This guide will help you replace the hard drive.

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

    • This screw is captive in the access door.

    • Remove the access door from your iMac.

    PH2 head necessary to remove screw.

    airshack - Responder

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

    • Stick two suction cups to opposing corners of the glass panel.

    • To attach the suction cups we sell, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel. While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle.

    • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a mild solvent such as Windex.

    Save $15 dollars and use a plunger. Works perfectly.

    Michael Ybarra - Responder

    Even better and more elegant: go to a household shop and buy two transparent plastic bathroom baskets with two suction cups each. I found them in Xenos in the Netherlands (maybe also in Germany).

    freed - Responder

    Perhaps not so elegant but equally effective without any adverse effects to either... try a vacuum cleaner.

    Andrew Dobson - Responder

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

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

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

    The glass panel is somewhat thin and should come away quite easily without much force so be gentle.

    adamngordon - Responder

    Just an FYI - my glass panel did not line up perfectly when reinstalled. Off by just 1mm. May take another attempt at it later, but does not interfere with the iSight camera. Only someone with an eagle-eye (like me) will notice it's not perfect.

    ajpfl - Responder

    To reinstall the glass, I lined up the bottom edge first, then pivoted the top in. The magnets pulled it quickly into place.

    Magnus Dalen - Responder

    I didn't want to use such small suction cups.. so I got suction bathroom handles from Home Depot. Very sturdy and to me, safer choice.

    Gail - Responder

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

      • Eight 13 mm T8 Torx screws

        • Alternatively, you might have six 13 mm and two 25 mm T8 Torx screws

      • Four 25 mm T8 Torx screws

        • Alternatively, you might have two 25 mm (outer) and two 35 mm (inner) T8 Torx screws

    I only had two 25 mm T8 Torx on my model. (The two inner orange circles as shown in the diagram.)

    stevejansen - Responder

    I don't know if this is different but i am in the process of disassembling a 24' imac emc: 2134. i have only: (2) 25 mm T8 screws the inner two on the bottom of the screen. I have (4) 13 mm t8 screws the outer most holes on the bottom and the 2 holes on the right side of the monitor above the drive entrance and the remaining holes are (6) 11 mm t8 screws

    ccarter314 - Responder

    I have the same screws as ccarter on a 2211 except on the bottom row there are only 4 screws total, the longer ones go in the middle two.

    maccentric -

    The Torx set I bought from ifixIt is well worth the money. My screw heads in this step were T9 not T8. THe T8 bit was too sloppy in the screwhead and there was a risk of rounding the slots. Having the option to go a size-up was perfect.

    Troy - Responder

    My 2211 has a different screw configuration.

    2 - 32mm long screws towards the middle of the bottom edge

    4 - 18mm long screws (2 at the corners of the bottom edge and 2 along the right edge)

    6 - 13mm screws along top and left edges

    christian - Responder

    Mine is the same — two very long, four medium, and six short. Also my T9 worked better than my T8 which was a bit loose.

    johann beda -

    I have the same screws as Christian. The key is to make sure all screws are flush to the surface, so that the glass can be held up by the magnets.

    Kelvin Lau - Responder

    On mine, for the red circles, I had the six 13mm Torx plus two 25mm Torx. It's not indicated in the picture here, but the 25mm Torx went on either side of the optical drive.

    JD Fox Micro - Responder

    I marked next to each hole with a pencil "S, M or L" to indicate which length screw goes where. No guess work on reassembly.

    Magnus Dalen - Responder

    • The front bezel is still attached to the iMac by the microphone cable.

    • Gently lift the front bezel from its top edge off the rear case. It helps to use your thumbs to push down very gently on the corners of the display.

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

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

    The microphone cable must be disconnected BEFORE rotating the bezel towards the stand.

    Also, the bezel covers the sides of the case, not just the front. This isn't obvious from the pictures.

    wallace - Responder

    Looking at the meaning of the LEDS

    i've got 3 LEDS on but i don't get a chime or the screen.

    i am going to check the inverter voltages but can only find info for the 20" macs iMac Intel 20" EMC 2210 Power Supply Output Voltage Test

    does anyone know where i can get info for the 24"

    samraby - Responder

    i have the same thing, 3 LEDs on but no chime and no screen.

    what is the fix? and problem?

    Bill -

    I'm in the same position. 3 LED's, No chime, no life in the screen, Optical drive starts up but no other signs of life i.e.:fans also don't start up.....

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!!

