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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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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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The iMac line up is expected to be refreshed Q1 2017.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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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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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.

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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CCC will do its own formatting, note this well.

Ahhh excuse me but…Where on earth are you getting this sort of info from??? Carbon Copy Cloner.app can do no such thing and does not do any formatting.

Format the disk
Before you can use a new disk for a backup of macOS, you must first initialize it with the correct format using the Disk Utility application.

https://bombich.com/kb/ccc4/how-set-up-your-first-backup
 

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Ahhh excuse me but…Where on earth are you getting this sort of info from??? Carbon Copy Cloner.app can do no such thing and does not do any formatting.

Format the disk
Before you can use a new disk for a backup of macOS, you must first initialize it with the correct format using the Disk Utility application.

https://bombich.com/kb/ccc4/how-set-up-your-first-backup
Maybe my experience is with an older CCC version Patrick. Maybe also the disk 1st needs an initial HFS+ format-but CCC will for sure wipe the disk again, nothing but a CCC clone may coexist on the same disk!

Don't have the time to test this again, but I'm pretty sure...
 

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Maybe my experience is with an older CCC version Patrick. Maybe also the disk 1st needs an initial HFS+ format-but CCC will for sure wipe the disk again, nothing but a CCC clone may coexist on the same disk!

Don't have the time to test this again, but I'm pretty sure...


Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) has never had the capacity to format a drive/volume as you stated: "CCC will do its own formatting, note this well." This is NOT true sand never has been. Period.

CCC can if the option is set, erase any existing data from a volume it's about to clone, which is NOT the same the same thing as formatting a volume.
 

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Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) has never had the capacity to format a drive/volume as you stated: "CCC will do its own formatting, note this well." This is NOT true sand never has been. Period.

CCC can if the option is set, erase any existing data from a volume it's about to clone, which is NOT the same the same thing as formatting a volume.
Been awhile since I did a CCC or any other variety of clone. I use cloning only to create a bootable back-up volume the first time I use a computer. From that point on I prefer creating ASR disk images to clones, as I am not continuously writing over a previous back-up, and I can maintain system back-ups over an extended time period rather than just one or two. An added bonus is a much faster restore routine.

Still I am certain that CCC does erase the target volume before writing a clone, it does not format the target volume. The formatting is best done via DiskUtility.
 

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Replacing the hard drives in that model of iMac is not as daunting of a task as it's made out to be. iFixit has really good step by step instructions. It took me maybe 20 minutes. That hardest part was clearing off the counter to get started.
 

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I'm at the same stage the OP is at. I'm replacing the 320mb drive in my 2008 iMac with a 500 gb Samsung 850 EVO SSD. Looking forward to many more years of use with my 9year old mac. One thing I did notice while doing research for my swap was that my machine is only supposed to accept 4gb of ram but apparently can accept and recognize/use up to 6gb. I currently have 4 gb in there now.

Anyone here have any experience with that configuration?

Joe
 

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No experience, but I read just about everywhere the 6GB ram configuration is possible.

Everymac.com has some solid info on this, I suspect OWC as well.
Try to look up your Mac model.

Good luck!
 

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Thanks a lot,

Joe
 
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