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Introduction

This guide details removing the logic board in a 2017 iMac 4K in order to upgrade the RAM and the SATA hard drive (for example, if you purchased the Max Your Mac kit).

Some images in this guide were taken from the 2015 model, which has some small visual differences.

If you are replacing/upgrading your hard drive, be sure to clone your existing hard drive onto the replacement drive prior to performing this upgrade to keep your files and operating system in place.

This guide is marked "potentially dangerous" because it requires you to handle a power supply that contains large capacitors. Unplug the iMac and hold the power button down for at least 10 seconds to help discharge the capacitors. Handle the board by the edges and do not touch surface components.

    • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs are fast and easy with an iMac service wedge, but can be completed without one.

    • If you are using the iFixit cardboard service wedge, follow these assembly directions to put it together.

    • 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.

    The wedge is an extremely tight fit for this model. I was worried that the amount of force needed to use it as shown might damage the stand, so I used it with the long side down instead. It worked fine that way and didn’t need anywhere near as much force to insert.

    roberttrevellyan - Reply

    Here’s a good YouTube vid on upgrading the RAM: Can a Normal Person Upgrade the RAM in the 2017 21.5" iMac?

    Dan - Reply

    Here are a couple tips from me:

    1) Expose the adhesive to extreme temperatures. I did this by transporting my iMac in my car, screen-down on a piece of cardboard on a cold February morning (in Chicago). When I went to pick up the iMac, the screen practically fell off the chassis. I would have been distraught by this if I hadn’t already planned this replacement. So it was a happy accident.

    2) Remember to expell the residual power from the power supply by pushing the power button while the iMac is unplugged. This does NOT guarantee it’s safe to touch, but when I accidentally brushed the solder and exposed capacitors, I didn’t get shocked.

    jerrid_foiles - Reply

    Instead of using the wedge, I placed the iMac faced up with the top side (web cam) facing me while I ran the pizza roller around. It worked out great!

    Sam Fung - Reply

    “All iMacs also come with a traditional hard drive” mine doesn’t!! it’s HDD bay is completely empty, no SATA cable or anything. I guess I’ll have to upgrade the PCIe SSD instead.

    Chris Hughes - Reply

    There is no replacement glass for this model, it is part of the LCD and impossible to remove or replace- the entire LCD has to be replaced unfortunately if the glass is cracked or damaged. You will have to Google search for a replacement. Also be careful with some of the lock tight tork screws as I broke one of my screw mounts taking one out.

    Phil Tesone - Reply

    I used this service wedge but also found it a very tight fit. The same stabilization can be achieved by using a big rolled up towel.

    Ernst - Reply

    While this is a good instruction guide, I recommend to also look at OWC’s instruction video about drive installation, before starting the exercise. Those install videos are very detailed and useful.

    Ernst - Reply

  1. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 2, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

    Don’t get too worried about starting exactly where the picture says. The glue is stronger in some parts so just start wherever is easier and then work slowly and patiently around in the direction shown.

    Richard Cook - Reply

    As this guide doesn’t cover replacing the adhesive strips, I found referring to the following was useful (noting that it’s not for the same model of iMac, so the modification they mention wasn’t necessary): iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Adhesive Strips Replacement

    Alan Digby - Reply

    It is very easy to crack the glass in front of the LCD during this step. I used the guitar pick, maybe it was too thick… crack is just on the frame but anyway it is disappointing :(

    Nikolay - Reply

    This part of the exercise should be done with extreme patience. I took my sweet time with the opening tool, rolling it through the entire panel and enclosure gap over and over again, until I was very sure no parts were sticking together anymore. And when I thought I was I done, I decided to do it over again.

    Ernst - Reply

    You can "warm up" the adhesive before try to cut it with the tool using a hair dryer. Heat the edges for about a minute, keep moving it so you don't cause stress in the glass. Also the above note.. use the tool and then the cards. Do not use a guitar pick or other objects as the thickness will cause you to break the front glass, which is a bonded part of the display (expensive).

    Carl Schultz - Reply

    In korean, 아이맥 오프닝툴을 이용하여 화면과 뒷본체부 사이에 틈사이, 전원버튼이 있는 디스플레이 왼쪽부터 분리를 시작한다

    Ethan ryu - Reply

  2. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 3, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 3, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    Erreur de traduction: "de bas en haut" et non de" haut en bas" sur le côté gauche de l'écran

    Moreau - Reply

    If re-opening a screen that was opened and re-attached using iFixit’s adhesive strips, I would strongly recommend heating it first with an iOpener, heat gun or hair dryer. 20 minutes after attaching with the iFixit adhesive I tried to open it again with the pizza slicer to fix something and cracked the screen on the left-hand side.

    plasticpool - Reply

  3. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 4, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 4, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • Continue running the tool up around the top left corner.

    Ne pincez pas l’écran avec l’autre main. Vous exercez une pression inutile sur le verre et empêchez la roulette de couper le joint.

    phfoglia - Reply

  4. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 5, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 5, image 2 of 2
    • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

  5. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 6, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

    In this step can I cut along the display without make any damage to the front camera?

    arisnordico - Reply

    Hi! Actually - there is no need to cut the tape around the camera area - there is no tape to cut at all! And so, the way go is easy - just pass 10 mm to the left and to the right from camera and start cutting!

