Can iMac have 2 hard drives? (Explained, Guided)

Many people owning an iMac have been raising questions like, can iMAC have 2 hard drives or not?

Fundamentally, it’s an important question, especially if you’re a frequent iMac user. A hard drive carries more benefits than you could imagine. It stores operating systems, software programs, and various essential files in daily use. Most importantly, it controls a hard disk’s reading and writing, providing data storage. Your hard drive serves the role of both primary and secondary storage devices in a computer.

This non-volatile data storage device proves beneficial at every point. Usually, it’s installed in desktop computers, mobile devices, consumer electronics, and enterprise storage arrays in data centers. HDD is needed to retain data once the computer powers off.

 Can iMac have 2 hard drives

 Can iMac have 2 hard drives?

Multiple hard drives ensure quick and easy data backup by creating multiple copies of files esp[especially in case of hardware failure or user error. Advanced users protect their data by using redundant array independent disks. In case one file becomes corrupted, the mirrored device provides redundancy.

But what about an iMac? As we know, iMac has a different mechanism than our regular PC.

Your iMac already has 2 internal devices. If your iMac has a solid state drive, it will provide lightening fast disk access and speed up the speed of Mac OS X Lion, giving your system an overall performance boost. As iMacs have a lot of spare room, you can easily install 2 hard drives. It’s cost-effective and expands storage capacity

How to connect 2 hard drives in the iMac?

Until 2010, Apple didn’t have the option to install a second hard drive, But now, you can insert it by following these steps.

  1. Loosen the screws and remove the access door from your Mac
  2. Use a finger or spudger to slide the black plastic RAM tray and pull it out.
  3. After pulling the black plastic tray away, Eject the RAM chip from the socket.
  4. Slide the Ram chip out of its socket with the help of your finger
  5. It’s better to fix two heavy-duty suction cups on the top corners of the glass panel
  6. Gently lift the glass panel perpendicular to clear steel mounting pins
  7. Carefully set aside the glass panel after setting it aside
  8. Remove the eight T10 Torx screws securing the LCD to the outer case.
  9. Lay the iMac on a flat surface but use a thin tool to lift the display out of the frame
  10. Carefully pull the vertical sync cable out of the socket
  11. Squeeze the data display cable together to unlock it from the socket
  12. Pull out the display data cable from the socket
  13. Rotate the display to disconnect the LED backlight cable from the LED driver board. 
  14. Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable
  15. Pull the display out toward the top edge of the iMac and lift it out of the outer case.
  16. Remove the four T10 Torx screws securing the optical drive to the outer case.
  17. Pull out the optical drive thermal sensor connector from the socket
  18. Insert the spudger
  19. Slightly lift the edge of the optical drive from the right side of the outer case
  20. Remove the rear I/O board ribbon cable. It reveals the optical drive fan connector and disconnects the fan by pulling the connector away from the socket,
  21. removing the single T10 Torx screw, and Pull the visual drive fan away from the outer case
  22. Use your fingernails to remove three connectors on the right side of the logic board
  23. Remove two cable connectors from the left side of the logic board, including the IR sensor board cable. Also, remove the SATA power cable
  24. Lift and rotate the logic board out of the iMac
  25. Attach male junction to original hard drive power and carefully route the branch of SATA power splitter
  26. Connect the SATA power and data cables to the secondary hard drive.
  27. Press secondary hard drive against the iMac’s aluminum frame

A simple version of connecting two hard drives to iMac: ]

  1. Open the Mac by unscrewing
  2. Remove the optical drive
  3. Connect the SSD or second hard drive
  4. Make sure you check if the drive is installed correctly or not.
  5. Move OS X to the SSD but make sure you’ve downloaded the carbon copy cloner
  6. The external super drive needs configuration
  7. Enjoy your fast Mac without any worries

Read: How do I replace my iMac screen?

 Do all kinds of hard disks compatible?

Universally, not all hard disks are compatible. The compatibility is determined by the suitable interface of the motherboard, the right slots, and the correct form factor for the drive bay. When it comes to an iMac, generally, hard drives are compatible. Until and unless there’s some internal issue.

Before installing a second hard drive in iMac, consult an expert technician or professional to guide you better. The upgrade process is not easy. Also, ensure a complete data backup just in case worse happens. Here’s a list of some hard drives for your iMac

  1. Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD
  2.  LaCie Mobile SSD
  3. WD 5TB My Passport Ultra
  4.  G-Technology 14TB G-DRIVE
  5. Seagate Ultra Touch SSD 1TB
  6.  Samsung T7 Touch
  7. LaCie Rugged SSD Pro
  8. OWC Envoy Pro Enclosure
  9. Samsung Portable SSD X5
  10.  Seagate Portable 1TB

Read: How do I fix slow Safari on my iMac?


In contrast to popular opinion, buying a  hard drive for an iMac is similar to purchasing a third drive for your pc. There’s no rocket science behind it except the difference that drives for Mac are designed using upgraded Thunderbolt data that transfers data fast, especially for photographers and video editors.

Feel free to connect two hard drives to your iMac but make sure if you’re not tech-savvy, take an expert’s help. Single hard drives benefit employees, so make the right decision and get two hard drives for your iMac. For further queries, check the Apple website.

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