iMac 27" mid 2011 1TB Seagate hard disk HDD replacement

Discussion in 'iMac' started by daniirwan, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. daniirwan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #1
    Hi all.

    Recently received an email from Apple saying that the 1TB Seagate hard drive in my 27" mid-2011 iMac is apt to fail anytime. Apparently they used some bad hard drives in the mid-2011 27" iMacs which are problematic so they're offering me a free replacement to a brand new hard drive. I'll be sending in my iMac for the replacement sometime in the next few days.

    In preparation for it, I've backed up my entire system using Time Machine into an external harddrive. The backup is up to date & includes all system files. I've also made a Lion install disk on an 8GB USB flash/pen drive using Carbon Copy Cloner.

    My question is: When I get my iMac back after the hard disk replacement, will I be able to restore my iMac to EXACTLY the way it was before the replacement using the Time Machine backup & the Lion install disk that I've prepared? When I mean EXACTLY, I do mean EXACTLY, e.g I don't have to re-install all the programs I have, my settings for the programs I have will stay intact, everything is where it should be etc...i.e EXACTLY the way my iMac is right now.

    If yes, how do I do it? I've read Pondini's guide: http://pondini.org/TM/14.html
    However it is not that clear on certain points. In my case, which one do I have to use to restore my system to the way it was...the Time Machine backups I have on the external HDD or the Lion install disk that I made using Carbon Copy Cloner?

    I'd appreciate any & all help given. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    When ever I restore from TimeCapsule is it identically the same. The only thing I sometimes have to do is enter some serial numbers to reactivate software.

    As for how you do it.

    The Lion Back up disk sounds like it is just of the Operating System while the Time Machine backup is all your user files. It really is a straightforward process.
     
  3. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #3
    That is good to know, stridemat, thank you for your input. Howeverm I'm using Time Machine on a normal 3.5" external HDD, not a TimeCapsule. Will everything be identical then?

    Yes, I do agree that the bootable Lion install disk sounds like it's just an installer for Lion OS. But, Pondini's FAQ (see link above) calls for it's use during the restore process.

    Straightforward? I don't know about that...can you tell me how you do it please?

    Anymore help from anyone?
     
  4. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #4
    Yes, it doesn't matter that you are using an external 3.5 as long as your backups are intact and up to date. I have the same age iMac as yours, but it was fitted with a WD HDD. Segate seem to have some issues...My Pegasus R4 came fitted with four ST's but drive 3 started developing bad sectors, so I contacted them. Instead of sending me a replacement Segate, they sent me a new unit with Hitachi's in it...The issue with Segate drives and iMacs is a known one, but it looks like it's spread to other devices. You will be fine to put everything back after the new HDD is installed.
     
  5. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for your feedback MacMan. So Seagate HDD's are known to have problems with mid-2011 iMacs eh? Not good :( I hope the new HDD that I'll be getting isn't a Seagate!

    Yes, I do think my Time Machine backups on the 3.5" external HDD are up to date. I will do one final Time Machine backup before I send in my Mac for the HDD replacement.

    Yes, I do hope that I'll be fine to put everything back after the new HDD is installed...but how do I do it exactly? I guess what I need right now is a step-by-step walkthrough, other than Pondini's FAQ. I'd appreciate it greatly if you or anyone else can list down the steps I need to do right here for my specific case.

    Also, I did some reading...it seems like using Carbon Copy Cloner is a legitimate & easy (appears to be anyway) option in my case. See here: http://help.bombich.com/kb/overview/restoring-data-from-your-backup#full_volume_restore

    Has anyone tried using that method before?
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #6
    Carbon Cloner is a great way to take an entire image of your iMac...Many on the boards here use it, and for ease of restore it beats TM, although you still want those backups:


    Backup Process:

    http://mac.appstorm.net/how-to/util...oner-to-make-an-exact-copy-of-your-hard-disk/


    Restore Process:

    http://help.bombich.com/kb/dmg-and-remote/restoring-from-a-disk-image



    I doubt you'll get another Seagate, probably a WD...Just a guess though.
     
  7. Lancer macrumors 68020

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    Silly question but did Apple tell you to backup?

    I would expect if a HDD is replaced under warranty that Apple would copy your data across to the new drive and return the iMac as if nothing has happened.

    JMHO

    OT - did they give you the option to upgrade to a bigger HDD or SSD set up at an extra charge? Might be worth asking if you need the space.
     
