compatible upgrade hard drive for imac/

Posted on 2013-05-22
Last Modified: 2013-05-22
The hard drive in my 24" Aluminium Imac (early 2008) , 2.8Ghz has gone kaput, - it was a 500gb, and am looking to replace it with a 1 TB drive.

I'm ok with taking apart and re-assembling, (this will be the second drive replacement), but I have no idea what to look for regarding make and model of the proposed replacement.  

I'm in London for a few days at the moment, and have a few options.  Go into an Apple shop and pay top dollar for a replacement, which is probably the least troublesome, but most expensive.  
Can anyone recommend a drive, make, and model that will suit the bill?  
I'm aware that some drive have temperature sensors, and some don't etc.. so all advice is welcome.

Thank you in advance

Question by:stokesydel
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 39187058
Any SATA drive of the right form factor should work.

Expert Comment

ID: 39187102
At a high level you'll need a 3.5" SATA hard drive.  The question back to you would be are there any specifics you're looking for?

Do you want speed?

Do you want quiet and energy efficient?

Do you have any brand preferences?

If you're just looking for a decent 1TB 3.5" SATA drive then there are plenty to choose from at pretty good prices.  3.5" drives are up to 4TB per drive these days so 1TB drives are pretty cheap.

Newegg has around 50 1TB SATA drives available right now ranging from $65 to around $140.

Author Comment

ID: 39187135
I'm not familiar with the terminology. " form factor". Could you please explain?  :-)
I'm always eager to learn

Thanks for the reply.
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Author Comment

ID: 39187150

"At a high level".. Not at all sure what that means!..  In answer to your question ..."what am I looking for". Reliability, speed, low noise.   In that order.
Thank you for your help.


Expert Comment

ID: 39187153
The form factor refers to the size of the drive and what type of computer it fits in to.

3.5 inch form factor is your standard desktop drive
2.5 inch form factor is your standard laptop drive
1.8 inch form factor is your standard size for smaller laptops

Your iMac was designed with a 3.5" drive.  

The good thing is that all SATA drives that are 3.5 or 2.5 inch have the exact same power and data connections.  It isn't uncommon for a 3.5 inch drive to be replaced with 2.5 inch drives.  Most of the time when folks do that they have to buy a 2.5 to 3.5 conversion kit so that the drive can be mounted properly.

How much are you wanting to spend on this?
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 39187156
The right physical size - 2.5" or 3.5".

Expert Comment

ID: 39187158
The right physical size for your machine is 3.5"

Accepted Solution

jpgobert earned 500 total points
ID: 39187174 - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB

They're good drives, carry a 5YR warranty and have great performance.

I personally stay away from Seagate consumer drives after too many problems with them.  Their enterprise drives are great though...
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39187686
Any 3.5" SATA drive will work. I put a 2.5" SSD in my 24" iMac and made it work by using some custom brackets.

If you do want a SSD you can't use the standard 2.5" to 3.5" adapters. All 3.5" SATA drives will work though.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39188884
Took your advice and bought the Western Digital from a shop in London. They were asking £110 for it - I paid £100.  Very likely could have got it online for less, but that's the job done now.
Thanks to you all for your help and advice.


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