Is it possible to use 2010 MBA SSD in the new 2011 MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by fredn, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. fredn, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    fredn macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    I'm seriously considering the new 2011 13" 1.7Ghz MBA with 128GB SSD.

    Currently, I have a 2010 13" 2.13Ghz MBA with 256GB SSD.

    The plan is to swap the SSDs when the 2011 arrives, and then hand-me-down the 2010 (now with 128GB SSD) to the girlfriend, as she does not even use up the 80GB HDD of her old WhiteBook.

    On my side, I'll save re-configuring a virgin install, as I have many many specific hacks and such (mostly for development purposes) that the Migration Assistant wouldn't be able to move over; plus a BootCamp partition that's perfectly configured. In addition I save several hundred bucks.

    So my question is -- is this possible? Can I just move the SSD over like that? I know I'll need a special screwdriver to open the case, but otherwise it seems straightforward at least on the hardware side.

    The other thing is, would that void the warranty on the machines to open them up and swap the SSDs? :confused:
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011

    As far as the warranty goes; should you ever need a repair you could always swap them back, Apple would never know that they'd been swapped.
  3. fredn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    Thanks for the link!

    As for the warranty... Yeah, I've been crawling the web looking for answers and it seems there is no definitive answer on whether that voids your warranty. :-/

    Understood about switching back before repairs -- but that would cause undue hardship on two very busy people by taking both machines out of commission... So I'm thinking now maybe I'll have to bite the few hundred bucks more for the 256GB upgrade. :-/
  4. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    Of course it voids the warranty. The SSD is not an end user serviceable part and you are not a certified Apple hardware service vendor.
  5. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    You will have to do a clean install once you drop the 2010 SSD in the 2011 machine. It won't work like a hot swap.
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The SSDs are identical between the 2010 and 2011 models. Note that if you swap, you'll need to figure out how to get the MacBook Air-specific version of Lion onto it, since the 2011s won't boot with Snow Leopard and also won't boot with the version of Lion that you download from the App Store. The recovery idea might work best (CMD-R while you reboot).

    Theoretically, you may be able to avoid the warranty issue by having a certified vendor do the SSD swap. Another alternative may be to purchase the 256GB 2011, get a 128GB SSD from eBay or OWC (they are about $250-275), and then sell the 256GB from your 2010. That's an option if you haven't purchased Apple Care on your 2010, at least.
  7. jenzjen, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    He'll have to CMD/R on the stock 2011 and install Lion onto an external drive/USB. Then, swap SSDs and another CMD/R and then tell the system to install Lion onto the 256 SSD.
  8. fredn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    Thanks for the advice guys. If I can't hotswap the SSD then there's nearly no point in this experiment as I'll have to re-setup a virgin install anyway. Looks like I'll pick up a 13" with 256GB SSD then. As a side benefit I'll be able to upgrade to the 1.8Ghz CPU as well.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    On the 13" the i7 only provides about an 8% CPU performance increase vs. a 25% increase on the 11" (the 1.7GHz i5 turbo boosts a lot faster than the 1.6GHz i5). That said, if you want the "ultimate", $100 is a reasonable premium.

    You could try to monetize the 256GB in the model you are passing down to your girlfriend if she won't need it all. I've seen 128GB blade SSDs on eBay for $200, and you can probably get at least $400 for the 256GB drive.
  10. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    The only time your warranty is voided is if you damage something. If it's an Apple SSD in an Apple MBA and there was no physical damage then there's no problems.

    I brought my 2010 MBA into the Apple store with a 256gb drive in it when it originally came with a 128gb SSD. I told them that I had put a larger SSD in it. They said no problem. I had actually bought the MBA used and it had a bent corner. Also told them that. I went there to ask them if they could note the damage and that it was still working fine because I wanted to get Applecare later in the year. They asked if I had backed up my data because they wanted to send it off for repair for free. I said I could go back home and put the 128gb drive back in and bring it back later. Again, they said no problem. Did it and got a brand new outer case.

    I'm going to buy a 2011 MBA and put this same 256gb SSD in it then sell my 2010 MBA with the 128gb SSD in it.

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