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Apple Replacing 3 TB Hard Drives in Some 27-inch iMacs

Apple has established a replacement program for some 3 TB hard drives in 27-inch iMacs sold between December 2012 and September 2013. These drives may fail under certain conditions. The program covers affected iMacs until 19 December 2015 or until the third anniversary of the original sales date, whichever period is longer.

You can enter your iMac’s serial number at Apple’s support site to see if it qualifies. If it does, you can get a free replacement at an Apple retail store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Apple also says it will reimburse anyone who has already paid for repair or replacement.

Before you have your iMac repaired, be sure to back up your data, preferably twice! If you don’t know where to start, check out Joe Kissell’s new “Backing Up Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide.” This isn’t just a precaution; once you get your iMac back, you’ll need to restore your data from backup.


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Comments about Apple Replacing 3 TB Hard Drives in Some 27-inch iMacs
(Comments are closed.)

B. Jefferson Le Blanc  2015-06-22 23:03
What problems can be expected with these drives. What symptoms should we be looking for?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-06-23 08:47
Apple has never said anything beyond that they "may fail under certain conditions."
Miro Lucassen  2015-06-23 03:26
The program seems to cover also iMacs with 3TB Fusion drives, although this is not stated on the support pages. I will bring in mine later this week and keep you posted on the results.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-06-23 08:46
Oh, interesting - I guess that would make sense, if the hard drive portion of the Fusion drive was the same mechanism.
Miro Lucassen  2015-06-26 09:41
And indeed. At the appointment with the Genius Bar in Amsterdam last Wednesday the genius guy on duty started the iMac via network. They have a bunch of diagnostic tools ready that way. Within max 2 minutes the first tool ran into the message Failed - bad sectors found. Then he ran another tool to check other components like RAM and gpu. No further errors found.
The dialog boxes of these tools where MacOS9-like by the way. Nostalgia!
Of course the iMac had to stay for repair. Indicated is 3 tot 5 days. However, today I simultaneously received an e-mail and a phone message that the machine was ready for pick-up, so that's exact 49 hours.
My Time Machine back-up is running a restore now; this may take a while, this model iMac is USB 2.0.
Richard E Spatz  2015-06-23 08:48
By the Grace of David Danian of 1Password who read one of my logs after I had difficulty with a backup (guess why) and let me know he thought my iMac Fusion Drive would fail eventually.

At first Apple denied the problem. But with David's log as evidence and the persistence of my senior AppleCare advisor who reached the same conclusion as Dave, a second look from Apple resulted in their concurrence. A replacement with a new Fusion Drive was accomplished off-site at the repair facility, and I am grateful Apple finally concurred. Also greatly appreciate Dave's excellent support. Lucky me for not having to find out the hard way/
John E. Payne  2015-06-23 17:59
Maybe a coincidence ... but maybe not: an InfoWorld article on Jan 22 ’15 ( reported that Seagate 3TB drives failed at a much higher rate than Western Digital or Hitachi drives, based on the experience of cloud backup service Backblaze, a company that runs tens of thousands of drives of all kinds. Were the failed drives that Apple’s replacing Seagates?