    P.S. Just did the whole procedure to replace a RAM and to add SSD on PSIe an hour ago! Seems to be different reading the instructions... you know - 2/10 and so on. But it's really not that hard, trust me. I'll give it 5/10.

    P.P.S. By the way there is one trick to pass the difficult steps. Any action which requires pulling smth (motherboard, speaker, power supply unit) from the narrow crack (or should i say - slit?) at the bottom of your Imac is really not so easy.

    And the trick is to first remove a thin metal stripe with some kind of insulation on it which held by 5 small (very small!!) screws at the bottom of your Imac. After you done it - it's easy to pull everything! Pay attention to the fact that one of this 5 screws at the center are more shortly than others.

    dv1977 - Reply

    After doing the replacement the adhesive still sticks quite good enough to hold the screen in place. Maybe this isn't rock-solid, but enough for me.

    Mirko - Reply

    I did all steps like this manuell but now the Display wont work only some colered strips are to see! Whats happend??

    Can anybody help me ? Maybe the connector cable is broken?

    djfanta - Reply

    Check both connectors, probably one of them not seated well

    pzhivulin -

    You can add a SATA SSD if you already have a PCIe SSD Factory?

    kaserlik - Reply

    If you're changing cracked EMC 2638 display to new assembly, there's two more steps:

    Step 24: 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 display assembly.

    Step 25: Use the tip of a spudger to unplug bracket of the thermal sensor small cable near display data cable.

    Carefully remove scotch tape covering thermal sensor. Using iSesamo or flat tip of the spudger carefully peel the thermal sensor away.

    pzhivulin - Reply

    omg - forgot to switch the termal sensor from the old display...

    now fan runs like crazy...

    Andrei Balotescu -

    The key thing is to never put any force on the opening tool when working through the tape. Just roll it back and forth with ease.

    Ernst - Reply

  6. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 7, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 7, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 7, image 3 of 3
    • Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.

  7. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 8, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.

  8. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 9, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

    Yes, do it many times to loosen the adhesive.

    Noah Ralston - Reply

    Would be good data to show the 3 areas (wifi antennas where the "tape" is larger and covers them. The rest of the "tape" is 1.4" and easy. Also after removing the display, be sure to remove the old "tape" from both the display and the rubber parts of the case. Use the spudger to start an end and it should pull off easily. Careful on the baackside of the display as you can scratch off the black paint/covering.

    Carl Schultz - Reply

  9. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 10, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 10, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 10, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    this step is extremely important NOT to stick in the cards too far….. doing so, you risk a 600 euro replacement as I experienced………

    Edgar Broekema - Reply

    I drew a 3/8” line on my cards with a marker first.

    Max Romano - Reply

    I’m reading this on the EU store, please change all measurements to cm/mm.

    Morgana Devina - Reply

    @ifixit The next batch of cards you create should have a line printed on the card 3/8” in from the edges. Would make a nice reference.

    Richard Giratd - Reply

    Here’s where OWC provides glass removal suction cups, which is a better solution than plastic cards.

    The suction cups help to easily lift the glass panel, without risking the damaging of any internal wiring that the plastic cards could cause.

    Ernst - Reply

    Better to remove stand wedge at this point? Can’t see from pics

    derekrobinson - Reply

  10. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 11, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 11, image 2 of 2
    • 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".

    This part must be done very carefully or you can damage the flat cable from display, despite it was under a iron cover.

    Cassio Machado - Reply

  11. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 12, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 12, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 12, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    You don't need to do it like this, simply open the iMac bendidng the LCD completely and use the pizza cutter to remove the adhesive.

    Felix - Reply

    Agreed. The card is too thick to cut through the adhesive in this way. Use the pizza cutter or a sharper blade at this point.

    Max Romano -

    Using glass removal suction cups will avoid running this risk of damaging the camera (or any wiring).

    Ernst - Reply

  12. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 13, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 13, image 2 of 2
    • Wedge the plastic card into the top right corner once again, and leave it there to prevent the adhesive from resticking.

  13. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 14, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 14, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 14, image 3 of 3
    • Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame near the top left corner of the iMac.

  14. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 15, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 15, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

  15. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 16, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 16, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 16, image 3 of 3
    • Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.

  16. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 17, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 17, image 2 of 2
    • Wedge the plastic card back into the top left corner.

  17. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 18, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 18, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 18, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

  18. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Display Assembly Cables: step 19, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Display Assembly Cables: step 19, image 2 of 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").

    • Hold the display with one hand while using your other hand to unplug the display power cable.

    It was difficult to remove this connection. I ended up having to gently pull-up vertically a little on the wire side to unsnap it about 1mm and then horizontally wiggle it out.

    delacrj2 - Reply

    I had a difficult time removing this connection. I had to lift the wire-side about 1mm before it unsnapped and then carefully wiggle it out horizontally.

    delacrj2 - Reply

    Can this cable be replaced? I am worried mine is damaged. I have no display after the screen fell and stressed the display flex cables following an SSD upgrade.

