21.5" 2011 Hard Drive Swap to SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by simonsi, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #1
    Followed the iFixit guide but didn't need to remove the LCD, it angles up plenty enough to remove the HDD, SSD back in inside 30mins start to finish and only a single T10 torx driver needed.

    Very pleased with the performance :)
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    Nice, but looking at that guide, for the 2011 model and knowing how much harder the 2015 would be and all I can say is you're a braver soul then me :D

    I'm rocking with an external SSD right now, only because of how I have my computer configured. I'm running with Windows more then OS X and need the SSD performance that the Fusion+Bootcamp combination cannot provide.
     
  3. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

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    #3
    Mike,

    Tell us about your new external SSD. What is it, what are your read right speeds. TB2 or USB3.0?
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    I got the Samsung T3 - USB3, as from my research TB was not faster then USB3.0. I'll post what I saw in BlackMagic but I'm in windows right now, so I don't have access to my HFS+ partition but I do think its very fast.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    Here's the diskspeed test as promised
    DiskSpeedTest_SamsungT3.png
     
  6. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

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    #6
  7. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #7
    How did you end up configuring that Mike? Did you put Windows on the internal un-fused SSD, or on the external SSD with your OS X on the Fusion drive, or separate?
     
  8. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #8
    I keep hearing people on MR saying how hard it is to upgrade a HDD to a SSD in the new iMac (Slim Unibody iMac).

    The display on the new iMac is held by double-sided tape. To remove and reinstall the display requires cutting the tape and then later reapplying the tape.

    As someone who have perform these upgrades, I can say that it is not difficult at all. In fact, "tedious" would be the more appropriate word.


     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    Because Windows does not like installing on a usb drive (though there are work arounds), i opted to defuse my Fusion drive. So I have my internal SSD completely setup for windows, I have 1TB of the spinning drive for my images, dropbox and OneDrive.

    On the mac side, I have a 500GB external SSD that holds everything (sans images). I have the other terebyte of the spinning drive dedicated to OS X.

    I'm liking this arrangement, I tried defusing my drive, but found with OS X on the small 128GB SSD, I had to symlink much of my home folder contents. Now, I have no symlinks and most of my data is on a ssd. My images which take up most of my space is on the spinning drive.

    I'm thinking of getting MacDrive (or Paragon's HFS) so my windows environment can access the HFS+ partition
    --- Post Merged, Aug 18, 2016 ---
    yes, I'm aquatinted with the videos, but the fact remains there is risk, Unfortunately the OP is a prime example of what could go wrong. I'm not getting down on him, because it sucks. The fact remains Apple designed the computer in such a way to ensure that upgrading the internals is not considered a user replaceable component and you risk voiding the warranty.

    I don't think we really need to rehash this argument in this thread, because we've beaten this horse to death. You have your opinion and respect that, and I have mine.
     
  10. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #10
    As with many things in life, there are risks. What if after you install new brake pads, you didn't secure the lug nuts properly while putting on the wheels and then one of your wheels fell off while going down the highway?

    Removing and reattaching the display is relatively low risk.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    I wouldn't work on my brakes because its not something I normally do and touching my brakes in that way represents a very risky proposition.

    This is where we disagree, I consider the risk unacceptable.
     
  12. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Okay, here's another example.

    What if you are installing a new water heater unit and didn't put enough plumber's tape on the pipe? You went to school/work and came back to find your house flooded.

    I guess that installing a new water heater is too risky and you'll only take cold showers from then on.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    Note not to let @maflynn near my car. :p:D
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    Yup - I know my limits, and touching brakes where you can kill yourself, or someone else is definitely beyond my ability ;)
     
  15. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

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    #15
    Doing your brake pads really isn't that hard... it's pretty straight forward. The only trick you need to remember is if you have old drum brakes - you have to repeatedly do the reverse/brake slam in order to ratchet in the tension properly (at least on my old car). Disc brakes don't have that problem.

