All-in-one desktop computers from Apple. iMacs have been equipped with Intel processors since January 2006.

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Replacing harddrives in 2011 iMacs?

I remember reading on here or somewhere with the newer, i think 2011 and up iMacs, that Apple put in some tricks so that you cant put in a 3rd party hdd and the mac refuses to boot if you try.

Whatever happen to that? did someone get around it? could i buy a 2011 imac and swap out harddrives now?

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Check out this thread Upgrade with a compatible Seagate 3Tb hard disk

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Dan, please tell us about how the newer hard drives addressed the issue of the priority heat sensors of the Apple hard drives of this era. My understanding was that the fans would run away with normal hard drive replacement and the heat sensor cables for each of the three manufactories was different.


Apple didn't like the way the way HD manufactures diagnostic function (monitoring temp) worked for QC'ing HD's in the factory, as it required an interrupt call (IRQ) via the SATA connection. In the real world this method would be spotty as the priority level is the lowest. So high data movement would delay the call to read/reply from the internal sensor (FYI: only the newer drives have this sensor to begin with). Apple had been monitoring HD temps in their system well before the HD makers added them internally. To gain better access Apple proposed to the JEDEC a method to gain access via the unused connections on the power connector. With their buying power they were able to get the suppliers to change things for the drives they bought presently. From what I understand the current drives Apple gets are now the same off the shelf (not all are compatible versions).


From what I understand the change in the SMART protocols was approved, now we need to wait for the shelves to be cleared of the old drives and the new ones put out that meet the new standard (without needing software or hardware alterations to work). The best way currently is splicing in an external temp sensor into the power connector to overcome the issue. The software solution requires the IRQ method.


In the current generation of the Time Capsule & iMac's Apple has gone farther into using still simpler hardware mounts and connectors. Now a rubber glove approach is being used (Capsule & 21.5" iMac) and the HD connector is now one block Vs two across all of the systems. These changes lower the amount of time needed in the assembly process. What is in-store for us in the next generation of systems?


OK Dan, with respect, your IBM background and brains are leaking out here. How does a normal person know if the hard drive he is buying going to work in his Late 2009 iMac?


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Heres the deal: The hard drives that apple has for these iMacs have built-in temperature sensors. You can use a non-apple hard drive but the temperature sensor will not be read and consequently the hard drive fan, inside the imac, will run at full speed. The solution is to buy an apple hard drive that is for your imac, the downside is that they are more expensive. Apple has made it so that only the hard drives that they sell work correctly. As I said though the only issue that comes with using a non-apple hard drive is that your hard drive fan will spin at full speed, which can become annoying and likely will decrease the lifespan of the fan. Hope this helps!

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