Introduction

Use this guide to replace or upgrade your hard drive for more storage space.

Lay your iMac front side down on a table with the lower edge facing yourself.
  • Lay your iMac front side down on a table with the lower edge facing yourself.

  • Loosen the single Phillips screw in the center of the access door.

  • This screw is captive in the access door.

  • Remove the access door from your iMac.

The grid won't fall off by itself. You'll have to help it. Use the smallest screwdriver you have; the Torx 6 worked fine for me. It should enter in one of the many holes composing the grid. Use it as a lever to ploy the grid a little bit. You may catch it with your fingers and that's it.

Be carefull not to damage the hole by a too strong leverage.

Laurent - Reply

much more safer to use duct tape, instead of torx 6. (glue it along the length of the grid and pull). it will loose instantly and smooth;)

Hofmann78rus - Reply

Anyone know a guide to replace the plastic piece this screw connects to? I accidentally forgot this step - went to remove the front bezel and bent the plastic piece the access door connects to.

Jason Augustin - Reply

  • The glass panel is fixed onto the front bezel with fourteen magnets around its perimeter.

  • Stick two suction cups to opposing 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.

A good alternative to the two heavy duty suction cups is a regular household plunger.

Russell Knight - Reply

Also, 2" wide packing tape. Maybe a 6 or 8" piece, folded in the middle to give you say, a 1-2" "handle". Make a pair of these. They look like a capital T but with a short vertical part (the handle), and a wide top I the sticky wings). Get the good 3M tape, it's strong, and it peels off clean without leaving any glue from the screen.

Barry Coyle - Reply

for me one household plunger did the trick!

Ronald Huygen - Reply

Gently pull the glass panel straight up off the iMac.
  • Gently pull the glass panel straight up off the iMac.

  • The glass panel has several positioning pins around its perimeter. To avoid shearing these pins off the glass panel, be sure to only pull straight up during removal.

  • Be meticulous about cleaning the LCD and the inside face of the glass panel before reinstallation, as any fingerprints or dust trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the display is on.

  • When replacing the glass, be sure there's nothing between the glass and the frame. Stray cables could be damaged or crack the glass.

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Remove the following 12 screws securing the front bezel to the rear case:
  • Remove the following 12 screws securing the front bezel to the rear case:

    • Eight 13 mm T8 Torx.

    • Four 25 mm T8 Torx.

  • On the 24" iMac Intel Model A1225, the bottom center two screws are long (26mm), four on sides (two left, two right) are medium (18mm), and the remaining 6 (four top, two bottom corners) are short (14mm).

I would strongly suggest taping the screws down on a piece of paper towel or cloth in the same order you take them out, as there are different lengths in no particular order and they don't all fit into just any hole. Unless you keep track of which hole each screw belongs, there is no other way of knowing. I stress taping because I didn't tape mine down and after bumping the table I was working on they scattered, leaving me to guess.

Len - Reply

Even better, use an ice cube tray to keep the screws from each step together.

maccentric - Reply

how about using the magnets near the screws to keep their positions?

Andy - Reply

I use an 18 count egg carton (or two) and label each egg slot with a Sharpie. Works great.

airira - Reply

As a rule with iFixit repairs, for years I've been printing the guides, applying scotch magic tape near each picture (which allows me to reutilise the paper prints in the future), neatly putting the appropriate screw next to their picture and taping them down with scotch magic tape.

Even if I have to wait for spare parts, this allows me to neatly file the guide + screws in a copy safe and a binder (or in a cardboard filing box together with the rest of the parts) for later reassembly. Hardly any mistake possible...

Bart Van Dessel - Reply

I think the caption on the picture is wrong here for 24" iMacs - it says: "On the 24" iMac Intel Model A1225, the bottom center two screws are long (26mm), four on sides (two left, two right) are medium (18mm), and the remaining 6 (four top, two bottom corners) are short (14mm)." I think actually bottom centre two are long, then all the rest are medium apart from the two either side of the CD/DVD drive

HBloomfield - Reply

I print out the steps. Get a roll of scotch tape ready. Every screw, or set of screws I remove, I lay on some tape, and then tape them to the number on the directions. Then you have each screw labeled, with direction, and in order, or reassembly. Just working backwards in the directions.

Barry Coyle - Reply

The front bezel is still attached to the iMac by the microphone cable. Gently lift the front bezel from its top edge off the rear case.
  • The front bezel is still attached to the iMac by the microphone cable.

