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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 09:49 AM   #1
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Need advice - dying iMac HD

Hi Gang,

It was bound to happen someday; the HDD in my Mid 2011 20" iMac is setting out a slew of SMART errors. It's on its way out any day now. The way I see it I have two options.

1) Replace the HDD, with another HDD, an SSHD, and SSD or a combo of SSD and HHD. I don't have the tools or eyesight to do the repair work myself. So it's likely I'd be looking at $300+ to keep this puppy running.

2) Sell (noting the drive needs to be replaced) and replace with new equipment.

On 1, as much as I love this machine and the only thing wrong with it is the HDD, it's getting a little long in the tooth. I suspect it will fall off of the supported product list next year if not sooner. So in one way I'm loathed to invest more money in soon to be obsolete hardware.

On the other hand, Apple hasn't refreshed iMacs in a while and I'm not at all interested in the new MacBook lineup. I find spending full price on two year old hardware a little hard to swallow. Not keen on (but considering) getting used hardware.

In my shoes, which option would you pick? If I were to sell, it's a stock 20" iMac with 24GB RAM, but I don't know what a fair price to ask would be given the hard drive (And, it probably needs a good de-dust-bunnying!)
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 10:35 AM   #2
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My cousin recently had his 24" iMac hard drive die and had it replaced with and SSD, same with a co-worker on a slightly newer iMac. If the machine is fine for your needs and you don't need anything faster spent the couple hundred bucks on an SSD upgrade and continue using the iMac. The SSD will breath some new life into the machine as boot ups and starting apps will be a lot faster.
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 11:29 AM   #3
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The iMac line up is expected to be refreshed Q1 2017.
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 02:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monokitty View Post
The iMac line up is expected to be refreshed Q1 2017.
Yep. iMac's are 'way overdue for an update:

iPhone, iPad, Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy — iMac
Days since last release: 471

Average: 317
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 05:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monokitty View Post
The iMac line up is expected to be refreshed Q1 2017.
So cross fingers and wait seem prudent (if thinking of refresh vs. prolong)
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
the HDD in my Mid 2011 20" iMac is setting out a slew of SMART errors. It's on its way out any day now.

I trust and hope you have a current up-to-date tested and working cloned backup???? Assuming any user data is worth saving and keeping.

If not, do so ASAP!!!
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
I trust and hope you have a current up-to-date tested and working cloned backup???? Assuming any user data is worth saving and keeping.

If not, do so ASAP!!!
In triplicate. I'm not concerned about data. I am, for the first time, worried about an investment in Apple, one way or another.
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 07:20 PM   #8
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Hard drives seldom give a lot of warning. Figure failure is imminent and be very careful not to overwrite good back ups with potentially corrupt versions.
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 07:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMacMan View Post
Hard drives seldom give a lot of warning. Figure failure is imminent and be very careful not to overwrite good back ups with potentially corrupt versions.


+1!!

Excellent point!!
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Old Jan 26th, 2017, 10:52 PM   #10
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Indeed, excellent point!

Try to get hold of Datarescue or Disk Warrior, maybe Disk Drill in their latest version.
Those wil cost you a pretty dollar, but they do not attempt to write to a HDD under scrutiny.

And use an external Backup / Rescue scratch disk.

If, as you say you have, you possess ample backup and want to get some more mileage out of your iMac ( maybe awaiting a new purchase or iMac Release) with minimal cost, and or eye or motoric strain - something you can get done yourself, I mean ( I'm sorry, I'm only 52 tears old but beginning to feel your strain/ pain, especially after an accident) I suggest you get an external FireWire 800 enclosure, put an HDD in it, format it to MacOS Extended (journaled), an put an OSX version on that.

Maybe later try copying your user folder to that as well.

Alt/ option start from that. It will not run as quickly as Thunderbolt, but at least your iMac will be useable and safe again for the time being.

I presume your iMac is something like this:
iMac "Core i3" 3.2 21.5-Inch (Mid-2010) Specs (Mid-2010, MC509LL/A, iMac11,2, A1311, 2389) @ EveryMac.com

Thirdly, I've also booked some particular successes by using Carbon Copy Cloner ( SuperDuper will likely do that for you as well) to clone an entire dying hard drive to a pristine and working external HDD. CCC will do its own formatting, note this well.

If the original in question is not too damaged yet, this will yield a perfectly viable as well as bootable copy of your dying HDD.
However, let it be noted that I cannot guarantee that in this way, files will not be altered on your original internal HDD.
Nor can I guarantee that in case of a seriously damaged internal HDD, you wil not take along some misery/ corrupt files to your
new external HDD.

However, this last option will allow you to seriously test-drive your system on the new HDD, and- should you decide all is well and have your internal drive replaced with a new one- be up and running with exactly the same system, accounts and files you had on your failing hard drive.
In nearly no time.

I my book this could set forth the expiration date on your current iMac by at least 2 to 4 years. Do the math.

Quote:
Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.6.3 (10D2322a) Maximum MacOS: Current*

*This system fully supports the last version of OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion," OS X 10.9 "Mavericks," and OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" except for Power Nap and AirPlay Mirroring functionality (which also requires an Apple TV 2nd Gen or later). It also supports the last version of OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" -- including Mac-to-Mac AirDrop capability -- but no other advanced features are supported like Metal graphics acceleration. It is capable of running macOS Sierra (10.12) as well, although it does not support the Universal Clipboard, Auto Unlock, or Apple Pay features.
Just my 2 c, good luck.
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Last edited by hexdiy; Jan 26th, 2017 at 11:02 PM.
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