Hybrid Hard Drive Helps My Sanity 2013 iMac
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I bought a 2013 iMac and was disappointed with the factory installed 5400rpm 1 TB hard drive being so slow (I use solid state hard drives in my other systems and wasn't accustomed to such slow boot and access times). I decided to try out a hybrid hard drive looking to speed things up a bit.
I have plenty of experience installing/changing hard drives, screens, anything computer related. I read much about the new iMacs being "non-user serviceable" and "unfriendly to modify". I prepped myself psychologically for opening up my new Imac. I didn't want to end up with something I could only sell for parts or use as an expensive paperweight.
I ordered the ifixit adhesive strip kit with the little cutting wheel tool for removal of the screen/display on late model (thin) 21.5" iMacs. I ordered a 1 TB seagate hybrid hard drive.
Step 1: Clone the original hard drive to the new hybrid drive using an external hard drive housing (docking station), usb connection and Carbon Copy Cloner.
Step 2: Follow the ifixit guide and complete each step in order. IT'S EASY! Just follow the steps, carefully remove the screen/display assembly and the hard drive is easily accessible. Install the new hard drive and reinstall the screen/display. I installed the hard drive and held the display in place temporarily by applying scotch tape to the four corners and taping it to the body. This allowed me to test the new hard drive prior to permanently applying the adhesive strips to the display. Everything works perfectly. The hybrid hard drive boots in half the time of the original hard drive (18 secs vs 35 secs) and access times when opening programs are noticeably faster.
Follow the ifixit guide step by step and be careful. The whole process from start to finish took no longer than the hard drive replacement in my 2008 iMac-less than an hour after cloning the hard drive.
Clone your hard drive first (if you can) and boot from it as an external drive so you know your system (hard drive) will boot when installed.
Put your system together temporarily, install the new hard drive and tape the display in place to make sure it boots properly.
Follow the ifixit guides carefully.
The process went so fast I forgot to take photos. The ifixit guide has them for each step.