Replacing a hard drive in a Macbook Pro without void the warranty.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fporta, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. fporta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    #1
    Hello,

    I have 2 questions:

    1- Is it possible to replace an original 200GB hard drive for a 500GB hard drive at home without void the warranty. I would make this job very carefully.

    2- How much would Apple charge me if I give them my 500GB in order to replace? is it worth?

    Thanks,
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    If it's the newest MBP, it won't void the warranty. If it's an older model, Apple's official position is that it does void the warranty to replace the hard drive, but many do so without any problems.

    Apple won't install non-Apple parts in your MBP.
     
  3. bki122689 macrumors 6502

    bki122689

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    Sep 18, 2008
    #3
    well if yeah if its the older macbook pro than you have to do some unscrewing which voids the warranty.

    If you are gonna go ahead and change it yourself, be very careful with the screws and case. When you take it to apple when will notice and viod the warranty. Also when you detach the top cover be very careful cause the bottom is a bitch.
     
  4. frostrambler macrumors member

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    NYC
    #4
    It does not void the warranty on the Macbook Pro classic to replace your hard drive.

    Apple's official stance is, if you break it, then you void the warranty, but if you can take it apart properly without breaking anything and replace the drive, then your warranty will remain intact. I know this 100 percent because I replaced my own harddrive on my revision A MBP, and later when I had logic board problems, the warranty still worked fine and the genius told me that Apple would not cover the hard drive anymore, but everything else was warrantied.
     
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #5
    If its the current MBP (late 08) then replace away without impunity.

    If it's an older one, call an apple authorized reseller to see if your proposed hard drive is authorized by Apple. If it is, pay them to swap the drives, and keep the receipt. The apple store won't do this, and I'm not sure if Best Buy's Geek Squad counts as authorized by Apple. F

    Find a small independent reseller that hasn't been driven out of business by all of the apple stores and talk with them. There's two in OKC. One would only replace it if I bought the drive from them (for a premium, plus the installation fee), and the other one would use mine and charge just for the installation.
     
  6. fporta thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    It voids the warranty...

    I've just called Apple regarding this case and a rep. (Lisa) told me that I can't replace the hard drive by myself and Apple will not replace that for me.

    I just moved from PC to Apple and I really did not like this kind of policy.
     
  7. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    #7
    Lisa needs a good smacking. It will not void your warranty on the machine, apple of course will not warrant the NEW HD but that is it. If your GPU goes dead (as mine has twice now :rolleyes: ), they won't say, "Oh sorry, your warranty is void on the GPU because you changed the HD". Anyone who says different is just ignorant.
     
  8. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I think this is one of those things where it depends on who you talk to. That is Apple's official stance, but it does seem (from reports on this forum) that some Genius's reject warranty work due to this (on other unrelated items), and some approach it with common sense.

    FWIW, I just brought my MBP into service for a rattling fan. I had replaced the stocker with a WD 320g/7200rpm. Before bringing it in I put the original back in.

    If you're comfortable working on a laptop I say go for it. Just be careful when separating the topcase and the ribbon taped to the drive... there's a bit of loktite on the threads of the screws, but if you screw it back together well enough (or replace the loktite), update the drive with the newest patches, etc, there is essentially no way for them to know.

    I came from a background of being a Mac tech for a year, overseeing some 100 macs in a biotech lab in the late 90s, so something like this was total cake. Review the process at iFixit.com and see how you feel about doing the work.
     
  9. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I believe your experiences as well as many others who say this hasn't been a problem.

    But where is proof this is Apple's official stance? Is it worded in AppleCare that the warranty is only voided local to the drive? I don't think the issue is so much with the harddrive replacement itself, but that the topcase has been opened.
     
