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Use this guide to upgrade your CPU.

  1. Unplug your iMac's AC cord along with any peripheral devices. Lay your iMac face-down on a soft, clean surface as shown.
    • Unplug your iMac's AC cord along with any peripheral devices.

    • Lay your iMac face-down on a soft, clean surface as shown.

    • Be sure there isn't any dirt or debris on your work surface, as it may scratch the glass panel on the front of your iMac. We recommend placing a towel between the iMac and the work surface.

    • Loosen the three Phillips screws securing the access door to the bottom edge of your iMac.

    • All three screws will remain captive in the access door.

    • Remove the access door.

    Before beginning unplug your iMac.

    Henry Barnett - Antwoord

    The screws are not phillips #1 as implied above. My phillips#2 bit fit.

    John McWilliams - Antwoord

    Yes phillips #2 is the correct Bit

    Heath - Antwoord

    Whenever I go this “deep” into any computer that has a motherboard battery, like the CR2032 for this iMac, I’ll add a new battery to my workflow. I’m in the “neighborhood” anyway.

    The battery is in a spring-loaded compartment, which requires patience and persistence.

    I make sure to test the new battery before installation. (The “3-2-1 Rule” applies: 3 of something means 2, 2 means 1, and 1 means none - I keep spare batteries on hand.)

    When I took part in my dual-drive adventure, I also added a thorough dusting (outside/outdoors) - phew!

    Carrick - Antwoord

  2. Gently slide the black plastic RAM pull tab out from the RAM slot. Pull the black plastic tab away from the bottom edge of the iMac to eject the module(s) on that side of the RAM bay. This may require a bit of force.
    • Gently slide the black plastic RAM pull tab out from the RAM slot.

    • Pull the black plastic tab away from the bottom edge of the iMac to eject the module(s) on that side of the RAM bay.

    • This may require a bit of force.

    It is far harder than I thought you have to pull REALLY hard and then there will be a little click and than you can gently pull out the RAM.

    Alison Newton - Antwoord

    Press really hard, to the point you think you’ll cut your thumb, you’ll hear a slight ‘click’. If it’s not properly installed, the iMac will ‘beep, beep, beep’ In protest upon booting…

    Brian -

    I found it best to make use of the factory ‘pull tabs’. Much much easier than trying to pull the ram out by hand. It may seem like a good idea but, don’t be tempted to use pliers.

    Brian -

    Just FYI you can install 32GB’s of RAM in this machine. I have been using it this way for over 2 years now.

    Heath - Antwoord

    Thanks for your Useful guide …. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 RAM Replacement was performed step by step on my Imac and every thing is perfect right now.

    Jaime Salazar - Antwoord

    I was able to remove one side of the ram, but the other side would not budge. I was afraid that I was going to rip the plastic tab out of the computer. Any suggestions?

    Paula McCaulla - Antwoord

    Do you know if 3 ram modules installed would work ? or if it should only be 1, 2 or 4 ?

    I currently have 2x2gb installed, but I only want to add 1x4gb to have 8gb in total.

    Thanks!

    Nikokow - Antwoord

  3. Slide the old RAM module(s) out of their slots in the RAM bay and set them aside.
    • Slide the old RAM module(s) out of their slots in the RAM bay and set them aside.

    would this be a good time to increase the size of the RAM too? Would it be as simple as slipping the new RAM in when redoing the steps? Thanks

    timreespt - Antwoord

  4. Repeat the process in the previous steps to remove the RAM module(s) from the other side of the RAM bay. Repeat the process in the previous steps to remove the RAM module(s) from the other side of the RAM bay. Repeat the process in the previous steps to remove the RAM module(s) from the other side of the RAM bay.
    • Repeat the process in the previous steps to remove the RAM module(s) from the other side of the RAM bay.

  5. When installing new RAM modules, it is important to orient them correctly. Be sure the small notch cut into each RAM module (shown in the first picture) mates with the protrusion in each RAM slot (shown in the second picture). Your iMac has four RAM slots. Be sure to slide each RAM module into its slot horizontally. This will prevent getting the modules stuck between two of the adjacent slots.
    • When installing new RAM modules, it is important to orient them correctly.

    • Be sure the small notch cut into each RAM module (shown in the first picture) mates with the protrusion in each RAM slot (shown in the second picture).

    • Your iMac has four RAM slots. Be sure to slide each RAM module into its slot horizontally. This will prevent getting the modules stuck between two of the adjacent slots.

    • Once you have oriented the new RAM modules correctly, gently slide them completely into the iMac and use your thumbs to firmly seat them in their sockets.