  8. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #8
    Thanks very much for the links, MacMan. The first one is very useful. However, I think the 2nd link is more approriate for users who wants to back up to disk images or to other Macs on their network..which is not my case. I think the link I gave earlier is more pertinent to my situation: http://help.bombich.com/kb/overview/restoring-data-from-your-backup#full_volume_restore

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, though.

    However, I'm still not clear on whether it will be ok for the Apple tech guys to install OSX Lion on the new HDD that they'll be putting into my iMac? Because in the 2nd link you gave above, it says even CCC is not permitted to restore system files to an OS that is currently running.

    Is it better for me to tell the Apple tech guys to not install anything, even OSX Lion, on the new HDD? In the latter case, can I still boot into my CCC clone?

    What is the normal procedure for HDD replacement? Will the tech guys install Lion and/or bundled apps into your new HDD?

    ----------

    Hi Lancer, thanks for the input.

    Hmm, thinking back, I called Apple Support and I think they didn't tell me to backup...lol. All this is my own initiative. Hmmm...

    Perhaps it's because my iMac is no longer under the 1 year warranty. I have also neglected to purchase Apple Care :(

    And nope, they didn't say that they'll upgrade my machine to an SSD or bigger HDD. Would be nice if they did, though...
     
  9. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #9

    You won't get a bigger HDD, and if want SL then you will have to re-format the new drive and install SL. If that's your plan, then CC will work fine, if you plan on Lion, then TM will pull documents etc. over for you, I guess it's time to upgrade? ML is just around the corner too, so support from SL will begin to dwindle...Your call..:)
     
  10. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #10
    MacMan, I'm running OSX Lion currently, not SL.
     
  11. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #11
    In addition, is it important for me to wipe/erase the old Seagate HDD I have in my iMac before I send my machine to the replacement center? All those sensitive user data left on the old HDD!

    If I do wipe the old HDD, will I need to reinstall a clean Lion OS on it and make a generic guest user account? Just so the tech guys can boot up my iMac before they replace the HDD (do they need to?)
     
  12. torana355 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    Use Superduper to make a bootable backup. I highly recommend Hitachi HDD's. Ive got 5 of them and have not had a failure or issue with any of them. I currently have a 3TB Hitachi in my 2008 imac, very easy to replace by yourself.
     
  13. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #13
    As long as the system you are backing up (Lion) is the same as that which will be installed (bound to be Lion, even if the repair runs over ML's release date, as you'd have to pay for ML anyway) you can use any of the methods described above and you will be fine. Remember all your Apps are linked to your iTunes account and can be downloaded via the App store and itiunes store respectively by using the "Purchased" tab.
     
  14. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #14
    Thank you. I can only hope that they will give me new Hitachi HDD's.

    Which one is better...Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper?

    From what I can see, Superduper has to be paid for to unlock advanced features, while CCC is donation-based.

    ----------

    Yes, gotta be Lion.

    Regards App Store purchases, ok, got it. Thanks MacMan.
     
  15. Lancer, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012

    Lancer macrumors 68020

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    Just to clarify I'm NOT saying don't back up your iMac your self, it's always better to have a 2nd or 3rd copy just in case they screw something up.

    Also I was just pointing out your options if Apple allow you but of course they will then charge you for the bigger drive but should not charge for fitting it or re-installing you data.

    JMHO

    ETA - I'd talk to them to clarify what they are going to do as in copying your data and the OS X they will install. I just assume they would use something like CCC to transfer your data to the new HDD using a HDD dock, then install the new drive and the iMac won't know the difference.

    If you're worried about your sensitive data again ask them to guarantee the HDD is destroyed or the data wiped. They probably need to send it back to Seagate. Maybe ask them to show you the old HDD has been wiped?
     
  16. torana355 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #16
    I can't comment on CCC as i have not used it but i can vouch for Superduper, it does its job very well.
     
  17. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #17
    I only wish the Apple tech guys will use something like CCC to restore my entire system to the way it was after the HDD replacement but I'm afraid they won't. Nevertheless, I'll call them again in the morning to see what they'll do exactly. Thanks again.

    ----------

    Thanks for your input. I'll look into both but right now I have to admit I'm leaning towards CCC.
     
  18. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #18
    I doubt if they'll restore the drive for you. And, if they did, they'd be able to access anything on the drive. I have stuff on my Macs that isn't sensitive enough to require special safeguards (I do use FileVault), but still would make me uncomfortable if viewed by others. The safest approach is to do a secure erase before sending the computer to them. It wouldn't hurt to let them know you're going to do that in advance.
     
