Hard drive failure?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Iestyn, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Iestyn macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    Hey MacRumors - I hope someone would be able to help me out.

    Whenever I boot up my iMac (27" late 2009 - running Mavericks), it stays in the apple logo screen with the spinning logo underneath it. It never goes further than this. I've tried everything, from resetting the PRAM to boot up in safe mode, nothing seems to make my Mac go past this apple logo.

    I have downloaded El Capitan, and created a bootable usb from it, in hope that I could just format the drive (I have everything backed up to the day before this happened), but when I follow the instructions on how to format the main 'Macintosh HD' drive, it's not actually in the list of drives available to me, so I can't go any further.

    Just to make things a bit more clear, I've uploaded a few screenshots here.

    When I boot up my iMac holding down the alt/option key I get this first screen:


    As you can see, I've got my OSX 10.11 bootable USB in there, together with my Macintosh HD (which can be seen here by my Mac), and the Recovery 10.9. From here I selected the bootable 10.11, and went through to the next screen, when I choose the Disk Utility , and as you can see from this second image, the Macintosh HD is no where to be found, so I can't do any checks on it:


    I then went back to the OSX 10.11 install, and followed the steps until it asks where do you want to install the OSX, and the only drive I get is my USB:


    I then went back, and tried to boot up in Recovery Mode, but it just hangs there, same as it does when it tries to boot up normally.

    Does anyone know what could be the problem here? Does this sounds like my HD has gone? Is there anything I can do just to see if my iMac can see it? Is there anything else I can try - some Recovery tips 'n tricks I can run it through before I go ahead and buy a new HD? I was thinking of buying an SSD for the iMac in any case, but just thought I'd check before I go wild.

    If anyone can recommend any SSD's for the Late 2009 iMac, that would be incredible. I've been through Crucial, and they seem to be only recommending their own brand, but if anyone has anything else, I'd love to hear about them.

    I've read up that there's a few issues with the fan etc when you swap for an SSD - so any info would be greatly appreciated.
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Sounds like either the internal hard drive has died completely, or you have a bad ribbon cable between the logic board and the hard drive.
  3. tubeexperience, Jun 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016

    tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Your hard drive is dead.

    ADATA budget SSD: https://www.amazon.com/ADATA-Premier-SP550-Solid-ASP550SS3-480GM-C/dp/B013J7P7SK

    You need the OWC In-line Digital Thermometer to control the fan speed.

    Complete kit (with Digital Thermometer) also available:
  4. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    More broadly, take advice about longevity of iMac10,1

    If (say) the GPU fails, will you purchase a drive enclosure to reuse the SSD as a peripheral to a newer Mac?
  5. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Why wouldn't he just put it inside his new iMac?
  6. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    I assume that a new iMac will not have internal space for a second drive.
  7. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    The new iMac can accommodate one blade SSD (like the one in the rMBP) and one regular hard drive (2.5" or 3.5").

    He can replace the regular hard drive with a 2.5" SSD
  8. Iestyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    Hello all,

    Gah - so a new hard drive it is then. Thanks for the links tubeexperience, I was just reading up on the OWC kits this morning, so that's great to have it confirmed.

    On the SSD front - is there any knowledge out there as to which will fit the late 2009 iMac? I'd love to be able compare a few of them, but to be honest, I have no idea what to look for at the moment. My current HD was 1TB, so I was hoping to go for something similar, but they all seem very expensive.
  9. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    @tubeexperience thanks! (With all the noise about lack of expandability in modern Macs, I assumed (wrongly) that modern iMacs would be limited to a single drive.)
  10. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    1TB ADATA Premiere SP550 ($210):
  11. Iestyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    Hi everyone.

    I've been talking about SSD's with folks here at work, and a few people have recommended the Samsung 850 EVO and PROs.

    If I was to put one of these beast into my 2009 27" iMac, do you know if I'll need some sort of mount for it, and would I still need the OWC kit with the In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for this SSD?

    Many thanks!
  12. ivanwi11iams Contributor


    Nov 30, 2014
    Kennesaw, GA
    From my understanding yes. And OWC has a complete kit package.
  13. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Yes, you need the complete kit with the In-line Digital Thermal Sensor.

    You also need a 2.5 to 3.5 hard drive mounting bracket.

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