  10. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    #10
    Ever heard of the magnuson warranty act? It would be against the law for apple to deny warranty on the machine if problems occur that have no relation to the part modified...
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    I wanted to get to the bottom of this controversy, so I spent hours on the phone with AppleCare, Tech Support, Apple's legal department and Apple Warranty administration. On any MBP before the newest Late 2008 model, if the user replaces the hard drive, it absolutely DOES VOID the Apple Limited Warranty and the AppleCare Protection Plan. What isn't clear is whether Apple would honor the warranty on parts unaffected by the replacement (such as the screen.) These are handled on a case-by-case basis, and some have replaced the hard drive and still had other warranty work done, but Apple's official stance is that user-replacement of a hard drive on a pre-"Late 2008" MacBook Pro DOES VOID both the Warranty and AppleCare.
     
  12. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Opening the the top case does have relation to other parts. You've exposed the internal components of a laptop that were not designed to be user serviceable. Whether due to mishandling, shock, environmental hazards, etc. The memory is explicitly the only thing designed for user service.

    All that said, it does seem Apple is being pretty Laissez-faire approach to the matter in how they're allowing their techs to perform warranty work, using their best judgement. They are a customer centric company so it's no surprise.

    My attitude is this - cover your bases. You don't want to end up dealing with a hardline Genius and all of a sudden *poof*... your AppleCare is gone.
     
  13. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #13
    They still do deny warranty. i had hard drive issues. the motor on the drive stoped spinning and apple said it was the 3rd party ram that caused this problem. they said they would fix it this time but if it happens again they would not so i made sure to put the factory ram back when it failed the forth time.
     
  14. rychencop macrumors 65816

    rychencop

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    #14
    so you obviously have a pre-late08 mbp then since you failed to mention it in your post. replacing the hdd in those does void certain parts of the warranty.
     
  15. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

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    #15
    In addition to you having actually been into a part of the machine that a user is not supposed to (ever see any of those, warranty void if sticker removed deals... MBP does not have one, but they are there for a reason), replacing the hard drive with one that is not made for the machine will effect the rest of the machine. Say the drive runs slightly hotter than their spec... well it could cause stress on other components. There are lot of reasons that you can come up with if you think about it.

    From my research on this I agree with the post that says that Apple's official position is that it would void the warranty, but that leaves them protected from big problems and still able to deal on a case by case basis how they wish. Someone in another similar thread posted the text of the warranty and it talks about unauthorized modifications being made, and installing a drive that wasn't available from Apple in the machine certainly falls into that category.

    I called a local Apple Authorized Service Provider and they told me they'd install the drive for $55, and that it would not void the warranty if they did it. Since they do warranty service for Apple, I'm just going to save some grief and have them do it. Even if they are wrong as far as Apple honoring the warranty, they would still be able to do the service it themselves so I'm covered.
     
  16. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    #16
    I don't buy it. Show me this in writing from apple.

    Whatever, I've removed my logic board myself 3 times, change my HD and ram. Never been denied warranty.

    And you believed this BS? LMAO. Ram can not make an HD go bad. Bad ram can corrupt a system however but not physically damage the disk.

    Wow, do you REALLY think there are 'apple' parts such as hard drives, ram, cpu's, logic boards, DVD/CD Drives? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you. There are no HD's 'made' for the MBP, if the drive fits the specs of a 2.5 SATA HD, it will work in the MBP.

    You guys can all believe what you want, and I will continue to do what I want and I promise you, my warranty will NEVER be denied.
     
  17. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I don't think PCs would have any different of a policy. For example if you own a Sony VAIO and you take it apart, I'm sure it would void your warranty. Desktops or computers made to open up are a different story. Opening up a Mac Pro or the new Macbooks for HD replacement does not void the warranty.

    Now looking at this logically, I would say go ahead and do it but be careful. Manufacturers need to have policies like this in place to cover themselves in case things go wrong. For example I could see someone opening up a computer and shorting the battery or touching a burning hot CPU and hurting themselves. I could see someone opening up a computer and breaking something or putting something in the wrong way which will lead to failure or malfunction of a part. Apple doesn't want to be held responsible for any of these things so they are covering their backs. For this reason, Apple will NEVER officially support opening up your computer.