    When reinstalling RAM in this machine or any iMac with upgradable RAM slots push hard to get them to go in (Apple really did make this one harder than it needed to be). If you don't push hard it won't go in and your computer won't work. (trust me on this learned the hard way)

    Robert Wacker - Antwoord

    I am having trouble with bottom 2 slots. As I get beeping sounds when using them. When removed it boots properly. I tried & tried to push the 2 , 2GB ram modules into the bottom slots BUT all get is beeping. Guess I have to settle for 4GB Rather than 8 unless someone has a suggestion.

    Doug - Antwoord

    Try swapping the to the other slots & don’t forget to press really hard until you hear the ‘click’.

    Brian -

    Is there an expirience to settle 1600 MgH Ram instead 1333 MgH manual required?

    Mikhail B. Bryanskiy - Antwoord

    The Memory Maxxer RAM upgrade kit for the iMac 12,1 EMC 2428 suggests the machine can run 32 gb but Apple’s website says it can run a maximum of 16 gb.

    Are we sure 32 gb can run on this machine?

    Paul

    steedz - Antwoord

    Added 16GB for a total of 20GB, runs great, do make sure of the “click”, the beep is disturbing

    Butt Muffins - Antwoord

    2x2 GB 1333 MHz RAM were installed as delivered. I couldn’t manage to get those two out of their slots. I don’t want to damage anything. So, I put 2x8 GB RAM 1333 MHz RAM bars in the other two empty spare slots to have 20 GB RAM in total. The iMac runs fine with it. As described above, make sure to push RAM until they ‘click’ in completely.

    Matthias Brandl - Antwoord

    • Before beginning, unplug your iMac and lay it on a soft surface as shown.

    • Stick a suction cup near each of the two top corners of the glass panel.

    • To attach the suction cups we sell, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel. While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle.

    • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a mild solvent.

    Very easy to lift the glass out. Don't jerk too hard.

    kctipton - Antwoord

    Another comment on DATA & LCD Temp. Sensor cables: I had to remove the vertical sync, and the backlight cable, however, if you have an assistant or/can carefully rotate the screen clockwise/and then have it held up about 5" to 6" at a slight angle, you do not need to remove LCD data cable or LCD thermal cable, however - IMPORTANT: you must have a second pair of hands/or way to securely prop up the LCD. Also, don't rotate too much, since then you will pull out LCD data cable, and it renders the whole exercise moot, or can damage the cable or connector.

    MaximBorzov - Antwoord

    You don't need suction cups. The screen, held by magnets, can simply be pried off using a very thin blade such as a screw driver and fingers.

    Deepsurvival - Antwoord

    That's a bad idea. using a metal tool to pry off glass is likely to end with an expensive broken front glass.

    Suction cups are common. Find a couple and do it the safe way. I use some cheap ones that came with iPhone repair kit.

    max damage -

    No need for suction cups, I just stuck my nails (short like guys usually have) between the top part of the screen and body, and it came off easily. I've never done it before, so it seems to be very easy.

    Nikolas Lintulaakso - Antwoord

    Nails worked for me too

    Rob Dale - Antwoord

    Just completed the replacement of the optical drive with an SSD using an OWC Data Doubler kit. Attempted to remove the optical drive without disconnecting any cables but found it a bit fiddly to orient the screen for good access. I bit the bullet and disconnected them and found the process less daunting than I imagined. Reconnecting them was similarly straightforward if you're careful.

    Tip: you can skip the step for removing the optical drive thermal sensor connector from the motherboard. Still need to remove the sensor from the optical drive but you can leave that hanging and reattach it to the SSD later.

    osienna - Antwoord

    I use Garmin GPS suction cup. Work very well

    jc3Dcx - Antwoord

    I’ve just successfully installed a 1TB SSD in place of my optical drive thanks to the information here- thank you to everyone who has contributed!

    3 comments- the procedure described here seems to vary between HD replacement and dual HD/optical drive replacement. This can be confusing at times.

    Expect there to be minor differences between the layout described and what you find when you open up your iMac. There are also, surprisingly, differences between the HD enclosure description, and the article provided by ifixit.

    I was able to replace the DVD/HD enclosure single-handedly without fully removing the LCD, or deconnecting any of the cables (steps 5-11). It’s a bit cramped, and fiddly, but I was not happy removing any of the cables despite watching videos, etc., since they all seemed to involve applying more force than I was comfortable with. A more detailed description of how to release them might have helped, but even here, there may be minor variations even within the 2389 model.

    Good luck!

    ivan birks - Antwoord

    I did it several times with one suction cup at the end of a kitchen brush. Once with the blade of a swiss army knive, also ok. And i’m pretty sure it works with fingernails too

    Tai - Antwoord

    Fingernails are all you need to free the glass from its magnetic hold. If you don’t have them, slip something thin and plastic, like a spudger, at a top corner.

    Max Powers - Antwoord

    Minha dúvida é a seguinte: após o técnico trocar o HD do meu iMac de 21,5 polegadas, a câmera parou de funcionar. Seria por causa da troca do HD? Tem solução?

