Introduction

Upgrade your hard drive for more storage space!

  • 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.

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 -

My display data cable forks, with a smaller section going up near the camera board. Where it forks, it is attached to the aluminum plate that attaches around the cpu board. I haven't seen any images that look similar, and I'm stumped at how to remove this second section of the cable. 2010 i7 build to order

Awolf - Reply

Gently lift the glass panel perpendicular to the face of the LCD enough to clear the steel mounting pins attached along the underside of the top edge of the glass panel. Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside. Don't use the suction cups to carry the glass panel—if either one loses its grip, the panel could fall and break.
  • 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.

    • Don't use the suction cups to carry the glass panel—if either one loses its grip, the panel could fall and break.

    • After setting the glass panel down safely, be sure to release the suction cups, as the suction force over time, can crack the glass.

  • 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.

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

I used a microfiber cloth instead, which worked well. The same type as yo use to clean eye glasses, but in a larger form factor.

Daniel -

The Swiffer idea worked great! I just brush it over the LCD and glass panel lightly, and all dust particles are gone quickly. The screen after boot up looked beautiful. Thanks!

dtsai2 -

I strongly recomment to detach the suction cups while working at the rest of the steps. In my case after half an our i heart a crack noise behind me on the table... The vacuum of one of the suction cups braked the glass! maybe there should be a warning in the Repair guide

shippe - Reply

I didn't crack the screen, but it popped out of the shims and then popped back in, as if the glass edge is magnetic or has steel in it to connect to magnets. Be careful with this step — it is pretty nerve-wracking, but doable!

Alex Reynolds - Reply

You need a big clean surface free, or at least 2 or more free surfaces because the iMac, the glass and the LCD display are quite bulky. You'll also probably need space for a tablet or a laptop to read this guide while you are working. And don't forget room to work on the optical unit and for the tools you are going to use. I covered a large table with a double layer of bubble wrap. In my opinion it's better to put the glass face down to limit powder sticking on the internal surface.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

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

The replacement display I received did not have a bracket around the edges so I can reinstall it. On the old display, it seems the bracket is screwed in, but even with all screws removed, I cannot get it to budge. Is there a trick? Is this even possible?

wooten1138 - Reply

Reassembly: be careful with the screws! The magnets attract them and the screwdriver as well! Better to use a screwdriver without replaceable end insert. I had to use one of this second type and I struggled a lot!

Roberto Blandino - Reply

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nB172HJeM0...

Try this easy GPU fix before buying a new graphics card! It fixed the white screen issue on my EMC 2374.

adamg5 - Reply

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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

Be careful with any tool while lifting the edge of the display. Under the top left edge of the display sits the bluetooth-antenna-connector. I pulled it out while lifting. It was not such a great problem, cause i could just plug it in again. But maybe you could cut the small cable depending on the tool you use to lift.

Gee - Reply

The display is quite heavy, an is fitted with a tight tolerance. I found it very difficult and dangerous, lifting it with any tool in one corner while the iMac was lying down. Instead, after removing the T10 screws, it was quite easy pulling the display out of the iMac with my fingers on both sides, while the iMac was in the upright position. By doing that, you can easily hold the display with one hand and reach for the connecting cables with the other

Georg P - Reply

I broke the short ribbon cable that attaches to the inner top of the display but all the pics show the display completely removed after all cables are disconnected without the short ribbon cable intact. Does this short ribbon cable have a purpose and does it need to be reconnected? If so, how? Or is it just some worthless control put in by Apple to show its been messed with when brought back for repair? Thanks

alligator69 - Reply

Using your fingers, carefully pull the vertical sync cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac. Be sure to pull the connector parallel to the LED driver board, straight out of its socket.
  • Using your fingers, carefully pull the vertical sync cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

    • Be sure to pull the connector parallel to the LED driver board, straight out of its socket.

This cable is very small and fiddley to remove if you don't have much in the way of finger nails. The cables are very thin and fragile.

