Sunday, January 6, 2013

Upgrading mid-2007 24in iMac with an SSD and a 2.5in HDD in the optical bay

I own a mid-2007 24in iMac with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of DDR2 DRAM, running Mac OS Mountain Lion, and for the past few months the computer was getting slower and slower, and when I was running Windows XP in VMWare Fusion, the machine was often swapping, bringing the iMac to a crawl. Finally I decided to upgrade my iMac by installing an SSD. Two years ago I replaced the Western Digital 500 GB hard drive (that failed on me one day by giving me the gray screen of death at boot time), with a 1 TB WD caviar green which I almost filled since then (about 750 GB used).
So I wanted the fast SSD drive but also to maintain the 1 TB of space available. The solution I adopted (found on several posts on the internet) was to replace the existing SATA HDD with an SSD, and replace the optical drive with a PATA to SATA adapter hosting a 2.5in HDD. To avoid the swapping I also replaced one of the 2 GB memory modules with a new OWC 4GB module, bringing the total available memory to 6GB.

Hardware Parts

This is the list of hardware components I ended up buying for this upgrade:


Hardware Installation

Here is the picture of the tools I used to perform the upgrade (grounding wrist band, 6 Pc. mini torx screwdriver set, spudgers, vacuum cups, philips screwdriver.



I followed the instructions to replace the hard drive and the optical bay from the iFixit web site.
The following picture shows the iMac internal components.



The old 1TB caviar green HDD is shown in the following picture. The idea was to replace it with the SSD mounted on the 2.5'' to 3.5'' bay converter.



This picture shows instead the Apple optical drive (superdrive).


I removed the optical drive and replaced it with the 1TB WD Blue HDD mounted on the MCE OptiBay enclosure as shown in the following picture. I also put a piece of foam in the enclosure gap (top of picture) to prevent the HDD from moving.


Then I installed the Crucial M4 SSD inside the SilverStone 2.5" to 3.5" Bay Converter in the bottom position (there is room to install two SSD or two 2.5'' HDD), in order to align the SATA and power connectors with the iMac motherboard.




The following picture shows the newly installed SSD on the top left, and the WD Blue HDD inside the OptiBay enclosure on the bottom right. Notice I attached the thermal sensor for the SSD directly on the metal frame of the bay converter, and used tape to make sure it stays in position.



All the hardware parts described above fitted perfectly in my iMac and I didn't have to do anything special to install them except for adding the piece of foam in the OptiBay enclosure to prevent the HDD from moving around.

Software Configuration

At this point my iMac had two new unformatted disk drives and my original HDD was sitting on my desk. What I had in mind was to install Mac OS on the Crucial M4 SSD, and put the users on the WD Blue HDD. In fact 64 GB are not enough to store the users directories where for example pictures and movies take a lot of disk space. To restore the system I then followed this procedure.
  • I took the original WD caviar green HDD and installed it in a Rosewill external SATA enclosure I had laying around. Then I connected the external SATA enclosure to the iMac via an USB cable.
  • I powered up the iMac holding the option button. This gave me the option to boot into Mountain Lion from the external WD Caviar Green HDD (volume name Macintosh HD).
  • I logged in and opened the Disk Utility application. Selected the Crucial M4 disk, clicked on the Erase tab and formatted the disk by selecting the Mac OS Extended (journaled) format and naming the volume Macintosh SSD.
  • In a similar way I erased the WD Blue HD disk and named the volume Macintosh HD Users. At the end of this procedure, Disk Utility showed the following on the screen:

  • Then I ran Carbon Copy Cloner and copied all directories from the external Macintosh HD except the /Users directory to the Crucial M4 on volume Macintosh SSD (it is simple to do this since Carbon Copy Cloner allows you to select individual directories to copy from the source). I ended up copying about 32 GB to the Macintosh SSD volume, which took about 1 hour. 
  • I ran Carbon Copy Cloner again but this time for source I selected the /Users directory only from the external Macintosh HD, and Macintosh HD Users for destination. To copy 693 GB Carbon Copy Cloner took about 7 hours and 47 minutes.
  • (If you don't want to use Carbon Copy Cloner, you can copy the files directly using the ditto command. For example to clone the /Users directory: 

