The day my iMac harddisk died

I knew the harddisk on my iMac is dying soon. After all, I had the iMac for 5 years already. But I wasn’t expecting it to die suddenly without any warning. I was expecting the iMac to go cranky for a few days before the harddisk die. But no. It just died suddenly out of the blue while I’m watching YouTube.

Luckily I always have Time Machine on. So my data are safe.
I could send my iMac to a Apple Care Centre for repair. Or just throw my iMac away since it is already 5 years old. But I decided to be slightly more adventurous by replacing the harddisk myself. It shouldn’t be that hard since I’ve assembled my own PC in the past. Besides, the process is well documented on iFixit website. They even have a YouTube video on this.

So I went to Sim Lim Square to buy a new Harddisk. Luckily the prices of Harddisk has gone down significantly after the Thailand flood. I also didn’t get the largest harddisk available. I figured that 1TB should be good enough for a 5 years old iMac. Besides, the old Harddisk was just 320GB.
So I got a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black harddisk at S$133. Pretty good price I guess.
Opening the iMac is surprisingly easy. I bought 2 suction cup to lift the glass panel which was attached to the iMac body using magnet. There are quite a number of screws to unscrew before I can remove the iMac casing. Then come the tricky part.

The harddisk is located behind the LCD panel. So in order to replace the Harddisk, I need to disconnect a few cables and lift the LCD panel up. After replacing the harddisk, I just need to put everything back. Need to be extra careful not to touch the LCD panel or glass panel and leave my fingerprints behind.

The entire process took me less than 1 hour.
Apple made it very easy to reinstall Mac OS on their machine. Just pop the Mac OS CD into the drive and boot up. By the way, you need to run disk utilities to format the new harddisk first before you can install Mac OS. After installing Mac OS, I restore the system using Time Machine. Restoring from Time Machine took more than 4 hours. But after that, everything is back to what it used to be.
It’s like the harddisk didn’t crash at all.
And since I was replacing my harddisk, I also took the opportunity to upgrade my RAM from 2GB to 4GB. Now my 5 years old iMac feels snappy.


  1. I wonder why Apple make it’s product a tedious task to replace things?
    To replace battery for ipod is literally a pain in the ass. Battery for iphone can’t be replaced. And now I hear the hard disk is on the other side…behind the LCD panel…I am thinking…did apple liberatelly make things difficult? So people need to go to them for replacement? So people will rather throw and get a new set?
    Not a fan of how apple do their business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *