There are many benefits to adding a second drive to your iMac such as improved speeds, greater storage space, and less heartache when installing new software. Use this guide to install one using our optical bay drive enclosure.

    • Before beginning, unplug your iMac and lay it on a soft surface as shown.

    • Stick a suction cup near each of the two top 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.

  1. 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.
    • 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.

    • Remove the eight 8 mm T10 Torx screws securing the display to the outer case.

    • The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display.

    • Slightly lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case.

    • Do not lift it too much. There are several cables attaching the display to the logic board.

    • Pull the vertical sync ribbon cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

    • The vertical sync ribbon cable has a ZIF style end, but the socket has no lock or retaining flap. Simply pull the cable away from its socket toward the optical drive side of the iMac to disconnect it 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.

    • Disconnect the LED backlight power cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket (toward the bottom edge of the iMac).

    • 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 careful when disconnecting and reconnecting this cable, as it is easily damaged.

    • 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.

    • Carefully pull the display toward the top edge of your iMac and lift it out of the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.

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

    • Remove the four 9 mm T10 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the outer case.

    • Lift the inner edge of the optical drive and maneuver its connector past the frame attached to the logic board.

    • Carefully pull the optical drive off its mounting pins on the edge of the outer case to gain clearance for disconnecting the optical drive cable.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to help disconnect the optical drive cable.

    • It is not necessary to peel all of the EMI tape off the optical drive bracket. Only peel up the portion highlighted in red that is attached to the body of the optical drive.

    • Peel back the portion of aluminum tape highlighted in red, leaving the rest attached to the black plastic optical drive bracket.

    • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from both sides of the optical drive (four screws total).

    • If necessary, use the tip of a spudger to press each of the optical drive bracket tabs out of their slots on the bottom of the optical drive.

    • Rotate the optical drive bracket slightly away from the optical drive.

    • Pull the optical drive bracket away from the open end of the optical drive, minding any tabs that may get caught.

    • Use the tip of a spudger to peel back the piece of foam tape covering the optical drive thermal sensor.

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

    • If you have a disk or anything else stuck inside your optical drive, we have a guide to fix it.

    • Remove the three 3.0 mm Phillips #0 screws from the optical bay enclosure.

    • Starting from the left edge, gently pull open the optical bay enclosure.

    • Continue to pull open the two halves of the enclosure until they separate.

    • Remove the two 3.0 mm Phillips #0 screws securing the faceplate to the optical bay enclosure.

    • Lift the black plastic faceplate out of the optical bay enclosure.

      • You will no longer need the faceplate or the two Phillips screws that held it in place. Set those parts aside if you ever wish to put the faceplate back into the enclosure.

    • Reassemble the optical bay enclosure without the faceplate, reusing the original three 3.0 mm Phillips screws to keep it intact.

    • Remove the plastic positioner from the optical bay hard drive enclosure by pressing in on one of the clips on either side and lifting it up and out of the enclosure.

    • Make sure that the hard drive connectors are facing down before placing it into the enclosure.

    • Gently place the hard drive into the enclosure's hard drive slot.

    • While firmly holding the enclosure in place with one hand, use your other hand to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.

    • Once the hard drive is snug, reinsert the plastic positioner while holding the hard drive against the bottom of the enclosure.

    • Reconnect any cables you have removed from the original optical drive onto the optical bay enclosure.


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

41 outras pessoas concluíram este guia.

Brittany McCrigler

Member since: 05-03-2012

80.451 reputação

132 Guides authored


iFixit Membro de iFixit


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I followed this guide to place a samsung 840 EVO 750 GB ssd in the optical drive bay. The instructions worked near perfectly. However, I got many SATA CRC errrors. Not a connector seating problem. After placing the SSD in the hard drive bay (following the hard drive replacement guide) no more CRC errors.

I tested with an older laptop hdd: This works fine in the optical bay.

Apparently either the optical drive bay does not work well with the samsung 840 EVO or my optical drive cable is no good.

I reassembled my superdrive and placed the SSD in place of my built-in HDD for a nice speed increase.

Is there any listing of ssds that work well in the OD bay?

Allard Mosk - Responder

I recently replaced my HD with an SSD drive. Watching this guide actually helped too!

I would also like to replace the optical drive with a Hard Drive. Would it make much of a difference wether I use a SSD or a 7200rpm HD? I would be using it for video and audio files for Protools and Final Cut Pro that are running on the SSD..

It seems like the negotiated speed on the optical SATA is only 1.5 Gigabit..

Ron kauvon - Responder

Do you attach the thermal sensor to the equivalent place on drive enclosure as it was on the optical drive?

Kevin Quinn - Responder

Would love to know how to re-use the optical drive externally, with an inexpensive enclosure.

Rob Wilderman - Responder

There is the OWC SuperSlim ( The iMac drive looks at least half again as thick as a laptop drive, so there would be a gap between the top and bottom pieces of the SuperSlim - maybe build a thin wood frame to take up the gap? Four pieces, each about a quarter-inch thick, glued or lapped on the corners. If you want to be *really* nifty, maybe try to do a dove-tail on each corner - but that would require cutting about 2 mm "doves and tails".

jimwitte -

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