iMac Intel 20" EMC 2266 SSD Installation

Upgrading the hard drive in your iMac Intel 20" EMC 2266.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Use this guide to replace the clunky, spinning drive in your 20" iMac with a lightning fast SSD.

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Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • Lay your iMac front side down on a table with the lower edge facing yourself.

  • 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.

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Step 2 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • 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 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.

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Step 3  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 4 Front Bezel  ¶ 

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

    • Eight 13 mm T8 Torx.

    • Four 25 mm T8 Torx.

  • On the 24" iMac Intel Model A1225, the bottom center two screws are long (26mm), four on sides (two left, two right) are medium (18mm), and the remaining 6 (four top, two bottom corners) are short (14mm).

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Step 5  ¶ 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rotate the front bezel away from the rest of the device and lay it above the top edge of the iMac.

  • 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.

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Step 6  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 7 Display Panel  ¶ 

  • Pull the LCD temperature sensor connector straight up off its socket on the logic board.

  • (located at the top of the logic board on the 24")

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Step 8  ¶ 

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

  • Use the attached black tab to pull the display data cable connector straight away from the logic board.

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Step 9  ¶ 

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

  • Lift the display panel from its left edge and rotate it toward the right edge of the iMac.

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Step 10  ¶ 

  • With the display panel still lifted, disconnect the four inverter cables.

  • During reinstallation, place the four inverter cable connectors in voids between components attached to the rear panel so the display panel will sit flush on the edges of the rear case.

  • (combined into one plug in on the 24")

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Step 11 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • To remove the hard drive bracket, squeeze the middle against the side of the hard drive while rotating the top left edge toward yourself.

  • After the left edge has been freed, rotate the bracket toward the right edge of the hard drive.

  • Lift the hard drive bracket straight up off the chassis.

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Step 12  ¶ 

  • If present, remove the small piece of tape covering the hard drive and optical drive temperature sensor cables.

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Step 13  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive temperature sensor cable straight away from its socket on the logic board.

  • 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.

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Step 14  ¶ 

  • Rotate the top of the drive toward yourself, then lift the hard drive straight up off its lower 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.

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Step 15  ¶ 

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

  • Twist the spudger to separate the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

  • Disconnect the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

  • Repeat this process for the SATA power cable.

  • Lift the hard drive out of your iMac, minding the thermal sensor cable that may get caught.

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Step 16 SSD Installation  ¶ 

  • Remove the two T10 Torx screws and their attached rubber grommets from the hard drive.

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Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the two T10 Torx pins from the side of the hard drive nearest the power and data connectors.

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Step 18  ¶ 

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

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Step 19  ¶ 

  • To remove the hard drive thermal sensor, use the sharp end of a spudger to lift the center finger of the thermal sensor bracket while applying slight tension to the thermal sensor cable.

  • If the thermal sensor is stuck to the hard drive, skip to the next step.

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Step 20  ¶ 

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

  • If the adhesive gets dirty or will not stick to your new hard drive, place some double-sided tape under the two semicircular ears of the thermal sensor bracket.

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Step 21  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to remove the small piece of EMI foam from the top of the hard drive.

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

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

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 20" EMC 2266 category page.

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