back to article Apple extends fail-prone Seagate HDD swap scheme

Apple has extended its 2011 iMac hard drive replacement scheme. Originally pegged to all-in-one desktop maps purchased between May and July 2011, the programme now runs from October 2009 to July 2011. If you own a 21.5in or 27in iMac bought new during that period, you may qualify for a free hard drive replacement. At issue …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Replacing the harddrive in iMac is easy

    Follow the iFixit guide for the iMac. You'll need Torx T10, T8, and T6 screwdrivers, a Philips #1 screwdriver, a flat-head screwdriver (or a strong plastic/acrylic spatula that doesn't scratch) and two tile suction cups or a glass/window suction cup grip.

    The glass front does lift off fairly easy if you use the suction cups. Do *NOT* try to lever it out with a screwdriver or something similar. I recently used the iFixit guide to replace the optical drive in my iMac and it was done in 25 minutes flat.

    1. Velv

      Re: Replacing the harddrive in iMac is easy

      If I'd paid iMac money for a computer I'd be expecting Apple to send someone to me to fix a known fault.

    2. Erwin Hofmann
      Thumb Down

      "Outside App, Inside Crap" ...

      ... and fail they do ... I replaced two of them already. A task, actually, not for the faint hearted. what astound me though, very much, is the fact that Apple assembles an old "rusty" 3.5" Seagate drive, in such a narrow space (I assume overheating is the cause for the problem) ... a surprisingly unsophisticated design choice ... well, speaking of "unsophisticated design choices", I remember the ordeal replacing a harddrive in an iBook G3/G4 ... horrible ... that's where I coined the phrase: "Outside App, Inside Crap" ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can't fault the customer service

      On this.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fair do's - at least they are replacing them. I suspect many other manufacturers would wait until they actually fail.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge


      As anecdotal evidence I know someone with a 2006 iMac with a hard drive that has died twice in its lifetime, I've got a 2007 iMac with a hard drive has just died, I know someone else with a 2007 iMac (the same as mine) with a dead hard drive, and someone else with a 2007 MacBook which a known overheating fault causing... dead hard drives. And now we have 2009 iMacs with extended guarantees for dead hard drives.

      I'll keep fixing it until it finally gives up the ghost, but I'd need a lot of convincing to get another one which is a shame as I quite like the OS, well, Snow Leopard. After the Mountain Lion it starts getting a little too iOSy and the next version of the OS looks like it could easily get locked down should Apple decide to do so.

  3. Shardik

    Website failure...

    That link is the one I tried yesterday, told me my 2010-purchased 27" iMac with 1TB Seagate drive was NOT eligible for replacement.

    I phoned the Apple Store, they checked my Serial Number and said yes, it was covered. They asked if I'd checked it on a US site.... so looks like this site is not correct for UK machines. If it says you are ineligible and you know you have a 1TB Seagate drive, give Apple a call...

    1. ahd

      Re: Website failure...

      The website recognised my S/N for a UK purchased Imac and my machine is covered. However, I have only just had the drive replaced at a cost of £250.00. I spoke with an Apple advisor who knew absolutely nothing and was surprised when I referred him to the weblink. Now have an appointment at the Genius bar that undertook the repairs but the apple technician I spoke with was not confident my money would be refunded. I feel a game of running in decreasing circles starting here!

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Website failure...

        Actually, you should. This is how warranty issues are discovered - too high failure frequency.

        You were ahead of the announcement, but AFAIK, Apple will have to roll back the transaction as you now have solid evidence that it WAS a warranty issue. However, this only applies if you replaced like for like. If you upgraded drive size you may have to argue for a refund, and only may get something to the value of the original replacement drive.

        In this case, Trading Standards (or Consumer Direct) will be your best ally - give them a call. They'll descend like a tonne of bricks on Apple if they try to keep a charge for what has turned out to be a warranty issue.

      2. AJ MacLeod

        Re: Website failure...

        Let me get this straight... you were seriously charged £250 by Apple to replace the hard disk in iMac?! I think I might have been undercharging quite significantly... either that, or you've been severely ripped off.

  4. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Urgh - hate how the HDD is fitted..

    Apple uses a 3.5" for the iMac (at least the older ones) with a VERY short data lead. If you want to replace that drive with something that is a bit more zippy such as an SSD or the SSD cached Seagate Momentus XT you have to fiddle with hard disk frames - and that %ç& short data cable isn't exactly helping either (and you also need a VERY small TORX).

    On the flip side, the screen surface comes out very easy as it's only held in place by magnets. If you have a window-sucking GPS, just use that sucker and pull out straight (see iFixit). It doesn't need much force, actually.

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