Making an early 2008 iMac run a bit better.


g-7

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2006
389
57
Poland
SSD is the way to go!

Check iFixit guides https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+24-Inch+EMC+2134+and+2211+Hard+Drive+Replacement/8968, "easy" might mean different things to different people.
It is a good model for this upgrade, the screen is hold by magnets (unlike 2012 and later models), so it takes just two suction cups to remove it. Hard drive thermal sensor is external (unlike 2010 and later models), so you may just glue it back on the SSD.

Once you go SSD, you'll never go back. I swapped HDD for SSD in 2007 and 2011 iMacs, it's a day and night difference. Avoid SSDs with a SandForce controller (Kingston, Patriot, etc), they are said to have problems with Macs, go with Samsung 840 or Crucial M500.
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
SSD is the way to go!

Check iFixit guides https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+24-Inch+EMC+2134+and+2211+Hard+Drive+Replacement/8968, "easy" might mean different things to different people.
It is a good model for this upgrade, the screen is hold by magnets (unlike 2012 and later models), so it takes just two suction cups to remove it. Hard drive thermal sensor is external (unlike 2010 and later models), so you may just glue it back on the SSD.

Once you go SSD, you'll never go back. I swapped HDD for SSD in 2007 and 2011 iMacs, it's a day and night difference. Avoid SSDs with a SandForce controller (Kingston, Patriot, etc), they are said to have problems with Macs, go with Samsung 840 or Crucial M500.
I switched out my 2011 MBP HD with a Crucial SSD and it makes a huge difference. I just didn't know if the 2008 iMac could handle a SSD, let alone how to open it ;P Thanks for the tips and the guide, it will be super useful!
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
Hmmmm... looking at that guide, the RAM seems easy, but the hard drive is a bit scary. Does anyone here have experience with removing the screen using suction cups? It seems really frightening to me haha.
 

stringent

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2011
282
47
London
Hmmmm... looking at that guide, the RAM seems easy, but the hard drive is a bit scary. Does anyone here have experience with removing the screen using suction cups? It seems really frightening to me haha.
Removing the screen with cups is the easy bit. Its a sheet of perspex which is held on by magnets. It just pulls straight off.

The difficult bit is finding a bracket that will fit the SSD into the old hard drive bay. I didn't and basically secured it with a bit of electrical tape ... Not ideal but it worked. Just follow the iFixit guide carefully and you will be fine. Might be a help to have another person on hand to hold things while you disconnect cables and the like from the screen.

Make sure you have a bootable USB with Mavericks ready so you can install OSX again.
 

g-7

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2006
389
57
Poland
The difficult bit is finding a bracket that will fit the SSD into the old hard drive bay. I didn't and basically secured it with a bit of electrical tape ... Not ideal but it worked.


I believe there is no real need to use a bracket. There are no moving parts inside the SSD, and no one moves their iMacs too often either. A few strips of adhesive tape work great ;)
 

Djay1

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2011
80
0
Middle Tennessee
Image

I believe there is no real need to use a bracket. There are no moving parts inside the SSD, and no one moves their iMacs too often either. A few strips of adhesive tape work great ;)
Maybe the use of Gorilla Brand tape for the install would add even more confidence.
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
Image

I believe there is no real need to use a bracket. There are no moving parts inside the SSD, and no one moves their iMacs too often either. A few strips of adhesive tape work great ;)
Short term is OK, but over time, a small amount of constant heat might loosen the tape. Even then it can still work if the loose drive doesn't lean on something important ;)
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
Is there anywhere near it that would be easily damaged? I already ordered ram, but I'm having a bit of trouble deciding if I'll buy a SSD or not.
 

tomegun

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2007
333
11
Las Vegas
I installed a SSD in my iMac not too long ago. I have a 2011 iMac and purchased a bracket, suction cups and two tools from iFixit. The procedure is not for the faint of heart, but it is possible. It is also true that once you go with SSD anything else seems slow.

I also have a 2007 21" iMac. I was thinking about putting a SSD in it. Will I see a huge difference with it even though it can only handle 4GB of ram? I am torn about investing money into it and how much more use I could get out of it after doing so.
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
I do think the SSD will make a good difference, but I'm also worried about putting too much money into an old machine, and the fact that I'll need to tape the SSD in. I can probably get a 128gb SSD for ~60-70, which will put me at $100 to upgrade the HDD to SSD, and the ram from 2 to 4gb. The ram was $40 from Hong Kong on eBay, I couldn't justify the $100+ price tag I was seeing for 6gb ram at other places.

I'll honestly probably run to the store now and pick up an SSD, but actually opening the computer and taping it in is going to be hard for me. I was worried enough with the 25 step process listed on iFixit, but adding in the fact that I'll be taping it in? :(
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
I picked up a http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Information-128GB-2-5-Inch-TS128GSSD340/dp/B00HF8A2Z8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1406808106&sr=8-2&keywords=transcend+ssd340

Transcend 340 SSD.

