Help with mid 2011 iMac and new SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by silkvelvet, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. silkvelvet macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2016
    Hi, I have a 27" mid 2011 iMac and had an issue with my HDD. I took it to a repair place and they were very encouraging about replacing it with a SSD, so I went ahead and let them do that. Everything seems to be running fine except the fans are really loud. I'm concerned about how this will cause eventual wear and tear in the long run so I took the computer back and they installed smcFanControl. When I brought it back home, the program wasn't ready to go since it had been shut down and it didn't save the settings I guess? I set it back up and it doesn't seem to be solving the problem for very long and the fan steadily gets faster until I shut the computer down again. I'm going to be contacting them again tomorrow but I really want another opinion. Did I make a wrong decision by getting a SSD? They gave me the option of having a HDD but, again, I went with what they recommended assuming it would be a smooth transition and they knew what they were doing. At this point I have the worst feeling in the pit of my stomach and feel stupid. Please let me know what my options are without buying a new computer (trust me, I wish I could at this point but financially it's not an option.)
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    that shop messed up. when you swap out for a non-Apple drive part, you need to replace the drive thermal sensor or, well, you already know what happens.

    I don't know if there are any additional or different considerations since you are putting in an SSD rather than a 3.5" spinning disk, but the sensor is definitely the issue. SMC is not the solution. pretty common wall that people run into here, you could search the treads for more details if you are interested.
  3. silkvelvet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2016
    Thank you! I've searched way too much into this but hadn't come across that information, so that's very helpful! I'm not sure if I should bring this up with them or another shop, since this is definitely not something I have experience with or would risk trying. In the short amount of time since I've posted this, I've tried another program called SSD Fan Control and it seems to be working more than the other one - is this something I'm okay to rely on (if it works) until I can afford to fix it with the part you suggest?
  4. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I think the shop that did the swap owes you a fix. This is an issue that a professional shop should know about and factor into the service that they were selling you on in the first place.
  5. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    I have an SSD in my 2010 I've used HDD Fan Control almost 5 years and no issues. These days, there is a hardware part listed above that solves the problem and should have been included.

    You made the right decision to get an SSD. You can either keep using the fan control software you have or get that shop or another to install the proper cable.
  6. danielwsmithee, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    Note there is a difference between SmcFanControl and HDDFanControl.

    SmcFanControl sets the lower limit of any of the system fans. This can help keep your iMac cooler at the expense of noise, but will not help correct the problem you are having which is a disconnected HD thermal sensor telling the iMac's thermal control firmware that the hard drive is very hot, so it spins up the hard drive fan.

    For what you have there are two solutions:
    1. Replace the thermal sensor using the hardware solution linked above. This is the best solution as it doesn't require any 3rd party software and keeps the iMac's functionality as close to the factory original as possible.
    2. Use HDDFanControl which will override the control of the HardDisk fan by overriding the SMC Thermal control software and controlling the Hard drive fan using the thermal sensor retrieved from the drives smart status.
    I actually use both SmcFanControl and HDDFanControl on my iMac with two internal SSDs. I found that just using HDDFanControl can actually make the other fans default settings not work correctly. If one fan pushes too much air out the exhaust it will cause the other fans to not be able to push air through when they are at low speeds because they all share the same exhaust. All 3 system fans need to be balanced..

    You can get HDDFanControl here:

    I haven't tested it on Sierra yet.

    If it were me I'd go back to the repair shop, tell them if they are working on iMacs they should know that they need to add a thermal sensor like the one above. Tell them that you will pay the cost of the part, but they should make it right and cover the labor to open up the iMac and put in the cable. If they refuse to, leave them a bad review, and find a different repair shop that knows how to work on iMacs and take it to them.

    If they want to rely on a software solution for this they should 1) Make it clear up front 2) recommend a software solution that actually solves the problem and 3) install/provide the software and set it up as part of the service.

    I don't have the hardware solution because it wasn't available when I first replaced my Apple drive but the software was, but I would prefer the hardware solution. I don't want to open up my iMac again, but if I ever have too I may switch over.

    There are probably other Fan Control software applications that will do what HDDFanControl does but I haven't investigated them. The SSD Fan control application you are using may be functionally equivalent.
  7. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    Daniel: right on. The shop that did the work should have done it correctly to begin with. Their labor to fix the problem is on them.

    To the OP: I did my own SDD surgery years ago on my iMac and I use HDDFanControl and have had zero issues with it, in case you are interested in going that route. I would make the shop pay for it though.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    Careful: software can solve the problem too. HDDFanControl works fine for this.
  8. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    are you giving me a scolding for offering the proper an correct fix?
  9. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    ^What he said

    You need that digital in-line thermometer installed.
  10. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Normally unless the HDD is toast, you would leave the Apple HDD in place and add the SSD to the second bay.
    The 2011 iMac uses a special cable for a heat sensor taped to the HDD, which if it is not connected, will cause the fans to run constantly.
    I would suggest that you go back and tell them that they failed to follow recommended Apple upgrade procedure, so they need to reattach the sensor to the HDD, or SSD if the HDD is toast, then it will resolve the problem with the fan.
  11. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Installing smcFanControl by the store is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. Very unprofessional.

    Have them put the original drive back in, and have them install the SSD in the second SATA port in the machine, which is readily available. Then you get both the new and the old drive running at the same time.
  12. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    Well, yes, because you're giving the impression that a hardware solution is the only one that works, which is not true. You don't need an external temp sensor on today's SSDs since a software solution works perfectly fine, which is what HDD Fan Control does. Why bother opening the computer again if you don't need to? Maybe the shop would be happy to reimburse the cost for any fan control software the OP decides to get and call it a day.
  13. iMacC2D, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

    iMacC2D macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
  14. kgian macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2011
    Also, you need different software if you decide to run windows in bootcamp, or linux or any other OS. It is best to use a hardware solution.

    If you install the ssd in the place of the original HDD you have to install the owc inline thermal sensor. The best way though is to install the SSD in it's special port. That is what I have done.
  15. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Right, and the non-aspergers sufferer's answer is "don't remove the original apple drive, just put the SSD in the second bay." Which is of course correct without going into obsessive detail not required for the context of the conversation.
  16. hifoo45 macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2010
    I just recently did this exact swap out. As others mentioned, you DO need to have a thermal sensor installed or the fans will spin 100%. The shop should have known that, an app is not the solution. To install the thermal sensor it literally takes less than 10mins which most of that is used just unscrewing the ~10 screws around the display. It's very simple.
  17. iMacC2D, Sep 28, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  18. ilyasdesign37 macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2014
    I have the same issue......

    My Apple is IMac 27 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (Late 2009) CD Drive
    My HD failed and needs replacement which is 1TB Serial ATA Drive HD
    Here is the error message

    I will install the Snow Leopard OS system as I have the original disks

    A mac repair installed Samsung 512GB 850 PRO SSD
    They didn’t do a good job, when got home the fan noise was loud, so I install SSD Fan Control

    Done some research online and many people are having this issue with these models
    They say software is temporary solution so do I need to upgrade the thermal sensor

    OWC in-line digital thermal sensor

    Please advise anyone thanks

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17 September 22, 2016