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

438 Questions View all

How to replace iMac HDD when OEM SSD second drive is present?

I originally ordered my 2011 with a 256 MB SSD primary drive and a 1 TB magnetic secondary drive. So it has two OEM hard drives in it. The secondary (magnetic) drive just died, and I'm trying to research my options for replacing it.

However, I can't find a single guide or even a picture of what a 2011 27" iMac with two OEM hard drives looks like. What size are they, where are they located, and how are they mounted? Every guide and teardown I find shows a single drive and I don't see where the other one would even fit.

Unlike the do-it-yourself dual drive kit, my computer also has an Optical drive in addition to the two hard drives, so obviously it's not located there.

(See comment below for update)

Update (09/05/2017)

Model Identifier is iMac12,2

Serial number is D25G60GFDHJW

It's the 3.1 GHz version.

Apple Support page

Looking at the spec page, it looks like the SSD is considered to be the secondary drive from a hardware configuration perspective, even though it is set to be the boot drive. Under "Configurable Options" for the 3.1 GHz is listed "256GB solid-state SECOND drive."

I can hear the hard drive clicking from a position directly behind the Apple logo on the back. Which would seem to suggest that it's in the position occupied by a single hard drive configuration, and is then probably a 3.5" drive.

The only remaining question I have is where do they put the SSD second drive? Again, the machine still has its Optical Drive so it's not in the position used by the iFixit Dual Drive mod. Am I going to find after tearing my iMac apart that the SSD is right on top of the HDD or connected in such a way that I can't access the HDD for some other reason?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 0


The dual drive setup in this series uses a spare SATA port on the logic board. You could replace the optical drive with a special carrier to host a third drive if you really needed still more storage!


Add a comment

2 Answers

Chosen Solution

Ultimately I was able to replace the HDD without any trouble. I could not identify where the stock SSD second drive was located, as nothing looked out of place.

Bottom line to anyone in the same boat: Nothing was different enough that the iFixit directions couldn't be performed just as written.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0


@plango - Sorry I missed your orginal posting. Let me fill in some of your questions which should explain things.

First the Apple OEM SSD was mounted smack in the middle behind the logic board so without fully removing it you just can’t get to it. Which is why IFIXIT and all the others place the SSD behind the optical drive (not replacing it).

As far as which is the primary drive. Unlike PATA SATA does not have any performance differences between the different SATA ports. What is important is to make sure the boot drive (SSD in most cases) is set as the Startup Drive in the preferences setting.

I would still recommend you install the OWC in-line sensor with your new HDD so the system SMC services has a good handle on what the drives temp is so the fans are correctly running.

And you are right replacing the HDD is quite easy in this series!


Add a comment
Most Helpful Answer

I do not see an option for this set up on the 2011 machine, would you give is the serial number located on the bottom of the stand. You may have to open it up and look at what set up it has and I would appreciate it if you posted a photo.

As to replacing the main drive, Apple used a proprietary heat sensor on this and changing the drive will cause run away fans if not address. OWC make an adapter that fixes the problem

Here is an extensive list of both the 2.5" & 3.5" drives available.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

Add your answer

Paul Langworthy will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 0

Past 7 Days: 2

Past 30 Days: 9

All Time: 208