HDD Upgrade and Voiding the Warranty on a 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mywhitenoise, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. mywhitenoise macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #1
    I really want to replace the stock 1TB hard drive on my i5 27" iMac, with my own 1.5TB Seagate drive that I own.

    I bought AppleCare, but I'd be really pissed if they denied my coverage just because I decided to upgrade my drive. If something were to go wrong with my computer, but I reinstalled the stock drive...would it be noticeable that I had replaced the drive previously?

    I find it unbelievable how complicated they made it to upgrade a HDD, so far as to voiding the warranty, but yet they made upgrading RAM extremely simple.
     
  2. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #2
    upgrading the hard drive is not recommended by Apple, and is in violation of the warranty as you have to open the iMac and you are not certified to do that , on the other hand your warranty might still partly be in place , in case the defect can not be related to your upgrade attempts
    the only new Mac that is build for upgrades by the user is the macpro as you can open it by lifting a lever on the rear side
    by the way
    Smoking may void Applecare warranty too , due to "health hazard"(for the iMac that is as the tar builds up not only in your lung also in the iMac and can cause health problems there )
     
  3. joudbren macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    #3
    I'm pretty sure you will not void your warranty. This is printed right in your manual:

    "If you open your iMac or install items other than memory, you risk damaging your equipment. Such damage isn’t covered by the limited warranty on your iMac."

    As you can see, it does not specifically say that you "can't" do it, just that if you do open it and do any damage, they won't cover the damage. The new iMacs also have a "warranty void" sticker covering one of the screws on the heatsink inside the case. I would assume that sticker should be on the outside of the case somewhere covering a screw if it was going to void your warranty just by opening the unit. That's the way it was on my Asus Netbook (1008HA), as soon as I popped off the keyboard there was a warranty void sticker covering one of the screws you needed to remove to continue opening the unit. Case closed. (pun intended)

    And the following line is from the iMac warranty doc:

    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”)

    Again, it only specifically mentions that they will not cover "damage caused", not a blanket statement suggesting your entire warranty is null and void if you do an upgrade.

    I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions on this so read it as you will but as I read it, in my opinion, as long as you don't damage anything then your warranty is still good other than removing the heatsink which specifically has a "warranty void" sticker. If you damage anything then they reserve the right to charge you for repairs to fix the damage and of course they won't cover the new drive either. Also, if something goes wrong with the system down the road and they can prove it was a result of your upgrade, safe bet they'll charge you for that one too.

    http://images.apple.com/legal/warranty/docs/cpuwarranty.pdf

    James

    P.S. Shameless disclaimer: just a reminder that I'm not a legal expert! This info is my opinion only so you're on your own if you do the upgrade. Also depending on what country you're from, you may also have additional rights that aren't covered in the warranty doc.
     
  4. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #4
    like you said , it does not, but apple can always refer to it as a cause , as the back of the imac is a big heatsink itself , so removing it can in theory void the warranty as its part of the cooling system, and if you get a cooling problem afterwards , its like with cleaning the glass front by removing it with a suction cup , no problem you can do that without voiding the warranty , but if you damage the screen in the attempt it wont be covered by any warranty or apple care

    so the answer is like i said:" it is not recommended by apple " and it will void your warranty if the damage can be related to your upgrade attempt

    so to make things absolute clear ...you can upgrade the iMac yourself , but on your own risk, if you damage it in the attempt its your fault and you cant blame apple for not covering the damage you caused
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    From http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/iMac_Late2009_UG.pdf

    So yes, opening the iMac DOES VOID your warranty.
     
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #6
    Actually, according to the part you quoted, Apple advises against opening the machine since you could damage it and that would not be covered under the warranty. It doesn't say that simply opening up the machine voids the warranty though.

    Personally, I'd rather not give Apple any excuses to deny me service under AppleCare.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    But it gives Apple an excuse to refuse fixing it. I know it doesn't exactly say that opening it will void it, but you are playing with fire if you open it as it's pretty hard to prove that you had nothing to do with the issue. Even if it was e.g. logic board issue they could appeal to this and say that maybe you broke a fan or smth.
     
  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #8
    No, I absolutely agree. If Apple sees evidence that you've been in the case you're only asking for trouble.

    And with a logic board being the second most expensive part in the machine (and one often-replaced), is it really worth the risk just to swap out a 1TB hard disk for a 1.5TB??
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    IMO definitely not. That's why there are external HDs which are fine as storage and don't really annoy with iMac as it's not portable anyway (no constant plug&unplug scenario)
     
  10. viggen61 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    Why not get an external enclosure for your spare drive? For a FireWire 400 enclosure, they're under $50 (assuming a 3.5" SATA drive), and under $100 for a FW 800 enclosure. (Prices from MacSales.com)

    Then you have 2.5 TB on tap...

    :apple::apple:
     
  11. mywhitenoise thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #11
    Well I actually just bought an enclosure that will hold my spare 500GB drive, and the supplied 1TB drive that came with my iMac. I just don't want to have my external drive constantly running, and I'd rather have everything on my computer and ready to be backed up with the external.
    Joudbren explanation was the most sound. I can take full responsibility if I were to break the glass, or kill a board while doing the install, but other than that an HDD upgrade shouldnt void my warranty.
     
  12. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #12
    it still is a gamble ...there had even been cases of people apple had refused repair under warranty because of heavy smoking and tar build up inside the iMac
    i work on computers since over 20 years and i know manufacturers will try to avoid to do repairs under warranty if they can ..so why give them the reason they need , especially on the iMac 27" which is not known to be the Mac with no failing parts

    but its still up to you , its your iMac and your risk , and i cant tell you what you have to do with it , but i agree with sasushi/hellhammer these couple gb are not worth the risk
    and for the external solution , ok i only have old Macs , but i am sure on the new ones its the same you can "eject" a external drive and disconnect it or switch it of , then its not running all the time ;)
     
  13. rw3 macrumors 6502a

    rw3

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #13
    I'm doing a 256GB SSD in the optical bay and a 2TB Samsung EcoGreen and then a LaCie external burner via FireWire.
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    Yeah, I have a Seagate 1.5TB HDD in an IcyDock Firewire 800 enclosure which is fanless and runs extremely quietly. I turn it off when it's not in use.

    There's no one to blame but yourself when Apple charges you $600 for a logic board replacement even though you're still under AppleCare.

    If that risk is worth it to you then go for it.
     
  15. natewsmith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    #15
    Sorry,

    But I know from FACT and my friend is a Mac Genius. He says if you add anything to your mac even not mac related MEMORY they can and will deny you of your Apple Care Service. You can not upgrade your Hard Drive or anything else inside.

    Sorry!
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #16
    You can add RAM... You should anyway put the original RAM back so Apple can't blame the RAM to be the problem
     

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