Swapping HDD in 2009 and later iMac? OWC to the rescue!

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I just read this blog item on OWC's website and thought it'd be worth sharing. As many of us know, replacing an HDD in 2009 iMacs and onwards is not as simple as it used to be. The 2009 and 2010 iMacs require a brand-specific cable for thermal monitoring but otherwise can take an off-the-shelf drive (well not exactly true anymore... more on that) while the 2011-onwards require a drive with custom firmware supplied by Apple.

According to the OWC blog, the manufacturers have been changing and even removing that port on the drives, so the old brand-specific cables can no longer be relied on to be re-used in the 2009-2010 iMacs (I've gotten burned by this myself, but at the time thought the shop was simply screwing up). Thankfully OWC has a permanent solution courtesy of an adapter that works across all iMacs from 2009 and onwards, letting you use off-the-shelf drives in all iMacs, including the 2011-onwards that normally require a drive with Apple's custom firmware.

OWC In-Line Digital Thermal Sensor Solves iMac Hard Drive Compatibility Issue | Other World Computing Blog

Beginning with the Late-2009 model, upgrading the hard drive in your iMac was no longer as simple as installing the new drive of your choosing.

As we reported on the Rocket Yard, Apple changed the game when it came to hard drive upgrades. In Late 2009 and 2010 models, Apple introduced a different cable for each brand drive that forced users to install the same hard drive brand in order to upgrade.

But with the evolution of modern hard drives, this is becoming harder to accomplish. Fewer and fewer drives can actually still be swapped brand for brand. Since 2009, several of the major hard drive manufacturers have merged companies and technologies.

So thermal pinouts on some drives had started changing and other drives no longer even had the thermal sensor pins to connect to in the first place. Our former recommendation of swapping out brand-for-brand is now outdated, but that doesn’t mean we’re leaving our customers high and dry.

OWC announced today its In-Line Digital Thermal Sensor kits, which makes the brand-for-brand drive swapping a non-issue! With this OWC solution, all the compatibility issues are fixed and you’ll be free to upgrade your iMac with ANY brand 3.5″ SATA hard drive. So not only have we expanded your drive options for updating your iMac, we’ve done so with no software hacks necessary and complete AHT diagnostic compatibility.
 
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chscag

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That's great news. I wonder if they will now extend their turn key program to include the 2012 and 2013|2014 iMacs?
 
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Nice find and good for OWC.
 

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