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  1. #1
    How should I recover an HDD from a 2010 iMac?
    Hi all, first post here. My parents were using their 2010 iMac and they suddenly heard a 'zap' sound and the screen went dark. I concluded that this was probably a PSU or mobo failure/shortcircuit, and I was wondering how I would go about (or if I could) remove the HDD from the computer and extract files from it onto my PC, as they have many important documents on it.

  2. #2
    How should I recover an HDD from a 2010 iMac?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Rep Power
    You don't say which SPECIFIC iMac this is, but here are the HD replacement instructions for the 21.5" 2010 iMac. If that's the wrong size, then poke around the iFixIt site until you find the first model/year/size and you will see the step-by-step instructions to get access to the HD.

    Once you do get access to the drive, know that it is either formatted as HFS+ (likely not APFS) and Windows doesn't know how to read that format. I think Linux can read that format. Others might suggest ways of dealing with that part when it comes to it.

  3. #3
    How should I recover an HDD from a 2010 iMac?
    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac 5K Retina 27", August 2019, 3.6GHz Intel Core i9, Memory 32GB, 2TB SSD, macOS Mojave 10.14.6
    Rep Power
    I think you need another Mac to (hopefully) read the HDD.


  4. #4
    How should I recover an HDD from a 2010 iMac?
    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, Catalina
    Rep Power
    Hi and Welcome to our forums:

    As has been pointed out, remove the hard drive from the iMac, (see instructions at iFixit: The Free Repair Manual) and then attach it to your PC with a USB cable and adapter (you will need an adapter (Apple Mac Upgrades - RAM, SSD Flash, External Drives and More) for the bare drive to work).

    You will then need software to read and extract data from the Mac hard drive.

    The "How to Geek" is a good place to learn how:

    How to Read a Mac-Formatted Drive on a Windows PC

    Let us know if you need more help with this.

  5. #5
    How should I recover an HDD from a 2010 iMac?
    Rod's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
    Your Mac's Specs
    2015 MacBook Pro Retina 13" macOSX 10.15.1
    Rep Power
    Obviously if you have a docking station and another Mac you should be good to go. Alternatively a suitable External USB HDD that will accept the Mac HDD could be a solution.
    Was there no backup? Like Time Machine or similar, obviously that is no good unless you can restore it to something but at least it is saved.
    A few more details please.
    Don't be an April Fool: WORLD BACKUP DAY MARCH 31st

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