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OWC Introduces DIY Kit to Add SSD to 2011 27″ Apple iMac

Other World Computing today introduced the OWC DIY Kit for 2011 27″ iMac models. The kit enables owners to add a high-performance SSD in addition to existing factory hard drive. After performing this installation, which comes fully supported with a step-by-step video, iMac owners will enjoy near instantaneous booting and application launches along with data transfer rates up to 559MB/s. While OWC highly recommends its Mercury SSDs for the Apple iMac, this kit is fully compatible with all 2.5″ Serial ATA SSDs.

OWC DIY Kit for 2011 27″ iMac Includes:

Double the Factory RAM

To complement the improved drive performance that the OWC DIY Kit provides, 27″ iMac owners can also choose to add up to double the factory RAM with OWC’s 32GB ‘MaxRAM’ Kit. Same-sized factory memory upgrades of 8GB and 16GB are also available from OWC with savings up to 84 percent compare to factory upgrade costs and come backed by OWC’s free installation videos and lifetime warranty.

Let the OWC Pros DIFY

If, after watching the how-to video, iMac owners are not fully confident of their ability to add an SSD to their 2011 27″ iMac, they can choose to have OWC “Do It For You” via their 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 and with data rates over 2x faster than factory SSD options. Program options also include a larger capacity hard drive up to 4.0TB and certified Memory Upgrades up to 32GB. 27″ iMac owners 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.

“Ever since we announced our Turnkey Program for the iMac in July 2010, there’s been a huge demand from iMac owners asking us to create a DIY kit,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “This kit, and it’s really a solution with the how-to video, enables ambitious ‘do-it-yourself’ iMac users to completely transform their machine with performance they cannot obtain from the factory. We offer the Turnkey program because adding a drive to the iMac is a challenging upgrade. I am pleased we’re now offering this DIY Kit to meet the demand of users who are up for this challenge.”

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  • Kit worked great, but I did cause a little smudge via my thumb on inside display. What is best way to get off?

  • I bought your SSD upgrade for my daughter’s 2011 MacBook Air 11″ a few months ago. That means i now have a 64GB SSD lying around. Would be great as a start disk in my mid 2011 iMac 27″, alongside the 1 TB HD. Will your kit work?

  • I took my 27 iMac 2011 to apple to get ssd installed and they told me that its not possible.In obout this mac I see 3 ports .One is for my internal hdd ,next is there but its not connected and third is for optiarc dvdrw.So as I see I have 3 ports.Am I wrong somehow?

  • I have Apple iMac 21.5″ 2010 model.
    I want to upgrade to 256Gb SSD drive by removing the original SATA hard disk.
    Please kindly advise if this is possible? How much will it cost?
    If yes, is there DIY video available to learn how to do it?

    Appreciate your advice asap.


    Tin Maung Win

    • We don’t currently offer a Turnkey Service or DIY product for that particular installation on our website – not that it cannot be done.
      If you contact our Sales Team at 1(800)275-4576 via email or live chat, they can arrange the upgrade and quote pricing for installing an SSD into the hard drive bay of your 2010 Apple iMac 21.5″
      We may in the future offer a DIY kit of this nature, but – due to the level of difficulty of this installation and the fact that we individually hand-craft some components – this upgrade is offered in-house only at this time.

  • Hi. I have one imac 27 buyer one month ago. I buy yout kit and i installed without problems. Now, i can’t install mountain lion because system restarts countinuously. However, lion and windows seven works fine. Why?

    • There’s not really enough information in your question to determine what the cause of the problem you’re having is and the best source to contact for assistance is our dedicated Technical Support Team.
      We just kinda pinch hit on the blog ;-)

      For assistance in troubleshooting your issue, please contact our Technical Support Team at 1-815-338-8685, via live chat, or email. They will be happy to help figure out what is causing the restarting issue.

  • I bought this kit and after watching the video once straight through was able to do the upgrade in one hour.

  • I installed this kit on my 27″ Mid 2011 iMac with a Crucial 256gb M4 drive. Upon bootup, the fan started howling and hasn’t stopped even after several reboots.

    Is this a hardware problem or software problem? I was not able to find any FAQs or Support documentation on your website.

