Does replacing a MBP HDD voids one's Applecare?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kdum8, May 5, 2009.

  1. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #1
    I have a 2.5 GHz 15" Macbook Pro which is a year old. Its HDD capacity is only 250 GB however and I really need more internal space. I do use external portable drives but for a number of reasons they aren't ideal.

    I have 2 years left to run on my applecare but I want to upgrade the HDD to one with a larger capacity. If I do this myself I imagine that it will void my warranty. Could I take it therefore into an Apple Store and have them do it for me?

    What is the largest 2.5" drive currently available anyway?

    Would appreciate any thoughts on this or anyone with personal experience of swapping out their internal HDD.

    Cheers,

    ;)
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
  3. killerwhack macrumors regular

    killerwhack

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    #3
    What I have been told

    I have been told that if you do it yourself, it does void the AppleCare. If you have a certified technician do it, then it does not void AppleCare.

    I brought an old 12" G4 into an apple store and they told me that they would not replace the hard drive with a larger one, even if I provided the new drive.

    It may be different with the new unibody MBP's because the hard drive is more accessible.
     
  4. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    technically yes it voids your warranty. but if your carefull and you put the original one back in and dont say a word if you have problems apple will not know that you upgraded the hard drive. largest one available is 500 gb.
     
  5. ftored macrumors regular

    ftored

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    #5
    Well, i am in a situation like yours too. I asked to the Oxford street Apple store in UK and the guy there told me they don't do this. He told me to find an authorised apple service centre and go there to reaplce my HDD.


    From a number of posts i came to the conclusion that this does not void your warranty if you don't break anything during the process.

    The biggest HDD's available nowdays are 500GB. If you have 15'' you need to check the height of it to be 9.5 mm, because there is one of them who is 12.5 in height and would not fit into the 15''MBP
     
  6. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    The unibody is different the hard drive is classified as a user replaceable part.
     
  7. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #7
    indeed I had heard that. Sadly I have the model one before the unibody MBP version came out.
     
  8. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #8
    If you do it, it won't void your warranty but just don't mess anything up.
     
  9. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #9
    No it does not. This includes the classic and unibody designs.

    It may be argued that if you break something it will—guess what, if you break it while using it, it voids your warranty/AppleCare as well.
     
  10. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #10
  11. The General macrumors 601

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    #11
    But what about the 17" Unibody? It's ten screws to get to the harddrive and RAM. Are they classified as user replaceable too?
     
  12. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #12
    CHANGING THE HARD DRIVE ON ANY APPLE MACBOOK DOES NOT, I REPEAT DOES NOT VOID THE WARRANTY

    Neither does changing the RAM, adding more RAM etc

    Apple even include intructions how to do it in the user manual you get with the computer.
     
  13. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #13
    Apple has guides, so I want to assume that it is. If the past MacBook Pro's were, I wouldn't see why the 17-inch unibody wouldn't, if anything it's easier than past models. If it isn't, I would think Apple would place a do not remove sticker like they did on the battery.
     
  14. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #14
    fine but you are talking about the unibody macbook and macbook pros only right?
     
  15. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    #15
    what it does mean is that the HDD is not covered by your apple care. same with RAM but the rest of the computer is still covered.
     
  16. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    #16
    If you replace the hard drive, then just be careful not the break any of those neon warning tabs that tell you that breaking is will void the warranty. I almost did that myself, while i was just digging around inside the computer, just to familiarize myself with the contencts... Just in case that I dropped the thing and any of the internal components were knocked out of alignment.
     
  17. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #17
    I asked the same question directly to a certified Apple tech at a third-party service center, whether a do-it-yourself hard drive replacement would void the warranty/Applecare on a previous generation MBP. He told me that technically, yes, it does void the warranty. I asked him how someone at Apple would know I had cracked the case to get to the HD if I did it correctly, and he said there were some little tabs that would be broken, which were replaceable by authorized repair technicians. I don't know if it's a form of tape, or what it is. Since I had just purchased Applecare, I did pay $45 to have him swap my hard drive for a new one. I already had cloned my original drive, so he didn't charge me for that part, just the labor to swap.

    I mentioned that I could have easily done this myself, and how it could get expensive if I had to have my MBP fixed under Applecare, because I'd have to re-install my original drive first, or risk losing my new 500 gig drive, and then do the swap again once the laptop was fixed. At $45 a pop, that adds up. He told me that if I brought the MBP to his shop for an Applecare or warranty issue about something else, like motherboard, gpu, etc, he wouldn't even worry about the hard drive, and would leave it alone. Even if I had replaced it myself, unless I had done some obvious damage he'd just ignore that and deal with the actual problem.

    So, from my experiences, there are a couple of approaches: the by-the-book approach when dealing directly with Apple and the possibility that the warranty could be considered void simply by opening up your MBP (previous generation) and messing around - if they detect it... also, likely replacement of any aftermarket HD and memory modules back to factory original specs... which could be an unpleasant surprise;

    ...and the third-party-certified-repair-shop-friendly-technician-who-uses-common-sense-and knows-what-he's-doing approach.

    I think both scenarios have their pros and cons - depending on your situation. Just locate your resources before any serious problems hit, so you know which way to go when the time comes, and you don't go down the wrong 'approach' path for the specific repair/problem you've got. It's all about minimizing problems, not adding to them... :)
     
  18. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #18
    thanks for your input on your experiences. :)
    I think I may just wait until 1TB drives are available in the 2.5" form factor and in the meantime buy a 128GB Expresscard SSD which will fill the gap until then.
     
  19. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    your are correct for a macbook but we were talking about the macbook pro there are no directions on how to replace the hard drive in the user manual of older mackbook pros.
     
  20. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #20
    From May 2009 issue of Macworld.

    "Apple's policy has always been that as long as you don't break anything in the process, you're free to upgrade...without voiding the warranty. The company confirmed to Macworld that this is still the case"

    I mean, it doesn't get any clearer than that. I don't think there are any clips or anything. The HDD bay in the late-2008 portables, what you see is basically that. I think this would apply to the older MacBook Pro's/PowerBook's as well.

    It should also be noted from the same issue of Macworld:

    "The Apple Store won't do upgrade installations, but it will replace damaged parts with equivalent replacements"

    Of course if you do a search, this isn't actually true. Some have had success with this. Some Genius' will do it for you free of charge or for a fee, AppleCare or no AppleCare but the general guideline is that they don't do it so don't be going in expecting that they will do an upgrade for you unless it's an Apple part.
     
  21. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #21
    Thanks iLog.Genius, that is the clearest answer on the subject received yet. Appreciated. :)
     
  22. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

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  23. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #23
    I always use AASC instead of dealing with Apple directly. They never question such upgrades and will even cover warranty items if you have dents and cracked cases that might indicate a drop. They won't replace the cosmetic damage but internal components not obviously damaged will be covered.

    Cheers,
     
  24. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #24
    Who are AASC?
     
  25. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #25
    AASC or AASP are Authorized Apple Service Centers or Authorize Apple Service Providers. (3rd party service providers.)
     

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