James York - Reply

It took me a bit of work to remove this cable, it was a hassle actually. What worked for me, without any tools, was to use your index and middle fingers' nails and pull it. That worked better than the index and thumb. Took me like 15 minutes, more than what it should take.

thefinalzeta - Reply

Yes, me too! It stuck terribly hard and I spent most of the time for the repair for this s**** little connector. I thought all the time, I'm gonna break it or tear off these tiny cables... All the other cables were *rather* easy-going. In the end I finally got a new SanDisk Ultra II 480 GB SSD working.

And thanks to the SDD Fan Control app it is sooo silent. Thanks to Exirion!

Nick van Hill -

When the cable comes out, make note of which side has the gold contacts visible. On my cable, you could only see them from the "top" side (aka, as you look down on it). From the "bottom" or back side of the cable, you could NOT see any gold contacts. This will help to orient the cable when reconnecting it.

markcerv - Reply

In my case, all the cable connectors were oriented having the golden contacts, as seen from the wide side of the connectors, oriented facing away from the board

Georg P - Reply

From this point onwards I found very useful a flashlight to illuminate inside the iMac.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

Take care not to pull off the socket off along with the connector as happened to me.

Fortunately there are used pull on eBay. Even saw one that had the same socket ripped off also.

Joel Yang - Reply

Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
Squeeze the two display data cable connector arms together to unlock it from its socket on the logic board.
  • Squeeze the two display data cable connector arms together to unlock it from its socket on the logic board.

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

This connection is very fragile, and many people have broken the display connector on the logic board. You need to carefully pull the connector out, and when putting it back together, you need to carefully push the connector back in.

pmah - Reply

i did break mine. do you know where to buy that component?

Cris - Reply

In my iMac the cable was stuck to the structure of the computer with a piece of foam tape. Pulling it very gently, gradually it detached with no damages.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

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

You need to squeeze the connector top to unlatch, then pull it parallel to the LED backlight board.

Charlie - Reply

Here I used the flat end of a spudger to unlatch the connector top.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

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

Before you take/remove the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket, make a note of which color cable is on the left, and which is on the right. When I removed the cable, the black cable was leftmost, and the grey cable was rightmost.

markcerv - Reply

I replaced hard drive and added a second SSD on a 2010 27" iMac. Everything seemed fine for about a year, and now the fans run continuously. I think it's this cable in Step 8; I'll get around to opening it up to check.

pigeonf16 - Reply

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

And if the panel has no frame? How you unattach the frame from the old panel to place it on the new one?

Daria Drozd - Reply

Before disconnecting the thermal sensor cable, take note of its orientation. It is extremely important to reinstall the connector in the current orientation so the fans will not run at full speed. If you have multiple pins on your replacement hard drive, put the connector closest to the SATA connections and closest to the PCB board. Disconnect the thermal sensor, SATA power, and SATA data cables by pulling their connectors away from the sockets on the hard drive. Disconnect the thermal sensor, SATA power, and SATA data cables by pulling their connectors away from the sockets on the hard drive.
  • Before disconnecting the thermal sensor cable, take note of its orientation. It is extremely important to reinstall the connector in the current orientation so the fans will not run at full speed. If you have multiple pins on your replacement hard drive, put the connector closest to the SATA connections and closest to the PCB board.

  • Disconnect the thermal sensor, SATA power, and SATA data cables by pulling their connectors away from the sockets on the hard drive.

I just put a 2 TB WD (WD2001FASS) Black in a 27″ iMac. I had issues with the hard drive fan staying on and the system showing the thermal sensor wasn't working. I tried the pin a number of ways but I finally figured out I had to have the connector closest to the SATA connection and the black wire had to be on the board side (toward the LCD).

philomathius - Reply

Thanks so much for this comment! I was going nuts trying to figure out why the fan was going crazy despite my using the same brand drive. I flipped the connector over and plugged it back into the drive with the black cable nearest the display. Problem solved.

Howie Isaacks -

Thank you very much for sharing this information.

I can confirm the same for the WD 1TB (WD1003FZEX). I too had to turn the sensor cable 180° and insert it into the socket with the black cable facing up (i.e. towards where the LCD would be) in order to solve the fan speed issue.

