Iphoneness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 19, 2010
371
11
Raleigh, North Carolina
So I have that iMac, but it has the standard 5400rpm drive, and it is SLOOOOOOOWWWWWWW. Everything takes forever to load. I really can't believe Apple even made that an option, but it is what it is.

I know it's doable and iFixit has a guide on it, but I just wanted to see if any of you guys have personally done it before. Any suggestions? Anything easy to mess up? I definitely doesn't look like the easiest upgrade to do.
 

komatsu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2010
539
44
Messy and delicate.

I've done it loads of times.

Worst part is:
1) Taking the glass off with a guitar plectrum - You need to strike a right balance between being delicate but yet enough force to break the adhesive bond between screen and frame. The glass feels really fragile.
2) When you do break the adhesive bond you have to be ultra-careful that you do not snap any cables or cable connectors connecting screen to logic board.
3) Once, you've removed the old hdd / inserted the new SSD - you have to use special 3M (or other brand) double-sided industrial tape to bond the screen back to body/frame. This has to be ordered online as even general hardware store don't stock it.

Its a messy operation for a first timer! A mac repair shop might be an easier option.
 

Iphoneness

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 19, 2010
371
11
Raleigh, North Carolina
Messy and delicate.

I've done it loads of times.

Worst part is:
1) Taking the glass off with a guitar plectrum - You need to strike a right balance between being delicate but yet enough force to break the adhesive bond between screen and frame. The glass feels really fragile.
2) When you do break the adhesive bond you have to be ultra-careful that you do not snap any cables or cable connectors connecting screen to logic board.
3) Once, you've removed the old hdd / inserted the new SSD - you have to use special 3M (or other brand) double-sided industrial tape to bond the screen back to body/frame. This has to be ordered online as even general hardware store don't stock it.

Its a messy operation for a first timer! A mac repair shop might be an easier option.


Awesome, thanks for the insight! Can you tell a big difference in the general performance of the machine after doing this upgrade? I think I am going to look into what it would cost to have a shop do it for me. That would really suck to screw it up and be stuck with a paper weight.
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,984
496
Nambucca Heads Australia
Mush easier to invest in a USB3 caddy and an SSD and hook it up externally, IF IT IS a USB3 model as you did not say. Clone the contents of your hard drive to the external using SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner, into System Preferences > Startup Disk and choose the external as the boot drive by highlighting. Then use the internal as a backup.

If you want to know how difficult tearing down the glued screen models are, I have a friend who is a large Apple Reseller here is Australia. After his techs broke five screens, at $500 a pop, he trucks them straight to the AppleStore and has the work done there.
 
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komatsu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2010
539
44
Awesome, thanks for the insight! Can you tell a big difference in the general performance of the machine after doing this upgrade?

The difference is stark.

It's like the difference between going up hill on a pedal bike or going up a hill on a 1000cc Kawasaki!
 

siddhartha

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2008
126
35
Northern Virgina
I did this on a 2014 retina iMac, and the screen removal is the worst part. Not too bad though-so check out the videos, and see what you think.

All you really need is the toolkit, which makes it much easier, and after watching a couple of the teardown videos, it makes sense, and you should have no problems. Just take your time, and be careful, and err on the side of caution with the cutting of the tape/adhesive.

I am really happy I did it, and am considering upgrading the HD in my 2011 iMac as a result. Made a big difference
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,205
8,252
OP:
Buy a Samsung t5 USB3 SSD, plug it in, initialize it, set it up to become your "external booter".
A very simple and easy process.

Do this, and you DON'T risk breaking anything inside.
And the external SSD should give you 85%+ of the speed of a SATA drive internally-mounted.

Why run the risk of opening the iMac and damaging it?
 
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