iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Optical Drive Fan Replacement

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Optical Drive Fan.

Replace a broken optical drive fan to keep temperatures down.

Sections

Edit Step 1 Glass Panel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • Stick a heavy-duty suction cup near each of the two top corners of the glass panel.

  • To attach the suction cups, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel (as highlighted in the second picture).

  • While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle (as highlighted by the third picture).

  • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a damp soft, lint-free cloth. (Dampen with distilled water, and if needed, an equal ratio of distilled water and white vinegar for best results.)

  • Do not use the suction cups to carry the display glass because if one of them fails to stick, you could drop the screen and break it.

  • The original iMac box makes a good place to store the glass panel. Otherwise, a padded horizontal surface, like a towel on a desk will do nicely.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Gently lift the glass panel perpendicular to the face of the LCD enough to clear the steel mounting pins attached along the underside of the top edge of the glass panel.

  • Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside.

  • During reinstallation, be sure to meticulously clean the inside of the glass panel and the face of the LCD as any dust or fingerprints trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the machine is turned on.

Edit Step 3 Display  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Display  ¶ 

  • Remove the eight T10 Torx screws securing the LCD to the outer case.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Carefully lay the iMac stand-side down on a flat surface.

  • Due to tight tolerances, you will have to use a thin hooked tool to lift the display out of the outer case. As seen in the third picture, we made one out of a bent paperclip.

  • Use a thin hooked tool to lift one side of the top edge of the display by its steel outer frame.

  • After lifting the top edge of the display on one side, hold it out of the outer case while you use a hooked tool to lift the other side. A pencil or pen can be placed under the top edge of the display, parallel to the top edge and extending past the edge of the computer, to keep the first side propped up while lifting the second.

  • Do not lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case too far, as several short ribbon cables still connect the two components.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Use a pair of tweezers to pull the vertical sync ribbon cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

  • On some iMacs this may not be a ribbon cable but four separate, very fine and very fragile wires. Be very careful, if the tweezers slip off the plug, you will very likely pull a wire out of the assembly.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Rotate the display out of the outer case enough to disconnect the LED backlight power cable from the LED driver board.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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

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

  • Be very careful when disconnecting this cable as both the cable connector and logic board socket are extremely fragile. When reconnecting the cable later, use as little force as possible.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Lift the display for enough clearance to disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • If your fan is spinning full speed after completion, check this connection or the hard drive's thermal sensor cable. The thermal sensor connector socket is very fragile, so be very careful when you connect back the sensor cable.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Carefully pull the display toward the top edge of your iMac and lift it out of the outer case.

Edit Step 10 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10 Optical Drive  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Insert a spudger between the optical drive connector and the optical drive.

  • Twist the spudger to slightly separate the optical drive connector from the optical drive, then use your fingers to pull the connector away from the drive.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Lift the left edge of the optical drive slightly and pull it away from the right side of the outer case.

Edit Step 14 Optical Drive Fan  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14 Optical Drive Fan  ¶ 

  • Carefully move the audio ribbon cable to reveal the optical drive fan connector hidden underneath.

  • Disconnect the optical drive fan by pulling its connector away from the socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Remove the single T10 Torx screw securing the optical drive fan to the outer case.

  • Pull the optical drive fan away from the outer case to lift it off the three plastic posts around its perimeter.

  • Carefully maneuver the optical drive fan out of the iMac, minding any cables that may get caught.

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

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 device page.

Required Tools

TR10 Torx Security Screwdriver

$1.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups (Pair)

$14.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Magnetic Project Mat

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

$59.95 · 50+ In stock

Anti-Static Project Tray

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Popular Products

iPhone 4S Dock Connector

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Heavy-Duty Spudger

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

You can easily lift the glass panel off the magnets with only your fingernails (or something thin like a credit card or a guitar pick). No need to buy suction cups you will only use once.

