Can iMac 24" run from external Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mocman, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. mocman macrumors regular

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    May 8, 2004
    #1
    I have a 24" white iMac. I have run some test and states the hard drive is failing. I used disk warrior to try and repair to no avail. Instead of me taking apart and replacing. Just need to know if running a fresh install on ext drive would be suffice? Or would it be better to just replace the internal one?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    Yes, for best results use a Firewire 800 drive. It will be slower than using the internal drive.
     
  3. mocman thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 8, 2004
    #3
    How much slower would it be? Would the slow down be on the boot up or read and write?
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #4
    It will feel slower as well as start slower, but it will run. The only external interface that is capable of booting a drive at full speed is Thunderbolt and clearly a white iMac isn't going to have that.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #5
    It'd slow down everything that uses the hard drive. From booting to opening an application. It has the potential to cause a decrease of up to 50% of the iMac's native hard drive speed, when using Firewire 800.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #6
    I suspect that a "slower" external drive will be working much better than your existing internal. :D

    The white 24-inch iMac is probably the easiest to open up and replace the hard drive, compared to other white iMac models. (thought I'd mention that)
    And, if you do go inside, that might even be a good candidate for an SSD.
     
  7. dictoresno macrumors 601

    dictoresno

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    NJ
    #7
    i changed out my imac's 500GB drive with a 2TB one for $80 and 30 minutes of my time. why wouldnt you just replace it? runnng it externally will work, but will be much slower than it could be.
     
  8. mocman thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 8, 2004
    #8
    I think I will install a internal replacement. I think i will go to the Ifixit site to get instructions. Thanks
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    [[ I have a 24" white iMac. I have run some test and states the hard drive is failing. I used disk warrior to try and repair to no avail. Instead of me taking apart and replacing. Just need to know if running a fresh install on ext drive would be suffice? ]]

    The iMac will boot and run from either a USB or a firewire external drive.

    Boot times WILL be a little slower -- no way around that. But -- more importantly -- once it's "up and running", you probably won't notice much difference (if any) from an internally-mounted drive.

    If you have a firewire 800 port on the rear, a drive mounted in an external case that has firewire 800 would probably be the best way to go. It will probably yield boot speeds 50-60% faster (or more) than you would see from USB2.

    I boot and run my own 2007 24" white iMac from a USB2/SATA docking station with a bare drive inside. Boot times are slower, but no problems when running.

    Be aware that an enclosure with firewire 800 will cost a little more than one with just USB2 (or USB3).

    I think the best reason for choosing an "external solution" for an older iMac is that it's not really worth spending the money to fix a computer that you are likely to replace in another year or two. You could do as well to buy something "up to date" such as a Mac Mini, and be far ahead speed-wise. And you could take the external drive "right over to" the new Mac, very easily...
     

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