Hard drive question on Imac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Brunchies, May 6, 2012.

  1. Brunchies macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    Hello, I have a late 2009 imac with a 1 terabyte hard drive in it. I'm starting to run out of space on the mac because of my video projects and bootcamp and I want to upgrade to a 2 TB hard drive. Now I know that osx runs on an external hard drive but it takes about 3 to 4 minutes on average compared to 30 seconds for an internal hard drive. I want to replace the internal hard drive on my imac but I'm afraid of breaking the screen while doing so because from what I've heard, you have to take the glass off the screen and get into the heart of the computer. I'm also afraid of voiding my warranty so I want to know if I can get someone at an apple store to do it.
    I also want to know if you can run windows 7 from an external hard drive and if its worth doing it that way. If Apple can't help me, I would like if you guys explained to me the easiest way to replace the hard drive on a imac since I haven't really worked with the innards of computers that much. Any and all help would be appreciated, I want as much space as I can possibly get.

    I also want to know this because I have an old imac that I'm thinking of turning it into a home server for video and music, thanks for the help :).
  2. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
  3. Brunchies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    I have a late 2009 imac 21.5 inch, I don't really want to destroy my mac just to replace a hard drive. I wish they made is as easy as they do on the macbooks, of couse they can't for some obvious reasons.
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. What "takes about 3 to 4 minutes on average compared to 30 seconds for an internal hard drive"? Booting up?

    I think you'd be best off keeping the internal HD for the OS, apps and Bootcamp and getting an external for your working files (or at least for the video projects). After all, if you're filling up a 1 TB drive with video projects, how long before you fill a 2 TB drive?
  5. Brunchies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    Yes it was booting up, I'm just going to take your advice with this one. I only have 1 750 GB external hard drive but thats for backups. I can make some space for it though, thanks for the advice :D.
  6. Lucion macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2008
    You can always boot from the internal drive if you find it faster and then add an external drive. If speed is an issue, use a FireWire 800 device. Move some of your older projects off your internal drive.

    My iMac HDD died and I have been running the whole machine from an external FW800 drive, and besides the initial boot time it seems just as quick. Granted, I am not doing heavy gaming or video editing, but a lot of people, particularly those now using SSDs where space/price are premium, keep important stuff internally and move unnecessary things off. Since your iMac is likely stationary this wouldn't be too much of a problem I would think.
  7. wazgilbert, May 13, 2012
    Last edited: May 13, 2012

    wazgilbert macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2007
    UK South
    I've done this on my 2007 Alu 24" to remove the failing WD 320Gb original HDD. I replaced it with a 2Tb hitatchi job I bought in *shock-horror* PCworld for a mere £80 considering this was right after the prices all leapt up after the tsunami related HDD manufacturing issues.

    It's not as bad as you think, and if you're methodical and lay it all out on a large dining table with towels or other soft cloths as you go, make notes which screw came out of which hole and so on, it's all ok. the drive unit itself is really easy when you get to it. It's just lifting the display out that scares most people.

    To the OP, if you're still in Applecare, why not ask the nearest applestore or reseller for a quote to do it? it may be worth the extra notes to be happy that you're still valid for warranty.

    link to ifixit's guides
  8. harddrivefailur macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2012
    Irvine, CA
    I know that a lot of people are scared to swap out their hard drive on a Mac machine, but it actually isn't as difficult as you think. I can certainly say that you probably want to avoid this if you intend on getting any warranty service in the future, but considering that your machine is from 2009, you are probably okay.

    I personally would just crack it open and see what happens from there.

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