    Dominik - Responder

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

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

    I didn't disconect the cable. I was working on a large table that allowed me to carefully flip the bezel upside down and rest it that way with the cable connected through the entire process.

    fulker - Responder

    I also skipped disconnecting the microphone cable. I have a large table and I stacked some books next to the iMac. There was plenty of cable for the bezel to fold nicely over the top of the iMac.

    mikkorongas - Responder

    I needed to move the bezel away, so disconnected the cable. On reassembly found that the pins had pulled out of the plastic housing. Need to know orientation of the 3 wires in the housing.

    prreitz - Responder

    I used the floor instead of a table and left the cable connected.

    Frank Carrano - Responder

    • Disconnect the LCD temperature sensor by pulling the connector straight out of its socket on the logic board.

    • If necessary, de-route the LCD temperature sensor cable from behind the logic board.

    The temp sensor on my EMC2134 is located underneath the LCD and the cable is not very long. I propped up the LCD to facilitate removal.

    Pierre Scerri - Responder

    I got an error for the LCD thermal sensor(4sns/1/40000000: TLOP-130.000), and now the fan runs full tilt all the time! I guess I may have damaged the cable...

    morgandan - Responder

    there are two connections together; picture does not make that clear or which one to remove.

    jay - Responder

    You have to be extremely careful when pulling out the LCD Temp connection as it doesn't want to come easy. I almost pulled the entire connection off the logic board using too much force. I therefore, used a pair of hemostats to grab the male end (the very top of the connector) and used a small screwdriver to hold the base of the connection in-place (female end attached to the logic board) in order to pull the connector apart.

    tpolak - Responder

    There apparently is a variant of the EMC2134, like Pierre Scerri said. It has its LCD temp sensor underneath the LCD; the thin wires are about 5 in / 13 cm long and taped to the back of the LCD, and only about 2 in free, so lift the LCD gently.

    There is a connector on the place where the LCD temp connector is on the iFixit photo, but in this variant it is marked 'CPU FAN' and there is no reason to disconnect it.

    The logic boards in my computer are black, not blue.

    goosveen - Responder

    • Remove the two 5.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the display data cable to the logic board.

    When they assembled my imac, they forgot to put the two torx screws in. Saved me about 10 seconds. The cable was quite secure and easily popped on and off.

    ljheppner - Responder

    I used surgical tweezers to put place these two tiny screws back in without dropping them into the computer.

    Magnus Dalen - Responder

    In my situation, the T6 (fixit's version) got the screw stripped. I'm eyeing the screws with suspicions. It's way too tight than necessary that I have difficulty to unscrew it. Will add comment if I ever get successful to get it out somehow.

    xa0s - Responder

    Okay. It was extremely difficult. I had to use precision screw (1.4 m/m). It worked on one of the screw. The other one... I was forced to use a hexagon bit at 1.5 size to a success with extreme precision and careful maneuver. I just hope nobody else experiences this as much as I have. Good luck.

    xa0s - Responder

    • Disconnect the display data cable connector from its socket on the logic board by pulling the attached plastic tab towards you and away from the iMac.

    For my 2134 iMac, I ended up just (carefully) putting my fingers on the edges of the little board and (gently) pulling up. Did the trick for me (I couldn't get anything to happen when I pulled up on the plastic tab, which I did also have trouble finding purchase on)

    Emmett Framson - Responder

    Same for me :just pull upwards with your nails on both edges.

    thierry28722 - Responder

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    • Lay the iMac down on a table before you remove the LCD so that it doesn't fall.

    • Remove the eight 12 mm T8 Torx screws securing the display panel to the rear case.

    • Lift the right side of the display panel a few inches up from the iMac.

      • Do not lift the LCD all the way up; there are still connectors attaching the LCD to the internals.

    In the photo it appears you're lifting it from its right edge. Sue


    suewclark - Responder

    When you fit the LCD back be aware that the microphone cable may be hidden between it and the case and make sure it's free. I had to back track a few stages when I couldn't find it.

    suewclark - Responder

    My T9 bit fits better than my T8 bit.

    johann beda - Responder

    • With the LCD lifted, disconnect the LCD cable by pulling down.

    • The LCD cable is attached to the underside of the power supply; be careful where you put your fingers so you don't get zapped by a capacitor.

    • On reassembly, you may find it helpful to remove the power supply, reconnect the LCD power cable, and then reinstall the power supply.

      • Alternatively, the LCD power cable can be disconnected from the LCD, rather than the power supply.

    I was unable to disconnect the LCD cable, possibly due to fear of breaking the connector. I was able to swap drives with it connected. The iMac was placed on its rear cover on a large table, leaving plenty of workspace to rotate the LCD panel to the left side while still connected. The screen will lay at an angle on the case edge. I verified the LCD cable was clear of the case endue and not pinched.

