Installing an SSD while keeping Applecare

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mentaluproar, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #1
    I bought applecare and still have plenty of time left on it, but this stupid platter drive in my mini is infuriating me. I'm considering upgrading to an SSD but I want to keep my applecare. If I were to take it to a genius bar, could I pay them to upgrade to an apple-sanctioned SSD so I could keep the warrantee?

    Also, I read that OSX defragments files as they are accessed (if they could benefit from it). Defragmenting an SSD is a no-no. Does OSX still defrag on the Apple SSDs or not?
     
  2. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    With very few exceptions, you don't need to defrag on Mac OS X, except possibly when partitioning a drive. You especially shouldn't defrag a SSD.

    About disk optimization with Mac OS X
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #3
    OSX defrags things by itself, as they are accessed, I know. Does it still do this when a SSD is installed?

    And can I have apple upgrade the drive, thereby keeping my applecare?
     
  4. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    SSDs do not require defragmenting. It'll only wear them out faster.

    Apple won't install upgrades in your Mac Mini.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #5
    Apple would probably upgrade your drive, if you are willing to pay Apple prices + labor.

    If I were in a situation where I had applecare, I would invest in a nice USB 3.0 2.5" SATA III compatible enclosure, and boot from an external SSD. What model mini do you have? This may be viable with a 2012 version, because USB 3.0 transfers at 5 Gb/s, where SATA III (internal) is 6 Gb/s, so you could run at nearly full speed. If not, USB 2.0 would bottle neck the SSD and it wouldn't be worth the upgrade.

    I'm assuming your HDD feels slow and you would like better read/write times, correct?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #6
    First, I know defragmenting an SSD is bad. I do not want to defragment an SSD. There will be no defragmenting!

    I also understand that OSX defragments files by itself as they are accessed, ever since 10.3. Will it still attempt to do this if an SSD is installed?

    I have a mid 2011 mac mini. No USB3, but I do have thunderbolt and firewire 800. I'm using FW800 on an external drive, but I can always chain them together.

    What do you think apple would charge for such a task? The lag is annoying, but its not a showstopper and the applecare holds more value than an SSD to me.
     
  7. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #7
    Apple won't install third party anythings.

    It's a DIY endeavor.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #8
    The SSD in question would not be third-party.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #9
    Just spitballing here (You would really have to contact apple to get an accurate number) but right now, apple is charging $300 for a 256GB SSD upgrade for current mini's at the online store. Add that plus maybe $50 or more for labor. Keep in mind a $300 upgrade is the incremental surcharge for substituting a $50 hard drive, so a standalone drive could be $350. A thunderbolt enclosure would do the trick for a DIY external SSD, but those can be pricy as well.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    Unless it came with the Mac they won't touch it. Apple Genius bars will not install anything that wasn't part of the original machine.

    Curious as to what Apple SSD you were planning to use? How were you going to buy it?

    Those are options available only when the unit is factory built.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #11
    If they would be willing to upgrade the drive, they can order one themselves. They get replacement parts somehow.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #12
    Apple retail won't do it, they're not allowed to. It's as simple as that.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #13
    Why not just do it yourself. Many many members on here have done it. Probably many with the same experience tinkering with computers as you. If they could do it, so can you. Just keep the stock drive in case you need to get warranty work done. Then take the SSD out and put stock drive in.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island/North Jersey
    #14
    Installing an SSD does nothing to your warranty. I took my 2011 13" with a crucial m4 to them to get my charger replaced. They wanted to do tests on my computer to make sure everything is good and the genius said it was awesome because it went through tests 10 times quicker. This was before rMBP so the only ones they usually saw were Airs but they were slower at the time. Do it yourself.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #15
    I would love to do it myself, but if I screw over my applecare and ever need it...
     
  16. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #16
    Then sell your Mac and buy a new one with an SSD, or find an auhorised repair shop, that does such things, that offers a warranty in case they frell up.
     
  17. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #17
    It's a chance you have to take. I put a SSD in my MacBook Pro and they didn't care.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #18
    The new mac minis are having trouble that mine doesn't have. I have a marginally better GPU as well.

    I will admit, depending on how expensive my car repairs will be, I may sell the mini and go iMac or air, but I'm fighting that urge. An SSD would placate me.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Athelstan

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #19
    Just keep the original drive and if your mini is having issues, swap the original drive back in and take it in. I did that and the genius bar didn't bat an eye. There isn't any warranty stickers to break when working on your mac.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    ybz90

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #20
    This is one of the easiest upgrades possible on the Mac line. If you put your old drive back should you need it serviced, there is no way they can tell you ever swapped it. You could probably even get away with playing dumb and saying you paid a tech to do it who claimed to be Apple authorized.

    Also, I don't think going iMac or Air will save you money as both are considerably more expensive even at lower performance points.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #21
    Agree with previous post -- just keep your original drive and re-install if it needs any Apple Care. But if you need Apple Care, just take it in. If the issue is related to anything other than the disk, they'll fix it. If they think it's the SSD, then that's what they'll say and return it to you in the same condition they got it.
    I have three different SSDs in three different Macs, and I suspect many of the people on this forum have done the same thing. SSDs are real performance boosters.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #22
    In that case, I may try a makeshift hybrid drive setup. Any experience with those?
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #23
    why not look up how to do it yourself to install the SSD and do not worry about apple care, as others say should you see another problem besides HD, the apple genius bar will have to take care of it, be smart do not let the apple get your money just to install ssd (even order a new mac products), it is simple once you know how to install stuff, you will never forget, it is like simple maths once you learn what is 1+1 you will never forget.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #24
    apple will install an apple ssd in your mac mini if you have a mac mini that had it as a bto option.

    ie the base 2012 no the mid 2012 yes.

    now you do know that an external ssd in a t-bolt is a really good option.


    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1317577

    pm me for photos or info on how to set one up
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #25
    "I would love to do it myself, but if I screw over my applecare and ever need it..."

    The solution is easy, though most in this forum would refuse to see it or accept it.

    That is…

    Just buy the SSD you want, and [until your AppleCare runs out] connect and run it EXTERNALLY, using either a USB3/SATA dock, a USB3 enclosure, or perhaps even a Thunderbolt adapter (like those from Seagate).

    The new USB3 "5g" enclosures/docks may not be the exact equivalent of connecting via the Mini's internal SATA connector, but they are fast enough so that [shy of a few seconds while booting] it may be impossible to perceive the difference during normal running or loading of applications, files, etc.

    A few 'net articles to browse through to investigate this further:

    http://www.barefeats.com/hard161.html

    http://fortysomethinggeek.blogspot.com/2012/10/blacx-5g-usb-30-update-fastest-usb-30.html
     

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