Introduction

Use this guide to replace the AirPort card.

  • 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.

  • Be careful not to touch the display as the oil from your fingers may leave a residue that can be difficult to remove.

  • If necessary, peel the EMI gaskets located near the top center edge of the display assembly.

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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 first picture, we made one out of a bent paperclip. Alternatively, our Dual Hard Drive Kit includes a pair of tweezers with an angled tip that are great for this task.
  • 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 first picture, we made one out of a bent paperclip.

    • Alternatively, our Dual Hard Drive Kit includes a pair of tweezers with an angled tip that are great for this task.

  • 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.

  • Raise and hold the display high enough to access the cables.

  • 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.

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.
Disconnect the vertical sync cable in the upper left corner of the screen. Use the tip of a spudger to push on the connector's side tabs and gently walk it out of its socket.
  • Disconnect the vertical sync cable in the upper left corner of the screen. Use the tip of a spudger to push on the connector's side tabs and gently walk it out of its socket.

After disconnecting the VSync cable, I was able to keep the screen wedged apart by 8" which gave me enough working room to extract and replaced the hard drive without having to remove Step 6 - 8. This resulted in a faster change out of the hard drive.

ITSupportGuy - Reply

Amen brother! These are great guides, but could be improved with tips to simplify some processes. I just did the same as you, and it was quick and easy, with less chance to damage cable connections.

Hobowan Kenobi -

Once I put the tip of a very small flat-head screwdriver on the other side of the spudger tip, the connector popped out.

Alex Reynolds - Reply

I've managed to break off the fitting in step 6 trying to remove the screen, would anyone know the part to buy or how to fix this?

jonostainsby - Reply

It is very hard to detach the connector with the spudger. I tried forcing the connector out with the spudger by pushing on one side and then the other repeatedly. After several times it finally came out. A tool would be useful for this; there must be special plyers for doing this. Fingernails on either side seems most obvious, but maybe there is a downside to this ?

Daniel - Reply

Rocking it back and forth with some “outward” pressure on both sides was the key. This was the only connector in this upgrade that gave me a problem.

Stephen Genusa - Reply

This step brings your hands close to the exposed rear of the power supply. To avoid a high-voltage shock from the many large capacitors attached to the board, do NOT touch the rear of the power supply.
  • This step brings your hands close to the exposed rear of the power supply. To avoid a high-voltage shock from the many large capacitors attached to the board, do NOT touch the rear of the power supply.

  • Disconnect the LED backlight driver cable with your hand by pressing the tab down and sliding it towards the bottom of the display.

Do step 7 first. The cable is much shorter and more fragile, you'll have more space to remove the other cables if that one is removed first. On my mac, the cable in step 7 was glued down and had to be freed up before I could pull the connecter out of its socket.

maccentric - Reply

Just skip step 6,7,8 and 9 with this powerful tools: two bic pen holding the frame.

Look at pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5jwam38drgcov...

fabio4 - Reply

I also used two pens to hold the display panel up and I had to detach only the vertical sync cable from the display on step 5. Much easier!

Timo Laak -

Hello Fabio, can you please re-up the picture? It doesnt seem to be online anymore :(

Thanx a bunch!

Esteban Garcia -

Good idea! I used two chopsticks as they are longer. Placed them near the corner and use one of the T10 screw's hole in the side of LCD panel to prop it up. Fit perfectly and very sturdy. This gave me plenty of space to work with the replacement.

dtsai2 -

I skipped step 6, 7 and 8 and were using some flip chart pens to put them between the frame and the display to make the work on the hard drive. Works great.

Rita - Reply

Thanks for the tip. Works a treat!

john -

Pull the black tab straight up to disconnect the latch on the display data cable ZIF connector. Do not pull up too hard or you will damage the connector and socket.
  • Pull the black tab straight up to disconnect the latch on the display data cable ZIF connector.

  • Do not pull up too hard or you will damage the connector and socket.

  • Continue to pull the black tab up toward the top of the device, to detach the display data cable.

i mess up my date zif connector is it fixable?

LUIS - Reply

me too. All went well expect replace this flat cable which is tricky almost when my view is low and I've got big finger. I broke the cable end connector to motherboard but I don't know if I damaged the connector on motherboard. I'm waiting from Apple service for diagnostic.

I would suggest on the guide to add a step to explain how sensitive is to replace this cable. iMac should lay on the back and it should have some stuff to maintain the motherboard elevated in order to insert the display port flat cable to the motherboard on a less stressful way.

strcarlos - Reply

This image is 100% inaccurate. My mac has a different style connector that needed to be pinched on each side to release the cable.

Alex Nelson - Reply

Its not 100% incorrect for him as this was his connector. It was only incorrect for you.

asthomas -

The ZIF display cable is tricky to get back in. I would suggest that this cable be the first one to be put back during reassembly. You need maximum wiggle room and visibility for this. Push in the display power cable *after* this one.

ganesh - Reply

How do you get the ZIF connector back in? Some screenshot or instruction would be very helpful. I cannot get mine back in.