Now here's the question. I'm probably going to do 2x HDs. I have this optical bay caddy: http://www.dx.com/p/designer-s-2-5-sata-to-sata-hdd-ssd-caddy-for-12-7mm-optical-drive-122075

I could put the SSD in it, and leave the Hard Drive where it is. Are they both the same SATA speeds that it wouldn't negatively affect me? Could I make it so it boots from the caddied drive?

Thanks!
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
The bracket was a pointless dream, I didn't realize how big the HDD was for the iMac. I got it all done, but it looks like I forgot to put the piece of foam back on top of the HD thermal sensor. Let's hope that doesn't mess anything up.

I used duct tape to keep the hard drive in place. Let's hope that works out alright too.

We'll see if any mistakes were made soon, I guess :x My biggest fear is dust/fingerprints on the LCD.
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
I'm totally liveblogging yall, sorry if it's annoying.

More frustrations. First, either a dead pixel appeared or there's a piece of something that is looking like a dead pixel. I want to open it up and try to brush it off, but I don't want to risk adding more badness in.

Second, creating a USB bootable Mavericks didn't work, so I just dragged the Mavericks installer onto the USB, and I'm installing Snow Leopard from a DVD. One, it's really really really slow, and two, the screen flashed black a couple of times so far. A little paranoid, but hoping it'll all be :cool:OK:cool:.
 

tomegun

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2007
333
11
Las Vegas
When I replace a hard drive in a Mac, I always use Super Duper before opening the system up. I copy what is on the current drive onto the new drive so when I replace it I can turn it on and everything is like it was before I started. If you have an enclosure for your old drive you can still do this by copying what is on the drive you took out to the new SSD.
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,506
600
I'm totally liveblogging yall, sorry if it's annoying.

More frustrations. First, either a dead pixel appeared or there's a piece of something that is looking like a dead pixel. I want to open it up and try to brush it off, but I don't want to risk adding more badness in.

Second, creating a USB bootable Mavericks didn't work, so I just dragged the Mavericks installer onto the USB, and I'm installing Snow Leopard from a DVD. One, it's really really really slow, and two, the screen flashed black a couple of times so far. A little paranoid, but hoping it'll all be :cool:OK:cool:.
Probably dust. It's very easy to get dust between the glass and screen.
 

stringent

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2011
282
47
London
Image

I believe there is no real need to use a bracket. There are no moving parts inside the SSD, and no one moves their iMacs too often either. A few strips of adhesive tape work great ;)
Yeah thats what I did in the end!

----------

There is a special way of doing a bootable USB for Mavericks. There are a few guides on the Internet about doing it. You might have to borrow another Mac to do it on.
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
I have another mac that I made the bootable USB on. I finally got it to work, but now Mavericks keeps freezing, and I need to force restart it. Quite often.

Hoping I can find an easy solution, cause I really don't want to open it back up again. :p
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,091
2,478
US of A
Wish I could help. I recently went through this process with an older imac by replacing a failing hd. I chose a 2-TB 7200RPM drive, since it's mostly for my son to play minecraft. So I can appreciate the whole suction cup and balancing act in replacing athe HD. But one thing I would suggest is an cheapo USB drive to put the SSD in to format. I did that with two MBPs and the HDD before I put it in the iMac.

So taking it apart would seem to be needed again, sorry.
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
Wish I could help. I recently went through this process with an older imac by replacing a failing hd. I chose a 2-TB 7200RPM drive, since it's mostly for my son to play minecraft. So I can appreciate the whole suction cup and balancing act in replacing the HD. But one thing I would suggest is an cheapo USB drive to put the SSD in to format. I did that with two MBPs and the HDD before I put it in the iMac.

So taking it apart would seem to be needed again, sorry.
I booted Mavericks from a USB in the end, and formatted the SSD from the USB. It's properly formatted in OSX Journaled, looks like this:

*Available:115.89 GB (115,886,641,152 bytes)
**Capacity:127.18 GB (127,175,917,568 bytes)
**Mount Point:/
**File System:Journaled HFS+
**Writable:Yes
**Ignore Ownership:No
**BSD Name:disk0s2
**Volume UUID:8E0F359A-E82A-38B7-943D-24E080815498
**Physical Drive:
**Media Name:TS128GSSD340 Media
**Medium Type:SSD
**Protocol:SATA
**Internal:Yes
**Partition Map Type:GPT (GUID Partition Table)
**S.M.A.R.T. Status:Verified



Just gotta figure out why it's constantly freezing.
 

shamash

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 19, 2008
584
17
Taichung, Taiwan
Bought a Crucial M500 and swapped it in, and it seems to be 100% fine now. Looks like a compatibility issue with the Transcend.