antenna connectors from the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

  • Note the original positions for each connector when reconnecting the cables.

I broke off one of the antenna connectors when I took off the antenna wires, but the new 802.11ac card is working:) I seems the way to take off the wires is lifting it up from the wire side. In hindsight I just wasn´t careful enough.

Runar Vaernes - Reply

how do I check a working logic board

Navneet Garg - Reply

Image 1/3: Push the cable slightly to the right.
  • Use the flat edge of a spudger to pry the headphone jack cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • Push the cable slightly to the right.

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Image 1/1: Two 6.3 mm T8 screws
  • Remove the following screws securing the exhaust duct to the rear enclosure:

    • Two 6.3 mm T8 screws

    • Two 4.7 mm T8 screws

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  • Remove the four 7.2 mm T10 screws securing the logic board to the rear enclosure.

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Image 1/3: Lift the logic board straight up and out of the iMac.
  • Tilt the top of the logic board away from the rear enclosure.

  • Lift the logic board straight up and out of the iMac.

  • Be careful not to snag the board on any of the rear case's screw posts.

  • The I/O boards at the bottom of the logic board will be the greatest challenge. It is recommended to pull gently to avoid any damage.

When inserting the logic board back, pay attention of the position of the I/O connectors. When it is back in place, put a USB / Thunderbolt cable into the connectors to ensure the perfect alignment.

Peter - Reply

Image 1/3: The RAM module should pop up slightly from its socket.
  • Release the tabs on each side of the RAM module by simultaneously pushing each tab away.

  • The RAM module should pop up slightly from its socket.

  • Grab the top left and right corners of the RAM module and carefully pull it straight out of its socket.

  • Repeat the process to remove additional RAM modules as necessary.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse and use our Adhesive Strips Guide to reattach the display glass.

37 other people completed this guide.

4 Comments

I used the iMac Opening Tool just as shown starting in step 2 to separate the tape. DISASTER! The screen cracked! I used the tool slowly and carefully and despite this, the screen cracked. I should have simply used a guitar pick. That said, I decided to see if I could upgrade the 8GB RAM to 16GB RAM WITHOUT removing the logic board all performing all of these steps. I found I could simply remove the FAN assembly as shown in step 43. This makes enough room to reach behind the logic board and unclip the 2 memory modules. I installed 2 8GB modules (1600MHz DDR3L SO-DIMM PC12800 204 Pin) without much trouble. I used a plastic stick to reach behind the logic board and unclip the existing memory modules, then carefully inserted the new ones and clipped them into place. This is much easier than performing all of these steps.

gcortesi - Reply

Hi There, I am interested in going in and upgrading my RAM to 16. Did you do all the steps ups to 43? Remove the power supply? Did you remove the hard Drive? I take it you had to do step 53 as well and remove the iSight camera cable first? I may try it your way, I hate to have to unplug 98% of everything to do this. Thanks for the tip.

joeysorge -

I added extra RAM by following step 1-23, then skipping to do just 41-43 and then reach the RAM from the back of the logic board. It was difficult to reach but possible.

Mikael -

The step by step instruction worked pretty good! Thank you very much for this help!

One interesting issue I had was that the battery on the logic board was empty.. the result of this was that the iMac hadn´t booted any more. An alarm signal with 1 beep every 5 seconds came. At the beginning I thought that the RAM wasn´t installed correctly, but the cause was a low PR2032 battery.. all in all I am really happy that it works now with a new battery. I wish you also much success!

Tom88457 - Reply

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