With the 2011 iMacs, it’s become even harder for users to upgrade their machines without paying Apple their pound of flesh.
Other World Computing, known for their excellent line of Mac-specific hard and solid state drive upgrades, have discovered that new mods made to the 2011 iMac make it impossible to do an upgrade to your main hard drive itself.
The problem is the SATA power connector for the main hard drive bay, which has switched from a 4-pin config to 7 pins, which works in conjunction with Apple firmware to control the fans for drive temperature.
The result? Replace your iMac’s main hard drive, and your fans will start spinning out of control. Your once silent office becomes a wind tunnel.
“In short, the Apple-branded main hard drive cannot be moved, removed or replaced,” OWC says.
What does that mean? Well, for now, the only way to upgrade your iMac’s main hard drive is to pay Apple for the pleasure.
There is some slight good news, though: if you want to add a secondary drive either by installing it or using eSATA, that should still be doable. If you didn’t pay for the option, though, don’t expect to hack in a third-party SSD and boot your iMac from it.
It’s obvious Apple hates users opening their own computers, but this is just getting ridiculous.
Update: Reader Ben Surtees wrote to suggest one possible way around the new restriction on upgrading your own main hard drive: HDDFancontrol, his free app that automatically controls the HDD fan speed using the temperature obtained from the drive’s S.M.A.R.T data.