    Jeremy Brainard - Reply

    This step should be done with extreme caution and care, as this step 19 is not described in great detail (sorry, author).

    The first (most outward) cable will slide out by gently pulling it by its tabs. The second (inner) cable is more tricky, as the locking lever must be moved backward first, before gently pulling backward on the cable connector. The angled tweezers are useful here, to help lift that locking lever, because fingers are too big for this.

    Ernst - Reply

    be VERY careful and SLOW...take your time. These displays crack VERY easily when removing and they'll spider web on you. I've done probably 20 or so of these and cracked 3 being super careful.....ugh.

    Faslane - Reply

  19. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 20, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 20, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 20, image 3 of 3
    • Continuing to support the display with one hand, 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, keeping it parallel to the motherboard, to avoid damaging it.

    Cannot seem to find a replacement cable for this, as I suspect mine is damaged. Can’t even find a part number. Anyone know what it might be?

    Jeremy Brainard - Reply

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08TTL...

    That's the part I ordered for mine and it seems to work ok. I did make a point of contacting the seller and advising them of my requirement and they ensured I got the right part and it matches the description of the link. Bear in mind I bear no responsibility if yours does not work since I am just sharing what I did and what I ordered. Thanks.

    Jim Stanford -

    I also need that cable.

    cameronjpu - Reply

    It's a little difficult to tell... but looking at the connection to the logic board on the video data cable, are the pins faced up or down?

    On the display, same question since it appears you have to "twist" the cable during the reconnection step.

    Jim Stanford - Reply

  20. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Display Assembly Separation: step 21, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Display Assembly Separation: step 21, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

    The best way to remove the chin adhesive is to use the tabs at either end (there are two strips that run from each outside corner to near the centre). Carefully pull the tabs up and the strips should peel off.

    Advance Technical Service - Reply

  21. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 22, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 22, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 22, image 3 of 3
    • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).

    • Grasp the small tab at the end of one of the bottom edge display adhesive strips and pull the adhesive toward the top of the iMac to remove it.

    • Repeat this step with the other adhesive strip and remove it.

    • If either adhesive strip breaks before it's removed, use a plastic card to slice through the remaining adhesive.

    At step 21-22, releasing the adhesive strips from the bottom of the display, I noticed a tab on the outer end of each strip. Pull the tab to remove the whole strip, no need to mess around with the plastic cards!

    roberttrevellyan - Reply

  22. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 23, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 23, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 23, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    • After the adhesive is cut, it cannot be used to re-seal the display in place. Follow this guide to replace the adhesive strips that secure the display to the rear enclosure.

  23. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Lower Support Bracket: step 24, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Lower Support Bracket: step 24, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

    I would recommend that those trying this have the project tray to contain all of the screws.

    Mikkif - Reply

    2 notes for reassembly, carful with screws not to strip the heads as they are really really small, make note to cut a gap in the the adhesive over the whole for the microphone.

    I managed to strip the head of one of the screws when putting it back in. So be carful with them when putting in / taking out. If you strip it on the way out you will need to take a fine drill and rill it out. Going back in, well as long as you never need to strip it down again not a problem.

    The second problem is a real pain, you need to make sure to cut a gap in the adhesive just to the right of Center at the button to allow for the microphone opening. If you don’t, the adhesive tape will stop any real pick up on the Mic, so you just need to cut a small gap in it before putting on the screen. Unfortunately I didn’t find this out (or do my checked before sticking it all back down, so have to pull screen back off and reapply new adhesive with a cut out in it at an other time.

    Andrew Taylor - Reply

    Refer her for more info on the mic / adhesive work around —> Muffled Microphone - iMac 21.5" (mid 2017) - Following Adhesive Strips

    Andrew Taylor - Reply

  24. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 25, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the lower support bracket (a.k.a. "chin strap") from the iMac enclosure.

  25. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive Brackets: step 26, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following T10 Torx screws securing the hard drive brackets to the iMac:

    • Two 21 mm screws

    • One 9 mm screw

    • One 27 mm screw

    At step 26, when reassembling, it's super easy to over-tighten the 9mm screw and strip the brass ferrule out of its hole in the plastic bracket (%#*@).

    roberttrevellyan - Reply

    Mine has 4 different length screws, the two red colored 21mm screws in this guide are actually two differ lengths

    anonymous 523 - Reply

    Mi imac does not have a HDrive whats the steps to follow?

    Charlie - Reply

  26. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 27, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 27, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the left and right hard drive brackets from the iMac.

  27. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Power Supply: step 28, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Power Supply: step 28, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Power Supply: step 28, image 3 of 3
    • 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 or any of the exposed solder. Touching it risks 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.

    I would advise that before removing the PSU unit and all other components from the bottom of the case that you remove the 5 screws at the bottom of the display which hold an insulation strip in place.

    The guide shows this piece removed, but does not tell you how to remove it.

    There will be 5, small J1000 screws. The middle one, which goes over Apple Logo is the shorter one of the 5, all others are the same length. Once this piece is gone removing the components is much easier, and chance of damage lessened.

    [deleted] - Reply

    Added to the guide. Thanks for the tip!

