iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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Can I buy the same hard drive model, but without the Apple logo on it?

I want to replace the HD in my late 2009 iMac.

It's a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB.

Can I buy the same model on eBay, even if they don't have the Apple logo on them?

Will it be incompatible and cause my fan to run full blast?

If so, is it possible to install the Apple firmware on them?

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Yes! You can put in any 3.5" drive (and even a 2.5" SSD) in as long as its SATA speed is supported in your system. It does not need to be the same as what you have now (size or make).

Your system has a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) interface so the drive will need to run at this SATA speed. Review the spec sheet of the drive you are thinking on using and make sure it explicitly lists it.

The next issue is the systems thermal management system (SMC). Your current HD has an internal thermal sensor the system accesses. At one point we recommended people get the same series drive (make & model) as the connection by the different drive vendors was different otherwise you would need to swap out the sensor cable to the other type. Today its more confusing as many drives don't offer the same method of access so there is no thermal sensor cable that would work. Thankfully! OWC came out with an in-line thermal sensor which will replace the internal one. Here is the part you'll need: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2009-2010 Hard Drive Upgrade. You'll need it for either a HD or SSD upgrade (swapping out your current HD). Here is the IFIXIT guide you'll need to follow: iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Hard Drive Replacement and if you jump down the Step 10 you can see the sensor cable I'm speaking about here.

But before we go down that path are you sure you need to replace your current drive here? Maybe all you need to do is swap out your current optical drive for a 2.5" SSD or HD to give your system some zing and/or more storage! Here's the IFIXIT guide you'll need to follow for that: Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Dual Drive

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Hard Drive Image


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Hard Drive Replacement



40 minutes - 2 hours

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Dual Drive Image


Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Dual Drive



1 - 2 hours

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To add to Dan's excellent answer for future reference: I have this exact machine on my bench today. Everything Dan says it true, This model came with three different temperature sensors.

922-9223 Hitachi. 922-9224 Seagate, 922-9225 Western Digital

Today I will be upgrading with a Seagate 2TB SSHD. I have both the OWC and original three cables in stock. I will be trying the Apple cable first and let you know my results later today my findings.


@mayer - The Seagate cable should work for you.


@danj my issue right now is getting the 2TB SSHD to format (using a universal adapter) after trying to install it on a fusion machine as mentioned on an answer earlier. It's not seen. Frustrating day.


Do you have access to a {cough!} MS Windows system (or Linux) to see if you can reformat it off of it? Sorry guy ;-{ I wish I could help.


Hi there, thanks for your response.

I just want to pull out my HD before selling my iMac, and buy the same one from eBay and put it in.

You mentioned the OWC adapter, but the non-Apple Seagate Barracuda one (the same model as the OEM) does have that plug for the thermal sensor. It looks exactly the same except it doesn't have an Apple logo on its tag.

Do you confirm I wouldn't need the OWC adapter? It would be 35$ saved. Thanks again


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