The iMac arrived in a box, a really heavy box. It's easy to forget how heavy these CRT-based computers were. Remember how heavy the keyboard from the iMac is? Well the iMac itself is rated at 34.7 lbs. That's equivalent to more than 6 MacBook Pro Retina 15 computers!
I booted up the machine to make sure it worked, and it did, but the old hard drive (13 years old!) is struggling. So, time to install the new hardware.
So far, so good. I want to pause here to say that I have never worked inside an Apple computer of this vintage. However, I spent a lot of time working inside PCs during this time period. Working on the iMac is amazing. The machine is just as beautiful inside as outside. The parts all fit together beautifully. I was expecting to have to blow a lot of dust out, but as you can see, it looks new and clean. The next step was to remove the old Hard Drive and to install the SSD.
A major challenge at this point was installing the laptop-to-desktop data/power adapter. For those that remember, IDE cables can usually be installed in two directions, but only work with a specific pin alignment. Sometimes there are missing pins to help. Sometimes there are grooves to help. In this case I had to look at the old hard drive and wing it. But I got everything right on the first try.
The SSD assembly went right in. All of the cables aligned and fit. The iMac uses custom cables that are just long enough to fit. This is different than PCs of that era, that frequently had lots of extra inches of IDE and power cables all over the place. It was undoubtedly more expensive to use custome cables, but it probably allowed for easier manufactre, and definitely helped with airflow.
So now it's time to put everything back together. On the way out, I install extra RAM (to bring th total to 1GB), install the airport card, and install a new PRAM battery.
Time to button things up and flip the machine over. Now we connect the power cable, kebyoard, and mouse. Will it work? To be continued...