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75% failure rate on 24" iMac hard drives?

40103 Views 89 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2013 2:00 PM by rkaufmann87 RSS
  • The_cobra666 Calculating status...
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    Sep 26, 2011 12:14 AM (in response to longbeachlocal)

    If it seems much louder, check the fan speeds with smc fan control. It could be that they didn't reconnect a temp sensor and thus the fan will run at full speed.


    On another note, my imac 24" mid 2008 (3,06ghz, 8800GS, 4GB, 500GB) still runs fine. It's always in standby during the day since it was bought in May 2008.

  • Yonko Calculating status...
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    Dec 28, 2011 9:14 AM (in response to GLS-Texas)

    Hi all,


    I know I am reviving a 3+ month old thread but I wanted to share my 2 cents.


    Owner of 24" early 2008 (3,06ghz, 8800GS, 4GB, 500GB). I've had 4 hard drive failures, yep, four. Apple knows about 2 of those. I had sensitive data on the first hard drive and went through h3ll to keep my hard drive. I think first failure was in may 2009, about 10-11 months into owning the machine. Replaced under warranty. I then decided to replaced the hard drive by myself (I work as IT so trust me whan I say I know what I'm doing) and I did so with a 1TB drive, it failed within 4 months. I then replaced it again with another 1TB drive, which ALSO failed in a few months. So after that I reinstalled the original replacement drive from Apple, which ALSO failed a few months into service. And was replaced by Apple. So... on a scale from 1-10 I'm at -1 for hard drive reliability with iMacs. This second replacement HDD from Apple is also on its last legs as it constantly gets the SBBD (spinning beach ball of death) with NOTHING but Safari (2 tabs) open. I'm 7 months out of warranty. Smart reported says drive is still ok (green) but I'm backing up every night. Tyring to get to iPhoto to create a Calendar is an exercise in futility as I constantly get the SBBD. I have apporx 6K pics and I know ppl with 10 times that that have no issue. I've all but stopped working on it as it is impossible to do anything without walking away seething with anger. I also own a late 2008 MBP (2.53Ghz, 8GB, 320GB) and just plopped $320 for a data doubler, Mercury Extreme 6G 120GB SSD and a sata enclosure for the SuperDrive from OWC.


    Does anyone know if you can fit two hard 2.5" drives on one sata port in the 24" iMac? I mean the HDD bay, not one in HDD bay and one in SuperDrive bay. Yes/no, sata multiplier?

  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)
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    Dec 29, 2011 1:35 AM (in response to Yonko)

    Sad! My 2.66GHz 24" is still going on its original 630GB hard drive with no signs of failing.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)
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    Dec 29, 2011 4:09 AM (in response to Yonko)

    With that failure rate, I'd be looking at the circuitry in the Mac rather than just swapping drives. Possibly cooling issues or a dicky joint in a SATA cable or something like that.


    As for cramming two HDs in, no.

  • cts09 Calculating status...
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    Apr 1, 2012 3:21 PM (in response to GLS-Texas)

    iMac 24" Mid 2007, with 750 GB HDD.

    Just failed after many years (About 2007-2012 - 5 YRs)
    Started acting strange and after being gone and iMac in sleep mode for 2 weeks.

    Finally, machine would not boot and just stopped at the grey startup screen.
    Tried resetting PRAM, booting from CD etc...even tried to do a repair from the "R" partition in Lion.

    Took to Mac store, they are going to repair with a 1 TB drive as there are no longer the original drives left.

    Will repost after the repair to track how long this drive lasts.

  • Fendertwin Calculating status...
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    Apr 1, 2012 7:17 PM (in response to cts09)

    I was thinking of making a similar comment. I just had the original 250GHz drive in my 20" iMac, '06 model bought in '07, replaced after a failure. I was curious what to expect for lifespan? Thankfully I had a backup to an external hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. New 1TB Seagate drive installed, loaded up and back to work.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,695 points)
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    Apr 1, 2012 7:48 PM (in response to cts09)

    iMac mid 2007, HDD died, Logic board died, PSU died, all replaced under extended AppleCare... twice, but now flaking out again... you'd think if they wanted, they could makethe HDD replacement a simple pop-in affair, much like RAM!


    And yes, the cooling & PSU needs to be more robust imho.

  • Craig Zeni Calculating status...
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    Apr 4, 2012 5:12 PM (in response to BDAqua)

    Very early 24" aluminum in first week of deliveries here in the US.  In fact I ordered a white iMac 24" and Apple announced the aluminum models three days that's what they sent me.


