Mid-2011 SATA DRIVE

jdf91

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 15, 2018
2
0
Hey guys,

I’m resurrecting an old dinosaur as I’m on a budget and the 2011 iMac came with final cut pro 10 all for $400. I got home with it today and encountered online info that the drive inside (Seagate - ST31000528AS) was recalled. I’m thinking it must have had it’s drive revised with apple as it was originally a best buy floor model LOL but the seller I purchased it from doesn’t know and when I look at disc utility I don’t see any revisions just the name of the drive in question. Can you guys help me know if I got a lemon or what to look for to find out if the drive is good. Thx
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,832
432
Nambucca Heads Australia
Lemon or otherwise, for mine I would go with an external SSD connected via Thunderbolt, install the operating system on it after formatting Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and selecting this as the boot drive in System Preferences > Startup Disk. The internal drive is slow for today's use and will make good backup.

A late model SSD such as the Samsung models will work at 85-90% of then rate of the drive installed internally. Used this for years when I had that model and USB2 is just too slow.
 

jdf91

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 15, 2018
2
0
Lemon or otherwise, for mine I would go with an external SSD connected via Thunderbolt, install the operating system on it after formatting Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and selecting this as the boot drive in System Preferences > Startup Disk. The internal drive is slow for today's use and will make good backup.

A late model SSD such as the Samsung models will work at 85-90% of then rate of the drive installed internally. Used this for years when I had that model and USB2 is just too slow.

Thanks for the info, if it is a question of performance and not safety of my data then I may just continue with the drive until I see disconcerting signs... I'm not too tech savvy , hence why I created this account, but I don't think you can transfer over programs to external disk ya? Final Cut is a massive expense I'm happy to have included
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,733
440
The Sillie Con Valley
The internal HHD is a 7 year old piece of junk and, like the heat pump it is, just sits there cooking your 2011 from the inside. Get it out of there.

A Samsung 860 EVO runs $169 for 1T or $349 for 2T. Other 1T / 2T SSDs can be had under $150 / $300.

You'll need the SSD, a $12 bracket and a $39 temp sensor. Since you'll have the glass off, replace the NV RAM battery with a CR2032 at the same time. You'll need a few tools. OWC sells a toolkit with the sensor for convenience—the screwdrivers are magnetized which really helps.

Ignore all the internet advice telling you about freeware solutions to get around the temp sensor unless you really enjoy the sound of all your fans going full blast for 30 seconds every time you boot and having to maintain your iMac's fans manually. Tried it—couldn't wait to tear mine apart again and install that sensor.

The 2011 is the easiest iMac to do this upgrade on. It takes me a half hour to do the job one-handed (no joke—I became handicapped and have only one working arm). Never having done one, it might take you an hour or more as you keep referring to the directions to make sure you're doing it right. Mac techs in my area charge $50–$75 labor to do this changeover (I charge $50).

You can actually install 2 SSDs into a 2011 or 2010 using the spare SATA bus unique to these two years (3 SSDs if you give up the DVD drive). OWC can take that unused bus and turn it into an eSATA port for $169 including return shipping. Back when SSDs were small and cost a fortune, that was a good idea—I shipped my then brand new iMac to them in 2010 and had it done. Nowadays, I don't see the point.
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,733
440
The Sillie Con Valley
What a load of horse manure. The machine won't have any heat issues because of that drive.
Heat is absolutely the major issue with these.

I've replaced a few hundred of those WD Black and Seagate HHDs over the last 7 years for my clients. Not one was good enough to resell and I run SMART tests on each of them. Although they often pass Disk Utility, they usually show end to end and temperature failures in TechTool Pro.

Those 2011 GPUs that Apple won't replace unless they fail? Well that program is long over but I have never seen one fail after the spinner was pulled and an SSD installed. This lowers the heat dramatically causing the fans to ramp up only on the warmest days. The savings on my A/C bill paid for the upgrade back when a 2T SSD costs nearly $1,000.

The down side? These machines still run so well that I don't get much business from those clients. Now that Mojave has made them obsolete, I'm looking forward to the increased business as they need to move forward.

The other downside is that I need to replace my 2011 and 2010, both great running machines. My 2010 immediately as Mojave will become essential to my work very soon. I can hold off on my 2011 for awhile, I hope.
 
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