PartisanEntity -

Thank you for the very useful info. I installed a WD10EZEX Hard Drive the fans blasted. I did flip the thermal cable 180 degrees - black wire up towards LCD closest to the SATA cable. I can conform this worked. Thank you again with out your help I would be looking for software solution.

dean mares -

Note that the thermal sensor cable is no longer present on the mid-2011 iMac.

Robert Slifka - Reply

Speaking of the thermal sensor, I just bought 2 2tb internal HDD (Hitachi Deskstar 3.5 and a seagate barracuda green) and both of them have different thermal sensors. Baraccuda is 4 pin, and Hitachi is 2 pin. the pics of the stock western dig looks like it has 6 pins, from a video I saw online of this. I want to trade out my hard rive myself, but I don't want to #$&@ it up, so any suggestions or comments would be greatly appriciated ( I have a 2007 27in 2.66 i5)

William Evans -

I put a 1.5 TB seagate barracuda in (before that there was a 1 TB seagate barracuda). but my fans stay on 4000 rpm. the connector in my machine can only go in one way, so i can't change connections like Philomathius wrote. the connection on the drive is the same: 4 pins, the cable has only 2.

peter - Reply

This step is somewhat important if you want to use the thermal sensory with a multiple pin style drive. My comment is to just read the instructions a few times before and make sure you use the two pins that are in the top row on the side of the SATA cable.

mike - Reply

I hate to say this guys, because this guide is really well put together and has been helpful, but I am a little furious at the fact that I bought the recommend Western Digital HDD #WD10EZEX to replace in my mums iMac and the HDD doesn't even have a port to fit the thermal sensor pins in. It just has 8 pins for inserting a jumper. After finishing the process and fitting the new HDD it doesn't even notice that it's there upon boot. I can't see it being an issue with the iMac (however I will now have to take it apart again just to confirm and troubleshoot) but why would you recommend something that doesn't fit the bill?

.

Speechless.

.

If this an error on my behalf and anyone could help I would be very grateful, otherwise I'll have to sell the HDD and buy another...

Rhys - Reply

Hi Rhys,

That HD should work great. If it's not showing up at all then there is another issue in play. Most of the older WD drives had a cutout for the jumper cable. The new ones don't so just remove the extra clip on the iMac's thermal sensor cable.

Scott Dingle -

The best solution for the Thermal Sensor issue is to use a 2N3904 transistor as explained here: replace the hard drive, how do I connect Hard Drive thermal sensor?

.

I used that exact solution yesterday and it's working like a charm: replace the hard drive, how do I connect Hard Drive thermal sensor?

Marc66 - Reply

For solve reving HDD fan issues with SSD install, I removed the fan and a plastic barrier...

See here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252...

Gerd24 - Reply

I just added a 3TB Seagate Barracuda Drive (ST3000DM001) and an 1TB Samsung 840 EVO SSD Drive, and haven't had any fan issues. You have to know, that every HDD seems to have a different connector for the temperature. The original HDD was a 2 TB Hitachi drive, the temp. connector wouldn't physically fit in the Seagate Drive. I ordered another cable at AppleComponents.com. There was only one way it would fit and has worked like a charm.

Georg P - Reply

Thank you for the guide. I did it! new SSD installed :)

brendan - Reply

I purchased my SMC cable through OWC. Worked perfectly. Didn't like the idea of downloading a "patch".

OWC HDD Compatibility for all Apple 2009-2010 iMac 21.5" and 27" Models with SMC Compatibility.

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20W...

rfmorrow - Reply

has anyone guidance on how to convert the original samsung thermosensor connector (two rows of three pens) into the new 4 pin-in-a-single-row of the seagate replacement SSHD?

