iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) HDD --> SSD upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tubeexperience, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. tubeexperience, Jun 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

    tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #1
    Do you want an SSD for your iMac, but don't want to pay the Apple price?

    That sounds a lot like me, so I upgraded my iMac.

    The whole process (excluding time waiting for parts and for installing macOS) took less than 1-hour.

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    Things you will need:

    OWC Complete Hard Drive Upgrade Kit Including Tools for all 27" iMacs 2012 & Later:
    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMACHDD12/

    iMac Service Wedge:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Tools/iMac-Service-Wedge/IF145-224-2

    2.5" SSD of your choice

    2.5" to 3.5" hard drive bracket

    Instructions:

    iFixit Hard Drive Replacement guide:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2639+Hard+Drive+Replacement/19643

    iFixit Adhesive Strips Replacement guide:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2639+Adhesive+Strips+Replacement/24341

    MacSales/OWC's How to Upgrade the Main Drive in a 27-inch iMac (2012 – Current) video:
     
  2. tubeexperience, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018

    tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #2
    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q. Does this void the warranty?

    A. No, this does not void the warranty.

    From the FTC:

    Section 102 (c) of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

    From MacSales/OWC:

    Q. I have heard that someone repaired/upgraded his/her Mac somewhere else or repair it himself/herself and Apple voided the warranty. Is that true?

    A. It's true, but that's not the whole story. Apple can void your warranty if there are "damages" caused by third-party [i.e. not caused by Apple or by Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP)]. Apple uses quite an expansive definition of this. For example, if you forgot to put back the speaker screws, Apple considered this "user damaged" even if the speaker still works.

    Q. Is the "In-line Digital Thermal Sensor Cable" required?

    A. Yes, otherwise the fan would spin at 100% all the time.

    Note that the "In-line Digital Thermal Sensor Cable" is not required for the 21.5" iMac.
     
  3. JBat macrumors regular

    JBat

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    Washington
  4. Armendegga macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Valdosta, GA
    #4
    Thanks for this! I’ll be attempting this upgrade this weekend.
     
  5. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #5
    Good luck!
     
  6. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #6
    Good job!

    I did the same. On a recent trip back into the iMac to replace the thermal compound I broke the screen like a dummy though so you’re doing better than me.

    I drilled some new holes in a Corsair bracket so I could mount it lower and keep tension off the wire.

    E09EA1C7-C76D-4F16-A0C4-4A62C3F88DA6.jpeg

    The sensor on mine had a lot of tension wanting it to flip over annoyingly so I zip tied it to be safe.
     
  7. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #7
    I twisted mine to lower the tension

    [​IMG]
     
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #8
    Mine would not cooperate at all, I was probably being a little overly anal too.

    What size SSD did you get?

    I have a Sandisk SSD Plus I use for Linux on one of the drives in my laptop. I’ve been happy with it. I stuck the Samsung in my iMac because I wanted the performance, although in real life it’s hard to tell a difference.
     
  9. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #9
    Oh, it required a bit of force.

    It did it that way because that's how the OWC's video recommend that it be done.

    It's the SanDisk Ultra 3D 500GB.

    Reviews have shown that it's as fast as the Samsung 850 EVO.

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    The SanDisk SSD Plus, that you have, is really slow because it's a budget SSD with a DRAM-less design.
     
  10. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #10
    It’s slow in benchmarks but in use it zips around most Linux build. 60 bucks for 240gb over a year ago from a wholesaler so it fit the bill.
     
  11. Armendegga macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Valdosta, GA
    #11
    Got my upgrade done today!
    Taking off the glue wasn’t too bad... but the screen still didn’t want to lift. There was a little glue the tool couldn’t quite reach. I took my time for sure as I didn’t want to put too much pressure on lifting the screen.

    Got the screen off. Noticed that this was the second time the HD must have been replaced. There were no torx t8 screws on the HD. Just regular Phillips screws.

    Got the SSD and thermal cable hooked up. Then started the process of removing the old adhesive. Wasn’t too bad.

    Putting the new ones on seemed to go pretty good.

    Layer the screen down and connected it to make sure I didn’t screw up the connector or screen. It booted! And the screen worked!

    Took off the adhesive protectors, and then layed the screen down a final time.

    Only downside is it is installing mountain lion haha.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Loke2112 macrumors regular

    Loke2112

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    3 blocks off the Atlantic
    #12
    Hmmmm Ive been using an external SSD is there an advantage to replacing the internal?
     
  13. Guy Clark Suspended

    Guy Clark

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Location:
    London United Kingdom.
    #13
    Tidy job however 500GB is not a huge capacity. I would possibly have taken a different approach. Running macOS and applications from an external 128GB Thunderbolt SSD whilst retaining the internal drive for data.
     
  14. nathansz, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018

    nathansz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    #14
    there are a number of free software solutions for this

    no cable required

    i usually use this:

    https://www.eidac.de/

    there’s also these:

    https://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/

    https://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-control

    istat menus can also take care of it

    there may be more
     
  15. tubeexperience, Jul 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018

    tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #15
    Don't forget to enable TRIM.

    Which SSD did you use?

    Also, post a screenshot of Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
     
  16. Armendegga macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Valdosta, GA
    #16
    Samsung EVO 860.

    Forgot about trim. Just enabled it.
     
  17. Armendegga macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Valdosta, GA
  18. BuntaFujiwaraaa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #18
    I had a harddrive failure recently. Technically, I can buy a new external ssd and just boot my OS. In that case, I do not have to open my iMac (im worried im not skilled enough). Do you guys advice against this?
     
  19. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #19
    Well, you probably going to have to remove the failed hard drive because the computer is going to try to keep reading from it.

    The upgrade is pretty simple.

    Just go over the instructions a couple of times.
     
  20. nathansz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    #20
    if you don’t have much computer tinkering experience and are intimidated by opening up your imac than booting from an external ssd is a great option and will work perfectly fine

    i prefer to install internally but i am comfortable opening up imacs.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2018 ---
    i ran an imac with a dead drive inside of it for about a year once off of an external ssd before i got around to installing the ssd and it did not cause any problems at all
     
  21. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #21
    Mine is an earlier iMac but the same principles applied. The internal HD was noisy and even though I ran my main system from an external Thunderbolt SSD, the internal HD would spin up and down until I unmounted it. Even when my iMac was sleeping I could hear the internal HD spin up, poll for a few seconds and then spin down. It would do this regularly. It seems as if this was an issue many had with their iMacs that nobody could fix.

    So out came the internal spinner.
     
  22. jnowakphoto macrumors newbie

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    Feb 11, 2013
    #22
    awesome, however I'm getting very comparable speeds with an external USB3 SSD.... 427/430
     
  23. Armendegga macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Valdosta, GA
    #23
    That’s good to know. Which external SSD are you using? Can you share a Speedtest of it? May use it for a future one.
     
  24. Armendegga macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    Valdosta, GA

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