    This also avoids going near high power capacitors with your fingers.

    stevejansen - Responder

    I found it easier to disconnect the LCD cable at the LCD end after lifting the black tape.

    Pierre Scerri - Responder

    Fully agree. Easiest is to remove cable from LCD in stead of trying to pull it off the board

    Rik Veldhuizen -

    Remove cable from the LCD Display not the board

    Fully agree with others. It is easiest is to remove cable from LCD display instead of trying to pull it off the board. It comes off the board very easily, but it is difficult to put it back onto the board. It is easier to snap the cable bad onto the LCD Display itself.

    ToddR -

    I could not get the LCD power cable disconnected from the board - it is on really hard and there is no way to leverage it off without breaking something. My solution was to leave the screen attached and rotate it away from the work area/computer (granted you need a work surface that is large enough and a soft surface to place the screen on). If you try this method, be careful that you keep clear of the screen during the remaining steps - should not be hard.

    It seemed that if I ever got the connection unplugged, there would be no way to get it back under and re-attached properly.

    This is probably the toughest step of the entire process that needs a workaround.

    ljheppner - Responder

    On re-assembly, Have something ready to rig the display! reconnecting the lcd cable is the most difficult step in the whole procedure

    bootsch - Responder

    I agree with the previous poster, this is indeed the most challenging part. I ended up removing the screws for the IC board that this connector connects to. This allowed me to pull the board up an extra inch and plug in properly. 4 screws, 120 seconds, done.

    orders651 - Responder

    As said previously, reconnecting the data cable is really difficult and I managed to bend a pin. Thanks to good support from ifixit staff I managed to bend it back - not sure how as it's so small. Unscrewing the IC board is a good idea. If I ever had to do this again I would avoid disconnecting this cable and just move it out of the way, or disconnect it at the other end as previously suggested.

    suewclark - Responder

    LIke others mentioned, this was the most difficult step because of the awkward angle. Working alone I managed to get it off but found it much harder to line it up properly for reattachment. What I ended up doing was getting someone to hold the the LCD (resting on the left side, perpendicular to the iMac which was laying down) and I removed the 4 screws that hold the power supply in place. Removing those screws allowed me to lift the power supply a couple inches which made it so much easier to reattach. I wish I had done that when I was trying to remove the cable during disassembly. Good luck!

    alexflood - Responder

    This was near impossible to remove as there is no room to grip the connector and no easy way to wedge something in there to help remove it. I felt like giving up but the hard drive removal and swap was so easy you just need to get someone to hold the screen for 10 minutes. Don't try removing the cable ... you most likely will get frustrated unnecessarily.

    Troy - Responder

    I did not disconnect the LCD power cable as others recommended. I simply rotated the LCD to the side, rested on table. This worked really well for me and did not have to be concerned about reattaching this complex connector.

    ajpfl - Responder

    I agree with others. Just lift display and lean against a prop, perpendicular to table. No need to disconnect, which is error prone.

    dkulp - Responder

    Les commentaires sont tous en anglais à cette étape, et j'aurai dû faire l'effort de les lire avant de perdre 1h à cause de ce connecteur. Effectivement, il n'est pas nécessaire de débrancher le connecteur de l'écran, car c'est une vrai galère à remettre sans risque de le casser. On peut donc laisser l'écran branché, à la verticale, soigneusement incliné sur un mur, l'imac toujours posé sur le bureau. J'espère que ce message sera utile, car j'aurai bien aimé qu'on me le dise avant !

    Nicolecameleon - Responder

    +1 for removing the LCD cable from the screen side, not the mac side.

    Not removing it, depending on the lenght of the cable which doesn't seem to be fixed, might not be an option for everybody.

    Michael Sacchi - Responder

    Remove cable from the LCD Display not the board

    Fully agree with others. It is easiest is to remove cable from LCD display instead of trying to pull it off the board. It comes off the board very easily, but it is difficult to put it back onto the board. It is easier to snap the cable bad onto the LCD Display itself.