  • Gently lift the front bezel from its top edge off the rear case.

  • Once the top edge of the front bezel has cleared the rear case, rotate the front bezel toward the stand and lift it off the rear case.

  • Rotate the front bezel away from the rest of the device and lay it above the top edge of the iMac.

  • When reinstalling the front bezel, start at the lower edge and make sure it is flush with the rear case before lowering the top edge onto the iMac.

Contrary to the pictures, to lift the front bezel off, start at top of the computer screen lifting up while apply a little bit of pressure to the foam in the upper corners of the screen. This will give you the leverage needed to get the bezel to lift up. Be careful to not pull to fast, as the camera cable is still attached.

armand - Reply

you'll need to add this step in all the other tutorials about iMac 20" EMC 2210, where it is missing ; they all jump from step 5 to step 6, which is a little annoying...

Armel h - Reply

Easy way to remove bezel, insert the longest screws a quarter turn into the two top most edge screw slots. Use the screws as anchors to press against as you pull the bezel toward you. Then a simple twist to remove the screws, and the rest of the bezel comes off easy.

armand - Reply

Disconnect the microphone cable connector, removing tape as necessary.
  • Disconnect the microphone cable connector, removing tape as necessary.

  • For the front bezel to sit properly, be sure to tuck the microphone cable and connector into the void next to the camera board.

During reinstallation of the LCD panel, be sure that the iSight microphone cable does not become trapped behind the panel.

Ocean Yamaha - Reply

I actually didn't have to remove the cable. With the iMac laying on its back, just rotate the front bezel (bottom edge rotating around top edge) so that it's laying upside down, above the iMac. When reassembling, just rotate back into place.

Brian Tsai - Reply

Remove the two 5.3 mm T6 torx screws from the LCD connector. Firmly grasp the pull tab on top of the connector and pull it straight up out of its port. Make sure that you are pulling the tab and not the connector cable.
  • Remove the two 5.3 mm T6 torx screws from the LCD connector.

  • Firmly grasp the pull tab on top of the connector and pull it straight up out of its port.

    • Make sure that you are pulling the tab and not the connector cable.

remove the 8 screws (torx) that is holding the screen.

Gideon Lamprecht - Reply

Remove the eight T8 Torx screws securing the display panel to the rear case.
  • Remove the eight T8 Torx screws securing the display panel to the rear case.

  • The iMac shown is a 20" model, but the screw locations should be approximately correct.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
Place your hands on either side of the bottom of the display panel, and lift it up enough that you can reach the connectors inside. Do not try to remove the display panel completely as it is still connected to the rest of the device. While holding the display panel up with one hand, locate and remove the display thermal sensor cable from its connector.
  • Place your hands on either side of the bottom of the display panel, and lift it up enough that you can reach the connectors inside.

    • Do not try to remove the display panel completely as it is still connected to the rest of the device.

  • While holding the display panel up with one hand, locate and remove the display thermal sensor cable from its connector.

Make sure you reconnect the cable for the thermal display sensor during reassembly. If you don't, the fans will be running at max speed and you might think it is from the drive thermal sensor afterwards (which is an issue some users have and which can be fixed in software).

jnavarro - Reply

I had great success with just propping the top edge of the LCD display up with a box about 8" long. By doing so, I didn't have to remove the thermal sensor wire or the power cable.

Brian Tsai - Reply

The thermal sensor connection is more of a pain than it seems. It's a cramped area and it's not clear when it's properly plugged in during reassembly. It may *feel* like it's in, but then pops free at the slightest touch. I guarantee that if as soon as you start up, fans running max speed instantly is the indication this is the issue. If you're ok with that, then fine, but otherwise, you'll have to pull it apart again.

Sheldon Carpenter - Reply

Unplugging the thermal sensor connection is easier said than done, but using the spudger here is very

helpful

Peter Bull - Reply

While still holding the display panel up, use two fingers to firmly push down on the power supply cable connector from its socket. Be very careful not to touch the exposed face of the power supply to avoid electric shock from the many large capacitors attached to the other side of the board.
  • While still holding the display panel up, use two fingers to firmly push down on the power supply cable connector from its socket.

  • Be very careful not to touch the exposed face of the power supply to avoid electric shock from the many large capacitors attached to the other side of the board.

