Many people would love to take apart their computers to see the internal components if only it wouldn't jeopardize the system's warranty and potentially break it. This is not only interesting, it's also quite useful for instances where you need to re-seat a loose system component or replace it. To satisfy these curiosities, various sites such as iFixIt and PowerBookMedic have extensive take-apart guides with pictures and video.
The newly released 27" iMac has made its way over to the folks at iFixit, where they show the full internals of the new systems and some information and comparison with older models on how to access components such as the RAM, hard drive, DVD drive, motherboard, and the display.
The full teardown for the 27" iMac is available here, and the new Magic Mouse has been gutted here, but there are a number of other Mac models you can check out as well, including iPods, Unibody MacBooks, and Mac Minis. While originally focusing on Macs and Apple hardware, the iFixit team also has featured other devices such as playstations, X-Boxes, Palm and Dell products, and even a Starbucks Barista brewstation that have been disassembled.
If you are considering a personal repair or a teardown of your computer, there are a couple of recommendations we urge you to consider before you start off.
Your warranty will be void!
If your computer is under warranty, take it to an authorized Apple repair center for service. Taking it apart will void the warranty, so if you damage your system while taking it apart, you will be out of luck.
Have the proper tools
Many people have tried taking apart their computers without having the proper tools. A good set of tools will cost around $25 and will consist of a couple of well-fitting and sharp screwdrivers (common sizes are #0, and #00 phillips, torx, and flathead). If you use dull or stripped tools you can easily damage screw heads or slip and crack or tear delicate components.
Follow the instructions for your exact model
Many times subtle changes in the way your Mac is put together are not apparent, even between similar models such as the 15" and 17" Unibody MacBook Pros. Be sure to research exactly what needs to be done for your computer before continuing.
Nothing is guaranteed
While these teardown guides are there for your benefit, they are not guaranteed to work. Sometimes the techniques shown take skill and patience that when not observed can result in bent or broken parts that will not easily reassemble.
Despite these precautions, if you have a system that is out of warranty and is broken, and you're up for the challenge of repairing it, then these guides can be exceptionally useful and fun.
(Icon credit: iFixit)