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Replacing HD on 21.5" 2010 iMac

aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
I bought the OWC SSD replacement kit. I plan to follow the instructions online as I take apart the computer to replace the HD. My question is:

Obviously the new HD will be blank. Once I have everything properly (hopefully) installed and turn the computer on... do I need to insert the original install discs to boot and get Mac OS on the computer?

Thanks!

Alexi
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
2,758
1,012
Oregon, USA
My question is:
Obviously the new HD will be blank. Once I have everything properly (hopefully) installed and turn the computer on... do I need to insert the original install discs to boot and get Mac OS on the computer?
That will work IF you want to install the Snow Leopard that shipped with your 2010 iMac. If you want to install a newer macOS then I recommend making a bootable USB installer before installing the SSD.

Another option is to put the new SSD in a external enclosure and formatting it and installing the OS on it before you open your iMac to make sure the SSD is working properly.
 
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aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
That will work IF you want to install the Snow Leopard that shipped with your 2010 iMac. If you want to install a newer macOS then I recommend making a bootable USB installer before installing the SSD.

Another option is to put the new SSD in a external enclosure and formatting it and installing the OS on it before you open your iMac to make sure the SSD is working properly.

The plan was to use the original discs then could I not just use the online app store to upgrade to the newest version high sierra?
 
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CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
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Oregon, USA
The plan was to use the original discs then could I not just use the online app store to upgrade to the newest version high sierra?
There are a couple of problems with that plan.
1. The original install discs will install 10.6.3 or 10.6.4. You need 10.6.8 to use the App Store to download a newer OS. You will need to update to 10.6.8.

2. The minimum OS requirement is 10.8 to upgrade to 10.13.6.
https://support.apple.com/kb/SP765?locale=en_US
You will need to buy 10.8 from Apple ($19.99) (unless you have previously purchased it from Apple) and then download it from the App Store with the code that will be emailed to you. Once 10.8 is installed then you can download and install 10.13.6.

It would be easier to create a bootable 10.13.6 USB installer now by downloading the full 10.13.6 installer and follow Apples instructions:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372
Use it to boot your iMac, format the new SSD, and then install 10.13.6 on the new SSD.
 
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aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
There are a couple of problems with that plan.
1. The original install discs will install 10.6.3 or 10.6.4. You need 10.6.8 to use the App Store to download a newer OS. You will need to update to 10.6.8.

2. The minimum OS requirement is 10.8 to upgrade to 10.13.6.
https://support.apple.com/kb/SP765?locale=en_US
You will need to buy 10.8 from Apple ($19.99) (unless you have previously purchased it from Apple) and then download it from the App Store with the code that will be emailed to you. Once 10.8 is installed then you can download and install 10.13.6.

It would be easier to create a bootable 10.13.6 USB installer now by downloading the full 10.13.6 installer and follow Apples instructions:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372
Use it to boot your iMac, format the new SSD, and then install 10.13.6 on the new SSD.

Great more money haha... I think the bootable USB installer option might be more trouble than the $20 is worth... Plus the computer is currently running Mac os 10.12.6 so I must have purchased 10.8 at some point... right?

Let me get this straight so the steps would be...

1) install 10.6.4 from discs.
2) Update to 10.6.8 (free)
3) Update to 10.8 ($20)
4) Update to 10.12 (Free)

Just checked my purchase history... I bought: OS X Mountain Lion, OS X Mavericks, OS X Yosemite, and OS X El Capitan... so I should be good to redownload any of these once I get 10.6.8 running?
 
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CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
2,758
1,012
Oregon, USA
I think the bootable USB installer option might be more trouble than the $20 is worth.
Let me get this straight so the steps would be...
1) install 10.6.4 from discs.
2) Update to 10.6.8 (free)
3) Update to 10.8 ($20)
4) Update to 10.12 (Free)

Just checked my purchase history... I bought: OS X Mountain Lion, OS X Mavericks, OS X Yosemite, and OS X El Capitan... so I should be good to redownload any of these once I get 10.6.8 running?
Since you have those OS installers in your App Store purchase history you can re-download them when you have App Store access.

BTW: The minimum OS requirements for installing Sierra (10.12) is different than High Sierra (10.13). You only need Lion (10.7) or greater to install Sierra.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208202

The steps you listed should work fine for what you want to accomplish. It will take a little longer (more steps and OS installs), but it will work.
 
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aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
Since you have those OS installers in your App Store purchase history you can re-download them when you have App Store access.

BTW: The minimum OS requirements for installing Sierra (10.12) is different than High Sierra (10.13). You only need Lion (10.7) or greater to install Sierra.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208202

The steps you listed should work fine for what you want to accomplish. It will take a little longer (more steps and OS installs), but it will work.

Thanks so much for clarifying! I think the highest that computer can go is Sierra... which is perfectly fine for what it will be used for as a second computer. Largely just to back up my fiancé’s iphone as mine is backed to my new 2019 iMac.
 
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aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
Since you have those OS installers in your App Store purchase history you can re-download them when you have App Store access.

