There are many benefits to adding a second drive to your iMac such as improved speeds, greater storage space, and less heartache when installing new software. Use this guide to install one using our optical bay drive enclosure.
What you need
Stick a suction cup near each of the two top corners of the glass panel.
If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a mild solvent.
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.
What's the best product to clean the face of the LCD?
Try your best not touch it in the first place
Wearing Nitrile or regular surgical gloves helps prevent finger prints if you accidentally touch the glass.
Remove the eight 8 mm T10 Torx screws securing the display to the outer case.
Replacing the screws , especially the two uppermost ones , is awkward due to the magnets attracting the screws off the Torx driver
I’ve done an HDD replacement on an A1174 (and I’m about to do this model), which is nightmarish, but by far the best solution I found was to use a bit of Blu Tack or the equivalent on the driver.
I’ve just replaced the screws by making a little tube from paper and wrapping it round each screw to keep it contained. A cut-down straw would be perfect for job.
I second this but use a tube of cardboard instead, then its quite easy.
Slightly lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case.
After sliding the display slightly towards the top edge, enough for the bottom edge to clear the retainers, an alternative is to raise the bottom edge out. Then unplug the LED backlight power cable (this step + 2), unplug the LCD thermal sensor cable (this step + 4), unplug the display data cable (this step + 3), and the display may be rotated over the top edge while leaving the vertical sync cable attached (this step + 1).
Pull the vertical sync cable connector out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.
Do not try to pull the plug off the circuit board as it's soldered. Pull the cable sideways out of the socket.
Skipped step 5-10. I used two 5-6" chopsticks to prop up the display, this gave me more than enough room to complete the rest of the steps. I only had to disconnect the 3 cables are directly connected to the hard drive. Replacing the Seagate hard drive with another Seagate hard drive eliminated any cable issues. Now I have 2TB SSDH
I was also able to skip steps 5 thru 10, which meant no messing with any cables except for the two for the HD (steps 13+14). Used a credit card to start the removal of glass panel (step 2) - much easier than I imagined. After removing display screws (step 3) I simply had a friend hold up the display's bottom edge as far as the cables would allow (careful not to stress at connection to logic board) and this provided enough room to remove the HD bracket screws (step 11), detach the HD cables, and remove the HD. Was replacing a failed 1TB Seagate with a 3TB Seagate so no problems with compatibility when reattaching the HD cables and everything worked fine when I restored the OS and data to the new HD. No fan issues. I did take great care to not get fingerprints on the inside of the glass panel and to blow off any dust specks before reinstalling it. It was a bit tricky to get the new HD back in without letting the magnets get a hold of it, so thanks for the warning posted here about that!
On my mid 2010 Imac I found it was not necessary to disconnect any cables (except of course those attached to the drive). Simply angle the monitor away from the case to a safe distance without stressing any cables and secure with tape. With a stubby screw driver it was easy to access and remove the drive.
Skipped steps 6-10; did step 5 so could lift top of display higher, then propped up. A photo of whole interior here would help (hard disk is top center). Used pliers holding T10 bit at right angle to unscrew hard disk holder. SSD installed loose (macOS and fan control app already loaded).
Rotate the display out of the outer case enough to disconnect the LED backlight power cable from the LED driver board.
This is real tricky it is fragile and you have to pull it along the logic board.
First push down on the edge of the connector closest to bottom edge of the iMac. This unlatches the locking mechanism at the top edge of the connector. Then gently wiggle the connector away from its socket.
Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.
This cable is very short, I would remove it before any of the others. First time I did this, I didn't realize this and this cable just popped out of it's socket. Luckily, the board wasn't damaged.
i damaged my (step7) cable, and my iMac screen won't work, how to fix this?
I did the same thing. The pins are VERY easy to bend. I replaced it with a new cable from this company.
Waiting for it to arrive.
I wish this step was listed as a warning before lifting the monitor and as the first cable to undo. I broke it as it popped up and out, had to trash my Mac and I am stuck with a new hard drive.
I followed the directions to a T and everything worked going back together. That cable in step 7 is delicate so one must be very careful.
Same problem for me. I damaged this cable and am ordering one now.
This is a tough step so I would also suggest removing this cable first.
Yes, damaged mine too. It is better to take it out of the LCD and install it carefully on the logic board, then install it to the LCD.
Ok finally got the cable and was able to successfully finish the project.
