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  • Buyer Beware New iMacs Hard Disk Not Upgradeable




    Other World Computing, the de facto after market iMac upgrade retailer and servicer, is reporting they are unable to replace the main hard disk in the recently released iMacs.

    This sucks. A lot.

    Apple has become increasingly unfriendly toward the do-it-yourself community over the years. While the iMac and other all-in-one devices aren't inherently designed to be tinkered with, I always held solace in the fact I could replace my hard drive if it ever died. I could add ram. Maybe even sneak in a SSD in the extra drive bay (which you can still do). However, these dreams with the new iMacs are crushed.

    Before, Apple limited the ability to change hard drives by using its own specific thermal sensor cable connected to drives that featured internal temperature sensing. Drives could be replaced, but users were relegated to replacing Seagate drives with larger Seagate drives and Western Digital drives with larger WD drives etc.

    However, according to OWC, Apple has moved from a common 4-pin SATA power connector to a 7-pin configuration with hard drive temperature being controlled by a combination of the cable and Apple's proprietary firmware on the drive itself.

    From our testing, we’ve found that removing this drive from the system, or even from that bay itself, causes the machine’s hard drive fans to spin at maximum speed and replacing the drive with any non-Apple original drive will result in the iMac failing the Apple Hardware Test (AHT).
    Even more depressing, the latest iMac EFI Update increased the speed of two internal eSATA ports to 6Gb/s speeds and one of them is the proprietary drive. Which can't even take advantage of the speed increase.

    Despite this tomfoolery the iMacs can still take advantage of OWC's Turnkey Upgrade Program. Users will only be able to add an additional SSD in open drive bay within the 27" iMac's casing. Still, for users to be forced to take a 27" iMac to an Apple Store or accredited service provider all because a hard drive fails, is overly restrictive.

    Hard drives fail. I've had three fail on me. I replaced them. Even if it is a pain to do, I'd at least like the option to be able to upgrade or fix my system without Lord Jobs' approval.

    Hopefully a workaround is figured out soon.

    Source: OWC
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Buyer Beware New iMacs Hard Disk Not Upgradeable started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 60 Comments
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      I can't believe this, all you people posting are on a modding site and none of you thought about building a custom cable? This isnt that complicated of a problem to get around. If you don't like it then don't buy an apple computer. There is alot of hating apple in this thread considering all of you own atleast 1 apple product. You can say " I only own it because of jailbreaking" all you want but it boils down to you already paid apple for the device and most of you will buy the next gen apple device or computer.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob2G View Post
      I can't believe this, all you people posting are on a modding site and none of you thought about building a custom cable? This isnt that complicated of a problem to get around. If you don't like it then don't buy an apple computer. There is alot of hating apple in this thread considering all of you own atleast 1 apple product. You can say " I only own it because of jailbreaking" all you want but it boils down to you already paid apple for the device and most of you will buy the next gen apple device or computer.
      Seriously, this article just gave ppl an excuse to bash on Apple...even though they own Apple products. It's one thing to not like a company and not hate on them, it's another to dislike them and bash on them for no reason other than you prefer to use another product, its lame.
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      Seriously, this article just gave ppl an excuse to bash on Apple...even though they own Apple products. It's one thing to not like a company and not hate on them, it's another to dislike them and bash on them for no reason other than you prefer to use another product, its lame.
      +1
    1. Ozzie5374's Avatar
      Ozzie5374 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spider_romeo View Post
      So don't buy iMacs.
      Hey Spider. Where do you buy yer bananas?
    1. ShredNasty's Avatar
      ShredNasty -
      Well, a sick 27" iMac was on my list for this summer. Key word? Was. The G5s are so so sexy, but too damned expensive. So, I can haz Hackintosh? Is there a good site or person on these forums anyone could refer me to? If I can't have a Mac, I'll just make the most stupid overkill Hackintosh ever.
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      WTF, I went from Win95/WinNT to linux, but missed some of the commercial apps. Then the intel macs appeared and I had a nice unix back-end with a nice front-end and some good commercial apps. But I can't stand this crap. Time to go back to PC's running linux again (fortunately now it is much easier to run commercial apps by having a virtual windows box within linux). Another alternative is to do the hackintosh route, then greedy SJ won't see a single dime of mine and I still keep the nice OSX, without dealing with his crap.
    1. A3gOwner's Avatar
      A3gOwner -
      Quote Originally Posted by cpotoso View Post
      WTF, I went from Win95/WinNT to linux, but missed some of the commercial apps. Then the intel macs appeared and I had a nice unix back-end with a nice front-end and some good commercial apps. But I can't stand this crap. Time to go back to PC's running linux again (fortunately now it is much easier to run commercial apps by having a virtual windows box within linux). Another alternative is to do the hackintosh route, then greedy SJ won't see a single dime of mine and I still keep the nice OSX, without dealing with his crap.
      Wow you have no clue huh? 95% of windows apps will run in wine, crossover, or cedega. Hell iTunes will run in wine no problems. Why waste all those precious CPU cycles on running a virtual box when you can run a lighter emulator? Why would an intel Mac be anydifferent than say a g5? unless your running windows on it. That's about the only difference between the two.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      I find it funny how many uneducated windows trolls there are on an Apple product forum. The door is that way. Enjoy your viruses.