    ToddR - Responder

    This is really a good way to break the cable! Avoid the stress easily by removing the four screws (T-9) holding the video board down, then lift the edge near the cable before removing. Also, the cable is easily reattached to the board with these four screws removed. Reattaching without doing so is time consuming and quite difficult. This approach is easier than removing the cable from the LCD.

    airshack - Responder

    Reconnecting the LCD Connector was the only challenging part of this procedure. I must have bent the pins on the LCD connector when taking it off so was unable to reattach. I ended up taking off a bracket that was adjacent to the LCD connector as well as the other end of the cable....O I disconnected these 2 pieces and was able to examine the other end of the LCD connector I was able to bend the pins back into place and the connector snapped back into place. The display works and the hard drive works as well. Thanks iFixIt!

    csimmons20 - Responder

    I wish I had read your comments about not disconnecting the LCD. It was really hard disconnecting and connecting it back was !@#$. I managed to twist some of the pins so in the end I had to unscrew the board, twist the pins back and plug the cable. When I restarted, I really thought that it was never going to work. So a down point for not pointing to comments at step #11. Otherwise great tutorial.

    Alain Bartolo - Responder

    Too difficult to re-connect afterwards. Accidentally, one pin was bended when re-plugged. I ended up unscrewed the power board, and fixed the pin. Re-connect and OK.

    Nick Lam - Responder

    I found a far easier way. Just gently turn the screen 90° to one side and don't disconnect the cable! If all you are doing is replacing the HD, there's plenty of room without disconnecting the cable. At least on my machine the cable is flexible and I didn't have any problem making room. Way, way easier.

    baslking - Responder

    Thanks for the suggestion to remove the IC board. This was indeed the easiest for me, after spending 15 minutes trying to reconnect the cable.

    Sccoaire - Responder

    I didn't disconnect the LCD cable. I stacked some books on the side and put a blanket on them. I was then able to fold the screen next to the computer LCD still connected. Should some iMacs have a shorter cable this may not be an option to everyone. Thanks for good tips everyone.

    mikkorongas - Responder

    I also did not remove LCD cable. Just rotated the LCD away and propped it by the edges with the plastic inserts from the box my new drive came in. Plenty of room to get to the HDD.

    EBS - Responder

    No need to remove the LCD panel.

    I agree this is the toughest step in the process — and the most unnecessary. I was able to rotate the panel out of the way without disconnecting it, placing a cloth between the chassis and the panel now leaning against it to prevent any inadvertent damage.

    Tim Murtaugh - Responder

    As others have stated, disconnecting the inverter cable from the power supply first is NOT the way to go. I ended up damaging the cable trying to get it out before I went to disconnect it from the LCD panel end instead. Much easier to do and much less prone to damaging the cable or it's insertion socket.

    The guide needs to be updated and the suggestion to pull the inverter cable downward from the power supply removed. It is not a good idea and will cost you at least a few days and $10 to replace the cable should something go wrong. Please update this guide.

    multimediavt - Responder

    Get the male part out of the female fitting is a standard problem with boards. There are pulling/clamping devices you can get at electronics stores to pull the fitting out. They are like fuse pullers many car fuse boxes are equipped with. IFixit should sell them with the kit. I did it all without any problems, formatted the drive and then installed the operating system and defeated Apple who wouldn't even consider replacing the drive in my "obsolete" machine which my wife now uses instead of a crappy Dell PC.

    peterhaggstrom - Responder

    If you are just changing the HDD, instead of removing the cable at the left, simply pivot the LCD 90 degrees counter-clockwise and gently set it back down. This allows one to access the HDD to swap.

    Eriamjh 1138 - Responder

    I completely agree, it is way easier to remove the LCD cable from the LCD panel itself

    Sve Jo - Responder

    • Continue to lift the LCD from the right side.

    • Remove the LCD.

    Much simpler to remove the LCD cable at the LCD insertion site, rather than trying to remove it as suggested in the manual. Reinsertion is also less traumatic.

    Eric Shaffmaster - Responder

    • If necessary, remove the pieces of tape securing the hard drive/optical drive thermal sensor cables to your iMac.

    Adicionar comentário

    • Disconnect the hard drive thermal sensor by pulling its connector upwards toward the top of your iMac.

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

    This is unnecessary since the other end of the heat sensor is removed from the old drive.

    dkulp - Responder

    • Pressing the top of the hard drive bracket down to release it from the rear case requires a substantial amount of force. We recommend laying your iMac stand-side down on a table to avoid knocking it over.

    • Press the hard drive bracket down toward the bottom edge of your iMac to free it from the rear case, then rotate the top of the drive toward yourself.

    To avoid the pain on my finger tips in applying enough force, I used a bit of microfiber towel as padding under the sharp plastic edge and it was then easy.

