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iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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Which internal hard drive do I need?

I would like to purchase a new 1TB internal hard drive for a Late 2009 3.06 GHz 27 iMac.

I noticed here on ifixit in the parts store section that "[i]f you have a 21.5" or 27" iMac, you must replace your hard drive with a drive made by the same manufacturer as your current hard drive. These iMacs utilize the hard drive's internal temperature sensor to control fan speeds. In all other machines you can install a hard drive produced by any manufacturer."

OK. So I looked at my system profiler and it says the following under Serial-ATA:

''NVidia MCP79 AHCI:

Vendor: NVidia

Product: MCP79 AHCI

Speed: 3 Gigabit

Description: AHCI Version 1.20 Supported


Capacity: 1 TB (1,000,204,886,016 bytes)

Model:ST31000528ASQ Revision: AP24

Serial Number: 5VP3M70J

Native Command Queuing: Yes

Queue Depth: 32

Removable Media: No

Detachable Drive: No

BSD Name: disk0

Rotational Rate: 7200

Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)

S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified


Macintosh HD:

Capacity: 999.86 GB (999,860,912,128 bytes)

Available: 660.35 GB (660,350,308,352 bytes)

Writable: Yes

File System: Journaled HFS+

BSD Name: disk0s2

Mount Point: /''

The available brands listed for a 1TB SATA internal drive here on ifixit are Hitachi, Western Digital, and Seagate. Are any of these compatible? Or do I need to find a vendor that sells NVidia drives?


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The "NVidia MCP79 AHCI" is actually the SATA controller chip on the motherboard.

Your hard drive is a "ST31000528ASQ" which means that you have a Seagate 3.5" drive. If you Google "ST31000528ASQ" you'll find that some iMac owners are hearing abnormal noises from this Seagate drive.

You need a compatible Seagate backup/replacement drive since you must stay with the same brand so the hard drive temperature sensor works properly. If the sensor doesn't work, the hard drive fan may run too fast (making an annoying loud noise), or the fan may run too slowly to properly cool the drive.

For more details on this issue and a list of hard drives which are known to be compatible with this new method of sensing hard drive temperature, see this page:

The other factory-installed hard drive commonly seen in these late 2009 iMacs is the "WDC WD1001FALS" which is a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB drive.

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I bought the matching drive (Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB) for my Late 2009 iMac and still messed up the little wiring that keeps the fan from spinning out of control.

Fortunately, Someone pointed me to software fan controls:

If I could go back in time I would definitely have spent the money on an SSD and let software sort it out.

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Absolutely true, I've just upgraded mine with an ordinary HDD and the fan doesn't stop rotating.

Any suggestions for a 2 TB compatible HDD For this model (iMac 10.1) ?

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Ahmed - What was your original HD you had in the system before you switched your drive? Please tell us the exact make & model what you had and what you now have. We might be able to get you running here without having the fan going on all of the time.


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Butch zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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