How to replace HDD/SSD in iMac Mid 2007/Early 2008/Early 2009/Mid 2009

iMacアルミニウム 20インチ 2007-2008
Updated : Sep 17, 2021

I replaced the HDD of the iMac (24-inch, Mid 2007), so I will explain the procedure at that time in detail with photos.

The model around here has a CPU of Core 2 Duo generation and macOS up to 10.11 El Capitan, so it is difficult to use it firmly at work.

However, it is relatively easy to disassemble, so how about using it as a second machine for watching the internet or listening to music?

 

Advantages and disadvantages (risks) of replacing the iMac internal HDD

Advantages

  • Even if the HDD breaks down, you can repair it yourself at low cost.
  • It can be replaced with a recent HDD that has a larger capacity, lower heat generation, and less noise than the originally built-in HDD.
  • If you replace it with SSD, the operation speed will be faster and the number of failures will be less than HDD.
  • Although not explained on this page, you can replace the CD / DVD drive with an HDD / SSD to create a 2-drive configuration.

Disadvantages(Risks)

  • The difficulty of disassembling work is low (it takes time because there are many screws, but it is not difficult)
  • It takes a lot of force to lift the LCD display, so it’s better to work with two people if possible.
  • The magnet on the iMac that holds the LCD display is strong, so you need to prevent it from sticking to the magnet when removing or installing the screws.

 

Target iMac models

The difficulty of disassembling work is low (it takes time because there are many screws, but it is not difficult)

It takes a lot of force to lift the LCD display, so it’s better to work with two people if possible.

The magnet on the iMac that holds the LCD display is strong, so you need to prevent it from sticking to the magnet when removing or installing the screws.

Introduced Model Min OS Max OS
2007 iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007) 10.4.10 10.11.6
2007 iMac (24-inch, Mid 2007) 10.4.10 10.11.6
2008 iMac (20-inch, Early 2008) 10.5.2 10.11.6
2008 iMac (24-inch, Early 2008) 10.5.2 10.11.6
2009 iMac (20-inch, Early 2009) 10.5.6 10.11.6
2009 iMac (24-inch, Early 2009) 10.5.6 10.11.6
2009 iMac (20-inch, Mid 2009) 10.5.6 10.11.6
End of list

By the way, they look a lot like the iMac Late 2009 – Late 2011, but at first glance it has the following differences.

iMac Mid 2007 – Mid 2009

iMac 2007 Rear

Back is black

 

iMac 2007 Front

There is an aluminum frame around the glass as the front glass is fitted slightly inside the screen

iMac Late 2009 – Late 2011

iMac 2010 Rear

Back is silver

 

iMac 2010 Front

There is no frame around the glass as the front glass covers the edges of the screen

 

Regarding how to check the model, if you have OS X 10.7 Lion or later, you can display it from “About this Mac” in the Apple menu.

Or, since the serial number is written directly under the stand of the iMac main unit, you can search for the model at the following site based on it.

Check Your Service and Support Coverage - Apple Support
Check your Apple warranty status. Enter a serial number to review your eligibility for support and extended coverage.

iMac 2009のスタンドの真下

 

Predetermine how to restore the OS

All 2006 iMacs featured on this page come with recovery discs.

After replacing the HDD, you need to use the recovery disc for a new installation, or prepare a separate installation disc or USB memory.

As a separate installation disc, you can purchase an OS X 10.6.3 disc from Amazon.com.

 

 

On the other hand, for OS X 10.7 Lion, you can either purchase a USB stick for installation from Apple.com or download the installation program yourself to create a USB stick.

USB memory can be purchased from the following Apple official website.

OS X Lion (10.7)
If you need to purchase Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, you may order it from this page. The most current version of OS X is OS X 10.9 Mavericks. To learn more, please cli...

In addition, if you want to make your own USB memory, the following article will introduce the procedure.

How to get the macOS (OS X) installer
I have summarized how to obtain the installer for each version of macOS (OS X) so far. OS X 10.7 Lion and later can still be downloaded / purchased from Apple today (January 2020). Also, after getting the installer, I think that you often create a USB memory for installation, but the procedure is explained in the following separate article.

 

About data backup

It is strongly recommended to back up your data in case the HDD replacement work fails.

As for the method, Time Machine, which is a standard Mac function, is easy and recommended.

Back up your Mac with Time Machine
Learn how to create a backup of the files on your Mac.

 

In addition, you can see several other backup methods introduced from the following articles.

Macのバックアップ
Macには標準で「Time Machine」という自動バックアップ機能があります。 それと併用して各種バックアップアプリを使えば、色んな状況に合わせて柔軟にバックアップを取れたり、二重バックアップとなるので、導入を検討してはどうでしょうか? ここでは、定番のバックアップアプリ「Carbon Copy Cloner」...

 

Required tools

Essential tools

The following three are essential because you can’t work without them.

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • T6 torx screwdriver
  • T8 torx screwdriver
  • Vacuum lifter

A Phillips screwdriver can be an ordinary screwdriver you have, but you don’t know the size that fits the screw, so if possible, prepare two or three sizes.

The T6 and T8 Torx screwdrivers, which probably few people have, are special screwdrivers with a star-shaped tip.

The name “Torx” is a registered trademark and is sometimes referred to as the “hex lobe”, but it is actually the same.

