24" Mid-2007 iMac 250GB SSD Upgrade
- 01 Feb, 2022
This 24” Mid-2007 iMac was primarily used in a large workshop for general use, ordering parts and managing documents. Being in this dusty environment over the years has began to take its toll on the machine! The screen quality has visibly deteriorated, as large spots of dust have formed underneath the screen, creating unsightly dark patches. The sound of the fans is much more noticeable, due to a build up of dust within and the machine is running warmer than it should! The iMac no longer holds the date and time, causing frustration when trying to browse the internet. Pair all this with it running slowly and being generally unresponsive sparks the thought of getting a new machine!
But what if this could all be resolved, and the machine improved?
The Upgrade Plan
This iMac is fitted with a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD). HDDs are generally slow and unreliable, as they use moving parts. These moving parts will wear out over their years of use, then they begin to slow down, causing long loading times and unresponsiveness before failing completely. Whilst arguably, it’s nice to have enough time to make a cup of tea before your computer loads up, it can make that 1 minute job take 10x as long!
To rectify this, I will be fitting a much faster solid state drive (SSD) SSDs, unlike HDDs, use no moving parts and have several benefits over HDDs which include:
Runs up to 5x faster
Uses less power
With an SSD fitted, these older machines become unrecognisable! Load times are dramatically improved and the responsiveness feels razor sharp.
This iMac is already fitted with the maximum amount of RAM it supports, being 4GB. 4GB will be fine for its intended basic use!
When the iMac is open, it will be given a thorough clean, clearing out all that built up dust within its fans and heatsinks. This will help it run cool and quietly!
The Upgrade Process
To get to the components within, the iMac will need to be opened up. First the glass is removed. After removing this, there was a noticeable amount of dust scattered across the backside of the glass.
Once cleaned, the aluminium casing can be removed. The iMac appears to have had previous work done as the screws for the casing weren’t in their correct places!
Once removed this was also cleaned as it was very dusty!
Next, the screen can be removed. There is then more evidence of this having previous work as the screen is missing multiple screws! This is finally confirmed when the screen is removed, as what looks like packaging tape has been used to secure a temperature sensor to the hard drive, along with a date written on the inside of the iMac!
With access to the components within, the iMac can now be upgraded. First, the hard drive is removed.
After removing the hard drive, the fans and heatsinks are now cleaned out of all the built up dust. This will have the machine running cooler and quieter!
With the fans and heatsinks thoroughly cleaned, the PRAM battery is replaced. With this replaced, the machine will now hold its set date and time!
Next, the SSD can be fitted. The SSD uses a smaller form factor than the originally fitted HDD. This SSD is the size of a hard drive commonly found in a laptop, so it will need to be fitted to a bracket with the form factor of the original HDD to fit in the iMac.
With the SSD fitted, along with the temperature sensor cable for the drive, the screen can be test fitted and an operating system can be installed. This iMac can support 10.11 El Capitan as its latest OS. Although it is not the very latest OS available, there are still many useful applications that can be used on this iMac! So it can still do all that will be expected of it.
It doesn’t look like it was just the dust on the glass causing the dark patches on the screen, as these are still present without the front glass on. Dust has actually got caught within the screen itself! Fortunately we had one spare screen available which will be fitted instead when fully reassembled!
The SSD is picking up and now the installation can begin!
Now that the OS is installed, the iMac is tested and any OS updates are ran before it is fully reassembled!
With everything testing OK and the iMac brought as up to date as it can be, it can now be put back together!
The missing screws for the screen are fitted and the screws for the aluminium casing are put in their correct places! Luckily, no issues were caused from longer screws being screwed into where a shorter screw should be!
The iMac is now all back together and is ready to go!
A free Microsoft Office equivalent, LibreOffice is installed so any documents can be viewed and edited right away! This handy piece of software will work with any existing Microsoft Office document types, whilst looking familiar!
Below can be seen the speed difference for the iMac!
First is a speed test ran on the original hard drive compared to the newly fitted SSD:
Next is a comparison in startup times:
This iMac, once on its last legs, has now been brought up to speed! Despite now being 15 years old, this iMac now has many more years left to give, all whilst running faster than it ever has!
Fitting an SSD is a sure fire way to revive a slow and older machine, transforming it into something useful and reliable again!
If you would like to know more about our iMac SSD upgrades, you can find more information here, as they do not just benefit these older machines!