Issue with 2010 Imac, suggestions please

aman88

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Mar 21, 2019
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All,

I recently bought a brand new 2019 iMac and love it. I still have my 2010 i3 iMac that I would like to fix (if possible) largely so my fiance can use it to back up her iphone on.

The 2010 iMac has the following issues:

Takes forever to start
Takes longer than normal to launch apps
Crashes when sleeping (will start back up properly from crash)
Crashes when restarting (will start back up properly from crash)

I was going to try to reinstall Mac OS, but was wondering if this was likely the HD starting to fail. I can get a new HD replacement kit on Amazon for ~$100 but do not want to waste the money if that will not solve the issues. Does anyone have any similar experience or can offer some advice? No advice is bad advice.

Thanks!
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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You can do an Apple HW Diagnostics test.

Although, I have had many false negatives using this test.

If you have a spare SSD laying around, I would toss that in, just to see if it fixes stuff. You can try using an external SSD, just to see if you have the same issues.

I would NOT put another HDD into that machine, just get a SSD, it will feel like a new computer again.
 

aman88

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Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
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You can do an Apple HW Diagnostics test.

Although, I have had many false negatives using this test.

If you have a spare SSD laying around, I would toss that in, just to see if it fixes stuff. You can try using an external SSD, just to see if you have the same issues.

I would NOT put another HDD into that machine, just get a SSD, it will feel like a new computer again.
Doesn't that require a much more extravagant installation then just replacing the regular HD (i.e. adding extra parts to make it work)? Also, should I not bother with the reinstallation of OS?
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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Doesn't that require a much more extravagant installation then just replacing the regular HD (i.e. adding extra parts to make it work)?
Your model may have an internal temperature sensor in the HDD, so adding a SSD would require a SATA cable with an external sensor (which I would recommend, because you will have the computer open anyways), or a software solution. Otherwise, the fans will run at full speed.

Other than this, no. You could get a bracket or adapter for the SSD to mount (I would also recommend, as both are really cheap), but many people just use double face tape.


Also, should I not bother with the reinstallation of OS?
Reinstall the OS, this might fix things, and if you don't care about wiping your drive, it makes it much easier and quicker.

But a warning, reinstalling the OS could be a temporary fix for a failing HDD. Things could run great for a while, then go to crap again.

Replacing the drives in these iMacs is really easy for DIYers, if you ever opened a Mac before, chances are, you wont have any issues.

Here is the iFixit guide and SSD install kit:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2389+Hard+Drive+Replacement/6284
https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/iMac-Intel-21-5-Inch-and-27-Inch-Late-2009-Mid-2010-SSD-Upgrade-Bundle/IF174-031?o=1

You might have most of these tools already, and purchasing the SSD separately would save a lot. Buying everything separately, you could probably get a 250GB SSD, with tools, and temp sensor for less than $80.
 
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Zdigital2015

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Doesn't that require a much more extravagant installation then just replacing the regular HD (i.e. adding extra parts to make it work)? Also, should I not bother with the reinstallation of OS?
Generally, the installation of a new hard drive of any kind requires a thermal sensor to keep the fans from spinning at max RPMs with the Mid 2010 27” iMac.

I have the Core i7 version of the Mid 2010 and the 1TB HDD started going in 2016. The symptoms that you describe are exactly the same as the ones I experienced. I was able to confirm a SMART error with the HDD using DriveDx (https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx). At that point, I shut the iMac down and its sitting waiting for me to retrieve the data off the HDD and put a install an SSD.

The Mid 2010 maxes out at High Sierra, so keep that in mind and that cannot be worked around using the Mojave patcher from @dosdude1 since the 5750 GPU in the iMac does not support Metal in Mojave.

If you are fine with it just running macOS High Sierra or older, then I would get a cheap 2.5” to 3.5” drive sled and a decent SSD, which are pretty darn inexpensive now. If you install High Sierra and an SSD, I believe you can forgo the thermal sensor, but I am not 100% sure, so you may want to search on the forums for that information just to be sure.

Otherworld Computing sells the sensor and a kit with suction cups for the front glass, tools, etc. for around $50.00 - https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMACHDD09/ - but you may find it cheaper on Amazon. Again, with High Sierra and an SSD, you may not need that kit, but you’ll have to Google it to be sure.

Otherwise, you might want to consider simply using the iMac as an extra monitor for your 2019, USB-C to Mini DisplayPort should work fine, selling it or giving it to charity or a relative who would be fine with an older computer and operating system. Good luck!
 

