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Thread: iMac Drive Replacement

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference

    Default iMac Drive Replacement

    Recently I had to replace my hard drive in my 24" iMac. Thanks, Rick for the Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB replacement! Getting into the newer iMacs is not as easy as it looks, and it looks difficult! There is only one screw on the whole dang thing.. it's to the ram memory access door. Removing it will give you access to the ram memory and that's all. So it was off to Dr Internet for a bit of schooling for me.

    After reading up on the process It was off to walmart's bed and bath department for a towel rack. Yes a towel rack. This towel rack to be precise

    Then to the Electronics section for a towel. You heard me.

    Also to Autozone for some ball bearings, 3&1 oil and some gauze pads.. no sorry I meant a Torx bit set (T6 through T9) size

    A bit of modification was needed to the towel rack though. I guess I should take a moment and describe the towel rack... it is a center retraction dual suction cup model. You stick the suction cups to your iMac... err I mean shower wall and then fold the handle down. This retracts the center of the cups to create suction. Anyway the cups have a plastic cap over the top that needed to be removed so you have the handle and the suction cups but no plastic over the cups there by disabling the retraction ability.

    I'm sorry what was I talking about? Oh yeah iMac hard drive replacement...

    Ok with the towel rack in my dominant hand, I slammed the towel rack into my iMac screen. Slammed may not be the right term.. carefully and easily might be better. Yeah. Then gently pulling the towel rack the glass front of the iMac came up a bit. After getting my fingers under it I carefully removed it to a safe place. Yeah slam and yank. It's held on by magnets. The lengths Apple goes to to hide a screw amazes me. You will now see the LCD itself, and screws LOTS of screws...

    All different lengths of screws so be prepared to keep track of which one goes where.

    Torx your way through the many screws around the screen to loosen the aluminum (silver) cover and when it won't come off remove that one screw from the ram access door.. yes it has to come out too. Carefully lift the aluminum frame off the iMac. Not too far though you will need to disconnect the iSight cable. After that you can set aside the cover.

    At this point you will realize that a couple extra arms are quite handy in this process.

    Now remove the 8 torx screws along the right and left sides of the LCD. Slightly lifting the LCD you will see the 3 cables connecting it to what's left of your iMac. You will need to disconnect these cables. One is a simple plugin, one is a plugin held with two tiny screws (some younger eyes are helpful) These are located along the bottom edge of the LCD. The third is under the LCD. So carefully lift the LCD a bit and with your third arm remove the tape covering the LCD end of the cable and unplug it. This was a very tight plug so patience is a virtue in removing it. you may now set the LCD aside... in a safe place. Away from all children, dogs, cats, tools, spouses and lunch.

    WHOA! There's the hard drive! Remember the hard drive? This is a post about the hard drive.

    All this build up and that dang hard drive snaps in place with a big plastic clip of the same technology that holds the battery cover in place on all the remotes in the world. Kind of anti climactic isn't it.

    Anyway remove the temp sensor (it's just stuck there with some sticky) then unplug the power and data cable. Grab the plastic clamp and squeeze and lift. You have now removed the hard drive.

    Transfer the hardware from the old drive to your New Seagate Barracuda from MacGurus.. um yeah two studs on one side and the plastic snap clip battery cover thingy on the other, then snap that bad boy in place. Replace the temp sensor cables, LCD, Aluminum frame, ram door and glass cover! Bingo done.

    One gotcha, there is a piece of silver foil-like material around the ram access area that likes to end up in the way when you go to replace the ram door. I did not find a good way to keep this in place YMMV

    Fire it up from your external hard drive or DVD boot disc and format your new toy

    I believe my house has 6-7 TB of total storage.. sweet!

    BTW when your iMac is apart it would be a great time for you to blow the dust out of it with a can of compressed air.
    Then use your towel to wipe the LCD and inside of the glass. I chose NOT to use any liquids on the LCD.
    Last edited by Damien; 02-11-2010 at 07:51 AM.

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