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Step-By-Step: Seven-Year-Old Swaps out 2011 iMac HDD for OWC SSD

Although he’s a UX/UI designer by trade, long-time OWC customer Ernest H. describes himself as a tech enthusiast who’s not afraid to dive in and fix or upgrade hardware on his Mac when the situation calls for it.

And in Ernest’s case, it turns out that the Apple tinkerer didn’t fall far from the tree.

Last month, Ernest shared a video on YouTube that he produced featuring his seven-year-old daughter getting in on the Mac upgrade fun with an OWC SSD, NewerTech AdaptaDrive, and help from instructional videos at In the video, his daughter Annabelle uses’s step-by-step instructions to swap out the HDD in their 2011 iMac and replace it with an OWC SSD.

The Rocket Yard recently caught up with Ernest to ask about his daughter’s experience performing the upgrade, when the idea for the upgrade video came about, and how he encourages his daughter’s interests.

Rocket Yard: What initially prompted your daughter to make the upgrade?
Ernest H.: “Anybody with kids will know that they are naturally curious about everything. They also always want to help out or take part. When my iMac HDD failed, and I was searching for fix solutions, she naturally was nosy and asked “what are you doing?” So she became involved at that moment as we looked over the videos of the installation on your site. She asked if she could help with the install. I asked if she felt confident that she could do it and she enthusiastically said “yes”. As a parent, I have always encouraged her to try things outside her comfort zone. So this was another opportunity to test her limits, and also a chance for her to look inside a computer and learn more about what things are like inside the box.”

21_2011imac_kit_HDDflatRY: What were the upgrades your daughter performed and which Mac model was it?
EH: “She performed an SSD upgrade [of the] main HDD with the OWC iMac upgrade kit. It was for a 2011 iMac.”

RY: Describe how the upgrade process went for your daughter.
EH: “Actually the process was very uneventful because everything went very smoothly. In preparation for the upgrade we went to the website to look at the how-to video of what would be involved in the process. After watching the video, we made sure that we have all the tools and items required in the kit and that nothing was missing.

From there it was basically a process of having the iPad on hand to step through the process. The video is definitely what made the process very smooth. It was all clearly described, she had no issues to find where everything was and followed along quite easily.

The only help that I needed provide was some tight screws and helping her move the heavy panel somewhere safe. At first I was afraid the magnets would trick her up but again the suggestion on the video to use tweezers made it a non-issue.”

RY: Had you previously seen a high interest in tech from your daughter? 
EH: “I think her interests are very broad and tech is only one of them. She started to learn to code when she was 5 and has recently started with Swift so she does have an interest in tech but where it will lead is anybody’s guess. My parenting philosophy has always been to not set any limits on her. No age limits, and especially no gender limits.”

RY: How long have you been a customer of OWC and
EH: “I have actually been a customer of OWC for quite a while. As a long time Mac user, I have always bought my RAM upgrades from OWC. This is the first time I have used an OWC drive upgrade for my own computers, but I have helped friends and family upgrade their systems with OWC drive kits.”

For more on how you can get upgrades almost anyone can perform, visit

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  • Of course, a 7 year-old iMac will be facing inevitable hardware failures as the other components continue to age past their expected lifespan.

  • What a great way to empower your child!

    Smaller fingers would be a great help to disconnect and reconnect some of the cables in a 2011 iMac!

    I upgraded my mid-2011 iMac using OWC tools, kits, drives, and videos over a year ago, replacing the HDD and adding an SSD.
    (My child is 26, and no grandkids yet.)