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* Will Apple know that I upgraded my 128GB Toshiba to 256GB Samsung if I take it in?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SSD-GUY, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. SSD-GUY, Sep 20, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Hi Guys,

    Question is in the title really.

    128GBs of space is not enough for me so I need to upgrade. I figured as I was upgrading I may as well choose a Samsung Drive as it had better performance than my Toshiba (I have also looked at OWC's offerings however I have also read that by using one of their SSDs I will see a drop in Battery Life)

    So, If I take my MBA for service or something at the genius bar, will they notice that;

    1) I have a larger SSD (as in does their system state, MBA 2011, 4GB Ram, 128GB SSD etc)

    2) It's a different make etc or not the correct model (I believe the 2011MBA was shipped with both Toshiba and Samsung drives so by entering the serial number or another identifier, will the genius know I have swapped drives?)

    3) If they do on the off chance discover that I have upgraded the drive will this void the warranty?

    Lastly, as we're on topic already, does anyone know where I can get a 256GB Samsung SSD from for the 2011 MBA apart from eBay? And are there other good offerings apart from OWC as I don't want a hit on battery life.



    EDIT: Should have also mentioned that as a student, I wish to sell the 128GB SSD to put towards the cost of the 256GB SSD.
  2. macrumors 6502

    It sounds like this is a lot of what if situations. I would buy the 256, use it, and if you need to get service done swap the 128 back in.
  3. macrumors regular

    Sorry forgot to mention, I want to sell the 128GB SSD to help towards the cost of the 256GB SSD. :rolleyes:
  4. macrumors 68000


    Yes. They have your exact specs. Unless it shows as BTO, they'll most likely question the SSD. Of course, it depends what it goes in for. Most 'Geniuses' aren't really that competent, in my experience (one young lady working there told me I was getting a 'Serial A-T-A drive' in my replacement machine), so they might not notice.

    Of course, if they did pick up on it, they might even be a little impressed. They could give you a high-five, and buy you a drink. Perhaps hand you some Apple stock. More than likely, they'll say you voided the warranty, and shoo you away.

    Here's the thing -- I think you already know the answer. The MacBook Air doesn't have user-upgradable parts. Whether you can upgrade it yourself or not is beside the point. Apple don't allow it.

    What you're asking is: "I know this will void my warranty, but can I get away with it?" That's an answer nobody can give you for definite, because nobody can guarantee whether they'd notice (or care).

    It depends on the person dealing with the repair, how busy the store is, how much work they have to do, whether they're getting on well with their wife, if Jupiter is aligned with Saturn that morning … there are an infinite amount of possibilities that can have a bearing on such a matter.

    TL;DR: It's not worth the risk.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    AFAIK, the only aftermarket SSD maker for MBA is OWC. I do not know if Apple sells the gumstick SSD by itself, you can try. Does Apple not allow you to upgrade your MBA?

    If the "geniuses" at the bar say that indeed you opening the case voids your warranty, then I would say that you are bringing them the SSD for them to install.

    Do you have AppleCare? If no, the the warranty on your 2011 MBA will soon be up if it is not already.
  6. macrumors regular


    Thank you for your replies.

    You raise a good point. I will book a genius appointment and bring in the SSD for them to install themselves.

    Worst comes to worst, I'll take the bullet and upgrade but keep the 128GB SSD for times when I need to take it back in.

    Thank you for clearing up the fact that they do have the exact specs on file.

    I will be buying AppleCare for it in the next few months as I think it's a fair price to pay for extended cover. Apple Cust serv' was excellent when it came to my iPhone problems (with which I had AppleCare "installed")
  7. macrumors 6502a

    The Geniuses at the bar don't determine what voids Apple's warranty, Apple does. My suggestion is to read the terms of the Apple warranty on the Macbook Air.

    Here is the warranty:

    Looking at section g, it can be interpreted that by the user upgrading the MBA, the warranty will no longer cover the MBA. Now if the OP obtains written permission, that would be different.


    IMO AppleCare is kind of a waste of money, AppleCare does not cover accidental damage at all.
  8. macrumors 68000


    My point wasn't so much that Geniuses have the power to decide warranty. It's that they're human beings who have the power to make a decision. I think we're all in agreement that upgrading an SSD in a MBA will void the warranty. My point is that you might get away with it; it entirely depends on who's dealing with it.

    I've seen people in Apple Stores who have stormed in, rude and brash, and get nothing. One of my work colleagues dropped his MBP 13", causing a huge dent in the side, also causing the battery to malfunction. He took it into the Apple Store, and was polite enough to the point where they just repaired it as good-will.

    You also say AppleCare doesn't cover accidental damage. Yes, you're right, it doesn't. But if you've got AppleCare, it'll definitely help. In my experience, with AC, they're more willing to help you out.

    My local Apple Store is filled with good-natured people who work hard, and have a genuine passion for what they do. I don't doubt that if you went in there with an upgraded SSD in your MBA, they may give a knowing smile, and just say: 'pop your old one back in, and come back tomorrow, so we can repair it.'

    But YMMV. You could go in the next day and get somebody completely different, who would be disgusted at the mere thought.

    And you're never going to get written permission to upgrade a MacBook Air. That I can absolutely guarantee.

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