    Magnus Dalen - Responder

    I found out that the black plastic bar is a lever, which swings up outwards left side — away from the backside of the casing — and then drops off of the right side, which releases the rubberized bolts, that hold the hard drive! The hard drive then could be lifted easily out of its hinges. Mind the cables!

    koenigt - Responder

    Using a trigger clamp to compress the black retainer was the easiest method to remove the drive. Move the sensor wires out of the way then position the clamp in such a way that one jaw is on the drive and the other is on the black plastic. Compress it just enough to clear the metal support. Then to reinstall reverse the process.

    capt_ir8 - Responder

    DON’T do this! you’ll likely hurt yourself. I tried doing this way and it just required more force than i was comfortable applying. just unscrew the HDD off the black “lever” piece. The HDD will just come right out. The side opposite of the black “lever” are secured with pins, don’t bother trying to unscrew from there.

    yamaoka01 - Responder

    • Rotate the hard drive toward yourself, then lift it up off its mounting pins.

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

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

    Adicionar comentário

    • Insert the flat end of a spudger between the SATA power cable connector and the edge of the hard drive.

    • Twist the spudger to separate the connector from the hard drive.

    Please define "spudger"??

    Ken L - Responder

    This is the hard part if you're gonna use a bracket for 2.5 to 3.5 via SSD. I had to modify this one thrice. It's now all fit in nicely.

    xa0s - Responder

    • Pull the SATA power connector away from the hard drive.

    Adicionar comentário

    • Disconnect the SATA data cable by pulling its connector away from the hard drive.

    This cable was not long enough to reach the SSD connector for me. The adapter I used, and I suspect many used, puts the SSD centred, thus the data and power connectors a bit further away from where the original drive's connector were. The power cable had enough give to plug it in, but not the data cable. I knew the data cable had more give from the other end of it, so I careful pulled it with, ashamed to say, force. I heard tape giving away, so I figured it was taped down underneath. I managed to get just enough length to plug it in.

    Sccoaire - Responder

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

    Adicionar comentário

    • Use the tip of a spudger to lift the thermal sensor lock finger while pulling lightly on the thermal sensor cable.

    • If your thermal sensor seems to be stuck to the face of the hard drive, skip to the next step.

    This part just came right off, I didn’t have to disconnect anything. Meaning, the adhesive was pretty loose and this along with the next piece just came right off together. Basically fell off :p

    yamaoka01 - Responder

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the thermal sensor bracket off the face of the hard drive.

    • If you're replacing your hard drive, transfer this bracket and the thermal sensor to your new hard drive. If the adhesive refuses to stick during reinstallation, apply double-sided tape to the underside of the two flat ears of the thermal sensor bracket.

    I used a tiny plastic wedge to pry this off and it came away easily.

    Magnus Dalen - Responder

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

    • After you remove these two screws, the hard drive bracket will fall away from the hard drive.

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

    Adicionar comentário

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

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

    Adicionar comentário

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to remove the piece of EMI foam from the underside of your hard drive.

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

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

    I'm confused about the purpose of the EMI foam in step 25:

    Quote: Use the flat end of a spudger to remove the piece of EMI foam from the underside of your hard drive.

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

    Would you please elaborate about this part?

    Patrick Percy Blank - Responder

    Yeah, I had this same question. Makes no discernable difference or use that I can see.

    Gail - Responder

    I guess this is for a HDD only, not for SSD. It's for grounding of the metal chassi of the HDD. /sm4tfe

    Kent - Responder


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

375 outras pessoas concluíram este guia.

Brittany McCrigler

Member since: 05-03-2012

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Thank you Brittany for putting together an awesome guide! I was able to swap in a leftover MBA SSD into my 2007 iMac before gifting it to my father-in-law. This iMac was showing its age with Lion installed, mostly due to 2 GB of RAM and a so-so magnetic drive. I was hesitant to gift a hand-me-down with little usable life. Not anymore! I have no doubt that the 5GB of RAM and a super fast SSD breathed another 5+ years of enjoyment into this iMac. Reuse beats recycling! Thank you!

stevejansen - Responder

FYI - The iFixit store links for the Torx screwdriver incorrectly displays the security Torx drivers. I had my own set of regular Torx drivers and competed this successfully. I did not find the security (center post) variant of the Torx screwhead anywhere in my iMac.

stevejansen - Responder

Security Torx drivers work on both regular Torx and security Torx bits, so we sell the security drivers to keep people from having to buy two tools.

David Hodson -

Excellent guide. The entire process took less than 90 minutes and I was not in a hurry. Everybody told me that the iMacs were designed to be "user-proof" and had to be worked on by qualified technicians. What do they know? Now my computer is back up and running with a 1TB drive and it cost less than $150 - even with shipping costs factored in. Great job guys!!!

ljheppner - Responder

The guide was extremely helpful, however, there are a few things that I wanted to mention that might add to the guide:

* Since my work surface was large enough to allow the bezel to sit on a flat surface while working on the CPU, I did not need to disconnect the microphone cable, thus I wasn't required to remove the tape from the plug.

