Help needed - Mid 2011 iMac hard drive options

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bennettave, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. bennettave macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2011
    I have a mid-2011 iMac with a 256 flash SSD and a 1 TB SATA disk HD. I am almost out of room, storing photos and videos - and do not want to delete files to make space. I am looking for help on what my options would be to improve my storage issue.

    Is there an additional bay - could I have another hard drive installed (HD 3)?

    How feasible is it to install a 4 TB hard drive in the place of the current 1 TB drive? Is there a drive that will work better than others? No fan issues, etc.?

    Is there an external drive that is recommended? This is my least favorite option as I like the simplicity of an internal drive that is automatically backed up with my Time Capsule.

    Any ideas?
  2. MetalCores macrumors regular


    Apr 30, 2015
    Mosinee, WI
    If your going to go to a 4TB drive I would recommend a WD Black drive. They defiantly seem to be the most reliable. If you feel comfortable taking the iMac apart this is a fairly easy install. There are plenty of videos online showing how to do this. Maybe watch a few and see if its something you want to tackle. As far as having 3 drives I'm not sure where you would mount it in there. But if someone else knows something else about that they can chime in.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You are already using both bays with an SSD and a HDD, you should be able to just swap out the HDD for a bigger one. Look up how to on iFixit's website.
  4. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    You can get one of these kits and do it yourself but yo need to 1. Have a tech friend to help 2. Have confidence you can do it. Alternatively, I LOVE this drive. It is powered by the USB port and is RAID so super fast large at 4TB, and small.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    I strongly recommend using external drives to store you large libraries. If you are like most users, those large libraries are photos, music and movies. I have the same configuration as you and keep all my 100,000 photo library on 1 EHD, my 60GB music collection on another and finally my near 500 movies on a third. I don' t have any performance problems.
  7. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
  8. Dopeyman macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2005
    Los Angeles!
    Go with what Samuelson2001 said and replace the internal drive with a larger drive.. And you're gonna need that kit from OWC that sirmausalot mentioned in his post to control the fan issue...

    I replaced my 1TB with a 2TB and installed an SSD into my 27" mid'11 iMac....
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
  10. bennettave thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2011
    Thanks for all the wonderful options. I am not completely confident about taking the computer apart. Perhaps I could take it in and have the work done. I think that the 4 Tb internal drive would be the slickest solution...but am concerned about the fan issue.

    Is there an Apple approved option that would be compatible and work with the existing fan controls in the computer?
  11. Dopeyman macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2005
    Los Angeles!
    That question was already answered...
  12. JordiMdD, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    JordiMdD macrumors newbie


    Sep 27, 2015
    I have a iMac Mid2010 27".
    And I upgrade my internal Hd 1tb WD with the new Seagate 4tb Hibrid HDssd.
    You can see here:

    I buy in Barcelona after some isues with other HD.... Fans work a lot etc...
    This HDSSD in compatible with apple and work perfectly... I don't need any extra software to control the Fan.
    You only need to connect the thermal sensor to the 2 pins more far away the power conector.

    I have a another SSD install on my iMac and I created a Fusion Drive with the 2 Hdd.

    Attached Files:

  13. kgian macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2011
    You say that you store photos and videos. Do you have a backup of those in another place? Most people don't think about backups, but hard disks fail and your photos are memories of a lifetime.

    For me, you should get a NAS. That is a disk or disks that connect through ethernet. If you use ethernet cable you can get 100MB/sec transfer rate with gigabit ethernet. With a NAS you get extra benefits. You can access your files when you are away from your home, you can run a torrent downloader and can have your files accessible from multiple computers.

    I have a NAS in my home with three 3TB drives and have my photos automatically copied to each of the three disks for a tripple backup.
  14. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    External drives can be automatically backed up with Time Capsule. So, that's one less thing to worry about. You should have a firewire port and there are adapters available to USB-3, so you could access content on an external drive quite quickly. And USB-3 drives are readily available. And when it's time to upgrade your computer, it's a quick way of moving your big ticket items.
  15. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    You really only have 2 options: either swap out the 1TB HD for something bigger, or simply add an external drive. I believe you could also swap out the optical drive for a an HD using OWC's data doubler, but don't quote me on that. By far your cheapest option is to just add an external.

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14 September 27, 2015