Thursday, October 11, 2012

Techie (Not Wanna Be) for a Day

Speaking of favorite Apples, I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you about my most recent DIY project...

My iMac, whose hard drive died the same hectic week Princess Artiste got her concussion and my mother-in-law went to be with the Lord, now has a new hard drive and is up and running!  It's okay if you're surprised, because I actually thought there was a better than good chance I'd spend the $130 ordering a new hard drive, only to have it not work for some other tiny, electronic, highly technical reason that I could never hope to understand, let alone diagnose.

The first step was to try to read all the tiny numbers and letters specifying the model and other special designations on the bottom of the foot under the monitor.  This took some interesting maneuvering to heft the awkward beast.  It also required sharper eyesight than I have at this age and time.  
This is pretty much what it looked like to me...
but darker

I tried a flashlight, but that wasn't enough help, and I even tried to take photos, but the display was too small and I obviously couldn't upload the photo to the computer to see it!  Thank goodness for young, healthy, eagle-eyed children on the premises.

With the help of, based on some of those numbers I'd collected, I was able to determine what hard drive to order.  (Of course I paid a little extra for expedited shipping, only to let it sit on the table in its box for a week, while I got the nerve to do this job.)

At that point I followed the iFixit instructions (complete with photos) for getting the hard drive swapped out.  They also had a video on YouTube that, although dealt with another model of iMac, filled in the blanks when questions arose about the written instructions.

It took some crucial, but mostly basic, tools to do the job:

Detached screen with 'suction cup thingies' still holding on
in the background
New hard drive.  More storage and faster, so helping make lemonade out of lemons.

Towel for lying the computer on its back.

Laptop with page open to instructions.

Suction thingies, size large, to remove the screen, which, who knew, attaches to the computer/monitor face by strong magnets.

Torque screw drivers, size tiny and tinier 
(specifically size T8 and T10) for the several small screws that need to be removed and replaced during the process.

We should probably have started with a clean work area.... but we didn't.  Life is like that around here sometimes most of the time.

Vacuum cleaner for sucking out amazing amounts of dust that somehow found it's way into the tight quarters-- probably via the fan system?

Screen cleaner so dust isn't caught between the display and the screen during reassembly, forever aggravating all users.

And the most important...

Intelligent, mechanically-minded teen with keen eyes and knowledge of where torque screw drivers live.

I actually did my share of the work.  My smaller fingers and existence of fingernails came in handy.  Some of the connections were so small!

Hard drive identified at the top of the list.  Phew!

It only took us about a half hour, I think.  Then it was time to turn it on.  

The sign of success was, while trying to install the operating system, that the new hard drive was recognized.  

It wouldn't let me rename it, so it still tells me the startup disk is called "Untitled."  Since that's the extent of the problems I had, I'll deal with it!

Oh, and I want to remind you... Back up your hard drive!  Thanks to my recent external hard drive purchase, due to Prince Stoic's encouragement, I was able to have everything on the new drive just as it was on the old... Only the operating system and a few odd programs had to be updated.  But the rest... my desktop, my photos... everything... all back in place as if nothing had happened.  YAY.

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