:( iMac Hard Drive Replacement (Part 1)

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Over the past week, since I last had Time Machine run on the iMac, I purchased a few items from iTunes and downloaded some new e-mails. I decided it was time to run another backup so after work I powered up the iMac.

And then I heard the hard drive click of death…

The only thing that appeared on my screen was a folder icon with a question mark in the middle of it. Unfortunately, it’s very clear that the system hard drive has failed.

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Upgrading an ASUS EeeBox PC EB1006 Hard Drive (and Copying Partitions)

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I still had about 70 GBs of free space on the ASUS. However, I needed more free space to add movies, or more likely, add my wife’s music to its iTunes library.

Rather then spend money on a new hard drive this month I decided to re-purpose an external, portable drive. Typically, the small portable drives are nothing more than a drive enclosure with a 2.5″ SATA hard drive. The ASUS drive was somewhere around 150 GBs. The USB external drive was 250 GBs.

I didn’t take photos of the process, but the actual drive swapping isn’t very complicated and I’m sure there are already numerous guides available on the Web.

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Monoprice Communicator C1 (SATA HDD Docking Station)

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I’ve been eyeing a hard drive dock for the past few years, mostly for the convenience it would offer. My toolkit already includes an IDE and SATA to USB adapter along with a couple of USB drive enclosures. The advantage of the dock is that I could have an adapter in a dedicated location that doesn’t require removing any screws or re-arranging cables in order to connect a bare drive.

I recently ordered one from Monoprice for just under $22. It arrived today and I connected it to my Mac. I haven’t used it much, but I did drop a 500 GB, 3.5″ SATA drive in and I can state that it does work. How well it works or holds up will be appended to this post in the future, if there’s anything noteworthy to add. I’m using it via the USB connection – my current iMac doesn’t have eSATA capability. I like that it has an on/off switch – a feature that isn’t always included in USB hard drive adapters.