Mid 2011 21.5" iMac HDD died, what's next?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MartinAppleGuy, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    so this morning, the Mid 2011 21.5" iMac (2.7Ghz i5 and 1TB HDD) started to make clicking noises when it was switched off (maybe it trying to make a time machine backup) and when I woke it from sleep to check it, apps were not responding suddenly. Couldn't do anything so it was restarted, and when booting up it shows the folder symbol with the question mark. When loading into internet recovery, it cannot find the HDD in either disk utility or in the Boot Disk screen.

    So it is clear the the Drive has suddenly failed, what are the next steps here? How much do Apple charge for the HDD replacement (purchased 2 and a half years ago)? Will it be under that recall of Seagate HDDs? Anyone been in this situation before?

    Really appreciate any and all help here guys.
  2. MartinAppleGuy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    Seriously? No one? Hate it when a thread gets a nice amount of views and no one is helping out, I always go out of my way to help others in the forums here...
  3. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
    well... buy a SSD yourself and replace it, yadda, yadda... trust me, no regrets will you have :)
  4. MartinAppleGuy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    There is no way I am opening up the machine. A friend of mine replaced their HDD in their 2011 imac and then the fans ran full blast and even with fan control software, it sometimes goes back to full speed.

    I'm thinking about externals, but the 2011 iMac has only USB 2 connections, plus thunderbolt 1. All thunderbolt HDDs are too expensive and having an SSD ran through USB2 will surly be a downgrade on he 135MBps of the internal HDD before it broke?

    How much will the Apple Store be to replace? Is is there a nice external operation available taking into account the iMac using USB2?
  5. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003

    Your friend didn't look into alternative solutions to the in-line temperature sensor ? You can easily obtain one for your iMac from vendors like this one http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMACHDD11/ from OWC, or any alternative.

    Once you install that thing, you can put in any HDD/SSD/SSHD you want and it is an easy, painless procedure, not like the newer iMacs.
  6. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    I recently purchased this Thunderbolt SSD which I use as the boot-drive. It's so much faster than my HDD was, and it should work on your machine too. It's quite expensive, but it allows me to continue for a few more years before purchasing a new computer.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    Doesn't that iMac have firewire 800?

    What I'm about to suggest might not be "optimal", in regard to speeds, but I believe it will certainly be "workable" and quite acceptable.

    Get an enclosure like this one:

    It has both firewire800 and USB3 ports. This means you can use it now on the 2011 via the firewire800 port, and when you eventually get another Mac, it will still be useful as a USB3 drive.

    Next, get a "bare" SSD of your choice.
    240gb SSD's are running under $100 now, 512gb SSD's can be had for less than $200.
    I just picked up a 120gb SSD for my sister's old MacBook from amazon for $39.95 -- can't beat that.

    I'd suggest a Crucial SSD, you don't have to buy the "latest, greatest, fastest" for your application.

    Put the drive into the case, initialize it however you can, put a copy of the OS onto it.

    You can now boot from the external drive and "rebuild from there".

    NO.... firewire800 will not boot as fast as if you had a thunderbolt drive, but once you are up-and-running, the speed differences won't be that great.
    This will provide you a "workable alternative" to keeping the iMac going for another year or two, without a big outlay of $$$.
  8. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    For $80 ($15 more than the FireWire enclosure), you could get a refurbished 1TB LaCie "Rugged" Thunderbolt drive and swap the 1TB hard disk for whatever SSD you decide to purchase. You can then sell or repurpose the 1TB hard disk as desired. Now you have a fast Thunderbolt SSD for booting your iMac without any disassembly. You can leave the orange "lifeboat" off, and simply stick the drive to the back of the iMac stand out of sight.

  9. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    This is a great idea. And while I would also recommend an SSD upgrade, the OP can also just leave the HDD in and it's a basic external replacement for what he already was using (with very similar performance).
    Well try calling an Apple Store rather than asking here? ;-) For external boot/OS X drive, you definitely want to avoid USB2. That's what Thunderbolt is for.
  10. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    We put an SSD into my wife's old 2009 21.5" iMac and that thing screams now.
  11. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    If it has thunderbolt or firewire 800 an external ssd will run really well. You can just install the OS to it and run that. I did that as an "upgrade" to my 2010 iMac's internal storage since the iFixit guide looked pretty terrifying.

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