Is it possible to update my iMac from HDD to SSD?

Hi

My hdd is broken so I have to install a new one. Is it possible to install an SSD, and if it is, how is it done and which brand is optimal?

Best regards from Sweden!

Thomas

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Thomas -

Heres the guide to gain access to the HD: iFixIt HD Guide

If you are not using your optical drive, consider replacing it with the SSD instead. Here's the guide to take the optical drive out: iFixIt Optical drive guide.

In either case you'll need a 3.5 to 2.5 bracket (depending on which way you go you'll need different bracket types) and in the case of the optical drive the addition of a optical to HD enclosure Optical to HD SATA enclosure

I would strongly recommend getting a Firewire (if you can still find one, it's getting hard) or USB HD enclosure to house your old HD as a backup drive and using it to prep your SSD. Or use this kit: Universal Drive Adaptor to prep the SSD before you install it.

And lastly, the SSD you get must be able to run at SATA II specs

iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2308 Hard Drive Image

Guide

iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2308 Hard Drive Replacement

Difficulty: Moderate40 minutos - 1 hora

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Hi Dan

Are you saying that it's possible to replace the optical drive with an SSD, and that the SSD after that will work as the computor's internal hard drive? If so, why?

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Yes, you are switching your optical drive out for a SSD. Basically your setting up your system with two storage drives one a standard platter drive (HD) the other a solid state drive (SSD). Or, you can switch out your HD for a SSD.

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As to why - If you swap-out your HD for a SSD you'll need to setup the SSD as a bootable volume (install a fresh copy of OS), then copy over your apps and files. Depending on the size of your SSD you're likely to run into some space issues. Swapping out the Optical drive give you the added function of the HD for less used files. You still need to setup (ideally) the SSD as your boot volume and copy over your apps for the best performance. I would leave your data files (word, excel, music, vids ...) on the HD.

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I tried this and it was not a great experience and the screen would not come on after the installation of the SSD. It is extremely fiddly to do and there were two of us working on it. There are lots of micro connectors on the board so you have to be careful as to what you are doing or it wont work. Also in the kit provided it did not include the relevant connectors (although they maintained it did) that was shown on the video. My only option now is to send the machine to apple to get it repaired or purchase a new one.

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@sa3063 - What kit did you get?

You may have gotten the wrong one. Yes, it can be tricky! As there are a few small connectors that can easily be damaged if one is not careful.

Sorry to hear you had a tough time, sone models are much harder than others.

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Yes you can depending on the model number. I managed to replace my existing factory fitted HD with a SanDisk 256GB Extreme II drive on my iMac 27" 2374 model. Replacing the hard drive removes the internal HD thermal sensor which is needed by the iMac and a lack of this sensor will cause the fan speeds to constantly run at maximum.

To prevent the iMac spinning its fan's constantly at full speed some people have used software to override this and there is another workaround! If you have a spare thermal 2pin sensor such as one off an older iMac's optical drive unit (or one purchased online) then you can use this. Carefully plug this into the HD thermal sensor plug (careful not to damage the connector socket) and fix the replacement sensor onto your SSD with sticky tape.

I have done this procedure and confirms this works. The iMac is fooled!

My iMac is 10 times faster running an SSD! and this procedure allows you to maintain your optical drive unit.

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I strongly recommend using a replacement thermal sensor like this one: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2009-2010 Hard Drive Upgrade. We have found running any of the software over-ride solutions wear out your systems fan and/or cause your system to over heat shortening its life.

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I can also confirm that a 2pin thermal sensor from a older imac (or online) works just fine. And this as a solution is much better compared to some software solution...

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Two questions:

1. The thermal 2-pin sensor … is it this part number 593-1029-A … available for £10 here?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-iMac-21-...

2. Is there a guide on how to fit it?

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Yes - however it is an advanced DIY. Be certain you have the proper tools (every DIY job is easier when you use the right tools).

ID your Mac to find the complete guide.

If this Answer is helpful please remember to return and mark it Accepted.

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If you are really good, you can fuse the SSD and the HDD to form a Fusion Drive. There are several articles online, one particularly good one by MacWorld. This will combine the SSD and HDD into one logical volume. OS X is smart enough to put the OS and your most frequently used files on the SSD, giving you the speed, and putting the large files on the HDD. This gives you speed without sacrificing size.

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If you have USB 3 and/or Thunderbolt you can use an external SSD. I just did that using a Sandisk SSD and Carbon Copy Cloner. Very straightforward and works a treat in terms of speed improvement.

Not worth it with USB 2.0 however, which is too slow.

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While I agree that it's too slow on USB 2, with FireWire 800 which is marginally faster I still think my iMac is twice as fast at least with an external SSD.

I think I would like to do the optical drive swap. But I'm too afraid to mess up that DIY... I have taken apart full notebooks and changed their CPU so I'm sure I could do it, but still... I'm a little worried to mess anything up and add dust and whatnot on the screen.

And, it's still faster with USB 2 SSD than the internal HDD on my iMac 27" 2010. But I find FireWire more responsive overall... Sometimes USB 2 had little slow downs... dunno if maybe bus communications are better on FireWire than USB2 perhaps.

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Thomas Olsson will be eternally grateful.
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