Does swapping a SSD void an Applecare Extension?

Cassady

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2012
552
128
Sqornshellous
Hello all,

I just want to be clear on this. Bought a 2nd-hand 15" MBP that still falls under its 1 year warranty until the end of the 2017 (mid-November), according to the built-in 'service-checker'.

We don't have official AppleCare in these parts, but have an equivalent to it, provided by the official Apple Reseller. It has been explained to me that it works the same as the 'proper' Applecare.

The machine I bought has a 1TB SSD in it - and the person who sold it to me, did a straight swap on the SSD, from a 13" BTO 1TB machine. In other words, took the 1TB Apple SSD from the 13", and popped it into this 15", and took the 256GB Apple SSD from the 15", and dropped it into the 13".

Entering the serial number of this machine, has it listed as a 256GB model, whereas now it obviously has a 1TB drive inside.

Am I correct in presuming that this would void any possible extension of the Applecare equivalent?
I was considering purchasing the two-year extension(?) - but won't bother if it's unlikely, given the user-upgrade.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,893
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Technically, yes. There is nothing about any models newer than the Mid-2012 computers that is considered "user replaceable".
 

vkd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
908
310
A good port of call would be Freephone Apple Sales and Service
 

Cassady

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2012
552
128
Sqornshellous
Thanks - and yes, called the local Reseller, who confirms that it being a user-installed upgrade, will void any extension to AppleCare, and the existing cover. So be it.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
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Providing the issue you take it in for isn’t linked to the drive generally you won’t have an issue. I’ve upgraded many macs in the past without having service issues down the road.
 
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JeffyTheQuik

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Aug 27, 2014
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Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
Providing the issue you take it in for isn’t linked to the drive generally you won’t have an issue. I’ve upgraded many macs in the past without having service issues down the road.
I have. I swapped out my hard drive on my iMac, and a year and a half later, the video card died on it. Apple would not touch it after they discovered the 2TB drive in it. I had to take it to an Apple Authorized Repair place. Well, I could have taken it to Joe Bob's Bait, Tackle, and Computer repair, but for $200, I was willing to take the risk on the Authorized repair place.
 
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RedTomato

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Mar 4, 2005
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.. London ..
Technically, how would they know? It's an Apple-issued SSD. If they complain, you can always say something about having the upgrade done at an authorised apple shop, and being shocked, shocked, that the info somehow hasn't been entered into the database, and yes that shop did seem rather busy on that day so of course not surprised that certain info wasn't updated when it should have been.
 
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Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,606
I have. I swapped out my hard drive on my iMac, and a year and a half later, the video card died on it. Apple would not touch it after they discovered the 2TB drive in it. I had to take it to an Apple Authorized Repair place. Well, I could have taken it to Joe Bob's Bait, Tackle, and Computer repair, but for $200, I was willing to take the risk on the Authorized repair place.
See iMacs are very different beasts. Taking the screen off to service the machine voids the warranty. This has been known since release.
 
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JeffyTheQuik

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Aug 27, 2014
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See iMacs are very different beasts. Taking the screen off to service the machine voids the warranty. This has been known since release.
Yeah... it wasn't an expensive lesson, as it was already out of warranty, but it did surprise me to learn that they wouldn't touch it after it was touched by me.

That... sounded... odd...

Anyway, lesson learned, so now when they're under AppleCare, I just use external drives, but for the OP, that may be (and probably is) impractical, especially for a MacBook.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,496
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Between the coasts
Technically, how would they know? It's an Apple-issued SSD. If they complain, you can always say something about having the upgrade done at an authorised apple shop, and being shocked, shocked, that the info somehow hasn't been entered into the database, and yes that shop did seem rather busy on that day so of course not surprised that certain info wasn't updated when it should have been.
That's not how things work. The serial number identifies the factory configuration of the product. That's all the Apple warranty covers, whether the original, or the extended coverage - the factory configuration.

In Apple's world, there is no such thing as an "authorized upgrade" that is covered by the original warranty. The upgrade is covered by separate warranty (if any) from the shop performing that service. Apple can insist that the product be returned to factory configuration before working on it.
 
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Gjwilly

macrumors 68030
May 1, 2011
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SF Bay Area
The SSD in my wife's Air just died and I couldn't remember whether I'd upgraded it or not.
It wasn't under warranty so there was no warranty to void but I did take it into the Apple store to try and see if they could determine SSD failure vs motherboard failure.
They ran all the diagnostics and it showed no problems other than the SSD so the tech wanted to take it in the back to see whether removing and reseating it would solve anything.
I asked him to please verify the SSD size since I couldn't remember what was in it and since he was going to be opening it anyway.
His reply was that there was no need because the serial number, readable during their diagnostic, told him it was a 128GB -- end of story.
He came back with a confirmation of a dead SSD and a quote for a new 128GB SSD and since he agreed that the price was exorbitant on a machine of that age he told me that used SSDs could be found on eBay for much less.
I bought a 256GB on eBay and when I went to install it I found that it did indeed already have a dead 256GB installed.
You'd think the Apple tech could have mentioned it since he was already advising going the eBay route but no.
 

RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,033
328
.. London ..
That's not how things work. The serial number identifies the factory configuration of the product. That's all the Apple warranty covers, whether the original, or the extended coverage - the factory configuration.

