5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 22, 2012 7:37 PM by BDAqua
Robert Stone Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)

I have an iMac 27 inch refurb (mid 2011) on the way - decided to upgrade since I do use the optical drive a lot for tranferring pictures among family members and burning discs for my kids' classes and the new one eliminates optical drives (and makes upgrading nearly impossible).


Anyway, the only available model had a 1 TB drive and I would like to upgrade that to 3 TB. In fact, I have a 3 TB Seagate drive which would be perfect for this. In researching the upgrade I have come across reports of issues regarding the upgrade as causing problems whereby the fan runs at full speed all the time after the install.


I am posting this question since I've seen a lot of conflicting information on whether or not the drive substitution can be made. It seems that Apple has chosen to get HD temperature information via a weird proprietary means and that use of a different drive messes the system up such that the drive reads hot and fails Apple Harware Test and causes the fan to run. One source claimed that if a white dot on the HD connector is facing "up" that there is no issue. Others indicated the need for manufacturer-specific cable (though that might be for an earlier model iMac, I was not clear on that). Still another source (OWC) indicated that the upgrade could really only be done by them professionally by sending the computer and a lot of money to them.


Anyone out there with direct experience / feedback on this?



iMac (27-inch Mid 2011), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,070 points)

    Hi Bob, if you can't get the Apple drive, or want something else, try HDDFanControl...



  • Robert Stone Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)

    I'll probably go with this solution though I would love to have some way to add the proprietary firmware to the 3 TB disc so it works as intended in the system. Always a little concerned about a 3rd party work around - if it fails then big trouble might ensue.


    Has anyone out there done this replacement? I had assumed it would be very common but I may be wrong on that.


    I am also looking at RAID enclosures and will likely do that as well since I am in the midst of attempts to salvage my crashing iPhoto library (now in Aperture - still crashes!) and moving large volumes of data repeatedly is a drag over USB.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,070 points)

    I haven't done it, but seen reports of it working great... lost the links I had.


    I understand completely on the 3rd party stuff, Apple likes to break it, but then what don't they break?


    I don't like the way Apple & the rest of the industry is headed, but especially Apple, & I wouldn't be helping out here when I can if it was just helping Apple, but the sad case is Apple leaves Users up a creek without a paddle too often, & I empathize too strongly when people need help.

  • Robert Stone Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)

    I did the upgrade a week or two ago - figured I would post in case anyone finds this thread in the future. Upgrade was easy with iFixit instructions - and fan did increase speed as predicted. I used HDD Fan Control and it worked for the free demo hour then fan went fast again. I bought the product and instantly the fan quieted. Sort of creepy hearing the speed come down so quickly like that after clicking purchase button. It continues to work like a charm and now I'm actually planning on adding a SSD drive since I got one for free. Looks like that will be a bit more of a project but the HDD was easy. Seeing how the software works I have confidence in it not allowing my Mac to burn itself up - or at least no greater risk of that than with original equipment! Thanks for your help!

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,070 points)

    Great news Robert, thanks, & thanks for the report!