OWC Updates Hard Drive DIY Kit For Expanding Factory Installed Storage Capacity for All 2011 iMac and 27" 2012-Current iMac Models

Complete DIY Kits Available from $64.79 Enable All 2011 iMac and 27" 2012 iMac Owners to Install Any Serial ATA Hard Drive up to 6.0TB and Retain Proper System Operation

Apr 17, 2014 | Woodstock, IL


Other World Computing (OWC®), a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, today introduced the OWC Hard Drive Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Kit for all 2011 iMac and 27" 2012 iMac models. The kit enables iMac owners to replace the factory installed internal hard drive with up to a 6.0TB hard drive for expanded storage and backup capacity. Fully supported with step-by-step video and installation tools, the kits feature a custom power cable with an in-line digital thermal sensor that ensures proper factory fan operation and full compliance with the Apple diagnostic testing.

The Problem: Custom Drive Firmware
With the introduction of the 2011 iMac, Apple factory drives contained custom firmware that communicates thermal data to the System Management Controller (SMC). Standard, retail replacement drives do not contain that firmware, and Apple does not make it available to third-party manufacturers. Without proper communication, the SMC is unable to monitor hard drive temperature to regulate iMac fan speed. As a failsafe, the blower fans run at full speed and the Apple Hardware Test will report a failure. Despite various 'hacks' and workarounds (one that simply disables SMC monitoring, which can potentially lead to hard drive or system damage) the best solution had been to skip the upgrade and settle for Apple's factory drive. For more information on this topic, visit the OWC Blog.

The Proven Solution: OWC Hard Drive DIY Kit w/Thermal sensor module
The OWC Hard Drive DIY Kit provides a custom engineered digital module with a thermal sensor which installs in-line between the new drive of the customer's choice and the existing Apple factory cabling. The thermal module is programmed to communicate drive temperature data to the SMC in a similar manner as the original, factory installed drive. Now all 2011 iMac 21.5" and 27" owners and all 27" 2012 iMac owners can:

  • - Install any standard 3.5" Serial ATA hard drive with capacities up to 6.0TB
  • - Retain proper cooling via SMC bay monitoring and fan speed management of thehard drive bay per Apple factory settings
  • - Pass Apple diagnostic testing

"The Hard Drive DIY Kits for 2011 and later iMac models represent OWC's steadfast commitment to the DIY upgrader/servicer," said Larry O'Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. "Our kits represent the only complete, proven solution for obtaining higher storage/backup capacity while retaining proper system operation."

The OWC Hard Drive DIY Kits for all 2011 iMac and 27" 2012 iMac Models Include:

  • - NewerTech 14-Piece Toolkit
  • - NewerTech Microfiber Pro Cleaning Cloth
  • - Custom iMac to HDD SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface and power cable with in-line Digital Thermal Sensor
  • - Two (2) suction cups for outer glass removal

Availability, Pricing:
The OWC Hard Drive DIY Kits are immediately available with all required installation tools from $64.79. OWC also offers this solution without tools included starting at $47.99.

For all Apple iMac 2011 Models (both 21.5" and 27" models):

For Apple iMac 2012 with 27" Display (not required/compatible for 21" model):

Also available, iMac SSD Upgrade/Installation kits for select iMacs from $22.50:

Double the Factory Maximum RAM
To enhance the increased storage/backup capacity the OWC DIY Hard Drive Kit provides, 2011 and 2012 iMac owners can also choose an upgrade with up to double the factory maximum installed RAM with OWC's 32GB MaxRAM Kit. Memory upgrades of 8GB and 16GB starting at $99.79 are also available from OWC with savings of up to 50 percent compared to factory upgrade prices and are backed by OWC's free installation videos and a lifetime limited warranty. Customers can enjoy additional savings by utilizing OWC's Memory Trade-in Rebate Program and receive cash back for original Apple factory memory or previously installed OWC memory.

New Use for the Factory Drive
After using the OWC Hard Drive DIY Kit to perform the drive upgrade, 2011 and 2012 iMac owners can continue to utilize the factory original hard drive as an external solution. OWC offers a variety of award-winning adapters, docks, and enclosure kits priced starting from $39.99.

Let the OWC Pros DIFY
If, after watching the how-to video, iMac owners are not fully confident of their ability to add a larger hard drive to their machine, they can choose to have OWC "Do It For You" via the Turnkey Upgrade Installation Program. Starting from less than half the cost of factory SSD options, iMac owners can have OWC professionally install up to three award-winning OWC Mercury Solid State Drives up to 480GB each with data rates of up to 2x faster than factory SSD options. Program options also include a larger capacity hard drive of up to 6.0TB and certified Memory Upgrades of up to 32GB. Owners of 27" iMacs also have the option of OWC installing the industry's only eSATA interface and experience data transfer rates up to 600MB/s. OWC's installation service program offers multiple configuration options starting at $169 with a 48 business hours or less installation turnaround.


About OWC

Other World Computing (OWC), founded in 1988, is dedicated to helping Mac and PC enthusiasts do more and reach higher. We believe in sustainability – OWC solutions are genuinely built to last, go the distance, and enable users to maximize the technology investment they have already made. OWC's operation provides leadership in business sustainability, with its headquarters among the first in the world awarded LEED Platinum certification. OWC features an award-winning technical support team and an unparalleled library of step-by-step DIY and informational videos. From the home desktop to the enterprise rack, the corporate backup to secure medical data, the recording studio to the motion picture set, and beyond, there should be no compromise. That is why OWC is here.

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Company Contact

Nathan Papadopulos