Freek - Reply

I have the same issue with my new 1000 GB hybrid Seagate SSHD drive. Is there an adapter available?

hugogundewall -

Since I am based in Europe (very expensive international shipping over at applecomponents.com) I went and ordered a Seagate Temp Sensor Cable (Apple Part number: 922-9224) via ebay.co.uk:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R...

hugogundewall -

Excellent guide! I just replaced the Seagate Barracuda disk in a 2010 27" iMac and didn't have any problems at all - certainly no issues with the HDD temp sensor. It definitely pays to research what model of disk you buy. The hardest part for me was reconnecting the incredibly short vertical sync cable. Thanks guys!

Andy Gibbons - Reply

Apparently I bought the wrong disk for my late 2009 Imac. The disk was supposed to be a Seagate and the one I replaced it with was a Toshiba. The new Toshiba only has 2 pins in in the termal sensor. Now my fans are going crazy. Has anybody had the same issue?

Thanks in advance

/Jacob

jacobraahauge - Reply

You need to buy a Seagate.

Scott Dingle -

I have 2010 iMac Core i7 27 and after two hard drive failures and reformats I replaced the original HD which was a WD1001FALS-40Y6A0 1TB TAHOE 655-1567A with a brand new WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD10EZEX, but when I boot from the DVD to reinstall it does not show up in the drive list. The cables are all connected exactly as they were to the original HD.

My questions are

1) Is there some Apple specific firmware on the original drive ?

2) is there a known specific reason why the new drive is not working correctly

flatcoats - Reply

Have you formatted the new drive?

Scott Dingle -

Interesting idea, having installed the HD and using a DVD to boot and trying to reinstall the OS X, I am never presented an option to format the HD. How would I go about formatting the HD which the OS running from the installation DVD does not seem to know exist? Is there some disk formatting software accessible via the installation DVD or in some ROM that I can access somehow?

Thanks

flatcoats -

Formatting the drive is the key. In my case I was lucky enough to recognize that my internal drive was going south and installed OS X on an external drive and booted from that until I was able to swap out the internal drive. After the swap, I also encountered the same problem of the installation software not seeing the new drive. Simply doing a quick format of the new, internal drive solved that and I was able to install OS X on the new drive and get up and running in relatively short order. If you don't have access to Leopard installation disks, you might want to consider picking up an inexpensive 1 TB portable drive (unless you have one you can use for this purpose) and finding a friend with an iMac and install OS X on the portable. That will give you a boot medium with which you can get started. A bit clunky to be sure, but it should do the trick.

Paul Matlin -

Hi everybody,

after the 4th try of changing the position of the connector, because the original didn´t work.

I just turned the connector of the fan control 180 degrees, because over 30$ for HDDFan Control is very expensive and I liked to have heat adjust. It was a WD500 Caviar with 6 pins. Now it works.

Matthias Woltmann - Reply

Hi..

I'm sorry to say that you all staring blindly down the wrong path.. :/

When you jump the two pins that the thermal sensor cables are connect to in the HDD's *JUMPER BLOCK*, the HDD limits it’s transfer rate to 1.5 Gbits/sek.. -This is a kind of safe mode, reducing heat generated from the HDD when your iMac is running hot. -And in the same breath, the reason your fans are running haywire if the terminals aren’t connected to the right pins..

All you need to do is:

1# Read the datasheet on your “to be installed” HDD.

2# Connect the thermal sensor wires, to the pins that limits your new HDD’s transfer rate.

(One way to do it if the connectors don’t match, is by separating the terminals from the connector and heat shrinking some heatshink around the individual terminals before connecting them to the pins.. -It’s a fiddly task but not impossible. Just use a needle to pry up the little hooks that holds the terminals in place in the connector)..

That’s all folks, best of luck to you all..

Peter Falkenberg - Reply

weird, I replaced my Seagate (iMac late 2009) HDD with a new Samsung 850 evo. After having problems with the screws I finally could "screw" them in. But now in the new SSD I can only put 2 cables instead of 3 before (guess it is the thermal cable for the fan). Now what do I with that cable? Nobody had the same problem?

martin stettler - Reply

Indeed the thermal cable. I read all about full fan speeds when reassembling the cable the wrong way, but did you run into fan troubles just leaving the cable out?

