Cheapest/Easiest way to upgrade Aluminum iMac hard drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imacericg, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. imacericg macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    I underspent on my iMac's hard drive and now I am regretting it. I would like to upgrade, but am not going to try to do it myself.

    I do live close to an Apple Store, do they do that kind of stuff? Or do I sent it away somewhere?

    What size hard drive is in it? Is it the full size, or the ones that are in laptops.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    Yeah I dont know if Apple would do the upgrade. Best bet is to call them up and ask. Its quite involved but I don't really think it's that hard, you just have to take the time and do your homework before you attempt it.

    The hard drives on the Alu iMacs are 3.5"
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Apple Store can do it but they will charge for the labor and for the new HD. iMac uses 3.5" drives so you can have up to 2TBs. Call them and ask
  4. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Cheapest and easiest don't really go together. Easiest way to get space is an external disk, but you pay more for the external enclosure. Easiest way to get a new internal disk is to get apple to do, but you pay a premium for the disk etc. The cheapest way is to buy the hard drive at a local shop and install it your self, but its not that easy.
  5. txnoob macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    I would ust add a firewire or USB2.0 External. Move all your Data to it and then your local drive will have space again. It's going to be quite spendy to have Apple do it for you.
  6. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Should you buy an external, make sure you use Firewire. Much faster and more reliable.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    RE: Cheapest/Easiest...

    "I would ust add a firewire or USB2.0 External. Move all your Data to it and then your local drive will have space again."

    I second this as good advice.

    The easiest thing to do is leave the internal drive alone, and just add an external drive. It can serve as both a bootable backup drive and for general storage as well.

    I would recommend setting up your first external with a drive that is 2x or 3x as large as your internal is now.

    Then, partition it at least 3 ways:
    First partition: about equal to the size of your internal. This will become your "bootable backup"
    Then split the remaining space as follows:
    Second partition: offline storage, for large media files that might otherwise clog up the internal, stuff that is less important, etc.
    Third partition: kind of a "scratch". You could use this to install a new system perhaps - such as an experimental install of Snow Leopard, to be sure it works before going whole hog.

    I would also recommend that you be very careful about whom you buy from. I would avoid Maxtor and Western Digital. Seagate hasn't been too bad lately. I happen to like the Other World Computing line of Newertech miniStack drives, because of the extra ports they offer.

    If your iMac has firewire 800, MAKE SURE you get an external enclosure that has FW800 as well.

    Final recommendation:
    DO NOT use "Time Machine" to create your backups.
    Use "SuperDuper" instead - it is a SUPERIOR choice.
    Time Machine cannot create a bootable backup drive, it literally eats up your drive space, and - since the drive has to be left running - it burns up backup drives, as well.
    Get SuperDuper, and you will not regret it - ESPECIALLY if the time comes when you MUST boot from your backup due to a problem on your internal drive.

    - John
  8. QwertyPants macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2009
    as far as backups go i've used lacie's silver keeper its saved me so many times from my shenanigans :p Super Duper is awesome also....opening the new imacs is just really annoying you have to get something like a vinyl spludger, suction cups and spare insulating foil. Definitely buy a firewire external it'll save you the trouble and possibly messing up something if you try to open the case yourself.

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