iMac hard drive broken – what now?!?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by liverix, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. liverix macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #1
    Hello!

    I have a iMac 3,06GHz 24“ from 2009. My hard drive is broken and I have to buy a new one and change it. I don't have any experience in changing hardware in the iMac, so I have some questions.

    I have seen some video tutorials how to do it on YouTube. They said, I have to buy exactly the same hard drive as I have now (I think because of the temperature sensor wire). How do I get to know which hard drive model I have, to I find any information about it in the internet?
    Do I need to buy exactly the same hard drive or can I buy a faster/larger one? Is there anything else that I should consider?

    Since I live in Malta/Europe it might be tough to find a store that sells exactly the same hard drive. We don't have an Apple Store that can help me, so I think I will have to buy it in the internet and help myself with the YouTube tutorials.

    Thanks for any help!
    Liverix
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    You can short out the sensor to bypass it. Then you can choose from pretty much any SATA drive. I'd recommend either a SSD or Momentus XT 750. Both will need a 2.5 to 3.5 bracket.
    iFixiT.com will show you how to open it up.
    This is what I did to a 2009 27" iMac (OCZ Vertex 2). Speedy.
     
  3. liverix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for your advice. My English is not that good, so I have to ask: What do you mean with 'short out'? Does it mean 'to hot-wire'. And is it difficult, are there any problem that can occur? Where do I find more informations about it?

    You have the 6th generation of iMacs, on a YouTube video they told, that the new generations from 2009 can use everything hand drive. But I have the old 5th generation.
    It would be great, if I could use any hard drive!!! :)
     
  4. Lucianrider macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Location:
    St. Lucia, West Indies
    #4
    I also have a 24" iMac, Lion says its an early 2008 model. I swapped the hard drive for a 1TB Seagate, it was relatively difficult to do and on mine the heat sensor was attached to the outside of the hard drive.

    So I would go for whatever size drive you want, open it up but be prepared to connect the sensor wires together if yours does not have the external sensor.

    I did the upgrade just for the increased capacity, not because the original failed.
     
  5. liverix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for your advice!

    Ok, I think I will buy this hard drive today:
    Western Digital WD30EZRX 3TB intern hard drive (8,9 cm (3,5 inch), 5400 rpm, 2ms, 64MB Cache, SATA III)

    Any objections? Will it fit in my iMac?
     
  6. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #6
    Yes, with no issues.
     
  7. lali macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #7
    Wait !!!
    I suggest you read on the compatibility or incompatibility of a 3TB drive for boot in osx

    I know that for external enclosures on osx 3TB is fussy - the enclosure must be compatible. I do not know about internal. But they have the big stickers on the boxes that say "check the compatibility of your computer before purchase"

    A 2tb drive does not have this problem. Only the new 3tb

    Suggest you research more
     
  8. liverix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #8
    I was already clicking on 'buy', when I saw your posting in the last second and became scared :-D So I tried to do some research.
    On the German Amazon page, somebody said it worked on a mac. And here:
    http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=120
    WD says:
    'WD Advanced Format drives are specifically optimized for Mac and the latest Windows operating systems such as Windows Vista and Windows 7 with a clean install.'
    They are refering to the OS and not especially to my hardware, however, I think it should be fine.

    I will buy it now at Amazon and have 90 minutes then to reject the purchases, so I will look in this thread, hoping I haven't done any mistake ;-)

    Thanks guys for your help!
     
  9. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #9
    Are you sure you want a 5400 rpm drive? Your iMac was delivered with a 7200 rpm drive, and you're going to notice the speed difference.
     
  10. liverix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #10
    Oh I didn't notice it. Hmmm... However, Amazon doesn't deliver it anyway to Malta. Just a few companies deliver Malta, so it won't be easy to find the perfect hard drive, that will be delivered here.
    Yes, you are right, 5400 for the drive with the OS isn't very much. So I will have to reevaluate.
     
  11. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #11
    Not true. When the platter density changes so vastly from the (probably) 500GB stock drive to a 3TB drive, no matter what speed it runs at, the OP would still see a speed increase.
     
  12. liverix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #12
    Hmmm... I have read different opinions about it. It would be nice if it were fast, but that's not so important. If it's a good hard drive, then I will be happy with it. I'm searching for a 3GB hard drive for a good price that will fit into my iMac.
     
