If there's evidence of tampering with optical drive, will my warranty be voided

alec6542

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 16, 2012
111
2
Hi guys

So I am a little worried. Tomorrow I will be taking in my 2011 MacBook Pro in for AppleCare service as the trackpad has stopped working properly. I paid around $400 for AppleCare shortly before my 1 year warranty was up last December, but since then I have remove optical drive, moved the stock HD to the optical bay, and put a SSD in the regular hard drive bay. I've read that I need to make sure I put everything back to stock configuration before taking it in (except perhaps taking out the SSD since that is technically user replaceable), or else they could refuse service. Only problem is, I lost the two black torx screws (the one by the fan under the skinny cable you disconnect to get to and the one in bottom left corner). I replaced them with two identically sized silver Phillips. Do you think they will notice this? If they do, will this be considered evidence of tampering and thus void my entire $400 warranty, and deny service? I can survive without the trackpad for a while as I have a mouse if it would be best to hunt down two identical, black torx screws.
Alec
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,547
8,394
Detroit
You can always call them, explain the situation and see what they say without giving them your serial number or computer.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
The way I understand the warranty (it's been a while since I read it) is that Apple is not obligated under the warranty to repair something that you have damaged; however, they should still work on parts of the computer that were not affected by modifications you made. That doesn't mean they'll follow that, though.
 

alec6542

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 16, 2012
111
2
The way I understand the warranty (it's been a while since I read it) is that Apple is not obligated under the warranty to repair something that you have damaged; however, they should still work on parts of the computer that were not affected by modifications you made. That doesn't mean they'll follow that, though.
Indeed. This seems to be one of those areas where Apple is intentionally ambiguous, which is why I decided to post here. I am hoping someone on here has some anecdotal evidence or experience with this kind of issue. I know a lot depends on which Genius I get when I go in.
 

negativzero

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2011
564
50
I suggest just bringing it in. You need it repaired anyway.

Or go hunting for the screws. Most hardware specialty shops should stock those torx screws.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,547
8,394
Detroit
This seems to be one of those areas where Apple is intentionally ambiguous, ... I know a lot depends on which Genius I get when I go in.
I think Apple probably leaves the warranty ambiguous on purpose to both serve their needs in rejecting warranty repair, but also to give leeway to the stores to fix computers for customers. Whereas if the warranty was more clearly defined, they may not be able to help someone out. Seems like a fair two-way street.
 

kamuix

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2011
198
12
california
I believe you should be okay. The warranty I see it is that if it's a component that you did not touch or modify, they will work on it. I went in with stripped screws on Friday with hopes they could help (botched optibay attempt). I showed it to the "Apple" person and he called it accidental damage. 222 bucks to repair as they said they could damage the top plate. So basically they wanted me to pay a person who potentially can break something to fix it. Understandable that it is apple protocol. He did see my SSD and he said the HD was the only thing covered in my situation. Since the trackpad broke on it's own, I believe you are entitled for the repair.
 

mslide

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2007
708
2
Not that this really means anything but I know someone who swapped out the optical drive with the original HD, after installing an SSD, and made use of Apple Care twice. He didn't put it back to stock configuration and both times required them to open the MBP. Both times the Apple Store employees knew full well what he did and couldn't care less.

I'd be surprised if an Apple store employee gave you a hard time even about the screws.