Would love to hear from you, since I'd like to replace my HDD for a SSD as well :)

Andre Kolmeijer -

According to info I'd read, as long as you stick with the same mfgr as the OEM it would work. Not true. I stuck with WD black but because it was a SATA III 6Gb throughput it wasn't recognized. Installed a Samsung 1Tb 850 Evo and it worked without a hitch. The WD works fine as an external through USB. 7 Years makes a difference in what will and won't work.

onethumb - Reply

Hi onethumb,

was there a possibility to connect the thermal sensor cable to the Samsung 850 EVO? How did you resolve the problem martin stettler posted (missing thermal sensor cable connector on the Samsung 850 EVO)?

ifank -

When I changed my drive my new one did not have the pins to attach the thermal sensor. So my fans howled at me. I tried software fixes, but they did not react to temperature. you could just set the fans spinning lower, but you had to guess if that was enough... Not a very good solution.

I ended up buying the thermal sensor from OWC https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIDI... which was expensive at US$40 but works perfectly. No more howling fans, no more guessing. Means you can use any drive.

That item should really be in the shopping list at the top of the guide.

mark - Reply

Remove the two T10 Torx screws securing the upper hard drive bracket to the outer case.
  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws securing the upper hard drive bracket to the outer case.

Add Comment

Slightly rotate the hard drive away from the outer case. Lift the hard drive off its two lower positioning pins and remove it from the outer case.
  • Slightly rotate the hard drive away from the outer case.

  • Lift the hard drive off its two lower positioning pins and remove it from the outer case.

Add Comment

Remove the two T8 Torx screws securing the upper bracket to the hard drive.
  • Remove the two T8 Torx screws securing the upper bracket to the hard drive.

  • Remove the upper bracket from the hard drive.

My 27" 2374 iMac required a torx T9 to replace the hard drive bracket.

etk0770 - Reply

Shout out to a great guide! I managed to put the sensor in step 8 in upside down and the fan did indeed whirl. Got it right the second time and everything is great!

mailericla - Reply

Many thanks for this excellent guide.

The vertical sync cable took a bit of looking at but it really does just pull out tho had to use pliers to get enough purchase. From there just propped the display up with a DVD case at each end which gave enough clearance to remove the drive. All sweet from there on in. Reinserted the sync cable ok but need to use tweezers to hold some of the case screws in place to overcome the magnets.

Rohan - Reply

I guess I am one of the lucky ones with an original Seagate drive. I upgraded to the 2t HDSS, also from Seagate. The install was painless and the thermal sensor fit exactly as it did on the old drive. From start to finish, the entire process took about an hour. Very quiet iMac now.

johnstonryan - Reply

Thanks so much. Really useful guide especially when read in conjunction with http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/... . I swapped over a replacement HDD reasonably easily. The HDD formatting stage was straightforward using the Imac as a Target (hold T at startup) using Disc Utility on my MacPro as the host via Firewire. The problem came when I tried to use the original installation disc. Usually pressing C or even option (alt) at startup should find the optical drive but it kept spitting out the disc and a folder with a question mark flashed at me. My workaround was to use Disc utility to create a copy of the installation disc on an 8 GB flash drive (presumably a USB would have done as well) and boot from that by holding C at startup. Worked right away. Thanks again

Michael Chester - Reply

Wow! Start to finish was about 45 minutes! Excellent guide, thank you so much. Just restoring from TM now. Replaced a WD 1TB with a WD 2TB Red. Two thumbs up!!

ricke - Reply

Just did this replacement on a 2009 27" iMac. Went great, except that the fan ran @ max speed -- even after buying the same model drive and replacing the temp cable exactly according to a photo I took during disassembly. Bummer, but $35 for the HDD Fan control software at http://www.hddfancontrol.com/ solved the problem in 10 secs, so well worth it. Thanks so much for this guide!

micahdonahue - Reply

Remove the two T8 Torx pins from the other side of the hard drive.
  • Remove the two T8 Torx pins from the other side of the hard drive.

