MBP - Swapping Internal Drive - Does it Void Warranty?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PinballHack, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. PinballHack macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2007
    I've read many "opinions" on this subject. Some say yes, some say no.

    Has anybody with a current warranty, swapped their small capacity internal hard drive for a larger drive, then a problem developed later, perhaps with the motherboard, sent it to Apple for repair, and they refused because you had opened the case and swapped drives?

    You'd hope that if your HD swap didn't inject a problem, they would honor the Applecare warranty.

    What's your actual experience?


  2. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I believe the warranty says that they won't repair any damage caused by an unauthorized upgrade.

    But on the other hand, Apple Geniuses can sometimes be stupid. :p

    Your safest bet would be to save your original hard drive and replace it if something goes wrong. That way, the question doesn't arise.

    Sorry, no person experience in the situation but I hope that helps.
  3. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Your best bet is to have the HD changed by an Apple Authorized technician. Then your warranty won't be voided. I heard that if you so much as undo a screw on your machine except to swap out the RAM it voids your warranty.
  4. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    The main problem I have found - and have been told be Geniuses to do - is to keep your old drive when you have to send it off to Applecare. Because in the case of my computer, when they had to replace everything, if I had my 160GB HD in my computer and sent it off (original was 100GB) if the HD needed to be replaced it would be returned to me with a new 100GB HD, not a 160GB HD. Same goes for the 2GB of ram I upgraded to from 1GB.
  5. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Yes it voids the warranty. Get it done by an Apple Authorized Tech
  6. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Whoever told you that told you wrong. Nowhere does it state in the warranty terms that removing a screw voids the warranty. It does however state:

    This warranty does not apply: ...

    (b) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, flood, fire, earthquake or other external causes

    So if you manage to screw up your computer by removing a screw, you are liable for the damage.

    Replacing the hard drive in a MBP yourself doesn't necessarily void the warranty either. In fact, I've asked this exact question to both an Apple Genius and a service representative on the phone. They both stated that it won't void the warranty, with the following exceptions:

    1. The hard drive isn't covered under the Apple warranty if it fails; and

    2. Any damage caused during the installation of the hard drive will void the warranty

    On the other hand, we have this clause in the warranty terms:

    This warranty does not apply: ...

    (e) to a product or part that has been modified to alter functionality or
    capability without the written permission of Apple

    Which begs the question: does a replacement hard drive alter the functionality of a MBP? I would argue no, if only because Apple offer build-to-order hard drive upgrades for the same exact machine, which implies a larger hard drive doesn't mean a computer is being operated outside of its specification. We also see this here, which obviously implies certain upgrades are permissible (which presumably would include hard drives):

    This warranty does not apply: ...

    (d) 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”);

    Historically, Apple have stated that upgrades such as overclocking do void the warranty. You can see this on older logic boards which have a piece of protective tape over dip switches which control the clock speed of the machine. Altering these settings obviously cause the computer to operate outside of its specifications.

    So basically, the answer is no, replacing the hard drive on your own doesn't necessarily void the warranty. Furthermore, it would be helpful if some people would not automatically come to a definitive conclusion before actually doing a little bit of homework.

    Link to Apple's warranty terms.
  7. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007

    anyway...nowhere do you have to remove a piece of tape that says "warranty void if removed" so i'd think you were good, hey i did it, but ive yet to need to bring mine in for repair...
  8. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Whenever I sent mine in the guy told me to replace the old parts back in and he'd send it off. It all really depends on which Genius you get. Some of them can be real *****, but some are generally nice people who won't give you the run-around, especially when you bought an expensive warranty.
  9. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    i'm too scared to open mine up because i don't want any problems if it has to go in for service. :eek:

    basically you'd be at the discretion of apple.

    @aquajet: you're saying that it's your opinion that it does not alter the functionality. well it can be interpreted that it does alter functionality by adding more hard drive space, and then you would be screwed.

    Plus the small components are very delicate and you could easily **** them up if you didn't do everything correctly.
  10. Modjo macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Well, they told me the same. The tips of the screws are in fact "painted" so that it's easy to see if something has been opened up before, or not. At least that's the way it was with my G4 iMac. All screws that kept the semi-sphere together were like that, so you couldn't open it up and access non-user serviceable parts, without someone noticing it.
  11. PinballHack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2007
    As a matter of fact, they are painted with a form of "thread lock". That is very common, even Lenovo does that with their ThinkPad series. According to the FRU instructions, they can only be reused so many times before you need to order a new "screw kit" for the model of machine you're working on.

    It is not for detecting if a screw has been removed, it is for keeping the screws from working their way out due to normal vibration of the unit.

    Sounds like someone was trying to use some psych fear on you or pull your leg in a joke.

  12. katorga macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    Price for apple to install new disk?

    Out of curiosity, how much does Apple charge to install a new disk, and can it be done at the Apple store?

    I'd really like to upgrade to a 250GB disk, but with my luck I'd lose a screw or mess up the laptop.
  13. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Yea, it's just Loctite. Just dip the end of the screw in some blue Loctite before reinstalling (just enough to see in the last thread, not covering the whole thing or dripping with the stuff). It's a good idea anyway, as it's hard to find replacements.
  14. no_alternative macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2005
    look here:


    i think replacing your hdd yourself would void your warranty.

    in brief:

    Although they say "...MAY void the warranty..." I think that it means "...WILL void the warranty..."
  15. tmoney468 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2007
    I would say that a hard drive is a user-installable upgrade or expansion, so it wouldn't void your warranty. If you did something to damage the laptop while you were installing it, then that damage wouldn't be covered. But if you change the hard drive it won't void the warranty. What's the difference between upgrading ram and upgrading a hard drive minus the fact of the extra labor required to change the HD?

Share This Page