In Apple's world, there is no such thing as an "authorized upgrade" that is covered by the original warranty. The upgrade is covered by separate warranty (if any) from the shop performing that service. Apple can insist that the product be returned to factory configuration before working on it.
So if I took my MacBook to the Apple flagship store in Regent Street or New York, and paid for an SSD upgrade, I find it hard to understand how that would void the original warranty for all other components?

I wouldn't be able to later take the laptop to any other Apple Store in the country to have any new issues sorted out as per original Apple warranty? That doesn't seem right.
 
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ApfelKuchen

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So if I took my MacBook to the Apple flagship store in Regent Street or New York, and paid for an SSD upgrade, I find it hard to understand how that would void the original warranty for all other components?

I wouldn't be able to later take the laptop to any other Apple Store in the country to have any new issues sorted out as per original Apple warranty? That doesn't seem right.
Go to that Regent Street or New York Apple Store, and ask if they would sell you an SSD (or HDD) upgrade. They'd tell you, "We don't do upgrades." They'll do repairs, replacing bad parts with equivalent new parts - 256GB Flash module replaced by 256GB Flash module.

Under the U.S. Mac warranty,
This Warranty does not apply: ... (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple;
Under warranty, a factory service center's job includes determining whether the problem is due to "defects in workmanship or materials" of the original equipment. If it's a cMP with all the HDD bays and RAM slots filled, the shop may have to remove all but the original HDD and RAM, after-market graphics card, etc., to see if those extra components contributed to the problem. They would also be obligated to test to see whether the HDD bay or RAM slot was faulty, or the item plugged into the bay was at fault. Sifting through modifications complicates the repair process. Reducing/eliminating user-accessible upgrades simplifies the situation.

Manufacturers want to minimize the number of "gray area" decisions made by staff and management in the field, and no repair shop wants a debate. "No modifications" is cut-and-dried.
 

hallux

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Apr 25, 2012
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So if I took my MacBook to the Apple flagship store in Regent Street or New York, and paid for an SSD upgrade, I find it hard to understand how that would void the original warranty for all other components?

I wouldn't be able to later take the laptop to any other Apple Store in the country to have any new issues sorted out as per original Apple warranty? That doesn't seem right.
The problem here is that there IS no upgrade option in the Apple store, even for Macs with SSD's that plug into a slot. Apple never provided that service, there was no pricing. You got what you got and that was it unless you opened the machine yourself (voiding the warranty) and installed a drive taken from another Mac and sold second-hand.
 

drewsof07

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Oct 30, 2006
2,003
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Ohio
Consumers should be protected from warranty void under Magnuson-Moss, wherein the burden of proof lies on the manufacturer to prove the upgrade directly caused damage or other components to fail.
 
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hallux

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Apr 25, 2012
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Consumers should be protected from warranty void under Magnuson-Moss, wherein the burden of proof lies on the manufacturer to prove the upgrade directly caused damage or other components to fail.
While that IS the case, Apple can argue that no part of the system is user-serviceable and any warranty is voided if the system is opened, sticker on the seam (or screw) or not.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,177
9,860
California
While that IS the case, Apple can argue that no part of the system is user-serviceable and any warranty is voided if the system is opened, sticker on the seam (or screw) or not.
That is not the case in the US. There even was a lawsuit about this (I think it was against Asus on their EeePC) where you cannot slap a sticker on and say if the sticker/seal is broken the warranty is automatically void. Now if Apple wants to try and say you opened it up and it looks like in the process you broke something, that is different.
 

ApfelKuchen

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Aug 28, 2012
3,496
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That is not the case in the US. There even was a lawsuit about this (I think it was against Asus on their EeePC) where you cannot slap a sticker on and say if the sticker/seal is broken the warranty is automatically void. Now if Apple wants to try and say you opened it up and it looks like in the process you broke something, that is different.
The thing about civil suits is they generally do not result in widely-applicable precedent - they tend to rule on the narrow facts of that case.

The staff of a repair shop is not made up of forensic investigators, and companies would rather not have to pay for a investigation of every dispute between repair shop and customer. If the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) has been tripped, repair staff are instructed to assume there was indeed liquid contact. They are under no obligation to test whether the LCI is itself faulty. Similarly, if they encounter a modification, they're under no obligation to test whether the modification ought to work (even if the part was the same as would have been present as a BTO option). Proving that the unauthorized modification caused damage can be very difficult, especially if that damage is due to electrostatic discharge. If a warranty covers both workmanship and materials, the company issuing the warranty prefers to cover only its workmanship.

A product that contains user-servicable parts is almost always more expensive to build. A warranty that allows for the kind of damage that might occur during user-service is also more expensive. In the end, the consumer's demand for a lower price - especially in computing devices, where there's an expectation of lower price/greater value with every new model - helps drive all this. Sure, the company may aid and abet this, as it's often in the company's self-interest as well.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,387
32,999
Boston
Consumers should be protected from warranty void under Magnuson-Moss, wherein the burden of proof lies on the manufacturer to prove the upgrade directly caused damage or other components to fail.
Unless you want to deal with the cost of lawyers, it can be increasingly difficult to make that case, especially if the laptop has a malfunction and they can prove the consumer opened up the laptop and replaced a component.

While technically that law protects the consumer, in reality, companies have time and money on their side.
 
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