That video cable is ROUGH to install.
The same thing happened for me. That cable was by far the shortest and a slight pull of the display up caused the connector to come free. Luckily it wasn't damaged by this. It was pretty unclear to me how that connector fit in as well. It slides in and out parallel to the surface of the mother board, up towards the top of the iMac to unplug and down towards the bottom to plug in. I agree, if I were to do this repair again that is the first interior cable I would disconnect. Maybe a closeup of the cable plugged in and unplugged to show exactly how it engages and disengages would be good as well.
It is fine to remove the cable from the logic board when when you remove the screen. But when when assembling back together I found it better to take the LVDS cable out of the LCD and install it carefully on the logic board. Then connect it to the top of the LCD. Also the connector to the LCD is much more solid and not so easy to bend.
This is by far the best way round to do this as trying to refit the cable to the logic board is a complete nightmare.
I agree with asle, manipulating the display end of the cable would be easier - at least it cannot be any harder then manipulating the motherboard end.
well I did all t these steps and now the iMac won't turn on at all. I guess the big cable is not connected to the board as it used to... Mac is out of warranty so it's going out the door. RIP
this thing is super fragile. i had to order a new one. i'd recommend removing the other end at the top of the display.
this part is not complicated if you understand at first how the lock works.. remove the lock is easy, reassemble the cable and connect it is very problematic because the space to work is very tiny, but if you are carefully, it should be not a problem . try to see some videos from youtube first!
This totally blows.. If you want to do this correctly and not destroy your computer over this step, - OWC’s video will show you EXACTLy what to do with the display cable ..
Don’t raise the display more than 3-4 inches. Pull the tape off the back of the display and unhook the cable from the display, instead of trying to remove it from the motherboard. As soon as I raised the display, the cable snapped loose. Ordered a new cable from Amazon. Am waiting to see if works ok.
The worst thing about the whole tear-down procedure, was the display data ribbon cable in this step. As others have noted, It popped out of its socket on the mother board while disconnecting the lcd. I didn’t get a chance to see exactly how it connected on to the moboard . I damaged the dainty and minute ribbon end while trying to re-connect it to the wrong side of the receptacle. Duh! I feel so stupid. :(
I had to order a new ribbon cable ($14) . Luckily, i was able to plug new ribbon into the fragile moboard connector adequately, and then the lcd end, during re-assembly. This re-assembly step is made for a very small person with extremely small hands and big eyes (like someone out of Gulliver’s travels).
2010 iMac SSD kit from OWC. Their video does not adequately explain the difficulty of re-installing the display port ribbon cable into the logic board. The best procedure would be to follow asle (see prior comment 8/11/15). The problem is exasperated by the fact that the plug into the LCD is covered in tape.
Why is this not step 5? By the time I lifted display, the cable had already come out. I think it damaged it.
Got VERY lucky with my SSD replacement. Just leaning the display back popped the cable off the logic board, and I had a very difficult time reinstalling the screen. It might be that the wire bail wasn’t secured in the first place, or the machine has been opened up prior to my obtaining it. I eventually used a parts box to rest the LCD high enough to reinstall the cable. Agree that this should be the first cable to be disconnected and last to be reconnected. Perhaps disconnecting it from the LCD should be considered as a first step?
Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.
Be very careful - this connector very difficult to disconnect, and you have a high risk of pulling the cable pins out of the connect. If you have disconnected the 3 other cables, you can have a helper rotate the screen out of the way while you remove the hard drive.
I also found this extremely difficult to remove. Tiny cable with a death grip. I tried using two spudgers, my fingernails, and walking it out. In the end, I used two spudgers and pried it up, using leverage from the clip to the right.
Also, i recommend setting the iMac upright for this. I rested the screen on my chest while I dual wielded my spudgers.
eer ist zerbrochen! hoffe krieg ihn dann trotzdem wieder rein
This was connector was impossible to remove. Like a previous commenter, I did this with the machine upright and with the LCD Panel resting on my upper chest. Ultimately, the pins pulled out of the socket! Once they were out, it was relatively easy to remove the socket. I completed the drive replacement, (installed a 1 TB SSD) and then replaced the pins in the socket and reassembled the machine. One mental error I made was I couldn’t remember the correct orientation for the Black and White wires in the socket. In looking at the photos here on iFixIt, it looks like I reversed their orientation. However, the machine seems to be running fine. I installed macos High Sierra and migrated my data from my old HD and the machine has been running for two days now. I would hate to have to go back in and remove the socket and reverse the wire orientation. Anyone have advise on this?
