FINAL VERDICT: Does Installing an SSD Void Your Warranty?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by EnterTheSwamp, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. EnterTheSwamp macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010
    Does anyone know any definitive answers on the subject? Some say since you don't remove any warranty stickers that it does not. Others say that once you open it it does. What is the final verdict?
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    If you are an Apple Certified Mac Technician, you can do almost anything without voiding the warranty. As just a standard user, the only user parts are the RAM and the Neck (to convert for VESA uses).

  3. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    If the technicians don't find out you did anything to your machine, then no, your warranty is intact. If the technicians find out, then say goodbye to your warranty.

    If you told the technicians that you put in an SSD, then they will void the warranty.
  4. symbology macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2010
    If Apple can and will install an extra SSD drive, then anyone is able to install an SSD drive without causing issues with the warranty. However, if you damage your iMac while performing the modification you are out of luck. If you performed the same actions that a Certified Apple Tech would have, Apple has no basis for voiding your warranty. (Actions within reason of course). Adding an SSD card where Apple would put an SSD card is reasonable IMO.

    Again, unless you did the damage while installing the device, or the device is the cause of the warranty claim. You are good to go.

    Read through the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and then read through your warranty documentation.
  5. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    If you install an SSD yourself, and take it in for repair at an apple store, if you don't completely remove anything you've done to the inside then they will void your warranty is at can then be counted as tampering.
  6. inscrewtable, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013

    inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010
    Sorry to resurrect this old thread but there was no point in creating a new one. I've looked all over the web and there does not seem to be a definitive answer, therefore I just used my informal legal nouse and read my applecare warrantee and the warrantee that came with my imac.

    The purpose of this is to see if adding an ssd to a 2011 imac would void the warrantee.

    OK, so I have scoured every point in the supplied Apple Care warrantee and there is nothing at all that talks about voiding the warrantee, and nothing in the original booklet.

    THEREFORE, I'm pretty certain that, in Australia at least if my imac died due to natural causes, for example the HDD stopped working, then I cannot see how Apple has a leg to stand on with regard to voiding the warrantee.

    I don't care about the opinions of people in the street, or apple geniuses because they are simply opinions, however well informed and any prior decisions, for example if a genius has already voided someones warrantee, that does not make it legal.

    As far as I can tell there is nothing anywhere that explicitly states that opening the mac voids the warrantee and there are no stickers on it.

    So why is there these mythological pontifications all over the web with contrary opinions. In fact just the fact that there are all these opinions with no one cutting and pasting any actual terms, just goes to show that ones warrantee would not be voided.

    The only thing that came anywhere close is a clause that excludes any user added parts from warrantee which is obvious. But they don't say that doing so voids the warrantee on the rest of the machine, just that the new part is not covered. That could be read, and I'm sure would be able to be argued in a civil court if need be, that it is implicit that modding your mac that does not affect the rest of it, does not void the warrantee.

    what say ye?

    EDIT: just found this which is pretty unequivocal

    Unauthorized Modifications

    All unauthorized modifications will void the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty unless it is clear that there is no relation between the modification and the product failure. Any modification that permanently alters the basic module and makes it unfit for the module "exchange pool" will void the Apple warranty. For example, attempts to rework the power supply at the component level will void the warranty on an Apple product.

  7. snugja macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2006
    YMMV, just ask this guy . . .
  8. pubjoe, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

    pubjoe macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007

    Most people here seem to think that opening an imac is the equivalent of violating the holy virgin.

    Not in my experience.

    I had a 2006 imac's screen replaced by Apple (in the UK) - twice. I had opened it a few times and when I brought it in the first time it had an SSD in it. I told the staff member I spoke to this and he was completely indifferent. It was checked off, sent to technicians, repaired and sent back. At no point did anyone have a problem with it, nor did I expect them to. The screen replacement was another duff, so shortly afterward I took it back in and the same thing happened again.

    The reason I did not expect to have a problem is mainly because Apple's terms don't explicitly state you can't perform an internal upgrade (no they don't), and I also did not touch the 'warranty void if removed' sticker which was on the CPU heatsink.

    Minor repairs, cleaning (like the rear of the imac glass) and occasional upgrading has always been part of owning a computer. I didn't expect my right to take out simple tasks to stop with an imac, and according to the several members of staff my imac went through, neither did they.

    If Apple were legally allowed to void a customer's warranty rights for upgrading their computer, surely they would put the 'warranty void' sticker in immediate view on a logic board screw or on one of the LCD screws on previous models.

    I can understand if I broke it but that's a completely different matter. The TOS do state that damage caused by the user are not covered but of course, that's obvious.
  9. pubjoe macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    Well said. I think a lot of the time, if someone has been told differently in store, the staff member has simply made an assumption based on myth. This happens all the time... Supermarket workers who believe that all brands are the same only packaged differently... Casino croupiers who believe in crackpot betting systems... Staff are often the worst offenders of believing in common myths.

