Upgrade late 2012 21.5" iMAC 13.1 to SSD

Pascal325

Suspended
Original poster
Oct 24, 2017
124
106
Which method should I do? I currently have a 1TB 5400rpm drive in it.

1. Add an SSD in that slot designated for them.
2. Replace the 1TB HD with a 2.5" SSD drive.
3. Add an external Thunderbolt or USB SSD drive.
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,739
409
Nambucca Heads Australia
I'd suggest Option 3 as the glued iMacs can be the very devil to work on.

Connect a USB3 or TB drive externally, clone the operating system etc from the internal, select it as the boot drive in System preferences > Startup Disk and away you go.

The only slight difficulty will be with operating system upgrades as it will update the interior drive first, and on the reboot will do the external. I used the internal as the backup drive.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,152
5,516
If you open up the iMac and -break something-, you're not going to like it.

MUCH MUCH easier to buy an external USB3 SSD, plug it into a USB port, and set it up to be an "external booter". It will be nearly as fast as an internally-installed SATA drive.
 

Pascal325

Suspended
Original poster
Oct 24, 2017
124
106
I'd suggest Option 3 as the glued iMacs can be the very devil to work on.

Connect a USB3 or TB drive externally, clone the operating system etc from the internal, select it as the boot drive in System preferences > Startup Disk and away you go.

The only slight difficulty will be with operating system upgrades as it will update the interior drive first, and on the reboot will do the external. I used the internal as the backup drive.
I went with that option. I found a good deal on Ebay for this below. Thank you for the advice!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Transcend-512GB-Thunderbolt-USB3-Solid-State-Drive-StoreJet-500-MAC-TS512GSJM500-/132370021859?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&nma=true&si=6A3VCWbDEnTdV6uQNdH1QiowaRw%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc
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If you open up the iMac and -break something-, you're not going to like it.

MUCH MUCH easier to buy an external USB3 SSD, plug it into a USB port, and set it up to be an "external booter". It will be nearly as fast as an internally-installed SATA drive.
Same option, just went with Thunderbolt/usb3 unit. but I'll hook it up as thunderbolt.