  • # sudo ditto /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ Users/Users/
    )

  • I then opened the Terminal app, logged in as root and created a symbolic link to the new location of the /Users directory:

  • # sudo su -
    # cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ SSD
    # ln -s /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ Users/Users/ Users
At this point I rebooted the iMac and when it came back all my original logins with their setting were magically preserved. MacOSX now boots in 13 seconds, and opening applications is almost instantaneous. Now I still had to do some tweaks to make the new setup even better. I followed the suggestion from Martin's blog (Optimizing MacOS X Lion for SSD).
  1. I went to System Preferences, clicked on Users & Groups, clicked the lock icon to unlock the advanced editing. Once unlocked, I right-clicked on each user account and chose Advanced Options from the pop-up menu. Once in the Advanced Options dialog, I changed the Home directory of the user from /Users/user-name to the new location (/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ Users/Users/user-name).
  2. I installed and enabled TrimEnabler from this web site.
  3. I set the noatime flag to prevent MacOS from updating the SSD file system every time a file is accessed.
  4. I used the WD Blue HDD for temporary files.

    sudo ditto /private/tmp /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ Users/private/tmp
    sudo rm -rf /private/tmpsudo ln -s /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ Users//private/tmp /private/tmp
I rebooted the iMac another time and verified that Trim was working, the root file system was mounted with the noatime flag and that temporary files were going to the HDD drive instead of the SSD.
Given new life to an old machine. I'm pretty happy now.

53 comments:

  1. hi Can you write a post about optimizing ssd drive in windows or linux? I really want to know, thank you all the same.

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    1. Regarding Linux, you can apply the same techniques used for Mac OS, except that these depend on the particular Linux distribution you are using. For example for Ubuntu you can follow the instructions found here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/1400/how-do-i-optimize-the-os-for-ssds. For Windows instead there are other considerations that need to be made (see http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2072259). Perhaps in the future I will also post something regarding this topic on other OSs.

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  2. Ciao Danilo,
    very good job, thanks for sharing!
    I have a mid2007 20in iMac and I am thinking of doing a similar upgrade, but I have a question: regarding the 3.5'' to 2.5'' bay converter for the ssd, can I use a generic one or it must be that model you used (silverstone sdp08)? That sdp08 is cheap in the US but I live in italy and it becomes expensive to ship them here. I can get a similar one by amazon.it, but then I dont know if it will install inside the mac, are the holes for screws in a standard position? Same question for the MCE optibay enclosure, can I use a different one?
    Thanks for your kind reply,

    Vincenzo

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    1. Ciao Vincenzo,
      puoi usare qualsiasi adattatore da 2,5 a 3,5 pollici. Sono tutti pressoché standard. La ragione per cui ho scelto il Silverstone e' che e' fatto completamente in metallo (senza plastica) ed ha un sacco di buone recensioni. Per quanto riguarda l'optibay enclosure invece devi trovare un modello compatibile con il tuo iMac. So che per esempio diversi modelli di MacBook necessitano di un enclosure con dimensioni leggermente differenti, per cui ti potresti ritrovare con un modello che o sborda fuori oppure e' troppo piccolo.

      And now in English. You can use any 2.5 to 3.5 inch bay converters. They're mostly standard. The reason why I choose the Silverstone is that it' completely made of metal (no plastic) and it has lots of good reviews. Regarding the Optibay enclosure instead you must find a model compatible with your iMac. I know for example several MacBook models need an enclosure with different dimensions, and you could find yourself with either a model too big to fit into the superdrive slot, or too small.

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  3. Hi,

    I realize this is kind of an old post, but I see you've upgraded your RAM to 6GB on that iMac 24" (mid 2007). I got the impression that those machines maxed out at 4 GB ? If you went to 6 GB, would 2x4 = 8 GB work as well ?

    (I too have such an iMac and it's a real pain in the ass since I switched to Lion and then Mountain Lion...)

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    1. I used a special 4GB module from OWC that only works when plugged into the second memory slot. When I tried to put it in the first slot the boot firmware did not recognize the memory. So OWC must have done some kind of magic to expand the available memory to 6GB in the second slot.

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    2. OK. So it works but there was a trick. Thanks for your answer.