Nick Caron, · Reply

Yes, you don't need the specific suction cups to remove the display cover - it's held on by magnets, and if you start at the center by the iSight you can work out to the edges and remove it. I had an iPhone screen suction cup around and it helped with balancing the screen when you pull it out fully, but by no ways is it required.

jtowner, · Reply

Great guide and pretty straight forward the only thing that took me ages and I didn't manage to undo were the power btn cable (step 28) and the thermal sensor (step 25) Seemed like they were glued on! Very difficult to remove and obviously conscious so I didn't break anything!

Eddie, · Reply

Thanks!!! Worked excellently.

I used a plunger (clean first ;-) to get the screen off, and http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/ for fan control.

Then, i did not take out the whole display and left it in the hinges on the bottom side and held it up with two small cardboard boxes. Easy enough to disconnect the hdd then.

I replaced with an ssd, put that into a ssd enclosure. Had to drill an extra hole in it to fasten the pins that hold it in place.

Used Carbon Copy Cloner to make an image from the old hdd, with the sad connected via usb. Checked it of it booted via System Preferences > Startup Disk. It worked so the took the imac apart and replaced the disk. Booted, everything was working as always, only faster!

Frank303, · Reply

I'm replacing my optical drive too. what exactly needs to be plugged into the SSD? I don't have the kit - as I am not sure one is required if I buy something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056OB...

Can you please advise? Can I do it with this piece, or do I need to get the entire bracket kit?

Allen Borza,

you should do this mac up, because, for me, one of the suction cup failed, and the glass fall into the lcd screen. Now there is a big hole in it...

Lau, · Reply

do you still have this panel?

Alpha Dimension,

Reassembly: After powering on and running for a few minutes, found a large whitish patch on the screen. Persists after powerdown.

Turned out to be condensation, though it didn't look like it - more like fine white powder rubbed in. Humidity is very high this time of the year. Fix: start airconditioner in a room, leave it running a while, take iMac in, prise open the glass again. Condensation vanishes instantly. Keep it out for a ~15 minutes running infinite loops to get iMac nicely heated up and fans running. Snap glass back.

ganesh, · Reply

I used a Swiffer dry cloth to get all the dust off the screen while just blowing with my mouth at a steep angle. I know I didn't get every speck, but the screen looks perfect once assembled and lit again. Removing the glass from the screen is pretty easy if you need to re-clean it.

Jay Gillibrand, · Reply

Be careful not to lose these screws when they are unthreaded. Use tweeters to grab them before removing the Torx driver.

Gavin McMorrow, · Reply

To prevent screws close to the magnets to leave your screwdriver, use a straw to encapsulate your screws. This is especially useful when putting them back. See pictures for details: http://cjoint.com/?CLCpN1nmK4M and http://cjoint.com/?CLCpOy6aF9G

Marc66, · Reply

Be very careful not to hook the Bluetooth antenna cable while you're lifting the display out. It's hiding under the top left corner of the iMac. I managed to snag mine with the paperclip and ended up pulling the antenna cable clean out of the tiny gold connector. Some very precise reconstruction work was required to get the cable seated in the connector again and back up to full signal strength.

Ben Davies, · Reply

I had a friend with me so all I did was disconnect the vertical sync ribbon cable, and I had my friend hold up the LCD for a couple of minutes as I swapped out my HDD with an SSD, thus avoiding steps 6-9 and going straight to step 10.

Gabe, · Reply

Can I purchase this cable separately?

mamedovmarat, · Reply

After removing the display, I noticed a high pitched whine coming from the machine, different loudness for different levels of display brightness. Reading up on it, it seems that the problem is with the vertical sync cable (and this is a well-known issue with Apple with new machines, too). So be careful when reinserting this cable!

Adam Hintz, · Reply

I noticed that the vertical sync cable seems to have been updated since the guide was produced. It now has a more normal plug and socket and 'regular' wires instead of the flat ribbon cable shown here. I used narrow nosed pliers instead of tweezers to unclip it as I was afraid that just pulling on the wires could have broken them.