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #13
    This. Within reason of course.
     
  14. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #14
    Yes, that seems to be the case. Certainly it's commonly said out there on the net, and it's easy to understand that there's some point at which a density increase negates the slower speed.

    But really, what is that point? 500 gb vs 3 tb -- I can see that as definitely possible. You qualified your statement by size ("vastly"), but I see a lot of "denser is faster, period" statements out there and I'm not inclined to accept all of them.
     
  15. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #15
    Denser is usually faster but spindle speed and caching technology plays an important role as well. You see users talking density because HDD tech is stagnant relative to SSD. You can't really run any faster on typical HW over 10,000RPM and the benefits are diminishing returns. So they go after less platters and as dense as possible. I've got a 500GB single platter Seagate that is really fast compared to a 3 platter Caviar Black at same rotational speed. Samsung's green 5400RPM 2TB is as fast or faster than same 7200RPM Caviar Black. It all depends.
     
  16. liverix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #16
    On a German website somebody told me, that I shouldn't buy a hard drive with over 2GB because the sATA-controler might cause problem, or isn't able to access the hard drive. Can anybody confirm it, or doesn't it relate to my Mac?
     
  17. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #17
    2.5TB or 3TB HDD's will work fine with your iMac.

    The problem is if you run Boot Camp (for Windows). Windows must have it's boot sector located in the first 2TB of a drive, so you can't use Boot Camp with a drive larger than 2TB.

    Unless you enjoy your iMac sounding like a jet engine, you must use a method to disable/trick the HDD Temp Sensor in the iMac.

    I have used the HDD Fan Control software and the Optical Temp Sensor cable. I did not use the 'short out' method. I don't recommend the 'short' method if you are going to replace your failed HDD with another HDD. If you are going to replace with an SSD, then heat shouldn't be a problem.
     
  18. kpgh554 macrumors regular

    kpgh554

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    iver england
    #18
    easiest method note where sensor is on orig, hd then stick it to new hd with tape and thin slither of foam? had no trouble with mine doing it that way and get good readings on temp monitors. in 2 yrs since changed to 1tb drive.but changed my mac baracuda 250gb to a1tb baracuda
     
  19. liverix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    #19
    > The problem is if you run Boot Camp (for Windows).

    I want to run Boot Camp to make Ubuntu run. Do I understand it correctly, that I can use Boot Camp (Ubuntu) and OS X, but Ubuntu can't have more then 2GB? If that's the only problem, then I don't really care, because I will not need more then 2GB for Ubuntu.

    The think with the temperature wire sounds difficult. But I think with Google I should find some easy tutorials, don't I?

    So I think the WD 3GB should be fine. In this thread I have learned, that it should work with my Mac without any issues. And although it's just 5400rpm it's still quite fast.

    Thanks guys for all your great advice!!!
     
  20. durruti macrumors regular

    durruti

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Location:
    Jersey
    #20
    Conventional Hard Drives (Disk Platters) are still a little expensive because of the floods in Thailand.

    I would recommend an SSD to put in the imac and later, a traditional 2.5" or 3.5" hard drive in an external enclosure later.

    That iMac is gonna be really difficult to take apart. Good luck and I really recommend going to a professional or finding someone with experience who knows what they are doing!!!
     
  21. kpgh554 macrumors regular

    kpgh554

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    iver england
    #21
    i apologize i forgot to mention i also run windows 7 ultimate and not see the reason of putting a 3gb internal hd. as most of my main important progs are stored on externals so not lose if get probs with main
     
  22. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #22
    That doesn't work with Late2009 and newer.

    The HDD Temp Sensor is firmware that is OEM from Apple.

    You MUST replace the cable (Optical Temp Sensor), short the cable, use software or deal with the noise.

    If you are going to replace the HDD with another HDD AND use another OS on your iMac, I strongly recommend using the Optical Temp Sensor. If you use the software method, then you'll need a solution for each OS to control fan speed.

    The issue isn't the size of the Windows partition, but the location of the boot sector. For ANY version of Windows it must be in the first 2TB of the disk. I don't know if the limitation is the same for Ubuntu.
     

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