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The iMac is Apple's line of all-in-one desktop computers.

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21.5" iMac Hard Drive Compatibility

I am going to be purchasing a new iMac 21.5" at the end of May 2012. I have a few questions before I make this purchase and would love any input and suggestions.

Question one: Is the end of May a good time to buy? Mac Rumors says to wait, but has anyone else heard differently?

Question two: I recently purchased a new Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache (WD1002FAEX) hoping that would fix a boot issue with my iMac G5. It turns out the G5 is just tired and has given up the ghost.I want to take this drive and have it installed on the iMac I purchase since the drive that it will come with won't be as good. So after doing some research I have discovered that Apple is using the drives internal heat sensors and this requires the drive to be compatible with the setup. I can't seem to find any material on whether or not the drive I have is compatible. Does anybody know if the drive I have will work or not?

Question three: Will the local BestBuy be willing to do the drive swap if my drive is compatible? I know BestBuy isn't ideal, but I live in a city without an Apple store or any other Apple certified techs.

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My understanding is that if the drive does not have the proprietary Apple firmware it will not work without the fans running wild. I would get the best and largest drive from Apple that I could when ordering. Best Buy, as an authorized Apple Service provider should be able to sell you a drive that will work but will probably require that they install it. OWC has apparently figured out the issue but they're not telling and only have programs to send your machine into them, see their options here: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/i...

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Always save the box your computer comes in--you may need it some day. +


The only issue with the OWC options is that I have to purchase the drive from them. They won't install a drive for me that I already own.

OWC has a super small list of compatible drives and one of them is similar to the drive I have, but I am still not sure it's compatible.


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1. Apple is overdue for an iMac refresh. I suspect by the time you're ready to buy the refresh will have already taken place.

2. In short, no, unless apple changes things up in the upcoming refresh. The drives require special firmware to interface with the temp readings/fan control. A hardware solution has been developed but I don't know enough about it to recommend it. My recommendation would be to pick up an external hard drive enclosure and use it as a second drive.

3. No need. See my answer for 2.

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Hopefully the refresh will haven taken place by then like you said.

This is another instance of Apple meddling with things the shouldn't. It's irritating when I can't even add the hardware I want to the machine I've purchased.

I might just have to get a second OWC Mercury Elite case for my drive. I guess there's nothing wrong with have two 1TB external drives. Just wish I could have it in my iMac.


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