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    3. Hi!

      My iMac mid 2007 comes with 2GB Memory (two 1GB). Can I only upgrade one slot to 4GB so the total becomes 5GB? Which slot is the second memory slot? Left or right?

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    4. I'm not sure this will work but you sure can try and see if it works. The first memory slot is the one on the left when looking and your iMac's screen with the computer standing up (or the one on the right if you lay down the iMac with the screen on a table and you open up the memory slot screen to replace the memory). Check out this video where it tells you which one is the first slot: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/imac-aluminum-faq/imac-intel-aluminum-how-to-upgrade-memory.html

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    5. Thanks for the response. I successfully upgraded the memory on the 2nd slot to 4GB, so the total is now 5GB. Unfortunately, my old HDD 320GB seems to died a few days later with the flashing question mark icon in the folder. My next project is to replace the HDD to SSD. I will for the SSD price to come down a bit before buyiny, hopefully, by holiday season!

      Thanks!

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  4. Danilo,
    What PATA to SATA adapter did you use or is it integrated in the optic bay converter.
    I'm currently looking to upgrade my HD and swap the optical drive since it has failed.
    Probably move to a firewire external optical drive...

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    1. Trent,
      the PATA to SATA adapter is integrated in the optical bay converter. I didn't have to do anything special to get the HD to work.

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  5. Hello. This looks like an awesome project for my iMac. Question: Will I be able to do the same modification to a 2007 20 INCH iMac? I replaced the HDD previously from a 250 to a 750 but between all the movies/music/and pictures, things havent been running as smooth as I would like it to. Which leads me to the thought of: SSD-OS, HDD-Media files. Hope to hear from you soon!

    Chia

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    1. Carlos Jose,

      I'm sure you can modify your 20 inch iMac the same way I did it. All components should work fine but I would double check the specs for the optical bay converter. If you follow the link to this component you should make sure to select on the web site the model compatible with your iMac version. As I previously said in another comment above, the size of the optical bay may slightly change in between versions of iMacs or Mac Books and you need to make sure you get one that will fit your slot perfectly.

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  7. Great Write-Up!

    I've recently acquired the same unit and have been looking to upgrade/improve the overall performance. Hearing you can get 6GIG on the memory is a welcome tid-bit as well.

    My plan is to strictly use the system for Final Cut Pro-X, which in talking with Apple's Pro App Group, even keeping at the OS level of Snow Leopard 10.6.8, says everything should work fine. Snow Leopard is less intensive than Lion so that should benefit me as well.

    My major concern was the compatibility of the video card, but being its dedicated as apposed to integrated, that helps a little. I was also told I could tweak the system to offload some of the GPU processing to the CPU when it comes time.

    Couple of questions...

    - What was the final total for the upgrade?

    - What software(s) do you run that you've noticed the most performance improvement on?

    - What brand (4.0GB PC-5300 DDR2 667MHz SO-DIMM 200 Pin Memory Upgrade Module) did you use?

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    1. - What was the final total for the upgrade?
      I spent about $260 for all parts

      - What software(s) do you run that you've noticed the most performance improvement on?

      VMWare with Windows XP, but in general all apps are snappier and the system itself boots in less than 15 seconds.

      - What brand (4.0GB PC-5300 DDR2 667MHz SO-DIMM 200 Pin Memory Upgrade Module) did you use?

      I used a Memory Upgrade Module from OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/5300DDR2S4GB/). This is the only module you can use to expand the memory from 4 to 6 GB when combined with a regular 2 GB standard module.

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    2. I forgot the cost of the 1TB Scorpio Blue HD (add another $100). So the total was about $360.

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  8. Ciao Danilo!
    Inanzitutto volevo farti davvero i complimenti, anche perchè metti le tue conoscenze a servizio dei comuni mortali!!!

    Io ho un iMac 24" 2,4GHz fine 2007 e mi sarebbe piaciuto "pimparlo" come il tuo! Mi reputo ancora abbastanza ignorante in materia, ma dando una spulciatina sul web penso che non sia tanto complicato auto-potenziare il proprio iMac e di farcela da solo! Il fatto è che ieri ho ordinato un HD SEAGATE Barracuda 7200.14 ST1000DM003 3,5" 64MB da 1TB (sperando che i forum non si sbaglino sulla compatibilità) e oggi ho "scoperto" che esiste anche un modo per sfruttare lo spazio inutile di quel dannato MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-875 che non ha mai funzionato a nessuno! Ho appena portato anche la RAM al massimo consentito (4Gb).

