• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

Apple Restricts Hard Drive Replacements on New iMacs

Recommended Posts

+Frank B.    7,154

Apple Restricts Hard Drive Replacements on New iMacs

As noted by Other World Computing, Apple has implemented a new temperature sensor system on its latest iMac models that significantly hampers the ability of users to replace their original hard drives in the case of failure or a desire to upgrade. Without the custom 7-pin hard drive cable and proprietary firmware included on stock hard drives in the new machines, the new iMacs' fans spin to full speed and the machines fail to pass the Apple Hardware Test.

For the main 3.5" SATA hard drive bay in the new 2011 machines, Apple has altered the SATA power connector itself from a standard 4-pin power configuration to a 7-pin configuration. Hard drive temperature control is regulated by a combination of this cable and Apple proprietary firmware on the hard drive itself. From our testing, we've found that removing this drive from the system, or even from that bay itself, causes the machine's hard drive fans to spin at maximum speed and replacing the drive with any non-Apple original drive will result in the iMac failing the Apple Hardware Test (AHT).

As the report notes, the change does mean that anyone seeking to replace the hard drive in a new iMac will have to go through Apple, limiting options and increasing costs.

It is not a matter of "if" but rather a matter of "when" your hard drive is going to fail. We preach this all the time in regards to having a proper backup strategy in place to prepare from when that failure happens. But it seems now, that when that happens to the main drive on your iMac, you're left with two options - buy a new drive from Apple and have them install it via one of their Authorized Service Centers, or enjoy the rather large Apple logoed paperweight on your desk. Want a 3.5" drive larger than 2TB? Too bad - Apple doesn't offer them.

Apple has not officially supported do-it-yourself hard drive replacements on the iMac for many years, but many users have still elected to take on the task themselves or have others not specifically authorized by Apple perform the swap for them.

Source: Mac Rumors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unix2    5

This is why is always good idea to buy an Apple Care Support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xtreme $niper    51

Ugh, it's kind of unfortunate that they felt the need to do this... I'm sure it has some technical benefits while the drive is working, but surely they would have realized that people swap their drives when their iMacs are out of warranty...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simon-    492

Moneygrab. I'm sure the third party solutions/hacks will come though, but might involve reflashing the drive! :|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rajputwarrior    280

thats dbag move...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Miuku.    364

So what. Someone will start selling a converter and the firmware can always be flashed to a new drive - think of this as a business opporturnity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
acnpt    39

Ebay and hack/mod sites should come to the rescue.

Ebay for the propriety cable, and hopefully internet for firmware (although I guess you might be limited to Apple's choice of drives).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neufuse    4,405

I'm sorry but this is BS....... When people like Dell had non-standard power supplies people where all up in arms about how it wasn't replaceable, but this is a darn hard drive..... these have been standardized since forever...... stop being so stupid apple.... the standardization people should be screaming about this but most of them are probably in bed with their mac's right now making love to them....

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheLegendOfMart    1,558

This is why is always good idea to buy an Apple Care Support.

You shouldnt HAVE to pay $170 just because Apple thinks its funny to make non-standard connectors. Most other computers allow you to swap out parts.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+warwagon    13,950

That's retarded.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nub    181

This is why is always good idea to not buy an Apple Care Support a mac.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neufuse    4,405

just wait till they glue your case shut and make it unable to replace ANYTHING and treat it like an iPhone / iPod / iPad where nothings replaceable...... then make propitiatory Keyboard and mouse ports and take us back to the 1980's with hardware interoperability again.....

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+Heartripper    184

One more reason not to buy an iMac :unsure:

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SierraSonic    592

Well it surprises me it took this long for apple to do something like this. They are a hardware company after all. Still only people who lose out are people who actually own a mac, so they weren't to bright in their purchasing decision anyway. (with upgrades in mind at least)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sweetsam    31

Oh why don't you understand we just want to help you... /s :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zeta_immersion    69

the unibody and the macbook (pros) are a big deterrent .... now only you cannot replace batter (if/when it gets messed up) but now ram is also locked, airport and other things locked, now drives are locked ....

I am not saying joe doe will want to open his shiny 3000$ machine and upgrade ram/drive BUT, for those that are more tech inclined cannot do ram/HD upgrades because it will void warranty and go through a lot of grief ..... crap move

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vice    1,593

What a dirtbag move by Apple. I hope they reverse this decision after it gets some attention in the blogsphere.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheLegendOfMart    1,558

What a dirtbag move by Apple. I hope they reverse this decision after it gets some attention in the blogsphere.

Its too late the machines are already out i dont think they are going to re-engineer the hardware and firmware because of a few disgruntled people on the internet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WelshBluebird    95

the unibody and the macbook (pros) are a big deterrent

Why?

You can replace the hard drive and ram very easily in the MBP's.

Its only the macbook air where you can't replace things so easily (well, and now the new iMac).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+jamesyfx    362

Hard drives are not meant to be user-replaceable in iMacs anyway. All you can mess with is the RAM unless you tear the whole thing apart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Miuku.    364

What a dirtbag move by Apple. I hope they reverse this decision after it gets some attention in the blogsphere.

Why?

I'm sorry but the guys who "open their boxes and replace stuff" are an insignificant minority of the overall computer users - no matter how much noise they make out of it and Apple knows this. They could make all components in all of their machines non-user changeable and no one would give a rats ass except a few few people in online forums.

Sure, people like you and me would suffer from this but we are, after all, a very - VERY small portion of their userbase. Barely a blip on the radar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unix2    5

Hard drives are not meant to be user-replaceable in iMacs anyway. All you can mess with is the RAM unless you tear the whole thing apart.

Exactly, the all-in-one computers are suppose to be non upgradable. The only thing you can mess is with memory. You want upgradable parts? buy a Mac Pro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheLegendOfMart    1,558

Why?

I'm sorry but the guys who "open their boxes and replace stuff" are an insignificant minority of the overall computer users - no matter how much noise they make out of it and Apple knows this. They could make all components in all of their machines non-user changeable and no one would give a rats ass except a few few people in online forums.

Sure, people like you and me would suffer from this but we are, after all, a very - VERY small portion of their userbase. Barely a blip on the radar.

Right and what happens when your warranty runs out and your HDD dies, do you go to your local/favourite store and pick up a cheap hard drive.....no you cant you have to pay Apples prices because they are propietary connectors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Elliott    235

I already had this problem with my current iMac. The SSD I replaced my internal drive with didn't have a place to connect the temperature sensor cable. I have to use shell scripts on launch to limit the fan speed. I'm sure it wouldn't pass the AHT because that cable is unplugged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Miuku.    364
Right and what happens when your warranty runs out and your HDD dies, do you go to your local/favourite store and pick up a cheap hard drive.....no you cant you have to pay Apples prices because they are propietary connectors.

Hey, that sounds exactly like... my car.

'sup Jenson, let's demand that car manufacturers standardize everything?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.