    Also, notice how there's no benefit for the staff member to be educated by their employer in those above examples. The same goes here with Apple's staff. To their employer, it's quite a "happy accident" that they've been mislead in such a way.
  10. inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010
    Ho ho, ain't that the truth. One of my favourites is staff at supermarkets asking to look in my bag, and when I refuse they point to a sign saying that it is a condition of entry, as if that changes the law.
  11. MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    All of this!!! It amazes me how no one seems to take the simple step of reading the warranty when it comes to this topic!
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Apple hardware warranty from 04.10.2011 (taken from

    I think the working is rather clear. It may be that your Mac is older and thus a different warranty applies to it.
  13. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    There are two points of view here - legal, and what actually happens.


    If you make any modifications yourself, Apple will void your warranty. The exception is if there is no possibility of your modification causing failure. However, this is almost impossible, since if you have opened it, how are they do know that you haven't caused the problem? If you installed an SSD, and your HDD died, you could have shorted something, damaged a connector or anything.

    As a general rule of thumb, if you repair it yourself, be prepared to lose your warranty, even on unrelated things.

    What actually happens

    The technician will most likely use common sense. If you install and SSD and your wi-fi stops working, they probably wont care. If, however, you install an SSD and the screen develops a flicker, then there is a good chance you caused it, so they'll probably charge you.

    The exception is if you go through any "warranty void" stickers (on the iMac, these are on the CPU heatsink, and the shortest "long" screw holding the MLB in (left hand side)). If these are damaged, you will have no warranty left. End of story.
  14. inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010
    Yeah that's a good find, I have not seen that before. However it's not particularly clear what they mean by 'modified' considering that it is designed to take an SSD. I think I'd be pretty happy to argue this point in a civil court if it came to that, and I'm pretty sure I'd win. If Apple wanted to make it watertight then it would have been very easy for them to do so, therefore I'd have to go with 'modified' as meaning actually change the blueprint design, like maybe adding an SSD when it was never part of the original design and therefore could cause airflow issues.

    Agreed about destroying warranty void stickers, that's a given.

    About 'what actually happens' and 'legally' we are back to the area that I'm talking about in my original post, you are just giving your opinion which is as worthless as anyone else's.

    Taking the actual wording, it would hinge on how one would argue the word 'modification' in front of a judge and no matter how many lawyers apple could get on this, the bottom line is that they don't have very many words to work with.

    Let me give an example of how careful one has to be. Many years ago the law in NSW, Australia pertaining to drink driving was worded as '.08ml of alcohol in 100ml of blood' and many people were prosecuted under this law.

    That was until the day when someone defending a drink driving charge had a smart enough lawyer to pick up that it should not have said "in" after the word 'alcohol' but rather it should have said 'per'. The difference between 'in' and 'per' is that with 'in 100ml of blood' the lawyer demanded that the police must specify precisely which 100ml they are talking about. He got off the charge and the wording of the law was changed.

    "Modification", might be clear enough to someone in the street, but for the purposes of a legal definition with regards to something that apple themselves have blueprinted, then they have not worded it with enough precision to uphold something like adding your own SSD that is also a bto, especially since nothing has been actually modified. Of course you may disagree and you are entitled to but that is what courts and judges are for.

    Personally, I'd be pretty confident of arguing this particular case concerning an SSD that did nothing more than plug it in to an existing socket.

    I might write to Apple to see if I can engage their lawyers on this one just for fun. If I do I'll report back here. It's not frivolous because I'll need to be able to prove this when I sell it before the applecare runs out.
  15. rpg51, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

    rpg51 macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2012
    My new refurb iMac

    had a problem with the screen, (flicker), that I did not discover until the machine was shipped to me from OWC. The new machine was originally shipped direct to OWC by Apple. OWC installed an SSD on their "turnkey" program. I brought the machine to a local authorized apple repair center for repair/replacement of the screen and told them about the SSD. Apple approved replacement of the screen under warranty and the work was completed by the repair center at no charge to me. I live in the US. I assume since they ended up replacing the screen that they did not attribute the problem to anything having to do with the installation of the SSD. Not sure if the answer would have been different if there was evidence that the SSD install did contribute to the screen problem.

    Warranty questions are not always simple to answer and each case is going to be judged by Apple, and ultimately the courts, on its own specific facts. It is unlikely Apple will make a generalized statement to answer the question posed by the OP in this thread. Also, the law regarding warranty matters varies country to country and in the US on some issues state to state.
  16. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    I'm talking from the perspective of an ACMT (which includes quite a lot of training regarding warranty issues) who has performed several warranty repairs for macs, so my opinion is actually fairly qualified ;).

    Apple aren't a company that's out to use legal jargon to baffle customers and stop them getting service - that's not what they do. They will, in fact, usually bend over backwards to help a customer whenever they can, and they will generally do whatever's fair.

    No two interactions with a genius will ever be the same, since Apple give them the power to make decisions and use their judgement, instead of following a black and white policy - hence why there is no single answer to these kinds of questions.
  17. MojoRisinSD, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

    MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    The big question here is if Apple can void your entire warranty for work you do inside, or if they just will not cover any damage done while inside. If you read all of the official documentation available, it is actually pretty clear.