    Jeff Suovanen -

    No need to remove power board and logic board and all other components, just remove the fan and it is quite "easily" accessable to change the RAM. Just need to use the tools to remove the old RAM and carefully install the new RAM.

    I just did it without removing the logic or power board

    Oleksandr Trokhymchuk - Reply

    could you elaborate a little more, I would love to skip the rest of these steps. How did you accomplish this?

    ej P -

    Oleksandr Trokhymchuk,

    Thank you! You just saved me so much time! I wouldn’t call this “easy” but it saved me a lot of time and effort.

    Joshua Ericson -

    ej P: remove the fan assembly first. Then remove the connector that runs from the iSight camera to the logic board on the left.

    the RAM is located right near that cable. It’s tricky to remove but you can pop open the connectors with a black nylon stick and the RAM chip will pop up at 45 degrees. Make a mental note on which way you will need to install the new ram as it’s tough to see. For the Crucial memory I got it was label side facing away you (facing towards rear metal enclosure).

    the second chip has a plastic adhesive piece on it that you should probably attach to the new ram.

    remove both chips then install the new ram in sequence from the board out.

    Wizdom On Wheels - Reply

    In the photo for Step 28, the power button cable connector is placed around the power board screw hole on the top left of the power board.

    However, on the iMac I upgraded, the power button cable connector was “fed” through the power power screw hole on the top left of the power board. The cable was too short to run around and below the hole.

    Hence, I had to ensure the cable was “fed” through the hole during re-assembly and the screw carefully screwed back through the hole.

    I guess every iMac is assembly just a bit differently, just to make repairs that much more fun.

    telcik - Reply

    Just replaced the hard drive and RAM with SSD and 16GB respectively and did NOT remove the power supply or logic board. Tricky is a word to describe putting the RAM in without removing the logic board. You work in the dark with little room to get your fingers in between the logic board and the back of the case. I put the first RAM chip in without a problem (the one next to the logic board), but the second to four tries and dropped it behind the logic board three times before finally getting it to position correctly. Just impossible to see and must work but feel. Still it was faster than removing all the components… though did remove the fan (needed cleaning anyway). All in all I can’t say enough about the help the guide was through the upgrade ! Thanks !

    Ray Burgard - Reply

    I found this connector to be very tight and was afraid of breaking it off. I just kept slowly working on it—it did eventually come out.

    I did try to sneak the RAM in without removing the logic board but my fingers were too big. I found it too difficult and just continued on with this guide.

    Mikkif - Reply

    I was not able to install the memory without removing all the components. My fingers are too big and I could barely get in that tight spot to swap out the memory. The hardest part about the power supply is that one connector under the chin next to the Apple logo. Once it is out, you are home free because it is so easy to plug it back in when you are putting it all back together again. Ridiculous that Apple did not put a simple access door behind those memory slots because they are on the backside of the Mac! They did an access door on the PowerBooks and it did not ruin the appearance. They could have designed a cool looking pop out door that only had a thin seam around it so it would still look good. Then you could remove the access door to upgrade the memory easily.

    Peter Hillman - Reply

    Does anyone know if this is the same situation as in the 2017 model? I just changed RAM in the 2017 version and also skipped taking out the logic board. I just bent a pair of tweezers and put some tape around the tips to make them less scratchy and used them to place the RAM modules into the slots. Worked supereasy and much much quicker than performing the complete tear down of the whole machine.

    Nils Witte - Reply

    This step is impossible!

    Cecily Walker - Reply

    @wizdomonwheels, I don’t see how I can get the RAM shield off of the logic board to access the RAM without removing the logic board. What am I missing?? I’m guessing that those of you that are suggesting this technique are working on older iMac models that don’t have the RAM shield.

    jiclark - Reply

    Yes, you are correct. It is likely the various steps are a bit different on each model. If I recall I was likely working on a 2015 or older system. If there’s a shield in the way, I can’t think of a way you could get around it without pulling the logic board.

    Wizdom On Wheels -

  28. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 29, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 29, image 2 of 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger to push each side of the power supply control cable connector and gently walk it out of its socket.

  29. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 30, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 7.2 mm T10 Torx screws securing the power supply to the rear enclosure.

    • In newer model iMacs these are 7.2 mm T8 Torx screws.

    • During reassembly, be careful not to trap the power button wire behind the board.

    In my case, the left side corner of the PS was caught against the Lower Support Bracket, and I had to remove the LSB in order to get the PS freed and out.

    I think the author Walter Galan should put this in the main section of his instructions. I have TWO identical iMac 14,1 / i5 2.7GHz / 21 Inch Late 2013 / Order ME086LL/A. They both required removing the LSB. Thank you very much Walter Galan & others for your contributions.

    Ted Horodynsky - Reply

    Those screws were definitely not T10 but T9 on my unit

    Vincent Monteil - Reply

    Those screws were T8 on my unit.

    jag32mobile - Reply

  30. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 31, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 31, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

    When replacing the PSU (on the re-build) take care not to trap the power button cable behind it - I did...

    Dave Hallett - Reply

  31. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 32, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 32, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 32, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    In my case, the left side corner of the PS was caught against the Lower Support Bracket, and I had to remove the LSB in order to get the PS freed and out.

