Hard Drive Issue on Late '09 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thelucas, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. thelucas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    #1
    Greetings,

    My late '09 27" iMac has been very sluggish lately. Currently running Mavericks. It got to a point where upon startup I was getting endless beach balls whenever

    I tried to do anything so I restarted in Safe Mode and ran Disk Utility. It indicates that my HD "has a hardware problem that can't be repaired". And S.M.A.R.T. Status Is "Failing". I ran Disk Warrior and I get the same general message. Running Repair Permissions seemed to help as now the beach balls aren't as prevalent.

    Assuming that it's an option, is it worth it to install a new hard drive or just get a new machine? If a new hard drive is an option, what is a good hard drive to get (I'm not technically inclined so I'll likely ask the Genius Bar to do this for me).
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    The hard drive has bad sectors and OS X is trying to read/write from/to them which is why it's getting so sluggish and beach balls.

    I hope you have a good backup because total failure is imminent.

    I think it's well worth just replacing the HDD with a new one or an SSD. I have a similar make iMac and it's still running great.
     
  3. thelucas thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 4, 2013
    #3
    Thanks, yes. My critical data is on a Drobo and backed up to BackBlaze. Will Apple be able to install an SSD or is this something that I'd have to do outside of the Genius Bar? Any recommendations type of SSD?
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #4
    I don't think Apple will put an SSD in there, even if you pay them. Plus with your older iMac, you may run into a fan issue, that I go into here and solve.

    I recommend the Samsung brand SSD's as I've had good results from them on several computers.
     
  5. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    Nov 14, 2009
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    Colorado
    #5
    Did you check for replacement eligibility?

    https://www.apple.com/support/imac-harddrive/

    My 2009 iMac exhibited those symptoms and it fell under the replacement program. Apple replaced it at no cost to me.
     
  6. thelucas thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 4, 2013
    #6
    Thanks, I just spoke to Apple. As expected, I'm outside of the warranty. I was instructed to nuke and pave (wipe everything and try a clean install). If that doesn't fix the problem the I will either need to replace the hard drive or get a new computer.

    Sigh.
     
  7. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #7
    If the drive has bad sectors, a format and reinstall won't fix it. The problems will resurface again. It's time to get a replacement drive.
     
  8. jettie1767 macrumors 6502

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    New Jersey, USA
    #8
    I had done this very same thing. They replaced the drive for free early last year.
     
  9. joelkadeen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    #9
    This is because by default a Mac cannot write to a PC hard drive, it can only read from it. Your best bet is to make a backup copy of the external hard drive, then wipe the drive and reformat it, and then copy your data back over to it.
     
  10. Jambalaya, Jun 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014

    Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #10
    The machine is definitely worth keeping. If you don't want it / don't wish to upgrade it there will be others who will be happy to do so for a fee or you can sell the machine.

    I put a new hard drive into my 2009 Mac Mini a Western Digital Black 750gb, it has decent capacity and was cheap. I would have gone with an SSD but for 500gb (my min requirement) that would have been lot more expensive.

    I don't know how much RAM you have, I put in 8 (up from stock 2) and my machine runs really sweetly now. If you are going to upgrade drive you might consider 8GB RAM if you don't have it already.
     
  11. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

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    Nov 20, 2012
    #11
    With a late '09 27 inch, I would highly recommend installing an SSD. If you need capacity, get a small SSD that will hold your apps and OS, then put all your data on an external hard drive. Heck, 256GB SSD's can be had for just over $100 these days; that's a great deal from a couple years ago when I bought mine. And, the speed it brings will rid you of "upgrade envy"; it'll feel like a new machine for a tenth of the price.
     
  12. JoEw macrumors 65816

    JoEw

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    Nov 29, 2009
    #12
    You can do the install yourself, I I added an SSD in place of my disc drive allowing me to have both an SSD & a hardrive, the SSD has significantly extended the life of my computer. Highly recommend my Late 09 is still going strong 5 years later.
     
  13. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #13
    Some advice from a fellow 2009 27" owner?

    Hi there,

    Just picked up a late-2009 iMac 27" 2.66 i5 to resell, but the geniuses that owned it replaced the drive with a laptop 2.5-inch drive. So the temp sensor that's supposed to go into the drive is apparently hanging free, and the fans are at full speed all the time.

    I'd like to replace the drive with something that will take the sensor connector, and possibly speed it up too - perhaps a 3.5inch hybrid drive (cheaper than an SSD and HD both). Any recommendations?

    Thanks!
     
  14. JoEw macrumors 65816

    JoEw

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    Nov 29, 2009
    #14
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2309+and+2374+Hard+Drive+Replacement/1634

    Take a look at Step 10, I assume they did not put the temp sensor back correctly and didn't bother to reopen it and fix it before selling it to you.

    If I were to reopen my iMac I would add a 4tb hdd in place of the 1tb stock and update my crucial SSD to a Samsung EVO where the disc drive use to be.

    Those hybrid HDD/SSD drives will probably work okay for you, but they normally have a very small SSD size 8Gb for seagate last time I checked so they don't really do much leverage other than a faster boot time..

    Also if you want a stop fix on full blast fan speed you can get smc fan control application.
     

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