    Now in reality this does not mean that if you do open up your computer that you are out of warranty. Apple put this in as a safeguard but if everything was done correctly on your end when you do the HD swap and something happens to your computer which is a warranty issue, Apple will honor it. Of course one caveat will be Apple will not warranty the new HD that you would put and this is understandable as someone could go and use an inferior product which Apple should not be responsible for. Apple will however warranty everything else on your computer.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Kan-O-Z
     
  18. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    #18
    TY Kan... that is exactly how I would explain it if I could get my thoughts out as organized as you :p
     
  19. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816

    SPEEDwithJJ

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #19
    Agreed.

    I think the main reason for manufacturers to have such policies is to prevent having to deal with damage caused by static & having to pay for this damage not caused by them. Obviously, any one of you reading this will more or less be quite knowledgeable about electronic/computer components, just know that there are still some "ignorant" customers who don't know about issues such as static & mess around with the internal components (eg. swapping harddisk) of their laptop without taking the necessary measure to ensure that they don't pass on static onto the main components.

    So when that happens, what should Apple do? If Apple honors the warrranty, it doesn't seem to be "fair" to them. If Apple denies the warranty, people are going to say that they are bad and so on.... Ultimately, who is the one who "loose out?"
     
  20. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    i know that and argued for about 5 minutes but since they were replacing it for free it was not worth the effort to prove them wrong. the problem is the ram is fine and is working in a different macbook with no hard drive problems.
     
  21. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

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    #21
    You obviously don't understand how this business works. Apple doesn't just buy drives at NewEgg each week and slap them into their machines. They will have a set of qualified suppliers that supply parts that meet their specs. I don't know their exact term for it, but their parts are going to have an Apple part number. The company I work for calls them "FRU"s, or Field Replaceable Units. There is a part number for the FRU, and it has a specific set of specs. I never said that they MADE every part, so the bridge comment was uncalled for. I have worked in the computer industry for 26 years and can assure you that there are is a finite set of drive part numbers that Apple has authorized to go in those machines.

    There are many variables in drive specs, and just because the SATA port specs are met, doesn't mean that the drive meets all the other specifications. As I said, its heat dissipation properties may be different than the ones they have engineered the cooling of the chassis for... its power consumption may be different. You start messing with that stuff and you CAN cause stress on the other parts of the system. So they have the right to say they won't touch it if you alter it. The likelihood of any of this actually happen when replacing a SATA drive with another SATA drive is obviously pretty remote, but it is theoretically possible and that gives them the grounds for their policy.
     
  22. Ampidire macrumors 6502

    Ampidire

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    #22
    Ugh, all of these warranty questions are ridiculous, the LAW states that unless they can prove within reason that the part replaced is causing whatever problem you're experiencing, they cannot deny you warranty service, it also says that whatever company is providing the warranty cannot void a warranty in full, but only on whatever part was changed by the end user.

    In my Core Duo BlackBook I had replaced the HDD with a 160GB, the RAM to 2GB, the 802.11g card with a 802.11n card, AND redone the thermal paste from that crappy white stuff to Arctic Silver 5, and they didn't care about those things at all when my machine was in for service based on a failing optical drive, and they actually replaced the logic board on my machine without removing my RAM or 802.11n card and I called them about that and they mailed me fresh sets of each. They do care about you as a customer, it's 5x more costly to bring in a new customer than to keep an existing one.

    That machine was later replaced because their service depot had damaged the machine. Never a mention of the modifications I had performed on the machine, not one.

    My warranty on the machine as a whole took precedent over the warranty of the parts I replaced and I ended up with a Core 2 Duo Penryn 2.4 BlackBook with 2GB RAM and a 250GB drive. Pretty awesome.

    That machine was replaced later due to another issue entirely (my blog has the full details, and I'm not about to write it out again...) with a top of the line AluBook, and they even gave me a fresh 3 years of warranty with it instead of just applying the existing warranty to that machine. I took that one and turned it around and put up some cash and now I'm typing from my base model (late 2008) MacBook Pro.

    So.. that's my experience with AppleCare services.

    I do recommend using the mail in service rather than the in-store service; those people could care less about you being happy; which is why my Penryn BlackBook was replaced with a AluBook, because of the shoddy service I got in store, which AppleCare takes responsibility for because they authorized the store to perform service.
     

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