Replacing Hard Drive on 21.5 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bodhi395, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #1
    I have the most recent model of the 21.5 inch iMac, that came with a 500 GB hard drive. I'm starting to run up to my limit in space and am thinking of putting in a new 2 TB hard drive. Anyone do this type of replacement and can tell me 1) is it difficult and 2) what specific type of hard drive will I need?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    What kind of data do you have? A simple USB external HD might be sufficient if you have stuff like music and videos. I have 640GB HD in my iMac but all my movies and TV series are in my 2TB external.
     
  3. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #3
    I haven't done this personally but I have heard it is somewhat difficult and not for the weak hearted as you must remove the screen to do this. Also I believe it uses a 2.5 or 3.5 sata
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    It's a 3.5" SATA II drive. Just about anyone will work. It's more time consuming than difficult and you need the right tools. Ifixit has a guide.
     
  5. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #5
    I agree. You need to buy suction cups to remove the glass and when you do, it is begging for dust to get it. I heard that removing the glass voids the warranty, not entirely sure though.
     
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #6
    Jeebus people, stop "guessing".

    It does NOT take a 2.5" drive. It takes a 3.5" SATA drive.

    Removing the glass does not void the warranty. Removing the glass takes all of 5 seconds at most, its the simplest part of the tear down.

    Just use some compressed air to blow it. Ive taken the glass off at least a dozen AL iMacs, never had a problem with dust ever.

    That said, its not easy: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/iMac-Intel-21-5-Inch-Hard-Drive-Replacement/1766/1

    Like HH said, If you have a huge iTunes/iPhoto/Movies libraries -- buy an external and move them to it. For me, thats almost 250 gigs.
     
  7. Bodhi395 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #7
    I already have a large external hard drive, but I use it as back up. I want a large internal hard drive to store the originals of things and then use the external hard drive to basically mirror everything and back it up. That's why simply having a large external hard drive by itself won't help me.
     
  8. Bodhi395 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #8
    I looked at this article and it has this note:

    "If you have a 21.5" or 27" iMac, you must replace your hard drive with a drive made by the same manufacturer as your current hard drive. These iMacs utilize the hard drive's internal temperature sensor to control fan speeds. In all other machines you can install a hard drive produced by any manufacturer."

    I'm wondering how I can tell what harddrive I currently have though, without opening up my mac?
     
  9. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    Sacramento
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    What size is your current external HD? You could get e.g. 2TB external and back up both, your internal and the other external HD to it. While the internal HD can be replaced, it is not that easy. IMO, if you can accomplish the same with external storage, I would go with that route, especially if the speed of the storage is not that important (i.e. lots of videos and other infrequently accessed data).
     

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