2010 27" IMAC ESATA MOD COMPLETE - Los Angeles

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imacmusic, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. imacmusic macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    After loads of reading, many calls to OWC tech support and driving around town to find the cable with the bracket end, i was finally able to get down to business.

    On a difficulty scale from 1 to 10, I would say this was about a 6. The toughest part is the learning curve / confidence that is required. I watched the OWC video about 20 times in a row and couldn't believe how fast he got in and got out. It took me about 15 minutes to get it apart and about 45 minutes before I got the confidence to pull back on the logic board hard enough to get the sata cable in. After putting everything back together I decided to test my newly acquired skill / confidence and did it again. In and out in about 20 minutes this time. An hour well spent! (vs 10 business days turnaround by OWC $170 plus shipping one way from LA)

    I will be happy to post my instructions (really not different than any others). The only thing I did different was that I ran the cable through the RAM slots so that i did not have to cut into the frame at all. I dont mind running the IMAC without the RAM lid as much as it bothers me to cut into the body.

    While I was in there, I was happy to see how easy it is to navigate inside. The Superdrive should be a simple swap especially if Apple decides to make a BD Superdrive. The Airpot mini PCIe is really easy to replace giving us the ability to add 2 more SATA ports or even better:


    USB 3.0

    It's hard to think that MAC is going to make more changes than this in the next generation. What's nice is that they have given us the connections to upgrade if we want to. Next up is SSD.

    BTW - If you are in the LA area, I'm happy to help.

    Attached Files:

  2. techhead42 macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2010
    Great work! One thing though, if this is so easy for you why doesn't Apple just do it as standard?
  3. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    easy answer , for the same reason there is only 1 firewire 800 , no hdmi out
    so you could run a second display with the minidisplay port and connect to your 60 inch plasma tv with the hdmi port at the same time
    simple to protect the sales of the Mac Pro's , where you just have to add a pci card ...

    i never understood apples consumer mentality to make everything as difficult as it can get ,for the consumer
    beginning with the iMac G5 first generation , it was a fantastic idea to make everything accessible for the user by just turning 3 screws ,open was the iMac and everything in front of you to change , replace
    but that was to easy and people did not go to the apple store to get new harddrives to change from a combo to superdrive ,they did everything on their own and apple lost money
    so they had to find a way to makes things more tricky so only some technically minded people could open a iMac still with the risc of destroying lcd panels or logicboards by making really flimsy connectors and wires

    for the same reason they fitted PCIe graphics cards inside the first intels and soldered them in instead of fitting a PCIe connector so people could not upgrade the graphics card and had to buy a new logicboard later if they wanted the optional ati x1600 with 256mb

    its simply to protect the MacPro , why would you need a Mac Pro for if the iMac would offer the same expandability , the only reason for the Mac Pro would be the possibility to add more harddrives inside .... and that would not justify the price any longer

    thats the only reason why you dont get the ports on the iMac ,but you already get them on the cheapest pc's
    as its certainly not a design question , who would care if some additional ports would be on the other side of the iMac's back
  4. Maila87 macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2010
    Good job! That is what I was looking for. Please can you post any tutorial or video how to lead Sata cable trough RAM doors?
  5. Evo-L macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008

    How would we go about adding 2 more SATA ports? Would they be fast enough to run another HDD through?

    I have a late 09 21.5" iMac, so I dont have the extra SATA port the new 27's do, but I would like to do the SATA port mod to connect my external HDD. The icing on the cake would be not having to give up my superdrive, so if we can do that, its very exciting.
  6. imacmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    Check out Mark's post about taking out the Airport card and replacing it with 2 sata ports. You can also add the USB 3.0 mini pcie card in the airport slot. this works with the 2009 IMAC. I am going back into my system pretty soon to do the SSD swap for the regular drive thats in there now. I am undecided on going usb 3.0 or 2 sata ports out of the mini pcie. What's cool about the mini pcie is that it is hot swappable on either format. the esata mod out of the logic board is not hot swappable.


    Also... threading the cable through the RAM slot is scary but simple. There is a plastic "vent" that i pushed pretty hard to get the cable through. Really it's just mm that you need to force. You have to get the connector through. I wanted this mod to be reversible so this was the best way i came up with.
  7. Maila87 macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2010
    Is possible to take cable trough RAM covers if I will use connector for SuperDrive?
  8. imacmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    YES! But remember that you need a special cable. The superdrive cable is a slimline all in one with power and data attached. Even though you wont need the power side, you need to have the right connector.
  9. Crunch macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2008
    Crazy L.A.
    Yikes...umm...I'm in L.A. :D I totally agree with the part about not wanting to cut into the frame of the iMac as opposed to keeping the RAM slot uncovered. I'd be happy to pay you for your services. I can pay you in parts, SSD's, hard drives, RAM sticks, etc., too, if you prefer. lol That would be too cool.

    Good luck with the rest of your endeavors. I look forward to meeting you. heheh

    EDIT: Oh, by the way, you do know about the temperature sensors that Apple puts on the actual hard drives and other components inside, yes? If you swap out the hard drive, as I understand it, the fan will run at full force the entire time if it is improperly replaced. You probably knew about that already. Just being paranoid. lol
  10. imacmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    You don't have to pay me... I can help you do the work on your own IMAC. Send me a PM and maybe we can connect this week.
  11. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    Nice work!!! It's not that scary once you figure out what you need to do and use some caution.

    One option is just making your own modified memory door rather than leaving the door wide open if you wanted to:
  12. symbology macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2010
    I use one of these as the HD temp probe. Works well. Just cut this connector off and insert the bare wire into the OEM connector and tap things in place. Then, tape the sensor to the HD.

  13. aarons510 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2010
    Can the modified G5 iMac boot off of an eSata drive?

    I presume that the esata connection is an extension of the same circuitry that boots an internal drive, and can therefore be used for a boot drive.

    Is this true?
  14. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    As long as you set the Boot OS up correctly it will boot any OS you want.
  15. takamine macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Great mod! I think I'll do that to mine when I get mine. I'm planning on swapping out the standard 1TB with a 2TB, add in a 120GB OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, and use the 3rd SATA port (usually for the Superdrive) and use that as an external eSATA port.

    I had another idea with regards to the Superdrive, so that it's not redundant. I'm not sure if it'll work, so many you techs out there might know.

    I'm thinking of maybe getting the same cable that we use to connect the SATA connection on the motherboard to the external eSATA, and using the 2nd one to connect to the SATA connection on the Superdrive. So in essence, we'll be having 2 cables hanging out of the bottom of the iMac through the RAM slots.

    When we want to use the Superdrive again, we can get an external eSATA cable and connect both of the cables together so the Superdrive can work again.

    Hope that made sense. Would that be feasible?
  16. Crunch macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2008
    Crazy L.A.
    I would be interested in takamine's question as well...anybody?
  17. johnplacenet macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2011
  18. Ethernaught macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Not really attractive having to constantly see the red sata cable. Like the mount I did on the bottom on the case I did (same as OWC) offers
  19. liveconcertprod macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    imacmusic please contact me

    imacmusic please contact me, I'd like to hire you to mod my 2010 27" iMac for eSata. I'm in Burbank. liveconcertproduction at hotmail dot com. Thanks.

  20. chipete macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    attach the wires where exactly?

    This is fantastic! Do you have any more info on how you did this? I'd like to install a 3-tb hdd and have ordered the temp probe you recommended, but am not sure where to attach the wires. THANKS!!

Share This Page