    I think the author Walter Galan should put this in the main section of his instructions. I have TWO identical iMac 14,1 / i5 2.7GHz / 21 Inch Late 2013 / Order ME086LL/A. They both required removing the LSB. Thank you very much Walter Galan & others for your contributions.

    Ted Horodynsky - Reply

  32. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 33, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 33, image 2 of 2
    • Slide the power supply to the right to clear the screw posts on the rear enclosure.

  33. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 34, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 34, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 34, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

  34. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 35, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 35, image 2 of 2
    • 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 power supply over to access the DC power cable connection behind the logic board.

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

    when pulled the cable, even slightly, the actual female piece that connects to the logic board came off. am i screwed?

    Racheal Major - Reply

    Repairing sockets that come off the logic board is possible, but very specialised work. Unless you have a magnifying lamp and the necessary desoldering and soldering skills, it will be difficult but not impossible.

    Charlie Nancarrow - Reply

    The tab is at the far end of the connector, so you’ll need to reach farther than you might think.

    lkollar - Reply

    When I pulled the disconnect, I pushed down on the disconnect, instead of pushing down on the tab on the disconnect and bent those pins… tried to straighten the bent pins and two of the pins broke off the logic board. Will I need a new logic board or can I purchase the pins…?

    Ray AA - Reply

  35. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 36, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 36, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 36, image 3 of 3
    • You may find it helpful to set the iMac down on its back for the next couple of steps.

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

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

    I didn't disconnect the input cable to the power supply. Because I had the machine lying on its back throughout, I placed it on to the metal bit at the bottom of the machine instead (with a cloth to stop the metal getting scratched). The AC inlet cable was pretty tricky to get un-locked, and the PSU sat on the case fine. It didn't hinder anything else throughout the guide.

    Dave Hallett - Reply

    I thought from Dave’s comment that I could leave the power supply completely in place, but I was mistaken. In order to remove the hard drive assembly after you remove the center screw in it, you’ll need to at least unscrew it and the HD assembly will slip out. Like Dave said, you don’t need to unplug the AC or PSU, which I left hanging.

    Getting power supply to the logic board unplugged is also tricky without unscrewing the two bottom screws. They didn’t make this part easy.

    delacrj2 - Reply

    Kleiner Rechtschreibfehler - statt „denac“ muss es wohl „den iMac“ heißen

    Gonzalo - Reply

    Au ja. Du kannst so was selbst ausbessern. Einfach auf “Übersetzen" gehen und loslegen.

    VauWeh - Reply

    I would like to thanks Dave Hallett for his tip of not removing the AC inlet connector of the power supply. I simply wrapped the board in bubble wrap and taped to the iMac case, out of the way, thus giving access to the remaining disconnection procedures and preventing the board from scratching to the iMac case. It also made reassembly much simpler.

    Rob Hogan - Reply

    Yeah, that AC inlet plug was a nasty one to unplug, mainly because I was trying not to bump the solder joints on the PSU. After a few wiggles and pulls while manipulating the spudger tool to release the clip, it finally unplugged. Made it easier by removing the PSU completely so you don’t have to worry about it. Don’t worry, plugging it back in is a breeze!

    Peter Hillman - Reply

    With the right tool this plug comes out very easily. Forget about your tiny computer tools, go to the garage and grab a regular old needle nose pliers. Grab the clip and the plug at the same time. The plug will come right out.

    Carin Ann Loewen - Reply

    Carin Ann— The most helpful comment on this procedure. After reading what you wrote I maneuvered the board, grabbed the clip with my left hand (a little awkward because of the cooling enclosure), squeezed the front of the plug, and got it out.

    Glen Kohler - Reply

    +1 for needle nose pliers!

    Sam - Reply

  36. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 37, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the power supply from the iMac.

    erreur: retirer "la carte d'alimentation" et non" le disque dur" !!!!!

    Moreau - Reply

  37. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Fan: step 38, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Fan: step 38, image 2 of 2
    • Gently pull the fan cable connector straight away from its socket on the logic board.

  38. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 39, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the three 10 mm T10 Torx screws securing the fan to the rear enclosure.

    • The uppermost screw has a rubber standoff adhered to its head to support the display—leave this in place.

    In this photo the hard drive brackets and tray are fully assembled. But, you’ve just dismantled about half of it already in early steps. This photo is apt to confuse you a bit when you’re doing everything in reverse order.

    Timothy Reynolds - Reply

    Another way to say what Tim said above:

    For reassembly, this picture, showing the hard drive brackets back in place, is misleading. Leave them off still.

    IF, at this stage, you reinstall the hard drive brackets, when you get to the time to reinstall the power supply, you will have to backtrack and take the brackets off.

    Tech Medic - Reply

  39. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 40, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 40, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the fan from the iMac.

    For reassembly, this picture, showing the hard drive brackets back in place, is misleading. Leave them off still.

    IF, at this stage, you reinstall the hard drive brackets, when you get to the time to reinstall the power supply, you will have to backtrack and take the brackets off.

