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Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 08:02 PM   #1
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Replacing iMac (white) Internal HD or external one?

Hi,

I have an iMac with a 250 Gig HD in it. It is not enough for my needs in terms of space.

I'm considering buying a new HD for it, but my questions is, should I place it internally or just buy an external one. I think internally would be much better (better performance), but I'm in fact afraid at the apple Warranty for the iMac. I do not want Apple telling me that I replace my HD and that broke the warranty. Which opinion about it?

I'm going to go for at least 500 Gig, but I'd like to know what is the best price/capacity deal for an HD those days?

Thanks
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Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 08:19 PM   #2
 
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Installing a HDD in either the white or aluminum case iMacs involves quite a bit of disassembly such as removing the bezels and ESD shielding among other things. I think you might be in danger of voiding the warranty by attempting the upgrade yourself. I know there are a few ACDTs on here that might be able to give you the real deal with the warranty.

You should consider having an Apple Authorized Service Provider do the upgrade for you. It'll cost more than you doing it yourself, but at least you won't risk voiding the warranty.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by meall View Post
I have an iMac with a 250 Gig HD in it. It is not enough for my needs in terms of space.
I think you would be best off with an external solution, considering the amount of work taking apart an iMac and such. As far as speed goes, if you stick with Firewire, you should have ample speed for almost all tasks. With USB, your mileage may, and will, vary. Unless you are heavy into some kind of video rendering, FW400 will be more than enough.

You can either by a bundled solution, like the Seagate FreeAgent 320 GB that is currently on special at a number of places. The FW400 version can be had for $120 these days. Or you can put your own together, with whatever drive and chassis you select. The sky is the limit, and if you need higher speed, there are FW800 drives, and the newer eSata kind (if your machine support them). All around, the FW400 will be the best fit as it can be used not only on your system, but on all recent vintage Macs as well. Nothing says you are limited to one drive; I have four drives that I swap with my systems, 2 are FW and 2 are USB "dongle drives".

I really do not notice much "lag" or "slowdown" when I use my FW externals, and have been quite happy with the way the Mac works with them. It is much easier than trying to swap out the internal drive (which I did in the spring on both my iBooks and my iMac, and that day was no picnic!).
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Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 09:12 PM   #4
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meall,

I think it depends on which iMac design you have. I have the rev.B iMac G5 - the one with the ambient light sensor, but no iSight built in. I just replaced my hard drive 2 weeks ago, and it was VERY easy. If you go to Apple support pages and search for "do it yourself" you'll find step by step instructions.

BTW, in my research, I concluded that Western Digital Caviar SE16 was the way to go; I picked up a 500GB drive for $146 from Tiger Direct. I picked this on the basis of:

- power consumption (and heat generation)
- noise
- performance

Seagate Barracuda's also seem well rated, and are available for about $110, but are apparently noisy. I like my quiet iMac.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 09:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_geek View Post
I think it depends on which iMac design you have. I have the rev.B iMac G5 -
Forgot to mention, it is an Intel iMac 24". Last gen before the current gen.

Quote:
Seagate Barracuda's also seem well rated, and are available for about $110, but are apparently noisy. I like my quiet iMac.
I also forgot about this: silent! iMac is silent, and a big and noisy HD in it would killed its charm!

Thanks
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Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 09:31 PM   #6
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You can either by a bundled solution, like the Seagate FreeAgent 320 GB that is currently on special at a number of places. The FW400 version can be had for $120 these days.
I saw one at Staples at 129$ in their recent flyer, but they only specify USB 2.0. Do not know if it also have the FW port!?!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 01:54 AM   #7
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I saw one at Staples at 129$ in their recent flyer, but they only specify USB 2.0. Do not know if it also have the FW port!?!
I would stay away from USB only versions as USB is slower than FW. I use my USB ones to move files between machines, or to transport data (when it will not fit on my 1 GB keychain). I have seen the Seagate 320 GB w/t FW400 at Tiger Direct for $119. One of the external chassis I have has both USB and FW, so I can use it in a variety of portable applications. I could even hook it to a Windoze box, if one existed around these parts.

If 320 GB is too small, then you can always purchase an external chassis and add whatever drive you wish. I used my "old" drives, a result of a number of systems upgrades in the past six months. I have a 4 GB and 10 GB 2.5" that I use frequently to move files between systems that are not on the LAN. Those cases cost me $9 each and have worked perfectly for the past six or seven months.

I have two 40 GB 3.5" FireWire chassis. The first one acts as my software and updates repository and is in an inexpensive chassis, with an older 4200 RPM drive. The speed is fine for holding software and img files, and is only connected to the system on an "as needed' basis. The second one other holds my music. I have been strongly considering the 320 GB route, only because I want put all of my CDs onto the system, and network it to my iMac "Terminal" in the workshop; and $120 seems to fit the budget.

My friend has a similar setup, and shares one external chassis with his Windoze box as well as his iMac and his PowerMac.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 03:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by EvanPitts View Post
I would stay away from USB only versions as USB is slower than FW.
I know. But my question was, does anyone confirms it is a USB only, or it may be the USB/FW combo one. Staples are not very aware of what they sold all the time, and FW, they may not even know that could be useful for anyone

The problem with Seagate drives nomenclature is that they all called them FreeAgent, and you almost have to look at the back to see which ports they have behind them!

Anyway. I may stop by there and see by myself.

Dell has those offers in terms of FW/other connectors FreeAgent (most free shipping):

750 GB 7200 RPM FreeAgent Pro FireWire 400 / USB 2.0 / eSATA External Hard Drive 259$

500 GB 7200 RPM FreeAgent Pro FireWire 400 / USB2.0 / eSATA External Hard Drive 209$.

Most of the problems with sellers like TigerDirect, NCIX and others, is the shipping fees. They killed the deal most of the time...
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 08:36 AM   #9
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Most of the problems with sellers like TigerDirect, NCIX and others, is the shipping fees. They killed the deal most of the time...
I don't know where you are located but TigerDirect has 4 stores in the GTA.

The Burlington store is brand new and I would consider it a big box store it's so large. I am not saying that you should shop at TigerDirect but if you want to no shipping charges. Also MacDoc has drives.

John
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 08:42 AM   #10
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Oh and I forgot to mention that I have a Core 2 Duo iMac and a few G4's and three external firewire drives. Two 500's and a 320 the iMac only has firewire 400 ports so you won't need a Firewire 800. I need another one I work with video and of course the great thing is that I can move between computers with the drives.
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