    QUINDI TI CHIEDO UMILMENTE: Dal momento che lo smonterò per sostituire l'HD, che tipo/modello di SSD mi consgli di acquistare compatibile con il mio affezionato iMac? Chiaramente il massimo che potrebbe supportare, così da poterlo utilizzare ancora per qualche anno, e se potrei anche io sfruttare l'HD madre che "asporterò" montandolo su Rosewill external SATA come hai fatto tu!
    Ti ringrazio anticipatamente e scusa ancora per il disturbo!
    Buon proseguimento di serata!

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    1. Mario,
      l'hard drive Seagate che hai ordinato va bene solo se vuoi sostituire quello originale da 500 GB. Se invece vuoi usare un SSD, devi anche comprare un adattatore da 2.5 a 3.5 pollici, visto che il SSD ha le dimensioni di un hard drive da 2.5 pollici mentre il disco originale della Western Digital e' da 3.5 pollici. In questo caso pero' se metti il SSD nell'unico SATA slot disponibile nel tuo iMac, non potrai anche usare il drive Seagate da 3.5 pollici perché 1) non c'e' posto per un'altro drive cosi grande e 2) c'e' solo un connettore SATA disponibile. L'unica soluzione se vuoi sia il SSD che un hard drive da 3.5 pollici e' quella di comprare un hard drive da 2.5 pollici assieme con un adattatore optibay da usare al posto del DVD superdrive posto al lato destro dell'iMac. Infatti l'adattatore optibay ha internamente un connettore che converte da PATA a SATA necessario per collegare un'altro hard drive. O in alternativa puoi utilizzare il Seagate come drive esterno mettendolo in un enclosure SATA con uscita USB o Firewire.
      Idealmente basterebbe il solo SSD se non costasse un occhio della testa. Per esempio potresti comprare un SSD da 512 GB ma sono sicuro che in Italia costerebbe più di 500 euro. La soluzione che ho adottato invece e' un compromesso di costo e performance. Basta installare il sistema operativo su una SSD relativamente piccola (io ne ho comprata una da 64 GB) e poi piazzi tutti gli utenti con i loro files sull'hard drive da 1 TB . In questo modo ottieni la velocita' che desideri nel caricare i programmi, e tanto spazio per salvare musica, films, eccetera. Leggendo le recensioni su internet, io di consiglio comunque di prendere un SSD della Crucial oppure della Kingston, che sembra vadano bene (io ho comprato un Crucial più di nove mesi fa e non ho ancora avuto problemi - facciamo le corna).
      Se invece non hai bisogno di tanto spazio puoi accontentarti di un SSD da 128 o 256 GB e appunto tenere il Seagate da un tera byte come disco esterno. Sta a te scegliere cosa fare.
      In ogni caso se scegli i componenti che ho elencato all'inizio di questo post, sarai sicuro che funzioneranno con il tuo iMac visto che e' lo stesso che ho io. Fammi sapere se hai ancora dubbi.
      Ciao

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  9. Ciao Danilo e grazie per la tua disponibilità!
    Adesso sono del parere di fare un copy/paste della soluzione che hai adottato tu, anche perchè oggi il tizio del Segate Barracuda mi ha voluto rimborsare per via di esaurimento scorte dell'HD in questione (a quanto pare vanno a ruba) ma se tu mi consigli il WD Scorpio Blue da 1 TB 2.5' per non avere sorprese una volta acceso allora procedo! ;)

    Il mio vero problema sarà (al momento dell'accenzione) riuscire a far capire all'iMac cosa dovrà fare con due driver; nel senso che a smontare e rimontare non avrò problemi, ma dato che sono ancora ignorante in materia, mi piacerebbe conoscere meglio passo passo tutta la procedura da seguire, dopo averlo acceso, per far riconoscere l'HD e l'SSD, per poterli leggere/scrivere e in quale dei due inserire il sistema operativo nel modo giusto, senza correre rischi dato che non potrò utilizzare il cd di istallazione.
    So che hai già spiegato tutto per bene sopra, ma non avendo esperienza purtroppo non capisco molti termini o cosa fare dopo aver scaricato Carbon Copy Cloner! O.O
    Prometto di non disturbarti più dopo e ovviamente potrai rispondere con calma e quando avrai tempo!
    Grazie ancora Danilo! :)

