iMac models from 2009 now covered under hard drive replacement program

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple on Friday quietly extended its iMac 1TB Seagate Hard Drive Replacement Program coverage back two years to include models sold from October 2009, effectively adding almost two years to the initiative which previously included machines sold between May and June of 2011.

iMac 3


News of the extension, first reported by MacRumors, was posted to Apple's Support webpage sometime on Friday, which noted email notifications were being sent to affected iMac owners who took the time to register their products. Users can also check the program's webpage to confirm eligibility.

From the announcement:
Apple has determined that certain Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail. These systems were sold between October 2009 and July 2011.
iMac owners who were affected by the Seagate-specific failure can have their hard drives replaced for free from Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or those who have already paid for repair or replacement can contact Apple for a possible refund.

First initiated in July 2011, the recall originally ran through July 23, 2012 and covered iMacs sold between May 2011 and July 2011. The program was subsequently extended for an additional year. With Friday's announcement, the replacement plan has been broadened again, and now covers affected iMacs for three years after the first retail sale of the unit or until April 12, 2013, whichever provides longer coverage.

Seagate's storage components were at the center of another fiasco in 2007, when Apple acknowledged that a number of MacBook and MacBook Pros shipped with faulty hard drives. An apparent manufacturing flaw caused the drive head of some units to permanently fail, scratching the disk patter and causing permanent data loss.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27


    "iMac models from 2009..."  Was that the last time Apple released an iMac?  It sure feels like it. image


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  • Reply 2 of 27
    moxommoxom Posts: 326member
    rot'napple wrote: »
    "iMac models from 2009..."  Was that the last time Apple released an iMac?  It sure feels like it. :rolleyes:
    /
    /

    Lol!
  • Reply 3 of 27
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    Honestly we need to get away from Mechanical storage devices.  I know of flash drives that have lasted longer and have been more durable than mechanical magnetic storage drives.  Eventually the storage technology will become so proficient that it will be stupid to use a non SSD in your machine.  Good riddance to power hungry technology.

  • Reply 4 of 27
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member


    Seagate is the best for failing drives. Too many horror stories. They are noisy even when idle and prone to fail.

  • Reply 5 of 27
    I have an early 2008 iMac whose HD failed in 2010. The second HD I replaced recently with an SSD. Now if only I could do something about the fan noise...
  • Reply 6 of 27
    One or two trips to some authorized service provider, time spent on the road and waiting for the machine costs much more than ordering a new drive online, and then replacing it yourself in a few minutes.

    This will work until each and every Apple device is glued together. Pentalobe screws are no problem, but heat guns do create stress.
  • Reply 7 of 27


    Good news!

  • Reply 8 of 27
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kcartesius View Post



    One or two trips to some authorized service provider, time spent on the road and waiting for the machine costs much more than ordering a new drive online, and then replacing it yourself in a few minutes.

    This will work until each and every Apple device is glued together. Pentalobe screws are no problem, but heat guns do create stress.


    The hard drive on my older iMac (might have been 2009, but I haven't heard anything from Apple) failed 6 months ago.  It never occurred to me to ask Apple about it.  I just looked up the replacement instructions from MacFixit (and YouTube, etc.), ordered a new raw drive and did it.  I already had a the funky screw driver set and it wasn't that hard (maybe an hour total).


     


    The best part: Time Machine made getting all the programs and data reloaded a friggin' dream.  Sure it took a while for the OS to get installed and then recreate everything, but it required very few clicks/keystrokes and was very straightforward (Do you want to restore from a Time Machine backup? Yes, please. Click. Done.).


     


    So Boo to crappy hard drives and thumbs up to easy, intuitive, no-thought-required backup and restore systems (like Time Machine).


     


    If you don't have an external hard drive connected to your Mac with Time Machine turned on, just do it.  Seriously.

  • Reply 9 of 27
    Yes, it would be great to DIY it, kcartesius, except Apple changed the temperature sensor firmware in the drive and replacing it with a standard Seagate will send the fans into overdrive. Researched it. Steered away from it...

    As I have a late '09 27" iMac purchased in April 2010 with a 1TB Seagate drive that has actually had problems, I was very pleased by this announcement. Then I keyed in my serial number and apparently they still won't replace it. What other criteria is being used?

    Time for a call to the Apple Store...
  • Reply 10 of 27
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    tylerk36 wrote: »
    Honestly we need to get away from Mechanical storage devices.  I know of flash drives that have lasted longer and have been more durable than mechanical magnetic storage drives.  Eventually the storage technology will become so proficient that it will be stupid to use a non SSD in your machine.  Good riddance to power hungry technology.

    Sure - if you don't mind spending well over $1 K extra for your storage compared to a 1 TB platter disk. Think about the cost for a major server farm with petabytes of storage.

    The market is moving that direction and eventually, the cost will probably be competitive. But it's certainly far too early to get away from mechanical storage devices.
  • Reply 11 of 27

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jemster View Post



    Time for a call to the Apple Store...


     


     


    Well, we just hope Apple can help you or it wont be another waste of money. Do they replace it free of charge?

  • Reply 12 of 27
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    fatusmiles wrote: »

    Well, we just hope Apple can help you or it wont be another waste of money. Do they replace it free of charge?

    Generally with these programs, if the drive fails during the program period they replace it for free. If you had to pay to replace a failed drive from the group in question they will refund the costs.

    But they won't just replace working drives. There has to be something that shows failure or imminent failure that isn't due to user damage. And if they find signs of tampering or if parts in the machine were replaced with unauthorized parts, you screwed yourself as always.

