How long before upgrading to SSD (and therefore voiding warranty)?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by garbage-barge, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. garbage-barge macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    #1
    I've never had to do anything to my macs within the initial 1-year warranty period, but I've just taken delivery of a refurb 2.6ghz i7 Mini and I want to feel reasonably certain that I didn't get a dud before I do anything, related or not, that will void my ability to get a logic board replaced, etc.

    I've got a 256gb SSD and the bracket kit sitting right here on my desk. When I ordered it I didn't realize that it would prevent me from exchanging this machine if something goes south within the first year.

    So should I just do it? I've done plenty of mac and PC and even some mild iPhone repairs, but again-- always well out of warranty. Is it reasonable to worry that something might go wrong with my Mini in a month or two? Or am I being paranoid?

    FWIW, I once had a refurb G4 iBook that had a dead memory expansion slot. Didn't find out about this until I tried to upgrade at about month 15. Was stuck with 512mb for the life of the machine...
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    I would run it for a few days to a week in factory configuration at least to see if anything fails. Generally, if something's going to have a problem, it's either DOA or within the first couple uses. Otherwise, in my experience electronic stuff will out live most warranties. If there's no problem after a week (or whatever you feel is a good "burn in"), then I would go for it but keep the old drive. If something does go bad within the warranty period, I would just swap everything back to stock, and take it in for repair.
     
  3. apfelmann macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #3
    and be sure to wear gloves, so you don't leave fingerprints! it's part of apple's warranty checks ###
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    Unless Apple's policy has changed recently, you only void the warranty if you break something.
     
  5. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #5
    I ordered Apple Care with my mini and installed a Crucial 960GB M500, an OWC cable kit and 16GB of Crucial RAM in the first week. No regrets.
     
  6. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

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    Southern Cal
    #6
  7. garbage-barge thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    #7

    Cool, good to know. Thanks! Really, the only thing that worries me is the HDD heat sensor shenanigans.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP asks:
    [[ So should I just do it? I've done plenty of mac and PC and even some mild iPhone repairs, but again-- always well out of warranty. Is it reasonable to worry that something might go wrong with my Mini in a month or two? Or am I being paranoid? ]]

    If you can part with $25 or so, I suggest you get either:
    1. An external USB3 enclosure
    or
    2. A USB3/SATA dock

    ... and set up and use the drive that way for a while.

    You will get almost all the performance benefits of an internally-installed drive, but you won't have to open the case and do "Mini surgery" to get there.

    Once you're satisfied that the drive is set up and working properly (via the dock), and once you're satisfied the Mini is doing fine, THEN you can open it and "do the swap".

    But the drive will run so well from the enclosure or dock, that you might just consider leaving it there until the warranty period is over...
     
  9. donlab macrumors 6502

    donlab

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    I would go for it. Especially if the drive is in the "lower" position, you can easily swap the drive without much work. Just be careful with the fan cable when removing the fan assembly. If you are looking to leave the stock 1TB and add the 256 and create a fusion drive.... I would urge you to just skip the fusion setup altogether. Why? after 1.5 year with my 2012 mini with fusion drive, the apple 1TB drive died. I'd rather tear into the computer once not twice. Thankfully i left the 1TB in the lower so it wasn't such an under taking to swap with a 1TB samsung evo SSD.
     
  10. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #10
    Do you think it died from being in a Fusion drive setup (rather than from manufacturing defects or simple overheating in this tight and poorly ventilated enclosure)? And can a SSD not die as well?

    It's really not that much more effort to get to the upper bay. Yes, you have to get out all the components, but with a good guide like the one on ifixit it's pretty simple, really. I actually moved my 1TB drive to the upper bay when I installed the SSD, both for cabling reasons and to have it closer to the big heatsink (= housing).
    Since I lost a drive for mounting it too close over another (back in the Amiga years :cool:) and just recently had significant thermal problems from having just one "normal" 3.5" HD in my (quite spacious) HTPC with four 3.5" bays, I'm once bitten twice shy when it comes to proper cooling.
     
  11. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #11
    I'd also get an external enclosure. Just assure that the enclosure really has an USB3 controller. A lot of USB3 enclosures are SATAII.
     
  12. donlab macrumors 6502

    donlab

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    I do think heat played a large part in the 1TB drive's death. Now with old owc mercury ssd and samsung ssd the machine gets warm but never as hot as when the spinning rust was in there. Not sure what I'll do with old ssd in upper bay now.
     
  13. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    Jul 5, 2002
    #13
    How about bootcamping it?
     
  14. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #14
    Exactly. I'm running Windows 8.1 on my mini's OEM 1TB HDD. If I didn't have windows on it I would be fooling around with Yosemite. Before putting Windows on it I used it for EyeTV DRV files.
     
  15. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #15
    I upgraded right away.
    OK, so I bought a shrink-wrapped Mini from an auction site and I wasn't sure if it actually had any warranty at all (with no proof of purchase).
    But I think I would have even upgraded a new one right from the store (after running it a couple of hours, redeem my free i*Apps etc.).

    A Mini without SSD is not so great.

    I didn't bother with a FusionDrive. If any of the two disks fails, the whole setup is toast and you have to disassemble the thing again.
    My 1TB drive was in the "top" slot, so it was relatively easy to replace with a 500G Crucial SSD. I don't do a lot of I/O (no video-converting), so it should work for a while. I do hope, though, that if and when the SSD fails, there are still SATA3-SSDs available. That is actually my gravest concern.
     
  16. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #16
    One thing you might want to think about if you're using an SSD as an external boot disk is that USB3 doesn't support TRIM. Thunderbolt does, but those enclosures are more expensive.
     
  17. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #17
    If any of the disks fails, for replacement you have to disassemble it nevertheless.

    The 2.5" form factor and SATA are here to stay (SATA 3.2 specifies 8 and 16Gbit/s, up from current 6Gbit/s). If all else fails, you will be able to get an adapter for connecting a future SSD to a standard SATA port.
     
  18. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #18
    I really hope so.
    I also hope it's not as pointless as buying a PATA disk for my current laptop is ;-)

    As for disassembly: because I only have an SSD, if that fails I only need to a "light" disassembly (no need to remove the motherboard etc - howto taken from this this forum, actually). To create a FusionDrive, you've got to reach the "lower" SATA-slot and that is a lot more work.
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    I installed an SSD and upgraded the RAM the first day I bought my Mac mini (before I even booted it up for the first time). I just use CCC on another computer to move the initial install to my new drive.

    And no, it doesn't void my warranty. I've taken my computer in at least twice for service and no-one has concerned themselves with my upgrades.
     
  20. dovahkiin691 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    #20
    I had a similar experience as alphaod, along with the purchase of my mac, i bought an SSD and got rid of the hard drive shortly after booting for the first time.
     
  21. Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

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    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #21
    I waited 15 days, because I was sure that Apple would release the new Mini and I wanted to be able to return it. After 15 days, more ram and SSD popped right in there, OWC documentation makes it a snap. I didn't bother with fusion because I figure that SSD prices will continue to drop, and eventually I'll replace the 1TB spinner with another SSD. Only point to fusion is to get the speed of SSD with some of the price of HDD, and with a big enough SSD and the future that's not enough gain to be worth the hassle. Plus I don't have a big enough external drive with which to back up a giant fusion drive, but can back up each individual one to separate drives ...
     

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