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    1. Mario, prima di tutto se vuoi usare la mia soluzione dovrai comprare un HD da 2,5 pollici. Non e’ importante che sia un Western Digital Scorpio blu, puoi comprare anche altre marche (io di solito prendo o Western Digital oppure Seagate).
      Riguardo alla configurazione software di cui sopra non e’ poi tanto difficile.
      Una volta installato l’hardware, quando riaccendi il Mac, dovrai fargli fare il boot dal vecchio drive che avrai rimpiazzato e che avrai montato in una scatola esterna compatibile coi SATA drive, e collegato al Mac via cavo USB.
      Al momento dell’accensione dovrai premere il tasto “option” (penso si chiami “alt” nella tastiera italiana – comunque e’ il tasto vicino al tasto “cmd”), di modo che il computer ti dara’ l’opzione di fare il boot dal drive USB esterno. Seleziona il drive esterno e poi clicca sul tasto di Invio.
      Una volta il computer e’ ripartito, fai il login nel tuo account e apri l’applicazione Utility Disco (Disk Utility) che dovrebbe essere nelle Applicazioni-> Cartella Utility.
      A questo punto devi formattare i due nuovi dischi (SSD che avra’ preso il posto del vecchio disco SATA, e il nuovo SATA 2,5 pollici installato al posto del superdrive ottico).
      Dall’applicazione Utility Disco, seleziona a turno i due dischi e formattali usando il format di default che dovrebbe essere qualcosa come Extended (journaled). Fai attenzione anche a dare un nome intuitivo ai due Volumi. Io ho scelto Macintosh SSD per il drive SSD e Macintosh Utenti HD per il SATA drive da 2.5 pollici.
      L’idea qui e’ poi di installare Mac OS sul drive SSD e riservare solo le cartelle degli utenti sul SATA drive da 2,5 pollici. Ora potresti usare il disco di MacOS per installarlo direttamente sul SSD ma perderesti tutti i programmi addizionali che avrai installato sul tuo iMac da quando l’hai comprato. E’ per questo che invece usando Carbon Copy cloner ti basta solo copiare le cartelle giuste sul drive giusto e non avrai bisogno di nient’altro.
      Quando lanci Carbon Copy Cloner, seleziona come sorgente (Select a source) il disco esterno collegato via USB. Di default tutti i sotto direttori (cartelle) saranno selezionate. Deseleziona quella che contiene gli utenti (/Users in inglese - non so come venga chiamata sul Mac italiano). Poi seleziona come destinatario il nuovo disco SSD appena formattato. E poi clicca su “Clone”. Questa operazione copiera’ tutto il contenuto del disco esterno sul SSD eccetto i direttori degli utenti.
      Quando Carbon Copy Cloner ha finito, fai un operazione simile ma questa volta come sorgente seleziona solamente il direttorio degli utenti, e come destinazione scegli il nuovo drive interno da 2,5 pollici appena formattato.
      A questo punto avrai ottenuto il risultato di restaurare il tuo disco originale in due parti di cui il sistema operativo verra’ copiato sul disco veloce SSD, mentre I file di utente andranno a finire sul disco lento da 2,5 pollici.
      Poi dovrai aprire l’applicazione Terminal e battere dei comandi a mano come super utente (root). Se crei dei Volumi con nomi differenti, dovrai cambiare I seguenti comandi appropriatamente:

      sudo su -
      cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ SSD

      ln -s /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD\ Users/Users/ Users

      Per maggiore chiarezza, se invece di usare spazi bianchi nei nomi usi una barretta, dovresti usare I seguenti comandi:

      sudo su -
      cd /Volumes/Macintosh_SSD
      ln -s /Volumes/Macintosh_HD_Users/Users/ Users

      A questo punto fai il reboot del Mac senza piu’ toccare il tasto Alt, e il sistema dovrebbe ripartire automaticamente (ma molto piu’ veloce), facendo il boot dal nuovo disco SSD. Dovresti vedere la schermata di partenza e poter fare il login come al solito.
      Opzionalmente dovresti anche seguire le mie instruzioni di sopra per fare la taratura del sistema di modo che il disco SSD non venga utilizzato troppo (perche’ ha un ciclo limitato di scritture). Se vuoi ti posso tradurre anche questa parte dell’installazione software. Fammi sapere come e' andata.
      Buona fortuna.