When putting this back together it can be extremely difficult to plug this cable back in without removing a guard that is held in by 2x T8 Torx screws just next to it.

Russell Knight - Reply

I will suggest to remove the other end of the socket which is connected to the display panel. You can never imagine how difficult it will be to plug in on the main body, unless you know well about it.

Michael Shi - Reply

I didn't realize these comments were HERE? Poor web design if you can't see comments in an obvious way. Step 10 will cause you the most trouble in reassembling the computer and I knew it as soon as I popped that connector out off the board. Its really f*cking hard to get that connector hooked back up in the way it should be and I have small hands. I managed to get it at least partly pushed in after several tries. Over all it took over half an hour to get it back in there right and scared the !@#$ out of me because I didn't think I could get it done. Those stupid little plastic things won't help you here, the connector really needs to be pushed hard to get it back in. I ended up using a big beefy screw driver for slotted screws, about a ten inch long screwdriver. I used the blade on each end of the connector and was able to give it a good hard push on one end, then pushed on the other end, slowly rocking the connector back into full flush contact. Be real careful you aren't pushing on the ribbon at all.

sdpickups - Reply

Having done this procedure 6+ times now, I can tell you it's much easier if, instead of holding the panel up by the "bottom" as illustrated in the guide, instead raise it by the "left" side. It gives you (me) much more room to get fingers behind the connector.

May have been obvious to some, but this little adjustment didn't jump out at me until the 2nd or 3rd rebuild.

Jeff Dickson - Reply

There are four screws holding the power supply in place. Two different thread types so make note! Then lifting the power supply enough to easily plug the power cable back in is MUCH less of a problem. Then put the four screws back and proceed on.

racecornell - Reply

That´s exactly how I managed reassembling this connector very easily: Open the four screws, that hold down the platine and then lift it up a little bit.

info -

It isn't that hard if you start by hold the display panel up perpendicular to the case on the side of this challenging connector. From here you'll be able to connect the cable, then follow through with the two other connectors (two screws on the last one). Worked great for me.

cjrocksu2005 - Reply

By far this was the most difficult cable to reconnect. I enlisted a second person to hold the display after I unscrewed the power supply (Torx 10, 4 screws) and was able to give my fingers adequate room to securely reattach it. There's no need to do this when disconnecting the power supply, but it would take more nimble fingers than mine to reattach it without loosening the power supply.

Ron Lockhart - Reply

Do not remove this cable....! Too hard to get back there... I had to screw and lift up the whole platine to get the f**** cable back there....

EASIER IS:

# just remove the mic-cable (step6),the Thermal sensor (step9) the LCD-connector (step 10)...

# then let someone lift up (works also alone) the screen on the right side (there where Superdrive is)...

# remove Drive and Replace!!!!!

# Reconnect the easy cables....

anselm pavlik - Reply

agree! this cable is really tricky ...

Johann -

This step is TOTALLY UNNECESSARY on a 24" model!

Skip it; you have enough space to lift the panel.

Robert MacLeay - Reply

You don't need to do this step at all - you can leave the panel connected to the circuit board while you replace the hard drive. I did this while replacing the drive on my 24" iMac, just resting the panel on a box I had put next to the iMac on my desk, so that the panel stayed at the same level but was just moved and rotated sideways, with the cable still connected.

HBloomfield - Reply

I had great success with just propping the top edge of the LCD display up with a box about 8" long. By doing so, I didn't have to remove the thermal sensor wire or the power cable.

The power cable actually has a fair amount of play in it IF you peel back the thin black tape that affixes it to the LCD panel side to expose the power cable connector on the LCD side.

Brian Tsai - Reply

Note: SERIOUSLY:

- Disconnect the temp sensor from the iMac

- Lift up the screen from the RIGHT side (as if the iMac were standing up, facing you) to a vertical position

- Peel back the tape on the back of the LCD to expose the power supply connection

- Pull the connection from the LCD

- Attachment is the reverse

MUCH easier

Sheldon Carpenter - Reply

Lift and remove the display panel from the device.
  • Lift and remove the display panel from the device.

There is (what it looks like) a display ribbon cable attached that is hard to disconnect.

Sasmito Adibowo - Reply

To remove the hard drive bracket, squeeze the middle against the side of the hard drive while rotating the top left edge toward yourself. After the left edge has been freed, rotate the bracket toward the right edge of the hard drive. Lift the hard drive bracket straight up off the chassis.
  • To remove the hard drive bracket, squeeze the middle against the side of the hard drive while rotating the top left edge toward yourself.

