Mac Mini question....

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by TrumanApple, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2005
    i know people will yell at me for not searching, but for a mac mini, are the airport cards and memory a user installable part? 1. is it easy, and 2. will it void the warrentee
  2. macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    Yes, you can do it yourself without voiding the warranty. But Apple does recommend you go to an authorized dealer b/c its not to easy.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2005
    1. Peep this instructional video, and you can judge for yourself:


    2. Yes, it will void your warranty, but not sure. Make sure you do a VERY good job doing it yourself... Good Luck!
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    But why? Seems to me that this is one of the basic BTO options: mini with Airport & Bluetooth.

    Everyone seems to want to install everything themselves -- but unless you want a gig of RAM why not just order the mini with 512 RAM, Airport & Bluetooth?
  5. macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    NO! It will NOT void your warranty.
  6. macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Are you for certain, dave?

    I interpret the warranty as if your own upgrade (see d) was the cause of the warranty claim, it wouldn't be covered.

    "This warranty does not apply: (a) to damage caused by use with non-Apple products; (b) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, flood, fire, earthquake or other external causes; (c) to damage caused by operating the product outside the permitted or intended uses described by Apple; (d) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider; (e) to a product or part that has been modified to significantly alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple; (f) to consumable parts, such as batteries, unless damage has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship; or (g) if any Apple serial number has been removed or defaced."

    I really hate legal jumble.
  7. macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i agree with you kingjr3, it will Void the warranty if you ask me
  8. macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2003
    New Jersey
    I could be wrong but to me it looks like it will only void the warrenty if the person does damage to it while upgrading it. I guess the problem is the risk of breaking the mini while installing ram is greater. Again, I could be wrong
  9. macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2003
    It really isn't that hard to upgrade the RAM, if you use the correct tool (putty knife, very THIN). Total time ~5 min? You can do it without hurting it very easily.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2005
    Dallas, Tx
    this is closer to what I've been hearing. It won't void your warranty to open the mini but if you break anything while on the inside then you've just voided your warranty
  11. Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Isn't one of the main problems with the Airport Card in the mini, not the installation process, but that it's not an ordinary Airport Extreme card and very hard to get hold of...???
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2004
    The ram is no problem if you're careful.

    The BT and Airport is a bit more complex - the parts are apparently difficult to get hold of (in the UK anyway), but also are very expensive compared to buying them as a BTO option. Its not just an airport card - you have to get a mezzanine card and an antenna as well. There are also 2 components you need to add the BT. Much easier to take the BTO route.
    This link gives (Apple?) part numbers:
    This link shows a standard Airport card:

    As far as warranty goes, its not clear - even on the Apple discussion forum they're arguing about it. The sensible thing to do would be to remove any non-Apple memory if you have to send it back for repair, and make sure you don't damage it with a putty knife....!
  13. macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2003
    Well, as a computer technician AND automobile technician (Yes, these days, they are much more similair than they sound, due to current automobile technology), I can give you a fairly reasonable answer to this type of question, which I get on a DAILY basis.

    The answer, is:

    If you have to ask whether you can do something, then you can't. There are those that can just tear into something, and make it work. We are the type that don't bother to ask, because we will figure it out. And there are those that have to ask. But, noone knows your particular skill level but you. Trust me, there are those that can't pop ram into a laptop, and thats a simple matter of removing a cover, popping it in, and closing it back up. No tools required! There are also those that ? (yesterday, had a lady come in with a lincoln town car.... SOMEHOW she put GASOLINE in her windshield washer bottle... HOW??!) simply should not touch anything.

    So basically, I have heard this type of question sooooo many times, I have gotten to a simple science. Often the person asking already knows whats going on.... they want you to tell them whether to do it or not.

    In this case, DO NOT assume that even popping it open for ram will ensure its going to be covered under warranty. IF warranty is an issue for you, take it to apple, and have them perform ANY maintanence / upgrades. PERIOD. It is very easy to damage something installing ram. There are several hazards. Much less installing the Airport / Bluetooth hardware.

    Me, I cracked mine open, with glee. If it breaks tommorrow, then i will fix it. If I can't, it will be a nice looking door stop. I took it apart, messed with it, and am willing to take the repercussions. Should installing ram cause a problem? No. But, I don't know you.

    Should a washer bottle ever end up with gasoline in it?

    I am tellin ya, its impossible to imagine how technically inept some people can be. Those that feel they can do it, do.

    If they break it, they buck up, and move on. I have fried a few things in my days, but never tried to rma them. My bad, lesson learned.
  14. macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
    It will not void your warranty! If you break something, then it's your buck. But, how is that different then any other situation?
  15. macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2003
    Apple says that fitting user-installable parts won't void the warranty, but it also says that there are no user-installable parts in a Mac mini. Which kind of makes you think that according to the letter of the warranty, opening it up and doing ANYTHING in their is a violation of the warranty. The problem is that in a practical sense that doesn't make sense - after all, how could Apple actually TELL if you, they, or an authorized agent was responsible for installing add-ins or swapping out legitimate upgrades. The answer is that they can't, hence the more pragmatic attitude that if you don't break anything you'll be OK.

    Personally, I haven't got any concerns about taking my mini apart and working on it in the expectation that if I am careful and the work involves authorized components, there won't be a problem. The same wouldn't be true of replacing the drive with a 7200rpm unit of course, or swapping in an unsupported DVD burner etc, since those aren't Apple-authorized upgrades.

    As far as the after-purchase adding of Airport, the card itself is a standard Airport Extreme. What's different about the mini is that mounting it requires an adapter card (the mezzanine card) which also provides the airport antenna, a bluetooth antenna and the bluetooth adapter. These have not been in common supply, but are now beginning to reach Apple authorized service agents, and I would expect them to become availabe through non-authorized sources (ebay anyone?!) in due course. Fitting one doesn't look like it would be troublesome to anyone who feels confident in the use of a putty knife.

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