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imac 27" 2011 ssd upgrade

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by Nukeyb0i, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Nukeyb0i

    Nukeyb0i Member

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    My dads imac is starting to get slow so thought id upgrade it to an ssd for him, after a bit of google i had more questions than answers lol.(most info seems old aswell)

    Basically im not sure on this temp sensor thing, if i just swap out the stock hdd for a consumer ssd seems like itll work but cause the fans to spazz out due to the proprietary bs.

    I see some products from owc like cables and their own ssd's. But im unsure whats best.

    Can anybody point me in the right direction, whats the easiest approach?
     
  2. 3Toed

    3Toed Member

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    I did this several years ago by adding an OWC SSD but I left the original 1TB HDD in there. No sensor issues that way. Then I just cloned the OS from the HDD to the SSD.

    Slightly digressing here but one thing to be aware of with the 2011 iMacs is the video card in them (AMD 6970m) has a tendency to die so you might not want to spend too much on upgrading it since the machine could die at any moment. It could go on for years, too. It's just so random. Mine died for the 3rd time recently and I'm considering sending it to place to get re-balled properly rather than doing the bake trick again.
     
    [KEi]SoVeReIgN likes this.
  3. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Member

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  4. digamma

    digamma Member

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    I know I'm late to the party here, but I just did this to a mid-2010 27" imac. Except I went down the path of creating a fusion drive and it's made a massive difference. I had to buy a cradle that takes a standard 2.5" ssd and replaces the optical drive. First thing to do was create a complete time machine backup as creating a fusion drive involves wiping both drives to create a single volume. The backup then gets restored after making the fusion drive volume. The longest part was backing up the gigabytes of stuff over a usb 2 connected external hdd. The great part about this, so far, is that it will store commonly used files on the ssd portion of the volume and the existing hdd is still used for bulk storage.
     
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  5. 2_stroke

    2_stroke Member

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    Why not just upgrade it to a cheap nvidia mxm
     
  6. aokman

    aokman Member

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    I dropped a crucial 2tb ssd in a 27” 2011 alone with an i7. The fan slowly ramps up but easily fixed with fan control :)
     
  7. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    Back when i was an Apple Tech i used to fix the fast fan issue where the sensor was integrated in the HDD with a transistor. Seemed to work out. My notes from the time are a bit vague but i'll paste them below:-

    Transistor 2N3904. Just remove the connector (side HD) and solder a 2N3904. Gray wire on E (Transistor) and black wire on BC (transistor).
     
  8. aokman

    aokman Member

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    The 27” seems to be different as there are no auxiliary wires, seems to read internal.
     
  9. alexc

    alexc Member

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    I did it a 18months ago or so to a 2011 (sold the 2011 as it wasn't officially supported by Mojave).

    Anyhow - it's not hard to do.

    I went with the whole kit and put three SSD drives in it. I purchased the cable with the sensor, SSD mounting hardware, extra SATA cable and replaced the DVD drive.

    All in all, it worked a treat. No issues. Easy enough to do if you are keen - you have to suction the screen off.

    Would I bother again? Hmm... probably not. I'd just run the software that handles the fan control. Especially as the 2011 is no longer supported.

    EDIT: Just read it's your Dad's iMac - in which case, get the cable. It's hassle free once installed. Get a cheap 3.5 to 2.5 mounting chases for a couple of dollars. Don't bother with the fancy newer tech one :)
     
  10. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    Instead of starting a new thread, I’ll piggy back off this.

    I have a late 2012 27” iMac and am looking at an ssd upgrade. I just upgraded ram to 16gb, it’s a 3.2ghz i5, and it’s getting slow.
    Im not interested in pulling the front panel off, so has anyone used an external ssd as a main drive? Can I just get any ssd, a USB 3 - Thunderbolt cable and clone the drive and set to boot from that drive? Seems fairly simple?
     
  11. aokman

    aokman Member

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    You can boot from external drives no problem but it doesn’t have USB3, only older thunderbolt which will cost you a lot in adapters etc. Way cheaper to swap out the internal drive with a SSD.
     
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  12. power

    power Member

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    taking the front off isn't as scary as you might think, booting from an external drive is possible but it's a crap solution just image and swap out, it's really quite easy.
     
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  13. aokman

    aokman Member

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    Yup, pull off the front glass with a suction cup (held on by magnets) then remove the LCD carefully after removing the torx screws, its easy.
     
  14. power

    power Member

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    the hardest thing is keeping the screen cover dust free imo.
     
  15. aokman

    aokman Member

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    Yeah....it sucks, I find a microfibre is good at grabbing the dust and discharging the surfaces mostly. Luckily, being magnetic, you can keep going at it until its clean.
     
  16. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    With the screen being magnetic, do I still need to replace the adhesive strip?
     
  17. power

    power Member

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    the last ones i took apart had no adhesive just magnets - it's been a while so i can't confirm newer models.
     
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  18. aokman

    aokman Member

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    No adhesive on the boxy models, then went from magnets to adhesive on the ones with the curved back to the glass.
     
  19. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    Mines a late 2012, curved back.
     
  20. alexc

    alexc Member

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    Yep - I've done it.

    Even ThunderBolt 1 is faster than SATA 3.

    I had one of those orange tough drives by Lacie with an SSD in it. Worked perfectly.

    If you get an external you can just repurpose the internal as a TimeMachine drive!

    But as others say - taking the front off isnt too hard. Just be super careful to keep it clean. Have some lens cleaning fluids and cloths or similar type products handy! You dont want to have smudges or dirt behind the cover and between it and the LCD panel!

    You can get kits on iFixit if you want to be sure you have the right gear...

    Good luck!
     
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