Lab report: difficulties abound in the hard disk of an iMac upgrade 2011

Latest Apple iMac models have many things for them. Unfortunately, easy scalability is not on this list.To upgrade an iMac has always been a challenge, but with these models of 2011, there is another obstacle in addition to the intimidating glass and LCD Panel deletion that awaits those who are brave enough to open a.If you have never been under the hood of aluminum iMac, let me tell you that it is not for the casual user. Here is a quick overview of the steps involved. I used a tool kit and instructions for iFixit.Suction cups are recommended to remove coverage of glass screen, which is held in place by strong magnets. Once the suction cups are in place, there is much to raise the glass.

A Torx key is necessary to remove the eight screws in lieu of the LCD.

You must use something like a bent paper clip to start the lift of the LCD. At this stage, don't rush to meet the LCD completely - you risk damaging the cables connected. Slowly lift the LCD, enough to reach in and detach the four cables that connect the motherboard and from the back of the display.

After the cables are detached, you can lift the LCD completely and remove the display. Finally, you have access to the hard disk and other internal components.

When traced the iMac, be sure to avoid fingerprints fingerprint and dust on the cover of glass or the LCD screen itself.

Not intimidated by démontant your iMac? Always interested in improving the iMac hard drive DIY? Similarly, the week last manufacturer of devices OWC discovered a problem with the 2011 iMac which could finally dampen your enthusiasm.

According to OWC, is Apple changed the boot drives in the iMac of 2011. Readers have new firmware which has a different way in the temperature of the monitoring drive. Without this firmware, iMac knows that it is a reader, but don't know how hot it could be. As a precautionary measure, iMac cranks then its fans internal to run full bore — 6000 rpm, which creates a hard to ignore ROAR. We contacted Apple for confirmation and comment on this subject, but we have not yet heard of the company.

We went through the process of destruction described above to access the hard disk and replace the standard Seagate Barracuda 1TB drive with our own 2 GB drive Seagate Barracude. When we started the iMac with the newly installed (and non-Apple supplied) Seagate drive, fans in effect leaving loudly running.

Fan HDD control

Hard drive Fan is a $10 application that installs as a preference pane to allow you to adjust the internal fan speed and to set thresholds for temperature. We used this software to control the fan. By default, HDD Fan control sets the speed of the fan-1 000 rpm, which is much quieter than the 6000 RPM that spins the fan to without the utility.

For the iMac works if I could observe the fan, I used the handbrake to convert a DVD ripped to the hard disk. HDD Fan control accelerated fan to keep the temperature.

As reported by OWC, the iMac with a drive that you have installed yourself pass not the Apple Hardware Test with the new Mac that is included. (It is on the disk of applications). Do not test may not be a big problem, since we know why it is a failure, but the AHT is frequently used by folks certified Apple repair. The AHT failure could mean that issues normally covered by the warranty of the system may are most covered.

OWC said that shorting two leads on the drive connector can solve the problem of Apple Hardware Test failure, but it is a step further than we were ready to go. There is also a report that a hardware component has been developed that provides the temperature of the hard disk information to the motherboard.

Apple hardware test

The vast majority of Mac owners turn to Apple preconfigured systems simple that they can install and use without worrying about things as short-circuit pin, utilitarian third fan, or suction cups. These users are much more likely to connect an external USB or FireWire or (soon) Thunderbolt drive if they need additional storage space.

But what happens if your hard disk fails after expiry of the warranty period? On this model, your options are much more limited. When the hard disk fails, you will be confronted to a painful upgrade or - more likely - bombing the money for a new Mac any amendment of the former is.

[James Galbraith is the Macworld Lab Director.]


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