RyanXM

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Before doing anything else, check the SMART stats.

Download either DriveDx (www.binaryfruit.com) or SMART Utility (www.volitans-software.com)

If you have any failing sectors or reallocated sectors, DO NOT perform any reinstall of the OS. Simply do a Time Machine Backup to an external drive and call it a day.

All the other information is correct in the other replies. OWC makes a nice kit with a 1TB SSD for under $200. https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/KITIM09HE1TB/
 
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aman88

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Mar 21, 2019
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Thanks guys. I have never opened an iMac before haha... The only reason I intend to keep the computer if possible is to use it as a back for my fiance's iPhone. I plan to open the thing up and remove the HD to smash it to make sure no one can retrieve my data. If I am able to install a new HD great, if I mess it up I will just take it to recycling...

However, I would like to replace the HD if possible... I was looking at just a regular HD because that seemed easier than the modifications necessary for a SSD...

This is a 21 inch 2010 iMac with the i3 third generation processor.
[doublepost=1561555828][/doublepost]
Before doing anything else, check the SMART stats.

Download either DriveDx (www.binaryfruit.com) or SMART Utility (www.volitans-software.com)

If you have any failing sectors or reallocated sectors, DO NOT perform any reinstall of the OS. Simply do a Time Machine Backup to an external drive and call it a day.

All the other information is correct in the other replies. OWC makes a nice kit with a 1TB SSD for under $200. https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/KITIM09HE1TB/
Wow $75 for a 250gb which is way more than I would need anyways... on the current HD in the 2010 iMac I have used about 90GB haha... all the information from it I have backed up in several locations.
 
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RyanXM

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However, I would like to replace the HD if possible... I was looking at just a regular HD because that seemed easier than the modifications necessary for a SSD...
Even if you go with a HDD, if it is not an Apple OEM HDD with Apple Firmware, you will run into the fan issue as well...

I would also suggest that you throw as much RAM in it as possible. DDR3-1066 is super cheap these days on eBay.
 

aman88

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Even if you go with a HDD, if it is not an Apple OEM HDD with Apple Firmware, you will run into the fan issue as well...

I would also suggest that you throw as much RAM in it as possible. DDR3-1066 is super cheap these days on eBay.

Wait... so is that kit ALL I need? The one you linked? Would I need anything else to fix the fan issue?
 

vertical smile

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Wait... so is that kit ALL I need? The one you linked?
If you purchase your SSD separately, you can usually save a lot on the kits. There is usually a huge mark up for SSDs included in the kits.

For example:
OWC in-Line Digital Thermal Sensor HDD Upgrade Cable and Install Tools for iMac 2009-2010 for $48.75
And they have the sensor SATA cable by itself for $34 if you have your own tools.

But, the 250GB one that @RyanXM linked is reasonably priced, imo.

Wow $75 for a 250gb which is way more than I would need anyways... on the current HD in the 2010 iMac I have used about 90GB haha
so my fiance can use it to back up her iphone on
Just makes sure the SSD is large enough to handle the OS, and the iPhone size, plus a little extra.

Would I need anything else to fix the fan issue?
No, but the RAM advice that @RyanXM gave is good. Between the SSD and the RAM, your iMac will be a lot faster.
 
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aman88

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Mar 21, 2019
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If you purchase your SSD separately, you can usually save a lot on the kits. There is usually a huge mark up for SSDs included in the kits.

For example:
OWC in-Line Digital Thermal Sensor HDD Upgrade Cable and Install Tools for iMac 2009-2010 for $48.75
And they have the sensor SATA cable by itself for $34 if you have your own tools.

But, the 250GB one that @RyanXM linked is reasonably priced, imo.





Just makes sure the SSD is large enough to handle the OS, and the iPhone size, plus a little extra.


No, but the RAM advice that @RyanXM gave is good. Between the SSD and the RAM, your iMac will be a lot faster.

Got it... looks like the whole kit including the sensor is $75 on amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/OWC-Complete-Bundle-Upgrade-2009-2010/dp/B076J1FPKT/ref=sr_1_7?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzMTVmLSH4wIVgv_jBx1Tag1lEAAYBCAAEgIbsfD_BwE&hvadid=353039124607&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9006949&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t4&hvqmt=b&hvrand=17438007534716415853&hvtargid=kwd-386860459337&hydadcr=25457_10972751&keywords=owc+imac+upgrade+kit&qid=1561561044&s=electronics&sr=1-7&th=1

I can also get 8 gb of ram for a total of ~$112...

https://www.amazon.com/Timetec-PC3-8500-1066MHz-Upgrade-MacBook/dp/B01N35UIYR/ref=pd_bxgy_147_img_2/132-2201950-7166866?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01N35UIYR&pd_rd_r=bddc6bd7-9822-11e9-a3d4-6f67aaba9074&pd_rd_w=eH8Tv&pd_rd_wg=PK2Iu&pf_rd_p=a2006322-0bc0-4db9-a08e-d168c18ce6f0&pf_rd_r=7RPEA1XM9DFGD37CZZ3W&psc=1&refRID=7RPEA1XM9DFGD37CZZ3W

Does this look like a good buy?

