This year we started seeing a problem with the hard drives failing inside our 2009, 2010 and 2011 iMacs here at the newspaper. The computers still work fine otherwise and since it is pretty easy to replace them (it can easily be accomplished in under ten minutes without removing the display) that is what we’ve been doing.
The only downside is that the OEM hard drives ship with specific Apple firmware that ties into the thermal management system. Installing a new hard drive or SSD results in the fans running at full blast. Thankfully software exists to work around this and I automated the installation and configuration with Munki, read on to see how.