iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 SSD Dual Drive Installation

Use this guide to install a second SSD in place of the optical drive.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

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

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Step 1 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • 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 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 2  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 3 Display  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 4  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 5  ¶ 

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

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Step 6  ¶ 

  • 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).

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Step 7  ¶ 

  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it towards upwards.

  • Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Step 8  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

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Step 9  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 10 Optical Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws:

    • One 9.3 mm T10 Torx screw with a large head

    • Three 9.3 mm T10 Torx screws with a normal sized head

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Step 11  ¶ 

  • Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

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Step 12  ¶ 

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

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

  • Allow the optical drive to hang down as you de-route the optical drive thermal sensor connector from behind the GPU heat sink.

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Step 13  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the optical drive cable by pulling its connector away from the optical drive.

  • Remove the optical drive from the iMac.

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Step 14 Optical Drive Replacement  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 15  ¶ 

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

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Step 16  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 17  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 18 Optical Drive Enclosure Faceplate  ¶ 

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

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Step 19  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 20  ¶ 

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

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Step 21  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 22 Dual Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 23  ¶ 

  • For 7 mm SSDs, you'll need to apply a spacer to ensure a good fit.

  • Peel the backings up off the adhesive strips mounted on the spacer.

  • Press the spacer onto the SSD as shown; proper orientation will ensure the spacer does not cover any screws or screw holes.

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Step 24  ¶ 

  • 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 hard to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.

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Step 25  ¶ 

  • 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.

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 category page.

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