  • After the left edge has been freed, rotate the bracket toward the right edge of the hard drive.

  • Lift the hard drive bracket straight up off the chassis.

Prying the plastic bar that locks the HDD into place was probably the most difficult part of the operation, for me. It just didn't want to let go, and until you've actually removed one, it's not exactly clear how it's holding on. The left side basically has a thin wedge on the back that wedges in between the rubber grommet and the mounting bracket

modsolok - Reply

If present, remove the small piece of tape covering the hard drive and optical drive temperature sensor cables.
  • If present, remove the small piece of tape covering the hard drive and optical drive temperature sensor cables.

If there is some clear tape holding the excess play in the HDD thermal sensor wire, against the body back, peel it up to free the wire and give yourself as much free play as possible. When reassembling, tape back to the body.

Brian Tsai - Reply

Pull the hard drive temperature sensor cable straight away from its socket on the logic board.
  • Pull the hard drive temperature sensor cable straight away from its socket on the logic board.

  • When removing this connector, it is helpful use your thumbnails to push the ears on either side of the connector toward the top of your iMac.

I found it was not necessary to do this step if you do step 20 first - i.e disconnect the temperature sensor cable from the hard drive, but not the logic board

HBloomfield - Reply

As HBloomfield said, you do NOT have to remove the sensor from the iMac body. Instead, remove the sensor from the HDD while it is still connected to the body.

If the sensor is covered with a 4mm black foam square, use your index fingernail to scrape off one of the corners where there is adhesive. If you pull on just the foam part, it will tear the foam.

Brian Tsai - Reply

Rotate the top of the drive toward yourself, then lift the hard drive straight up off its lower pins. The hard drive is still connected via the SATA cables.
  • Rotate the top of the drive toward yourself, then lift the hard drive straight up off its lower pins.

  • The hard drive is still connected via the SATA cables.

  • When reinstalling your hard drive, be careful not to push the rubber grommets through the openings in the chassis with the lower hard drive pins as retrieving them may require logic board removal.

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Insert the flat end of a spudger between the SATA data cable and the edge of the hard drive. Twist the spudger to separate the SATA data cable from the hard drive.
  • Insert the flat end of a spudger between the SATA data cable and the edge of the hard drive.

  • Twist the spudger to separate the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

  • Disconnect the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

  • Repeat this process for the SATA power cable.

  • Lift the hard drive out of your iMac, minding the thermal sensor cable that may get caught.

I honestly didn't find the spudger to be necessary for most of this replacement. It is a nice little tool that makes one or two steps easier, but it is far from necessary. I imagine an old stylus you may have laying around would do just as good a job. I would definitely suggest putting the iMac on it's stand straight up to remove the hard drive bracket from it's post, as it sits very tightly in there. I found it popped out a LOT easier on it's stand than laying down, which was next to impossible. You do have to do some careful manuevering with your partner in order to accomplish this, but it's worth it. Take it slow.

Len - Reply

When replacing, the SATA data cable did not extend to the new drive.

Nathan Suri - Reply

THIS. A hundred times THIS. I wanted to put in an SSD, and was miffed to see that the SSD was to be placed in the middle of the 2.5" to 3.5" adapter. Unfortunately, that means that the SATA cable did not reach. I tried three different adapters, all the same. I even tried to BUILD an adapter myself from flat pieces of metal (I wouldn't recommend it). In the end, I got a SATA extension cable and simply taped the SSD into the case where the HDD used to be. We'll see if any problems crop up. Since it's very light though and doesn't produce much heat I don't think there should be a problem.

Wolf Dapp -

You will need a dock that puts the connectors in the same place if you want to use an SSD. I've had decent luck with the Icy Dock.

maccentric -

Remove the two T8 Torx screws and their attached rubber grommets from the hard drive.
  • Remove the two T8 Torx screws and their attached rubber grommets from the hard drive.

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Remove the two T8 Torx pins from the side of the hard drive nearest the power and data connectors.
  • Remove the two T8 Torx pins from the side of the hard drive nearest the power and data connectors.

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Peel off the piece of foam tape covering the hard drive thermal sensor.
  • Peel off the piece of foam tape covering the hard drive thermal sensor.

There was no tape on the drive you sent me...

andymcdonell - Reply

Quote from andymcdonell:

There was no tape on the drive you sent me...