T8トルクスドライバー

It is available at home improvement stores and Amazon.com.

T6 torx scrrewdriver

 

 

T8 torx screwdriver


 

 

Vacuum lifter

The glass panel on the front of the iMac is attached to the iMac itself with a strong magnet.

It won’t come off gently, so use a suction cup to pull it.

 

 

 

Not a tool, but an essential tool

Double-sided tape

A temperature sensor is attached to the HDD built into the iMac with double-sided tape.

When replacing the HDD / SSD, double-sided tape is required to attach the temperature sensor.

The double-sided tape attached to the original HDD cannot be reused because its adhesive strength weakens once it is peeled off.

 

 

 

Tools that are not essential, but you want to have them if you have them

A piece of paper, writing utensils, cellophane tape

It’s not a tool, but I’ll remove a number of similar screws, so prepare a piece of paper such as letter size, writing utensils, and cellophane tape so that you can see the original location, and make illustrations and memos. It is recommended to tape it while drawing.

 

Usable HDD and SSD

As a replacement HDD or SSD, you can use a SATA format 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drive.

When using HDDs, we often choose 3.5 inches, which has a large capacity and good cost performance, but SSDs have almost only 2.5 inches.

In the case of 2.5 inches, attach a part called “mounter” and install it in a format similar to a 3.5 inch drive.

The following are recommended products.

3.5 inch HDD

3TB

4TB

6TB

2.5 inch SSD

1TB

2TB

4TB

Mounter

 

 

 

Procedure for disassembling iMac and replacing HDD

The iMac models used in the explanations below are as follows.

  • iMac (24-inch, Mid 2007)

You can do this for other models in much the same way, but please note that there are some differences.

▶︎Unplug the power cable from your iMac and press the power switch on the back 5-6 times.

This is to prevent you from getting an electric shock from the current remaining inside the iMac when you disassemble it, or shorting the board when you roll the screws.

iMac 2007 Power Button

 

▶︎ Turn the iMac upside down or face it up, and then use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the memory expansion lid at the bottom of the display.

iMac 2007 Memory Slot

 

▶ With the iMac upright, attach the vacuum lifter to the front glass panel and pull to remove it.

This glass panel is attached to the iMac itself with many strong magnets, so it won’t come off without a lot of effort.

The trick is to stick it near the top edge of the glass panel, pull it little by little, and if you get a slight gap, stick your finger in and prevent it from sticking again with the magnet.

iMac Front Glass Removing with Vacuum lifter

iMac Front Glass Removing with Vacuum lifter

 

▶ After removing the front glass panel, lean it in a suitable place.

iMac 2007 Front Glass Panel

 

▶ With your iMac lying down, remove the twelve T8 Torx screws circled in red in the figure.

However, the length of the screw varies depending on the location, so draw an illustration on Letter size paper and fasten it with cellophane tape so that it does not get messed up.

iMac 2007 T8 Torx

 

▶ Since you removed the screws, you can remove the frame, but slowly remove it from the upper side of the screen, and after the upper side is almost removed, remove the lower frame while sliding it downward.

iMac 2007 removing frame

 

▶ After removing the frame, lean it in a suitable place.

iMac 2007 removed frame

 

▶ Remove the eight T8 Torx screws on the left and right sides of the LCD panel.

iMac 2007 removing T8 Torx

 

▶ Remove the two T6 Torx screws that connect the connector at the bottom right of the LCD panel.

This is the only place where T6 Torx screws are used.

iMac 2007 Display Cable

After removing the screws, carefully slide the tape part from side to side and pull it up to remove it.

iMac 2007 Display Cable

 

▶ After removing the T6 Torx screw, lift the right side with the left side of the LCD panel as the fulcrum to remove it.

If you can lean the removed panel in a suitable place or have someone support you, it will be easier to do the subsequent work. (Of course, even one person can do it)

iMac 2007 Display Removed

 

▶ When you can see the inside of the iMac, then remove the HDD.

iMac 2007 Inside

 

▶ To remove the HDD, push down the black plastic part shown at the top in the photo below, remove the two connectors at the bottom left, and remove the temperature sensor at the bottom right.

iMac 2007 Internal HDD Removing

 

▶ After removing the HDD, remove the T8 Torx screws and parts on both sides.

Remoded iMac Internal HDD

Remoded iMac Internal HDD

 

▶ Here are some things to keep in mind when attaching the temperature sensor to the replacement HDD / SSD.

Plastic parts and sponges are used to attach the temperature sensor, but they are attached to the HDD with double-sided tapes.

Once this double-sided tapes are peeled off, its adhesive strength will be weakened and cannot be reused, so please use new double-sided tapes to fasten them.

Remoded iMac Internal HDD

In the photo below, the double-sided tape in the recess where the temperature sensor hits is cut with scissors.

Remoded iMac Internal HDD

 

▶ Similarly, reattach the sponge that was attached to the outside of the temperature sensor with double-sided tape.

Rebuild iMac Internal HDD

 

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the beginning, iMacs from Mid 2007 to Mid 2009 have low CPU performance, and macOS can only be installed up to 10.11 El Capitan, so it is difficult to use as a main machine as of 2021.

However, if you are not using it because it does not start due to HDD failure, or if you can get it cheaply, please refer to this page and replace the HDD or SSD and reuse it.

 

This is the end of the article on this page.

 

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