Early 2009 iMac - New SSD and HDD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nefario, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. nefario macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    #1
    I'm looking for a bit of help, and hopefully confirmation that I'm taking appropriate steps to replace the existing HDD in my early 2009 iMac (3.06 GHz, 1TB HDD, EMC 2267).

    For the last few months the computer has been getting pretty slow and just recently has become nearly unusable. It takes longer than 10 minutes to start and clicking anything on the screen with get a spinning wheel for several minutes. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB and haven't seen any improvements. From what I've been reading, it sounds like it could be a HDD failure. I've tried doing some disk repairs (via single user mode) and haven't seen any improvements. I have a connected Time Machine external drive, but it looks like it hasn't been updated for a few months (not sure why). I also use CrashPlan for an off-site back-up (appears to be up to date).

    My next steps, based on reviewing this forum and some other sites, will be to replace the HDD and optical drive with a new 3TB HDD and 1TB SSD, respectively. It seems like a bit of overkill, but I have a nearly 500GB Aperture library and somewhat smaller sized iTunes media library. the existing HDD has only about 50GB of space. My plan was to isntall the OS and apps on the SSD and keep the photos and media on the HDD.

    I've purchased the following from Amazon:
    1. Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE1T0BW
    2. Western Digital 3 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive, Black, WD3003FZEX
    3. Silverstone Tek 12.7mm Height 2.5-Inch SATA HDD/SSD Caddy Conversion Tray for Laptop (TS09)
    4. Rosewill Aluminum 3.5-Inch Silver USB 2.0 External Enclosure Cooling RX35-AT-SU SLV Silver

    Using these instructions from ifixit, I'll remove the existing HDD and replace it with the WD 3TB HDD. I'll also remove the optical drive and replace it with the conversion tray and the Samsung SSD. I realize that the iMac is a SATA II and the connection has a negotiated speed of 1.5, but I'm not too concerned about that. I would like to do a clean boot of Mavericks from a USB drive I created via these instructions from a macbook air that I purchased last summer. I'm not confident that this will work since it's from a different machine. I also have the original install disk from the iMac, if necessary. As far as setting up the new HDD and SSD, I've also seen a few reports of folks setting up a Fusion drive, with this post being the most helpful. It seems like an interesting concept, but I'm not sure I have the skills to deal with it if there are any issues.

    I'm hoping to connect to the old HDD with the Rosewill enclosure to retrieve the photo and media libraries and other files.

    I'd appreciate any feedback or words of caution. I've been using Apple devices for a number of years, but haven't tried anything like this before. Thanks!
     
  2. icemantx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #2
    Replaced HDD and Optical bay in my early 2009 iMac

    So I did something very similar to what you are looking to do. About a year and a half ago I upgraded by HDD to a 2TB WD Black HDD and removed the Optical Bay - replaced with a 256GB Crucial M4 SSD. I then created a DIY Fusion Drive between the two and performance improvements were immediate and dramatic.

    Apps start up much faster, reboots are quicker, and just the overall performance of the iMac is snappier. However, it does not fix any tasks that are processor intensive such as video encoding.

    Recently I thought about getting a 1TB SSD to replace the 256GB SSD I have now, but with the age of the iMac 5 1/2 years and the cost to upgrade $400-500, I would rather save my money and get a new iMac which has a better screen, faster processor and thunderbolt.

    If you plan to keep yours for a while longer, I would think about the Fusion approach which does not require a 1TB SSD drive to go along with it. You could save a few hundred dollars and fuse together the 3TB HDD plus a 256Gb SSD and still see a big improvement.

    I used Carbon Copy Cloner to make an exact copy of my iMac before reloading it with OS X. I then booted my iMac from that drive before I took it apart and selected that external drive as my boot drive to make sure everything was there. Then I used CCC to clone my iMac back after I created the fusion partition. It was really not that difficult to put a few lines of code in Terminal to tie the two together.

    By the way, early 2009 iMacs have a negotiated speed of 3GB/s - not 1.5 GB/s.
     
  3. nefario thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    #3
    Early 2009 iMac - New SSD and HDD

    Icemantx -- Thanks very much for the reply. It was your post from last year that got me thinking about and planning this project. I was inclined to initially just buy a new iMac, but it would be great to get some additional life out of this one. Based on this feedback, I'll give the Fusion drive a try. I would like to use CCC on my current HDD, but it just is not being responsive at all. I tried to copy the photo library to an external drive a few days ago and it got to 1.6GB after a few hours and then just stalled overnight. Thanks again!
     
  4. nickosbad macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #4
    About a year ago I removed the Optical drive in my 2009 imac and replaced it with an SSD.....wow it flies!!! Best upgrade ever!!

    This year I bought a 3TB WD Green drive to replace the 500GB WD drive inside but couldn't stop the fans going mega high rpm

    I ended up going back to the 500GB and used the 3TB as an external drive

    SSD is definitely the way forward, I use the SSD for Apps etc and keep the 500GB as a photo/music/documents drive
     
  5. Mark Petereit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    #5
    Careful! SSDs with certain chipsets (e.g. SandForce) have trouble negotiating with the Mac's nvidia chipset and will end up failing back to 1.5G. To be safe, I'd stick with OWC's 3G SSDs.
     
  6. sab2el macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Bangladesh
    #6
    I screwed up and got a transcend drive with sand force controller :( .speed is 1.5G....I don't know what I am loosing out!
     
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #7
    That's not going to happen with SATA3.

    SATA3's maximum bandwidth is 6 Gb/s. That's equal to 750MB/s theoretically.
     
  8. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    usa
    #8
    Couple of months back I put a 512 gig. sad in a 2009 24" iMac . It's a second desktop for use when I just want to check mail or am too lazy to go upstairs to my study where my 'big' computer is ( 27" iMac 2009 i7 ) .Used one of the OWC 2.5>3.5 adapters to fit the ssd into the HDD area , kept the optical , and put all my documents and pictures in a 1 TB. firewire drive . Starting and running apps. is an order of magnitude improved from a regular hard drive , opening documents and images is sometimes a bit laggy , but still very acceptable for my uses .
     
  9. mastercube macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    #9
    Hi eveyone,

    This was an old post, but hopefully some one will answer. I have an early 2009 20 in. iMac, and I´m planning on changing my current drive (320GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA) for a SSHD. In your experience, do you think I will be compatible?

    I was thinking on getting this new drive: http://goo.gl/nljRSr

    Thanks.
     
  10. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #10
    should be alright but you won't get the use of the Seagate's SATA 6Gb/s speed because your iMac runs SATA 3Gb/s but it is backwards compatible and you'll notice the quick boot time...
     
  11. mastercube macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    #11
    Thanks a lot for the quick answer.
     
  12. Elastic Love macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    #12
    Hi everyone...

    I too have an early 2009 24" iMac that runs slow if I have multiple apps open. iTunes is a total resource hog (over 10k songs) so I'm forced to kill it if I'm not using it. I downloaded Dr. Cleaner and App Cleaner to tidy things up a bit but I'm looking for a serious performance boost especially with El Capitan coming out next week. Is it recommended I upgrade to 8 GB ram? Currently I still have the stock 4 GB installed.

    I'm also seeing people here swapping out the hard drive for a SSD. Is that also recommended? I don't do anything heavy on my iMac besides word processing, web surfing, iTunes, and e-mail. Just wanting to boost the performance and extend the life of my already awesome machine.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  13. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #13
    upgrading to 8gb RAM is fairly cheap nowadays so why not, in addition to adding a SSD; the new gear will def improve the speed and performance of your iMac. currently you can buy 256gb SSD's for under $80, so it's a relatively affordable and a good investment to help extend the use of your iMac.
     
  14. Elastic Love macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    #14
    Thanks for your response. I'm currently using 258 GB so I'm assuming I'll need a larger SSD? Is this a maximum for this iMac?
     
  15. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #15
    it's whatever is in your budget, you can run a 1TB SSD if you want but it'll be pricey unless money is not a concern...
     
  16. tzimara macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    #16
    Quick question, I am looking to swap out my optical drive for a SSD. Is there any special cabling that I need for the SSD or does the cable from the optical drive fit the SSD? I will probably give the imac to the a repair shop to make the changes but I want to provide them with all the hardware necessary.
    Thanks in advance for the advice!
     
  17. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #17
    iirc, you will able to use the existing cable connecting the optical drive...

    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+iMac+Intel+20-Inch+EMC+2266+Dual+Hard+Drive/8954
     

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