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Thread: Changing hard drives in iMac 27" 2011

  1. #1
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Changing hard drives in iMac 27" 2011

    Changing the Apple hard drive for a standard drive seems to be fraught with problems given that they use non-standard firmware to report temperatures. Consequently, using a publicly available drive as a replacement for a failing drive sends the fans instantly to full speed.
    Apart from using SSSD Fan control to bring the speeds down manually I can't think of a way around it.
    When I replaced a hard drive with an SSD earlier in the year he SSD fan control was a viable option as the SSD doesn't generate the heat that a hard drive does, but that doesn't answer it for simply replacing a failing drive with another one. Of course, there is always the option of going to Apple or an AASP but that comes with very large bills to pay as well.
    Suggestions guys?

  2. #2
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    I think SMC Fan Control software is about the only type of solution short of buying a Dell. Apple really screwing the aftermarket with these choices. Non upgradeable memory and firmware controlled fans. Next thing you know it will be illegal to open up your own Mac.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Hi Ricks,
    SMC fan control only takes fan speeds up, so that doesn't help, but SSD fan control allows for manual control over the fans.
    I hadn't been able to find any other solution so it's not surprising that there isn't one.
    I agree on screwing the aftermarket, but maybe it's also geared to driving people back to 'authorised' repairers who bend you over and ... only do what Apple allows them to.

  4. #4
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    Ooops, brain fart on the software. Point was that purchasing a software fix is about the only fix when Apple screws everyone with a firmware cooling system.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  5. #5
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    I know there is a way to put some sort of jumper or plug on the temp circuit to trick the sensor into reporting a low temp......keeping the fan low. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say it will give a false positive report.

    I can't see how this is any better than a software fix (to do essentially the same thing), so I have never done it nor pursued it. But it was done at the shop I used to work at, so it certainly works.

    See the two software solutions for actually lowering fan speed over here for anyone following along.

    Now that I think about it, some sort of mechanical fix does have one big advantage: Some new OS may pop and the software fix may no longer be compatible. An unlucky user may have long forgotten the issue, install a newer OS, and bang......high fan again.

    Moving forward, this may be a bigger issue, as the latest iMacs only have one fan. Less is more, but have to be damn sure that one does not retard fan speed or sensor input from other legit sources (CPU, GPU, etc.)
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  6. #6
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    Feb 2012
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    Quick update on this story. I've got another 27" 2011 iMac - 2.5ghz i5 - in for a new HD. My customer shelled out for the OWC thermal sensor cable so I've got that to play with for him.
    He also brought me an SSD that he wants me to fit under the DVD drive and plug into the back of the logic board... it would have helped if he had bought their SATA data/power cable at the same time. So now I have to try and find some other way around it, if possible.
    Anyone know of another manufacturer for this typed of cable? It appears to be some sort of proprietary plug that splits into the normal data and power at the other end.
    I have seen power/data extension cables, but even if they fit they would still leave me needing a SATA power cable from somewhere.

  7. #7
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    I did the job successfully, had to pay stupid money for the SATA cable to connect the SSD though. I've now got stock of the cables, I bought 3 for $30, whereas I had to pay 30 ($46) for just one!
    One thing that has happened, using the OWC cable, is that when ethernet is connected, the HD fan speeds up, switch to wifi and the fan slows down... weird.
    Asking the question of OWC as to why this would be.
    The opposite of what you automatically assume to be the truth is the answer you're looking for!

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