Is it possible to plug a new hard drive into the back of the iMac and install an OS?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tiptopp, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. tiptopp macrumors regular

    tiptopp

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #1
    I’ve got a 2008 iMac, which won’t boot. I can choose the boot disk, but it then errors (that nasty one that says you must restart the machine). So I suspect that the hard disk has finally failed. I’ve watched the video for how to replace a disk, and I’ll do it if I need to, but is it possible to plug a new hard drive into the back of the iMac, install an OS, and see if it all works?

    If it’s then apparent that it’s the hard drive that’s failed, I can go through the process of installing it properly, but if there’s something else wrong instead I haven’t wasted my time taking the thing apart.

    Is there anything wrong with my logic?

    Thanks,

    Tiptopp
     
  2. FuriousGreg, Dec 12, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012

    FuriousGreg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    #2
    Well, you're likely right about the drive and you can plug in a drive to test this (I had the exact thing done for a different issue at an Apple Store) but I have no idea what programs they used or how to set up such a drive or whither it's worth you taking the time to do it yourself when you can take the machine in and let them tell you whats up (Apple didn't charge me to the test). They will know the proper tests to determine what the issue is, then decide from there.
     
  3. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #3
    No, you can install an OS on an external, even a USB stick but needs to be at least 8GB.
    This way you know if the OS failed, and you could also try to repair the internal HDD with disk Utility.
     
  4. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

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    New Mexico
    #4
    Couldn't he also use disk utility to repair the disk just with the Snow Leopard install disc or Lion flash drive (very easy to make, by the way!)?
     
  5. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #5
    Yep.:eek::p:D
     
  6. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #6
    You can take it to the Apple Store and they'll at least tell you if the drive has failed or not for free.

    If the OP had Lion installed then he should be able to boot into the Lion Recovery partition and get into disk utility there, actually. That should tell him whether or not there's errors with his disk. In either case, there's no use in going through the hassle of actually installing an OS on the external drive to use disk utility.
     
  7. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    #7
    Have you checked which years they are replacing HDDs under an extended warranty? I don't have a current iMac, so I have no idea what the range was, just that I know they had faulty HDDs that they extended replacement too.
     
  8. tiptopp thread starter macrumors regular

    tiptopp

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #8
    Thanks

    thanks everyone for the advice. I realise that I should be able to do this one way or another - I wanted to avoid lugging the machine into an Apple store before I had a better idea of whether I'd be able to fix it myself.

    So I'm borrowing a keyboard, and have the original install disks which I'll try to use first, then will probably go with the Genius route.

    Cheers,

    Tiptopp
     

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