      Quote Originally Posted by cpotoso View Post
      WTF, I went from Win95/WinNT to linux, but missed some of the commercial apps. Then the intel macs appeared and I had a nice unix back-end with a nice front-end and some good commercial apps. But I can't stand this crap. Time to go back to PC's running linux again (fortunately now it is much easier to run commercial apps by having a virtual windows box within linux). Another alternative is to do the hackintosh route, then greedy SJ won't see a single dime of mine and I still keep the nice OSX, without dealing with his crap.
      Where are your facts about SJ being greedy? Perhaps if you researched before your comment you would know he only takes $1 a year as payment, and that is only so he is a legal employee.
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Quote Originally Posted by moon#pie View Post
      I find it funny how many uneducated windows trolls there are on an Apple product forum. The door is that way. Enjoy your viruses.



      Where are your facts about SJ being greedy? Perhaps if you researched before your comment you would know he only takes $1 a year as payment, and that is only so he is a legal employee.
      I Admire mr jobs too, but that $1 is for taxes or something. He gets alot of $$$ in bonuses and stock.
    1. jius's Avatar
      jius -
      Looks like its 'Bye Bye Miss Apple Pie!' Funny thing is - no matter what happens or what is said here - apple fanboys will still jump to the offensive and to apples rescue. Sad but true!
    1. ShredNasty's Avatar
      ShredNasty -
      Well, I'm stuck. Idk what route to take. I have a G5, which is super nice, it's just a PowerPC though (IMB not Intel), so no Snow Leopard and no Lion. My price range is 1k - 1.5k but I was willing to step out of that a little to get an iMac. New G5s are too expensive. No laptop. I looked into a Hackintosh, but I'm no 1337 ***x0r and I'm way picky about what I want and don't want. PC is a no. I guess a used G5 Intel will be my route. I don't really see another route.

      Edit; I had no idea h, a, and x made a bad word here. Lamesauce.
    1. A3gOwner's Avatar
      A3gOwner -
      Quote Originally Posted by ShredNasty View Post
      Well, I'm stuck. Idk what route to take. I have a G5, which is super nice, it's just a PowerPC though (IMB not Intel), so no Snow Leopard and no Lion. My price range is 1k - 1.5k but I was willing to step out of that a little to get an iMac. New G5s are too expensive. No laptop. I looked into a Hackintosh, but I'm no 1337 ***x0r and I'm way picky about what I want and don't want. PC is a no. I guess a used G5 Intel will be my route. I don't really see another route.

      Edit; I had no idea h, a, and x made a bad word here. Lamesauce.
      To be honest I'd just pay the extra and get the iMac if I was you. You can always use an external hdd or nas if you need more space.

      I should have stated PowerPC when I said g5 in my first post but atleast you understood what I meant.
    1. Aumz's Avatar
      Aumz -
      I have discovered the solution.......buy a PC...and also get to go to Hawai
    1. ShredNasty's Avatar
      ShredNasty -
      Quote Originally Posted by Aumz View Post
      I have discovered the solution.......buy a PC...and also get to go to Hawai
      What would I do in Hawaii? Remove viruses from my PC in a more exotic setting?
    1. A3gOwner's Avatar
      A3gOwner -
      Just don't plug it into Internet and enjoy your vacation. Then when you get back return it for that iMac you were talking about.
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      Quote Originally Posted by moon#pie View Post
      Enjoy your viruses.

      The only reason why Mac's do not have virus's is because there aren't enough Mac's out there in the world for virus writers to waste their time on lol. Seriously man you fell right into that one!
    1. A3gOwner's Avatar
      A3gOwner -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dayvidpriddy View Post
      The only reason why Mac's do not have virus's is because there aren't enough Mac's out there in the world for virus writers to waste their time on lol. Seriously man you fell right into that one!
      Actually for actual viruses it has more to do with "better" use of permissions that the underlying bsd system relies upon than actual not enough to waste their time on. Other threats now thats a different story.
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Quote Originally Posted by A3gOwner View Post
      Actually for actual viruses it has more to do with "better" use of permissions that the underlying bsd system relies upon than actual not enough to waste their time on. Other threats now thats a different story.
      Well said, it's about time somebody who actually knew what they were talking about said something.
    1. AKCHRIS's Avatar
      AKCHRIS -
      I'm an Average User myself so I don't really see the need to replace the HD with an SSD. But..if my HD DOES fail (Which has NEVER happened to me Since I've owned a PC), I always have a external Drive. So for me this not a deterrent from NOT..getting an 21.5 inch iMac. Besides I've never felt comfortable taking apart a desk top although I can do it, it's more simpler on a L/T. Remember that the Average Consumer isn't really going to care about replacing their HD, since most will buy into either the Apple Care program or Best Buy program or take it to some Tech guy whom doesn't have a clue as to the internals of a Mac vs a PC. As I stated above for me..this is no HUGE issue. Is it wrong? Possibly? but..unless someone sends some sorta feedback or basically annoys Apple enough MAYBE....they might do some changes IF..pigs..can fly..lmao!!. But seriously u have to remember that not everyone is as Knowledgeable in these things are you or I, nor are those that work @ Best Buy or any Apple Store. Just my two sense.
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      So ppl, since last night i read this article i searched, searched and searched.
      Answer is following:
      iMac's are upgradeable. But with limited number of drives (not all are compatible) and with app from enthusiast programmer. App checks SMART data from HDD and adjust fan speed.

      Anyway - bu-fu-chu on you, who decided to make iMac's like this. I live more than 300km from the nearest apple store (and don't even know if it is a service centre), imagine HDD fails. Am i f/b-ucked, cause i have to wait no one knows how long for a replacement? I'm enthusiast and can do any repairs myself, so don't take those possibilities from people who can do such. "Joe-user" will go to apple store anyway...