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  1. #1
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    I've got a iMac late 2012 iMac
    3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    3TB Fusion Drive
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM-2X4GB

    Last week I couldn't get it to boot up. I took it into the Apple Store and they told me I needed a new HDD and Flash storage (which I'm assuming is the solid state Fusion portion of the hard drive) and quoted me $542 to fix it with original Apple parts.

    They also told me that since the iMac is now considered vintage/obsolete that they didn't really recommend that I fix it due to lack of parts availability if anything else goes wrong with it and the lack of support via security updates.

    This is my daughters computer. She uses it for various things including drawing with a Corel drawing pad and creating youtube videos.

    What are my options?

    1. Repair it with original equipment. I don't like this idea because the HDD is so unreliable.
    2. Repair it with a new SDD. How much is that gonna cost? Is OWC the only option? I was using 1TB of the 3TB I had installed.
    3. Is a bootable external SDD an option or do I need to have an internally bootable computer to pull that off? What would be the advantages of it if I could do it?
    4. What is the downside to running a computer that can't get security updates?
    5. Should I just give up on the iMac?
    6. If I give up on it is it worth anything to anybody else in it's current condition (excellent shape but needs new HDD and Flash storage)?
    7. Any other options that I am too ignorant to know about yet?

    Thanks is advance. I'd appreciate any advice at all.

  2. #2
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 8+ iOS 13, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iPadOS 13,  Pencil 1
    Rep Power
    Just as an FYI, an Apple Fusion drive is actually two drives, an SSD and an HDD. Apple uses software to see the drives as one unit. In a 3TD fusion drive, the SSD portion is 128GB, and the HDD is 3TB.

    Since the iMac is 2012, you can upgrade the OS version up to macOS Mojave 10.14, and it will continue to receive security updates for at least 2 more years. Just saying.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Rep Power
    Are you handy with fixing things yourself? The 2012 iMac is a bit difficult to get inside and do any swapping out of a hard drive but it can be done. You might want to consider doing the work yourself and just replacing the Fusion drive combo with a pure SSD instead.

    You can check the procedure for doing the work yourself at iFixit: The Free Repair Manual. They have detailed step by step instructions. You can also order a temperature sensing bypass kit from OWC (you will need that otherwise the fans will run full speed).

    I believe you can save a considerable amount of money by doing the work yourself and like Bob stated above, your 2012 will still receive security updates for several years. And you can upgrade it to Mojave.

  4. #4
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Rep Power
    +1 for replacing the Fusion drive with a single SSD. As Bob said, the 2012 iMac can uprade to Mojave and that will cover you for a little while. When the machine reaches about 10 years, you can look into upgrading to a newer machine.

  5. #5
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Modesto, Ca.
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac late 2012 21.5 i5 10:14. iMac 2010 27"QuadI7 OS10.13, MBPLate2011, iPad Pro10.5", iPhone7
    Rep Power
    Agreed completely with Bob and Charlie. I own a 21.5" late 2012 iMac and I can assure everyone that the new Mac OS Catalina that is coming out the end of this year runs great on the late 2012 iMac so that will give you even more years of upgrades.

    Also agree with Charlie about iFixit.

    Apple flat out lied to you about no software updates. That is a lie. I have been beta testing for Apple now for years and am on the i5 version of that same machine running the yet to be released new Mac OS.

    To answer your OWC question, it's not the only place but for a Mac it's the best place to get parts as anything they sell has been tested and is guaranteed to work on your Mac and if you have issues they will stand behind what they sell.

    Also if you do get that kit to take it apart from ifixit, I would also while in there to up the RAM to 16 GB. I on my late 2012 also have 8GB and I find with the new OS Catalina that 8 is sometimes lacking.
    Last edited by dtravis7; 08-19-2019 at 04:19 PM.

  6. #6
    I have never owned an iMac myself, but from what I read, this model is a 27-inch one where the RAM upgrade is relatively easy.
    That is something the OP could do himself for sure.

    To get things up and running right away, one could just get an external drive and install the OS on it and run the iMac that way at least for the time being.
    And in the meantime shop around for an internal drive replacement and a reliable 3rd party local place to do the repair if the OP is not comfortable doing it himself.

    I also agree with everyone, certainly a great machine worthfixing if all that is wrong is the internal drive.

  7. #7
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Winchester, VA
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone 11 Pro, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Rep Power
    Two thoughts: 1. You could upgrade to a smaller internal SSD (256, 512 GB) and then get a large external drive to store the projects your daughter creates.
    2. Before you take the plunge and upgrade the version of the OS, you might want to check that the Corel product and all of the software she uses is supported in newer versions. But once upgraded, you should get years of use from that machine.

  8. #8
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Rep Power
    1. You could upgrade to a smaller internal SSD...

    And avoid using any Apple Fusion drive!!!

    I'm sure that harryb will conrm that suggestion as well.

    - Patrick

  9. #9
    Should I fix this iMac or buy a new one?
    badshoehabit's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 02, 2011
    Tyneside, UK
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP Retina mid 2015 15.4" 16GB 2.5 GHz OS Mojave; iPhone 7 128gb; iPad Mini 2, 32gb
    Rep Power
    They also told me that since the iMac is now considered vintage/obsolete that they didn't really recommend that I fix it.

    They would say that, wouldn't they...

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

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