Archive for January, 2011

iMac (late-2006) hard drive replacement success

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

My late-2006 era Core 2 Duo iMac’s hard drive died recently.  Though I don’t use that machine that often, fixing it was worth the effort given that I could probably sell the thing on craigslist for $500 if I really wanted to.  (But, I actually do use it in our guest room when I’m working from home, because it’s quiet there).  Anyway, disassembling an iMac of this era is *not* trivial.  It’s not as bad as the newer (“Aluminum”) iMacs, which involve using a toilet plunger to suck the glass off the LCD.  But, it’s still no treat.

Overall, I followed this guide over at, who also had the guide for replacing my Macbook Pro’s keyboard that I’d used before.  As with the Macbook Pro teardown, you’ll want to read all the way through the instructions prior to starting and have some containers around for the screws at every step so that they’re clearly organized for reassembly.

However, the trickiest part by far was releasing the clips that hold the front bezel on to the main part of the chassis.  Though the guide accurately describes what has to be done, it was really helpful for me to actually see a video of the process so I knew what the release was supposed to behave like and how the case came apart once released.  This video from the Small Dog Electronics folks was really, really helpful – you probably want to check this out if you’re going to attempt this same repair (or upgrade, as the case may be):

Remember to fire up disk utility & partition your disk after completing the repair (during re-installation of Mac OS). The installer won’t recognized the uninitialized disk by itself – you have to partition it first, then resume the installation.