    Claudio - Antwoord

    Creio que o cabo da camera não foi plugado ou deu mau contato… ou até danificado.

    glecyo@gmail.com

    glecyo medeiros -

    I can’t get my glass to budge. I’m replacing a cracked one and now it’s about to shatter.

    jamboxmitchell - Antwoord

    Check for chips in the glass BEFORE you do this step. If there is a chip when you pull up with the suction cups you will wind up with a jagged mess. If you do have a chip I would advise covering the screen near the chip with clear tape of some kind before lifting out. Mine shattered right at the chip and the resulting glass dust cloud got all over. My solution was buying a new glass screen.

    BCam - Antwoord

  6. Gently lift the glass panel perpendicular to the face of the LCD enough to clear the steel mounting pins attached along the underside of the top edge of the glass panel. Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside.
    • Gently lift the glass panel perpendicular to the face of the LCD enough to clear the steel mounting pins attached along the underside of the top edge of the glass panel.

    • Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside.

    • During reinstallation, be sure to meticulously clean the inside of the glass panel and the face of the LCD as any dust or fingerprints trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the machine is turned on.

    What's the best product to clean the face of the LCD?

    Steve Speirs - Antwoord

    Microfiber Cloth

    Leonardo Fournier -

    Try your best not touch it in the first place

    Brian -

  7. Remove the eight 8 mm T10 Torx screws securing the display to the outer case. The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display. The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display.
    • Remove the eight 8 mm T10 Torx screws securing the display to the outer case.

    • The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display.

    The metal near the screws is VERY magnetic. Honestly, the hardest and by far most frustrating step was trying to put these screws back in.

    seancourtney - Antwoord

    I ran into the same problem - easily the most frustrating part of this process. To help deal with it, I took a drinking straw, cut it to be about 2 inches long, and used it as a chute to guide the screw to the hole. Dropping the screw down the straw, it'd still stick to the side due to the magnets, but using my screwdriver, it was easy to push the screw down to where it needed to go, and the straw kept the screw from being pulled out of place by the magnets.

    josh -

    +1 for the straw tip. Worked a treat!

    osienna - Antwoord

    Hmm… yes, the magnets sucks - literally. But if you use a normal screwdriver or a bit, the screwdriver tip or the bit can be “loaded” by the magnets too. Just move the screwdriver (or bit) over one of the magnets and then “plug” the screw onto the screwdriver’s tip (or bit). It will be held by magnetic force. Just enough to move the screw vertically and very slowly into the whole.

    There are some special screwdriver on the market with “claws” to hold screws, but they are hard to find/to buy and expensive. I sometimes use superglue (a LITTLE) to temporary fasten the screw at the screwdrivers tip. This technique can be used with destroyed screw heads too to optimize adhesion.

    Udo - Antwoord

    Les vis sont inévitablement aimantées

    Gui - Antwoord

    Replacing these screws was like playing the most difficult game of “Operation” imaginable. I wish I’d seen the tip about using a straw before I started playing!

    Bret Mogilefsky - Antwoord

  8. Slightly lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case.
    • Slightly lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case.

    • Do not lift it too much. There are several cables attaching the display to the logic board. Twisting or pulling the display assembly with the cables attached will damage your iMac.

    You can use one hand to hold the edge up while reaching with the other hand to disconnect cables. You may want to have a prop handy (like a small book) or an extra person to hold the edge up while you disconnect cables.

    kctipton - Antwoord

    Use the teardown guide for your iMac to familiarise yourself with the layout of everything before you dive in. I was able to get an idea of how much clearance there was once the display is unfixed from the frame, where the optical drive was relative to the base etc

    osienna - Antwoord

    The harddisk can be removed WITHOUT the next steps. The opening angle of the partially lifted LCD display gives enough room to untighten the two Torx T9 screws of the hard disk bracket, to unplug the two SATA connectors and to carefully lift out the harddisk. There is absolutely no need to dismantle the whole thing.

    All you need is a screwdriver which fits into the room. I’ve used the “Pro Tech Toolkit” from iFixit. The screwdriver with Torx T9 bit fits perfectly.

    The other “tool” you need is either someone who holds the LCD plate or the inner leftover of a kitchenroll, a scrunched paper, a small towel or similar which has to be stuffed between the logic boards and the LCD plate to keep the LCD at its lifted place (careful! don’t unplug any of the cables).

    I’ve opened and changed the harddisks of those 21,5 iMacs a dozen times with the help of the “Pro Tech Toolkit” and a kitchen roll.

    Udo - Antwoord

    If i want to replace the HD with a SSD, can i still skip the next steps? I think i can’t because i need to change the termal censor, but i would like an other opinion please.

    Danois -

    “Kitchen Roll” - paper towel core.

    kyoder11 -

    Hia,

    thx to IFIXIT and 20+ years of computer repair and building experience (all PC) there was no problem at all to remove a 500 Gb HDD from a mid 2011 iMac and replace it with an 500 Gb SSD Drive (with help from Comtec EDV, where i bought the upgrade kit).

