Imac 27" 2011, replace HDD for SSD is no problem!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JeroenDebruyne, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. JeroenDebruyne, Jul 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2011

    Today I bought my iMac 27" 6970M 1TB,

    I wanted to replace the 1TB version with an SSD because I have a NAS for storage use.

    It also makes the system almost completely silent, all I can hear now is a soft woosh coming from the bottom case fan.

    For now I can only recommend the OCZ Vertex 3 128GB, it was the only SSD avail that didnt have any problems ramping up the HDD fan till its maximum. The only problem I saw so far is that the imac is not showing the correct temperature for the SSD (128°). Though the fan does its job and hovers between 1000RPM and 1100 RPM.

    I also tested a Crucial 256GB wich is an older drive, here I did encounter the fan speed problem (directly after power on the HDD fan goes to 6000RPM). I think it has something to do with the SMART feature on HDD's but still have to test more... since the crucial should have it aswell

    When I have the time I will test more SSD's & 2TB drives to see if the HDD fan ramps up with diffrent brands & versions.

    Also intresting is that I found an easy way for not having any dust leftovers when replacing back the screen after the upgrade!

    Its pretty easy to do the replacement aswell with some prepping before :

    1) Take of the glass ( I put some screencover over both the glass and the screen so it doesnt gets dusty and I put the glass somewhere safe )

    2) Remove the 8 screws (2X4 located on left & right sides)

    3) Lift the screen up slightly with a screwdriver on each side

    4) Detach the cable on the right side

    5) Lift the screen up a little more and put something between the screen and the chassis so you don't have to remove the entire screen

    6) you can now safely remove the HDD and replace it

    I will post some pictures,guide and more info soon for those who want it.


  2. macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2011
    Have you done any more tests with other drives??
  3. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Thanks a lot mate :)
    That's exactly what I'm going to do with mine.
    Glad to hear that there are no problems with the Vertex 3 :)

    Any regrets that you took the 120GB Version instead of the 240GB Version...
  4. macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Jun 18, 2011
    London, UK
    Did you do a Apple hardware test?

    I replaced the stock hard drive with Crucial C300 SSD and got 4SNS/1/40000000:TH00-9.592 error in the hardware test.

    My hard drive fan is now spinning around 1500rpm constantly and I lost the ability to change the speed. Still not big deal consider the saving over Apple BTO for ssd option.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    Does this void the warranty? I'd rather do this than pay a stupid $500 to Apple
  6. macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2011
    You used the cables that were connected to the hdd to connect the ssd, right??
  7. Yury, Jul 17, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2011
    JeroenDebruyne, thanks for your info. Can't wait for a full guide & photos.

    Folks, anyone who did an upgrade HDD to Vertex 3 in new iMacs: could you confirm that there is no issues with a fan speed?

    thx u in advance
  8. macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010
    Yes, unless it's done by an official repair shop. The hard drive is not deemed user-replaceable. In fact, the only thing that doesn't void the warranty on an iMac is RAM.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Apr 4, 2007
    los angeles
    No it doesn't. Where does it say it voids your warranty?
  10. macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
  11. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    It doesn't, except of course that damage while replacing the hard drive isn't covered, and if the replacement causes damage as a consequence. Let's say there is a fan that was disconnected during the replacement and you didn't reconnect it, that would be your problem.
  12. JeroenDebruyne, Jul 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2011
    I did have some time to test more hard drives not SSD, the WD 2TB black worked just fine. Also the hardware test did not fail with the drives ive been testing.

    So far aslong as the drive has SMART your fan should not ramp up... but I will test some older drives this week, I should get the new intel drives in stock soon aswell so I can test them aswell.

    Im sorry that I haven't posted the guide and pics yet but I will really soon, have been really busy at work atm...

    For the warranty, just save your old hard drive ... nothing apple can do about it if you replace it again before you take it in for warranty...

    @Yuri : you will be safe with the Vertex 3 I can promise you that, no other cables needed if you replace the iMac's HDD.

    @Nochnia No regret taking the 128GB, its more then enough for my OS+programs and some games, I guess if you have alot of games a 256GB would be better...
  13. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    But what about the original cable? Is the standard cable already SATA III ? I thought for the Vertex 3 you need a SATA III cable?

    And is there no need for a 3,5" to 2,5" SATA Adapter?
  14. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Can JeroenDebruyne/anyone help me with this here please.
    I don't know which sata adapter I need for the ssd...
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2011
    If you are replacing the original hard drive with an SSD you do not need to change the cable for SATA3.

    If you buy the vertex 3, you will get a 2.5" adapter that you can use even in the iMac.

    Sorry for the delay on the pics, so much work so less time :(
  16. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Thanks man. Some Pictures would be awesome... I'm really a little bit nervous opening this expensive machine...
  17. macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    of course, if something happens to your computer, you can put it back the way it was and not worry about the warranty issues.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2011
  19. macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    Very interested in seeing some pictures... I'm thinking about selling my 2008 Mac Pro and getting an iMac or MacBook Pro. What's really hurting the iMac for me is that I can't install (or thought I couldn't) my own SSD for the OS.
  20. macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2011
    So you don't have to buy a specific SATA III adapter for iMac 2011 like it was written in some other websites ?
  21. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2011
    First off all SATA2 or SATA3 cable stuff is a gimmick and also a commercial thing.

    You can perfectly add an SSD to the imac without changing the cable that already is attached to the 3.5" HDD.

    If you would add an SSD and keep your 1TB HDD then I suggest you get a new cable SATA3, but an SATA2 cable would just the same.
  22. macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
  23. Yury, Sep 30, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2011
    Hey man, place some photos here please. We're waiting so long... :confused:
    I'm stuck thinking to buy or not vertex 3 120 to replace loudly HDD, but scare of fun issues.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2011
    I have done the same as JeroenDebruyne, and I confirm it works. I've also used the Vertex 3, and I used the Sata cable from the old HDD (As JeroenDebruyne said, there is absolutely no difference between SATA 2 & SATA 3 cables physicaly, other then the standard for SATA3 HAS to have a clip to lock it (which the standard one in the iMac has anyway))

    I'm sorry but i haven't taken pictures, and i'm not taking it appart again to take some pictures ... take my word for it, its not very hard if you know what you are doing.

    Thank you JeroenDebruyne for "being the canary in the mine" :)

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