My answer: Yes, it’s worth repairing or upgrade internal parts of an old Mac computer.
- Mac computers are generally much more expensive than PC computers, but they tend to last longer.
- macOS and hardware is coming from the same manufacturer (Apple) and generally they run much faster than PC computers considering they use relatively low spec parts and they are much more suited for multi-tasking work. (Exception for the latest release of Mac computers which come with state of art parts – but they are astronomically expensive. Questions to be asked. Do you need such a power?)
But, there is a catch.
- It’s getting much harder every year for outside repair service providers to fix recently released Mac computers. Just like old model cars are much easier for a car mechanic to deal with.
- This post focuses repair/upgrade old iMac (I call it Big Mac), but other Mac computers (such as MacBook Pro or MacBook Air) are about the same. (In case of MacBook Pro, Apple changed the internal hard drive in 2013 model from conventional mechanical drive to much faster PCIe connected SSD, but you are not able to purchase compatible bigger capacity SSD. MacBook Air has been using from the beginning non compatible PCIe connected SSD. It means you can get to it by opening back cover with right tool, but you cannot replace it so easily. – Please refer to my previous post in case of MacBook Air.)
- As to iMac, there are very clear cut off points; Year of manufacture 2012 and 2009. After 2012, Apple changed the make of iMac. It became thinner and optical drive was removed. But Apple decided to glue front LCD display to the main body instead of covered by front glass attached to the body with magnet for previous models. This is insane! I simply cannot believe Apple adopted this architecture. Yes, it looks nicer, but using glue to attach main display to the body? So, today’s post refers to those iMac released prior to the year 2012.
If you require Mac computer internal storage upgrade service (Sydney CBD, Sydney North Shore – particularly in Chatswood, Roseville, Lindfield, Killara, Gordon, Pymble, Turramurra, Wahroonga, Warrawee, Hornsby, Macquarie Park and St Ives area) please contact Harry 0417 424 909. Or refer to our Service page.
iMac released between 2009 and 2011 is still capable of running the latest macOS “High Sierra”. (However, next macOS 10.14 Mojave will not run on those iMac). So, it means they still have good running life. Whereas, iMac released between 2007 and 2008 can run macOS “El Capitan”, but that’s about it. (There is a software patch available for those 2007-2008 iMac to run macOS Sierra, however, because of the old architecture you cannot expect such a processing speed.
Typical Symptom of iMac fails to start
You see flashing folder with question mark and iMac would not start. I dealt with many of cases like this. 9 out of 10, cause of failing to start are to do with the internal hard drive failure. It means you have to replace the internal hard drive and reinstall operating system to come back on board. (If you have full Time Machine backup, recovery of operating system and files is relatively easy.)
iMac typically use conventional mechanical hard drive (I would believe the reason is that the conventional mechanical hard drives are much cheaper with big storage space). Even the latest iMac use “Fusion Drive” (Hybrid Drive) which is a combination of conventional big capacity hard drive and small capacity SSD (Solid State Drive). I guess Apple think iMac users require more storage space than other portable type Mac computers. Conventional mechanical hard drive is much slower than SSD. As such, I normally revive those non-starting iMac by replacing the internal hard drive with SSD drive. After the repair is done, you will be surprised the same iMac runs much faster than before.
Replacing the internal hard drive of old iMac is not easy as replacing the internal hard drive of Desktop or Tower case PC computers. Apple use very thin flat cables and very tricky wire cables come with very small socket adopter. Of cause, you can try it yourself, but best ask outside service providers to fix your iMac.