2009 27" iMac disk repair - worth? Yes, I know...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Giuanniello, May 19, 2017.

  1. Giuanniello macrumors regular

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #1
    Long story short, a friend's 27" iMac HD broke and he asked me to try and back it up, 80% successful, he asked my opinion about fixing it but I won't risk opening such a machine, did it with many others but this is too big and too many screws and delicate items, he won't send it to Apple to change the HD and prefers to buy a new one, I kind of agree with him to a degree, a computer from 2009 will still be an 8 years old machine but...

    ... but in my case I have two MBAir, an 11 and a 13 being my newest and a MBPro 15" from 2011 with 16GB and a multi core i7 cpu, I should update the drive with an SSD since it's my main machine but at this point I am thinking that it might be better to send the iMac to Apple so I can keep it and update it with a 500GB SSD and turn it into my main machine rather than the MacBookPro since a 27" screen would do magics for what I mainly use the computer for which is basic photo editing and where screen space is never enough.

    Question being, I don't remember the iMac characteristics but I seem to remember it was a BTO i7 machine with at least 8GB RAM and 1TB HD, I don't mind going to a 500SSD (about 300 euros to have an Apple support to do it) but to have it faster, is it worth in your opinion?

    Thank you
     
  2. sboychuck macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    #2
    I assume all else is well with it?

    If all it needs is a new hard drive, then by all means, get a new HD (SSD) into it. If you are uncomfortable with opening it up, try and find someone who you trust, if not an Apple Store. I have a couple 27 inch units (2013 and 2015) that at some point I will have to open them up and get rid of the spinning hard drives. I know it is not the easiest thing to do, but with patience and the right tools, it can be done at home. The Apple Stores do it all day long. You just needs the right tools and parts, as well as a steady hand.
     
  3. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #3
    SSD upgrade is by far the most noticeable upgrade you can do. Whether the expense of doing it is worth it is totally up to you.

    Honestly if the HDD has failed and the thing is a paper weight what do you have to lose?

    Just do your research, each iMac is a little different than the next when it comes to installing an SSD in place of a HDD.

    Another thing, if you are going from HDD to SSD I would use any brand name SSD with good warranty. You don't need to get the absolutely best performing SSD at a high premium like the Samsung 850 Pro for example. In real world day to day use it is literally impossible for me to tell the difference between a Samsung 850 Pro, Sandisk SSD Plus, and WD Blue SSD. But according the benchmarks the Samsung "runs circles around" the other two....meh....
     
  4. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #4
    Look at it this way. As a non-goer 27" iMac it is not worth much. Buy an SSD and fit it. That model iMac is pretty easy to work in BUT being a late 2009 model it will need an OWC Heat Sensor Kit to be fitted otherwise the fans will roar. Look at OWEC for SSD also.


    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIDIMACHDD09/
     
  5. Giuanniello thread starter macrumors regular

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #5
    Yes, I read about the heat sensor bit and wouldn't want to open it myself and find out that I miss a part and keep it there open for a month while I get the necessary part; I also read of other people solving with a software which doesn't allow the fans to spin all time because of this issue or of people who shortcut the sensor cables to make so it looks like it's present...
    At this moment I am too busy at thinking of performing such surgery, to buy a 500GB SSD here in Italy is about 150 euro more or less, at the Apple repair center they asked me 300 to do the whole thing, considering I have no time it might be a solution even though way more expensive but if for 300 I can have a fully working 27" screen fitted with 8GB or RAM (I seem to recall so, either 8 or 16 since the ex owner wanted it maxed out) and a quad core i7 to work with LightRoom I'd very happy since the other option would have been to fit a 1TB SSD into my 2011 MBPro to give it new breed but it would still remain a 15" screen to work with rather than 27" which fits a little more ;-)
    I am waiting to hear if 300 includes also the VAT (here they always play with the VAT bit, you accept the estimate and then find out VAT - which is 22% - was not included), if so I might better take it to them to repair and don't spend money and time to get the tools and screws thrown all around working desk (which already has a Core Duo MBPro from my son teared apart for an impossible fix and my sister original MB plastic white dead.. along with my vintage but beautiful Sony CD player ES series to fix... story of my life, fixing things...).

    Thank you all for your suggestions
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    Opening it can be hazardous to the machine's health... ;)

    If your friend wants to keep it going, he could also just plug in an external drive and use that as "an external booter".

    Others who read this are going to come back at this suggestion and say "that's too slow because it's USB2".

    It -will be- slower over USB2, but it might be preferable to opening it and breaking something.
    Personal experience here: I have an -old- 2006 "white" iMac that I still boot and run via an external USB2 hard drive. Yes, the boot time is slower. But once it's running, it's "good enough".

    Suggestion:
    Your friend could get a modest-sized SSD (either a bare drive and external case, or a ready-to-go USB3 SSD), and plug that in and set it up.
    The boot time will still be slower than the internal HDD because of the limitations of USB2, but once running, I predict the performance from the SSD will be at least as good as from an internal HDD, perhaps even "snappier".

    I would also reinitialize the internal HDD. If it checks out, use it for storage.
    If it won't initialize, just leave it unused.
     
  7. Giuanniello thread starter macrumors regular

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #7
    My friend doesn't want to spend money to fix it so that's me, he will buy a new one, I advised to wait for the WWDC to see if Apple is throwing some iMac update, to him it's not worth the pain to spend the 300 it takes to upgrade to SSD and downgrade to 500GB rather than 1TB... not my business, I can keep it and fix that's why I am asking, I am not into external booting etc etc, either it runs or ends in the special garbage bin so I think it's worth 300 given my most recent is a 13" MBAir and most powerful a 2011 15" MBPro with i7 and 16GB so the iMac 27" would come handy because of CPU power and screen size, 500GB is not a lot but I keep my pics archive on an external RAID1 drive and I can make so that 500 fats GB are better than 1 slower TB of a spinning drive.

    On monday I will get to know if the price includes taxes, if so I would go for it

    Thank you
     
  8. sboychuck macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    #8
    I hope it all works out, and getting a new one will be nice. I think the external USB is a good solution as well. I have USB enclosures attached to all my Mac's that I use for extra storage, time machine backups and cloning using CCC. I use HGST NAS 3.5 HD's at 4TB and 7200 rpm's. They are pretty quick. Then use SSD inside the computer with a smaller size to save some money. Having an internal 1TB SSD is nice, but pretty expensive. I chose the 3TB Fusion for my last two 27-inch Mac's and I feel it is a good value for me.
     
  9. Giuanniello thread starter macrumors regular

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #9
    An iMac to me makes only sense if there are the less and less peripherals attached so no external boot; I am quite used to self repairs and I know a 500GB SSD would cost 150 which is half of what the Apple repair asked me to change the drive but I would have no time to work on the machine now and also I'd get a warranty, if something goes wrong on my end whilst attempting the repair I'd be sir*w*d, this way they will be in charge and I know this has a cost which I am ready to afford because if at the end I spend 300-400 euros for a 27" i7 iMac I am quite glad because it would become my main machine which now is the 2011 15" MBPro

    Thank you
     

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