    Tech Medic - Reply

  40. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive Assembly: step 41, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive Assembly: step 41, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive Assembly: step 41, image 3 of 3
    • Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the logic board and pull it slightly out of its recess.

    • The hard drive is still attached by its SATA cable; do not attempt to fully remove it from the iMac yet.

  41. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 42, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 42, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 42, image 3 of 3
    • Use a spudger to disconnect the single SATA cable by prying it gently away from the hard drive.

    • Remove the hard drive assembly from the iMac.

    I’ve found that loosening the T10 screws on the enclosure to the left helps give some room to remove and reinstall the drive. Otherwise reattaching the SATA cable can be a hassle.

    rothgar - Reply

  42. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive: step 43, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive: step 43, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive: step 43, image 3 of 3
    • Peel the rubber bumper off one side of the hard drive.

    • Repeat for the other side.

    • When installing a new drive, it's helpful to use double-sided tape to stick the bumpers to your new drive.

    reconnecting the new drive can be a little tricky as the sata connector in the Mac is hard to align. I found that it helps to move the end of the bumpers out of the way, then push them back into position once the drive is connected.

    Gareth Jones - Reply

    thats what it did as well, thx for the hint. also i used a plastic spudger to reconnect the plug unto the new drive and leveled it against the speaker casing thats so close to the drive bay

    Stef999 - Reply

    Can I install a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB to replace my 1TB 5400rpm disk? and is a seperate thermal sensor/cable needed to prohibit the fan to run at 100% all the time?

    Maurits K - Reply

    Yes you can install ANY SATA SSD.

    And no … there is no thermal sensor on the drive. You don’t need them on these models.

    robert Seith -

    Can I install a Seagate FireCuda 2TB to replace my 1TB 5400rpm disk? and is a seperate thermal sensor/cable needed to prohibit the fan to run at 100% all the time?

    andrew mudd - Reply

    Did you ever find out if you could replace your 500 GB with that Firecuda? I’m looking at doing that. I need more storage for my 500 GB photos library and don’t want to pay so a ton for the SSD that is big enough.

    shippster -

    where is the guide for the follow up ?

    installing a new hard disk and closing the screen back up.

    yog1389 - Reply

    The SSD was a HUGE performance boost over the 5400rpm drive my iMac came with. If you’re pulling your hair out because Lightroom has become excruciatingly slow, upgrade your hard drive to SSD. You will not be disappointed.

    The kit has everything you need. Follow these instructions carefully and you’ll be fine.

    Mike Mullis - Reply

    Huge improvement! It’s like a new machine. Highly recommended upgrade.

    Take care with the adhesive strips, and don’t forget to set new SSD as the boot disk (System Preferences, Startup Disk) after you’ve tested its bootable.

    Stephen Babbage - Reply

    I previously had a fusion drive and installed a SSD. Will there be any issues with the ssd portion of the fusion drive? I still see it there in disc utility. Also, I’m showing two SSDs, along with the 32 gig one. Is that correct or did I create something that shouldn’t be there?

    rossmueller - Reply

    I have this same question. I’m showing 2 drives but 1 is grayed out on the computer screen when I click on it nothing happens.

    Frank -

    A fusion drive combines two physical disks via software to act as one. It it something that has to be done manually and expressly. When you first got the computer, your fusion drive combined disks A (SSD) and B (HDD). If you replaced B, then you probably have an unused 32 GB blade SSD along with your new SSD. It possible to create another Fusion drive, but you’d have to start from zero, because creating a fusion drive erases the individual disks completely.

    also, not 100%, but I tried for several hours the other day and I’ve come to the conclusion that my version of Big Sur (11.1) doesn’t support Fusion Drives. Correct me if I’m wrong. Or maybe it’s because I’m running Big Sur on an unsupported iMac.

    David -

    It is also possible install the bumpers after getting the drive cable attached. This gives you more room to work with the cable and drive.

    Sean Kane - Reply

    The hardest part was to plug the connector into the new SSD. I loose the two screws of the adjacent (left) speaker and move it just enough to have sufficient space to introduce my fingers to push the conector into the SSD. Left the replace of the rubber bumpers after reconnect the SSD, is easy to handle without it.

    Dennis Salas - Reply

    I bought Samsung QVO 1TB SSD and now the fan is blasting fast and loud. So if these don’t use the thermal cables then what seems to be triggering the high temp? Obviously it’s the hard drive but could it be that the drive was cloned? I’m kinda stumped, I know I can control with software but some of you are saying it should run normal after install. Thanks for the info.

    MonoFrio - Reply

    Is there a PCIe slot for an SSD instead of the SATA 3.0 2.5”?

    thank you,

    deejaysurfer - Reply

    The step-by-step guide was awesome and easy to follow. As others have commented, getting the SATA connector onto the SSD is tricky but not impossible. Just pull back the rubber bumpers long enough to reach the connector, then flip them back into place before seating the drive. One comment for my machine (late 2015 21.5”): There is no mic hole for my model, so while I was a little confused at the instructions on reinstalling the adhesive, the drive replacement went like a dream. And I saved myself the $120 labor the local Mac shop wanted to charge me.

