Is my iMac dying?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by CookieFlow, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. CookieFlow macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2015
    Hello everybody!

    First time posting on MacRumors but long time follower.
    This afternoon my iMac (late 2012 model, bought in may 2013 Fusion Drive 3TB, GTX 680MX) started being slow, then it "freezed" completely, I thought it was just chrome so I forced chrome to restart but it was still "freezing" after.
    So I restarted the iMac entirely, re-opened chrome and it "froze" again. I decided to restart the iMac again but it never booted.
    I looked online for solutions, after booting in Recovery Mode, my only option in Disk Utility was to clic "fix it" or something like that as an error was detected without me even pushing the verify disk option.
    After that I only had a 120 GB SSD drive available, I installed Mac OS on it (took forever, not sure if it's because of the HDD or slow Apple servers) and I did manage to install Mountain Lion (not sure why it installed this version) and from there I managed to get my HDD portion back but it was unusable.

    At this point I went back in recovery mode, went into the terminal to manually set up my fusion drive back. I booted into Mavericks from a old bootkey I made, and was able to installed Yosemite from there.
    But the Yosemite install did fail 3 times, and I am now on my iMac desktop, but not very confident if my iMac will even boot up tomorrow morning :confused:

    So at this point I am 90% sure that my Fusion Drive is dying//dead, am I correct?
    If so, what are my options from here?
    Could I use just use the SSD portion of my iMac without problems?
    What would it cost to get my Fusion replaced for an SSD (lets say 256 GB) at an Apple store? I looked online and I can get it replaced in some repair shop for 300€ for a 256 GB SSD.
    I am not comfortable at all doing this operation myself after looking at tutorials on youtube :confused:

    Thanks a lot in advance for any help//tips!
  2. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    Yep, sounds like your spinning HDD piece of the Fusion drive is knackered.

    Apple will not replace it with a SSD because that's not standard config. With a machine that young, I would suggest making a complaint to Apple. They might take pity and fix it for you. All they need to do is swap out the HDD, it should take them no time at all.

    Go in-store if possible and be polite but clearly dissatisfied. You never know. They probably will put a price tag on it, but at least you'll get your iMac back without risking €300.
  3. CookieFlow thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2015
    Thank you very much for the advice, I will try to give it a shot!
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4


    Feb 20, 2009
    You have "split apart" the fusion drive, is this correct?

    If not, I would try to do that first, and get a working OS installed onto the SSD drive.

    At that point, you should be able to boot, regardless of the condition of the HDD.

    You can then test the HDD, re-initialize it if you wish.
    IF the HDD tests out ok, you could continue to use it "as a separate volume", or perhaps re-fuse the drives (I would leave the drives UN-fused).

    Do you have an external drive that serves as a backup?
    If you HAD an external drive with a bootable copy of the OS on it, it would make problem-solving orders of magnitude easier.

    Do you have AppleCare?
  5. CookieFlow thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2015

    Hi Fishrrman,
    No my iMac is not under Apple Care :(

    Yes I did "split" the fusion drive but it was not intended.
    After failing to boot my iMac several times, I went into Recovery Mode--> disk utility. There was an error on my HDD and it tried to "fix" it and I ended up with only the SSD portion available.
    I installed the OS on it as it was my only option, but I managed to recover my HDD part with Disk Utility within the OS.
    Then I "fused" the SSD and HDD to re-create my fusion drive and reinstall the OS again, which seems to be working for the moment.

    It has now been about 18 hours and the iMac is still running fine but it could fail again at any time if it is indeed an HDD problem?
    I have a USB bootkey with Mavericks on it, and I have an unused 1TB external drive that I could use I guess?

    I am not sure what to do next, I will try to contact Apple as Andy suggested and hope for a miracle.
    If not I will continue to use my iMac as it I guess and backup all my important data everyday and see if it fails again...
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G4


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote above:
    [[ I am not sure what to do next... ]]

    My advice as to "what you should do next":

    1. Download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
    CCC is FREE to download, and it is FREE to use with full function for 30 days.

    2. Connect your 1tb external drive

    3. If necessary, re-initialize the external drive using Disk Utility.

    4. Launch CCC. Select your internal (fusion) drive as the source, and select the external drive as the target.

    5. Let CCC create a bootable cloned backup of your internal drive to the external drive (this assumes everything will fit).

    6. When done, quit CCC. Now restart the Mac.

    7. As soon as you hear the startup tones, hold down the option key and keep holding it down until the Startup Manager appears.

    8. You should now see the presence of the external drive as a volume that you can boot from. Select it with the pointer and hit return.

    9. Do you get a good boot? If so, you're now backed up with a bootable copy of your internal (fused) drives. If something goes wrong again, just connect the backup drive, and restart with the option key held down as you did above.

    Do this, and you will find troubleshooting in the future FAR easier than it was this time.
  7. CookieFlow thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2015
    Thank you so much for the detailed response Fishrrman, this seems like the perfect backup solution if any thing happens again!

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