This post details how I upgraded the hard drive in my Aliminium iMac to 1TB…

After the lack lustre iMac upgrades this March I skipped picking up the latest generation and opted for one of the ‘old’ models from the Apple refurb store. It was the 2.8GHz model with 2GB memory and 320GB Hard Drive, costing £949.

However, it needed beefing up a little…

Upgrading the memory to 4GB is a cinch (£40 from Crucial) but upgrading the hard drive on an iMac is a different proposition entirely.

I’d found a video here:

and I’d originally read about the process a while back here

I have to applaud the people who led the way on this procedure. I don’t think I’d have the guts to prise open an iMac without knowing how it was done, so full kudos to them!

Having performed the operation I’d say it is no more difficult than upgrading a Mac mini. The pucker factor is no different (you are equally worried about killing your Mac) so if you are brave enough to upgrade a Mac mini, upgrading the iMac is perfectly within your grasp.

However, I would add these additional comments if you are planning to follow the video.

Note: my geography is with the base of the iMac towards you, iSight camera furthest away:

1. If you have a proper glass lifter, great. If not, those little suckers that are used to hang things from windows are fine. Get four (one for each corner) from your local DIY shop. They cost me 80p each. Put those on each corner of the screen and lift from there. Under NO circumstances attempt to get the glass out with a screwdriver or similar.
2. Buy some cheap door stops from Poundland or Instore or the like. You need four – my pack was £1 for four. Lay them out on a desk so that when you have removed the front glass panel you can lay the panel down onto the doorstops with one underneath each corner of the glass. This stops the glass picking up any dust on the side that will go back on the LCD (dust will only fall on the side facing up – the side which is on the outside when back in place).
3. The leads running to the LCD were different on my model than on the video. The video isn’t clear about which little card on the right to unscrew before lifting the screen. Mine was the one with a black braided cable (about half an inch wide) coming out of the top and heading toward and under the LCD panel. I also had to disconnect a little plug on the left near the fan. Do not attempt to prise this out with a little screwdriver or pull the wires. Just hold the base with your finger nails and wiggle it gently out.
4. Use a can of air to gently blow away any dust from the LCD surface before putting the glass back on. I find this far more effective than trying to wipe the screen with a cloth which is more likely to introduce marks and extra debris. Don’t shake the canned air as it will bring fluid up and spray it all over your LCD!
5. Ensure that the aluminium shroud fits correctly when you put it back on. All the screws should go back without additional force. Feel around the shroud and ensure it is uniformly fitted and that you still have easy access to the memory slots (if you can’t pop memory in and out then the shroud isn’t on right).

With that done you should be able to enjoy a improved capacity iMac. I opted for a nice 1TB Samsung with 32MB Cache. Screams along now and I have plenty of space free. Good luck!

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