Model A1312 / Mid 2011 / 2.7 & 3.1 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac12,2

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Tearful Hard drive bereavement

Ok. The Apple Store today confirmed that my hard drive has sadly passed. Whilst this was difficult news to take, I was advised that I would find it easier to move on with my life if I bought a newer model. When I enquired about getting a better, younger drive, I was told that apple will not do an upgrade but only a like for like. So here's my question. Should I replace the hdd with bigger capacity, or swap for a sshd or should I replace the hdd and add a ssd while it's open? I've read some of the forum and can't find what is best after a drive has died, I can only find what peeps do to when they want the max out of their Mac. Please tell me if this has been covered in another thread, otherwise any advice would be greatly appreciated (but good advice will be appreciated a little bit more).

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Oh, and it's the i5.


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2 Answers

Chosen Solution

The 2011 and onward systems use a custom HD with Apple's built-in Thermal sensor. So if you do go with a non-Apple replacement drive you'll need this: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2011 Hard Drive Upgrade and follow this guide to put in the replacement hard drive: iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Replacement

As to pulling the optical drive no need in this model as this series has three (3) SATA ports! Follow this guide to add a second drive in this case a SSD: Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Hard Drive Kit

I do strongly recommend you put the traditional HD back in the primary HD's location and then place the SSD just behind the optical drive as there is no difference between the SATA port's. You will need to alter the startup disk setting in the control panel when you setup the SSD as your boot drive.

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Image


iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Replacement



20 - 30 minutes

iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Drive Kit Image


Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Drive Kit (HDD or SSD)



1 - 3 hours

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Thanks @danj . I forgot to mention that I am a bit of a mook so please forgive these follow up questions.

The Apple genius said that they use Samsung, Seagate etc for their HD so is it right to assume I can use one of these with software for the thermal sensor? (Without the need for the OWC thermal sensor)

Do I need a large capacity ssd?

Should I upgrade the hd from 1tb to 2tb+ ?

Why is RAM so expensive?

Why is the sky blue?

( no need to answer the last two) thanks again.


You can use any 3.5" HD you want to replacing your old drive. The real question is are you also going to add in a second drive (SSD)? If not I would recommend getting a hybrid drive (SSHD).

Sorry you need the OWC sensor! Forget the software solutions. Snake oil only works in movies ;-}

We tried the software solutions a long time ago what we discovered was they ended up hurting the system overtime. You see you can't manually drive the fan's without burning them out over the long haul, in addition you also stress your system from the thermal shock shorting its life.


Can't you just go without a fan? Typically, HDD and especially laptop HDDs don't need much cooling. Does is also cool something else?


@pccheese - Sorry George, Nope! The system requires the thermal sensor as the thermal management won't work correctly without it. Besides this is a desktop system not a laptop, both systems get hot!


Thanks @danj , you're a star. I'm gonna get the 2tb hd with a 256gb ssd. Will I need more RAM? I only have 4gb but not sure if adding a ssd will replace the need for RAM upgrade. (told you I was a mook).


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Do you need/care/use the DVD drive? And if you do, would you mind using it in an external case? Of that is the case, I seriously recommend a 240GB SSD in the main drive, and an 500GB-2TB HDD (or SSHD) in the secondary. This way, you get both speed and capacity. If you don't want to sacrifice the DVD drive, you should put a 500GB SSD in, that way, you can add an external HDD later. You could also just replace the old HDD with a SSHD.

If you go with option #1, you'll be needing this:iMac Intel 27" (Mid 2011) Dual Hard Drive Kit

For the SSD (Very good specs for the price, available in 120-480GB):

DVD drive enclosure (make sure your drive is the write thickness):

HDD enclosure:

HDD (Very nice one, 500GB to 5TB):


Hope this helps!

iMac Intel 27" (Mid 2011) Dual Hard Drive Kit Image


iMac Intel 27" (Mid 2011) Dual Hard Drive Kit


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Almost... Please review the guides again


@neonrabble, please use @danj's answer as his is more informative. Those links to those drives are still useful, though.


Thanks for the input.


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