    Glenn Pettit - Reply

    Hat alles prima funktioniert. Leider läuft der Lüfter jetzt auf 100% und kernel_task Prozess ist bei über 300%. Was habe ich falsch gemacht. Diagnose meldet jetzt einen SMC Fehler und CPU-Proximity liefert keinen Wert.

    Kann jemand helfen?

    Michael Schmitz - Reply

    This is the least accurately described step (sorry, author). While removal is easy, inserting the new drive in its place is a bit tricky. The key here, is to insert the new drive with its rubber bumpers back in its space, so that it is fully seated down in its place *before* the connector can be re-attached. Once it is seated in place, use the flat end of the spudger to gently manoeuver the connector back into place until it is firmly connected to the drive.

    Ernst - Reply

    Reassembling the iMac is not simply following these instructions in reverse order (sorry, author).

    Before embarking on the home stretch, it is very important to carefully study the guide about the Adhesive Strips Replacement (iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Adhesive Strips Replacement - iFixit Repair Guide), as this a tedious and time consuming process. Perfect alignment of those adhesive strips takes some concentration, because you will want to have your display panel back nice and tight and fully aligned with the case. Once all strips are in place, the 2 display connectors need to be gently reattached to the motherboard, before closing up the panel. I took my sweet time for that step, and thankfully have a perfectly aligned display panel back in place looking no different from the factory fit.

    Ernst - Reply

    Here’s the rest of the information you need.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xDJ28Oe...

    John Smith - Reply

    I got a 4 TB Seagate Barracuda HDD as a replacement for a client. (Going for capacity over speed.) Does anyone know if it will fit? It’s definitely fatter than the other HDD/SSDs I’ve installed before.

    David - Reply

    There needs to be more added to cover the first part of re-assembly. To connect up my SSD, I needed to remove screws that held in place the black plastic to the left of the drive bay. This was only way to get the added space needed to connect the SSD to the drive cable. I also connected the SSD first, then attached the rubber bumpers, simply to give me more room to maneuver the drive next to the connector. All in all, yes, a person well familiar with tearing down iMacs could do it in an hour or so. But frankly, the design of this iMac is a total horror show when it comes to repair or replacement of parts, especially given its reliance on glue and adhesives. Gee, just like other Apple products.

    Ben Myers - Reply

    Ben, after you replaced the HDD with SSD, did you have any fan issues on the A1418 model iMac? Thinking of doing this but I’ve been reading for hours and seeing mixed reports about thermal sensors.

    Christopher Henley -

    This iFixit tool (iFixit Opening Tool) will be your best friend when it's time to install your new 2.5" hard drive. Simply hook the tool to the back top corner of the iMac SATA adapter, connect your hard drive loosely to the SATA ports and use the tool to pull the SATA adapter forward into the hard drive.

    iannai29 - Reply

    After replacing the hard drive. All went well BUT -now my mic does not work. It's the single hole on the bottom. Any ideas anybody?

    Paolo Alberto - Reply

    Please update the end of this guide, pointing the customer to the guide for replacing the display adhesive strips. You provide a single kit for this procedure, and the customer has to figure out that they must follow two independent guides, in order to successfully complete the installation.

    Lewis - Reply

  43. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, Hard Drive Tray: step 44, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the 7.3 mm T8 Torx screw securing the hard drive tray to the rear enclosure.

    it`s a t10 screw..! ;)

    happymac venezuela - Reply

    I found it easier to connect SATA cable before fixing tray.

    Mārtiņš Jansons - Reply

  44. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 45, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the hard drive tray.

    I am following these procedures for the following: iMac Retina 4K - 21.5" - 3GHz Quad Core - Radeon Pro 555 2GB - 4GB/4GB (8GB total - 2 slots) 2400MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM - Mid 2017 - Model: MNDY2LL/A - iMac18,2 - A1418 - 3069. In my case, the SATA cable is clipped into the bottom of the hard drive tray. Pull the hard drive tray up slightly and angle to reveal clips. SATA cable pops out from the side of each clip.

    iannai29 - Reply

    Better yet, after reading Step 49 - no need to remove SATA cable from the bottom of the hard drive tray.

    iannai29 - Reply

  45. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, RAM: step 46, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade, RAM: step 46, image 2 of 2
    • Gently pull the right speaker cable connector straight down and out of its socket on the logic board.

    Please, please, please…Please! Make sure you fix this cable somewhere where you can get to it when you put the mother board back in. it is a pain to screw it down and realize that it’s under the motherboard. Learn from my pain.

    LeBarron Durant - Reply

    I did not learn from your pain @lebarron durant, but I’m going to read every single comment next time!!

    carsonmkulp - Reply

  46. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 47, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 47, image 2 of 2
    • Gently pull the left speaker cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

    I had to pinch the 2 sides of the left speaker cable while pulling down. I didn’t have to do this with the right speaker it came out with no problem. The left was a little tougher, but you have more clearance and can use your fingers on the left speaker cable.

    LeBarron Durant - Reply

  47. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 48, image 1 of 1
    • De-route the left speaker cable by pulling it straight up out of the retaining clip in the back of the rear enclosure.

