iMac (Mid 2011, 21.5 inch) random clicking noise + questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 1ONE, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. 1ONE macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2014
    Okay so I have my beloved :apple: iMac 2011, 21.5 inch with a 1 TB HDD that I'm still extremely happy with. I had Extended AppleCare on it but that expired in December, of course. Original purchase was first week of December, 2011.

    In the last 30-45 days I get random 'clicking noises' that I hear. When it does this I get the spinning beach ball etc. It has occasionally completely crashed when this occurs but I'm able to successfully reboot and use as normal.

    While I'm sure the 'clicking noises' are not good, the machine does perform otherwise as it always has. Would the clicking noises be my HDD on the way to the HDD graveyard? Or is it my fan perhaps?

    I am planning (very soon) to take my iMac in to the local Microcenter (Apple Store out of the question for me, I'm not lugging my iMac through a mall). They will charge me $40 to look at it and diagnose what is wrong, if anything.

    My questions would be...

    1) If it's the fan, how much would that cost to replace?
    2) If it's the HDD, would it be worth my time to look at just replacing that with an SSD?
    3) How much would a good 512 GB SSD be?

    Thoughts? Opinions?

    I'm open to all...
  2. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Most likely the HDD is failing. I've never opened up a 21" iMac but if it's similar to the 27, adding a SSD isn't overly difficult if you're careful.

  3. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    The fact that you get a spinning beachball when the clicking occurs likely indicates that these are HDD "click-of-death".

    What you need to know at this point is that your HDD could fail completely and suddenly at any point now. Therefore, you need to make sure you have several backup clones of your hard drive. You will want a file-based clone like those that SuperDuper produces instead of a true image which may also have disk errors that you don't want in the clone.

    Note that you cannot rely on a TimeMachine backup at this point because you have no idea what data you have already lost, and that are therefore also gone from TimeMachine.

    Have your repair shop add a SSD and max the RAM in that iMac. Then, do a clean install of Yosemite and all of your applications. That iMac will then behave faster than ever. Then copy all your data files back to the iMac from your backups. Make sure to make it clear to the repair shop that you want to retain the original drive. Just keep it in a safe place for a long term (although untrusted) backup.
  4. 1ONE thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2014
    Luckily I have all of my stuff backed up on an 64 GB SD card (photos, documents, music, etc) and the same backups are in iCloud Drive.

    Got some thinking to do about what to do with my machine.
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Buy an SSD for it. It'll give it a new lease of life.
  6. japanwings macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2015
    I had just the same with my 2012 iMac 21,5" and it was the HDD that failed after a few days.
    Replace with an SSD, not a HDD, now you can.
    I used a Samsung 850 in my imac an macbook and they work perfectly.

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