Thanks!
 

aman88

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Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
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Also, if you’re feeling really crazy, you could update the CPU from the Core i3-550 in it now to the top BTO CPU, the Core i7-870, which you should be able to find on eBay for ~$50 USD - https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR7.TRC2.A0.H0.XCore+i7-870.TRS0&_nkw=Core+i7-870&_sacat=0

Here are the instructions - https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Upgrade+iMac+Intel+Core+i3+CPU+to+Core+i7/8670

Good Luck!
Haha way to advanced for me... also I have the 21 inch and I think that is for the 27 inch 2010 imac.
 

vertical smile

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I can also get 8 gb of ram for a total of ~$112...

https://www.amazon.com/Timetec-PC3-...DFGD37CZZ3W&psc=1&refRID=7RPEA1XM9DFGD37CZZ3W

Does this look like a good buy?
I haven't researched it, but that seems high, like really high.


[doublepost=1561569238][/doublepost]
I haven't researched it, but that seems high, like really high.
Nvm, I rechecked the link, and what you posted:
I can also get 8 gb of ram for a total of ~$112
i thought you meant $112 for 2x4GB of PC3-8500 RAM. But, you meant the kit and RAM for a total of $112.
 
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jeyf

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Jan 20, 2009
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...I still have my 2010 i3 iMac that I would like to fix (if possible) largely so my fiance can use it to back up her iphone on
toss the computer, its 10 years old.
have the lady backup her iPhone w/ encryption on your computer
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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toss the computer, its 10 years old.
have the lady backup her iPhone w/ encryption on your computer
I still daily use a 2006 Mac pro.

Age itself is not a good reason to "toss" a computer if it still meets the needs of the use, or in this case, could meet the needs with relatively cheap upgrades.
 

mikehalloran

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Let's cut through it.

afaik you need a special cable for third party harddrives.
The apple hard drives have some kind of thermal sensor connected to them.
if you dont use this modded cable your fan will run full speed all the time.

this cable should work, but not cheap.
https://owcshop.eu/catalog/product_info.php/upgrade-imac-20092010-models-p-1229
You don't need the cable on a 2009–10 iMac if installing an SSD. I'll tell you Apple's dirty little secret on these: Take the old sensor, strip a few inches of bare wire and short circuit it. Tape it up. You can disconnect to do this but you must plug it back in. An open circuit will make the fans roar full blast.

If the OWC sensor makes you feel more confident, by all means put it in. My 2010 has one.

Your model may have an internal temperature sensor in the HDD,
Oh, it definitely has one.

Before doing anything else, check the SMART stats.

Download either DriveDx (www.binaryfruit.com) or SMART Utility (www.volitans-software.com)

If you have any failing sectors or reallocated sectors, DO NOT perform any reinstall of the OS. Simply do a Time Machine Backup to an external drive and call it a day.
Do not bother with SMART stats on a 2010. It will waste your time and tell you what everyone knows: The drive should be thrown away. It went south a long time ago. 100% of the many that I have replaced in school computers are bad.

Do not buy that overpriced, underperforming SSD from OWC. Get one of these—whatever size fits your needs and budget:
https://www.amazon.com/Blue-NAND-500GB-SSD-WDS500G2B0A/dp/B073SBRHH6/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3MFAAV9YGXW0O&keywords=wd+blue+3d+nand+500gb+pc+ssd&qid=1561590038&s=electronics&sprefix=wd+blue,electronics,198&sr=1-3&th=1

This adapter is not absolutely necessary but it makes your life easier
https://www.amazon.com/Fenlink-Internal-Hard-Drive-Converter/dp/B01ELRRKW8/ref=sr_1_9?crid=1UI5KWO4VH963&keywords=2.5+to+3.5+adapter&qid=1561590131&s=electronics&sprefix=2.5+3.5+adapter,electronics,206&sr=1-9

Get a CR2032 battery for the NV RAM at any drug, grocery or hardware store. The original is a high-heat BR2032 but you're getting rid of the major heat source in this. There is a minute or two more to replace the drive while going after the battery. The OWC toolkit with the suction cups is good and iFixIt has tools, too. The SSD is a piece of cake but the battery requires the motherboard to come out on a 2009–10 iMac (both sizes). Here are the directions. It's long past time and you don't want to go back in for this.
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2389+PRAM+Battery+Replacement/6292

At this point, I'm going to recommend doing this yourself only if you're really handy and follow directions well. Otherwise, most techs I know charge $75 or so for labor (doesn't take them long either).

