SSD Upgrade For 24″ IMac


The hard drive in [Jason’s] 24″ iMac was on the blink. He decided that instead of just swapping out the bad drive for a traditional unit he would upgrade to a solid state drive. Tearing apart high-end hardware like this can be a bit nerve-racking but luckily the drive is mounted right behind the screen so he didn’t have to take everything apart.

The SSD he picked up was 2.5″ but the mounting hardware in the iMac is only setup for 3.5″ form factors. We would have used a bit of hackery to make it work but [Jason] went with an adapter kit. Uh-oh, once installed there was no problem with the mounting but the SATA cable didn’t reach far enough to plug it in. The cable snaked around under the motherboard and would have been a lot of work to swap for  a longer one. He ended up removing all of the mounting screws except for one coercing the drive close enough for the connection.

It worked for him and it can for you as well. If you do this make sure to devise your own mounting scheme so that you don’t hit the same snag.

[Photo: AppleInsider iMac teardown]

[via TUAW]

78 thoughts on “SSD Upgrade For 24″ IMac

  1. wow, what a hack,

    this guy changed the hdd of his mac…

    mike you should feel ashamed! you know nothing about hack spirit.. you should not stand in the tradition of had, ’cause you obviously dont…

  2. @ EVERYONE,
    As we’ve grown, so has our userbase. This is fairly simple, but something that enough of our less technical readers might be interested in, to post. The workaround will help someone. This is why I request that Mike post simpler hacks as well.

    For those who only want more complicated hacks, check out the “classic hacks” category.

  3. Been away at work for a few weeks, glad to see you didn’t post any hacks while I was away, would have been a same to miss anything.

    Go punch yourself in the nuts for ruining hackaday, why don’t you just set up an rss feed to slashdot and be done with it?

  4. Also,

    @Caleb, Higher skilled readers? This isn’t about reading comprehension, it is about the focus and niche of this blog.

    If I was someone who found this article informative, I’d be insulted to read you think their preference is due to their ability to read the english language.

    I come here for HACKS, not for how to do basic things with your computer. This is NOT a hack. This is a simple drive replacement.

    When comes the guide on how to install a new CPU?

    1. @Nitro,
      Now you’re just being silly.

      Guys, this is simple, but helpful. there was an issue and they showed us how to resolve it. With SSD’s getting closer to being an affordable alternative, this mod will be more common. People will probably run into the same problem and find help here.

      again… click “classic hacks” on the right side. Everyone will be happier.

  5. “So replacing a hard drive is now called a hack? ”
    don’t forget he is a Mac user aka ๏̯͡๏

    Well some try to justify this by saying user base get bigger, but it rubbish to shift and lame up site spirit because of this, there is countless websites with tech news/review and very beginner stuff, and they have much more visitors than hack a day. In opposite Hack a day Is of its kind, it have less users but they stick around only because they know it sometimes provide great technical details and info, they coming back and expect to see this king of information on hack a day. There is no point to turn hack a day into something different, it will not win neither by quantity or quality, there is countless number of well known sites that much bigger and better at that kind of stuff, so hack a day will become gray and unnoticeable, because it won’t be unique anymore.
    And really quality wins over quantity, it always better to have single gold coin than huge piles of crap

  6. Whoops! After reading ‘Higher skilled readers’ a few times over, I get what you were trying to say, ‘Readers with higher hacking/modding skills’.

    Still… rest of what I said applies.

  7. Caleb: Ok, so then you believe the niche of this site is “to be helpful” and not to provide a hack-a-day.

    And because I want to view the site in the literal view of the name, I have to click a category to filter out the junk. How great!

    Sorry about my misreading of your bad english.

  8. @Caleb, this is NOT A MOD. This is a standard HDD replacement that was not planned out well and required cables to be routed a certain way.

    Can you show me where a Hack/Mod was involved? He freaking bought a 3.5″ to 2.5″ adaptor then hacking his own.

    Caleb, seeing as we are all so confused, what actually qualifies this to be on Hack-A-Day? The fact he opened his case? Just wondering what you plan on posting in the future. Can we filter individual contributors to Hack-A-Day?

  9. Caleb, just because I haven’t stuck to one username over all the years this site has been online, doesn’t mean I am not a long time visitor/commenter. I’ve been visiting and commenting here for longer then you have been posting. (unless you also went by a different name pre-2008)

  10. I had to lol @ the picture…… surely I am not the only one who remembers the handle on every apple that gave it dual purpose – as an anchor or computer (order is irrelevant).

    have to agree though, this article sucks.

  11. And really quality wins over quantity, it always better to have single gold coin than huge piles of crap

    Ahhh so true, hack-a-day used to be one of those single gold coins I used to hold so dear, to bad lately it seems to be focusing more on the huge piles of crap. I’m going to print that out and put it on my wall as inspiration, truer words have never been spoken.

  12. Wow, you guess are being very rude towards Caleb & Mike. Usually the comments around here are geared toward the article and how to make an improvement upon what the person did, or criticism that stems from what they did. Granted a lot of this information is available on iFixIt, and it may not e a hack, but some of the comments here are right: This will be helpful to someone. HaD comes up pretty often in search results and it is easier to link here or to a blog than some other more famous site that has a terrible layout and isn’t geared toward technical users.