Brian Bowlin - Reply

I found the best way for me to reinstall the ZIF cable in was to lay LCD panel on its face and gently peel the black tape on upper part of lcd to expose and remove the connector there. At this point the ribbon cable is free and you can insert the hard to align connector to the board. Set LCD into imac and connect the small push connector next to the ribbon cable on board. It was easier to see and then reconnect the cable to the upper portion of LCD and tape it back over. Reinstall other connectors etc. This way worked best on my 27" iMac as it was much easier.

thewiseone71 - Reply

I had to replace the cable due to damage from trying to reinsert it at the logic board and I found it best to re-attach it exactly the way that thewiseone71 describes it above. If you disconnect the part at the top with the tape around it, this goes much easier and there is less of a chance of damaging the port on the logic board where it attaches at the other end. I think some photos of this port, and the way this cable goes back in would be a great addition to this tutorial. Replacing this cable would also make a great tutorial.

lana.lawrence - Reply

What would be really helpful to this guide, and this image is the closest I can find in the sequence, is a quick summary of exactly where the diagnostic LEDs are on this model (and what they mean, although the latter is easily googleable). I only mention this as I believe my PSU is goosed as no LEDs are illuminated anywhere, however I can only find references to 2009 and 2010 of the similar MYs which evidently have diagnostic LEDs in a different place, hidden under tape, and I suspect numbered differently. So I can't be 100% certain!

Mark Whitehead - Reply

Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the display power cable next to the display data cable.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the display power cable next to the display data cable.

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

When I opened up my iMac, I was surprised at how dusty it was inside. You might want to have a vacuum cleaner handy to vacuum up the dust inside the case. Be careful not to vacuum up the screws, though!

johnhugh - Reply

do not use a vacuum cleaner, it has ESD!!!!!

find a vacuum that is for computer use that has no ESD

Kurt L Nelson -

FYI...I did this fix, upgraded my mid 2011 27" to a Samsung 850 EVO SSD Hard Drive. Everything went great except for two parts...

1. When I started up with my install media I got a three beep error and I could not install. I ended up using the CRTL-R at startup and did a network install that downloads an image of the original OS that comes with the system and allows you to install with the correct file.

2. Hard drive fan was spinning at full speed the whole time. This was annoying to say the least. Another person on this thread commented on this and said that you had to buy a $30 piece of software to fix it, I actually found another one that is free and works quite well (http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/).

zackduchene - Reply

Just completed the upgrade and put a 1TB SSD in. I have used this software and seems to do a good job. http://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-cont...

adrianh -

Locate the AirPort card at the top center of the logic board and just below the hard drive. Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry each of the antenna cables off their sockets.
  • Locate the AirPort card at the top center of the logic board and just below the hard drive.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry each of the antenna cables off their sockets.

    • Do not disconnect the antennas by pulling on the cables as this may damage the cables, connectors, or sockets.

    • The antennas have markings to help you identify their order. The antenna with no marks goes to "CH0", the antenna with one mark goes to "CH1", and the antenna with two marks goes to "CH2".

Hi Guys

I am trying to upgrade a 2010 27 imac airport card to the 2011 model, to be able to have the improved 450mbps N speeds. I got the card but I am having trouble understanding the antennas.

The new card has 3 antenna sockets and looking at parts I have seen on a website that they sell two antennas, one top left other top right. On ebay I have only seen antennas with one wire, they do not say left or right.

Do I have to get 3 antennas? For the 3 sockets? Can I use the actual ones on my 2010 imac and buy another one to attach to the third socket?

Thank you

Razvan - Reply

I have the same question, did you find an answer?

Georgios Andr - Reply

Nope, i just upgraded my mac to an N one :)

Razvan -

Remove the T6 Torx screw securing the AirPort card to the logic board frame. The card will begin to tilt away from the iMac case as you remove the screw. Its final resting angle should be the angle at which it is removed and reinstalled.
  • Remove the T6 Torx screw securing the AirPort card to the logic board frame.

    • The card will begin to tilt away from the iMac case as you remove the screw. Its final resting angle should be the angle at which it is removed and reinstalled.

  • Remove the AirPort card by pulling it straight out of its socket.

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Conclusion

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

4 other people completed this guide.

Phillip Takahashi

Member since: 08/22/2011

69,453 Reputation

133 Guides authored

3 Comments

I have a question, and I hope that this is the right place to ask. Can I replace the original Airport card with a BROADCOM BCM94360CD and a minicpi adaptor and get 802.11AC and Bluetooth 4.0? I know the BCM94360CD has four antenna connectors and the original Airport card only has three. Any guidance there? The connectors on the BCM94360CD are labeled "J0", "J1", "J2" and "J3". Thanks in advance!

gshields - Reply

Google osxwifi. The extra connector is Bluetooth. 2011 it was 2 separate cards, the newer models are combo Bluetooth + wifi AC cards. Because of this, The pci adapter needs the USB pins, and an extension cable for the BT antenna to work with 2011 models. I've done that mod to my mid 2011 27" iMac.

joer293 -

This may sound silly but I am installing the Broadcom Bcm94360cd so I can have hand off in my mid 2011 27" iMac. I was wondering where does the USB cable get plugged in? Also do I have to remove the actual Bluetooth card since it's a separate piece in order for this to work? Please help. Thank You.

bmdowney901 - Reply

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