Model A1311 / Mid 2010 / 3.06 & 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 3.6 GHz Core i5 Processor

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Dual Hard Drive: New SSD & 2.5" HD into optical drive

Hello! I'm about to upgrade my iMac A1311 Mid2010. This is in my mind:

  • Replacing my old 500 GB 3.5" HDD with a Crucial SSD 256 GB
  • Replacing the optical drive with a 2.5" 500 GB HD (7200 RPM)

Then using the old HD to make an external USB drive.

Question is: I've been reading about problems of the fan when you replace the original hard drive. In the answers given I've found this interesting solution using OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor.

Fine, but what about second hard drive located into the optical drive? Does it need a new thermal sensor as well? Or I can just install it with no issues?

Thank you for answering

M.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Let me try to pull this together:

You may have an issue with the SSD in this system as the systems SATA ports are only SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) so the SSD needs to able to run at this SATA I/O speed. You'll need to review the spec sheet to make sure. If it does not say it's downwardly compatible by listing SATA II then you'll need a different SSD. You'll also need an adapter frame 2.5" to 3.5". I don't think this is a good option in this setup.

Frankly I would turn this around. I would replace the HD with the new HD and I would use a 3.5" drive you will need the OWC in-line sensor (even if you had gone with the SSD you would have needed it). Then place the SSD in the optical carrier.

If you have a used 2.5" drive you wanted to repurpose here you'll then need a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter frame here as well.

You may want to look at just going with a hybrid drive which would be cheaper and gains the performance I think you've looking for, yet offers the deep storage a traditional HD offers. The drive I recommend here is the Seagate desktop SSHD. I would stick with the 1 TB drive here as I suspect you don't have a lot of stuff.

FYI: Apple has hinted this system is on the edge supporting macOS Sierra. While it might work the OS maybe too heavy to be very useful.

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Perfect. I'm just trying to give a refresh to this iMac. The original 3.5" HDD is not corrupted or broken, it works perfectly. So I think I might just put the SSD into the optical drive. Then how can I use it as primary drive?

I was thinking to use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a new bootable system into the SSD but then I'll have 2 identical OS in 2 drives. Could you please tell me which way will be the right one to have the HDD as secondary drive and the SSD as primary?

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Once you install the SSD in the optical carrier and back into your system you'll need to run Disk Utility to prep the drive with a GUID partition map and format the drive with a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition.

Then run the OS installer app during the install process (at the end) it will ask you if you want to migrate your user accounts and apps. This is were you'll say yes. Make sure you uncheck your users data directories (do make sure all of your stuff is located there). Let the Migration Assistant do its thing and bang you're done! No need for any cloner app. The system should be booting up now user the SSD if not just go into your preferences and alter the Startup Disk setting and that will do it.

To recover the space on your HD you'll need to reformat it be sure you've got a good backup of your data. I would hold off altering the drive until you've made sure your SSD is stable and you've tried all of the Apps.

I would also take the time here to create a backup boot disk. Here we'll use a 16 GB or larger USB thumb drive prep the USB drive as we did above and run the OS installer again. This time we'll not migrate anything. Once done copy over to it the OS installer. Put this USB drive some place safe as someday you'll likely need it. If you have a spare FireWire external drive you could also set it up (it will be faster).

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OK so, let me be sure of the process: first of all I'll have to download the OS installer. Then, after installing the SSD into the optical carrier I'll have to format it as Mac OS extended (journal). Now I'll have to run the installer and select YES once it ask if I want to migrate the files (unchecking user data). Then it should be done. Now I can format the old HDD and use it as secondary storage.

Sorry, just want to be sure I understood everything!

Thank you very much for your useful answers !

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You got it! Again, I would hold off reformatting your HD until your sure everything works. As you're giving up the second bootable drive you should create the USB thumb drive as a backup.

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OK, perfect! Thank you very much! You've been extremely helpful! I think I'll do the migration and create a USB thumb, then I'll do a fresh install of the OS again so the computer will be working as new. All the files into the HDD will be transferred in an external drive. I think it's going to work! Thank you very much!

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Hello,

I'm you, I would put the SSD in place of the optical drive and I will not change the HDD location

Because, you can get the temperature sensor, but you can not on the HDD and the OWC solution works very well. I used to change the HDD of my iMac by a SSD.

If it lacks the sensor, the fan will start rotating at maximum.

The Fan Control software can solve this problem, but you have to set the speed fan manually.

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Ok, so you're basically telling me that I could use the OWC cable for the SSD but not for the HDD if I use my solution. It'd be better to just replace optical drive with SSD and leave all the rest as it is and I won't have to use the OWC cable?

I'll have to format and reinstall the OS, is it going to be possible to use the SSD then as primary drive if it's located into the optical drive?

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So, I did some research, and you can not put HDD 3,5" in place of the optical drive. It is imperative you a HDD or SSD 2,5".

To your question, it is possible to put the OS on the SSD which is in place of the optical drive.

You'll be a problem if you let the operating system on both hard drive. so, erasing the HDD and activate the trim for the SSD after installation.

Terminal command : sudo trimforce enable

So, it will take you just a Caddy and a SSD.

For the SSD not taking the best because of the SATA II will bridle at max speed of 300Mb/s.

You still win in speed, for example my 2009 iMac starts in 20s with SSD.

My SSD is Crucial BX200.

For the caddy : https://www.amazon.com/Nimitz-Drive-Cadd...

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Perfect thank you very much!!!

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