Introduction

iMac not reading disks anymore? Use this guide to replace your optical drive.

Lay the iMac display-side down on a flat surface.
  • Lay the iMac display-side down on a flat surface.

  • Loosen the three Phillips screws securing the rear panel to the iMac.

  • These screws are captive in the iMac. The center screw will stop turning after about 3.5 turns and the outer screws will stop turning after about 5.5 turns. Do not try to remove these screws from your iMac.

My iMac has only ONE catch, the central one, so the two outer screws are not to be touched.

In fact, I tried so hard to unscrew them, with a good screwdriver, that my hand hurt. Knowing that some times captive things (like these screws or a faucet) can be already at the end of their travel and we only lock them further into that position, I tried both screwing and unscrewing to no avail.

paulfrancoeur - Réponse

That chick MJ is sexy!!!!!

djmadcracker - Réponse

Looks like one of these screws is not like the others... a security Philips?! Never seen one of those before.

Terry Mullane - Réponse

Please Note: If your iMac has an antenna for the airport extreme and not the bluetooth card. Don't buy the bluetooth get the airport extreme instead. Also, some newer devices may not work with these units.

James Janota - Réponse

Just want to say thank you to ifixit! You guys are amazing and so helpful! This was so easy to do and I ordered the part I needed as well! We are up and running over here and my 7 year old son could not be any happier! Thank you!

mary nicolazzo - Réponse

Lift the rear panel slightly from the bottom edge of the iMac.
  • Lift the rear panel slightly from the bottom edge of the iMac.

  • Pull the rear panel toward yourself and remove it from the iMac.

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  • Remove the three 8 mm brass Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the midplane.

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  • Lift the optical drive near the connector to separate it from the logic board.

  • Lift the free end of the optical drive just enough to clear the fan cover. Lifting the free end of the optical drive too far may break the plastic positioning pins off the front bezel.

  • Lift the free end of the optical drive slightly, then pull it away from the edge of the rear case to clear the two plastic positioning pins.

  • Lift the optical drive out of your iMac.

  • When reinstalling your optical drive it may be necessary to set the bezel attached to the open end of the drive on the plastic positioning pins molded into the front bezel of the iMac and pull the connector side of the drive toward the edge of the rear case, bending it outward slightly, to properly seat the connector.

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  • Remove the two 3.7 mm T6 Torx screws securing the optical drive connector board to the optical drive.

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  • Working from alternating sides of the board, use the flat end of a spudger to separate the optical drive connector board from the optical drive.

  • The socket in the optical drive is particularly deep, so don't pry the connector up too far from one side to avoid shearing the connector off the board.

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  • Remove the optical drive connector board.

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  • Remove the two 4.5 mm shouldered T6 Torx screws from each side of the optical drive (four screws total).

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  • Insert a spudger into the gap between the optical drive and its cage near the optical drive connector.

  • Pry the optical drive away from the vibration isolating material along the inside of the cage.

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  • Pull the optical drive away from the cage by its open side.

  • It may be necessary to wiggle the optical drive as you pull it away from the cage to free it from the vibration isolating material.

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  • Use the tip of a spudger to push the two plastic bezel tabs away from their retaining slots on the top of the optical drive.

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  • Use the pointed end of a spudger to depress and release the bezel retaining tab on the side of the optical drive.

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  • If necessary, use the pointed tip of a spudger to release the two plastic bezel tabs from their slots on the bottom of the optical drive.

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  • Remove the plastic bezel from the optical drive.

  • If you have a disk or anything else stuck inside your optical drive, we have a guide to fix it.

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Conclusion

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

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