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  10. Hi,
    It's possible to only change the Superdrive with a OpticalBay+SSD, install Mavericks in the SSD and keep the 3.5inch HDD for media files?

    Thank You Very Much

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    1. Sure, it is possible. After you install your new SSD and installed Mavericks on it, go to System Preferences -> Startup Disk. You should see two disks - the new SSD and the old HDD. Select the SSD to use to start up your computer. This way next time you reboot your computer, it will automatically boot from the SSD.
      Regarding the old HDD, I suggest you to reformat it to get rid of the old OSX in order to have more room for you media files.

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  11. Danilo - great blog and write up. Just purchased an SSD, 240Gb from Crucial and the kit needed for the upgrade for a iMac 2007. Already cloned the OS across and booted successfully so that all works but not connected internally yet, will be doing that in the next 1-2 weeks. Reading your blog, I am now considering removing the DVD drive and adding a new drive, either a 500Gb or 1Tb hybrid drive. Assume that it is possible to use the DVD still outside the Mac but in an enclosure and connected via USB? Thanks Dan

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    1. Dan,
      yes it is possible to use the old DVD drive by putting it in an external enclosure. As a matter of fact when I bought the OptBay enclosure from MCE I also bought from them the DVD enclosure which worked perfectly with my DVD drive. The only drawback was that it came with two USB cables - one for power the unit and one for data - but other than that the DVD still worked as expected and also the eject button on my keyboard causes the DVD to eject as expected.

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  12. Many thanks Danilo - I just need to find somewhere to purchase these in the UK, sadly Amazon does not look like it has it but I am sure I will find somewhere to purchase :-)

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  13. Danilo,
    Thanks for the great advice! This sounds exactly like what I need to do on my 2007 imac. My hard drive crashed - ugh! My question is: I've priced out the items you got and they now amount to over $537! I'm having trouble comparison shopping for more competitive rates because it seems like the items are older (so why are they more expensive??). Are there other options that might be less pricy or newer models for each? I'm talking about the SSD hard drive and the Scorpio Blue hard drive specifically. Thanks for any info you can offer!! - KM

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    1. If you live in the U.S, Amazon has a Crucial 128GB SSD for $69 (http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-240GB-2-5-Inch-Internal-CT240M500SSD1/dp/B00BQ8RM1A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1395368983&sr=8-3&keywords=ssd), and a Seagate 1TB internal HD for $81 (http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Momentus-2-5-Inch-Internal-Notebook/dp/B007PG25UU/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1395369127&sr=1-1&keywords=seagate+internal+hard+drive+2.5)

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  14. Thanks for your prompt response! Yes, I'm in the US (Arizona). I don't see that first hard drive for $69 on Amazon - it says $110 (I'm not a prime member). I copied your link directly into my search bar. I do find the other one for $81. It says it's for a notebook, but I'm on an imac. Will that still work? Thanks again!!

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    1. Sorry about that. I'm sure you can find other SSD drives on sale either on Amazon or Newegg.com. Recently all the Kingston SSDs have dropped in price.
      Regarding the HD the important thing is the form factor: you need the small 2.5 inches SATA Hard Drive to fit into the Optibay enclosure, and traditionally all the 2.5' drives have been called "notebook" drives. But you can get any 2.5' drive you want provided it has a SATA interface (you don't need the modern 6Gbps SATA: also the old 3GBps will work since out iMac only supports the old speeds).