    Skip the steps where people are advised to remove the display. Due to my experience it is def better to leave cables and plugs where they are. I lifted the display 12 cm and fixed this position w/ one pencil in each front corner of the case where the other end of the pencil sticked in ascrew hole of the display-frame. Very easy to operate afterwards! No probs w/ the screws of the hdd-frame.

    Some care-taking of static electricity is advised - wear a wrist cable. And don’t forget to press start button after having removed power chord. I had an Android Tablet on the right side, where i could watch these ifixit pages :-)

    thx to IFIXIT!

    w/ regards from cantbtroo from Berlin

    Hans- Peter - Antwoord

    Thank you ifixit for the guide. Like so many others I jumped from step 4 to step 10 and left all the cables intact. Felt much safer doing so. Papertowel cores secured the LCD to higher position. There was enough room to remove the old HDD and replace it with a SSD drive.

    Cheers!

    Aapo Kaivosoja - Antwoord

    I also was able to proceed with rest of instructions, after skillping steps 4-10, just have to be very gentle, i think it would help to have a second set of hands to hold screen above while other hands are uninstalling and installing hard drive, but i was able to do it on my own

    jacob d - Antwoord

  9. Pull the vertical sync cable connector out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac. Pull the vertical sync cable connector out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.
    • Pull the vertical sync cable connector out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

    Tried doing this on my iMac, but this cable would not come out for love or money. No matter what I did, I could not unplug this cable. My iMac is the same 21inch 2011 as this one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    louis.barr - Antwoord

    use a little poker type thing in your right hand to push on the 2 holes that are on top of the plug and wiggle it out with your other hand,

    Nicholas - Antwoord

    I was tempted to forgo steps 4-10 but found the inside of the case to be very dusty and decided to do the full disassemble. I struggled getting this vertical sync cable connector out. The trick that worked for me was to prop the display up using a pair of toilet paper tubes then using the fingernails of both thumbs, one on each side of the connector and it came out easily.

    Anthony Zimmerman - Antwoord

  10. Rotate the display out of the outer case enough to disconnect the LED backlight power cable from the LED driver board. Disconnect the LED backlight power cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket (toward the bottom edge of the iMac).
    • Rotate the display out of the outer case enough to disconnect the LED backlight power cable from the LED driver board.

    • Disconnect the LED backlight power cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket (toward the bottom edge of the iMac).

    Slip a thumbnail under the “front” (toward the top of the iMac) of the connector to release its clamp from the retaining ridge. Then push toward the “back” (bottom of iMac).

    Anthony Zimmerman - Antwoord

  11. Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it towards upwards. Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board. Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.
    • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it towards upwards.

    • Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

    I am having a difficult time reattaching the LCD cable. A better description or any tips would be useful here.

    Ben Bauermeister - Antwoord

    Me too — ditto that.

    Roger Buttermore -

    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIDI... —> abt. 5:30 into the vid. Handle up to slide in, then flip it down to lock the connector in place.

    Roger Buttermore -

    The connector needs to be carefully pushed in parallel to the board with a surprising amount of pressure and the pull tab must be folded back. Not super fragile, but not strong either.

    Isaac Vande Zande - Antwoord

    I really wish that the fagility of this connector was mentioned in Step 10 or 11.. When i rotated the screen on step 11.. It pulled this connector out and now I can't get it back in.. I hate computers.. HA!

    Philip Nelson - Antwoord

    This is the most painful part of the whole event. Replacing this cable took me around 30 minutes !

    K. Efe Egilmez - Antwoord

    I have tried and tried to get this cable back in. How do I know if I have messed it up?

    Christopher Teer - Antwoord

    Mine seems to be…upside down? Looks like the little flappy lock thing is on the bottom as opposed to it being in top as pictured?

    jinnifer douglass - Antwoord

    I agree with everybody that this is the critical step in this fix. Removing it is not that difficult, the description is quite accurate, but I would highlight that the “rotate” part of the step could be detailed: the black plastic tab is attached to the metal lock (golden colored) , which should rotate into the direction of the cable almost 180 degrees to unlock the connector. After doing this you can pull the cable out of the connector, PARALLEL to the board and away from the connector. It travels a very short distance to disconnect. After going through the rest of the steps to remove the display, take some time to examine closely the connector and understand what you have to do to reconnect it on assembly. It helps to fully visualize beforehand, since on reassembly it is difficult to see properly.

    Fernando Walker - Antwoord

  12. Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board. Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.
    • Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

    When putting the display down on the table, be careful not to kink the flat ribbon cable.

    frank - Antwoord

    The replacement hard drive I used doesn't even appear to spin up and the Time Capsule restore process doesn't show it as available. It just stays at Searching for disks and never finds it.