In followup to my previous post, I launched TechTool Pro 9.6.1 and ran the Sensors Test. All Sensors tests were passed. These included:
LCD Proximity, LCD Thermal Compensation 2, LCD Proximity, Thermal Compensation. Machine seems to be running fine.
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.
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
Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.
No need to do this! Just gently pull up the felt-pad sticky on top of the thermal sensor (looks like a tiny circuit board), then (again gently) peel the thermal sensor off the ODD. Leave it hanging while you remove the ODD and replace it with the SSD, then just put the thermal sensor covered by the protective felt-pad back onto the SSD enclosure.
I agree with cdansmith1, above.
I had removed the sensor completely. Booted up and the fan was like a jet engine - 4200rpm! I opened up the mac again to check the LCD thermal sensor cable was connected properly (as warned in Step 8). It was.
So, I simply used the spudger to peel off the felt sticky pad from and then the optical drive sensor too from the drive I'd taken out. Stuck the sensor onto the SSD using the same sticky pad, plugged it back into the original socket. Bingo. Booted up and everything was back to normal.
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.
this part is complicated because the wire is very delicate. when you try to extract it passing through the others elements this wire trap it very easily on the other elements of the logic board
Disconnect the optical drive cable by pulling its connector away from the optical drive.
Remove the optical drive from the iMac.
Remove the three 3.0 mm Phillips screws from the optical bay enclosure.
Hello, is the sata & power cabla from the mac can directly feet inside the SSD?
plug in the back of the ssd
I'm trying to find out as well. I read elsewhere you need something like this without the bracket: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056OB...
However I have NOT confirmed this.
If I understand you correctly; the enclosure allows you to use the existing iMac optical cable. Also the enclosure allows for a safe fitting of the optical drive. In my newer machine I had to double side tape the SSD to the back of the iMac and buy a special cable. Note: this was not an optical drive replacement scenario or I would have done exactly as this tutorial suggests.
I bought another caddy, not the one from the description. i had to extract the plastic adaptor from the optical drive and put in on the new caddy 12,7mm
The SDD caddy I purchased was 22 pin SATA both inside and outside so that the optical drive cable (13 pin) would not fit. Does anyone know where I can find a SDD caddy with 13 pin SATA outside for the optical cable and 22 pin SATA inside for the SDD?
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.
This is the 12.7mm caddy.. but, the caddy 9.5 mm fit fine as well? or it doesn't fit on imac mid 2010
My caddy (ordered 5/2019) had two additional screws that needed to be removed from the sides for it to open.
Remove the two 3.0 mm Phillips screws securing the faceplate to the optical bay enclosure.
Lift the black plastic faceplate out of the optical bay enclosure.
Reassemble the optical bay enclosure without the faceplate, reusing the original three 3.0 mm Phillips screws to keep it intact.
Just curious, why is it necessary to remove this black plastic faceplate from the enclosure? It doesn't appear to serve any function in or out of the enclosure.
Maybe because it would interfere with the bracket you have to put back on in step 21?
So I'm confused about the Optical Drive Bracket, the one that originally held the DVD-CD drive. I had an awful time remounting the kit into that bracket as the screws didn't line up correctly. I finally got everything to fit, less one of the four holding screws. Did anyone else experience this problem? I would have expected a much better alignment for this assembly considering the quality of the iFixIt site.
For the record, the upgrade went fine with a SanDisk Extreme II 480GB SSD, but that one step was next to impossible, and not covered in any detail by the instructions.
Yep, I had exactly the same problem. The alignment was way off.
My kit also did not line up correctly. I had to put all four screws in at an angle cross-threaded to mount the unit.
Same here. managed to get two screws in at a decent angle on one side and couldn't get the others in. Felt solid enough once I'd screwed the original ODD casing back onto the iMac.
I had the same alignment problem, too. I ended up removing the rubber grommets from the plastic enclosure, widening the holes with a small file, then replacing the grommets. All four screws went in, but not in perfect alignment. Should be ok, though.
Another possibility is the part has been designed to be used with different types of iMac and some utilise this component. In this case it apparently doesn't.