* The iMac I fixed was running for over 4 years, so there was a lot of dust around the fan and stuck to the inside of the bezel. This surprised me. Someone might want to keep a small vacuum handy, or get a can of air. Be warned: This dust will require you to clean the LCD. No getting around it.

* Since I have big fingers, I was finding it almost impossible to reconnect the LCD cable that is underneath the power inverter logic board. So I found it much easier to remove the four screws on that small logic board, lift it up, plug the cable back into the bottom, and reattach the board. Otherwise I would have spent a long time trying to plug the cable.

Thanks again!

Roger Linkenhoker - Responder

Great guide ... managed to upgrade my 320GB to a 2TB drive with no real fuss. NOTES ... you should get a SATA external dock and do the OSX install and TimeMachine recovery so your HDD is ready to go. You should boot test as well before the change out procedure. One recommendation .... when you reassemble the front glass to the LCD its a good idea to let an air purifier run for a few hours in the room first. Wiping the LCD builds a small static charge and dust immediately sticks to the glass or LCD. The air filter trick was magic.

Troy - Responder

Torx T8 'security' was not required, just a regular T8. It might be worthwhile to mention that. It prevents people (like me) from unnecessarily buying the security T8.

Great manual though! It saved me a lot of money. Thanks.

Philip - Responder

Guide worked perfectly. Wish I would have had some canned air on hand to clean out the innards. Other than that it was great. Only thing I messed up was not getting the front bezel back on perfectly. I had a little foam pushed down over the access door after getting the bezel on making it impossible to get the access door back on. So I just left it off for now. When I am feeling a little more ambitious I may take all those screws off to fix this.

After installing I just put in my original Snow Leopard install CD and rebooted. Had to go to disk utilities and reformat the new drive and then everything installed just fine. I will upgrade to Mountain Lion after Snow Leopard. I opted for this route because I had the Snow Leopard CD handy and just wanted to make sure the hard drive install was proper.

The hard drive I installed was a Seagate 2TB 7200 RPM that I picked up from Crucial for $110. Old hard drive was completely dead.

Scott Handley - Responder

Excellent guide. I was able to replace the HD in under an hour with distractions.

adamngordon - Responder

Great Guide!

I replaced my old hard drive with a Seagate Hybrid Drive ST2000DX001 2TB MLC/8GB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s NCQ 3.5 in about an hour. Make sure to to have this drive formatted before you install or have a bootable drive to run disk utility after installation of the hardware.

My ole iMac is running Mavericks, Adobe Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects... etc. with no problems.

NerdForHire - Responder

How is the hybrid drive working out for you? Was there a very noticeable speed gain? thanks!

peakay -

Hi, Is your iMac EMC 2211 1225A model? I brought my iMac to repair to change my hard drive to Western Digital 2TB Green Hard drive with 6GB/s and technician said the hard drive is recognized by the computer while they were booting it. They have upgraded firmware to the newest version of 7.0 (?) but still iMac hasn't recognized the new 2TB hard drive. Do you know anything about this situation?

Qanda -

Thanks Brittany for this excellent guide. I just replaced a crashed 500GB drive with a new 2TB one. Followed the guide step by step, except step 11 where I rotated the LCD panel instead of unplugging it. Found that the plug was not accessible enough and was concerned about breaking it loose, or having problems plugging it back in.

Olivier Boudry - Responder

Just replaced the original 120 GB HD with a 1 TB HD. The directions were easy to follow and managed to swap out the HDs with no issue… and saved a few hundred bucks in the process. I purchased the suction cups, spudger, and 54-bit Driver Kit from iFixit and found them very useful. Good tools to have for future repairs on other comps.

dgoosbey2 - Responder

Does anyone know if I need to get adaptor cable to install an SSD in the place of the HDD or do they fit in the ssd? SSD on the optical bay doesn't work for me since it is a ATA conection

Spiros Polikandriotis - Responder

Awesome guide, tip use cling wrap to keep the LCD clean before removing.

ssbyers - Responder

Really good guide. Took the opportunity to have a good clean out in there whilst it was apart. Some air or a small squeezy thing for cleaning camera lenses would be worth having to hand.

Thanks for giving my 5yr old iMac a new lease of life!

Adam Sharpe - Responder

Thank you iFixit and Brittany for this guide. I was able to install a 1TB drive to replace the original 320GB that had failed. Luckily it would still work for a few hours before freezing so I was able to make a Mavericks USB installer and back up to an external Western Digital before it eventually stopped turning on at all.