    And this is likely only about the original drive in the machine. If they already replaced the drive under warranty/AppleCare, your machine is out of the program. Which is why my computer is listed as ineligible, according to AppleCare
  • Reply 13 of 27


    My drive started throwing bad sectors (lots of them) and I spend $$$ on Drive Genuis to repair it (spare bad blocks)... it just kept getting worse.  Ran my # and it said it wasn't eligible.  I am far from an Apple store, so finally made it this summer and got it replaced under Apple care.  Now, if I run my #, it is in the covered group.


     


    I have mixed feelings on this issue...  in Canada especially, it is a huge issue to locate an actual Apple-authorized repair shop outside the major centres.  They won't accept a mail-in repair, and if you drop it off, they won't mail it back.  Back in my PC days, I had a Dell guy at my office in 4 hours to replace a laptop screen that had a stuck-pixel.

  • Reply 14 of 27
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    My drive started throwing bad sectors (lots of them) and I spend $$$ on Drive Genuis to repair it (spare bad blocks)... it just kept getting worse.  Ran my # and it said it wasn't eligible.  I am far from an Apple store, so finally made it this summer and got it replaced under Apple care.  Now, if I run my #, it is in the covered group.

    I have mixed feelings on this issue...  in Canada especially, it is a huge issue to locate an actual Apple-authorized repair shop outside the major centres.  They won't accept a mail-in repair, and if you drop it off, they won't mail it back.  Back in my PC days, I had a Dell guy at my office in 4 hours to replace a laptop screen that had a stuck-pixel.

    I don't know about Canada, but in the US, if you're not within convenient driving distance of an Apple Store, Apple has always had a mail in policy for AppleCare. I've sent a number of devices in by mail.

    Either the policy has changed or Canada is different. It's worth calling them to see, though.
    charlituna wrote: »
    Generally with these programs, if the drive fails during the program period they replace it for free. If you had to pay to replace a failed drive from the group in question they will refund the costs.
    But they won't just replace working drives. There has to be something that shows failure or imminent failure that isn't due to user damage. And if they find signs of tampering or if parts in the machine were replaced with unauthorized parts, you screwed yourself as always.
    And this is likely only about the original drive in the machine. If they already replaced the drive under warranty/AppleCare, your machine is out of the program. Which is why my computer is listed as ineligible, according to AppleCare

    Not always. I had a problem which was fixed under AppleCare (hard drive failure). They replaced it with the same drive size. When the drive failed later, it was also replaced under AppleCare. Either I was lucky or their policy is more flexible than you are suggesting.
  • Reply 15 of 27


    Oh I called... a lot...  the options were to deliver it to an 'Apple store' myself, or courier it to another authorized shop (Simply Computing or London Drugs are some of the options for me).  Given the risk of some kid screwing up my screen doing the swap, I was lucky enough that it stayed alive until I could take it to Apple.


     


    They were freakishly busy, and in hindsight sending it to a smaller shop might have been better... they never addressed the issue of yellowing on the bottom and edge of my panel (no, not from smoke).  And, they wanted to argue with me about it being the drive... wanted to reformat it and send it home with me... I showed them multiple screen shots from Drive Genius and still had to fight with them.


     


    I've had fantastic phone support for software issues... hardware wise... not so good.

  • Reply 16 of 27
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member


    I wonder if they'll let me purchase a bigger hard drive instead of putting a stock replacement back in? I replaced the drive in my early 08 iMac without issue but I hear finding a drive for the Late '09 is a bit trickier due to the temp sensor.

  • Reply 17 of 27


    Strangely enough I phoned the Apple Store, they took my serial number and keyed it in and said yes, I'm covered.


     


    I told them the website said I wasn't, they questioned whether it was a US site (I'm in the UK) and I admitted it probably was. However, having now found a definite UK Apple site link , I just thought I'd retry keying it and... it still says I'm not covered.


     


    So just sayin', but if you're in the UK and being told you're not covered, give the Store a call, you may be surprised.


     


    Now I have the unenviable task of backing up and wiping my iMac to take it in to the Store on the hope that what I was told on the phone was the truth, and not what the website says...

  • Reply 18 of 27
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    djrumpy wrote: »
    I wonder if they'll let me purchase a bigger hard drive instead of putting a stock replacement back in? I replaced the drive in my early 08 iMac without issue but I hear finding a drive for the Late '09 is a bit trickier due to the temp sensor.

    Usually, they won't. The warranty covers only the same hard disk size.

    However:
    1. Sometimes, they put in a larger drive because of availability. I had a 500 GB drive replaced with a 1 TB drive on my iMac once.

    2. If you buy a larger drive, they will probably install it for you if your old one can be replaced under warranty. At least you'll save the cost of installation.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Usually, they won't. The warranty covers only the same hard disk size.

    However:

    1. Sometimes, they put in a larger drive because of availability. I had a 500 GB drive replaced with a 1 TB drive on my iMac once.

    2. If you buy a larger drive, they will probably install it for you if your old one can be replaced under warranty. At least you'll save the cost of installation.


     


    That was exactly what I was shooting for. I don't care about the cost of the drive and would expect to pay for a bigger drive that wasn't in the original, but I'm wondering if they will cover the labor costs since they have to open it and swap the drive.



    Wondering if anyone has done this during a warranty replacement of the hard drive before?

  • Reply 20 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    I've used Seagate on and off since the 1970's. I never learn. I can't remember one that didn't fail.
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