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A2116 / 2019 / 3.6 GHz quad-core i3, 3.0 GHz 6-core i5, or 3.2 GHz 6-core i7 processor. Released March 19, 2019.

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Advice on replacing hard drive on this unit

I have taken this iMac to peices and confirmed that it has a 1TB 2.5" sata drive as well as a 32GB blade drive - so I assume these are working together to make a fusion drive.

Now that I have taken it to peices I am inclined to get a new nvme drive + adaptor and then reinstall on that drive.

Is that a sensible idea? I suppose the other options are just putting in a 2.5" SSD drive, or putting in a blade drive (That works without an adaptor) but the nvme drive + adaptor seems slightly more cost effective and also means I can easily access that drive in a caddy if needed.

Which leads me on to my next question - seeing as the process of putting this imac back together is quite long, is there anything I should do with the nvme drive before I install it? In the past I have had situations where I install drive and its not picked up so I have to remove it again and initialize or format the drive.

I just dont want to be in a situation where I put everything together and then the drive isnt recognised!

I appreciate any help or advice you guys can offer me.

Answer this question I have this problem too

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I prefer the pin compatible SSD's either an Apple or OWC are my recommendations. The M.2 SSD's with the adapter have had their issues!

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thanks appreciate the feedback. Do you have recommendation for a good place to purchase one of these? Also are there any caddies that you would recommend and is it best to format the drive before installing it?


@davids355 - Getting a real Apple drive I go here Beets Tech or you can get an OWC driver here on iFixit iMac Intel 21.5" (Mid 2017-2019, Select Models) Blade SSD Upgrade Bundle or directly from OWC.


Thanks Dan, when I look up OWC I see there are also some potential issues with those drives - importantly it says a firmware update must be installed before they will work. Seeing as I have the imac in peices already I guess this would mean putting in the old drive, putting everything back together, installing macOS, updating firmware then taking it all apart again to install the new drive. As such I think i will look at either the Apple drive, or possibly just a standard SSD (I am just concious of the costs involved with Apple drive, caddy etc and wondering if the performance will be worth the additional cost vs just a 2.5" SSD drive.


@davids355 - Well… that maybe a issue if you already have High Sierra on your system. If not, you will need to have a bootable external drive setup with the needed OS installer. Then you can boot-up the system using it and install the OS onto the newly installed drive.


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David Silvester will be eternally grateful.
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