Thanks for stocking all the items in the EU store as well. One thing I would mention is that as the spudger was not listed under the 'tools needed' section I forgot to buy one, luckily I bought one off Amazon which arrived after the iFixit package and before my hard drive replacement, but in the future it might be an idea to include it under tools needed.

Philip Boardman - Responder

I followed this guide to swap the HD for an SSD, and the main problem was finding a suitable way to mount the SSD. You need a 3.5"-2.5" bracket which has the outer mounting points of a 3.5" drive and accepts the same large-threaded screws as a 3.5" drive. Most are either shorter than a 3.5" drive and/or are threaded for smaller screws.

In the end I found this plastic bracket:

But when the drive was mounted properly in the middle of the bracket, the SATA data cable did not reach to it. So I cut away one of the plastic fins, and lashed the drive to the near side of the bracket with one screw and a cable tie right around it. It does the job surprisingly well - I don't think it will shake loose, and nobody can see it anyway :-)

Brian Candler - Responder

For an exact fit, you can use an SSD to HDD Converter such as the Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-2B or MB882SP-1S-1B ( This is a plastic case with the exact form factor of a 3.5" HDD --- your 2.5" SSD fits inside the converter, then you attach the converter to Apple's HDD bracket and reinstall the same as an HDD. Avoids any jury-rigging or alterations.

Scott Boydman -

Excellent guide, worked like a charm. I too disconnected the LCD cable from the LCD end, much easier. When replacing the thermal sensor, make sure the flat side (with the label on it) and not the rounded side faces down against the drive before you replace the bracket and tape. Also, helps to have a good clean microfiber cloth and can of compressed air on hand. I used the air to clean the insides as best I could, but it really helped with cleaning the LCD before replacing the glass panel. The replacement kicked up a ton of dust onto the LCD that I only noticed with a flashlight, so I alternated cloth and canned air to get it as dust free as possible before replacing the panel. There were streaks under the glass panel I never knew existed, and now my display is brighter now than ever before. My old iMac has a new lease on life, and a week later is running strong. Thanks, iFixit!

brad - Responder

Thank you for this awesome guide, worked for me. I would also suggest to leave LCD cable connected if you only need to replace HD, it is enough to lift display upright.

Liebfried - Responder

Wow my machine is worse that it was before. Everything is connected and m

y screen is black & I get a beep. What do I do to get it back to the way it was?

MoDa - Responder

All went well until I realized that my new hard drive had no temperature sensor connector. I need to decide whether to attach the sensor lead back to the board and leave the sensor unattached to the hard drive, or just leave both ends of the sensor unattached. Anyone have a recommendation?

hopatut - Responder

Great guide. I used it to install a SSD. The hardest part was make shifting it so the 2.5 drive would fit in the 3.5 slot. I had an adapter but the iMac Sara cable wouldn't reach so I pretty much made a web of zip ties. Don't disconnect the LCD cable unless you have to. It was hard to get it back in without a buddy.

Joel Persinger - Responder

Excellent guide.I just replaced my iMAC(24" 2008 ) HDD to Samsung SSD 250GB within 35minutes.TY

GODMAN2020 - Responder

Thank you ever so much for such a comprehensive guide. I upgraded mine to a 500 gb ssd. Unfortuntely the fans inside the machine are spinning like crazy. I have tried using external software to control them but no luck, the hdd temp reading is too high, the optical drive fan is super noisy.

Am I just simply unlucky?

The Reviewer - Responder

It's surprising the hard drive in my mid-2007 iMac lasted as long as eight years. But it became so slow that even typing often produced the beach ball of death. Memory upgrade to 4Gb had minimal effect. So I nearly spent £1600 on a replacement up to date iMac. Then I spotted the 9to5 guide and subsequently yours.

I have no experience of the insides of computers but could find no local expert to do this work. Trying for help from the nearest Apple dealer was a no-no. They just want you to buy their latest machine.

But, with the help of your guide (and my wife), I did it myself with no problem. The tools cost about £20 and the SSD £250 (a 1Tb Samsung 850 EVO), plus a small amount for the TRIM enabler.

I now have my fantastic iMac back again and don't even have to listen to the whir of a hard drive - or a fan!

Thank you so much for publishing this information.

Peter Milewski - Responder

I forgot to mention that I followed the advice of one of your previous commenters and detached the LCD cable from the LCD end not the other end as in your guide. It was perfectly easy but I had to replace the sticky protector with ordinary sticky plastic tape.

