iMac HD failure


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 7, 2014
Hello to all. HD in mid-2011 iMac crashed. Cannot access any data unless I enlist the help of a data recovery service at a cost. If I replace the internal HD or buy an external HD would I have to just start over by loading the OS and apps? All suggestions welcomed.


macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
Elkton, Maryland
You would be replacing the internal drive and restoring from Internet Recovery. This will load the shipping OS of your computer updated to the latest revision. For example, my 2012 MBP shipped with 10.8.1, but if I ran Internet Recovery it will reload 10.8.5 and not Mavericks. You can then upgrade to Mavericks free of charge, and restore all your software.

I would not try to run an iMac off of an external drive unless you want it to feel like Windows ME days. Booting off of USB or even FireWire is a slow procedure.


macrumors member
Nov 2, 2013
also be aware that pulling apart an iMac is a somewhat involved procedure, there are plenty of instructional video's on how to do it on You Tube.
If you've never done anything like this before, it can be a bit daunting, but it is by no means impossible.


macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
Troutdale, OR
Be aware the 2011 iMac's have hard drives that contain special temperature firmware. If you just stick any replacement drive in them, they will rev up the system fans to full throttle.

OWC sells a retrofit kit that will allow any hard drive to work, or you can use a "short" method (same one apple itself used) if you are installing a SSD drive.

OWC also has turnkey solutions if you would rather not install the kit and drive yourself.

The other method I know of is to use a software solution to control the fans after you install a new drive, but be aware that the computer will always fail the apple hardware test for the sensor if you need additional service in the future.

The forums here have had some discussions on what people did to replace their 2011 iMac hard drive, both software/shorting/OWC kit.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 7, 2014
imac HD failure

Thanks to all for your helpful advice. Appears I have some decisions to make. Thanks again.


macrumors newbie
Dec 22, 2013
iMac HD failure

@Richdmoore: I will replace my hdd of my mid 2011 imac with a SSD. How does the short method works? Is there somewhere a description like diy?
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