upgrading iMac HDD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by natecrowe, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. natecrowe macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2011
    Athens GA
    I have a new Mid 2011 iMac. I bought the baseline with intent of just upgrading the ram and hdd the same way I did with my MacBook because we all know how much cheaper it is to upgrade these on your own. Well, I have seen so many mixed things about upgrading the new iMac. Things from the difficulty of getting to it by taking the screen off and such to having issues with the fan the way Apple chose to have drivers on the installed hdd to control the fan based on the temp. I have also heard so many mixed things about issues with hdd used to upgrade. It seems I need to use WD, which I would have anyway. I think the Caviar series is supposed to work. Anyway, is it worth the hassle of upgrading? If so, Caviar or is there another better one? I am looking for a 2TB model either way. Upgrade or not? Suggestions? Best HDD? Best video guide to upgrading?
    Thanks for the help

    21.5" iMac Mid 2011, 13" MacBook Late 2008, 64GB iPad, 32GB iPhone 4
  2. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    My only advice is that if you haven't opened such a computer by non-kosher means, then just don't.

    I don't know you're level of experience and I'm not judging, but it helps everybody (including the owner of the product) if amateurs keep their hands out of their machines. I can't tell you the number of botched iBook repairs end up on my work-table every week because some wise-*** suggested iFixit to somebody that thinks it's, "just as easy as it looks."

    If, however, you are experienced, then disregard everything ;)
  3. DESNOS, Aug 29, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011

    DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    For guides, go to iFixIt.com. Their guides are top-notch.

    About the storage though: What do you use your computer for? Few people really need all the storage Apple puts into computers nowadays, so the question is, do you really need to upgrade at all? Consider this: The SDXC card slot in the iMac has a theoretical limit of 2TB. Current cards that I've seen go up to 128GB. It may prove to be more convenient to just keep upgrading your SD card as tech improves, and sell the old one, rather than go through the hassle of upgrading your HDD. You do have to take it apart quite a bit to gain access to it.

    You could also just wait till 512GB SDXC cards make it to market then buy that. It really depends on your current needs.
  4. Snowguy macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2009
    Northern Minnesota
    As for upgrading, I would try to find someone who knows what they're doing and ask them to lend a hand.

    Opening up an iMac isn't rocket science, but it is a very delicate and tedious process. You just have to be very careful.

    Mark everything so you know which plugs go where when you disconnect them and keep all screws separate and labeled for each device you're messing with.

    If you run into trouble and aren't confident in what you're doing.. STOP. Put the machine back together and bring it into an expert and pay them to do it for you. Dolling out a little cash for the expert help is so much better than botching it and ruining your machine. mrCheeto has a point there.

    That said: I've opened up my iMac twice to replace the power supply and to replace the hard drive (both of which failed :( )... as I said above.. it's a tedious process, but it can be done IF you have the proper tools (don't substitute. Make the investment or bring it to an expert), and your'e very careful.. you'll be fine.
  5. mrsavage1 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    actually its dead easy to open the imac to get the hd i can do it in about 3 mins. You don't even need the suction cups just use your hands to peel off the top glass. Later there are 8 screws to remove the lcd. Then there are 4 wires to remove from the motherboard to the lcd. And ta da u have acess to the hd. The problem is that the u need to short 2 and 7 jumpers on the powersupply of the 2011 imac so that the hd fans are running properly.
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    For most folks it's best to pay an authorized Apple Service Ctr to do the upgrade. Search this forum and you will find dozens of attempts that have ended up with broken wires, connectors, dead screens, etc. I've performed the upgrade on a 24" 2008 and early 2009 24" w/o incident but the 27" models are successively more complex with delicate connections that some people have broken. If you're not extremely careful it can go wrong. It can certainly be done but I wouldn't call it easy to do.

  7. natecrowe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2011
    Athens GA

    I use Windows mostly for gaming, which can be a big chunk of memory and I use OSX for pretty much everything else. Typical docs, photos, music, movies, and everything else. I am not in a complete rush to upgrade right now, but I knew I would run out of 500GB soon. I was thinking about just taking advantage of having a thunderbolt port and investing in an external that would utilize this feature. I have a WD my passport right now as a back up for my MacBook, but I use both for different reasons right now. I have a friend who works in IT and would help me. I do not plan on doing this alone. I definitely want to error on the side of not messing up my iMac. Thoughts on thunderbolt external? I could repartition my HDD to allocate most of my space for Windows and less for OSX and use the external to help me survive. THanks for the tips.

    21.5" iMac (Mid 2011), 13" MacBook (Late 2008), 64GB iPad, 32GB iPhone 4

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