    JRBv3 - Antwoord

    I had to use Disk Utility to partition the drive and then it showed fine. Rookie mistake.

    JRBv3 -

    I managed to damage the LCD thermal sensor socket in the logic board. Now the connector won’t stay in place. I know the missing thermal sensor should cause the fans to spin up (they do spin up after a while), but the screen is blank.

    I connected an external monitor and it works fine, so it doesn’t seem to be a graphics or logic board issue. I also replaced the LED driver board with one from a working iMac, to no effect.

    Can the missing thermal sensor be causing this?

    Rodrigo da Rosa Cesconeto - Antwoord

    Having the same problem. Black screen, works fine with external display.

    Passerby -

  13. Carefully pull the display toward the top edge of your iMac and lift it out of the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.
    • Carefully pull the display toward the top edge of your iMac and lift it out of the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.

    Btw, I was pretty safe (& content) with two suction cups - i bought 3 for less than 7 Euros. They were a good help for a glass that hasn’t been removed since 2011. But i am sure fingernails will do a good job, too (of course not mine, cos i have short ones).

    At the end of the job it was even possoible to clean the fan that sucks cool air into the iMac (w/ a paintbrush and a controllable vaccuum cleaner). After that, it’s also a good opportunity to clean the air inlet that is part of the aluminium case (behind the stand - it’s always dusty).

    w/ regards from cantbtroo, Berlin

    Hans- Peter - Antwoord

  14. From here, the repair will be easier if you flip the computer around so the base is facing you.
    • From here, the repair will be easier if you flip the computer around so the base is facing you.

    • Remove the following four screws:

    • One 9.3 mm T10 Torx screw with a large head

    • Three 9.3 mm T10 Torx screws with a normal sized head

    In my case the red screw was on the lower left side near the power-data cable!

    sefw4t2efwef - Antwoord

    Same here. There are different versions delivered

    Tai - Antwoord

  15. Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector straight up from its socket on the logic board. Pull parallel to the board. Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector straight up from its socket on the logic board. Pull parallel to the board.
    • Pull the optical drive thermal sensor connector straight up from its socket on the logic board. Pull parallel to the board.

    No need to remove the thermal sensor connector from the motherboard - refer to Step 17 to remove the sensor from the optical drive instead

    osienna - Antwoord

    The thermal sensor connector shown in the red box is the one for the hard drive, not the optical drive. The optical drive sensor attaches to motherboard near bottom left of optical drive fan.

    Reiner Friedel - Antwoord

    The guide was correct in my case that this is the Optical Drive sensor. The board has “ODD Temp” written on it. Original HD has it’s own built in temperature sensor without a separate cable to the Motherboard, which is why OWC sells a special “In-line Thermal Sensor” SATA cable with a Temp. sensor that attaches to any new hard drive itself.

    amiller770 - Antwoord

    When I was removing the optical drive cable sensor the connector came loose from the board. Is there any way to repair this?

    Paula McCaulla - Antwoord

  16. Lift the inner edge of the optical drive and maneuver its connector past the GPU frame attached to the logic board. Carefully pull the optical drive off its mounting pins on the right side of the outer case to gain clearance for disconnecting the optical drive cable.
    • Lift the inner edge of the optical drive and maneuver its connector past the GPU frame attached to the logic board.

    • Carefully pull the optical drive off its mounting pins on the right side of the outer case to gain clearance for disconnecting the optical drive cable.

    • Allow the optical drive to hang down as you de-route the optical drive thermal sensor connector from behind the GPU heat sink.

    On the reassembly, I found threading the optical drive cable back under the GPU frame trying. Here’s some advice: Take some dental floss, form a loop, and feed that loop under the GPU frame. Put the cable into the loop of floss, tighten the loop, and pull the loop back through. This is much easier, faster, and far less frustrating.

    Albert Einsrein - Antwoord

  17. Disconnect the optical drive cable by pulling its connector away from the optical drive.
    • Disconnect the optical drive cable by pulling its connector away from the optical drive.

    • Remove the optical drive from the iMac.

    I have already installed the second SSD drive, but due to the size of the drive I need to change it with another SSHD 1 TB drive. Am I right that I have to follow the instructions up to Step 18? Because The SSD is already behind the optical drive, so what I need to do is remove it and install the new SSHD drive and put everything back again. Please confirm.

    Mohamed Kamal - Antwoord

    This was my only error on reassembly. The SATA cable must be under the black plastic prong. I did not want to pull to logic board again. I managed to bend the black plastic bits and get the cable in the right place.

    Terry Creasy - Antwoord

  18. Remove the single 13 mm T10 Torx screw securing the optical drive fan to the outer case.
    • Remove the single 13 mm T10 Torx screw securing the optical drive fan to the outer case.

  19. Pull the optical drive fan off the pins attached to the outer case.
    • Pull the optical drive fan off the pins attached to the outer case.

