Install SSD myself or void warranty?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macstatic, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I'm awaiting the iMac updates and understand that buying it with a pre-installed SSD drive is very expensive compared to buying from other sources (like memory).

    The big question is if I can install an SSD drive myself or will this void the warranty?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    On the iMacs hard drives are not user-replaceable, so it is grounds for refusing service under Applecare.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    But many people do replace their drives and just swap them back if anything happens and they need service. If you damage the machine whilst doing it though you're completely SOL.
  4. turtlez macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    the only time I would get an ssd that wasn't installed by apple would be from otherworld computing because they match the warranty.
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I'd go for Otherworld computing if I lived in the States, which I don't.

    How difficult (and risky) is it to open up the iMac and install an SSD myself?
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    It's not that hard if you have some experience putting together computer parts or other electrical/mechanical experience. I just put a SSD in my 24" imac, and with the ifixit guide, it wasn't bad and took about 40 minutes start to finish (I had already cloned the drive).

    I skipped the last step and did not disconnect the LCD cable because it was taking more effort than I was comfortable with to remove it, and I could still replace the drive. If you aren't comfortable knowing when to say when, so to speak, I'd skip this project. Otherwise it's fully DIY.
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I suppose this is the iFixit guide you're referring to.
    I have lots of experience opening/putting together electronic devices, but trying to replace a worn out CCFL backlight in my Powerbook G4's screen was a rather unpleasant experience as I wrecked a perfectly good LCD display. Then again this involved actually opening up the LCD component itself! How stupid not to make those backlight easily replaceable, but then again they'd miss selling a replacement LCD (that's green thinking for you!).
    I assume inserting a 2nd drive in the iMac is nothing as risky as that though.

    Is it a challenge to perform the "surgery" in a way that won't leave any traces of "tampering" in case of warranty issues?
  8. Reaktor5 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire, USA
    If you bring it to an Authorized Apple Specialist to have it installed, does that void your AppleCare?
  9. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Similar to that one, but mine was 24" and I was replacing the main drive, not adding a second one.

    I would say it would be tough, but not impossible to conceal the fact that the device was opened. In mine there were no warranty void seals that I had to break, so they'd be hard press to really deny you. There were some cables that were taped in such a way that it'd be hard to replicate, and the drive temperature sensor would not stick sufficiently to the new drive without some extra tape.

    It sounds like you have the experience to do this. It's really just unscrewing a few parts and disconnecting a few wires.
  10. macstatic, Aug 23, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012

    macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Hmmm.... (undecided on what to do)
    It sounds risky to possibly ruin the warranty of a brand new machine (should probably test the iMac thoroughly for a few weeks before installing the drive).

    In search of more information I came across an interesting Macworld article on the 2011 (current?) 21.5" iMac with an SSD installed. I found the reader comments at the bottom especially enlightening (interesting bits in bold by by me):

    ... so provided a Thunderbolt interfaced up-to-date (technology wise) external SSD drive can be found for a suitable price, that may be the way to go with the iMac I'll be getting (with a Thunderbolt interface).

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