I bought a different enclosure than the one recommended ($18 instead of $39) and it came with new screws because the old screws were too big to fit in the holes for the new enclosure.
Hi. Which enclosure did you buy? link please.
Where did you get the alternative enclosure from?
I completed this guide last night on my iMac and it all worked great until I got to step 26 and none of the holes on the 12.7 mm PATA Optical Bay SATA Hard Drive Enclosure lined up with the black plastic faceplate. Just like what is being commented on by previous fixers, I could only get 2 screws on one side of the enclosure in, but they were crooked and unable to screw in all the way. It was crude, but it worked.
The rest of this guide works flawlessly. This is a great site!
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.
What’s the switch for on the inside of the caddy? What position should it be in? Mine came switched to the right (towards SATA connector that disk inserts into).
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 hand to press the hard drive into the enclosure connectors.
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.
Why no mention of attaching the new hard drive to the Optical Drive Enclosure using the enclosed phillips screws?
Once you have securely inserted the new hard drive into the Optical Drive Enclosure and replaced the plastic positioner you should attach the drive to the enclosure using two of the provided phillips screws. Two holes on the underside of the enclosure should align with two attachment holes on the underside of the drive.
I suspect that the plastic positioner will secure the drive well enough (for this style of adapter). As I mentioned in earlier comment, this should mean you can replace / upgrade the SATA drive later without needing to remove the adapter, skipping many steps.
Do you need a sata cable to connect the new drive to the board or does it connect via the optical drive cable that we disconnected earlier?
It does connect to the optical drive cable but if you don't use the optical bay enclosure you'll need a 13 pins to 22 pins sata adaptor (and some tape!)
The sata cable for the optical drive has 6 + 7 pins while ssd and hhd have 15 + 7 pins
Can someone please explain why you need to remove the black plastic faceplate from the optical bay enclosure. It is designed to receive the standard SSD. What is gained from removing a part of it?
Thank you! This guy has made upgrading the mid 2010 iMac I inherited from my mom MUCH easier and saved me a lot of time, trial, and error.
My Penrynn Super Drive has PATA connector, and now is a fossil grade rarity :-(
I'm a little confused. Do I need the enclosure from ifixit or am I removing the optical drive and installing an ssd in the preexisting op drive enclosure? If using the already existing enclosure what type of ssd do I need as for Sata connectors?
To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.
To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.
Well, actually, it was much easier than I thought.
The only problem about this is that the hard drive temperature sensor cable. Even I bought the same brand HD, it still doesn't work. So I have to install fan control to control the fan speed.
But other than that, it works very smooth. The speed is great.
Thanks, ifixit. The home tech toolkit is great and really helpful.
Hi. I wanna know if is mandatory to connect the SSD with enclosure or it's possible to connect directly to SATA cable like on model EMC 2428 that has an third SATA conector free and then fix the SSD to back panel with 3M
Im pretty sure if you want to just mount it with tape that would be perfectly fine. Had mine apart and even thought about it myself before properly mounting it.
2389 doesnt support this. cd player isnt even sata
ty no ty
I just replaced with a 250GB SSD... So yes it does support this.
Well this was the second time taking the iMac apart as I had ordered an mSATA drive instead of SATA for the Optical bay swap. Got it apart and back together pretty fast and without issues except for the mounting bracket from the Optical drive doesn't fit that great onto the HD mount to replace it. The kit almost needs to come with a custom fitting mount piece but then again that would just cost more money.
OH!!!! and the kit I bought there was no need whatsoever to take the optical replacement mount apart... it was all in one piece and good to go, just don't forget the little set screw that secure the 2.5" drive into the mount which like others have noted are not in the instructions.
i cannot find the correct specs for the sata speed of the optical drive on imac 2010 21.5 EMC 2389.
Some say it's Sata II (3Gb/s), other say it's Sata I (1.5Gb/s).
i know that the hard drive is Sata II so Depending on the info i would consider swapping the SSD for the HDD slot and puting the SSD in the optical drive slot.
I had this done by an apple service agent but sometimes my iMac does not see the SSD as the boot drive can you advise.
Thanks a lot! very descriptive and useful!! work for me on iMac mid 2010, 21'5.
This fix isn’t that hard at all. Loving the process of working on this and now my mac runs pretty smooth. Worth the effort!
I install a second SSD hard drive as explain in this tutorial. Everything goes well, but now I have a lot of system's crash.
