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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2005
First of all, thanks to everyone on this site for the helpful hacks on all aspects of the Mac, especially in this tread, on how to replace the hard drive in a 27 inch iMac with an SSD.

So, I went to take apart my brand new iMac 27 inch 2012 iMac, and I found that

a) Google needs to get better at searching. It kept showing me takeapart videos for 2009 iMacs instead of the new model, no matter how carefully I searched. It was like searching for actual information on iPods in 2004 without running into twenty dozen shops trying to sell me new ones.

b) apparently people haven't bothered to post the 27" takeapart guides much since they exist for the smaller 2012 iMac. iFixIt for example does not have a guide yet for the 27" iMac. I'd make one, but look at the quality of the photos I posted. Yes, no one wants that.

c) even when takeapart guides exist, people with lots of awesome knowledge forget to give important details like, telling us specifically how to remove a connector, e.g. whether to pull it UP or FORWARD. It would be great to see all guides embrace this simple idea since some of us are terrified of breaking a connector.

In the end, I hoped for the best, got an old guitar pick out and proceeded to break the seal around my screen, which is very easy. I did not need fancy suction cups or a heat gun to get the screen off, just the guitar pick and my fingers. I took a look at the insides, leaving the two cables connected, and looking at the 1 GB hard drive that was already installed, judged that it would be quite difficult to get it out without a proper takeapart guide that I could follow step-by-step.

Then I realized something quite awesome: the SATA connector for the hard drive is there there, at the top of the computer, and there's plenty of room for a 2.5" SATA drive to just sit there. I unplugged the connector, slid it into my SSD, closed the screen and bam, everything was done faster than I could have believed. I then installed the OS through the Internet recovery system.

I then clamped my screen shut with some cheap clamps from the 100 yen shop, since I'm in Japan. When my adhesive strips showed up I opened the machine up again to apply them, and now everything is perfect.

Bottom line: if you are a little tech challenged and don't mind leaving the installed HDD inside the machine, you can easily upgrade one of these iMacs with nothing but a guitar pick and the adhesive strips to re-glue the screen. Considering the high cost of the SSD from Apple and the fact that, within a few years we'll all have boxes filled with old SSDs just like we have hard drives sitting around, being able to do this easily is great. Yes, the SSD is just sitting there without brackets, but it has no moving parts and the connector is super sturdy, so I am not worried.

Whoever makes a blade SSD-to-normal SATA cable, which would allow that second internal HDD to be used alongside the SSD, will totally have my business.


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macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2012
The easiest way to get both ssd and hdd working is to purchase a blade samsung one from ebay. But it doesn't matter atm, right? :)
I'm not a fan of owc drives (as well as any others based on sf-2281 controller) btw.

tom vilsack

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
ladner cdn
Love to see the speed difference between doing this,and just going with a external ssd threw either usb3 enclosure or lightning enclosure...
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