  20. Pull the optical drive fan connector away from its socket on the logic board.
    • Pull the optical drive fan connector away from its socket on the logic board.

    • Remove the optical drive fan from the iMac.

  21. In the proceeding steps, you will disconnect the following cables:
    • In the proceeding steps, you will disconnect the following cables:

    • SD Board

    • Left/Right Speaker and Microphone

    • Audio Port

    • Wi-Fi Antenna

    • Right Temperature Sensor, Bluetooth/Ambient Light Sensor/Camera/Left Temperature, and Hard Drive Fan

    • CPU Fan/Ambient Temperature and Power Button

    • IR Sensor

    The cable in the yellow box pulls out parallel to board. The connector looks as if it might be different, but grasp the black tabs and pull parallel to the board

    Alex Grayson - Antwoord

  22. Pull the SD board cable out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Pull the SD board cable out of its socket on the logic board.

  23. Disconnect the microphone, left speaker, and right speaker cables by pulling their connectors toward the right side of the iMac. Disconnect the microphone, left speaker, and right speaker cables by pulling their connectors toward the right side of the iMac. Disconnect the microphone, left speaker, and right speaker cables by pulling their connectors toward the right side of the iMac.
    • Disconnect the microphone, left speaker, and right speaker cables by pulling their connectors toward the right side of the iMac.

  24. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry all three AirPort antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort board. During reinstallation, connect the cable with no stripes to the socket marked CH0, the cable with one stripe to CH1, and the cable with two stripes to CH2.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry all three AirPort antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort board.

    • During reinstallation, connect the cable with no stripes to the socket marked CH0, the cable with one stripe to CH1, and the cable with two stripes to CH2.

    Mine has these cables exactly opposite what is shown here. (?)

    Danno - Antwoord

    same with mine

    andriivarko -

    Same on mine

    Leon Mertvoy -

    Mine is:

    2 bands = CH0

    1 bands = CH1

    0 bands = CH2

    Model: AR5BXB112

    Victor - Antwoord

    what does this cables mean?

    mine is:

    2 bands = CH0

    1 bands = CH1

    0 bands = CH2

    Johnny Macedo - Antwoord

    Actually I have just unplugged the whole airport board from its socket (where it is written 12RNA on the photo), why bothering with a spudger? You only need to remove one small screw that its holding it in place (torx T6)

    Viktor - Antwoord

    I think my cables were in the opposite order—but I put them in the instruction order and everything is working.

    Terry Creasy - Antwoord

    All the 21,5” Mid 2011 that I had repaired (12) had all these cable in the inverse order. I suppose that is correct

    dariomella - Antwoord

  25. Pull the hard drive fan connector toward the top edge of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.
    • Pull the hard drive fan connector toward the top edge of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

  26. Use your thumbnails on both sides of the Bluetooth/ambient light sensor/camera/left temperature connector to push it toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Use your thumbnails on both sides of the Bluetooth/ambient light sensor/camera/left temperature connector to push it toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.

  27. Use your thumbnails to push the right temperature sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket.
    • Use your thumbnails to push the right temperature sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket.

  28. Pull the CPU fan/ambient temperature sensor connector toward the bottom left edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Pull the CPU fan/ambient temperature sensor connector toward the bottom left edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.

  29. Pull the power button connector toward the bottom left corner of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.
    • Pull the power button connector toward the bottom left corner of the iMac to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

  30. Use your thumbs to push the IR sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board. Pull the IR sensor board up from behind the front face of the outer case.
    • Use your thumbs to push the IR sensor connector toward the top edge of the iMac and out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Pull the IR sensor board up from behind the front face of the outer case.

    • Remove the IR sensor and set it aside.

    NOTE: Be aware that (especially refurbished iMac’s) may have adhesive that may increase difficulty removing sensor. Possible recommendation; Use your iFixit Jimmy Tool or spudger to assist you in reaching the adhesive strip.

    John Gonsalves - Antwoord

    I tried using my thumbnails as shown to push the connector out of its socket, but the individual wires came out instead. Spudger didn’t help. I had to remove the connector after all 4 wires came loose. I don’t know if this is worth the trouble to fix.

    James Webber - Antwoord

    had the same experience as James. Will not replace it and see what happens

    Cornel Barth - Antwoord

  31. Pull the audio port cable connector toward the left side of the iMac to disconnect it from the logic board. Do not pull the cable toward yourself (away from the front face of the logic board) as you disconnect it.
    • Pull the audio port cable connector toward the left side of the iMac to disconnect it from the logic board.

    • Do not pull the cable toward yourself (away from the front face of the logic board) as you disconnect it.

    • Peel the audio port cable off the front face of the logic board and let it hang down as shown in the second picture.

