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Model A1419 / EMC 2806 / Late 2014 or Mid 2015. 3.3 or 3.5 GHz Core i5 or 4.0 GHz Core i7 (ID iMac15,1); EMC 2834 late 2015 / 3.3 or 3.5 GHz Core i5 or 4.0 GHz Core i7 (iMac17,1) All with Retina 5K displays

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Dual drive setup- PCIe SSD with SATA 3 SSD

I’m looking to upgrade my iMac which has begun to age. I have the 27 inch iMac (mid 2015) with 3.3 GHz i5 with 8 GB RAM. I bought it with a 1 TB HDD and have noticed that this has now slowed to the point that it makes daily tasks cumbersome.

After doing some research, i’d like to add a PCIe SSD (250 GB or 500 GB) for a quick boot up and use with apps, and then had a large 3 TB HDD for storage. The PCIe SSD that I am thinking of using is and original OEM used drive ( or the Feather M13 SSD ( I’d like to use an original OEM 3TB drive as the storage drive (

From what I can tell, it is a lengthy process to install a PCIe, but I am willing to do it (my machine is no longer under warranty). From what I can tell, these PCIe SSDs referenced are compatible (it seems to match up with what I found here ( I just want to make sure I’ve covered all of my bases before committing the funds to this project. Any comments on if my line of thinking is correct? Thanks in advance for any help.

Update (05/02/2020)

So I followed these instruction given in the guide to add a blade SSD and a larger 3 TB HDD. Two additions that I did was to add 2 more 4 GB sticks of RAM that I got from BeetsTech. And to clean up the CPU and GPU thermal paste since I had things opened up (which now I may regret doing).

After following the steps to replace all the parts (motherboard, power supply, speakers etc.) the iMac won’t turn back on. There was nothing out of the ordinary that occurred during the process (that I noticed).

Do you have any recommendation on how to troubleshoot which step maybe the problem? (i.e. CPU not working, RAM malfunction, etc.). I checked to make sure that the socket I was plugging into was live since that was the most obvious.

Hope i didn’t do irreparable damage! Lol. Oh well, it was an effort to extend the life of an aging machine and I can always get a new one, although I’d love to fix this.


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@smauger - Wow you did a lot of change all at once!

Generally I recommend taking baby steps doing one or two things then testing before doing more.

I'm going to guess the most probable area is your CPU is not mounted properly. These CPU's are not easy to get back in as still work.

So lets see if we get any clues, with the display removed you'll find a set of five LED's on the top right edge of the logic board, reading left to right are any lit?


Problem solved! It looked like the cpu was a little off center when i opened it up again and yes, I think I bit off more than I could chew! Thanks for the tips again


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Follow this guide: iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Blade SSD Replacement Be very careful on not inserting the credit cards or pizza cutter tool to far as you don’t want to damage the display. Also don’t force or pry! Follow the guide carefully.

Use the custom Apple drive from BeetsTech don’t skimp with other SSD’s. If you had a MacBook Pro then its not such a big deal with the drive fails here you really don’t want to go this deep again.

Once the drive is installed use some painters tape to hold the display on while you test things. Don’t stress the display cables as well.

Use Disk Utility to format the SSD with GUID Journaled (HFS+) if you are still using Sierra, otherwise GUID APFS. Then run the OS installer and the end it will ask if you have another system to migrate your data you want to say yes and now point to the HDD transfer the user accounts & Apps not the data. Last step is to select the SSD as your boot drive user the control panel Startup Disk.

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Thank you for your help! So would you recommend doing the disk format to the SSD and my old HDD before replacing the old HDD (1 TB) with the new HDD (3 TB)?


Yes, do the blade SSD first, then swap out the HDD with your new drive. You'll want a SATA to USB adapter case so you can transfer your data on the original drive over to the new HDD.


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Stuart Mauger will be eternally grateful.
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