iMac dead - want HD data

Discussion in 'iMac' started by grumpybarista, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. grumpybarista macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2010
    My old imac is dead, but I want to access the data on the hard drive to back it up to an external drive. How can I do this? I don't intend to revive it, just get the data from the drive.

  2. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Good question I do backups but still curious if things can be retrievable
  3. kippertron macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2012
    Is it the drive or the iMac itself that's deceased?

    If it's the machine, and you don't plan on getting it fixed, open it up and get the hard drive out. iFixit probably has the instructions for your model.

    If it's the drive that's died, then it's going to be pretty expensive getting the data off it.
  4. grumpybarista thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2010
    It's the iMac. Apparently the power center (?) inside is no longer functioning.
  5. Kyle-K macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2014
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    Then you will need to go to iFixit and check out the relevant guide for this iMac. They will have instructions on how to disassemble the iMac and retrieve the hard drive.

    Depending on what iMac model you have. and if it only has a power supply issue it may be worth repairing. So you need to make this decision on how much care you take when you disassemble the iMac e.g. Remembering where each part goes.

    Once the hard drive has been retrieved. You will need some kind of enclosure so you can connect it to your new computer / other computer. You could get a cheap USB3 Enclosure or Adapter or Hard Drive Dock.

    I like the NewerTech® Universal Drive Adapter and NewerTech® Voyager Productline. Have one of each there both great.

    Those or similar devices or a external enclosure will allow you to connect the drive to another computer. Once connected and given the hard drive is all okay you can just transfer your data manually or use another method. E.g. Something like Apple's migration assistant if it's going on a new Mac.
  6. grumpybarista thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2010
    Thanks! I'll check out the iFixit site and go from there. Btw, the iMac is about 8 years old, and I just don't want to spend much on it, seeing as I just plunked down $2K on a new macbook and external drive. Although, I'd consider reviving it if the power supply were cheaply replaced and I could wipe the old iMac and give it to my kids or such.

    Thanks again for the help!

  7. Kyle-K macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2014
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    You're more than welcome.

    Given the little bit of information you've given my estimate is this is a white iMac first generation Intel not worth replacing power supply. Seen quite a few of these (five+) this year all of them have had their power supplies die. In my opinion its lift a great life and you should let it rest in peace.

    For me at least it was relatively easy compare to new iMacs to remove the drive and transfer the data to the new clients brand-new iMacs.
  8. RustyRelic macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2014
    Pull the hard drive out and get an external enclosure for it. Plug it into a Mac comp and drag all your data off.
    The screen cover is held on with magnets. I used small suction cups. It needs to be pulled straight out about 1/2" or so.
    Then just a bunch of screws holding the frame and lcd. Not really that hard. Ifixit should have complete dis-assembly steps.
    Different length screws, so record where they go.
    While it's apart, why not replace the power supply? Shame to trash what is still a good iMac.
    The old PowerPC Macs are the only ones I don't mess with.
  9. Wayfarer, Sep 24, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014

    Wayfarer macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2007
  10. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Do you know exactly which model you have?

    If not - what's the screen size? and it white or aluminium?
  11. RustyRelic macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2014
    There might not be anything wrong with his hard drive.
  12. Ipadilac macrumors member


    Feb 18, 2013
    If its the old White iMac, they are pretty easy to get into, minus the clips on the top edge of the display can be a pain.
    I am still using one of these style in my garage as the shop computer for looking up parts and browsing the web etc.. and I just parted one out that I actually do have the good power supply from. Mine are the 2006 Core 2 Duo 17" versions. I also have a G5 version of the white iMac that still works.
    still are great computers for browsing, email, iTunes, Etc...

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