  32. Remove the following seven screws:
    • Remove the following seven screws:

    • Two 7 mm T10 torx screws

    • One 30 mm T10 Torx screw

    • Two 25 mm T10 Torx screws

    • Two 21 mm T10 Torx screws

    On reassembly:

    Be sure to route the BT/camera multicolor cable (step 27) and the temperature sensor cable (step 28) into the gap next to the logic board. The correct location is seen well in step 32, just above the person’s index finger.

    Robert - Antwoord

  33. Remove the following four screws: One 9.3 mm T10 coarse-threaded screw
    • Remove the following four screws:

    • One 9.3 mm T10 coarse-threaded screw

    • One 25 mm T10 coarse-threaded screw

    • Two 22 mm fine-threaded screws

    • Pull the upper right and lower left corners of the power supply away from the rear case to dislodge the mounting posts attached to the power supply's corners.

    SAFETY NOTE: Remember ANY high voltage power supply can cause SERIOUS INJURY and may still hold charge LONG AFTER the device has been unplugged, EVEN IF PROPERLY DISCHARGED!!!

    John Gonsalves - Antwoord

    Amen. Having been jolted twice from 2 different spots on the power supply, I would recommend covering the power supply with a small microfiber cloth, handling it by the edges and keeping the cloth in place. Cheap insurance. It will also protect the power supply if it touches something conductive on the hard disc when you flip it over to remove the DC-out cable (next step).

    Robert - Antwoord

  34. Carefully lift the power supply out of the outer case and rotate it to expose the cable lock as shown, minding the DC-out and AC-in cables still attaching it to the iMac. Disconnect the DC-out cable by depressing the locking mechanism on the connector while you pull the connector away from its socket on the power supply.
    • Carefully lift the power supply out of the outer case and rotate it to expose the cable lock as shown, minding the DC-out and AC-in cables still attaching it to the iMac.

    • Disconnect the DC-out cable by depressing the locking mechanism on the connector while you pull the connector away from its socket on the power supply.

    • Once the locking mechanism has cleared the socket, pull the DC-in connector away from the power supply.

  35. Disconnect the AC-In cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket.
    • Disconnect the AC-In cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket.

    • Remove the power supply from the outer case.

  36. Remove the plastic wall that is installed directly to the right of the LED driver board.
    • Remove the plastic wall that is installed directly to the right of the LED driver board.

  37. Slightly pull the logic board away from the back of the outer case, then lift it upward to clear the lower front face of the outer case. Slightly pull the logic board away from the back of the outer case, then lift it upward to clear the lower front face of the outer case.
    • Slightly pull the logic board away from the back of the outer case, then lift it upward to clear the lower front face of the outer case.

    At this point on reassembly, make sure the optical drive SATA cable is under the black plastic wall prong. The connector must be low to reach the optical drive.

    Terry Creasy - Antwoord

    YES to Terry above. The optical drive cable actually pretty much floats loose when the connectors are pulled off. It needs to stay below the transverse wall which is right under the person’s right hand in the photo above.

    Additionally, it would help to take a picture here to remember where the cables all go. You will have some open sockets at the end and it’s a little confusing. There is a good diagram of their locations here: Screenshot #1 at ++https://drive.google.com/drive/folders... Thanks to Timothy in comment for step 41 for this link. Basically don’t get sockets for SSD and HDD confused!

    Robert - Antwoord

  38. Disconnect the LCD temperature cable by pulling its connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Disconnect the LCD temperature cable by pulling its connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

    But thats the CPU temp sensor, not LCD

    Saman - Antwoord

  39. Depress the locking mechanism and carefully pull the DC-In cable out of its socket on the back of the logic board. Depress the locking mechanism and carefully pull the DC-In cable out of its socket on the back of the logic board.
    • Depress the locking mechanism and carefully pull the DC-In cable out of its socket on the back of the logic board.

    HI,

    I just replace the dead GPU Card on an Imac 21.5 Mid 2011,

    Got 2x2Gb 1333 sodim in the top of slot.

    When i finish the repair, the mac start normally but except the right memory slot ,When looking at the front of the Imac , (The top and bottom Right Slot memory ) (Dimm Ch B )

    I search on the net and found that i properly knocked the motherboard when I put it back in.

    I think the power Filter, behind the motherboard ,is what cause that.(Because when you fight to put back cable behind the motherboard)

    You need to mention that, next time.

    I’m not sure about that but I think the part C3230. (I do not disasembly it again to verify (It’s so Fragile)

    Can someone confirm that,( And what do i need to do to repair it.??

    Or Do someone have the same problem, (Right slot (Top & Bottom ) Not working.??

