Mid 2011 12,2 27" iMac with weird HD issue

happyslayer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2008
919
425
Glendale, AZ
Hey all,

I got an old iMac - Mid 2011 27" i7, 8GB, 256 Apple SSD (model 12,2) - from a customer that just got a new Mid 2017 27" iMac. He wanted me to erase his personal data then said I could do whatever I like with it.

Anyway, I booted it to recovery mode, ran Disk Utility and deleted the partition, "Erased" it with a new Mac Journaled partition and then did a fresh install of El Capitan (What was on it when I got it.) And finally, i went to the App store and updated it to Sierra. All is mostly good. It actually runs quite well for its age and seems very snappy.

One issue, however.

Since the Sierra upgrade: every time it boots I get an error after login about a drive that needs to be initialized. Checking Disk Utility, at the top of the left-side list, is a drive called ST_M13FQBL Media; it is 4.14 GB Uninitialized. For grins, I tried to initialize it... no go. I've run First Aid and it is healthy.

Below that weird drive is the expected Apple SSD TS256C Media 251 GB SATA Internal Physical Disk

Below that is the Partition I created in the recovery Disk Utility before install that I called Mac_256-SSD

I found one reference in the forums from 2014 related to a 320 GB rotational drive where the few responders believed this strange drive showing up indicated a failing Seagate drive. However, I ran First Aide on all drives and partitions and all seems good. Also, the system reinstalled and updated with no issues. Im not getting any freezes or other data corruption. Nor did the customer before this. He replaced this machine because he could, not necessarily because there were any issues. (He did want and ordered a larger SSD, but it wasn't due to an existing hardware issue.)

So... I'm stumped.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,124
2,638
Delaware
Is it possible that your 2011 iMac has a spinning hard drive, in addition to the SSD?
The weird "ST_M13FQBL" device shows up on a variety of different Seagate hard drives, and is usually an indication of a fault caused by bad sectors on the drive.
Your 2011 27-inch iMac was available with configuration of hard drive, plus SSD (two drives, not a fusion setup, but two separate drives.)
Any possibility that there's a (now faulty) hard drive installed, in addition to the SSD?
It's not too difficult to open up a 2011 iMac, and you could disconnect - or completely remove the spinning hard drive.
If you do that, even though it may not be causing you difficulties at the moment, it could fail in a more dramatic fashion, if you leave a dead/dying drive installed.
 
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happyslayer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2008
919
425
Glendale, AZ
That's an interesting thought. I suppose there could be another drive in the case. I didn't set it up originally, just backed it up and restored the data and programs to the new one. Hmmm. I've got the iFixit tools to take it apart. I'll try that later tomorrow and let you know. Thanks for the suggestion. Also, I'll post a pic tomorrow as well.
 

happyslayer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2008
919
425
Glendale, AZ
Thanks, DeltaMac! That was it. There was a failed Seagate 1TB rotational drive inside. Actually, it was almost failed since it was trying to be on. Anyway, I removed it and replaced it with an old Western Digital 1TB black drive that has been in a drawer for a couple years and it's working great! No fan noise, no weird boot messages and, bonus, an extra terabyte of storage space. Thanks again!
 

djkzee

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2019
1
0
Is it possible that your 2011 iMac has a spinning hard drive, in addition to the SSD?
The weird "ST_M13FQBL" device shows up on a variety of different Seagate hard drives, and is usually an indication of a fault caused by bad sectors on the drive.
Your 2011 27-inch iMac was available with configuration of hard drive, plus SSD (two drives, not a fusion setup, but two separate drives.)
Any possibility that there's a (now faulty) hard drive installed, in addition to the SSD?
It's not too difficult to open up a 2011 iMac, and you could disconnect - or completely remove the spinning hard drive.
If you do that, even though it may not be causing you difficulties at the moment, it could fail in a more dramatic fashion, if you leave a dead/dying drive installed.
omg...thats the same problem im facing ...what is the best solution ?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,124
2,638
Delaware
If you have the same faulty ID on the hard drive, it's likely there are failed blocks on the hard drive.
Best solution? Same as my previous post #3. Replace the hard drive.
And, this is a good opportunity to upgrade from a spinning hard drive to an SSD.
 
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