iMac hard drive upgrade

Hi, has anyone successfully carried out an iMac hard drive upgrade. I want to change to solid state and have been reading about how to carry out the upgrade. The daunting bit to me is the first step, pulling the glass off the front of the screen. Anyone have any tips, success stories or disasters?

(iMac 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 21.5 inch Late 2009 model)

http://www.ifixit.com/Device/iMac_Intel_21.5"_EMC_2308

Thanks Frederick, great site.

Warning! The glass is the easy part. But in 2009 Apple started using special harddisks with build- in heat sensors. You cannot use normal harddisks or your fans will run at full blast!

Important: To ensure compatibility with the 2009 and 2010 21.5" or 27" iMac, the replacement hard drive must be of the same brand as the original. The model number of the hard drive does not matter as long as the brand matches. 2011 and up iMacs cannot be supported by us.
Serial ATA interface. Works only in iMac G5s and Intel iMacs (excluding 2011 and up 21.5" and 27" models). This drive has a form factor of 3.5".

I’ve put an SSD in my 2009 iMac.
The glass IS the easy part(only magnets hold it in place) but the rest is kind if tricky. Be carefull not to damage the cords for the screen when you carefully lift it up after the screws are removed!

Markus is right about the heat sensor but it can be fixed with an app that can control the fan speed. Just tape the sensor on the top of the SSD so it’s not loosely dangling around in there :wink:

Good luck!

Check this link out for upgrading…

http://www.macupgrades.co.uk/store/machine.php?name=imac-core-duo#int-hdd

I would seriously recommend this software if you upgrade

http://www.hddfancontrol.com

Have fun!

Cheers,
Ade

I have upgraded both my 2007 and 2011 iMacs with SSDs using the iFixit guides. They have excellent, detailed descriptions and photos. Pulling the glass is easy, no special equipment required, I do it with any suction cups I have around: bathroom suction hooks, car GPS suction mount, etc. :slight_smile: I recommend Samsung SSDs, never had any problems with them.

As Markus says above, with later iMacs there is a problem with the thermal sensor. There are two ways around it: first is to shortcut two pins in the connector, second is to use a fan control application. I was getting contradicting info as to which pins should be shorted, so I went the software way. There is a free SSD Fan Control app (you may donate, though), works great for me: http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/ — without it, iMac hard drive fan spins too fast and really loud. Just set the manual speed to the lowest possible, SSDs do not get hot.

Good luck with your upgrade!

BTW, I think SSD is a must today, traditional hard drives just cannot cope with all that indexing and OS background activities.

One more thing: if you still have the original iMac box (with those white styrofoam securing blocks), you may use it to safely hold the glass and LCD screen:

[quote=61970:@Markus Winter]Warning! The glass is the easy part. But in 2009 Apple started using special harddisks with build- in heat sensors. You cannot use normal harddisks or your fans will run at full blast!

Important: To ensure compatibility with the 2009 and 2010 21.5" or 27" iMac, the replacement hard drive must be of the same brand as the original. The model number of the hard drive does not matter as long as the brand matches. 2011 and up iMacs cannot be supported by us.
Serial ATA interface. Works only in iMac G5s and Intel iMacs (excluding 2011 and up 21.5" and 27" models). This drive has a form factor of 3.5".[/quote]
There is a software work around for this fan problem. I understand 2.5" drives can be installed with an adapter plate.

No my wife would have ditched that on the day we got it out the box. Nothing lasts around here

I’m a bit wary of the software solution. In summer it can get very hot where I am, and if the iMac gets stressed too then throttling the fans to their lowest speed is a bad idea. Sure you can rev them up manually - but will you think of it?

I’m less worried, I live in the UK, best we get is a week or two of good weather in the summer and if/when we do, computer is off and we are outside soaking up the little sun we get. If we’re lucky it hits 30 degrees C

I have used a duct tape. You may go with an adapter plate to be overly safe, but SSDs do not have any mechanical elements, they don’t vibrate, so it is quite possible to place them securely with just a duct tape:

This is from the 2007 iMac, SSD installed three years ago, still works perfectly, although the iMac survived a move over 300 km :slight_smile:

It’s just the HDD fan that is throttled down, the CPU and DVD ones work as usual.

Mmmm, adapter plate £5, iMac £1200. Perhaps I’ll skip the duct tape. I don’t think its about being overly safe more pride in one’s work :slight_smile: