Failed hard drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Spshih, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Spshih macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2012
    My iMac needs a new HD, I keep getting the dreaded folder icon intermittently when signing on, or it freezes. My question is: do I need to replace the internal HD, or can I just install an external HD with a docking station like Black Widow, and will data from a failed HD be able to transfer to the new external HD....whew??
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You need to replace the internal hard drive. You could try sticking the one that failed into an enclosure to see if you can get any data off of it.
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Without knowing what kind of iMac you have, hard to know if replacing the internal is a good option for you. If really old, it's easier to DIY and off you go to ifixit. If new and under AppleCare, get thee to the Apple Store. If in mama bear land, maybe ouch.

    But you can boot an iMac from a drive attached via USB or firewire, so even if you don't replace the internal you can still use it. It might not be as quick for certain things, but serviceable for quite a bit.

    You do have a backup, right? Usually if you have to replace a drive it's better to either clone or migrate from a WORKING backup that you KNOW is good. The reason is that moving data from a corrupt system or drive puts corrupted data onto the new drive. Garbage in....

    As for the external, I'd go with more permanent enclosure with good heat dissipation. If it's the drive you're booted into it needs more support than just a docking station to be reliable in the long run. And if you can get something faster than USB 2.0 that works on your iMac that is better as well.


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