Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Apr 23, 2014 4:42 AM by APPLE DREAMER - PC CLINGER
Steve Porritt Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

Thrice in the past 6 months, I've had to wipe the internal drive on my iMac 27" mid-2010 and map out bad blocks. First time a handful of bad blocks were found, the second time, just last week, 2 blocks were found. Today, 10 blocks. Each time I find bad blocks and map them out, I reformat the drive, install a clean system, and use Migration Assistant to copy files from a backup drive. That takes most of a day each time.


But more worrisome is the thought that the internal drive is slowly dying a block at a time and taking data with it.  I've got Time Machine and Chronosync running to ensure that I won't lose very much, but I no longer trust this internal drive and fear that it could crash permanently at any time.


I checked the Apple support site to see if AppleCare covers failing or even failed internal drives, but there's no mention of hard drives. If this drive fails and AppleCare doesn't cover it, what options do I have? I'm currently booting from an external drive, but the iMac's USB 2.0 connection makes that a rather slow option. I could buy a Firewire 400 drive, but that still wouldn't be as fast as an internal drive, right? And I'd still have that failed internal hovering in the background. I could also wait for the AppleCare coverage to end next March and then attempt a repair myself. I've looked at the videos and it seems doable, but the process is fraught with the potential for serious, if not fatal, mistakes and I consider this a measure of last resort.


So I'm back to the Apple option.Does AppleCare cover drive replacement? If not, how much does Apple charge to replace the drive? Parts only, with AppleCare covering the labor  cost? Or am looking at a large repair bill that would make buying a new iMac a more practical option?



iMac, Mac OS X (10.7), 1TB TC, Airport Express, Airport Extreme
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,450 points)

    Yes, Applecare will cover a failed hard drive and the replacement; I'd recommend that you call Apple at your earliest convenience (or take it to your nearest Genius Bar).


    When did you purchase your mid 2010 iMac? You will have to have purchased it in late September of 2010 or later or your 3 years of coverage have expired (seeing that it is almost mid September 2013) now.


    If you are no longer covered, inquire about a replacement cost at the Genius Bar or at an authorized service providers; hard drives aren't all that expensive, but the labor is.

  • Steve Porritt Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

    Thanks for the VERY quick reply! I bought this iMac in March of 2011, so I should have coverage until March 2014.


    I actually took the iMac to the Apple Store just last week to see if they could extract a stuck CD. (They couldn't and wanted me to leave the iMac with them for a week.) They verified then that the iMac was still covered by AppleCare. Now that I have a failing hard drive to go along with a stuck CD, I'll go ahead an leave the iMac with them. Easy enough to do, since I'm booting from an external drive, anyway, and I can connect that drive to the wife's iMac and use her machine while I wait for mine to be repaired.


    But I'm still say that applecare covers failed hard drives, but how about failing hard drives. This one still works, but the bad blocks are affecting usage and reliability. I have a diagnostics report generated by Drive Genius listing the bad blocks from today's scan-and-remap. Will Apple be able to tell from this report that the drive will fail soon and should be replaced now? Or will Apple expect me to wait until the drive fails catastrophically and permanently before they'll replace it?

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,450 points)

    Apple will no doubt do their own testing which will be far more accurate and "industrial strength" rather than any consumer application. In any case, when mine started acting up being very noisy, all the troubleshooting was done over the phone with support having me do this and that and the first tier support moved me up to the second tier who then determined that it should be replaced. They will obviously not simply agree to replace a hard drive without some troubleshooting/testing.


    If you want to call Apple and do that kind of troubleshooting, you are entitled to get in-home service (covered by Applecare) for a desktop computer as long as you are located within 50 miles of an authorized service provider. I've asked for that option and had a technician come to my home - you will need to ask for it (once they determine that the hard drive needs replacing) - they don't offer it, but it is in the small print of the Applecare plan, so you may want to try that.


    Also, make sure you have a backup - a bootable clone may be best at this point (is that what you are botting from currently??). When mine was replaced, I simply requested that the tech install nothing - we hooked up my external and quickly cloned back my system. Much quicker than having them install an OS and you'd have to port over all your files, apps, etc.

  • Gary Scotland Level 6 Level 6 (11,900 points)

    Apple Retail Store use Drive Genius to test hard drives, they will be on the same page as you when you take your Mac in for testing.

  • andreasjva Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    They're pretty easy to replace yourself.  I just did one at work and replaced it with an intel SSD (5 year warranty version.)  If you're having block issues, the drive is shot and destined to fail no matter what anyone tells you.  Backup your critical data and either replace the drive yourself, or take it to Apple. 


    You can easily google the steps necessary, which involves suction cups to remove the glass (held in by magnets), and a T9 star wrench to remove about 8 screws along the side on the LCD.  Pry it up with a little hook made out of a paperclip or something, disconnect a few cables and you'll see the drive in the approximate middle.  I didn't remove the LCD all the way, so I left a couple of cables connected.  Also, if you replace it with an SSD there's a thermal sensor that you'll leave disconnected.  You'll need to download a free SSD fan control app to slow down the speed, because once disconected it will spin up to about 4000RPM in a fail safe mode.  Set it to about 1100.


    It really is easy to replace. 


    Once it's in, reinstall the OS and go through all the updates.  Replacing the drive is about a 30 minute operation, but the OS updates are substantially longer depending on your internet connection.

  • andreasjva Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    And by the way, you could probably use a suction cup from a car GPS to pull the glass/plastic off.  I bought a couple of suction cups from Newegg, but was pretty surprised how easy it was to remove.  I really didn't need to buy anything.  It would be better if you had two, but I think one would do it in a pinch.

  • onno577 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There is a replacement program:

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,450 points)

    They're pretty easy to replace yourself.



    The OP is still covered by the Applecare warranty and would not only void his remaining warranty because of a self install, but why bother when the replacement is covered and will be done at no charge by an authorized service technician keeping the warranty intact.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,450 points)

    onno577 wrote:


    There is a replacement program:


    That program ended a few months ago; however, since the OP is covered by Applecare, the repair or replacement would be covered in any case.

  • p0sixDev Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Consumer Law will cover a HDD that can be deemed as faulty since purchase. This can be achived by visiting a local authorised service provider and filling in a consumer law sheet. They will check the HDD and offer you a free repair if you qualify. Its as easy as pie. Although you may be charged for diognostics. But thats up to the store to make that call so i hear.

  • onno577 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The program ended a few months however is still valid for Macs until 3 years after date of purchase. So depending when iMac is purchased it may still be an option.

  • onno577 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    "The program covers affected iMacs for three years after the first retail sale of the unit"

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,450 points)

    The OP stated that he is covered by the Applecare warranty. That means repairs/replacements are fully covered and paid for by Apple.


    End of pointless arguments.

  • p0sixDev Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    This isnt an argument. I belive you have jumped to a conslusion. Just because he is covered by APP it does not mean that every single person who reads this post because they have a faulty seagate HDD has an APP or a limited warranty to cover them. Consumer Law is an alt route for people that need help and have no warranty.

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