3TB Fusion Drive dying / dead? iMac late 2012

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wozwebs, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. wozwebs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    #1
    I purchased a 'Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7' from the Apple UK refurb store in March 2013 with a 3TB Fusion Drive. It has been fine up until I installed Yosemite when it started to freeze all the time and I had the spinning ball all the time.

    Only way to get back was to hold the button at the back and reboot. Kept doing this until I backed up and did a clean install of Yosemite. Fine for a week or two then happened again. I have just wasted a whole day trying to go back to Mavericks and it worked fine for an hour or two then went the same way, spinning ball, unresponsive so I can eliminate Yosemite now as it is fine on my Macbook and has been since the day I installed it (same day I installed in iMac).

    Just tried another clean install but it first said the HD had failed and do I want to repair the Fusion drive? My guess is that the SSD is fine but the other drive is dying a slow death.

    Have a genius appointment booked in for tomorrow so will take it up there to see what they say. Any idea on what price I am looking at for a Apple to fit a replacement 3TB HD at all? Paid £2k for this and not done 2 years yet so not best please and dubious about going for another Fusion Drive again. Didn't take Apple Care although should have really, especially with a refurb. Hindsight eh!

    Just tried again to re-install Mavericks and getting 'Install Failed' The Installer could not start the computer from "Macinotosh HD". Try selecting your disk using the Startup Disk utility. :( Sad times.
     
  2. JayInNJ macrumors regular

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    Nov 10, 2009
    #2
    You can try splitting the fusion drive to two separate disks and then individually test and repair the drives. Then just replace the failed drive.
     
  3. wozwebs thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2010
    #3
    It has now split them and when I 'Verify Disk' and 'Repair Disk' they both come back as OK. I have installed Mavericks (eventually) on the HDD but it is running so slow and then I get the spinning ball again after 5-10 minutes and I have to power off at the back. Will try and install OS X on the SSD now to see if that works and then I know it is just the HDD to replace. Trial and error. Either way best to go to the Genius appointment tomorrow.
     
  4. wozwebs thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2010
    #4
    Just as an update to this I have managed to install Yosemite on to the SSD and I can see the 3TB HDD as a 'secondary' drive.

    Seems fast and zippy so far with no beach balls. I know the HDD must be on its way out though. What is the best way to install my Apps now (Photoshop, Dreamweaver etc.) as there is only 128GB on this SSD. Install on the HDD but it might still be flaky?
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #5
    This is why all my Macs have pure SSDs plus external HDD storage. Save the hassle of having to open up the iMac (no easy task) just to replace the obsolete spinner.
     
  6. JayInNJ macrumors regular

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    Nov 10, 2009
    #6
    You may just want to use an external hard drive for data now instead of paying apple to make the repair. You should be able to fit the applications on the ssd with the os.
     
  7. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

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    #7
    Try to buy a mac from the states it will probably cost around 2000 pounds for a new 27"
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP wrote above:
    [[ Just as an update to this I have managed to install Yosemite on to the SSD and I can see the 3TB HDD as a 'secondary' drive.
    Seems fast and zippy so far with no beach balls. I know the HDD must be on its way out though. ]]


    No.
    I DON'T think your internal HDD is "on the way out".

    Both Mavericks and Yosemite tend to be sluggish on platter-based HDD's.
    However, they do fine with SSD's.

    Once you "split apart" the fusion, and installed a fresh copy of the OS onto the SSD, things run as they should.

    Regarding the message about "repairing fusion" -- this is a fault of Apple's Disk Utility. If DU "sees" the presence of BOTH an HDD and an SSD inside the iMac, it will "assume" that fusion is "broken", and try to "repair" it.

    Unless you really want fusion back, YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS.

    I don't yet have a Mac that has a fusion drive, nor have I personally worked with a Mac in which DU presents the user with the above message.

    Just wondering -- are you able to "cancel out" -- that is to say, decline the option to "re-fuse" the two drives -- and just continue "as is"?

    If so, can you then use DU to do a "verify" or a "repair" on the HDD?
    What results do you get?
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #9
    My advice would be: Don't panic, let Apple have a look at it, they will find out if the SSD or HD is at fault and can replace the one that isn't working properly (you are _assuming_ that it is the HD, but you don't _know_ at all). This shouldn't be too expensive. Replacing a hard drive or SSD drive is quite easy (if you have the right tools and know how to use them). Definitely a lot, lot cheaper than getting a new Mac.
     
  10. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Sure, like SSD's (and their controllers) never fail. :rolleyes:
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #11
    At least if they fail, chances are far lower.
     
  12. AppleFan360, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015

    AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    ... and where are you getting this information from? That is debatable and I definitely wouldn't say "far lower".

    http://www.enterprisestorageforum.c...sd-vs.-hdd-performance-and-reliability-1.html

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404258,00.asp

    You also should realize that SSD's are great for the home consumer and are quite rugged but they are not a end all-be all of storage. If you tried to talk a network admin into installing SSD's in the server room, he would laugh you out of the building. It all depends on the application.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #13
  14. wozwebs thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2010
    #14
    Apple have given me a new 3TB hard drive under warranty but i've just got it home and they have'd 'fused' the two drives together so i've got a 128gb SSD with Yosemite on it (and very fast) and a 2nd 3TB hard drive.

    Do you think I should stick with this or 'fuse' them back into a Fusion drive again? I've put most of my apps on and still have 58GB left. Only issues is that may fill up over time.

    What would you do. If I do want to fuse back together, how do I go about it?
     
  15. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #15
    I'd keep them separate.

    My OS & apps are on my SSD and my Home Dir is on the HDD. Eventually replacing the HDD with 1TB SSD. Data Archives and backups on external HDD and Dropbox. Clone of SSD on external HDD.

    Cheers,
     

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