Peter Milewski - Responder

Well done with this guide, which I had next to me as I replaced my 500 Gb HDD (WD5000AAKS SATA) for a 500 Gb SDD unit (Samsung 850 EVO).

However, I now have a fan spinning like mad, trying to cool a disk that is believed to be too hot, and that is due to the fact that my former HDD had a 8 pin port (4 per row), right next to the power and the SATA connectors, in which the HDD temperature sensor wire end of was plugged. That is, the HDD had a built-in temperature sensor. Since I could not connect this to the new SSD drive, leaving it open might be signaling my OS to keep the fan always on.

I would not want to disable the fan completely, however, nor I believe a third party software is really necessary. Ideally I'd disable a "fan on" signal in response to a "hot hard drive" signal. Is there anyone here who tried such a solution ?

It this is impossible, then I wonder what type of probe should I obtain and attach to what is now the loose end of the HDD temperature cable. Is this a thermistor?

Cheers, Max

Massimo Pinto - Responder

Ottima guida, molto accurata, grazie. Ho sostituito l'Hard Disk con un SSD da 2,5'', l'unica difficoltà è stata dovuta ai cavi di connessione SATA che sono molto corti.

massimolevi - Responder

Problemi con l’adattatore o con la ventola?


claudioner -

Thank You !!Brittany, I just replaced the hard Drive in my iMac it was easy following your guide.

Haydee - Responder

Excellent instructions, it took me about 15 minutes to change the hard drive. A few notes:

1. For step 4 on my unit I had two 35mm in the bottom center, two 25mm on the bottom outside and two more 25mm on the right hand side of the screen, leaving me with six 13mm screws on the top and left hand side.

2. If you have someone to hold the display panel, or a way to prop it securely, you can skip steps 7 and 11, this makes the process go very smoothly.

Getting El Capitan on when the previous hard drive was completely shot took about 10 hours. My other Mac was too old to be upgraded to Lion. So I couldn't make a USB install on the live Mac from the App Store. My Snow Leopard DVD was destroyed, and the hard drive which had the recovery partition was dead. The nearest Apple Store is a 320 mile round trip. I found other sources for the El Cap installation, but posting about that is probably against the rules here.

Michael Anderson - Responder

Do not remove the display cable from the board! It is very hard to remove, personal experience, and it is unsettling to try and get it back on without feeling like your going to break something. Either have a buddy hold the display on its edge while you quickly remove the hard drive or remove the LCD power cable from the screen itself. It is very easy to do. Just peel back the tape and pull straight up on the connector to remove it. I had to use a pair of pliers to grip the connector as I have big fingers and was afraid I might pull the cables from the connector. Very easy to then reattach cable and push tape back down.

Matthew Metzinger - Responder

I made a USB bootable El Cap installation disk after downloading from Apple and it worked fine to install El Cap onto this model iMac. Even with 2GB of Ram it works fine, if a little slow. I just purchases RAM to upgrade it to 4GB which should work fine.

rgron - Responder

Go for the 6 gig of ram upgrade kit. It's matched and works fine even if apple only rated the machine at 4. Your Mac will thank you for it.

David Power -

Early 2008 iMac now working fine after a 500gb ssd and 6 meg of ram installed. Who needs to spend another $2500 +.

David Power - Responder

Wow it’s cool, thanks for detailed instruction.

how you think If I put on imac early 2008 instead of HDD a SSD with transfer speed 6gb/sec Сso will this speed be maintained without loss???

Ihor - Responder

I have an early 2008 2.4 ghz imac. Had to replace hard drive and selected a 320 go drive. Old drive was 250gb. Called Apple and they were unable to format new drive. Need procedure to format new drive.

Rich. 2/12/2018

Richard Vellemam - Responder

I have all the parts for this model… save for the screws. the iMac came to me disassembled and missing the following screws:


13mm T8 x8 OR 13mm T8 x6 & 25mm T8 x2

25mm T8 x4 OR 25mm T8 outer x2 & 35mm T8 inner x2


5.3mm T6 x2

STEP 10:

12mm T8 x8

STEP 23:

T8 hard drive bracket x2

STEP 24:

T8 connector side x2

Any tips for finding inexpensive replacements for these (and for determining which I would need for STEP 4)? The inexpensive part being key, or it’s not really worth doing anything more than recycling the poor old machine.

Adam Boyd - Responder

Has anybody had any issues with SSD Samsung EVO 850 with an iMac 24” 2007 model? I’m thinkin of adding it to help boost my iMac read/write speed but not sure?? thanks

Richard “Titch” Cooper - Responder

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