Has anyone ever RELOCATED an internal HD on an iMac to the OUTSIDE?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Turnpike, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Turnpike macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2011
    New York City!
    Well, we ARE about at that point where the older 27" iMacs are the things you hand down to nephews and nieces once you're done with them... I have a mid 2011 27" iMac that's got some spots on the screen, and is slowing down which I'm convinced is the old style HD giving out.

    If I went through the work to swap it out for an SSD, I thought (since I'd be the last user of this machine anyway) I would drill a hole or two (to fit the plug through) in the back of the case and fish the wire for the SSD through the case and plug it in from OUTSIDE the iMac. Since even working these only have a value of $300-$500 or so, it would make taking my $800 2TB "out" of the old machine once it reached the end of the road much easier, and would still allow something to get plugged in should someone else want to still use or try to use the iMac. Plus, it would allow me to use the machine as I wish (with a high volume SSD) in it's last days.

    Anyone know of an idea why this can't be done? (Besides the looks, which with some 2 sided tape can be made to look OK enough, since it's against the wall anyway). I was surprised that I didn't see anything like this on YouTube or elsewhere on the web, but I can't help but think that someone somewhere must have tried it. This is the point where the early 27" iMacs are declining in value enough that the only real value in them is the use you can get out of them, and this is seeming like less and less a silly idea....
  2. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I don't see what the point would be, as it isn't exceedingly difficult to open up the Mac/replace the drive (I've done it successfully for three 2010/2011 iMacs), nor is it something that would need to be done often.

    If you really want the drive to be external, you do have the option to use Thunderbolt on the 2011 and get comparable performance to an internal drive. This doesn't require opening up the Mac at all.
  3. Turnpike thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2011
    New York City!
    Wow... I didn't know that was an option with the thunderbolt port... are you sure the data isn't bottlenecked?
  4. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
  5. nikolajlr macrumors member

    May 11, 2011
    iMac 27 mid 2011 with a Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt chassis (came with HD I swapped out) with a Samsung 840 EVO 500 GB SSD:

    I've strapped the Thunderbolt chassis to the backside arm with some velcro tape I usually use for cables.

    Has been working fine for years. Certainly doesn't feel gimped.

    Sierra and BootCamp both boots from that external drive.

    It is listed as a SATA drive in System Information.
  6. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Use the Thunderbolt port.
    That combined with an SSD will be a ton faster than what you have now.

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5 October 3, 2017