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Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Make my old iMac a secondary monitor AND an external drive

Ok, folks here’s the deal. I desperately need a new(er) mac. I can no longer update my OS. The problem is I had upgraded my iMac to a 4T hard drive and I am using a lot of that space. The new iMacs don’t have options for a large HD unless you want to spend 6 grand. So, I need to know what of these options I have:

  1. Transfer my current drive into a 2019 iMac (I can find compatibly info)?
  2. Buy the new mac and immediately buy a replacement 4T drive (I can’t find that either)?
  3. Buy the new mac and then make my old one into a dual monitor/external hard drive (is that even a thing?)?
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How about getting a Thunderbolt case to house your 4 TB drive externally and get what you want for a new system. To really make your new system sing get the blade SSD model with either a 512 or 1 TB SSD drive.

1 - Your only choice with the current models is jumping to a 27” iMac, then adding your drive into it. This is tricky!

2 - Apple doesn’t offer anything as large as 4 TB in the current line up

3 - While you could convert your old system to an external display you can’t also share the drive internally.

You may want to look at a used 27” 5K system which has a blade SSD.

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This is great advice. I assume that there will be some larger aftermarket drives available sooner or later, right?

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Why don’t you partition the drive into two 2TB drives and go on down the road?

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@mayer - I don't think that matters as HFS+ can support drives much larger than what he has here. He likely has other issues trying to upgrade the OS on this drive. I've done a few larger drives without any issues.

I think his issue is more an issue of the drives physical size being a 3.5" and the newer 21.5" models only have room for a 2.5"drive. But the 27" models still support the 3.5" drives in the 2012 Thin Series forward except the iMac Pro.

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So, the underlying issue is the processor, right? Can't update systems with an old processor?

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Upgrading the OS is dependent on what your system has for a CPU (processing power & features). In this case a Late 2009 21.5" system can only support High Sierra macOS 10.13.6. Frankly I wouldn't go hight that Sierra on SATA based systems as HS has some big issues!

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