I've read enough about bad Fusion Drives to prepare...

Sal Collaziano

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
245
7
Royal Palm Beach, FL
So... I have my new iMac coming with a 3TB fusion drive. I've read enough here to be sure it'll break a few days after I get it. Here's how I see things. Speed isn't going to be an issue for me. So I'm going to happily use these drives until they stop working the Tuesday after I receive the computer. With that out of the way...

How should I prepare? I'm going to bring the iMac to the Apple store and what's going to happen? Do they need to ship the computer out or do they keep 3TB fusion drives in stock? At that time, since they're going to open the computer anyway, can I opt for a 1TB or 2TB flash drive?

I think it'll be an interesting experience seeing how long these drives last. But it'll be nice to hit the ground running when the time comes. So any input would be greatly appreciated. Yes, I'm doing a bit of exaggerating - but I've now read enough complaints here about these drives that I fully expect to have an issue at some point not too far down the road. Realistically, I probably won't. But I'll have to convince myself of that later...
 
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bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
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It looks like you've answered your own question.
 
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nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
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Nambucca Heads Australia
Well my former iMac, a late 2013 i7 with the 3TB Fusion Drive. The drive was replaced before I picked it up as Apple did have a recall on the Fusion Drives at the time and my friendly Reseller did this before I received it. For three years it worked like a dream, and now my son absolutely loves it and it is still going fast and strong.

So Tuesday week may be just a tad on the pessimistic side
 

Sal Collaziano

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
245
7
Royal Palm Beach, FL
Well my former iMac, a late 2013 i7 with the 3TB Fusion Drive. The drive was replaced before I picked it up as Apple did have a recall on the Fusion Drives at the time and my friendly Reseller did this before I received it. For three years it worked like a dream, and now my son absolutely loves it and it is still going fast and strong.

So Tuesday week may be just a tad on the pessimistic side
I will admit I've heard about a lot of fusion drives having problems from a few years ago. So I'm hoping that whatever issues there were have been resolved since then. I have a funny feeling I'll be fine for a long time. However, if I'm wrong, I won't be entirely surprised...
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,104
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I will admit I've heard about a lot of fusion drives having problems from a few years ago. So I'm hoping that whatever issues there were have been resolved since then. I have a funny feeling I'll be fine for a long time. However, if I'm wrong, I won't be entirely surprised...
My iMac late 2014 3TB fusion drive just went out tuesday. Having it replaced by Apple and should get it back next week hopefully. 2 months after AppleCare rubs out of course. :mad::(
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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Apple had a bad run of 3tb Seagate drives failing inside iMacs.
For a while, they had a free replacement program. Not sure if it's still in effect.

I sense that when many fusion drives "fail", it's actually the HDD portion that's going bad.
Nevertheless, even if the SSD portion is fine, when a fusion drive setup fails, the entire drive "is lost" (insofar as the files on it are concerned).

The best "insurance" against fusion drive failure is to manually "DE-fuse" the drive into two separate components (SSD and HDD), and then use them as such. Then, if you lose the HDD, the SSD will continue to function as a standalone volume.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,812
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Behind the Lens, UK
So... I have my new iMac coming with a 3TB fusion drive. I've read enough here to be sure it'll break a few days after I get it. Here's how I see things. Speed isn't going to be an issue for me. So I'm going to happily use these drives until they stop working the Tuesday after I receive the computer. With that out of the way...

How should I prepare? I'm going to bring the iMac to the Apple store and what's going to happen? Do they need to ship the computer out or do they keep 3TB fusion drives in stock? At that time, since they're going to open the computer anyway, can I opt for a 1TB or 2TB flash drive?

I think it'll be an interesting experience seeing how long these drives last. But it'll be nice to hit the ground running when the time comes. So any input would be greatly appreciated. Yes, I'm doing a bit of exaggerating - but I've now read enough complaints here about these drives that I fully expect to have an issue at some point not too far down the road. Realistically, I probably won't. But I'll have to convince myself of that later...
My late 2012 iMac fusion drive is still running fine thanks. Never had an issue.
 
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kingjames1970

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2008
237
438
Hampshire, UK
So... I have my new iMac coming with a 3TB fusion drive. I've read enough here to be sure it'll break a few days after I get it. Here's how I see things. Speed isn't going to be an issue for me. So I'm going to happily use these drives until they stop working the Tuesday after I receive the computer. With that out of the way...

How should I prepare? I'm going to bring the iMac to the Apple store and what's going to happen? Do they need to ship the computer out or do they keep 3TB fusion drives in stock? At that time, since they're going to open the computer anyway, can I opt for a 1TB or 2TB flash drive?