Add Comment

Carefully peel off the piece of EMI foam attached to the front of the hard drive.
  • Carefully peel off the piece of EMI foam attached to the front of the hard drive.

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

Add Comment

Conclusion

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

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43 Comments

Hey I just replaced my i Mac HDD to a WD Green the previous one was really noisy. Thanks this walkthrough really helped me out. My I Macs now super quiet. This worked well for me. Thanks i fix it.

Levi Oscar - Reply

Thanks for the guide guys, managed to replace a broken HDD in no time. However, I'd like to mention that standard torx bits could not be used to remove the display, a normal screwdriver with replacable bits is too thick to fit in, and bits are too short, so you will need something thinner (or longer bits).

Thraex Aquator - Reply

Is it ok to replace the HDD with a SDD? (I know there is a tutorial for adding an SSD as a second drive, but I (and I'm sure others) don't have a big enough need or feel comfortable with the process involved.

Oliver Jobson - Reply

What did you find out regarding this?

jonathan wishnev -

This is a great guide. If you take your time and don't rush you wont have any problems. I just replaced the HD in my buddy's 27" iMac and had a blast doing it! Step by Step this guide walks you through the process without any questions. Thanks iFixit!

davepascarella - Reply

This guide was really helpful. I now have a super fast 1TB SSD in place of the original hard disk. It's like having a new computer.

James York - Reply

I did it! new to this kind but just want a challenge and didn't want to drag my 27" imac into the mall which more than 1 hr away. Everything seems running smoothly except for the fan is on all the time. It's only off when I sleep or shutoff the computer.

Although I read the step carefully over & over again. I noted this issue down because look like it's common mistake. Therefore, I believe after 2nd time re-look and redo, especially on step 8 & 10, I don't know what else can I do to make the fan back to normal again. Any advice please help! thanks

tracythuydo - Reply

What brand HD did you pull out and what brand HD did you put in?

Scott Dingle -

Use ssdfanctrl app

echevarriam79 -

I just successfully replace the original 1TB Seagate drive with a 480GB OWC SSD drive. It's nice and speedy now, but there was no place to plug in the HD thermal sensor on the SSD, so I just left it off for now. The fans are running full speed, so clearly I need to do something with the cable. Any thoughts?

wheelieking - Reply

I just wanted to add that I actually replaced the drive without steps 6 to 10. Once the display could be lifted up, even without pressure on cables, I had enough room to remove the drive. The fragile connectors were something I prefer not to deal with anyway !

Mark - Reply

Success! Everything went fine but I have to agree with Mark's comment from 12/1/2014 in that you can save a lot of time and misery by removing the vertical sync cable in step 5 and then jumping to step 10. I realized this when I found myself reaching back into the cavity, over and past the HD, to unplug the display data cable that was harder to reach than the HD itself. I found the perfect prop to hold the monitor up that gives max height without strain on cables is the box that the suction cups are packed in. Remove the 3 plugs on the HD and hold-down 2 screws and it's out.

joeburch - Reply

Excellent guide. Replaced my failing seagate 1tb with a 2tb from ifixit as I didn't want to do the external sensor approach. All was easy and effective. Some of the connectors were scary only in fear of tearing wires rather than applying removal pressure to just the connectors. First time restoring from TimeMachine too.

ek99 - Reply

I ordered this model of iMac with the stock 256GB SSD as well as a 1TB HDD. I've replaced the HDD easily (thanks to this guide!) but try as I might I can't seem to find any guides anywhere as to how to get to the original SSD and whether that can be replaced by a standard Samsung 850 or whether there are thermal connectors as well...

Does anyone know?

Thanks! :D

acarneiro - Reply

No complaints, easy enough. I recommend using small cardboard boxes to hold the screen up at a 30° angle so you can work with both hands

Note, newer technology cells and iMac solid-state adapter bracket, you could easily put a 500 GB or terabyte solid-state in your iMac for zoom zoom time

Kevin McCartney - Reply

I just installed an 480GB SSD and I get a flashing folder with a question mark in it. I'm lost.

desinit86 - Reply

you need to format the drive first :) hold Command + R when it boots and run disk utility and partition the drive to Mac OSX Journaled, reboot and install.

schietkop -

Diese Anleitung ist hervorragend !!!

