2012 iMac internal drive questions

thestickman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 21, 2010
203
8
Jacksonville, FL
A 2012 21.5" i7 iMac was delivered here yesterday. I had planned on using external SSD's & HDD's for the pro-audio work I do. I had also planned on using the 5400 internal drive for storage & a 2nd boot drive if needed.

When you turn the machine on no hard drive shows up. It doesn't show up in disk utility. It doesn't show up in system info. It's as if this computer was built without a hard drive at all. If I boot up into system recovery no internal drive is shown.

Is this what happens when a hdd craps out? Does all trace of their existence on the machine disappear?

The machine will boot to my external system USB3 ssd, thankfully. It runs so much better than my old 2009>2010 Mac Pro did. I got an RMA number for it but for what I paid, there's nothing I can find comparable. So I'm thinking of keeping it. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
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I have an old 12 with a fusion that lost the HDD part altogether and now only has the 1xxgb ssd. I think I'd go with a USB3 external SSD which are not that expensive and you would get pretty good speed. Maybe a TB external would be a little faster but I think the 12 is TB1 and TB ext drives are going to be more expensive. Don't bother with any mechanical drives other than for backups. Too slow.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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I've been booting and running my late-2012 Mini from an SSD in a USB3/SATA docking station for almost 5 years now -- still runs great, as fast as when I first turned it on.

For audio production, I see no problems at all booting/running from an external SSD.

Does the iMac show any evidence that it has been opened?
I find it hard to believe that there's no drive inside.
You might try using terminal commands to "poke around" and see what it shows for installed drives.
 
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thestickman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 21, 2010
203
8
Jacksonville, FL
I've been booting and running my late-2012 Mini from an SSD in a USB3/SATA docking station for almost 5 years now -- still runs great, as fast as when I first turned it on.

For audio production, I see no problems at all booting/running from an external SSD.

Does the iMac show any evidence that it has been opened?
I find it hard to believe that there's no drive inside.
You might try using terminal commands to "poke around" and see what it shows for installed drives.
I've seen no signs this iMac has been opened. The seller assures me the hard drive was present & working the day it was shipped & I have no good reason to doubt them. I figured UPS dropped it & the drive became disconnected.

If I knew what those terminal commands were I would certainly want to "poke around" :)

I worked with it all day on a project & the machine operated flawlessly.

In time I will order the kit from OWC and open this thing up to install a internal ssd.