I don't know if it is a software problem or an hardware? Is it possible that itis due to the temperature?
Just completed this upgrade on my 2010 21.5’ iMac, took just over an hour and up and running with no issues of far!
I did the same upgrade with two Crucial MX500 240GB SSDs. After installation, i used disk utility to create a Raid-0 config. Now i have 450-550MB/s read/write speeds. I’m using High Sierra. To do this, create an installer disk using dosdude’s High Sierra Patcher tool. Boot into the install, create a raid-0 setup in Disk Utility and just install High Sierra. You need the dosdude’s installer, because the original one doesn’t want to install onto a raid device…
Very easy to lift the glass out. Don't jerk too hard.
kctipton - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
Another comment on DATA & LCD Temp. Sensor cables: I had to remove the vertical sync, and the backlight cable, however, if you have an assistant or/can carefully rotate the screen clockwise/and then have it held up about 5" to 6" at a slight angle, you do not need to remove LCD data cable or LCD thermal cable, however - IMPORTANT: you must have a second pair of hands/or way to securely prop up the LCD. Also, don't rotate too much, since then you will pull out LCD data cable, and it renders the whole exercise moot, or can damage the cable or connector.
MaximBorzov - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
You don't need suction cups. The screen, held by magnets, can simply be pried off using a very thin blade such as a screw driver and fingers.
Deepsurvival - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
That's a bad idea. using a metal tool to pry off glass is likely to end with an expensive broken front glass.
Suction cups are common. Find a couple and do it the safe way. I use some cheap ones that came with iPhone repair kit.
max damage -
No need for suction cups, I just stuck my nails (short like guys usually have) between the top part of the screen and body, and it came off easily. I've never done it before, so it seems to be very easy.
Nikolas Lintulaakso - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
Nails worked for me too
Rob Dale - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
Just completed the replacement of the optical drive with an SSD using an OWC Data Doubler kit. Attempted to remove the optical drive without disconnecting any cables but found it a bit fiddly to orient the screen for good access. I bit the bullet and disconnected them and found the process less daunting than I imagined. Reconnecting them was similarly straightforward if you're careful.
Tip: you can skip the step for removing the optical drive thermal sensor connector from the motherboard. Still need to remove the sensor from the optical drive but you can leave that hanging and reattach it to the SSD later.
osienna - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
I use Garmin GPS suction cup. Work very well
jc3Dcx - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
I’ve just successfully installed a 1TB SSD in place of my optical drive thanks to the information here- thank you to everyone who has contributed!
3 comments- the procedure described here seems to vary between HD replacement and dual HD/optical drive replacement. This can be confusing at times.
Expect there to be minor differences between the layout described and what you find when you open up your iMac. There are also, surprisingly, differences between the HD enclosure description, and the article provided by ifixit.
I was able to replace the DVD/HD enclosure single-handedly without fully removing the LCD, or deconnecting any of the cables (steps 5-11). It’s a bit cramped, and fiddly, but I was not happy removing any of the cables despite watching videos, etc., since they all seemed to involve applying more force than I was comfortable with. A more detailed description of how to release them might have helped, but even here, there may be minor variations even within the 2389 model.
ivan birks - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
I did it several times with one suction cup at the end of a kitchen brush. Once with the blade of a swiss army knive, also ok. And i’m pretty sure it works with fingernails too
Tai - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
Fingernails are all you need to free the glass from its magnetic hold. If you don’t have them, slip something thin and plastic, like a spudger, at a top corner.
Max Powers - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
Minha dúvida é a seguinte: após o técnico trocar o HD do meu iMac de 21,5 polegadas, a câmera parou de funcionar. Seria por causa da troca do HD? Tem solução?
Claudio - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
Creio que o cabo da camera não foi plugado ou deu mau contato… ou até danificado.
glecyo medeiros -
I can’t get my glass to budge. I’m replacing a cracked one and now it’s about to shatter.
jamboxmitchell - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0
I know that I'm replying really late but I advise to use clear tape over any cracks so the cracks don't get bigger
Jace Holmes -
Check for chips in the glass BEFORE you do this step. If there is a chip when you pull up with the suction cups you will wind up with a jagged mess. If you do have a chip I would advise covering the screen near the chip with clear tape of some kind before lifting out. Mine shattered right at the chip and the resulting glass dust cloud got all over. My solution was buying a new glass screen.
BCam - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0