BTW: The minimum OS requirements for installing Sierra (10.12) is different than High Sierra (10.13). You only need Lion (10.7) or greater to install Sierra.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208202

The steps you listed should work fine for what you want to accomplish. It will take a little longer (more steps and OS installs), but it will work.

So I found a video of owc website to replace the HD with another HD not an SSD... do you happen to know if the process is the same? Just with the SSD and not the HD?
 
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CoastalOR

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Jan 19, 2015
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1,012
Oregon, USA
So I found a video of owc website to replace the HD with another HD not an SSD... do you happen to know if the process is the same? Just with the SSD and not the HD?
I can't speak to the instructions in the OWC video since I'm not familiar with their instructional video. I would say that the instructions would have to be different if it does not address installing a SSD since you will need an internal enclosure for the SSD since it is 2.5" which is replacing a 3.5" HDD. A temperature sensor will also be needed.

Have you looked at ifixit instructions?
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2389+Hard+Drive+Replacement/6284
Check Step 18 to see about the SSD enclosure.
 
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aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
I can't speak to the instructions in the OWC video since I'm not familiar with their instructional video. I would say that the instructions would have to be different if it does not address installing a SSD since you will need an internal enclosure for the SSD since it is 2.5" which is replacing a 3.5" HDD. A temperature sensor will also be needed.

Have you looked at ifixit instructions?
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2389+Hard+Drive+Replacement/6284
Check Step 18 to see about the SSD enclosure.

The owc kit comes with a new temperature sensor and mounting bracket for the SSD but I wasn’t sure how the installation different from the regular HD. Maybe it doesn’t then... I’ll check the link you sent thanks!
 
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ThugFreak

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2018
160
51
California
The owc kit comes with a new temperature sensor and mounting bracket for the SSD but I wasn’t sure how the installation different from the regular HD. Maybe it doesn’t then... I’ll check the link you sent thanks!
It's the same.
You plug the 2.5'' SSD into the 3.5'' adapter. Take the 8 mini screws that came with the adapter and select the 4 smaller screws. Screw those 4 smaller screws into the bottom of the adapter to secure it to the botton of the SSD.
Plug the temperature sensor between the SATA connector & the SSD. Attach the temperature sensor to a metal part of the SSD near the SATA connector (not on the SSD label).
Also, while you're in there, take a shop vac or leaf blower and blow all the dust off the fan blades, airways & everything else.
Be careful with the center video cable. Don't tug on it too much. The connector is very flimsy metal. It can easily get bent, or the locking mechanisms on the connector can snap off. Or you may rip the video cable connector off the mother board (it's flimsy too). I'm warning you because I did all that on a 2009 iMac 2 years ago.
Note: When you format the SSD for the 1st time, a drive called "container disk21" may appear in Disk Utility.
It is a bug in High Sierra. Re-boot the computer & it will be gone.
 
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aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
It's the same.
You plug the 2.5'' SSD into the 3.5'' adapter. Take the 8 mini screws that came with the adapter and select the 4 smaller screws. Screw those 4 smaller screws into the bottom of the adapter to secure it to the botton of the SSD.
Plug the temperature sensor between the SATA connector & the SSD. Attach the temperature sensor to a metal part of the SSD near the SATA connector (not on the SSD label).
Also, while you're in there, take a shop vac or leaf blower and blow all the dust off the fan blades, airways & everything else.
Be careful with the center video cable. Don't tug on it too much. The connector is very flimsy metal. It can easily get bent, or the locking mechanisms on the connector can snap off. Or you may rip the video cable connector off the mother board (it's flimsy too). I'm warning you because I did all that on a 2009 iMac 2 years ago.
Note: When you format the SSD for the 1st time, a drive called "container disk21" may appear in Disk Utility.
It is a bug in High Sierra. Re-boot the computer & it will be gone.

Thanks so much... So you basically just install the ssd with the mounting bracket as if it was a regular hd?
 
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aman88

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 21, 2019
115
18
It's the same.
You plug the 2.5'' SSD into the 3.5'' adapter. Take the 8 mini screws that came with the adapter and select the 4 smaller screws. Screw those 4 smaller screws into the bottom of the adapter to secure it to the botton of the SSD.
Plug the temperature sensor between the SATA connector & the SSD. Attach the temperature sensor to a metal part of the SSD near the SATA connector (not on the SSD label).
Also, while you're in there, take a shop vac or leaf blower and blow all the dust off the fan blades, airways & everything else.
Be careful with the center video cable. Don't tug on it too much. The connector is very flimsy metal. It can easily get bent, or the locking mechanisms on the connector can snap off. Or you may rip the video cable connector off the mother board (it's flimsy too). I'm warning you because I did all that on a 2009 iMac 2 years ago.
Note: When you format the SSD for the 1st time, a drive called "container disk21" may appear in Disk Utility.
It is a bug in High Sierra. Re-boot the computer & it will be gone.

Success!

Thanks for all your help!
 
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