Upgrade 2011 27" iMac SECONDARY drive? (SSD+1TB from Apple)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by krizko, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. krizko macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2009
    So, I've searched for any info on this for a while and am unable to come up with what I'm looking for regarding my specific configuration.

    I have a 2011 27" iMac that was originally ordered from Apple w/ a dual drive configuration of 256 SSD + 1TB HD.

    The 1TB drive is of the Seagate variation that has been recalled by Apple.

    I have a 3TB Seagate that I'd like to swap with the 1TB drive.

    From what I've gathered, it seems that I will potentially encounter fan speed issues due to the drive not having Apple firmware to control the fans.

    The thing is, everything I read regarding this seems to deal with replacing the primary drive in the machine. My HDD is a secondary drive, and I wonder if that makes any difference at all regarding the fan issue? Being that it is not running the OS and will simply be used for storage, is it safer to simply short the SATA pins than it would be with a primary drive?

    Really, just looking for anyone who has any experience at all in upgrading a SECONDARY drive in this sort of configuration.

    Any help or information will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
  2. krizko thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2009
    I'll answer this myself in case anyone else is looking for help in the future.

    I did the upgrade of secondary 1TB drive to 3TB. The fans ramped up as expected and I used the HDDFanControl app to monitor/adjust the fan speed properly. All seems to be going well now. No extra sensor/hardware was required.
  3. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    Hm, interesting. most seagate and hitachi drives i install dont rev up the fans.
    Might need a temp sensor adapter.

    the fan speed adjusting software i wouldnt trust much, honestly.

    i updated my 2011 iMac from 256+2TB Apple stock to 256+4TB+128GBSSD
    removed the optical drive and old 2TB and didnt have a fan issue, tempsensor fit in just fine.

    I did use a Hitachi drive though.
  4. krizko thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2009
    I think the difference is that you installed the temp sensor, correct? This was what I was trying to avoid as I wanted to minimize the amount of work involved with the iMac open. Everything I read indicated I needed to get completely behind the Logic board to add the new temp sensor.

    I upgraded from a 1TB Seagate Barracuda to a 3TB Seagate Barracuda so it is definitely the same sort of drive, however seeing as I skipped on the temp-sensor that is most likely why my fans would ramp up.

    HDD Fan Control is definitely working thus far, I don't do any serious gaming but with the new drive installed I played some Quake 4, did a couple video encodes and large file copies and the fan seems to adjust accordingly.

    Worst case scenario, the 3TB is only a storage drive that I maintain backups so I'll keep an eye on it and hope all goes well.

    Thanks for your input though!
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    If you swap the SATA cables on the back of the MLB, so that the Apple SSD is connected to port 0, and the HDD is port 1, the fans should behave correctly.
  6. krizko thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2009
    Hmm, interesting. I'll give this a try and see what happens, Thanks!
  7. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008

    The tempsensor was attached to the datacable. and i just plugged it into the new drive. No removing the logicboard or anything.
  8. entrywounds macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2012
    I installed a Samsung 840 with a WD 7200rpm HDD and the fans never acted any differently than the stock confing of the 1TB seagate drive. I think the fan issue is just a wiring issue between the logic board and the drives themselves. The way I understood it to work was that the logic reads the smart values from the drives(which 99% of drives support) for temp values and that is what dictates fan speed. As long as you use the proper sata and power extension or power Y cables you shouldn't have a fan issue with any drive you use.
  9. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    It really depends on the hard drive.
    ive seen some go both ways, there are adapters out there for drives not support by apple for the upgrade/modification.

    generally the tempsensor is part of the hard drive cabling and plugs into the jumper spots.

    500GB drives and some 1TBs may not have it connected or be affected like the 21" iMac. But generally if you look at the jumper pin area of the hard drive and if there is a square gap the sensor will usually fit fine.

    example (referring to the jumper pins):
    Western Digitals, need an adaptor

    where as Hitachi and Seagates generally dont
    as the adapter is generally fitted for those drives.
  10. krizko thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2009
    Hmm.. the Seagate Barracuda 3TB I used definitely didn't have the square opening for the Temp Sensor. I also didn't see any sort of spare cables inside that would indicate a temp sensor availability?

    I simply swapped the drive and all cables that were connected to the old drive to the new one (Power and SATA).

    I plan to open it up again in the next couple days and if I find anything that I missed, I'll definitely report back on my findings.

    Thanks again for everyone's input, it's all really helpful to me as this is my first time working inside an iMac.
  11. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    On the 2011s there is no temperature sensor. Apple uses a custom firmware on their hard drives which reports the drives temperature back via the normal SATA interface.

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