iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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need to replace the failed Seagate hard drive.

@Jon Ridley

I have a late 2009 27" iMac and need to replace the failed Seagate hard drive. I just skimmed through the web page you linked to and, if I understood correctly, the following is the suggested solution for my case:

you wrote:

"This is what led me to the discovery of an external thermal sensor cable that works with these two generations of iMacs. This cable is used on the LCD panel of the 27” 2009 and 2010 models, but has the same connector as the hard drive sensor cable and operates in the same range as the SMART disk does, so functions as a great alternative in these generations of 21.5” and 27” 09/10 machines. This allows one to replace the internal hard drive with any industry standard drive without any sensor problems. The part number is 593-1029. "


I'm already dreading the tedious process of replacing the drive and I want to do whatever possible to avoid any additional headaches. I don't have time for hard drive returns and repeated installations...

  • Would it be safe to say that I can use this cable, along with iFixit's instructions, to safely replace my drive with "any" standard drive?
  • How can I determine what drives are compatible, given that iFixit's linked article on this topic is over 2 years old? What brand/models would you recommend in a 1.5TB or 2TB capacity (with reliability as my main priority)?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I'd start a new question on this as it is so old. Also the link you gave is for the LCD temperature cable and it's overpriced.


Starting a new thread would risk going back to square one on this question, when this existing thread conveniently summarizes the history of the issue in one location.

If you'd read Jon's post, you'd realize that the link for he LCD cable is actually correct, since he tested it and discovered it had the same spec and could be used as a substitute that would support any modern drive regardless of manufacturer. Of course, I am curious to get more information before I plunk down $50 on a cable, but your comment is neither relevant nor helpful.



Sorry about the delayed reply...

In reply to your questions, i haven't tested the optical sensor cable that others have referenced, so i cannot vouch for its reliability. The testing on the 2009 and 2010 27" iMacs that i have done have shown that the LCD thermal sensor cable works at the same frequency as the SMART disk in those ranges... the part number i use in these models is 593-1029.

As for suggesting a reliable hard drive, its difficult to say, as certain ranges have had manufacturing flaws that cause them to fail quicker than others (such as the seagate drives in the 09 imac range), but i have found that recently manufactured seagate 2TB drives are a good option (i usually go with the 7200rpm and not the Green 5900rpm version)

Other than that, western digital is a good option, if you go for their caviar black range i think, but hard drives are a difficult thing to offer advice on, as they vary from year to year... generally i would suggest going with your personal preference

Otherwise, i have found 1 2TB drive that works with the internal SMART disk, and it was a seagate barracuda, but im uncertain as to what causes it to work other than the firmware revision... but i have yet to look into it more.

The firmware revision of the one that worked was CC4C if that helps at all


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I have written a small blog about it here if you want a bit more detail, otherwise i can explain the process in more detail if you'd prefer.

(i have also resolved the 2011 iMac hard drive upgrading process, which was a much more complicated problem)

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@Jon Ridley

So do you think I'd be safe replacing my failed drive on my late 2009 27" iMac with the drive and thermal sensor cable cable listed below?


Great, I just read a negative review of this drive on Amazon. Apparently Seagate is in the habit of selling different drives under the same model number, making it difficult to tell exactly which one you're getting...

Quoted below:

The model number of this drive tells you little about what you will end up getting

October 20, 2012

By niels

Size Name:2 TB

ok, so this drive is listed as the "Seagate ST2000DM001" and guess what, other than that it sports 2 Terabytes, it tells you nothing whatever about what drive you'll end up with, because Seagate has chosen to obscure and omit relevant Data between different builds, with vastly different performance.

The short advice: Only purchase the WxExxxxx version of this model. This was made in Wuxi, China and uses 2 platters and 4 heads.

This performs 30% better than the version with 3 platters, which has a WxFxxxxx or similar designation.

You'll need to contact the seller and ask them to check the code on the drive. If they can't verify, don't buy it, better to get a drive from Western Digital, where its not a surprise game of whats in the box.

S - SU - Suzhou China

W - WU - Wuxi China

Z - TK - Korat Thailand

F = 3 platters with either 5 or 6 heads, while E = 2 platters.

Weight info received in a comment here, suggests that the 'good' 2-platter drive weighs 534 grams, while the 'bad' 3-platter drive weighs 624 grams.

Seagate used to embed the information about their drives in the model number, but now they obscured it, so they can pawn off whatever they want. Send a WxE model to Publications who test drives, and then ship the crappy WxF model to unsuspecting customers who may never realize they're not getting what they thought they were buying. This should really be illegal.


The thermal sensor you listed will work with your machine, but i have to agree with your comments about the specific drives... It really should be illegal the way they go about selling them to general consumers.

I buy from an internal supplier for my company, and even they are unaware of what revisions of drives they have in stock. They tend to have a supply chain coming in from either thailand or china, but have no way of referencing the firmware revision or details of the drives. I have pushed for further details, but i'm assuming they are stored in a separate warehouse to the offices, as they are unable to get further details, which is why for us, it is often hit and miss in finding any similarities between compatible drives for the imac ranges.

of the 100 or so drives i have tested on the 09/10 imac ranges with their built in thermal sensor cables, i have found a number of apple branded drives (dating between 2004-2011) that have worked fine, but the revisions are so vastly different that i haven't been able to narrow down what is causing it to work.

I'm afraid i cannot offer any further advice on the drive itself, as its a personal preference, and as you have mentioned above, its difficult to find the exact revision you would be wanting. Knowing what model will be more stable is a tough one too...


Does this cable solve the temperature sensing problem?

Is it compatible for use replacing the original 500GB Seagate drive with this 2TB hybrid:

Seagate 2.0TB FireCuda Solid State Hybrid Drive ST2000DX002

Thanks, Peter

iMac 21.5" Late 2009


OWC later came out with this inline thermal sensor to avoid the run away fan issue:


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