    From now on I am siting the info that either came with my new 2012 27" iMac (in the tiny booklet that is nearly impossible to read), or info off of Apple's Support page.

    From the booklet:

    "If you open your iMac or install items other than memory in 27-inch models, you risk damaging your equipment. Such damage isn't covered by the limited warranty on your iMac."

    "This warranty does not apply:… (f) 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 ("AASP"); (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple"

    From the Support page:

    "What type of damages are not covered by my warranty?"

    "Apple's Limited Warranty for Mac excludes coverage for damage resulting from accident, liquid spill or submersion, disassembly, unauthorized service and unauthorized modifications. Please review the warranty for further details."

    As you can see, Apple makes it VERY clear that any specific damage caused by non authorized personnel (the customer) will not be covered by Apple, it says nothing about voiding the entire warranty.
    Also... if you compare item's (f) and (g) above in the limited warranty, item (f) covers this exact topic, so (g) covers something other than what we are discussing here... most likely things like adding another port or cutting new exhaust vents.

    All of this makes it pretty cut and dry to me... Opening and upgrading your iMac will not void the warranty, if you damage something while in there the damage will not be covered.
  18. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I think that's a fairly liberal interpretation of (g). One could say that simply replacing an SSD, say, does alter the computer's functionality or capability. However, Apple personnel seem to have leeway. For example, liquid spills aren't supposed to be covered under warranty, but I once had a MacBook Pro repaired after milk was spilled onto the keyboard, which I disclosed when I brought it to the Apple Store.
  19. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    If you are even worried about your warranty then don't open any Mac products at all,seriously there are always other options.

    With the addiction of USB3 and Thunderbolt on all new Macs you can reach the same or near the same speed by putting an SSD in a good external enclosure and using that as the boot drive.
    There are lots of methods of hiding a small drive on the back of an iMac (especially good if the back will never be seen) and one would never really know you are using an external over internal.

    No worry of opening the iMac
    If the drive ever dies it is already outside, no worry of having to open it again.
    No worry of having to seal it back up properly afterwards.
  20. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    Don't ever assume company policy = the law, no matter what font they use to express themselves.
  21. MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    Don't quite follow you there. Anyways, like others have said, if you are paranoid about the warranty, don't open the iMac. I, for one, am not worried one bit about voiding my warranty by cracking it open. Read the warranty and judge for yourself.
  22. rpg51 macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2012
    What he means is that the mere fact that a corporation has policies or written warranty provisions does not necessarily mean they are enforceable under the law.
  23. inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010
    Yes this is exactly my reading

    And what you say is entirely my point "one could say..."

    One could say, and when/if push comes to shove, one will argue the definition of what 'authorised modification' means. I would argue that it's a modification that would be in the blueprints, which is what an added SSD would be in a 2011 iMac.

    This was my original complaint, I intend to get a definitive answer from their legal team and then if I am not satisfied with it, I will test it with our consumer watchdogs.

    I can definitely see the day approaching where Apple is going to explicitly state that anyone but their guys cracking open an iMac will void the warranty. In fact that is a good argument to use against the vague wording of their current warranty, it would be so frikken easy for them to simply state that breaking the glue seal is akin to voiding the warranty, that the fact they don't say it, allows for what they mean by 'authorised' open to interpretation.

    Further it could be argued in court that their requisite to get written permission from Apple is absurd in the real world.
  24. rpg51 macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2012
    Well, even if they adopt that policy or warranty language it still would not answer your question - you would need to know if such language is legally enforceable. Hire a lawyer and get an opinion. Then hire another and get the opposite opinion.
  25. Maxx Power, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

    Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    Depends on where you live, therefore your local laws.

    In the States, you have warranty acts such as the Magnuson-Moss:–Moss_Warranty_Act

    In Canada, there is a similar legal clause protecting the consumer.

    In Europe, depending on if you are in the EU or not, the laws ALMOST-ALWAYS overrides the terms on the manufacturer's warranty clause, no matter what it is said. THE LAW > APPLE's TERMS.

    Essentially, if you live where there is such a legal wording in the law, you can modify the equipment to suit your needs as fair use (computers, cars, etc), so long as when you eventually claim warranty, your actions CAN NOT BE PROVEN by the manufacturer to have caused the issue at hand.

    My personal experience is exactly this in Canada and the US. I took my MBP in for service a few times, the Apple service technician explicitly informed me that you can install SSDs, RAM, modify the DVD ROM drive to a HDD/SSD instead, SO LONG AS it didn't cause the failure of the machine or went down to the electrical component level (capacitors, desoldering the CPU, etc).

    I suppose things gets a little murky if said modifications on the product entails a replacement of a component level part. I guess if they really didn't want the end user to tinker with the iMacs, they should have riveted the thing shut, or used a lot of easily breakable stickers that says "warranty void if removed/damaged".

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