Model A1312 / Mid 2011 / 2.7 & 3.1 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Several Questions about Hard Drive Failure and Replacement

Hi all,

I've recently run across a problem with my 2011 27" iMac. A few days ago, it just froze up and I had to turn it off using the power button. After that, it would boot to the white screen with an apple logo, a gray progress bar, and then shut down automatically before the progress bar completed. I've tried resetting both SRM and the PRAM, and verified/repaired the Macintosh HD several times. After reformatting and installing Mountain Lion 3 times, I am still getting freezing and performance errors similar to the initial. Is my hard drive on life support? And if so, if I were to replace it, what kind of hard drive should I use, and will that cause a problem with the OS and cooling fans?

Thanks!

-Darwin

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Apple has a great OS. Do they "design great software"? Not in my opinion. They did great with OS 9 (my fav) and OS X.

You are implying that somehow the hard drive failure is directly related to any OS. I do not believe this to be fact. I have had hard drive failures with both Macs and PCs, notebooks and desktops. I do not believe that you should somehow reserve yourself to the idea that you paid a premium for a Mac and therefore there should never be a problem. I just spent the last 3 weeks dealing with a MacPro repair that has been broken since the day I got it. The result, I got a new MacPro yesterday in exchange for the faulty one. Explain how Apple could be at fault for cramming too much into such a small space when you think of a Mac Pro.

Do I agree that some people will not admit that Apple hardware does fail? Sure. All hardware fails. Your experience and your less-than scientific survey means nada though. Hardware that runs Windows fails at similar rates I'd imagine. Why? Apple doesn't make their hard drives and neither does Microsoft.

I do think your theory of the hard drive failing as a result of excessive heat in a notebook is actually quite tangible, but I don't believe that your theory is Mac specific.

Now, I have ZERO pity for people who pay for data recovery because hard drives, external hard drives, are so freaking inexpensive nowadays that it is truly astounding to me when someone doesn't have some redundancy set up.

Finally, Apple is like Sony in my opinion. You are paying for a name of sorts.

Your flaw is that you believe again that the price you paid "entitles" you to never having an issue. I paid more than you did on my MacPro alone and guess what? I had an issue. The only thing I thought I was entitled for was a repair or replacement free of charge. I got just that.

Bottom line, Apple sucks as much as Microsoft, everything can fail ... no matter what OS I am using.

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If its a Seagate hard drive then that could be Because apple has recalled the Seagate hard drives in the 2011 27 inch iMac.

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Aww got beat by one minute while writing mine :(

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Thanks for your response! I brought my machine to the Genius Bar and they ran a diagnostic test. My machine passed all of their hardware diagnostics. Any ideas? They also restored it for me again, so I will see how the machine behaves in the coming hours. Are there any super obvious symptoms of a hardware failure regarding the ones you suggested?

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Some symptoms would be weird mechanical noises coming from it also if you want you can bring it in and say your bringing it in for the Seagate hard drive recall (also If you can see if you can recover the data from the hard drive with a different computer that has space for extra hard drives because for them to do it it would cost you 99$)

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You can also check your serial number before taking it in again using their public page that details the Seagate drive replacement program... http://www.apple.com/support/imac-harddr...

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Many pass one test Ask them to run advanced AHT 2 or 3X in a row overheating problems often do not occur unless the machine is heavily stressed.

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If your hard drive has successfully finished 3 different Mountain Lion installs then I would think that it is probably OK. Not the most technical answer but in my experience OS installations are usually the action that pushes a failing hard drive into failed status. Instead I would think about the HDD SATA data cable, RAM, graphics card, logic board, etc as possible failures. Don't get me wrong, it could still be the hard drive but in my opinion it seems like it's something more prone to intermittent failure since the hard drive lasted through the stress of 3 OS installs.

If I were you I would attempt to run Apple Hardware Test (AHT). Formatting the hard drive would have removed the local copy of AHT that is installed at the factory but depending on the model you may or may not be able to run AHT over the internet. This Apple support article describes this in more detail. Apple KB HT1509

As far as replacing the hard drive, the majority of 3rd party (non Apple branded / flashed) hard drives will require a new temperature sensor in order to keep fan speed in check. This question had some good answers with some good info that would apply to your possible situation.

iMac 27" HDD swap recipe

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for your response! I brought my machine to the Genius Bar and they ran a diagnostic test. My machine passed all of their hardware diagnostics. Any ideas? They also restored it for me again, so I will see how the machine behaves in the coming hours. Are there any super obvious symptoms of a hardware failure regarding the ones you suggested?

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I almost wonder if your download of 10.8 was corrupted, causing a recurring problem each time it reinstalled. If so then it may be fixed by Apple reinstalling with their (hopefully!) known good copy.

The HDD SATA data cable is somewhat unlikely since the installs didn't throw any errors. RAM, graphics card & logic board could all be tested using the extended test in AHT. If the machine does freeze again be sure to look for any graphics anomalies (video distortion, stuck pixels, etc) as those can be a sign of failure in those three components.

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Darwin Pornel will be eternally grateful.
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