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Hard drive failure fixed without ifixit kit.

by ideologue

My Problem

On Sunday November 30th 2013, I was doing work at home with my iMac EMC 2105. It was raining and thundering that day. I took a break for lunch leaving my computer on. When I returned, I discovered the hard drive failed. The Internet and phone services also went out. When I tried to reboot the computer, I heard the dreaded click of death eminating from the failed hard drive. I had backed up the important files on an external hard drive two week prior. However, the work done since I backed up the important files was essential lost.

On the Sunday before Cyber Monday 2013, I took the computer to the local Apple Store for repair. I was told the computer was "vintage" meaning the Genius Bar no longer provided repair service for it. I was told any computer that is older than five years is considered vintage.

On Cyber Monday 2013, the Internet service was restored (the phone service was still out). I logged on to the Internet and did a search for a do-it-yourself-repair kit. I discovered the iFixIt website and order a hard drive upgrade kit. I got free shipping because it was Cyber Monday. Yeah!!! I actually ordered the wrong kit for the computer because I didn't check the EMC number on the computer.

My Fix

On Friday afternoon December 4th 2013, the hard drive upgrade kit I ordered arrived. I didn't do anything with it immediately, because it was so late in the day and I wasn't feeling all the well that day. I was thinking better not to work on the computer when I have a head cold. The next morning, I woke up and felt considerably better. That's when I found out about the EMC number on the computer not matching the hard drive upgrade kit I ordered. I decided to go ahead with the upgrade anyways.

In reading the online instructions, I noted that the first step is to hold down the power button for twenty to thirty seconds without the computer plugged into power and thereby discharge the internal capacitors. At that point, I decided maybe the reason the hard drive failed is because somehow the thunder storm charged the internal components of the computer and speculated that discharging the internal capacitors might resolve the problem. After discharging the internal capacitors, I decided to try to start the computer with the old hard drive one last time. I did so, the old hard drive worked, and the computer booted up. I immediately backed up to an external hard drive all the work I had done over the two weeks preceding the hard drive failure. Yeah!!

If the iFixIt hard drive upgrade kit will work for the computer I have, then I am going to keep the hard drive upgrade kit. If not, then I will look into the possibility of exchanging the hard drive upgrade kit for a kit that is appropriate for the computer I have.

My Advice

If you have files containing data about important work stored on the hard drive of your computer, don't take a chance. Backup the files to an external hard drive frequently.

If your hard drive fails during a thunder storm, try the following procedure before resolving to upgrade the hard drive. Wait a while. Unplug the computer from power. Depress the power button for twenty to thirty seconds to discharge the internal capacitors. Plug the computer back into power. Depress the power button on the computer. See if the problem with the hard drive resolves itself, before resolving to upgrade the hard drive.