Ich habe bereits meinen Mac vor 2 Jahren auf SSD umgerüstet und mittlerweile mehrere andere Geräte von Freunden und Bekannten, die den Mut hatten. ;o)

Hält man sich strikt an diese Anleitung und benutzt einen HDD-Adapter für die SSD, ist es ein Kinderspiel!!!!

mikemarquardt - Reply

I just installed a Seagate ST3000DM001, and I have the fast fan issue, so I took it all part again, and checked for another connector for the drive, and there are none not being used. I put everything back together, and did an SMC reset, and it's still running fast.

1) What could be missing? The existing drive was a Seagate ST31000528AS, and had no extra temperature sensors on it, and no other wiring.

2) Is it the drive? Is it incompatible in some way?

While having it open again, I checked for any other connections that might have been removed, or loosened, and found none. I guess it's not hurting anything running fast, but it would be nice to figure out what's causing it. Thanks!

RobCow - Reply

Install Macs Fan Control

Olivier Deschamps -

Excellent instructions. I just replaced my HDD w/o any issues. The instructions were clear and the pictures helped immensely. Thank you!!

anievesjr - Reply

Great guide!! I just upgraded my mid-2010 27" imac to 20gb of RAM and an SSD. I then tried to plug the old 1tb HD (Seagate) to an external usb case for 3.5" HDs, but the drive does not spin up at all.... The case is definitely functional since it operates now with another HD connected to it...I have not tried a second case, since i do not have any... any ideas why the HD is failing?

Vassalos Evangelos - Reply

Did you plug it on the keyboard or straight from the computer ?

Olivier Deschamps -

Hi, i plugged it directly to the imac... i think the case can not power up the drive... Tomorrow a friend of . mine will drop off his case to try with that ...

Vassalos Evangelos - Reply

case solved!! it was the case... changing the case fixed the problem!!

Vassalos Evangelos - Reply

Great guide. I replaced my failed Seagate 1Tb (factory installed as second drive) with a new Seagate FireCuda 2Tb. By choosing another Seagate I was able to simply plug the existing heat sensor cable on to the new drive and everything works perfectly. No fan issues, no extra software required. Time Machine has restored about 750Gb overnight, and everything is back to normal

Simon Young - Reply

I had previously added a 256Gb SSD to the OEM WD1001FALS. Heat issues started recently so swapped in a WD2003FZEX 2tb for the OEM 1tb WD. Because cracking the system is the hardest part, I also swapped out power supplies with one from iFixIt.

On reboot everything else is fine but it doesn't see the WD2003FZEX drive. Tried the cmd-r, the cmd-opt-p-r, and other resetting options with no luck. Cracked open the system again and confirmed the HHD cables are all in right. Still nothing.

Internal SSD boot drive: Fine.

External connectivity and everything else: Fine.

I had pre-formatted the HHD using an external USB cradle and copied my data over in advance of the swap (the OEM HHD was being used for data and large apps not for boot). So I know it was working.

onethumb - Reply

I also used disk utility to see if I might be able to reformat the new drive now that it's internal. DU didn't see it either.

onethumb -

Problem solved! Swapped out the new WD 2Tb HDD and put in a new Samsung 850 Evo SSD. Once buttoned up, the drive was seen and MacOS initialized it without a problem. Data is now being moved from the new WD 2Tb HDD that I put into a USB cradle. It as an external drive but the EMC2390 doesn't like it internally because it's SATA III with 6Gb throughput.

Be advised. The guide above says that as long as you stick with the same manufacture, it will work. 7 years later, that is no longer always true. Make sure the SATA versions match up too.

onethumb -

If I replace the HD, my seagate failed, how do I install the OS?

Rob Wayman - Reply

Did you format the drive before installing? I like to use an internal hard drive enclosure prior to installing that way I can format it.

