Model A1311 / Mid 2011 / 2.5 & 2.7 GHz Core i5 or 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processor

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HD Fail - replace with HD+SSD or SSHD

Hi

I have looked through the existing posts, all of which are very helpful but i'm looking for an up-to date solution to my problem (there may be new SSHD drives or cables available) and i only want to buy the bits once.

My problem is that the HD on my iMac mid-2011 has failed, the SMART status shows a hardware failure in the Disk Utility.

I want to replace it with a fast drive, originally thinking to go SSD until i came across the temp sensor problem. It seems that some have tried the Seagate SSHD solution but still have a problem with the sensor and then have to use the OWC cable. There was also mention in one post that other HD manufacturers may provide a compatible drive. I use external drives for the majority of my files so i dont need all my storage to be internal so i really just want to replace the primary HD with a SSD or SSHD solution. What i dont want though is to open the imac twice, is it possible to buy a SSHD drive now that definitely does NOT require the temp sensor - is there a product code that is known to be compatible? If it's not possible to be 100% sure that it will work then i will probably just buy a SSD (Samsung 850 Evo) and do whatever i need to do to solve the sensor problem. I am not interested in the software solution but likewise think the cable is a bit expensive for what it is but i assume this is the only solution.

Finally, although it's more lengthy, i am interested by the dual HD option (available on this model) - installing an SSD under the optical drive. My question for this is - does this make it easier to buy a compatible (doesnt need sensor cable) pure HD for the existing bay with the SSD i want? I assume the SSD under the optical drive doesnt need a sensor?

Sorry for the lengthy question

Update (02/21/2016)

here is the TG Pro output

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Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Sadly, Seagate altered things and now we do require the OWC sensor with their 3.5" SSHD drive. So the choice is yours go with either a SSHD or a straight SSD. With the SSD you will need the a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter frame in addition. OWC makes a nice one OWC 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Adapter Bracket.

If you are leaning to a dual drive setup then you'll want a standard HD 3.5" (not a hybrid drive) to swap out your HD with a new unit. Then for the SSD you'll need to get a SATA data & drive power cable set. That way you could if you decide to setup a Fusion Drive.

Update (02/06/2016)

I have no problem with SSD's ;-}

The issue is what a given system has for a SATA port (SATA I, II or III) the other factor is how many ports the system has. In your case your system has SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) SATA ports so you don't need to worry about the port issues here and you have a spare port so you're all set from the hardware side of things here.

The last issue is costs: SSD are still at a premium when going with 500 GB or larger. So depending on what your needs are you'll need to think about the systems lifespan it may not be cost effective putting in a large SSD in a system you plan to replace is a few years.

It's a bit of a coin toss here, I could see you take either path. Replacing the HD with another 500 GB and a 128/256 GB SSD setting up a Fusion drive set or going with a 1 TG SSHD.

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Thanks Dan - i was hoping you answered - no offence to others but your answers always made sense to me and offered direct and clear advice.

If i went with the dual setup, i assume i'd still need the OWC sensor to use with the standard HD 3.5". What about the SSD in that setup, does that need it's own sensor or just the data & power cables?

I think i saw you mention that you would only bother with SSHD installs, i suppose it depends on my usage - it's a family iMac and never stressed too much, I dont use the 500GB capacity at the moment so would i be best getting a 500gb SSD with sensor or will the SSHD give me similar performance just cheaper. Any recommendations?

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If you setup a dual drive (HD & SSD) only the HD requires the OWC sensor.

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Thanks Dan - sorry for the delay - was away. I'm going to go for the Fusiuon setup, no point going half way was my thought. I'm going to get a 250gb SSD and 1TB HD with the sensor. While i do this, i plan to do a clean install of yosemite (i was on lion before) so i hope that the fusion setup will be easy as part of this. I'll post how i get on.

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No questions - just update;

Thought i'd provide an update, i have got bought a SSD drive (Samsung Evo 850) and a 3.5" HD (WD Black) along with the temp sensor from OWC. I also had to buy a standard data cable and a specific cable for the power - part number 593-1296. i had to do this as buying the OWC kit is not cost effective from the UK. I plan to install the SSD as the OS disk and include the other disk as a library disk (for itunes / photos etc.) i decided to do this instead of fusion as i think it will give me the performance i need and i still have the ability to erase at a later date and do fusion if i want to. I will post again once i have done the install.

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Completed install but fan at full speed :(

ok, i just installed everything, a new 2TB WD Black HD + OWC thermal sensor, a new SSD drive (samsung Evo 256GB under the optical drive. I seem to have the "fan problem" - after about 10 or so seconds after boot up, the fan is at full speed. I've done a PRAM reset followed by a SMC reset - any ideas?

Installed smcFanControl and had a quick look - it looks like the CPU fan is going just under 4000 rpm and the HDD / ODD are running at 1380. I will open up and check connections but any other help / ideas would be welcome.

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Thanks Dan - are these the 2 points you mean, essentially checking that the wire from the connector is connected to the pin on the logic board. (see red squares on image) - Also, i suppose it's worth checking continuity from where the sensor attaches - is there an image of this?

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You may want to focus on testing the un-mated connector. Basically testing the pin in the connector shell and using a needle interserted into the wire leading to the fan unit.

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Hi Dan, sorry for the delayed reply. i havent been able to get to it this week. I have just now tried disconnecting the cpu fan sensor cable (as pic) and all the wires are connected fine, i did the needle to connecteor test you suggested. Have you any other ideas based on the cpu fan running full speed? My next step at the weekend is to take it back to the original config - original (failed) HD to see if the cpu fan still goes full - i tried this before but i didnt disconnect the secondary drive power / data cables from the logoc board.

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Update - i properly stripped the iMac back to before the install, removed the new SSD power / data cables and put in the original disk. The CPU fan is still going 4000 rpm which is probably not a great surprise to you but useful for me to rule everything new out. I suppose my next step is to repeat your suggestion about checking the continuity of the wires but closer to the fan itself. I'll update with what i find and anything else you suggest in the meantime would be welcome.

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Dan - a quick question - looking at the stats from TG Pro, are you 100% sure it's a CPU fan problem? I realise it's really difficult to diagnose without having the hardware in front of you but you sounded pretty convinced that this was the cause - do the figures all look normal from the sensors (everything looks to be working etc.) If thats the case, should i just get another one and fit it or is there a possibility there is something else causing this fan to run full speed (will any other sensor make this fan run full speed?) Thanks again!

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If I remove the HDD from the main bay and install an SSD on the 3rd SATAIII connector would I still need the OWC thermal sensor connector in the main bay? Since there will be no drive in the main bay in this situation.

I want to remove the HDD spinner and only install an SSD, in my case the 2 Tb Samsung EVO SSD. Will this work? Since I like the system to be silent without spinning HDD's inside.

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@M VanAken - Sadly no. The main drive requires a thermal sensor which is part of the drive its self.

When you remove the drive you remove the sensor which is the problem. That is why we need the OWC adapter as it puts back the sensor if you put in either a non-OEM Apple drive or a SSD neither have the needed sensor connection.

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Malcolm will be eternally grateful.
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