I think it'll be an interesting experience seeing how long these drives last. But it'll be nice to hit the ground running when the time comes. So any input would be greatly appreciated. Yes, I'm doing a bit of exaggerating - but I've now read enough complaints here about these drives that I fully expect to have an issue at some point not too far down the road. Realistically, I probably won't. But I'll have to convince myself of that later...
Just sold my 2013 iMac with 3TB Fusion Drive, never had an issue with it at all. I'm now all SSD, which is obviously better speed-wise but I never for one minute regretted the fusion drive, it served me well.
 

jtrainor56

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2010
116
8
Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
I have a 2012 i7 iMac with a 3TB fusion drive and although the drive was not giving me any issues I took it to the Apple store and they had it replaced in four days. Repairs are done in the store and since I had mine shipped I just took it to them in the original packing box to make sure it did not get damaged.

You probably should have purchased a PC instead of worrying about something that is a mute point...
 

Sal Collaziano

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
245
7
Royal Palm Beach, FL
Just sold my 2013 iMac with 3TB Fusion Drive, never had an issue with it at all. I'm now all SSD, which is obviously better speed-wise but I never for one minute regretted the fusion drive, it served me well.
I bought the fusion drive with 500+MB of flash storage so that should be fine for what I use it for. The most intensive thing I do on a semi-daily basis is edit photos in Photoshop CS5. Since you notice a difference with the flash drive speed-wise, when do you notice most of the difference?

I have a 2012 i7 iMac with a 3TB fusion drive and although the drive was not giving me any issues I took it to the Apple store and they had it replaced in four days. Repairs are done in the store and since I had mine shipped I just took it to them in the original packing box to make sure it did not get damaged.

You probably should have purchased a PC instead of worrying about something that is a mute point...
I did. It should arrive any day now...
 

kingjames1970

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2008
237
438
Hampshire, UK
I bought the fusion drive with 500+MB of flash storage so that should be fine for what I use it for. The most intensive thing I do on a semi-daily basis is edit photos in Photoshop CS5. Since you notice a difference with the flash drive speed-wise, when do you notice most of the difference?



I did. It should arrive any day now...
The difference is mostly in copying large amounts of files and since I'm completely paranoid about backups, I do that a lot. I doubt you'd notice much of a difference in opening Photoshop files, just a bit less snappy.

You wouldn't want to go from all SSD back to Fusion, that's when you'd really notice it.
 
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Sal Collaziano

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
245
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Royal Palm Beach, FL
The difference is mostly in copying large amounts of files and since I'm completely paranoid about backups, I do that a lot. I doubt you'd notice much of a difference in opening Photoshop files, just a bit less snappy.

You wouldn't want to go from all SSD back to Fusion, that's when you'd really notice it.
Thank you. No, I'm sure once I move onto an SSD I'll be there to stay. And I have a feeling Apple won't be using spinning drives in any computers for long. So my next computer may not even have the option.

So... Moving files has been the most noticeable time-benefit. Okay. I really don't think I've got much to worry about. There are VERY rare occurrences of me editing videos and while saving those files will be noticeably slow for most people, it's going to fly by for me considering the equipment I'm using right now. And again, it's RARE. I'm pretty confident that my daily work will all be done on the flash portion of the fusion drive.

Thanks again for the insight and information. I appreciate it...
 
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cogumelo_a

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2018
1
0
MILAN
Apple had a bad run of 3tb Seagate drives failing inside iMacs.
For a while, they had a free replacement program. Not sure if it's still in effect.

I sense that when many fusion drives "fail", it's actually the HDD portion that's going bad.
Nevertheless, even if the SSD portion is fine, when a fusion drive setup fails, the entire drive "is lost" (insofar as the files on it are concerned).

The best "insurance" against fusion drive failure is to manually "DE-fuse" the drive into two separate components (SSD and HDD), and then use them as such. Then, if you lose the HDD, the SSD will continue to function as a standalone volume.

Dear Fishrrman,
I have an Imac 27 late 2014 with Fusione Drive 1 TB. For speeding up I first expanded the RAM from 8 to 24 now but it didn't work that much. I now consider splitting manually the fusion drive in ssd and hard drive but I'm not use about the right procedure to "de-fuse" it. Could you quote me the link of a trustable website or a discussion thread on this site where I can follow the steps? Thanks

Andrea
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Dear Fishrrman,
I have an Imac 27 late 2014 with Fusione Drive 1 TB. For speeding up I first expanded the RAM from 8 to 24 now but it didn't work that much. I now consider splitting manually the fusion drive in ssd and hard drive but I'm not use about the right procedure to "de-fuse" it. Could you quote me the link of a trustable website or a discussion thread on this site where I can follow the steps? Thanks

Andrea
Defusing the fusion drive will mean only stuff on the ssd portion will be fast and you’ll have to manually organise what goes on which drive. A good option is to get the HDD replaced with a a SATA ssd, a Samsung Evo 850 or crucial mx300, reinitiate the fusion drive and voila a very fast fusion drive.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
Just keep a good back up (regardless if you have a Fusion, SSD and/or HDD) and worry about it when the time comes.

