DIY HDD upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cbdboz, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Cbdboz macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2013
    I have an early 2009 iMac, and am thinking of changing the existing HDD as I have been running it almost full , and although have cleared space, the performance is very slow.... And it's 7 years old...and concerned on its shelf life

    The Ram is now fully upgraded but Mac doesn't feel much faster, and too many spinning wheels..,

    I have an Internal SSD and install kit.... But have a few qns..

    1. Was going to use CCC and clone a copy of the internal hdd to an external hdd. Once cloned, can I then copy this all back to a new replacement internal HDD (and is it v easy to do)... Or actually, would I be better to keep on an external?

    2. I will be installing an ssd...... I was just going to put OS and applications on this. Again, can I, and should I, house both an internal ssd and a hdd internally as well?

    3. Once drives are changed, how do I make sure that the Mac boots from the SSD, and that all Applications boot from the SSD

    4. Is it straight forward in applications to boot from SSD, yet read and write to and from a Different HDD..... I.e. Is it just setting preferences etc?

    5. I don't intend on opening up this IMac again if st all possible.... And just wondering if perhaps (assuming I can have 2 internal drives) I should add the SSD, but keep the existing hdd as it is, but after cloning, just keep it there as a back up of all data up to that date, and use the external clone HDD as the storage thereafter ( so have ssd for apps, external HDD for storage, and the original internal HDD holds a copy of legacy data should I ever need it.)?

    Comments Appreciated...

  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    1. Restore from the clone to the new HD once installed.
    2. Good idea, keep the SSD for the OS and apps and critical files you access regularly. Put larger libraries on the internal HD and any other available EHDs you have.
    3. System Preferences - Startup Disk and select the SSD as the startup volume.
    4. Yes!
    5. Once the SSD is set as the boot drive and is booting okay, I'd recommend doing an erase of the other internal HD and use it for just storage.

    I did all of the above on my 2011 27" a couple of years ago .... it works perfectly.
  3. Cbdboz, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015

    Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2013
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Would you suggest to (1) keep the existing hdd in side the Mac.... (2) Replace with a new and bigger internal capacity HDD ( I think it's only 5 or 600gb from memory) or (3) just use External going forward?

    Note I will def put SSD internal.... Just not sure if should have HDD internal as well (assuming I can have 2 drives inside without any major surgery required.... Otherwise would just replace HDD with SSD)

    Edit.... It would seem I can only have 2 drives if I remove the optical (cd) drive..actually would be keen to keep this or replace with Blu Ray drive.... So guessing it's external hdd if want an internal ssd
  4. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I installed a 960GB SSD in my 2009 iMac a few years ago. Removed the optical drive and installed a 3TB HDD. Works well. I have a 5k iMac on the way, but I'm still using the 2009 machine every day. The SSD extended the life of the machine by many years for me.

    Unless you use the optical drive every day, get rid of it and put in a HDD as well as your SSD. You'll love the extra space, and it will be much faster than moving data to and from an external drive.
  5. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2013
    Hmmm.... Suppose I could always use the usb external Blu ray drive for importing music and movies

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