If going after the battery, here's a tip: Take some white-out and mark all board and in-line connectors so that you know the orientation when reassembling them. They're tiny and easy to jam in the wrong direction for the inexperienced.
 
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aman88

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Mar 21, 2019
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Let's cut through it.



You don't need the cable on a 2009–10 iMac if installing an SSD. I'll tell you Apple's dirty little secret on these: Take the old sensor, strip a few inches of bare wire and short circuit it. Tape it up. You can disconnect to do this but you must plug it back in. An open circuit will make the fans roar full blast.

If the OWC sensor makes you feel more confident, by all means put it in. My 2010 has one.


Oh, it definitely has one.


Do not bother with SMART stats on a 2010. It will waste your time and tell you what everyone knows: The drive should be thrown away. It went south a long time ago. 100% of the many that I have replaced in school computers are bad.

Do not buy that overpriced, underperforming SSD from OWC. Get one of these—whatever size fits your needs and budget:
https://www.amazon.com/Blue-NAND-500GB-SSD-WDS500G2B0A/dp/B073SBRHH6/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3MFAAV9YGXW0O&keywords=wd+blue+3d+nand+500gb+pc+ssd&qid=1561590038&s=electronics&sprefix=wd+blue,electronics,198&sr=1-3&th=1

This adapter is not absolutely necessary but it makes your life easier
https://www.amazon.com/Fenlink-Internal-Hard-Drive-Converter/dp/B01ELRRKW8/ref=sr_1_9?crid=1UI5KWO4VH963&keywords=2.5+to+3.5+adapter&qid=1561590131&s=electronics&sprefix=2.5+3.5+adapter,electronics,206&sr=1-9

Get a CR2032 battery for the NV RAM at any drug, grocery or hardware store. The original is a high-heat BR2032 but you're getting rid of the major heat source in this. There is a minute or two more to replace the drive while going after the battery. The OWC toolkit with the suction cups is good and iFixIt has tools, too. The SSD is a piece of cake but the battery requires the motherboard to come out on a 2009–10 iMac (both sizes). Here are the directions. It's long past time and you don't want to go back in for this.
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2389+PRAM+Battery+Replacement/6292

At this point, I'm going to recommend doing this yourself only if you're really handy and follow directions well. Otherwise, most techs I know charge $75 or so for labor (doesn't take them long either).

If going after the battery, here's a tip: Take some white-out and mark all board and in-line connectors so that you know the orientation when reassembling them. They're tiny and easy to jam in the wrong direction for the inexperienced.
I can probably do the SSD drive but not the battery that seems way too complex and I might screw up lol...
 

mikehalloran

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I can probably do the SSD drive but not the battery that seems way too complex and I might screw up lol...
Why Apple did that, no one knows. Earlier and later iMacs have them on the front of the motherboard where it's easy.

I'm one-armed. It takes me longer than I like on a late 2009–10. I often sub those out if my bench is full. ... or did. My edu customers had theirs replaced 4–6 or so years ago. The schools took them out of service when Apple discontinued security updates on El Capitán.

I'm seeing lots of battery problems in 2011–2012 iMacs now so they're due. Way past time for the earlier years. Video gets weird or you have a black screen — but the GPU and backlight are good is a common symptom.
 

aman88

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Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
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Why Apple did that, no one knows. Earlier and later iMacs have them on the front of the motherboard where it's easy.

I'm one-armed. It takes me longer than I like on a late 2009–10. I often sub those out if my bench is full. ... or did. My edu customers had theirs replaced 4–6 or so years ago. The schools took them out of service when Apple discontinued security updates on El Capitán.

I'm seeing lots of battery problems in 2011–2012 iMacs now so they're due. Way past time for the earlier years. Video gets weird or you have a black screen — but the GPU and backlight are good is a common symptom.
If you can could you just elaborate on those symptoms? Mine hasn’t seemed to do that, then again since I got the new iMac it rarely gets used... thanks!