  48. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 49, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 49, image 2 of 2
    • Similarly to the previous step, de-route the SATA and power cables by pulling the braid straight up out of the retaining clip.

  49. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 50, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 50, image 2 of 2
    • Peel up the piece of tape connecting the left speaker connector to the SATA power and data cables.

  50. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 51, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 51, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 51, image 3 of 3
    • Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the FaceTime camera cable connector.

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

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

  51. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 52, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 4.0 mm T5 Torx screws securing the four antenna connectors to the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

  52. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 53, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 53, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 53, image 3 of 3
    • Disconnect all four antenna connectors by prying them straight up from their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

  53. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 54, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 54, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 54, image 3 of 3
    • Use the flat edge of a spudger to pry the headphone jack cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

    • This connector is located on the bottom right edge of the logic board, near the right speaker.

    • Push the cable up and out of the way of the logic board.

  54. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 55, image 1 of 1
    • Peel off the tape covering the exhaust duct.

  55. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 56, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following T8 Torx screws securing the exhaust duct to the rear enclosure:

    • Two 6.2 mm screws

    • Two 4.7 mm screws

    At least in the 2017 iMac both of the red screws are missing – removing the orange ones was enough.

    Jonathan Rudow - Reply

    UGH! you have to have a torx screw driver long enough to hit the screw on the bottom right corner where it goes through the motherboard. Just good luck that I had a coworker that had one!!!

    Sam Fung - Reply

  56. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 57, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 57, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 57, image 3 of 3

    My microphone stopped working after I put everything back together very very carefully. I am unsure whether or not I inserted the cable back incorrectly or damaged the cable. I did not find out the mic stopped working until I put everything back together and installed the operating system, so BE EXTRA CAREFUL with the cable! Hope this helps someone!!!

    Sam Fung - Reply

  57. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 58, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the four 7.3 mm T8 Torx screws securing the logic board to the rear enclosure.

    On the iMac I’m upgrading right now, the bottom left screw in this picture had a black adhesive sticker over the screw. It was round and the size of the screw head, but it blocked you from getting a driver into it. I had to peel it off.

    John M - Reply

  58. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 59, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 59, image 2 of 2
    • Tilt the top of the logic board away from the rear enclosure.

    As the motherboard is left on the first picture, shouldn't it be at the second place ?

    Emmanuel - Reply

  59. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 60, image 1 of 1
    • When removing and installing the logic board, take care not to damage the delicate microphone ribbon cable at the bottom left.

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

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

    At step 60, when reinstalling the logic board, check to make sure the I/O ports are flush with the back of the case. It’s easy to end up with a small gap, and if you do, you won’t be able to fully insert USB-C connectors.

    roberttrevellyan - Reply

    I’d like to second this. Screw in the four logic board screws very loosley. Then make sure all the cables are where they should be. Then push the bottom of the board back until you feel it snap into place. Then tighten the four screws. At this point, before going any further, test out all the ports with some plugs to make sure everything goes in nice and easy.

    John M - Reply

  60. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 61, image 1 of 1
    • Handling the board by the edges, flip the logic board over to access the two RAM modules.

    What is the left bottom m.2 terminal?

    Daewon - Reply

  61. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 62, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 62, image 2 of 2
    • Two clips secure the RAM module in place, one on each side. Using your fingers, spread the clips away from the RAM module.

    • When released, the RAM module will pop up at a slight angle.

  62. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 63, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 63, image 2 of 2
    • Lift the RAM module to an angle of about 30 degrees and slide it out.

    • When handling the RAM module, touch only the outside edges. Take care not to touch the gold-colored contact points along the bottom edge.

    • To install a new RAM module, slide it in place at about the same angle until it is snug, and then swing it downward until the two clips snap into place.

  63. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 64, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) RAM and SATA Hard Drive Upgrade: step 64, image 2 of 2
    • The original RAM module closer to the logic board has a thermal pad adhered to its top side (facing away from the logic board, between the two DIMMs).

    • Peel off and transfer the thermal pad from the original RAM stick to your replacement RAM before you install it in the lower slot.

    Wird das Display beim späteren Zusammenbau nicht frisch verklebt? Beispielsweise mit Klebestreifen?

    f.ferlemann - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Sam Goldheart

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4 Comments

Upgraded to a SSD and maxed the RAM on a 2017 21.5” iMac retina. Perfect instructions. Takes 90-120 minutes for a first-timer. Getting the LCD off is the hardest part… be patient and very careful. Recommend testing everything before putting new adhesive strips on.

Joe - Reply

Be very careful. I also replaced my fusion drive with a 2T SSD and maxed the ram to 32gb but somehow I screwed up the microphone. I had to pay Apple 520.00 to fix it because they had to replace the whole back cover. Took about a week to get it back from Apple. Good luck!

Frank - Reply

Frank, along the bottom right hand side of the aluminum case where the screen slots in there are three small holes. Make sure the adhesive doesn't cover those as it is the microphone. To do this, I laid the screen adhesive, and then cut a section out over those holes.

Mr b 5280 -

successful upgrade my iMac to 2 TB SSD and 32gb RAM with no complications. Thank for this useful guide

hanifah jusoh - Reply

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