Late 2009 27inch iMac HDD & SSD upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mrmicp, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. mrmicp macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2009
    Hi All,

    I decided to upgrade the HDD in my iMac from a 1TB to a 2TB HDD as I was rapidly running out of space and along the way learn't a couple of valuable lessons that I hope will be useful to anybody thinking of doing the same.

    So without reading up I bought a Seagate Barracuda XT and took my iMac to bits and cut my finger (these things are like razors) thinking I could just replace the HDD as I have previously done on my old white core 2 duo iMac. Anyway I noticed a cable attached to the WD jumper block which wouldn't fit on the Segate drive :eek:

    It turns out that if you going to replace your HDD in a late 2009 iMac you need to upgrade to roughly the same drive (albeit a higher capacity) as originally installed as they use a propriety cable that takes temperature readings from the drive which in turn controls the HDD fan and if this ain't connected the HDD fans will spin at full speed (which is very noisy)

    So I bought a 2TB RE4 WD and took my iMac apart again (cutting a different finger this time) and attached the cable in exactly the same position as the old one I took off and put my iMac back together again. To my dismay the HDD fans started to spin up full speed again, and I knew I had put the cable on the right way round :confused:

    So I started to have a read around and came across iMac HDD fan control which allows you to set the max and min fan speed of the HDD and if it wasn't so expensive at £19.99 I would have bought it, installed it and never thought anymore of it......

    Anyway a little reading around and trying to find a cheaper solution I found that apple place firmware on the HDD (I assume to stop people replacing the HDD) so I had almost resigned my self to the fact that I had to either fork out and buy the software or short the pins out on the cable and use some free software to control the max level of the HDD.

    Then I found out that all the firmware does is reverse two pins so for a 3rd time I opened my iMac (cut my finger for the 3rd time... getting use to it by now :p ) and reversed the cable.... 3rd the lucky :D

    I know that all this info is probably here within this forum and it's my own fault for not researching enough but hopefully if someone sees and reads this who is planning on upgrading their HDD in a late 2009 iMac it may be of some use :)

    So now all my fingers have healed I'm thinking of taking out my optical drive and putting in a SSD and wondered whats the best drive bay caddy to use as the only one I could see was $50 which is a bit steep...
  2. SawceBaws macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2011
    Wow, you were lucky enough to have your iMac with a WD HDD (Seagates got recalled). If I was you, i'd leave the HDD as it it, and would have just bought an external.
  3. mrmicp thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2009
    Mine is a late 2009 iMac so wasn't included in the recall.

    Replacing the HDD is relativley straightforward if you take your time and have a bit of experience. So having a external drive for mass storage was never really an option especially as I have a firewire 800 drive for time machine and don't want any more things "hanging" of my other wise cluterless iMac.

    Does anybody know of a good optical drive bay caddy for a SSD?
  4. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    You could try this site. It's where I got the hard drive caddy for the 2.5" HDD I installed in the optical drive of my 2007 iMac. I replaced the stock hard drive with a 120 GB 3.5" SSD and put a standard 750GB laptop hard drive in the optical bay. Faster than new.

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