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Model A1419 / Late 2012 / 2.9 & 3.2 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac13,2

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Access data on Apple Fusion Drive [Updated]

I have an iMac 27" (late 2012) i7 with 3TB Fusion Drive. The main board is dead and will cost me much to replace it, therefore, I'm planning to buy a Mini M1 and be able to access my work saved on the fusion drive.

Some websites say that both HDD and SSD should be accessed at the same time due to some sort of data blocks distribution that I don't understand. My question is, if I buy a 3.5" enclosure with power supply, would I be able to access the HDD as an external drive, or do I have to use those expensive software/hardware to do so?

Should you require more details or need any clarification, please let me know.

Thank you!

============ Update 19 July

When I try to mount is I get

Could not mount “disk4s2”. ( error -119930868.)

Beantwoord! Bekijk het antwoord Dit probleem heb ik ook

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What is your goals here? You need to give us a bit more! Which drive are you moving out the SATA HDD or the blade SSD? And why.

The two drives make up the fusion drive set so it would be helpful in knowing if one is failing or failed


@danj Hi Dan, thank you for your reply. The main board of my imac 27 (late 2012) is dead, but the drives are fine. I have 3TB fusion drive, I just want to be able to access the files on the drive. I read somewhere that both SSD and HDD should be accessed at the same time if I want to retrieve any data, because some blocks are distributed between both drives. Thank you in advance Dan. [I updated my question]


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A Fusion Drive is not the same as a RAID set! What is RAID?

A RAID-1 setup would require moving both drives. But a Fusion Drive set is a bit different. Here we have one storage drive a second drive which is used as a cache drive. All of the data is stored on the spinning SATA HDD. The small blade flash SSD function is to hold copies of the most access data blocks (mostly the OS and drivers and the application which is in use)

So the bottom line here is you only need to remove the HDD following this guide iMac Intel 27" EMC 2546 Vervanging van de harde schijf and you'll need an adapter which offers power like Universal Drive Adapter or an external case like USB 3.1 (10Gbps) HD Case for 3.5” SATA Drives to USB-A

Universal Drive Adapter Afbeelding


Universal Drive Adapter


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@danj thank you so much for your detailed answer. The workshop will remove the HDD, as they tried to fix but to no avail. I found OWC HDD case, would that be enough? Once I plug it in the new Mac, would I need any extra software to access it or it will be shown as an external hard drive? OWC Gabinete de Almacenamiento Mercury Elite Pro 7200 RPM con USB 3.2 5Gb / s


@missmyi7 - That case will also work, just remember you need the power supply as the USB power offering is not enough to power these drives. It will look like it will but as soon as you stress the drive you'll create Data errors!

Depending on what you get for a new system you might need a USB-A to USB-C (Thunderbolt) adapter so you can plug in the drive.

When you turn on the new system to set it up it will asked you if you have anything to migrate over, select yes plug in the drive and it will work you though the steps. Most Apple Stores/resellers can help you through the process so you might want to bring the drive with you (in the case).

If that answers your concerns, don't forget to accept the answer - Thanks!


@danj thank you again Dan. I’ve found a cheaper enclosure (WAVLINK Carcasa para discos duros HDD de 3.5", (SATA I/II/III, USB 3.0) I’ll order it and wait to collect the dead mac and the new one. I’ll watch more videos on data migration. I’ll keep everyone updated. Have great weekend!


@danj one question, would I need temp sensor? I will be using it as an external drive, only to store work. The mac mini I'm buying is 512GB, only apps will be installed there.


@missmyi7 - The sensor is for your iMac SMC logic to monitor the drives temp when it is inside the system with the other heat sources.

Not needed here within a single drive case. If you had a multi-drive rack with four or more then the rack hardware would have its own thermal monitoring solution.


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