Eoin, · Reply

WARNING: Take extreme care when removing these wires as mine were not a ribbon cable but individual tiny wires. I removed them cautiously with tweezers OK but when re-inserting, one of the wires came off. Obviously someone had been in here before.

Peter Sinclair, · Reply

be sure to keep this cable, because it does not come with a new display!

Julian, · Reply

I changed the HD yesterday and when I reinstalled the Display I had the same problem then Peter Sinclair. I started to panic first. But then I reinstalled the Pannel without re-insterting the cable at all and nevertheless my iMac works perfectly since 14 hours now. I'm really confused!

muggooz, · Reply

My vertical sync ribbon cable had two of the four contacts bent back, it may even have been like this originally. I straightened them out as best I could under a magnifying glass, and after reinserting, everything is working OK. Seems this cable is not particularly critical. Also, I used needle nose pliers for this and the other connectors, I can't get enough grip with tweezers.

Andrew Crabb, · Reply

Tweezers didn't work for me due to the angle and lack of grip (they kept slipping and I was concerned about squeezing any harder). I just used my fingers to grab the connector as close to the connection as possible for both removal and insertion and it worked just fine. I have big hands and meaty fingers, so this method should work fine for anyone.

David, · Reply

I have a late 2009 27" Mac and did something similar to Gabe, but being alone, after unplugging the vertical sync cable, I used two wooden chopsticks to hold the screen at about 45° and without disconnecting any more cables I could quite easily access the Superdrive to remove and replace with a 240GB SSD with help from a caddy from TheNatural2020, which required a tiny modification.

All in all it took me about 45 minutes and was much easier than expected. It is working at a negotiated SATA speed of 3 Gbps Some report a speed of only 1.5 Gbps, but from what I had read before purchasing the Crucial M500, going for a 6 Gbps SSD is worse on a late 2009 Mac as it has to default to the basic SATA 1 speed of 1.5 Gbps, while the slower 3 Gbps SATA II drive works at 3 Gbps. The time from the Apple logo till the sign-in screen on startup has gone from 33.5 seconds to 8.5 secs, and my internal hard drive is a 7200rpm

I am VERY satisfied and it was much easier than expected.

Adam Griggs, · Reply

I also did this step and then went straight to step 10. I installed a SSD so I didn't do step 15 either. You can use this to control the fans: http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/

Overall, great guide! Thank you.

Sam Im, · Reply

Adam's technique with the chopsticks works great. I didn't even have to disconnect the V-sync cable. Mine wasn't plugged in for some reason. I guess the LCD works without it.

Ashok, · Reply

This was for me the hardest step when reassembling the iMac.

I had to open and close the iMac several times as each time some of the cables was not properly connected: The vertical sync, the display data cable connector, even the Bluetooth antenna was off at some point and I had to re-open every time! Finally I left the vertical sync cable disconnected as with each operation it was in very bad condition and impossible to plug in. I'm amazed at how bad designed is this cable and how easy is to break it! It's nice to know that they improved it, poor technicians.

I'd like to replace it in the future but I really don't know how or if it is available in its more up-to-date version… I didn't feel like dissasembling everything again to see how is it connected.

carolaclavo, · Reply

The portion of this little cable that plugs into the receptor is stiffer than the rest of the cable, but it is very slippery. For me, it was also very tight. Tweezers and fingers just slipped right off of it. Fortunately, I didn't tear the cable. I ended up using needle-nose pliers wrapped with cellophane to get traction. It was also very difficult to reinsert. By raising the display to the maximum level with all the other cables connected, I was able to push it in with my fingers.

Also: if you get any smudges on the display, a lens pen works great to remove them. I used a swiffer to pick up dust.

Michael Morris, · Reply

I opened the case as far as I could without stretching this cable and used my fingers to get it. The end of the ribbon where it connects is stiff, so you can grab it there. There's not connector; the stiff part just slides in and out. Getting it back in is a pain, but if you get the perfect angle it slides back in without much force.

