08 February 2014

Upgrading iMac & Having Panda Express

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We did such a cool thing today, that is, open the iMac and upgrade its hard drive. Before doing this construction, we went to Costco to get some groceries. After that, I asked if I can buy some food at the Americanized-Chinese restaurant which is right next to Costco for lunch. This chain restaurant is called Panda Express, it is kinda like a "fast food" version of Chinese food, today was my first time trying it. Some people always say that Americanized-Chinese food are nasty, but I found it is actually pretty good! But all workers in the restaurant are not Asian, which is pretty interesting, isn't it a Chinese restaurant? I ordered a plate of chow mein with Beijing beef and black pepper chicken entries, all of them taste fantastic, it is even more delicious than the real Chinese food! Why was that? I guess is because most of the entries are either spicy or really sweet, but anyway, I love it! Maybe I should learn to make some Americanized-Chinese food instead of real Chinese food so I could feed myself...haha

The process of upgrading iMac was a good opportunity for kids to learn about computer hardware.

By the way, we also tried another Asian restaurant called PEI WEI the other day when watching Super Bowl football game (probably last weekend). Their foods are also Americanized, I ordered Thai Green Curry, it tastes really good as well!

Panda Express!

Their menu is just like the one in McDonald, you can't tell it's a Chinese food restaurant!


It says Beijing beef on the menu, but I think it's actually called Sweet and sour pork chops...

We were having Asian food the other day.

Okay, now return to the topic... Since our 2009-version iMac was running really slow and leggy, we installed an additional 8 GB ram on the original 4 GB ram a week ago to speed it up. Unfortunately, although it has triple memory now, it still runs slowly, so we decided to re-install the whole operating system on a brand new 480 GB solid-state drive. Yes, not only the latest version of OS - Mac OS X Mavericks, but on a huge solid-state drive! It will absolutely speed up the computer!

Installing additional 8 GB ram.

Jason, boys, Elisa and me did this together, so I could help, and they could learn some new things about computer hardware. I was pretty excited before opening it because this would be my first time opening a Mac, or let's say, opening a computer!  Since this is an iMac, a device that is neither laptop nor personal computer, the process opening and upgrading it are pretty special. We prepared everything we need, and started with opening the screen LCD glass. Jason used a sucker to pull off the glass, it was actually a pretty easy job, no screwdriver needed. Then we pulled up the actual LCD screen by loosing the screws around it, and disconnected the cable between the screen and motherboards. The LCD screen was made by LG, it clearly shows "LG Display" on the back of the screen.

I was such amazed when looking at all different parts of computer fitted in a tiny iMac. How did Apple make that possible? A high-performance computer with only monitor... We then unscrew the hard drive and put the new 480 GB solid-state drive in, it was so unbelievable that the original hard drive is about 3 times bigger than the new SSD drive, but they have the same amount of space! After installing the new hard drive, we barely vacuumed inside the iMac since it was really dirty and full of dust. This process will not make computer runs faster, but it can cool down the temperature of CPU a little bit. We than putted the LCD screen back, cleaned the screen glass, and putted the glass back also.

Cleaning the screen.

The new 480 GB solid-state drive.

The LCD screen glass

iMac without glass protection.

Unscrewing the screws around the screen.

The whole work actually takes a bit longer with Elisa around... Haha

"See, so this is called..." "Oh, what's that for?"

The display.

Sorry, the display was made by Lucky-Goldstar, LG.

Hell yeah!


The new SSD (bag) compared to the original HDD. The SSD is much smaller.

Finally, all works are done. It's time to test if it can recognize the new hard drive. When we first power it on and boot into the Mac installing USB, it did not shows the new hard drive for us to install. Both Jason and I was shocked, WHAT HAPPENED?? Fortunately, we found out that it actually did recognized it, just because the hard drive was brand new and hasn't been formatted, so it did not shows up at the first time. After the new Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks successfully installed, another problem occurred, the fan was always running in full speed, which is not a good thing because it was really loud and noisy. After some minutes, Jason solved the problem. It was because the iMac cannot read new hard drive's temperature information, so we have to download an app to adjust it manually.

Installing! Hell yeah!!

The Macintosh bootable install drive.

After all the works, now we got a faster computer with new version of operating system! Brennan can now play Minecraft smoothly with daddy's Plex media server and HandBrake, Ethan's Word, and mommy's Mail running in background! I also learned something new today! What a special afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. Hope you can upgrade our iMAC when you come back.~ http://smileyswelove.com/122/ ~