Upgrading hard drive in Alu iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by vw1300, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. vw1300 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    #1
    Has anyone here upgraded their hard drive on an aluminum iMac? I looked at the tutorial on ifixit and it seems fairly straightforward. I am seeking any other advice/experiences/information people may have before I do this.
    I used to do my own repairs on regular PCs, but that is very easy of course.

    Specifically - did anyone run into problems? What kind of hard drive did you install? Did you make a duplicate of your hard drive on an external first, or just reinstall OSX and everything?

    Thanks
     
  2. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #2
    it's very easy.. took me like 20 mins...

    Remember that you don't have to take off the actual monitor.. you can just hold it up with something.. and the hardest part is to get all the lint off the inside of the monitor once you're about to put the glass back on...

    I used my air compressor and used a lot of air to finally get everything out..

    The actual hdd is held by a black type of snap-on holder.. it took me a while to figure out this was secured by pressure and not by screws..

    i love my WD black caviar.. faster boot time and waaaayy faster read/write times.. That's what i wanted..

    Edit: This video helped a LOT!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YsCTNVEYt8
     
  3. vw1300 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 31, 2008
  4. iMac22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #4
    I had to do this recently. My machine is a 3.06 ghz 500gb early 2008 model.
    The hard drive was failing. Using Istat pro I would see that it would constantly reach 130 deg Farenheit. I kept getting the blinking question mark when booting up which means the machine can't find an operating system. Disk Utilities wouldn't even recognize the drive until it cooled off completely.

    Eventually changed it out this weekend to a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black drive. This drive is Fast. But it seems that heat is also a problem. At cold startup it's at 86 deg. However when I decided to copy files around from my external hdd to internal 1TB while also downloading some apple updates the HDD temp went up to 139 deg Farenheit! All this and my fans didn't increase in speed at all to account for the heat. CPU and HDD fan remain at 1199 rpm. Optical Drive at 699rpm

    WDC's website says that 140 deg is the max operating temp. After opening up the Imac it's to no surprise why the parts get so hot. There is no space in there. I'm worried that this drive will eventually die as well. (my 500gb drive only lasted 13 months with only slight use for movie compression)

    So now I've downloaded SmcFanControl and bumped up the hdd fan to 2400rpm just to keep it in the 119 deg fareheit range. I'm also blowing a small fan at the entire machine. So who knows if the fans will give out eventually.

    Overall pretty disappointed in this machine, and apple's smc control which did nothing for me. Heat kills Hard drives!

    Friend of mine has a mac pro and their HDD runs at 88 degrees.

    BulletToothTony what are your HD temps?
    I'm attaching a screenshot of mine now, with HDD fan running at 2400 rpm just to get HDD at 119 deg. Machine is pretty much idle, with exception of using Safari and downloading two files.
     

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  5. vw1300 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    #5
    thank you, imac22, this is the just the kind of meaty data I hoped to find. I was thinking more on the lines of WD's "green" hard drives, which are supposed to run cooler and quieter - sounds ideal for an iMac - though they're presumably not quite as fast as the the Caviar blacks.
     
  6. iMac22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #6
    That may be better, but also keep in mind that the drive I put in is also what Apple inserts into the top of the line iMac 1TB configuration.

    So it's supposed to be able to work in this machine fine.
     
  7. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #7
    My mid-2007 24" iMac (purchased on it's release date, August 7th, 2007) is currently at 58C for the HD Bay (136.4F) according to iStat. That is for complete system idle - no activity at all on the HD. It regularly hovers around those temps in the summers here in western Japan. I don't use smcFanControl.

    The HD has been running strong for almost two years now. Of course I keep a full system backup because HDs fail period.

    Read through that old "Heat kills Hard Drives!" thread you were trying to bring back from the dead because we had some interesting debate on the issue. I think you're making a pretty big assumption that heat was the cause of your original HD's failure. The aluminum iMac turns 2 years old in the first week of August. I had a 20" white Core Duo iMac before that which similarly reported high HD temps. If there was a high incidence of HD failure in the iMacs due to overly high operating temps I think you would have seen it reported by now. Relax.

    By the way, I recommend AppleCare. I like knowing I have another 14 months on this machine should anything fail. By then it will be new Mac time. ;)
     
  8. iMac22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #8
    Assumption? Not at all. I'm going by what the hard drive manufacturer specifies. Don't you think Western Digital would know what the operating temp limits are for their drives ? If their support documentation says that 55C or 131F is the limit then doesn't that mean something? Especially if my HD was always idling at 130F. It's a known fact that heat kills hard drives as well as other electronic components.

    It's true, maybe heat wasn't the absolute reason why my drive failed, but I'm sure it didn't help. The fact that your HD is running at 136 at idle and hasn't failed is good news. That's not to say that it's life won't be shortened under those temps for long.

    My issue with the heat is that Apple doesn't regulate the fan control well in our machines. Countless others have attested to the fact that their fan speeds hardly ever ramp up even under taxing use. The proof for this lies in programs like smcFanConrol, Imac Fan Control, and Fan Control for the Macbooks. And it's an absolute embarassment that we have to modify these settings because out of the box, our machines can't do so correctly.

    With the Imac turning 2 yrs old soon, that sounds like just the right time for all these HDD to start failing. Excessive Heat combined with natural HDD use....a HDD can only take so much.
     
  9. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #9
    Well the 136F is in the summer with no A/C. My drive runs much cooler in the fall and winter and when I use A/C. I'm not saying I wouldn't prefer the temps to be lower but with the current high spindle speed drives and the very compact case of the iMac higher temps are to be expected.

    The manufacturer's temperature specs may be on the conservative side. I can't say what Apple's BIOS has set for the "dangerous" threshold to ramp up fan speeds but research has actually indicated that where HDs are concerned lower temps are associated with higher failure rates.
     
  10. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #10
    My HDD temp averages 45 celsius (113 Fahrenheit) with SMC fan control notched up at 2000 RPM CPU at 1600 and Optical Drive at 1200rpm

    I've also got a little 8" Fan blowing the back of my 24" iMac that's using Firefox, mail.. messengers and Vuze, and itunes.. doesn't go higher than that unless i start doing some video decoding.

    130 Fahrenheit with 2400 rpm is definitely not right
     
  11. jimleszczynski macrumors regular

    jimleszczynski

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    #11
    Opening this back up....

    Hello I wanted to take a screen shot of my iMac data to see if people are getting similar results. It seems rather hot to me...
     

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  12. jaglad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Location:
    Royston, UK
    #12
    Just thought I would add, that I have upgraded the HD in my 2008 iMac twice because of running out of space, had a 500gb drive at first, then put a WD Caviar Black 1Tb and now have a WD Caviar Black 2Tb, I have never yet had a drive fail in my iMac, however I know others who have.

    These are my temps, I dont bother with SMCFanControl, just let the computer do its own thing. What is interesting that although my ambient temperature is lower, my hard drive is running at the same temp as iMacs22's with his HD fan spinning higher and as he says a fan pointing at the iMac itself.

    I currently have iTunes playing, Photoshop open, Safari browsing, so not really doing at lot.
     

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