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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 08, 2010
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    iMac Help - HDD issues - Salvage or Sell for Parts
    A few months ago my iMac started clicking on boot-up. I instantly thought HDD and I was right. I bought a new HD and that didnt work. I also bought a new SATA cable and that didnt work either. This leads me to believe it is the SATA connection on the logic board that is fried. Does anyone know if there is a way to fix this? Also, if its to costly to fix the connection, has anyone booted OSX from firewire/USB exclusively? I know I can just get a SATA drive dock and connect my HDD via firewire and boot it that way, but does it run ridiculously slow? Is it even worth it?

    So I guess my main questions are:
    * Has anyone booted from USB/Firewire?
    * Is it worth it or does it run too slow to do anything of worth?
    * If so, should I just sell the iMac for parts?

    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    49,106
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    When you replaced the hard drive in your iMac, did you double check everything to make sure? Replacing a HD in an iMac involves quite a bit of work and some careful connecting of the drive itself. The reason I ask is I've not heard of a SATA cable or its connection going bad - unless of course it was improperly removed. (The clicking you heard was definitely the drive and more than likely it had failed.)

    To answer your question about connecting and booting from USB or FW, yes it's possible and yes, it's slower. I recommend using FW rather than USB as it will be faster.

    Regards.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 08, 2010
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    Yes, I checked everything and attempted the replacement a couple times. Both the new drive and old drives stated the same error. Both were recognized in Disc utility when I booted from the OSX CD, but both said 0 bytes. I suppose its possible the new drive I got was faulty as well. That would be my luck.

    I guess my best bet is to get a SATA dock and connect the old HD and see if I can boot it from USB.

    How slow is it when booting from Firewire? This is a 1.86 machine. I am just wondering if its worth it to keep it around, or if I should just sell it for parts and sell the replacement drive I bought and buy a new Mini

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,106
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Quote Originally Posted by noregretoc View Post
    Yes, I checked everything and attempted the replacement a couple times. Both the new drive and old drives stated the same error. Both were recognized in Disc utility when I booted from the OSX CD, but both said 0 bytes. I suppose its possible the new drive I got was faulty as well. That would be my luck.
    That's really strange. I suppose the SATA controller on the logic board could have failed - but again, that would be unusual. I'm assuming you tried to format the new drive with Disk Utility?

    Quote Originally Posted by noregretoc View Post
    I guess my best bet is to get a SATA dock and connect the old HD and see if I can boot it from USB.
    You can purchase a SATA external carrier or an adapter from the folks at OWC. They stock both. The adapter is probably the way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by noregretoc View Post
    How slow is it when booting from Firewire? This is a 1.86 machine. I am just wondering if its worth it to keep it around, or if I should just sell it for parts and sell the replacement drive I bought and buy a new Mini
    It's definitely slow even when using FW. I routinely boot my machine from a USB 2.0 HDD in order to test my backup clone and it's slow. My machine is a 2.4 GHZ Core 2 Duo. Until you're positive that the iMac can not be repaired economically, I would keep it around.

    Regards.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Apr 08, 2010
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    3
    Yes, I tried to format but it didnt work.

    I'll check out the SATA solutions you offered. That way I can troubleshoot and find out the source of the problem. This isnt my primary computers so if I have to run it of FW or USB, I might just end up selling it.

    Thanks for your help.

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