Fortune may favor the prepared mind but a lot can change between now and then.

Obvious if its under warranty you'll have Apple replace. If its out of warranty....well how long will that be? Will you still own it? Will you want another Mac then anyway? Will todays products (for repair) be replaced with better products tomorrow? Will something else fail thus giving you a reason to replace the drive while its opened?

When I first bought my iMac I would have NEVER considered opening it. However now I don't really care so I'll repair it myself. However at five years old (original HDD btw) I'm leaning more toward getting a new iMac and I'm glad I haven't wasted any money on upgrading it.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,852
30,369
Boston
I've read enough here to be sure it'll break a few days
Why do you think it will fail in a few days and why spend so much money on a product that you think won't last the week?

Speed isn't going to be an issue for me
Then the Fusion Drive is a great solution for you, as it offers lots of space, near SSD performance and a much lower price of an all SSD solution

How should I prepare?
Nothing, that's the great thing about macOS. You boot it up, it asks you some questions and boom you're off and running

I'm going to bring the iMac to the Apple store and what's going to happen?
No need to bring it to apple, just turn the computer on, as I mentioned above. Apple has done an incredible job and automating and making the process so seamless that there is nothing you have to do other then follow along and answer questions.
 
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Sal Collaziano

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
245
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Royal Palm Beach, FL
Why do you think it will fail in a few days and why spend so much money on a product that you think won't last the week?


Then the Fusion Drive is a great solution for you, as it offers lots of space, near SSD performance and a much lower price of an all SSD solution


Nothing, that's the great thing about macOS. You boot it up, it asks you some questions and boom you're off and running


No need to bring it to apple, just turn the computer on, as I mentioned above. Apple has done an incredible job and automating and making the process so seamless that there is nothing you have to do other then follow along and answer questions.
I was only kidding about the "break in a week" comment. But people who come here not knowing any better would be absolutely certain this is true by the comments here. I agree, the Fusion Drive is serving me very well accordingly to speed...
 

BayouTiger

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2008
437
205
New Orleans
And the MR trolls claim another soul.....

I made a DIY Fusion from my 2011 iMac with the 256SSD and 1TB drive, then replaced the 1TB with a 2TB and recreated it with the command line. Passed the machine to my niece and she used it until the spinner gave out last month. Fortunately she had a good backup and I replaced the spinner and recreated the FD and it's back going.

If you've made it past the known drive failures then it's just another spinning hard drive waiting to fail at some point. Unless you are ready to ditch them altogether, then failure is always out there. But then SSD's can fail as well.

There have always been times when a new, promising line of drives has a crazy high failure rate -Look up IBM Deskstar GXP75 - I owned about 20 of them and every one of them failed spectacularly. Just one of those things that happens and every hard drive manufacturer has had their day of shame.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,311
4,692
From a statistical point of view, having a Fusion drive will multiply the chance of you having a problem, vs. just an SSD or just a HD alone. This is especially true if you are using HFS+.

But whatever the case, you should have several backups of your important data, regardless if you have Fusion drive, HD, or SSD.

BTW, ironically, I'm still on my original HD of my 2010 iMac.
 
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siddhartha

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2008
106
25
Northern Virgina
Like you, I rarely or ever had much of an issue with a standard spinning disc HD, but had loads with my 3TB FD in my retina iMac. Finally, after doing a Windows update, the HD portion started a quick death spiral, and after a lot of back/forth as to my options for repair/replacement, I went with replacing the FD with an SSD myself.
My problems with FD weren't just the reliability factor, but also that it didn't play nicely with the Windows environment at all, and installing/maintaining Windows was a chore.
The replacement was a lot more straightforward than I anticipated, and makes all the difference. It is much faster, especially in the Windows environment, which didn't benefit from the SSD portion at all.
in a standard FD, if anything goes wrong with the HD or SSD portion, it's hosed, so more failure points in general.
I'll never do a FD again, and advise against them in general, but see their advantage for some people. I would much rather have reduced storage (I went from a 3TB FD to a 2TB SSD) than the hassle of a FD
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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"I have an Imac 27 late 2014 with Fusione Drive 1 TB"

Weren't the 2014 iMac 1tb fusion models the last ones that came with a 128gb SSD portion?
In that case, "de-fusing" the drive into SSD and HDD "standalone drives" would make sense.
 

MjWoNeR

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2010
323
213
Sweden
Apple replaced my 3TB FD after a year or so on my late ‘12 iMac. The iMac has been on 24/7 with high HDD activity since then with no problems.
 
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