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Introduction

Replacing the hard drive requires separating the display and removing the left speaker.

Before beginning any work on your iMac: Unplug the computer and press and hold the power button for ten seconds to discharge the power supply's capacitors.

Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply.

Image 1/3: The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage. Image 2/3: The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage. Image 3/3: The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.
  • Starting on the left of the display, near the power button, insert the iMac Opening Tool into the gap between the glass panel and the rear case.

  • The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.

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Image 1/3: Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle. Image 2/3: Run the tool up along the left side of the display. Image 3/3: Run the tool up along the left side of the display.
  • Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center.

  • Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle.

  • Run the tool up along the left side of the display.

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  • Continue wheeling the tool up around the top left corner.

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  • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

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Image 1/2: You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible. Image 2/2: You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.
  • Continue along the top of the display.

  • You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.

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  • Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.

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  • Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.

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Image 1/2: At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible. Image 2/2: At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.
  • Finish pushing the opening tool to the bottom of the right side of the display.

  • At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.

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Image 1/3: Set the iMac face-up on a table. Image 2/3: Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, insert a plastic card between the display and frame. Image 3/3: Be careful not to insert it more than 3/8", or you may damage internal components.
  • While the opening tool did the lion's share of the work, the display will still be slightly adhered to the case. A plastic card will be necessary to free up the last of this adhesive.

  • Set the iMac face-up on a table.

  • Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, insert a plastic card between the display and frame.

    • Be careful not to insert it more than 3/8", or you may damage internal components.

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Image 1/2: Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4". Image 2/2: Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".
  • Gently twist the plastic card to open the space between the display and frame.

  • Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".

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Image 1/3: Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive. Image 2/3: Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive. Image 3/3: Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.
  • Be sure to stop cutting before the iSight camera in this step, or you may damage it.

  • Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.

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  • Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.

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  • Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner.

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Image 1/2: As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass. Image 2/2: As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.
  • Gently twist the card, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame.

  • As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.

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  • Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.

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  • Insert the card back into the top left corner.

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Image 1/3: With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards to increase the gap between display and case. Image 2/3: If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the adhesive in the problem area. Image 3/3: Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.
  • Only lift the display a few inches—it is still attached to the iMac by data and power cables.

  • With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards to increase the gap between display and case.

  • If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the adhesive in the problem area.

  • Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.

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Image 1/2: Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8"). Image 2/2: Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").
  • While holding the display up with one hand, use the other to unplug the display power cable.

    • Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").

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Image 1/3: Disconnect the display data cable. Image 2/3: This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac. Image 3/3: This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.
  • Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

  • Disconnect the display data cable.

    • This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.

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Image 1/2: At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times. Image 2/2: At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.
  • Lift the display up to a near-vertical position.

  • At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.

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Image 1/3: Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red). Image 2/3: Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red). Image 3/3: Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).
  • If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.

  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).

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Image 1/3: Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac. Image 2/3: It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive. Image 3/3: It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.
  • Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass.

  • Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac.

  • It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.

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  • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs can be completed with the iMac laying down, but are faster and easier with an .

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  • Remove two 10.0 mm T10 screws.

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Image 1/3: De-route the cable from the gap between the hard drive and logic board. Image 2/3: If the gap between the hard drive and logic board is too narrow for the speaker cable, disconnect it and leave the cable in place. Image 3/3: If the gap between the hard drive and logic board is too narrow for the speaker cable, disconnect it and leave the cable in place.
  • Unplug the left speaker cable from its socket on the logic board. Be sure to pull straight up out of the socket.

  • De-route the cable from the gap between the hard drive and logic board.

  • If the gap between the hard drive and logic board is too narrow for the speaker cable, disconnect it and leave the cable in place.

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Image 1/3: Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board. Image 2/3: Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board. Image 3/3: Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board.
  • Be careful not to touch any solder joints on the back of the power supply. Capacitors may be charged enough to give you a dangerous shock.

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board.

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  • Lift the left speaker straight up, until the power button cable is exposed (about 0.5").

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  • Gently de-route the power button cable from its groove in the left speaker.

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Image 1/3: If the gap between the hard drive and logic board was too narrow to free the speaker cable earlier, gently pull it free as you remove the speaker. Image 2/3: Push from the connector end as you pull from the speaker end to thread the cable under the hard drive's right bracket. Image 3/3: Push from the connector end as you pull from the speaker end to thread the cable under the hard drive's right bracket.
  • Lift the left speaker straight up and remove it from the iMac.

  • If the gap between the hard drive and logic board was too narrow to free the speaker cable earlier, gently pull it free as you remove the speaker.

    • Push from the connector end as you pull from the speaker end to thread the cable under the hard drive's right bracket.

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  • Pull straight up on the SATA data/power cable to disconnect it from the drive.

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  • Remove two 7.3 mm T10 screws securing the left hard drive bracket to the rear case.

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Image 1/3: Tilt the left side up away from the rear case, and slide the assembly to the left. Image 2/3: Remove the hard drive and left hard drive bracket from the iMac. Image 3/3: Remove the hard drive and left hard drive bracket from the iMac.
  • Grab the hard drive and left hard drive bracket together.

  • Tilt the left side up away from the rear case, and slide the assembly to the left.

  • Remove the hard drive and left hard drive bracket from the iMac.

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  • Remove the left hard drive bracket.

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  • Remove the four 8.1 mm T9 screw posts from the hard drive, and transfer them to the replacement drive.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse and use our [invalid guide link] to reattach the display glass.

Dozuki System

Member since: 09/24/2009

276 Guides authored

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