    Mr Desvaux

    Gilles Desvaux de Marigny - Antwoord

  40. Being careful not to damage the socket on the logic board, gently pull the hard drive SATA data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Being careful not to damage the socket on the logic board, gently pull the hard drive SATA data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

    You forgot after this step to pull out the optical drive cable from the mlb, also make it very clear that its crucial to put those cables back in the right socket not to cause bigger damage to the logicboard.

    davis 12 - Antwoord

    I searched all over the internet for photos or diagrams of the back side of the logic board to understand where to connect SATA 1 and 2 data cables. This is a pain to reopen and go back to where you can fix the SATA connection.

    James Webber - Antwoord

    I located the schematic for the area. I hope this of use to someone https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1...

    timothy handy - Antwoord

  41. Pull the hard drive power cable connector out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Pull the hard drive power cable connector out of its socket on the logic board.

  42. Remove the logic board from the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.
    • Remove the logic board from the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.

    • When reinstalling the logic board, plug in a thunderbolt cable and a USB cable into the USB port closest to the headphone/microphone ports before tightening the logic board screws to ensure proper alignment.

  43. Peel the piece of tape covering the heat sink thermal sensor cable up off the logic board.
    • Peel the piece of tape covering the heat sink thermal sensor cable up off the logic board.

  44. Lift the heat sink thermal sensor connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Lift the heat sink thermal sensor connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Make sure to pull only on the connector and not the socket itself.

  45. If present, remove the "Warranty void if removed" sticker covering one hidden screw on the heat sink.
    • If present, remove the "Warranty void if removed" sticker covering one hidden screw on the heat sink.

  46. Remove the following five screws securing the heat sink to the logic board: Four 6.4 mm T8 Torx screws
    • Remove the following five screws securing the heat sink to the logic board:

    • Four 6.4 mm T8 Torx screws

    • One 4.3 mm T10 Torx screw

    • It may be necessary to hold the socket with a Phillips screwdriver on one side of the board while you unscrew the Torx screw on the other side of the board.

    4+1 = 5

    You say "remove 6 screws".

    anne guillaume - Antwoord

    Thanks! Updated.

    Andrew Optimus Goldheart -

  47. Carefully lift the logic board off the heat sink.
    • Carefully lift the logic board off the heat sink.

    • If the two components appear stuck together, carefully pry them apart with the flat end of a spudger, being careful not to disturb any surface-mount components on the logic board.

    • Make sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste before reattaching the heat sink. Our thermal paste guide makes it easy.

  48. Carefully pull the CPU retaining bar away from the CPU socket. Rotate the bar away from the logic board.
    • Carefully pull the CPU retaining bar away from the CPU socket.

    • Rotate the bar away from the logic board.

  49. Carefully lift the CPU straight up off its socket. Be sure your new CPU is properly aligned and seated before clamping it back down. The small gold arrow on the CPU should align with the white arrow printed on the logic board near the CPU socket as seen in the second picture.
    • Carefully lift the CPU straight up off its socket.

    • Be sure your new CPU is properly aligned and seated before clamping it back down. The small gold arrow on the CPU should align with the white arrow printed on the logic board near the CPU socket as seen in the second picture.

    • Make sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste before reattaching the heat sink. Our thermal paste guide makes it easy.

Conclusie

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

33 andere personen hebben deze handleiding voltooid.

BTW, what's the most powerful CPU you can upgrade to? 21.5" 2428 logic board no.:820-2641-A. Also, can radeon 6750M be replaced with 6770M or even 6950/6970M?

Thank you

bogdanblokar - Antwoord

i7 2600s (65W) and 6770m, as I heard 6950 and 6970 have bigger size

imho

Andrew -

Managed to upgrade my 21.5" 2428 with a i7-2600 (not S!), it has a higher base clock frequency than the S.

Running well so far. Thanks for the guide!

vincenth - Antwoord

how is the 2600 working after this years? any issues so far? thanks!

Diego Morais -

Hello, any info regarding the i7-2600? How is the iMac running? Thanks in advance

charles_chappet -

¿Can i upgrade the 2400s to 3770t?

Same Socket, less TDP

Miguel - Antwoord

I'm also interested about the i7-2600 on the iMac 21.5 mid 2011.

Any news about that?

diegoesqui - - Antwoord

Alguien sabe si es posible instalarle a esta maquina un procesador Procesador Intel® Xeon® E3-1290 v2?

Its posible install Procesador Intel® Xeon® E3-1290 v2 in this machine?

Marco Tulio Astudillo - Antwoord

Alguien sabe que ChipSet tiene la mainboad de esta maquina?

I need to Know, what is the ChipSet for this mainboard.

Marco Tulio Astudillo - Antwoord

Changed the processor in my 2011 iMac 21.5 to the i7 2600 and although the system fires up and works, the system runs at only 46% thermally throttled at 1.6Ghtz. It would appear the higher voltage is detrimental to performance. I had the 2600 in a different machine so didn't cost anything to try, now looking at getting a 2600S as this appears to be the highest speed option for this machine.

james-barnes - Antwoord

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