    It ran flawlessly for 4 years, fairly heavy use.  Then the SBBD started, then it would lock up stone solid.  I finally figured out to let it cool and it would boot and run...if I tried to boot too soon it wouldn't see the HD.  Finally went pretty dead in November.  I bought a 27" and put the 24" aside.  Had a new HD put in the 24" today...runs nicely but of course WAY out of warranty or AppleDon'tCare.  We'll see what happens...

  • Coxes orange pippin Calculating status...
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    Apr 28, 2012 6:56 AM (in response to Yonko)

    Add another sufferer of iMac 24" 2008 HD failure to the list. Purchased UK May 2008, HD failed (presumed) Oct 2011 (grey screen, eternal wheel and inability prior to that to run disc diagnostic). Abandoned until Jan 2012 when full data recovery made, now pondering if to repair. Have a 21" iMac of Oct 2008, it's beginning to run slowly - hmmm!

    I am both a Mac and PC user but have reached the point where the lack of choice of manufacturer of machines running Mac OS combined with an unjustifiably high price for external design but indifferent internal design means that I am close to ending my Apple experience. (Previously lost a PowerBook Pro G4 with hard disc failure 8 weeks after an expensive repir for a broken power card; failing HD not detected by either of the 2 Apple approved repairers. Have lost confidence in the approval system of Apple for their repairers (at least in France).

    I prefer the Mac OS to Windows but that is not enough to put up with the problems that typically arise from a single source of supply. Apart from lack of product choice, the engineers do not face real competition to keep them on their toes, something that is always needed as no organisation gets it right all the time.

    If I do repair the 24" I shall try to do it myself, that way I can also cut holes in the casing to let more air through, or bolt on a fan to the outside. (something I'm going to have to do with my HP compaq laptop as well so it's not only Apple !).

  • Fendertwin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Although I experienced an HD failure like yours, and it was not a happy experience, I must say that I have had better service from my Mac than my friends', family's, and workplace PC's have delivered.

    When I look around at the time, effort (both personal and professional assistance), and hardware required to keep the various PC's around me going, I still think we have chosen the superior product!

    This was the first time in 6 years that my iMac left the desk top in my den for service.

    I'm still a happy Apple guy!

  • urbanchristian Calculating status...
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    May 4, 2012 4:32 PM (in response to GLS-Texas)

    I have a 24" imac for 3 1/2 years and the hard drive just went!  Apple care ran out 5 months ago!  Apple was no help at all!  I am going to try to do the job myself.

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,425 points)
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    May 4, 2012 6:45 PM (in response to urbanchristian)

    Consider installing a SSD. I did an install on my 20" 2008 with a 128GB Crucial and could not be happier. It runs faster, cooler and quieter than it ever did. I had been planning to buy a new iMac but I think I will get a couple more years out of this one now.

  • chicmec Calculating status...
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    May 8, 2012 12:19 AM (in response to GLS-Texas)

    Yes, me too.  Another victim of iMac 24" 2008 HD failure.


    I had great problem of starting it in March 2012 and I took it for a thorough exam.  Returned and seemed running for some weeks - with flaws from time to time.  Then, again, failure to boot yesterday.  I boot it with a first-aid USB and the system failed to find the "media" hard drive.


    I did not cry because this iMac of mine is >3 yrs old, AppleCare expired.  Just a good excuse to buy another one.

  • Craig Zeni Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    May 8, 2012 5:08 AM (in response to chicmec)

    Consider putting in another 5 year old aluminum iMac 24" runs very very nicely with a new HD and a clean install of Snow Leopard for under $200 installed...

  • chicmec Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 21, 2012 4:04 AM (in response to GLS-Texas)

    I just did it on Saturday.


    It's my plan to treat myself a new iMac.  My existing iMac is 2008 and AppleCare already expired.

    But having heard so much news that next month's WWDC may announce new series of iMac, I should wait.


    Before the next new product arrives, meanwhile, I must do something to revive my 2008 iMac. 

    I have tried all sorts of remedies: open few applications at the same time, verify disk (which does not help much indeed), partition the HD, re-install Lion ... copy files onto two more USBs for safety's sake.


    I therefore thought of a bizarre idea: booting Lion on an external HD.  It is possible and I succeeded.

    I partitioned GUID-way an external HD of 250GB, booted with InstallESD, restored from Time Machine, re-booted with external HD, selected Start-Up disk.  It took me half a day but not at all technically challenging.


    Mac OS has my faith in terms of simplicity and reliability


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