iMac New Hard Drive

HDJulie

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Jun 13, 2008
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Little Rock, AR
My mother's iMac's hard drive is bad & Apple will only replace the drive - they will not do a data transfer. So, I'm going to do the data transfer myself. This is a refurbished 27" iMac bought in 2014 before the Retina models came out & it has a 3TB fusion drive. Can someone tell me how I can download Mojave to it & what cable I need to attach the old drive?
 

HDJulie

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Jun 13, 2008
701
93
Little Rock, AR

HDJulie

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Jun 13, 2008
701
93
Little Rock, AR
Fusion drives have an SSD in the PCIe buss "fused" to a HDD in the SATA III buss.

Your operating system sits on the SSD.

Is Apple replacing both drives? If not, which one?
I don't think they specified. If it is the SSD, then I won't need to do a data transfer - I will just have to install the OS. If it is the SATA drive, then I need a SATA enclosure like the one linked above, right?
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
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Oregon, USA
My mother's iMac's hard drive is bad & Apple will only replace the drive - they will not do a data transfer. So, I'm going to do the data transfer myself. This is a refurbished 27" iMac bought in 2014 before the Retina models came out & it has a 3TB fusion drive. Can someone tell me how I can download Mojave to it & what cable I need to attach the old drive?
The fusion drive is 2 physical drives "fused" logically to act as one drive. Here are some links to help explain about fusion drives:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202574
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Drive
https://www.macworld.com/article/2013805/storage/fusion-drive-an-overview.html
The key information about fusion drives is there no built in redundancy in fused drives. If one of the fused drives fail then everything is lost. That makes backups critical for fusion drives.

"So, I'm going to do the data transfer myself."
I would recommend getting an external drive large enough to backup what is on the current fusion drive. Download and use Carbon Copy Cloner (free to use for 30 days) to make a clone of your current internal fusion drive if possible. The reason I recommend CCC is that if it encounters errors (possible since there are problems) it will keep backing up what it can and provide a list of problem files it could not copy. The built Apple Time Machine does not handle errors and will quit when problems are encountered. CCC can also be used to clone your data back to the repaired fusion drive or it can be used to migrate the data during initial setup of new OS installed after repair.

"Can someone tell me how I can download Mojave"
Here is the requirements for Mojave and how to download it.
https://www.apple.com/macos/how-to-upgrade/#hardware-requirements
It is possible that the repaired fusion drive may already have Mojave installed from Apple Repair.
If you want to download Mojave ahead of time then I would recommend making a Mojave USB installer:
https://www.macworld.com/article/3284378/os-x/how-to-create-a-bootable-macos-mojave-installer-drive.html
"refurbished 27" iMac bought in 2014 before the Retina models"
BTW: I think you have an earlier 27" iMac than 2014. Starting 2014 all 27" iMacs were retina. Maybe it is a Late 2013. The iMac year is important because if it is earlier that late 2012 then it can not officially support Mojave.

"what cable I need to attach the old drive"
I do not think you need a cable to attach the old drive. The Apple repaired fusion drive will be internal and they do not return the old problem drive.
I don't think they specified. If it is the SSD, then I won't need to do a data transfer - I will just have to install the OS. If it is the SATA drive, then I need a SATA enclosure like the one linked above, right?
Not true, you will have to transfer your data back to the new fusion drive since it will be empty except for a new/fresh OS installed from Apple repair.
 
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HDJulie

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Jun 13, 2008
701
93
Little Rock, AR
"what cable I need to attach the old drive"
I do not think you need a cable to attach the old drive. The Apple repaired fusion drive will be internal and they do not return the old problem drive.

Not true, you will have to transfer your data back to the new fusion drive since it will be empty except for a new/fresh OS installed from Apple repair.
If it is an internal drive that Apple will not remove, how do I get to it to transfer the data.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
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Oregon, USA
If it is an internal drive that Apple will not remove, how do I get to it to transfer the data.
You have to attach a external hard drive (recommend USB) and use backup software to copy files from the internal fusion drive. The external will probably need to be formatted for Mac.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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OP:

If I recall, Apple had "a bad run" of 3tb hard drives that went into the iMac line.
Are you going to pay for this replacement, or are they covering it?

Does your mom's iMac run at all right now?
Or, does the drive problem keep it from booting altogether?

Seems to me you're going to have to get the iMac up-and-running to "do a backup" from it.

I highly HIGHLY second Coastal's advice above about using CarbonCopyCloner to create a cloned backup if you can. If the internal 3gb HDD portion of the fusion drive has problems resulting in corrupted data, CCC has a better chance of succeeding in "getting what's still save-able" from the old drive. (Coastal explained why in his post above).

CCC is FREE to download and use for 30 days (very easy to use). Get it here:
http://www.bombich.com/download.html

You'll need an external drive large enough to hold the contents of the internal fusion drive. (depends on "how much stuff" is on the internal drive)

IMPORTANT:
You must understand that Apple probably won't "give you the old drive back".
Not sure if they do this, even if the owner requests it.

But even if they do...
... you probably won't be able to "get any data" from it, because it was "part of a fusion drive". That means it was "melded to" the internal SSD portion and the data from a fusion drive may not be "recoverable" if you have only 1/2 of the drive (the HDD portion).

SO... what this means in real terms...
You've got to try to "get what you can" off of the internal fusion drive BEFORE you take it to Apple.
If the iMac won't boot, it -might- be possible to boot it from an external drive, and then access the internal drive that way (but still may not work if the HDD portion of the fusion drive has "gone bad").
If you can't "get to it" this way, because there was no backup, looks like your mom might have to "start over from scratch"...
 
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HDJulie

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Jun 13, 2008
701
93
Little Rock, AR
Thanks, I will check out CCC.

The iMac is over a year out of even AppleCare so Apple will not cover it.

The problem keeps it from booting up all together.

To boot it up from an external drive, I need an external drive with Mojave on it?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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"To boot it up from an external drive, I need an external drive with Mojave on it?"

It doesn't have to be Mojave.
It can be any version of the OS (so long as that version is capable of booting a 2014 iMac).

Do you happen to have another Mac?
Your own?
What version of the OS is on it?

Tell us that, and we'll tell you what to do next.
You may need an external drive (USB) or a USB flashdrive 32gb or larger.