Replacing HD: Electrocution risk???


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2009
Bear with me -- let me set this up. My mid-2008 model 24" intel iMac started making a horrible metal-on-metal scratching noise that is almost undoubtedly the hard drive going dead. It was a gift that did not include apple care. This means that the replacements aren't covered, but also means warranties aren't a concern.

I decided to take it into the "geniuses" just for an official diagnosis -- the sound seems to indicate a dying hard drive, but I haven't had any freeze-ups or any malfunctions and the apple disk scanner doesn't come up with any problems. I had the hope that they would come back and say it's just a fan issue, I pay a hundred bucks and it's good to go. Unfortunately, they can't officially say one way or the other -- I don't know if it's wanting to get the extra money for exploratory surgery or what -- but the "genius" said it was probably the hard drive but could be a bearing in the hard drive fan. That doesn't help me much.

Anyway -- I was thinking about replacing the hard drive anyway. I've been wanting to upgrade and this is as good a time as any to do it. I know my way pretty well around computers, and while admittedly my experiences are with PCs, I'm confident I can do this, especially with some of the good guides online.

The "genius" talked about severe electrocution risk around the power supply. This doesn't seem to make much sense -- providing that the computer is unplugged and discharged -- and I haven't found anything online about it. However, I wanted to get some other opinions.

Is this a reasonable warning? Or is it scare tactics?

Should I go it my own, or find some other way?


macrumors 601
Sep 16, 2007
Northeastern Ohio
Just scare tactics :p. They already got $100 out of you, think they are just trying to milk you like a cow now lol.

Shock would have been an issue with the older CRT iMac G3s and eMacs but you don't have to worry with the new iMacs. Just be sure to ground yourself to the metal frame before touching anything to discharge any static buildup you may have on your body. That way you don't end up shocking your iMac.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2008
Scare tactics as mentioned. You could get a little shock from some of the capacitors but nothing that would harm you. ;)


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2009
They haven't gotten any money from me yet -- that was just me hoping for an easy no muss-no fuss solution. But I'm not going to pay $350 for them to replace a hard drive.

Thanks for the reassurance. This is what I figured.


macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
East Coast
If you haven't done so already, back up your system right now. Don't wait, just do it. If that means going out and buying an external HDD, then do it.

If your HDD sounds funny, chances are it's gonna die. I'd hate to read a new post from you in a week about how you lost all of your photos, songs, term papers, etc.

Oh, and there's very little likelihood of electrocuting yourself, provided you unplugged everything.
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