Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

chaoticpinoy89

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
8
1
I have a 2011 27" iMac with an internal HDD and external SSD. My logic board or PSU seems to have failed. My latest backup is April 2020 (don't know how this happened). Can I take out the internal HDD and use an external enclosure and connect both drives to another computer to get access to the files?
 

chaoticpinoy89

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
8
1
Thanks. I just want to get the data off. Once I do that, I'll be able to try to resuscitate the iMac. Will the baking work even if just boots up to a blank screen? No startup chime?
 

USB3foriMac

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2020
317
119
Singapore
boots up to a blank screen?
That's a typical failure description for GPU failure. I would straight away bake the GPU, but you can also take out the disk first, definitely easier than taking out the GPU.
After baking GPU and reassembly, I would not mount the screen fist but see whether I get the Chime. If so, your problem is solved.
If solved, I'd mount a 1 TB SSD (you mount any size you like). Then I would install a fresh MacOS through internet recovery or thumbdrive. Then I would connect my old HDD via a USB to SATA adapter (need external 12V power) and migrate my data over, since your time machine backup isn't up to date.
Then, I'd use the old HDD as a time machine backup disk and make a fresh backup of the new install.
 

Darth.Titan

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,905
753
Austin, TX
Your title indicates you've got an internal Fusion drive, so your internal drive is technically made up of a spinner drive and a smaller SSD grouped together as a logical volume.

If you pull out the internal spinner and put it in an external enclosure without the grouped SSD, the data will not be readable. Backup your internal drive somehow before removing it.
 

chaoticpinoy89

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
8
1
Your title indicates you've got an internal Fusion drive, so your internal drive is technically made up of a spinner drive and a smaller SSD grouped together as a logical volume.

If you pull out the internal spinner and put it in an external enclosure without the grouped SSD, the data will not be readable. Backup your internal drive somehow before removing it.
Apologies. It's an internal HDD paired with an external SSD over Thunderbolt.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,755
12,863
OP wrote:
"It's an internal HDD paired with an external SSD over Thunderbolt."

Doing that WAS NOT a very good idea in the first place.
It may make data recovery impossible unless you can get the iMac booted and running again.

I don't see how it's going to be possible to get data from your erstwhile "fusion" drive by taking both drives and connecting them [externally] to another Mac. I could be wrong.

Your April 2020 backup may be "all that you're going to get".

I would NEVER attempt to do such a thing again.
Not ever.

And in the future, use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for backups.

You might try the "baking" trick mentioned above.
Just wondering... can the iMac boot into "safe mode"?
(shift key held down at boot).

If you are able to get the iMac booted again, the first thing I'd do is get CCC or SD and create a bootable cloned backup on an external drive.
Then... test it to see if it can boot the iMac.
Then... split that internal/external fusion drive into "standalone" drives and run that way.
To continue to go the way you've been going is an invitation to "disk disaster"...
 

||\||

Suspended
Nov 21, 2019
419
688
I have a 2011 27" iMac with an internal HDD and external SSD. My logic board or PSU seems to have failed. My latest backup is April 2020 (don't know how this happened). Can I take out the internal HDD and use an external enclosure and connect both drives to another computer to get access to the files?
This may be possible. IIRC, when I swapped out the internal HDD in my Fusion for a SATA SSD, it found the internal drive and reconnected the link between the two when the old HDD went into an enclosure. This Fusion array was not a boot drive.
 

chaoticpinoy89

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
8
1
OP wrote:
"It's an internal HDD paired with an external SSD over Thunderbolt."

Doing that WAS NOT a very good idea in the first place.
It may make data recovery impossible unless you can get the iMac booted and running again.

I don't see how it's going to be possible to get data from your erstwhile "fusion" drive by taking both drives and connecting them [externally] to another Mac. I could be wrong.

Your April 2020 backup may be "all that you're going to get".

I would NEVER attempt to do such a thing again.
Not ever.

And in the future, use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for backups.

You might try the "baking" trick mentioned above.
Just wondering... can the iMac boot into "safe mode"?
(shift key held down at boot).

If you are able to get the iMac booted again, the first thing I'd do is get CCC or SD and create a bootable cloned backup on an external drive.
Then... test it to see if it can boot the iMac.
Then... split that internal/external fusion drive into "standalone" drives and run that way.
To continue to go the way you've been going is an invitation to "disk disaster"...
My naiveté was that I had set this up a long time ago and thought that the backups were running. If I was to do it again, I'd just have them as two separate drives.

This may be possible. IIRC, when I swapped out the internal HDD in my Fusion for a SATA SSD, it found the internal drive and reconnected the link between the two when the old HDD went into an enclosure. This Fusion array was not a boot drive.
That's what I'm hoping is going to happen.
 

chaoticpinoy89

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
8
1
There was a happy ending! I opened up the iMac (scary), took the internal HDD out, put it in an enclosure, connected the enclosure and external SSD to another Mac, and it booted up fine. Some permission/keychain issues that I'm working on, but I was able to do both a Time Machine backup and a SuperDuper clone. Need to figure out my next steps to fit all of the data on a smaller SSD, but so far so good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fishrrman
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.