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  16. Hi

    Great article

    If I retain the original HD and put the SSD in the OptiBay enclosure (as suggested by Sergei above), will the resulting system be as fast? or will it always be more efficient to have the SSD in place of the original HD, directly connected to the SATA interface?

    thanks

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    1. Hi,
      by looking at the Optibay specs (http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/) it looks like you can still achieve the nominal speeds of 3Gb/sec which is the maximum speed supported by the SATA interface on the mid-2007 iMac. So there should not be difference where you put the SSD drive.

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    2. Just wondering if this worked out for you? I am about to embark on a similar upgrade, i.e. retaining the original HD and putting the SSD in the OptiBay and to boot from that...

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    3. Malur,
      I cannot answer your question because I put the SSD in the original HDD position. But again in theory it should work just fine.

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  18. Danilo, I'm planning to do this, however I was wondering if there would be any problem with using a WD 2.5" SATA III drive which is 6 Gb/s? The one you have listed is becoming rare to find and double the price.

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    1. Greg, no there should be no problems in using a 6GB/s SATA drive, it should still work well, except that since the bus speed is limited to 3GB/s, you won't be able to reach read/write speeds greater than 3GB/s.

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    2. Danilo, after I've completed changing both drives, I just get a blank screen. I think it is the LCD connector, I've tried it twice but same results. Any suggestions?

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    3. Greg,
      if I understand you correctly this is normal. When you replace the original disk and the optical bay with two unformatted disks, the system cannot boot anymore. You need to take the original disk containing MacOSX and put it in an external enclosure so you can connect it to your iMac via a USB cable. Then you restar the iMac by pressing the Option button and you tell the boot loader to boot from the external drive. Once the system is up you can then format the disks as explained above. The final step is to clone the SSD with your original hard drive content. An alternative is to boot from a MacOSX original CD and then install the OS from scratch, but all of your users and settings will be lost this way,

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    4. Danillo, Ok, I have all the hardware runnig. I downloaded a new copy of OSX which is running off the SSD. I copied the users files onto the HD. Now I am trying to set up the users from HD users. When I try to login in at root (I have no unix experience) it gives me an incorrect login on terminal. If I just hit return or type in my user password, it says incorrect. Any suggestions?

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    5. never mind, I did it another way. thanks

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  19. Are you still using this computer? Is it still going strong? Ken

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    1. Ken,
      yes I'm still using this computer and I had no problems with it.

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  20. Danilo, since SSD prices dropped quite a bit since you've posted this, I imagine I could just replace my current 3,5" 1TB WD HDD for a 2,5" 1 TB SSD with just the 3,5" to 2,5" adapter, right? I already have the same 6GB of RAM and running Yosemite, and my iMac is still ok, but not really fast. I've purchased the MCE OptiBay Enclosure for SATA Hard Drive for iMac and paid a lot for it with shipping costs (to Brazil), my it got stuck in brazilian customs and they wanted a +100% fee for me to get it. So, that ship has sailed, with my OptiBay on it. And I can always use my new 1TB SSD with any other new mac machine after my 2007 iMac rests. If I do this, then I wouldn't need any other fancy setting up to do right?

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  21. Luiz Eduardo,
    you are correct. You can just replace the old HDD with a 2.5' SSD with just the adapter. And then you just need to install the software on your new SSD.
    Sorry to hear that you lost your OptiBay adapter.
    Good luck.

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  22. Hi Danilo, I'm ready to do this but I can't find the optical drive bracket/adapter. OWC only seem to have ones for iMac 2009 models. Can you advise on where to get one from? Alternatively, would it work if I put the SSD in the existing HDD place (on SATA) and then access all my other files from the old HDD in an enclosure running though a firewire connection? Thanks in advance. Craig

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    1. Craig, sorry for the late response. I don't know where to find another bracket/adapter for the optical drive. But you can certainly do what you are suggesting, i.e. put the SSD to replace the old HDD and put the old HDD inside a SATA enclosure external to the iMac. My solution had the advantage of not requiring an external enclosure, but again it still works without a problem.

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  24. ciao Danilo, non so se hai ancora questo Mac ma come era la velocità del hard disk? arriva almeno a 40MB/sec o e' più lento di usb2 ?...

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    1. Molto più veloce: ecco uno snapshot preso con BlackMagic Disk Speed Test : https://sites.google.com/site/dgtechblogscripts/DiskSpeedTest.png?attredirects

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