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Model A1419 / EMC 3070 / Mid 2017 / 3.4, 3.5 or 3.8 GHz Core i5 or 4.2 GHz Core i7 Kaby Lake Processor (ID iMac18,3) / Retina 5K display. Refer to the older iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display (Late 2014 & 2015) guides as the system is very similar.

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"Fusion Drive" (comprised of a flash SSD Drive & HDD) Apple $500 FIX

My 2017 iMac Fusion Drive is composed of flash SSD, mounted to logic board called a "Blade Drive", working in conjunction with a spinning 2 TB slower HD drive.

Apple says both are bad. I don't want to spend $500 repair for 7 yr old machine. It looks like from YouTube vids I can change out the HDD with a much cheaper SSD & get faster speed

My question - Can I deactivate the blade drive by software/commands vs taking the unit apart and pulling the blade SSD? Does either way work?

And if I have to pull it, then I might as well swap it out with a larger capacity blade SDD drive. But that leads to more work, and maybe software problems trying to "fuse" the blade SSD with a larger SSD (vs HDD) which was never the original intent by Apple.

I would rather just replace the HDD with a 2TB SSD, and don't physically "deal with" / "fool with" the existing blade SSD drive, and move on.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

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Sadly, you do need to remove the Fusion drive set SSD and the HDD as well. Sometimes I've managed to rebuild the HDD but it's not one I would trust.

So as you will need to go all the way in you can replace the Blade SSD with a much larger one iMac 27" 2017 Blade SSD Replacement I would go with a 1TB drive.

So what about the SATA port and whats this about fusing two SSD's?

First off you could get a SATA HDD or SSD but we aren't fusing the drives! Thats a big mistake.

Today we prefer dual drives which are independent. The Blade is setup as the boot drive hosting your apps and with enough free space for Virtual RAM and scratch space for those Apps that can use it. The SATA drive is where you hold your work and media files

Fusing two SSD's together doesn't improve performance! So don't waste your efforts doing that.

Apples reasoning for the Fusion Drive setup was to gain the performance of the faster interface and using a SSD as a cache drive to the HDD. at the time SSD's where both expensive and still not easy to get in the larger sizes which is why these blade SSD's where quite small! So they allowed one to speed up some operations but not massive copying or working on large work pieces. Today price and size is less of an issue.

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Dan, your answer was quite helpful. I appreciate your advice. So now I will plan to install two new drives as separate drives and make a bootable flash drive with the latest Ventura OS. (It's my understanding my IMAC 2017 will not handle Sonoma.). So when I boot up (and this might be a dumb question, - I'm just a novice trying to learn on these type of forums) I am assuming the blade SSD will be the drive where the Ventura OS will reside or does it make any difference? Thanks again.


@briggshome1 - If both drives are present, you will need to select the blade drive not the SATA drive. So depending on the drive size it can be hard to tell! ie. two 1TB drives would be hard to tell apart. I prefer doing one drive using painters tape to hold the display on prep the first drive then add in the second and prep it from the first drive, here we only need to format the drive from Disk Utilities.


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Also isn't the feature very, very deprecated in a lot of newer MacOS releases?

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Yes, Fusion Drives are dinosaurs! Apple kept them way to long (gouging their customer base). But this is a hardware level thing within MacOS.

Until the last Mac which has the option is no longer running supported repairable hardware. Apple needs to offer support in the OS. With that said we have a few more years (2020 + 8)


@danj I've always told people with HW repair unsupported Macs who want to keep them to just dump the Fusion setup and put a single SSD in.

This should have been a bridge solution, not kept around for as long as they did.


@nick - I don't disagree Apple should have shelved FD years ago.

I wouldn't tell people who's systems are still running to alter things as long at the last supported macOS the given system supports is still viable The old adage: If it ain't broken don't fix! Holds true!


@danj IF the internal HD or SSD fails. Not just because.


@nick - Then it makes sense!


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briggshome1 zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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