Model A1419 / Late 2012 / 2.9 & 3.2 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor

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upgrade hdd to ssd

I need a detailed step-by-step guide on how to upgrade my late 2012 iMac standard hdd drive to SSD with a list of tools needed and from where to buy them. Thanks!

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Just so were clear here you are swapping out the HD for a SSD correct?

First you will encounter issues with the built-in thermal sensor and the new thin designed '12 & '13 models use a unitized power & SATA connector so you might have issues fitting the connector on to your SSD.

I would strongly recommend you look at adding the SSD via the dedicated SSD connector on the logic board Vs swapping out the HD. IFIXIT guide to replace or install a SSD unit

With all of the said here is the procedure for replacing the HD use it to take your current HD out and just use your SSD instead of the HD. IFIXIT guide to replace HD

Again, I don't think you want to do this!!


Here's a good writeup on the differences of the '12 & '13 models "Tapered Edge" Aluminum iMac Q&A

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Blade SSD Image


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Blade SSD Replacement

Difficulty: Difficult2 - 3 hours

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Yes, I would like to swap my magnetic hdd with 1 TB ssd or at least with fusion drive. Yes I know the issue of sensor and I don't know if I just need to neglect it, and second is the fan issue spinning at high speed. However, there is a software like smcFanControl to control the speed, but I'm reluctant to use it. I want to upgrade to ssd so that I have my iMac same as the original ssd Apple version of it. I contacted Apple to do the upgrade for me but they declined any help, informed AASPs not to do for me and didn't provide me with the ssd. Simply they said it is un-upgradable as that violates Warranty though I am ready to give up the warranty.

Thanks and happy Thanksgiving.


What you want to do is find an independent Apple authorized service center. They can do things Apple or the Apple Store won't. In this case they can order the Apple SSD part (661-7166) and put it in for you so you can then have a Fusion drive (keeping your HD). You might look online as well if you plan to put it in your self. I must warn you its a big job and some early models didn't have the SSD connector on the logic board so yo may need to add the missing parts.


Sorry to say you still need to worry about the thermal sensor if you replace the HD for a SSD. You also have to deal with the size difference as the HD is a 3.5" and most of the SSD's are 2.5" (the newer ones are only 2.5").


No easy answer here between the two directions. Between the two issues you might look at selling your system and getting a new one with the Fusion drive already setup (may in fact be cheaper!) Using software to override the fan I also agree is not very good as it requires a hardware interrupt to read the SMART value slowing the drive and using the internal temp sensor option is not responsive enough to cool a hot drive (heavy I/O). You still need to worry about the unitized connector fitting your SSD. The dedicated SSD mount on the logic board is the best direction but it does require a lot of work to get to and in some models the connector hardware is missing so you'll need to add in the missing stuff (or swap out the logic board) an Apple authorized service center can do that for you if they hit the problem.


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Most Helpful Answer

iFixit has an excellent hard drive replacement guide for your iMac at - 27" iMac Hard Drive Replacement

Anytime you open your iMac you will need to replace the adhesive foam strips - Adhesive strips

Plastic cards will come in handy. iFixit sells sets of two but old credit or gift cards work fine as well - Plastic cards

The Late 2012 iMacs also require an opening tool to initially cut the adhesive around the display - iMac opening tool

As far as hard drives go you have limited choices in the 3.5" form factor that is native to the iMac. OCZ's Vertex hard drives are available in 3.5" form factor and should work for your application. Alternately you might consider a hybrid drive, one that combines small SSD storage with large traditional platter storage. Seagate's ST2000DX001 is one such model, a 2TB traditional drive with 8GB of embedded solid state storage.

Hopefully that helps!

Plastic Cards Image


Plastic Cards


iMac Opening Wheel Image


iMac Opening Wheel


iMac Intel 27" (2012-2017) Adhesive Strips Image

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Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving.


Just wondering if any of the 4 TB SSHDs are compatible?


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for the fan issue :

this is a very good working software, you can leave the thermal sensor unplugged and let the fan depend on one of other sensors, and you can choose if the software or the system itself determines when the fan should blow.

So in case you replace your HDD with SSD, which don't have the connector) you can let the HDD fan depend on the ODD sensor and leave the ODD (and LCD) controlled by the system.

The fan will blow full speed at start up but stops once you activate the application .

I let the application start at log in, so once I log in, the fan stops after a moment (about 10 seconds i guess).

Another solution is to order an ODD thermal sensor cable at apple components and stick it on the SSD and plug it into the HHD sensor connector on the logic board, it does the exact same thing as the original thermal sensor cable with the connector) That's a hardware solution (which is normally a better one) but I don not want to open up the Mac again unless i'll put an extra SSD in it in the future. then i might fix it the hardware way.

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We stopped using fan controlling apps as we found they created more problems, causing heat damage as they don't react fast enough or people set them at a level thats too low. I strongly recommend using this OWC adapter cable: In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for Hard Drive Upgrade for 27" iMacs 2012 and Later. Your system will last a lot longer!


I know hardware solutions are always better.

For now, theres only 1 fan controlled by the app: The ODD fan, just to keep it qiuet. I Itook the ODD out cause it didn't work no more and used the the thermal sensor cable of that one and mounted it on the SSD. (Imac 27 2010) . With this app you can choose which fan or fans you want to control, and which thermal sensor controls a particular fan. So: all fans are now in fact controlled by the system , the ODD fan is set to be controlled by the SSD fan sensor. But On my next job inside the mac I'm surely gonna wire the stuff again!


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