That email from Apple regarding the replacement hard drive…

All this week I’ve been preparing to take my iMac in for its replacement hard drive, after getting the email that stated I may have an iMac with a Seagate drive that have now been recalled due to a high failure rate. To cut a long story short, I didn’t end up taking in my iMac for its appointment, instead I used the appointment to sort out my iPhone 5 (that’s a whole other story!) – after speaking with the Apple Genius there, I explained how I had left my iMac at home, manually doing a backup but wondered how long in total they would need it for, when I did bring it in. As I was standing there, an elderly couple bought in a boxed iMac stating they had “got the email” too. The Apple Genius remarked that the “whole of Essex” seem to be bringing them in at the moment when actually, they’re getting to them and finding that many need not be brought in in the first place.

He said Apple have no way of determining what is in your iMac, only that you bought it between certain dates, and during those dates, they sometimes used Seagate drives. So, regardless of whether you have a Seagate drive or not, you would have got the email. Most people don’t know how to check what drive they have and so are bringing them in regardless. He said the drives in question are the ST31000 drives, and if your drive starts with anything other than ST, you’re absolutely fine and not affected.

I came home to check what my secondary drive was, (I have an SSD for the OS and Applications) and it was indeed a Western Digital. It would have been an entirely wasted trip.

Western Digital Drive

Worth a check before you go dusting off that box in the loft and traipsing up to the nearest Apple store.

  • Could it possibly be some kind of scam?

  • Ben

    This is similar to what happened to me (although my drive does need to be replaced). When booking my appointment I was told it could be done there and then, as I arrived I was told a minimum of ten days. Not happening until I can clear a work free window.

    Didn’t help that I had to carry the iMac for almost 1/4 of a mile!

  • Tim Swan

    Thanks for the post, I was pleased to find this blog after receiving Apple’s email.

    Turns out I do have an affected drive, but it’s nice to know it won’t be a wasted trip.

  • Jim Spiller

    Re. The Seagate Hard Drive Replacement.
    My Hard Drive is the ST31000, it is getting slower and slower, and “rumbling” too. so I contacted Apple to see what was involved.
    It seems they want me to take my Imac to them, they will keep it for at least 5 days, they will not give me the old HD afterwards. I also have to back-up everything up, and then reload etc. that’s another couple of days faffing about.
    When I read the chatter that this problem has generated on line, it appears to be mostly from bright young things excited about getting a new hard drive, and how lucky they are that the clever Apple people are for doing this for them. In fact one Apple employee has just told me that because Apple didn’t make the HD in question they are not really obliged to replace it ! He should read the small print !
    For my part, the whole affair is a b***** nuisance!
    I will have to make two round trip journeys of over 50 miles, I will not have the use of my kit for the best part of a week. And my personal information, passwords, mail etc will be whisked off to God knows where.

    Given the price that UK customers pay for all Apple products, (the highest in Europe), I would have hoped for a better service. And a less arrogant attitude!
    Am I alone in this?

  • Forgot all about that email, need to check on my iMac. Thanks for the reminder. Hopefully I don’t have to take it up there.

  • Bob Southern

    @Jim Spiller

    Oh shut the hell up. Things go wrong, get over it. Do you own a car? And when that’s recalled, or needs an MOT, and you have to get the bus, or borrow the wifes.

    Jesus! It’s a hard drive and Apple are taking the time to sort it out, they could just not have told you, and you probably wouldn’t have had an issue anyways!

  • Mart


    Seems a shame that apple didn’t do more on the email as that would have nailed it for more people first time:

    You can either bring it in and we will check this out for you or if you feel comfortable checking out this setting xxxxxx here xxxxx then you only need to worry if you have this part number xxxxx on your Hard drive.

    Ta for post Sazzy 🙂


  • Nicole

    You can check your serial number on Apple’s website to see if you’re eligible. Not sure if I can post links here but if you search for Apple Seagate Drive Recall (or similar) you can find it. My iMac has a Seagate Drive with the ST31000 number but was built in Aug 2012 so it’s fine.

  • Just found the URL to your site from an older issue or “digital arts” magazine. Great little read!

  • Francisco

    I had the Seagate and my drive failed less than a month after the email… thank goodness for Time Machine.

    • Sean

      That very true but any hard drive can fail. I have had a lot of problems with WD portable drives and i did put a WD drive in my last macbook pro and the drive did fail but i’ll only use seagate hard drives for 2.5 ” drives but 3.5″ hard drives i haven’t had one fail yet internal or desktop. I do have a 500 GB WD drive and three seagate 3.5″ 250GB hard drives for years and all sata and still going very strong like there new out of the box. If i do use a WD drive in my iMac for a replacement drive i would go for a black gameing drive or a seagate version. I do have a 500GB sata 3.5″ 7200 RPM seagate HD out of my first iMac 24″ and replaced it with a 1TB WD green drive and works very well but i wouldn’t put any green drives in the newer macs.

  • Roger

    My drive has failed but I did not get the email… Thank goodness I found this link and my drive will now be replaced