    But i fully understand not wanting to do it. It's certainly a filthy job!
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    No, I'd hire a plumber, duh :rolleyes:

    As for the the iMac, here's a prime example of what I'm talking about with upgrading the iMac and damaging it.
    1/8 of screen black after SSD upgrade
    --- Post Merged, Aug 19, 2016 ---
    Without further derailing @simonsi thread, I'll say that its great that he upgraded his mac and just point out, that's too bad that Apple decided to move to seal their computers up more and more making this sort of upgrade difficult.
     
  17. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #17
    Have you ever considered that the reason you think all these DIY things are "difficult" is that you have never bother to do these things yourself?

    I didn't know how to service the Slim Unibody iMac until I read the iFixit instructions. At this point, I can just say "this looks tough and I probably can't do it" or I can take out my tools and start doing it.

    As for the problem with "1/8 of the screen black after SSD upgrade", that is caused by a bend pin on the display data cable connector. iFixit has a warning that that connector is very fragile. The fix for that is to use a spudger to and carefully realign the pin.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    Have you ever considered other people have different opinions and no matter how much harping on home and car repair posts will not alter that opinion?

    For the record, I sold, built and repaired computers for many years, so yes I have plenty of experience opening up a computer and based on that experience I have an opinion that opening up a $2,000+ warrantied iMac represents a risk I'm not willing to take. Can I be any more clearer then that!

    I suppose we can still talk about lug nuts and water heaters but seriously leave it alone.
     
  19. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #19
    When you say "computers", do you mean desktop towers?

    The interior of an iMac is very similar to those of a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    As I said, before, stop beating a dead horse.

    Let it go man
     
  21. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #21
    I've done this on several 2011 21.5" iMacs. There's no more than a few inches of space to maneuver when you pop the LCD up due to the wires connecting the LCD to the motherboard. You'd need to prop the LCD up somehow to get at the HD which would appear very limiting. Sorry, how did you manage to keep the LCD propped up with the wires still connected while you worked in that limited space?
     
  22. simonsi thread starter macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #22
    The kitchen yielded a 2" high plastic "bridge" (designed to support a 2nd layer of cakes in a plastic cake storage tub), that held the LCD up and stable enough. Then I used a short Torx bit turned by a small plastic spanner to undo the HDD mounting screws. There was enough room to disconnect the HDD SATA and power cables and then <simply> remove the HDD and bracket assembly. On mine there wasn't even a thermal sensor fastened to the HDD so nothing to prevent its removal.

    Easy enough I found, clearly YMMV.
     
  23. simonsi thread starter macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #23
    Just to add, I've now removed the optical drive and used a caddy intended for a Macbook to fit a second HDD (Hitachi 750GB in my case), in its place using the Optical SATA/Power connection. Had to modify the caddy slightly to remove the mounting ears the macbook uses to allow it to mount in the plastic shroud in the iMac but overall less than 30mins to fit...
     
  24. Fishrrman, Aug 27, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016

    Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    #24
    maflynn wrote:
    "Here's the diskspeed test as promised"

    I believe the speeds you posted in reply #5 above are about "as close to the theoretical max" as one can get from an externally-mounted USB3 drive.

    I get about 430mbps reads on my late-2012 Mini, although my write speeds are slower @270mbps or so. I believe this may be due to limitations of the SSD itself, not USB3 or the USB3 dock that I'm using.

    One might squeeze a little more performance by installing the drive internally.
    But the risks can be far greater -- witness the posts we see of folks that have opened an iMac or Mini, tried to do the job, and then.... broke something inside.

    Contrast this with the ease of a "plug it in and go" solution via USB.
    To me, the tradeoffs outweigh the risks.

    I sense that with the coming of USB3.1, we'll see speeds and capability via USB that are even greater (I realize that nothing will match the speeds of the internal PCI-e buses).
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    I'm guessing the write speeds are the result of a slower SSD. I bought the Samsung with the idea that I want the speed. I have an older (and smaller) SSD and I'm wasn't getting anything near that speed. I don't have it setup for OS X, so I can no longer test the speed. While it was faster then an spinning HD, I was a bit disappointed with the overall performance. I think this is why I'm very happy with the Samsung, because I was working with the slower SSD, and found the Samsung to much better
     

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