Apple announces 27-inch iMac 3TB Hard Drive Replacement Program

Apple has determined that a very small number of 3TB hard drives used in 27-inch iMac systems, may fail under certain conditions. These systems were sold between December 2012 and September 2013.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace affected hard drives free of charge.

Apple is contacting affected iMac owners who provided a valid email address during the product registration process to let them know about this program. If you have not been contacted, but think you have a 3TB hard drive, you can enter your serial number to see if it’s part of this program here.

Source: Apple Inc.


  1. My late 2012 iMac has been acting up – extreme slow down that leads to freezing, and then the weirdest thing – it would make the start-up sound and shut down! I couldn’t find anything about this type of problem online. Plugged in my serial number and I now have a Monday appt. for a hard-drive replacement. Thanks for helping me out – I was getting worried my iMac might be a lemon.

    1. When you are purchasing a HDD, reliability is by far the most important criterion. HDD warranties are nice, but they are like flood insurance – you hope to never, ever use them.

      Seagate used to produce some of the best HDDs. They offered a five-year warranty for a reason. Then came the industry rush to the low-price bottom and the acquisition of Seagate by Maxtor, I believe. Now Seagate is just a trashed brand name and its HDD products some of the least reliable in the business. When you see 1-star ratings in the range of 20%, there is a problem.

      It has been a while since I bought a HDD but, the last time that I researched HDDs, Hitachi and (I really hate to say it…) Samsung appeared to be the most reliable vendors, in general.

  2. My iMac failed this time last year. The Fusion Drive lost it’s directory. Since it was still under warranty, I took it to the Apple Store to have them remove the HD and SSD so I could take it to a data recovery service(didn’t realize my Time Machine had not run a backup in 6 months). They said they couldn’t give me the drives unless I paid for them. I agreed and they took it in for service. When they called me to pick everything up, they left the SSD(with the old directory) in the iMac and reformatted it along with a new 3TB HDD.

    When I took the old 3TB drive in for data recovery, I got back 2.5 TB of files now named “00000001.jpg, 002372628.psd, ect…

    After a year, I’ve almost completed sorting through the files.

    1. I had my 3TB drive replaced last summer. I had them give me the HD but not the SSD (I know, I screwed up). I still have that drive but I can’t put it back together because I’m missing the SSD part of the Fusion Drive.

      What data recovery service did you use? I was able to restore most of my stuff but I had a folder of very large files that I purposely didn’t back up because it was so big. I’m tempted to purchase the same Seagate model in a lower capacity and swap the boards between the devices in an attempt to get the drive spinning again.

  3. There was a report a few weeks ago talking about 3TB drives reliability compared to the same manufacturer’s 4TB drive.. it’s was like 40-50% higher failure rate.

    It’s NOT Apple, it’s the drive manufacturer(s)

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