  13. I agree with everyone… not only is this not a hack, but it’s an Apple computer (read: conformist), which is exactly the opposite of everything this site stands for…
    To put in my 2cents, because I think the point of the comments is to alert to staff to our thoughts and make suggestions in a constructive manner – how about putting posts like this in a part of the site, like “The More You Know” or something..? rather than giving those a bad impression when they see stuff like this on the home page…
    this is basically a fluff article – I’d rather there not be 5+ posts a day, than sigh when I open the homepage and read stuff like this…

  14. darksim905: So because this site shows up in google, they should forget the niche they targeted and fill the site with non-hack related posts? All this user had to do was rig up his own 2.5″ to 3.5″ bracket and it would qualify as a hack/mod, but considering all he did was install a hard drive with a commercially available adaptor… Why is it here? (other then increasing page views with fluff that doesn’t qualify as a hack)

  15. I see this as a bit of a challenge because iMacs are not have any room for a work-around like the PC due to the compact size. However, I wouldn’t have bothered with a kit in this case. I would have just got a 2.5″ enclosure, made sure everything fit in there (with reading this article made sure the cords reached) and use some J-B weld in the 3.5″ enclosure to hold the 2.5″ enclosure in place.

  16. This one time, I swapped in some new RAM on my PC. I swear, it’s true! This one guy even saw me do it!

    Well, maybe it’s just a slow hack day. I’m willing to give ya the benefit of the doubt, especially after that Arduino based touch screen device earlier.

  17. @anon: better then what? a HDD replacement via a commercial bracket? This article is an insult to the hack-a-day spirit. Tell me what was hacked? The fact he had too short of a cable?

  18. I’m not trying to troll, and I know what you mean, Caleb about a wider audience. I get that you guys want to expand your reader base, but seriously, no one gives a crap that some guy learned how to change his hard drive.

    If you continue to post crappy articles like this, you’re going to find that you lost all your loyal readers. I actually bought a hackaday shirt at DEFCON; don’t make me ashamed to wear it.

  19. Here’s an Idea,
    Instead of making the “classic hacks” section, everything that isn’t currently in “classic hacks” should be moved to a category called “non-hacks”, or “beginner’s hacks”.

    I really don’t think changing a hard drive qualifies as a hack, as a news article, or even a noteworthy experience to any of Hack A Day’s loyal readers.

    I suppose I’ll check up on you guys tomorrow so that you can tell me how to install new sneakers for those nifty feet of mine.

  20. Im 16 and i know how to change a hard drive! infact Iv built the computer that Im typing on right now. I think being dumbed down is the last thing that hack a day needs if a 16 year old gets bored reading hacks. I come to hackaday because its unique, not for information about changing a hard drive!

  21. @Caleb Kraft
    “We’ve had the “this is/ is not a hack” argument since long before you started commenting here. We’re done. If you don’t like the post, move on to another.”

    but I dont remember even one comment, like “this is sucks” or “this is not hack” just 2 years ago, why ? coincedence ? aliment of stars and moon ?

  22. I currently modind my receiver and found how to add some SSB support to IC-R5 receiver, after all midterms I think I will submit it, it allow 200$ receiver have features of 600$ one and use only 1 transistor and crystal filter

  23. iMacs themselves are pretty much the aluminum bodied antithesis of hacking, which is kind of supported by the article’s content itself.

    I know what’s being said about providing content for a wider audience, but this is like ‘hacking for people that find changing RAM a challenge.’

  24. Maybe if all you wonderful “hackers” got out and did some hacks on your own instead of looking to inspire yourselves with other people’s work, they would be able to post a “hack a day”.
    Honestly there’s no pleasing you whiners. I’ve been reading this site for years, and I remember when they stuck to the strict rules of hacks only. Which meant that they sometimes wouldn’t even update on a daily basis.

    So how many of you are suggesting hacks??? You all b*tch about how they don’t have any hack articles, but did you bother to look around to see that they accept submissions?

    Complaining won’t make the site any better. If you truly like HAD and want to see it the way that it was take the time you spent b*tching and complaining to look around and make a submission. Otherwise shut up and stop the trolling!

  25. I tore out the guts of my 24″ iMac…and replaced it with an arduino. Now I can make the led blink @ 200 ms intervals AND it all fit into the case with a little modification! It’s truly an uber hack. (It does make it more difficult to post on HAD without an ethernet shield)


  26. @Pouncer: This is a public forum, we have the right to bitch as much as we want especially when it concerns the death of a site many of us loved pre-caleb (which I will refer to as the golden age). You see in the golden age it is true that the site was not updated daily but when it was…. oh glorious day.

    Complaining WILL make the site better if the douches that run it start to listen. You’re probably one of the ones who no matter how hard bush was nailing you was still proclaiming that the american people should support their president (i’m assuming you are american).

    Maybe you are upset because this article was your submission? If so well done.

  27. I have posted true hacks on everything from back in the 70’s-80’s on BBS’s(like how to get free cable tv, how to hack your brick(cell-phone back then), how to hack c/c’s, unlocking different locks, social engineering, wrote pw crackers,website hacks(on different servers) …….. all the way to present today.

    I for one can state being an degreed Electronic Engineer, an original member of ALT2600(since 1980), and having a true love for the arts and sciences can say that anything an Arduino is connected to DOES NOT constitute a hack!!!

    Neither does installing a SSD in a Mac!

    I vote for the website to go back to the “Old Format”

    Quantity does not trump quality!!!!!


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