    • No FAQs or support documentation will be found. As stated in the product description, technical support for the DIY kit consists only of the video instructions found on the page.
      That said, there isn’t any reason that the fans should be running full blast because of the addition of an SSD itself as they don’t add too much additional heat themselves. What sounds more likely is that one of the heat sensors in the machine may have been dislodged during installation. When one sensor fails to report temperature the iMac errs on the side of caution and the fans default to full speed to protect the system from overheating.

  • Really looking forward to the 21,5 video. Have my new SSD on the desk and actually planned on going in blind, but your 27″ iMac video was so good, that I decided to wait for the 21,5″ one. Any ETA?

    • Hi Rasmus….that video could be posted as early as end of day today…all depends on if any issues found in post production.

  • Regarding the OWC brand thunderbolt equipped devices, is it too early to know if the price will be competitive (or close) to installing an internal Apple SSD? I realize there is an extra cost because of the case and the thunderbolt chips and cable. I’m assuming the advantage is the OWC SSD will be faster.

  • Question for OWC Michael or other with iMac breakdown experience.

    When I have taken in my iMacs for service, they have some sort of roller that cleans the screen prior to putting glass covering back on – so as to remove any dust that may be between the two. Does OWC recommend, sell, or know where to purchase that product. My only hesitation with removing glass is that dust particle will get b/w it and the screen.

    • That roller that Apple uses is similar to a lint roller or schticky – except the roller works based on static cling rather than adhesive or water. Nice product if you’re cleaning a lot of screens, but the microfiber cloth provided in the kit does the same thing. In the video we also suggest using the original shipping bag from the sale of your iMac to cut down on the chance of dust settling in the first place.
      Now, if the glass or screen was dirty in the first place or gets dirty while doing the install somehow we do have another product that I found works great for cleaning the external of the LCD and the cover glass and that’s the Lenspen VidiMax Ultra LCD/Plasma Premium Cleaning Kit. The carbon formula cleaning pad is great for removing fingerprints and smudges, and the built-in soft brush does a great job at attracting dust as well while giving you a handle grip for some leverage. Just be very careful when cleaning the glass when removed from the machine. I found a freshly washed bath towel laid out over the kitchen table made a solid surface lay the glass on to clean the inside, then I installed the glass to clean the outside surface.

  • Did you disconnect the cables on the back ports before tilting the motherboard to install the sata cable?

    • No, that would counter the point of plugging them in in the first place. The pivot point when tilting the logic board is right near the ports, so they don’t end up moving much at all and it makes lining up the motherboard much easier when putting it back.

  • So, if we use this kit and install and SSD today, can we use your Upgrade Program later to only upgrade the internal HDD? The upgrade program website has no option for just doing the HDD, so I’m guessing no… but… Please.

  • Will you be offering any external thunderbolt enclosures for your SSD’s?

    I ask because basically i’m a big chicken and don’t have the huevos to crack open my 2011 imac….

      • Nice. Hope it can be daisy chained (so I can connect an external monitor as well).

        Hope also that it will be pretty quiet and that the Thunderbolt drive can be used to store the BootCamp partition. If so then I’ll probably go with a Thunderbolt drive rather than cracking open the iMac. Especially when either way the stock hard drive is left in the iMac.

  • Are you still planning a DIY solution to the main drive replacement (the one that has the fan issue if replaced with a non Apple drive). I guess we are a few in europeans countries hoping for this !


    • Not at this time – for now we’re focusing on releasing the secondary SSD kits. For main drive replacement, third internal SSD, and additional eSATA port we recommend sending it in for the turnkey service.

  • I apologize if I missed this in the reading, but can this also apply to the 2010 27″ iMac?

  • So this process allows the installation of an OWC SSD in the iMac without causing the fans to go crazy as was reported last year? I remember articles last year saying that DIY upgrades of iMac 2011 Hard Drives caused the fans to run full speed.

    • What you’re referring to is replacing the main bay hard drive – this DIY kit is for adding an SSD alongside that main bay drive which has no issues with fan speed.

  • Excellent video. Did you disconnect the cables on the back ports before tilting the motherboard to install the sata cable?

    Do you plan to make a similar video for the 21.5 2011 imac?

    • We will be releasing DIY kits for the other iMac models we offer the turnkey service for in the next few weeks. Takes a bit of time to get the install videos filmed and produced, but as they are completed the DIY kits will be forthcoming.