Mac hard drive test - just failed big time on my iMac, how hard will it be to replace.
I was having the typical symptoms of a hard drive failure so I got a copy of Scannerz and ran tests on it. The initial scan showed errors and irregularities, and the product says to re-scan in cursory mode over the defective region to confirm that the drive is really the problem and not something else like a faulty cable. They all confirmed, so it's clearly the drive, not the logic board or a cable. Scannerz did a great job, unfortunately it found fairly widespread damage running from about 16G into the scan all the way up to 24GB. Some of this is apparently readable, but some of it isn't. The manual offers some "fix-it" attempts that I'm not interested in trying. This is a late 2006 iMac, and this is the original 160GB drive.
This is a 2006 17" iMac, and the screen went about a year and a half ago, which is a common problem with this unit. Instead of tossing it or paying about $250 for a new display, I essentially converted it into a multi-media center. I put the unit against a wall so I don't have to look at all the lines running through the screen, attached a good display to the video output port, and I'm feeding the audio cables into an amp with real stereo floor standing speakers. It's actually quite good as a baby multi-media center. As you might guess, this isn't my only Mac.
In any case, I've never opened the unit up, and because of the unit's age I don't want to throw a lot of money at it. All it needs is a hard drive. This isn't a "critical" system.
Here are my questions:
How big of a pain is this job? I've replaced the HD on an old 12" iBook a few years ago using the step-by-steps at iFixit.com, and that took me about 2 hours. I don't do this for a living, by the way. How long would someone like me, that's careful, by the way, take to replace it?
Are there any "gotcha's" that I need to worry about?
I was thinking about getting a refurbished drive instead of a new drive. Some vendors of refurbs claim that a lot of the units are overstocks that never sold in the first place and they're given the refurb label because the manufacturer doesn't have to honor the warranty. I tend to believe this because why would a manufacturer waste money actually repairing a drive instead of replacing it, considering their cost these days?
Any tips would be appreciated, especially about the "gotcha's" and reliability of refurb's. Keep in mind, this isn't a primary system any more, just a toy more or less.