Model A1312 / Mid 2010 / 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 2.8 & 3.6 GHz Core i5 or 2.93 GHz Core i7, ID iMac11,3

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Replace HDD with Hybrid without fan issue

I have a question. My Mac has the Seagate drive, which was replaced on the warranty program.

It is 1Tb.

I'm planning on doing a fresh install on the OS, as I have a lot of Finder issues (freezing), computer overheating sometimes, etc...

So I'm planning in also take it apart and clean inside. Since it will be open, why not to change the original hard-drive for a better one, either a 2TB or 3TB or the hydrids available...

BUT, I don't want to have to deal with the fan issue... Don't want to have the extra software to control, etc...

Is there any drive for sale in the site that would be the directly replacement (as original) which has the firmware tricked to work as the Apple drive (I know there is no Apple drive, but I mean, those sold by Apple)...

Are the drives here capable of communicating directly with the system and pass the right information to control the fans?


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First I'm happy to hear you are going down the correct path here working the issue from a hardware vs software direction! The software fan control solutions are not dynamic enough and in fact require a hardware IRQ so you loose processing ticks as you ramp up the sensitivity (slowing your system down).


Hello folks,

Thank you all for the help on the issue.

Just to let you know, I did order a SHDD , 3.5" Seagate, at the OWC.

Also I chat with one of the representatives, who indicated the cable to be used.

Even if some answers mention that using the same drive manufacturer would prevent the noise, I though, what the heck... So I order the cable as well (along with the suction cups and torx drivers).

I would hate to have all opened to find out that I have the fan issue...

I'm waiting the thinks to arrive. So it will be an upgrade from 1Tb, HDD to 2Tb SHDD. Even if not a huge gain on speed, I do know that I'll benefit of the SDD portion (at least for boot, etc) plus double capacity than I have today...

I'm just afraid of messing with the LCD cables and getting the LCD dirt during the process...

Thanks again everyone!


Folks, good morning.

I did it! I was able to open the iMac. Little nervous due the static (house is all carpet, as well the office I work) and also due the cables of the LCD.

Anyway, I was able to disconnect. Only point that is bad is the magnets of the glass holder, pulling down/up the screwdriver...

I swap the 1Tb, Seagate, by the 2Tb Seagate, SHDD.

Had a little hicup, when was installing the OS from the USB, that mentioned that was not valid... Reboot, format gain the SHDD and tried again. Everything went much better...

As better of all, no freezing on Finder (main reason to do the clean install) and no noise on the fans.

Thank you again everyone.


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2 Answers

Chosen Solution

Unibody iMacs include thermal sensors on the drives. Those sensors are brand-specific (maybe even model-specific?). For example, if you replace a Seagate drive with a non-Seagate drive, the thermal sensor won't detect the drive temp correctly, and the fans will go nuts trying to keep the drive cool, even if the drive doesn't need the extra cooling.

The fix is to get a NewerTech thermal sensor from OWC, which will send the correct temp information to the system and keep the fans running normally. It's also brand-agnostic, so you can pick any replacement drive you want. According to OWC, the sensor is supported under Apple Hardware Test. There are a variety of different packages:

OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2009-2010 Hard Drive Upgrade

- on sale for $40, no installation tools

OWC Complete Hard Drive Upgrade Kit including tools for all iMac 2009-2010 Models

- on sale for $57, includes installation tools

OWC Internal SSD DIY Kit for All Apple 27" iMac 2010 Models

- on sale for $22, no installation tools

OWC Internal SSD DIY Kit for All Apple 27" iMac 2010 Models

- on sale for $43, includes tools

The pages for the hard drive kits include links to installation videos.

To me, the SSD assembly looks like it would also work with HDs/hybrids, but maybe not. Why would there be two parts when one would do? It might be worth phoning OWC to ask whether the SSD sensor will work with an HD/hybrid; if so, the $43 sensor+tools kit is a killer deal.

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a desktop class (3.5") hybrid drive is the same as the current HD in this model.


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Ok, here's the deal... Apple is leveraging the thermal sensors the drive manufactures added internally for their testing purposes when the drives are burnt-in. That is why each manufacturers pin out is different.

So if you get a newer drive from the same manufacture you can just slide it in. If you want to use a different manufactures drive that works as well. But you'll need to swap out the sensor cable for the correct one based on what you get.

You stated you had your Seagate drive replaced was it replaced with another Seagate?

Here's the Apple replacement thermal sensor cables per drive manufacture:

922-9223 - Hitachi

922-9224 - Seagate

922-9225 - Western Digital

922-9628 - HD sensor jumper (for SSD only configs)

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