iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 SSD Installation

Replace the hard drive on your iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

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

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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 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Before disconnecting the thermal sensor cable, take note of its orientation. It is extremely important to reinstall the connector in the right orientation so the fans will not run at full speed.

  • Disconnect the thermal sensor by pulling its connector away from the side of the hard drive.

  • During reassembly, be sure that the thermal sensor connector is connected to set of pins closest to the SATA connectors.

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Step 11  ¶ 

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

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to help disconnect the SATA power connector from the hard drive.

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Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 9 mm T10 Torx screws securing the upper hard drive bracket to the outer case.

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Step 13  ¶ 

  • Slightly rotate the hard drive out of the outer case and lift it up off its mounting pins toward the top edge of the iMac.

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Step 14 SSD Installation  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the hard drive thermal sensor cable from the hard drive.

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Step 15  ¶ 

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

  • Remove the upper bracket from the hard drive.

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Step 16  ¶ 

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

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Step 17  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel off the piece of EMI foam attached to the front 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 21.5" EMC 2389 category page.

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