  19. Lancer macrumors 68020

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #19
    I've only used CCC, and to this still use it for backup up my G5. I'll more to Time Machine with my new iMac. I've used CCC to replace the HDD in an iBook years ago, so simple.

    1) Using a case or dock hook up the new HDD.
    2) Make a clone of the internal HDD.
    3) Swap HDDs and apart from a few passwords the computer runs like normal with the new HDD.

    My main reason for using CC is I know I'll have a bootable external drive which I actually used a few weeks back to clear up a few issues with my G5, I backup about once a week.
     
  20. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #20
    The idea that you still have to send an imac "in" for hard drive replacement is really hard to stomach.
     
  21. GyroFX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles and NorCal
    #21
    CCC is the most simplest programs to copy your entire HD boot drive. If you have firewire external, just copy your boot drive. ON the computer you get back after receiving the new HD, just boot off of the firewire external HD and copy the old boot drive to the new one. Wait about 45min and you're back just like the way it was. easy peasy
     
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
    if you have the machine on hand download superduper and clone the internal to the external hdd fw800 usb2 or t-bolt . after the clone is done go to preferences and pick the clone as your boot drive . boot the drive and run off the external for a while and that is it. the locked version of superduper will make a bootable clone.


    the 1tb drive is a clone of the 767 raid0. both are osx both boot.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. daniirwan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #23
    Yes, you're right...they won't. I already called up the Apple tech guys who'll be doing the actual HDD replacement on my iMac. They told me they won't restore my new internal HDD for me. What they WILL do is that they'll do a clean install of Lion on the new internal. That's it.

    Yes, I'll be using CCC to make a bootable clone of my internal HDD later on. Thanks for your feedback.

    Why?

    I don't have FW, still using USB :( But yes, I'll try this out with CCC. I'm still going to use Time Machine for my initial effort to restore everything. If it fails, I'll use the clone CCC made.

    I've downloaded SuperDuper and tried it out. I think I'll use CCC instead, as not having the full version of SuperDuper without paying for it makes me uneasy somehow. Thank you for your suggestion though. P.S: May I know what apps you're using to display your HDD's temp & transfer speed on your menu bar? (see the screenshot you attached).

    Thanks everyone.
     
  24. Kanunu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hawaii
    #24
    Reading with interest

    I picked up on this thread today and have a direct interest. I have a late 2010 27" iMac (out of warranty) which I believe has the same or similar drive as the OP. I recall another thread that discussed problems with this ST drive but did not locate it today. Starting this week I have been getting some momentary lockups and a lot of beachballs and so went to take a look with Disc Utility.app. For most of this week it told me S.M.A.R.T. Status is "Failing" (in red letters no less) :mad: and that the "drive has a hardware problem that can't be repaired." Occasionally, the red letters are gone and S.M.A.R.T. Status goes to "Not supported." I don't understand the implications of the shift back to black. Does Not supported mean that the computer can no longer determine the drive status or does it mean the drive is OK for now? Either way I am prepared to replace if necessary. The last time it went back to black letters the fail message in red returned the next day. I am assuming that failure may not be imminent but may be inevitable.

    My boot drive is a 500GB partition of the failing 1TB internal drive. I have CCC and have a 1.5TB USB 2.0 drive that is divided into three 500GB partitions. I use the CCC automated backup process to give me a Daily/Weekly/Monthly backup in each partition. Additionally, I have a 500GB portable that has a CCC clone as well and will back up to that drive again before I go in to repair. I tried booting to one of the clone drives yesterday using the hold down option key method and it worked fine.

    In fact I was wondering if one could continue to use the computer for a day or two just by booting to the clone if the internal drive actually fails. I am currently job seeking so I may want to keep my computer going for a while if possible. It is a long shot but has anyone out there tried to boot to a CCC external clone after a failure of the internal drive?

    As my iMac and I are in Vietnam, I am forced to take it to what Apple calls an "Apple Premium Reseller." I surely plan to delete any files like my checking accounts and key-chain files unless I have a sudden and total failure. The technician was a little hard to understand over the phone but I hope I can bring my iMac in and get it back with a new drive (possibly a 500GB SSD) with Lion installed or even bare but formatted. My plan then is to boot to one of the external clones and then clone back using the CCC instructions that are referred to by OP in post #5. I have never had to restore more than a file at a time but I don't see why it shouldn't work.

    I will try to post back here after it is all resolved.
     

Share This Page