Mid-2011 iMac SSD upgrade bumpy, ended very well

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Easttime, May 30, 2016.

  1. Easttime macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2015
    After 20+ years modifying my PCs I thought I could replace the original spinner hard drive in my mid-2011 iMac with a 1 TB SSD. I did the swap with the excellent OWC kit but when I put the iMac back together the LCD screen was dead. Took it to a computer store where they replaced the LCD I broke somehow. The iMac runs better than fine with that new SSD drive. The speed is just amazing.

    In the week I was without that iMac I got deep into options, pessimistically thinking we would never fix it. I ran the gamut after being disappointed by the limited Mac Mini options and annoyed by the sticker shock of a replacement iMac. Even flirted with going back to Windows.

    Then I got the iMac back and realized all over again what a lovely machine it is. The repair was expensive, but (a) the white mid-2010 MacBook I had to use as backup runs much better with the 4 to 16 GB RAM upgrade I did and (b) I replaced the old 24" low res external monitor with a high res 27".

    So it has been an expensive, hard lesson, but hopefully I am good now for the next 5 years:
    1. I should have not have attempted that iMac hard drive swap myself; just too tricky.
    2. SSD really is amazing technology. Like others have said, SSD and a RAM upgrade breathes new life into old Macs.
    3. OWC gives great online service for ordering kits.
    4. iMacs really are great machines. I had to resort to a standby 1900 resolution external monitor. The iMac's high res screen is far more useful. There was just no equivalent alternative for me, short of going back to Windows and PC towers which is no go for me.
    5. Very disappointing direction Apple has taken. Should be able to upgrade our own hard drives and RAM.
    6. Glad the 2010 MacBook is so easy to upgrade. Old workhorse saved my bacon this past week. I ordered a 480 GB SSD for the old MacBook too.
    7. Cudos to the staff at our town's Apple authorized repair shop. I should have gone there in the first place.
  2. ivanwi11iams Contributor


    Nov 30, 2014
    Kennesaw, GA
    Glad you got it all working. Another idea, not sure if this would have worked for you, would have been to get an SSD drive and an enclosed case. Then simply run the OS via USB 3.0.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    OP would need a Thunderbolt drive to do that with the 2011 iMac. No USB 3.0 until 2012 models.
    And, the 2010 MacBook would also be a no go for the USB 3.0.

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