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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2008
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    8
    Soft Disabling Imac Internal Hard Drive
    Well thanks to the help of this forum I have successfully managed to clone my failing hard drive onto a new usb drive, and am booting OSX from this drive.

    The idea is to use the usb drive as my primary drive as I have no desire to open up my mac, due to the complexity in the process (they don't make em easy to break into).

    Only problem now is that although the new usb drive works perfectly, the mac is still recognizing the old failing internal drive and trying to mount / boot it. It's therefore making the same clicking noise's, delaying the boot, and throwing an error message when I get into OSX that it can't detect the drive.

    The best option for me at this time would be to completely disable it, by software, so I don't need to open the Imac.

    I know from experience disabling a hard is very easy to do on a windows based pc, as it can be done in the bios or via device manager, but I have no idea how to do this with an Intel Imac.

    My question - is there an easy way of completely disabling the internal hard disk, either by downloading a program that does this, or any other way?

    I have tried googling but can't find any good guide, or program to disable hard disk detection on a Mac!!! There must be a way though, I'm sure.

  2. #2

    Soulwar's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location
    Estero, FL
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    1,515
    Specs:
    iMac 17" 1Ghz G4  iPhone 3G  10.5.5
    Go to System Preferences/Startup Disk and select the new HDD. That will stop it from trying to boot.
    When all else fails, try everything!
    The Rep System and you.
    Life's a joke...If you're not laughing, then you didn't get it.

    June 2008


  3. #3


    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2008
    Posts
    8
    Thanks but I have already done this and the new disk boots perfectly as the primary disk and I can get into OSX fine and do all I need to.

    The problem is that on start up the mac also try's to mount or recognize the old internal disk as it would the dvd drive or any another secondary boot device. Since all the problems are still present with this disk, i.e. the clicking, I need a solution to stop it being seen by the imac.

    The only solution I can think of, would be to find a way for the failing internal hard disk to be permanently disabled, so it is not visible to the system, but I have no idea how to do this, which is where I'm hoping there will be a software solution or workaround.

  4. #4

    Soulwar's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location
    Estero, FL
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    1,515
    Specs:
    iMac 17" 1Ghz G4  iPhone 3G  10.5.5
    Quote Originally Posted by italianie View Post
    Thanks but I have already done this and the new disk boots perfectly as the primary disk and I can get into OSX fine and do all I need to.

    The problem is that on start up the mac also try's to mount or recognize the old internal disk as it would the dvd drive or any another secondary boot device. Since all the problems are still present with this disk, i.e. the clicking, I need a solution to stop it being seen by the imac.

    The only solution I can think of, would be to find a way for the failing internal hard disk to be permanently disabled, so it is not visible to the system, but I have no idea how to do this, which is where I'm hoping there will be a software solution or workaround.
    Not that I know of. I had the same problem on an old iMac myself. I just got used to the clicking during startup. You would have to physically disable the connection. And as you mentioned, not an easy task on iMac's...
    When all else fails, try everything!
    The Rep System and you.
    Life's a joke...If you're not laughing, then you didn't get it.

    June 2008


  5. #5


    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2008
    Posts
    8
    ok thanks, I might have to have a go at opening it again. it finally seems that this is one area that the PC has superior capabilities then a mac. A simple way to soft disable or remove a hard drive would have been nice, but thats the disadvantage of not having a bios.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2010
    Posts
    3
    Any updates on this topic?

    Is there a way to disable the internal drive for good on the new iMac without opening it up?

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2010
    Posts
    481
    Specs:
    Mac Pro, Power Mac G4, iMac G3, iPhone 3GS
    Once booted from the external drive, erase the failing internal drive and leave it blank. With no system to start, the iMac can't try to boot from it.

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    9,242
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    I don't think his iMac is still trying to boot from the drive since he has already changed the boot disk in the Startup preference pane. I think the Mac is "polling" the system for available drives/hardware. It sees that a drive is there but cannot mount it due to the degree of damage.

    Unfortunately I can't think of an easy solution. If Disk Utility cannot mount the drive and repair it enough to correct the problem DiskWarrior 4 - The Disk Utility for Mac Disk Repair, Mac Directory Repair, Mac Disk Recovery, Mac Data Recovery might but that seems a bit expensive if the only goal is to stop the attempted drive access that is going on.

    @ OP if you decide this is annoying enough to consider opening the iMac, might be for me, seriously consider purchasing a new internal drive for the iMac and using your existing drive as a backup.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2009
    Location
    Ithaca NY
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    2,073
    Specs:
    13 inch alMacBook 2GHz C2D 4G DDR3, 1.25GHz G4 eMac
    Also, terrible idea to use a USB drive as a boot drive. Beyond slow.

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