Add SATA to 27" Late 2013 iMac ???

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jovian9, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Jovian9 macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #1
    I've got a late 2013 27" iMac that has a 512GB SSD in it. I'd like to add a regular SATA to it for more internal storage.

    I've watched videos on OWC for both upgrading the SSD and/or the SATA drive and I'm comfortable with it. However, since my iMac never had a regular SATA drive in it, will the components I need to connect one be there when I open it up? Is there already a bracket and SATA connector for when I try to put the 3.5" drive in it?

    Just curious if anyone here has done it as I'm going to add a 4TB drive to it if it's possible. I love the speed of the SSD but I miss the storage of the SATA and I'm tired of always having externals connected.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #2
    It's a toss up and you most likely won't know until you crack the machine open.
    I have read stories that ended with SATA connections and read stories that they didn't.

    Good Luck
     
  3. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

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    #3

    That's what I'm afraid of. Not interesting in taking the panel off and finding that it has no ability to hook up the drive.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    Then get the cables that you need before you open it up. There's no way to tell what is inside until you open it, a software or hardware test won't say anything about cables that have no device attached :D
    If you find the parts already present (which I would not expect), then you just install the extra hard drive, and save a little time. Be glad for a little bonus, eh?
    Or, install the parts if you need to, and continue with adding the hard drive.
    Here's a place to get both the SATA data cable, and the brackets for the hard drive.
    http://www.powerbookmedic.com/Intel-iMac-27-Late-2013-Hard-Drive-Cable-p-46154.html
     
  5. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #5
    My main concern though is the amount of things to remove. The videos I've seen online show that if you are just adding a hard drive then it's just removing the screen and slightly moving a fan. Anything else is unscrewing and moving nearly everything internal. I'll look around some more.
     
  6. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #6
    Old thread but I finally did this yesterday:

    Opened up the iMac with the OWC kit (came with the thermal sensor connection for the hard drive). There was no bracket nor was there an SATA cable connected to the motherboard. I ordered the following:

    -6TB 7200 RPM 3.5" drive off of Amazon.
    -Screws and a torx set from http://www.thebookyard.com
    -SATA cable and R/L hard drive brackets from https://www.commandmacparts.com

    The parts were really difficult to find. You can eBay and other places and find an SATA cable and hard drive brackets but the screws for the hard drive and brackets are another story. I ended up ordering them from Europe at the Bookyard store.


    Getting the display off with the OWC kit was easy. The entire thing was a very time consuming task (about 3 hours). The most difficult parts I ran into were getting the powerboard cables unhooked so I could move it and putting all the cables back into place (where they were before) with the added SATA cable in the mix.

    I used OWC and Youtube videos the entire way and took pictures of every step (when I had to remove a screw or cable). The last most difficult part is getting the display lined up perfectly after putting the sticky-strips back on. Mine is maybe a MM off but all ports are lined up and the iSight camera is lined up fine.

    After rebooting OSX told me it did not recognize the drive. I used disk utility to solve that and now it's running. I partitioned 500GBs off of it for use with my Bootcamp windows 10 partition and the other 5.5TBs are using the GUID partition. Everything is running smoothly. The drive is quiet and data transferred fast from the SSD over to it so I could clear off room on my internal SSD (was down to 11GBs out of 500).

    I'm using the setup as is and not creating my own Fusion Drive. Very tedious process from getting info, to finding parts, to doing the work (scary as well). But now that it's done it actually didn't seem that difficult. If you do it, make sure you have lots of undisturbed time (wife and kids were at a birthday party when I did mine) and that you have all tools and an iPad, iPhone, or another Mac next to you to watch videos. Also, have an anti-static wrist band!!!!!


    I'm now considering adding an SSD as the boot drive to our 21.5" iMac (it has a regular SATA drive in it). Need to see if it's possible and look up the details.
     
  7. Kg4zlb macrumors member

    Kg4zlb

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Location:
    Cape Coral, FL
    #8
    Very interesting, thanks for posting - I have been thinking of such an upgrade on my late 2013 27" iMac but as I have another year or so of AppleCare, I am now leaning towards an external SSD as a boot drive and using the internal HDD for storage. I really want faster performance than the internal drive can supply; my SSD MBa really opened my eyes to the speed difference. Again, thanks for posting.
     
  8. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #9
    Upgrading the HDD/SSD does not void your warranty.

    Also, check out this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/guide-replace-the-hard-drive-in-your-27-imac-slim.1979747/
     
  9. Kg4zlb macrumors member

    Kg4zlb

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Location:
    Cape Coral, FL
    #10
    I had heard conflicting reports about that; is it not the case that anything you touch on the way in to the drive (that then becomes "non-factory condition") is voided from the warranty?
     
  10. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #11
    No.

    Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

    If you broke it in the process, then the warranty is voided.
     

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