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Finally got the two eMacs (1.25 gHz) I ordered in. Had to wait for one to have teh BT module installed.

I had figured that I would swap the 80 gig HD for something bigger adn so picked up a 200 gb WD Caviar (along w/ some RAM, PC3200 since they didn't have any 2700, works fine incidentally) on the way home. I figured I've swapped an HD in an iMac (the 400DV model) so the eMac should be a cinch. Yikes was I in for a surprise.

Unlike the iMac there just don't seem to be any recent take-apart guides out there, found some blurry pics on a Japanese site and a guide to swapping the optical drive (which is only half of this job and done on an older eMac, apparently the internals have changed somewhat in the more recent models).

Bottomline is that the HD is buried with a capital "B". In short you've got to pull the case (easy - you need an Allen key, same size as the one for mounting the tilt and swivel stand - and you also need to d/c the cable to the power button, one of 6 cables that have to be disconnected as part of this), remove the bottom RF shield (easy - as with all subsequent screws you need a #2 Philips), mobilize the fan assembly ( a bit more involved, 2nd cable has to be d/c'd here), this allows you access to the mobo cage (which contains the HD on the inside - requires 4 cables to d/c, three of them audio to the R speaker).

This is more of a challenge to take down and even more of a challenge to put back together since you've got the video connector plug fixed right into the middle of the mobo which you have to feather back into the base of teh video panel while you're also trying to line up all the screw holes and tabs on teh shielding.

Once you get this exposed then the HD is sitting there pretty as you please but b/c it's monted at an angle to the mobo, you need some sort of short right angle screw driver to loosen the two screws on that side. I found the power and IDE cables to be quite firmly seated, required a sphincter clenching amount of force to dislodge.

My wife came in at this point and stated matter of factly that she'd "kiss my a$$" if the thing worked when I finally got it back together (more on this later ... well maybe not).

So countless hours, one trip to Home Depot for #2 bits that would fit in my short ratchet and a gouged finger later (you'd be surprised how deeply a Philips can penetrate) had teh machine back together and powered up w/ 186 and change GB of addressable HD space.

Bottomline, thank God I bought a 200 gig drive and not the 160 I had planned b/c this was nowhere near worth it compared to ordering it with a stock 160. 'Course now in addition to the big internal drive I also have an 80 ext. FW drive for back up but this mod is way too much of a hassle.

I certainly have much more respect now for the shop techs who have to have to wade into that mess for HD upgrades, that's fer sher (phew).
 

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A picture of the gouged finger will do. ;)

Any audio to go with the pics?


Sounds like a job... for someone else to do. Glad it worked out for you.
 

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Just for future reference, you can find a huge (8.5 MB) technical manual for the eMac (and much else as well) at:

http://home.earthlink.net/~strahm_s/manuals.html

Incidentally, the optical drive is extremely easy to replace. I put a Pioneer DVR-107D 8X DVD burner with black case (same as the SuperDrive in a G5 - cost ~$200 at my friendly PC shop) into my e-Mac in about 20 minutes - a lot of that was spent removing and replacing the tilt stand. No real "gotchas" at all, except be really careful to detach the power button cable when removing the shell - it looks delicate.

Cheers :-> Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How about a picture of your wife kissing your....
Hmm, still haven't managed to collect on that ... nor arrange any mutually acceptable substitutions
.

I put a Pioneer DVR-107D 8X DVD burner with black case (same as the SuperDrive in a G5 ...
... same as the one in my eMac


Just for future reference, you can find a huge (8.5 MB) technical manual for the eMac (and much else as well) at:

http://home.earthlink.net/~strahm_s/manuals.html
That's a _very_ useful archive. Unfortunately there's a bit of a lag for new models, no eMac (USB 2.0) manual yet. The take apart guide for the ATI graphics models looks pretty similar though, wish I had come here to ask first.

On the whole I just can't say how impressed I am with this machine for the money. It runs Garageband, Photoshop etc. at very very acceptable speeds (the gig of RAM probably helps in this department).

I also did not appreciate what a nice piece of engineering the stand is. Given the design and material quality, $90 is not a bad price for it.

People have asked about the display quality. I would describe it as a very good display. Perfectly acceptable for X at max res. @ 72 Hz I can detect a bit of flicker but this is quite variable from person to person.

As to screen "wobble" I've made an interesting observation. I have two of them here at the moment (one that I swapped the HD which is for my family and one for my neice). I did not look for the "wobble" until after I had done the HD mod. At that point the mod'd machine had some wobble and the unmod'd one did not. "Uh oh", I thought, I must've screwed up putting back the RF shield of the fan assembly.

Not so fast, the difference turned out to be the AC plug I was using. Either machine would get a bit of wobble if plugged into the overloaded, cheap power bar in my kitchen (get a bit of a blip when the dryer comes on downstairs on this plug as well). On an unencumbered grounded plug there is absolutely no wobble on either machine. Unfortunately I've got to hook it up to that problem plug. Not sure what solution there is for this ... a better power bar? ... I don't think that playing with my breakers downstairs is likely to help.

Any suggestions?
 

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Not so fast, the difference turned out to be the AC plug I was using. Either machine would get a bit of wobble if plugged into the overloaded, cheap power bar in my kitchen (get a bit of a blip when the dryer comes on downstairs on this plug as well). On an unencumbered grounded plug there is absolutely no wobble on either machine. Unfortunately I've got to hook it up to that problem plug. Not sure what solution there is for this ... a better power bar? ... I don't think that playing with my breakers downstairs is likely to help.

Any suggestions?
You could get a UPS with a battery. They're good for more than just protecting against blackouts - they also feed the computer clean power while charging the battery with whatever's going.

Cheers :-> Bill
 

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Nothing spectacular - no personal experience, since the power here is OK. I've seen some deals at Future Shop and London Drugs, but not good enough to tempt me to buy. The big brand name is APC - that I know.

Cheers :-> Bill
 
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