Transfer the piece of foam tape from the old drive to your new drive. If it is no longer sticky, it is fine to use a strip of electrical or duct tape to hold the foam tape down against the drive.

Andrew Bookholt - Reply

To remove the hard drive thermal sensor, use the sharp end of a spudger to lift the center finger of the thermal sensor bracket while applying slight tension to the thermal sensor cable. If the thermal sensor is stuck to the hard drive, skip to the next step.
  • To remove the hard drive thermal sensor, use the sharp end of a spudger to lift the center finger of the thermal sensor bracket while applying slight tension to the thermal sensor cable.

  • If the thermal sensor is stuck to the hard drive, skip to the next step.

I found these instructions to be a little unclear. What you are looking at after removing the foam, is a bracket that is basically holding down the thermal sensor at the end of those wires coming out(which you can't see because it's UNDER the bracket). I found the bracket to be fairly easy to just pull up and off. The spudger (or even a tiny flathead screwdriver) can easily accomplish this if it's glued on tight. Once the bracket comes off, the thermal sensor is freed, and in my case fell away from the bracket. Just try to keep those pieces together in the order they came off. Fortunately, as easy as the bracket came off, it was easily pushed back onto the new hard drive with no trouble at all. The foam was pretty sticky still as well, although I had to double tape one side of it to secure it over the bracket.

Len - Reply

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

  • If the adhesive gets dirty or will not stick to your new hard drive, place some double-sided tape under the two semicircular ears of the thermal sensor bracket.

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Use a spudger to remove the small piece of EMI foam from the top of the hard drive.
  • Use a spudger to remove the small piece of EMI foam from the top of the hard drive.

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

  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

Make sure you don't forget this step! I forgot this step, got everything back together, then had to take it all apart again to affix this! Not fun. That said, the second time went MUCH faster, and I found myself appreciating this design a lot more. It is much less daunting now, and is much easier than upgrading the RAM in a Mac Mini.

Len - Reply

I followed this to replace hard disk with an SSD. These instructions and comments pretty much cover it. Only had to disconnect #7 cable and a little cable near the center of the system board; flipping/rotating bezel/screen avoided other disconnects. I used a permanent marker to label bezel holes "L" and "VL" (long and very long) to put those screws back properly.

My main problem: I expected a 2.5" hard disk but found a 3.5". Micro Center talked me into an IcyDock 2.5" --> 3.5" adapter, defective (ended up just taping the SSD down). Between that and not loading OS on the SSD before installing (basically: attach SSD via USB, boot while pressing command-R) meant I got to do this disassembly/assembly several times.

Worth it to buy a bottle of air to blow out dust, a 3.5" external enclosure (for the former internal hard disk), and maybe a CR2032? coin battery while you're at it. Group permissions on the hard disk's user files will be broken afterwards, easily fixed.

David Menges - Reply

i can not install osx on the new disk

don't assume the usb pen i have to install the osx can you help me?

djactomicoutblast - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Brittany McCrigler

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Exellent instructions....

jgtechnology - Reply

I just installed a new HD on my iMac 8,1. Intalled the OS from original disc, it was 10.5.2, I don't know how to upgrade the OS.

I did software update, but only got 10.5.8. ¿what can I do? I would like to install Yosemite at least...

Any help?

Dan N. - Reply

You need to get to 10.6.8 via physical media, then app store update from there. I have read that Apple will send you a dvd for no cost, but the official price is $19.

Milk Manson -

Compatibilité du capteur thermique avec un SSD ?

DUBOIS - Reply

I just replaced the original HDD with a SSD in my early 2009 iMac. Worked like a charm except now my fans run at about 3000 RPM and the computer is not even hot. I double checked the heat sensor and all is where it should be. Any ideas how to get the fans to quiet down?

Trey Darnell - Reply

When the fans spin like crazy, it’s because it can’t see a sensor that it’s expecting. Double check, not only the location but that they’re connected securely into the logic board. I’d spend extra attention on the temp sensor that sits on the hard drive (since that’s the one you moved over from the old hard drive). Double check the wires into the connector as well that they didn’t get damaged when unplugging it.

James Macintosh -

The HDD Temp sensor is just a NPN transistor - in the past with SSDs I have used a 2N4401 - connect the grey wire to the emitter and the black wire to the other two pins. Works a treat.

John - Reply

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