Add SSD to 2011 iMac 27" w/o removing HDD or optical drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by 3wood, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. 3wood macrumors member

    3wood

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Henrico, VA
    #1
    I am going to add a Samsung 850 EVO SSD drive to my 2011 iMac 27". I realize most of these installations are done in conjunction with either removing the HDD or the optical drive to make room for the SSD. I've been told several times that removing one of the original drives is a must to make room for the new SSD. Then I saw this excellent video showing what I want to do which is removing the optical drive, installing the SSD where the optical was and then replacing the optical drive over top of the SSD. Link to video below.

    Has anyone here ever done this installation like this? The video is excellent, and I believe I'll be successful. But I wanted to hear from anyone who has done the installation or had it done, and would appreciate comments on how the install went and what you think of the finished product. My iMac is the MD063LL/A.

    Many Thanks,
    Reed
    Thursday, June 29, 2017 11:13:41 AM EDT
    Video -
     
  2. robo456 macrumors 6502

    robo456

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    Another thing to consider is going external. I'm a techie, but honestly, I just didn't feel like ripping open my Late 2013 21.5" iMac and chance goofing something up.

    I read a few articles about people using external SSDs as boot drives. I ended up getting a 256gb Samsung 850 EVO back in 2016 and this case:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FCLG65U/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I just used some zip ties and attached the case to the iMac's 'arm' behind the monitor... sitting down and looking at it, you'd never know it was even there. I'm not sure if the 2011 has USB3, but I can report it gave new life to my system without any hassle at all.

    --rob
     

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  3. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #4
    2011 iMacs only have USB 2.0 ports but they do have Thunderbolt ports and booting from a Thunderbolt-attached external SSD is an excellent option. I did so for 3.5 years with my previous Late 2013 iMac.

    I did a review of the predecessor of your Inateck enclosure back in 2014. It's a nice little unit but be aware that TRIM commands are not supported over USB3 in MacOS. That is why I went with a Delock Thunderbolt enclosure I also mentioned in that review and benched against the Inateck. MacOS will detect Thunderbolt-attached external SSDs as SATA devices and TRIM commands are supported. The current version is $85 (plus the price of a Thunderbolt cable).

    When running a Mac off an SSD without TRIM, particularly with Samsung EVO SSDs, there is a danger of decreasing performance over time as well as increased write amplification. See this recent thread from a user who installed an SSD internally in a 2011 iMac but just failed to enable TRIM.
     
  4. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #5
    I didn't realise these computers had a spare unused SATA port inside. With the new SSD / old HDD, and the optical, that's a total of three SATA ports. Seems unusual. Is there a 4th one somewhere?
     
  5. 3wood thread starter macrumors member

    3wood

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Henrico, VA
    #6
    Everybody, thank you for your help and advice. This morning I did the job of installing the Samsung EVO 850 SSD into my iMac. Happily, the SSD, the original 1TB HDD, and the Super Drive are all functioning perfectly as are all other functions of the computer. I don't want to go into the guts of the iMac again anytime soon. I think I was lucky it all went well if you want to know the truth.
    Good weekend to you all and thanks again for your ideas.
    Reed
    Saturday, July 1, 2017 2:09:31 PM EDT
    Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 1.27.40 PM.jpg
     
  6. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
  7. 3wood, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017

    3wood thread starter macrumors member

    3wood

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Henrico, VA

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