Angel Araiza -

when changing to an SSD: you just need to leave the thermal sensor cable unattached! then the fans will go crazy at first - then install ssdfanctrl app

(as mentioned by echevarriam79) and that's it! worked like a charm! the ssdfanctrl app is really helpful - it worked flawless on sierra 10.12.4

mactrix.at - Reply

you could also jump the thermal sensor connector with a piece of wire (https://yktoo.com/en/blog/post/231)

Eric Hew -

Thanks for simple to use instructions, I'm going to install a 3.5" SSHD into my 2010 27" iMac. Do I need any extra SATA cables or anything besides the tools and hard drive?

Angel Araiza - Reply

Hello! I just installed a Seagate 1TB Firecuda SSHD in my 2010 iMac. All was going well, but when I went to boot it up by pressing Control R,or Option, I kept getting the grey folder ? Icon.

Responses on here say the hardsrive needs to be formatted but like I said, even after holding these keys nothing works. I also made a bootable external drive and tried to run off of that.... was essentially installing an operating system from the external to the Firecuda. But it did not recognize it....

Marc - Reply

Great guide. I replaced my failed Seagate 1Tb (factory installed) with a new Seagate 1Tb. In the past I added an SSD replacing the optical drive. By choosing another Seagate I was able to simply plug the existing heat sensor cable on to the new drive and everything works perfectly. No fan issues. You can save a lot of time by removing the vertical sync cable in step 5 and then jumping to step 10 (see Mark's comment from 12/1/2014)

Alessandro De Chiara - Reply

I though I had done my research before buying the replacement hard drive. My iMac is EMC:2390 and I bought the Seagate Barracuda ST 1000DM010. The heat sensor connector is too big to fit onto the new drive. It is a square 6 pin connector and the pins on the  new drive are only 4 flat so I cant plug the temp connector in. Does anyone know why I have this problem? I have rechecked the parts required for my replacement on this site and it states for the EMC 2390 I can use the Seagate ST 1000DM010.

Mick Mc Carthy - Reply

The right question is how to fix it rather than why, don’t you think ? Try Macs Fan Control, it should be OK.

Olivier Deschamps - Reply

Great guide, thanks. I also skipped the steps 6..9. The display could be lifted so far that I was able to insert a DVD case to keep it up.

I then replaced my WD hdd with a SEAGATE SSHD ST1000DX002 and shortend the temp sensor cable. As I thought it will reflect in the system as 0°C.

After 8h of restore from a USB2-external HDD the software SSD-Fancontrol showed me a temp reading of 47°C. Also after some hours of hibernation (sleep mode) the temp showed 22°C (room temp). So it seams to work.

How is that possible without the temp sensor cable connected to the disk?

Sternspechtler - Reply

I had a dead drive and followed this guide and ordered the same brand HDD as the original. The issue I am running into now is that when I access internet recovery mode, the new onboard HDD is not recognized in Disk Utility. Is there any advice on where to go from here. I opened the iMac back up, and reseated all the connections, bu still no disk.

Kurtis Stadsvold - Reply

See my comment below - I wonder if you have the same issue I did? The version of Disk Utility that’s bundled with OS X 10.13 was unable to see my new drive - although an earlier version was able to.

Mike D. -

Are you sure the new HDD is OK ?

Olivier Deschamps - Reply

Very helpful guide - I ran into a maddening snafu with my new drive which I’ll describe in case anyone else has the same problem. In short, after installing the new drive (2 TB Seagate Barracuda, the recommended Seagate replacement drive from iFixit), Disk Utility running on a OS X 10.13 installer USB drive could not see the device (with “show all devices selected”). I was afraid that this was the SATA III issue mentioned in an earlier comment, but after a brief existential crisis, I tried booting from an OS X 10.10 USB installer instead (with the older, better version of Disk Utility). This old version of Disk Utility saw the new device, and after formatting the drive, I booted again from my 10.13 installer, and this time Disk Utility could see the device, allowing me to proceed with my installation of OS X 10.13. Everything seems to be working great, now.

Mike D. - Reply

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