Jay Gillibrand, · Reply

Step 7 MAY be better done prior to Step 6. 7's cord comes tight before there is enough lift room to get to Step 6's plug in my opinion.

Gavin McMorrow, · Reply

Maybe it's just me but I couldn't see how to unclip this. It felt like it should just be a case of squeezing both sides and then pulling, but it was so stuck I was concerned about damaging it.

If anyone has a little more detail on this step it'd be useful.

Chris, · Reply

The connector has a simple locking mechanism, essentially a ridge on the top where the thumb is placed in the picture. If you push down gently there the latch raises and you can pull the cable out.

Rob Purcell, · Reply

I found step 6 the most difficult of the whole procedure. The way I unclipped the connector was from the front, with my thumbnail. There's a little ridge over which the cable clicks tight. If you use your thumbnail to lift the connector over that ridge, you can then easily remove the cable. (Maybe iFixit should that advise to the guide, since especially step 6 is a bit too concise imho.)

Daan, · Reply

I just spent 100€ at the Mac shop to learn this: when reattaching the display data cable be sure you get the ends right. Even if the cable fits perfectly the other way round, the computer won't even start.

Julian, · Reply

NOTE!  The internal video connector on the logic board is quite fragile - proceed with extra care when disconnecting. There are many postings of Mac users who have broken the display connector and are then left with quite a challenging proposition to replace it. Here is the link to one such thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.p....

thorjurgen, · Reply

Ditto. It is very fragile. Mine pulled off the motherboard while doing the upgrade (all else went well). Problem occurred because I tried to do the drive swap without removing the display. I had someone hold it up for me. Display is heavy and you can't feel the tug of the cable. Disaster.

The repair is beyond most computer repair folks. Found these guys http://www.dttservice.com/ and they are great. For $195 they fixed it in 24hours.

Dave, · Reply

I ran into a big problem with step 7: my display data cable did not have any sort of plug to connect to the logic board. Instead, the cable seemed to be soldered onto the board or simply run under this small copper-colored band. There was no plastic plug to detach/attach.

I was afraid to pull on the cable and break something, so I simply had a friend hold up the LCD and I replaced the logic board without removing the display. I'm not sure what I would have done if I needed to replace the drive.

Has anyone else run into this issue where the display data cable doesn't have a plug? And are there alternative ways to detach it safely?

fronesis, · Reply

@fronesis - on my iMac it wasn't possible to pull out the connector at first. There was a small rectangular metal clip which locked the connector in place - this had to be pulled up first, and then the connector came out extremely easily.

johnrowell, · Reply

Be very very careful when you pull out this plug as it is extremely fragile and also reattaching the LCD thermal sensor plug and very very gently ensure that the pins are actually going into the connector before you push the plug in. i damaged the top part of the plastic housing which then made it difficult to insert the plug into the connector. I can't believe how easy it was to damage this connector!! If you don't attach the LCD thermal sensor plug correctly the Mac fans will go crazy at full speed. It took a good 15 minutes to get the pins to finally go into the plug and they can bend easily.

j74656, · Reply

This was too tight to get with my hands. I used needle nose pliers to grab the plastic connector and it popped right out. I need pliers to get it to snap back in too. The wire itself if very thin so be sure to only grab the connector.

Jay Gillibrand, · Reply

Is it possible to use the DVD drive after installing the SSD, or is there no space left?

Joel, · Reply

This step is not necessary. I have problems with the pulling out, and found that it's not necessary to out it in this case.

Steve, · Reply

Agreed. Leave it plugged in and peel the buffer tape and temp sensor off the optical drive assembly while it's still in the computer.

John Lavenia,

What problems did you have?

Toni Marmol, · Reply

Hello, is the sata & power cabla from the mac can directly feet inside the SSD?

Roman Quenin, · Reply

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