HDD transfer to new Imac

Hi all,

First post here. Looking for some help on how to transfer HDD from an IMac that doesn’t work to a new one.

Old one has the graphics card issue with grey and green lines on screen and won’t boot up….so how to transfer the data to new IMac?

Hoping someone has a work around for this.



Easiest option would be if you have a Time Machine back up - you can use that to set up the new iMac.

Failing that - if the iMac is turning on, I am thinking you might be able to put it into “Target Disk Mode”, and transfer the data over using a cable of some description…

What model is the old iMac? New iMac?



No time machine back up that I know of.
It does turn on but not boot up, just grey screen with green lines, apple symbol and progress bar are in the centre but never loads. Do not sure how I could get it in target disk mode.

Machine is 2011 I believe and don’t have a new one yet, trying to find out if a data transfer is even possible in this instance before I get a new one.

To check about Target Disk Mode - with computer off, hold “T” on keyboard and start the computer. If it works, the screen…. Well it should be blue with a yellow FireWire symbol.

The problem with this, I’m not sure how you’ll go connecting FireWire to a modern Mac… you’ll need. FireWire to USB-C adapter or something…

Alternatively - if you have the right tools - just take the iMac apart and remove the drive. Then you’ll need a hdd dock or something to mount it on your new machine…

You don’t need the “special” suction cups to get the screen off - duct tape or a toilet plunger can do!

Welcome to the forums.

As Cosmichobo said, if you’re comfortable working with hardware, you can take it apart and physically remove the drive. The 2011 iMac’s use standard SATA HDD’s or SSD’s. So you can easily pick up an external drive case for the drive you remove fairly cheaply from most computer parts retailers.
Given the iMac isn’t working, you probably don’t even need to be particularly careful in taking it apart. If you break a cable or bend a latch, it’s not going to be a problem.

iFixIt has step by step tear down guides for it. You can find the one for the 27" Mid 2011 iMac here: iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Hard Drive Replacement - iFixit Repair Guide

There is guides for the 21.5" model as well.

As long as the drive itself isn’t dead, the data is recoverable.

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I’m going to be pulling the drive out of my parent’s old 2008 iMac - COVID permitting. Not sure how much different your model is, but as long as you can get probably 1 or 2 Torx screwdrivers, you’ll be right. As @DogKnight says - if you break it, it wont matter. Just follow the steps one by one til you’re there.

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