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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MBP - Reinstall old HDD before taking in for Service?

MBP - Reinstall old HDD before taking in for Service?
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wrambro
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Mar 22, 2009, 03:59 PM
 
Hey all,

So I'll be taking my Core Duo MBP in to get the SuperDrive swapped at some point this week. I upgraded my hard drive from the stock 100 gig drive to a 250 gig drive from Newegg. My question is, before I take it in for service (still under Applecare), should I put the original HDD back in, since it is technically not user serviceable and my warranty would be void, or would they likely not notice? Leaning towards playing it safe and just swapping it out, but I'd rather save myself the work if it's not necessary.

So what is everyone's experience with this kind of thing?
     
AKcrab
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Mar 22, 2009, 06:34 PM
 
How would they know if you had an authorized service provider put in the drive, or if you did it yourself? Just don't tell them YOU did it.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 22, 2009, 06:44 PM
 
Thats kind of what I was thinking. I just didn't know if there is some way they keep track of repairs done through authorized service providers or not.
     
AKcrab
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Mar 22, 2009, 07:35 PM
 
There is not. If we (Apple Authorized Repair Shop) upgrade a hard drive, there is no mechanism to "report" that to apple.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 22, 2009, 07:41 PM
 
Good to know. Thanks AKcrab!
     
Simon
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Mar 23, 2009, 09:36 AM
 
In principle the disk can stay in there. There are two important issues ou should know though.

In case of third-party RAM it's always a good idea to put the stock RAM back. Apple likes to blame things on third-party RAM. Re-installing their original RAM just forces them to thoroughly diagnose your Mac rather than sending it back with a snide remark about 'non-authorized third-party memory'.

There have been cases where Apple has decided to swap a Mac sent for repair, but they did not transfer third-party disk or memory upgrades. Obviously you should have your disk backed up before you send it in. But you also don't want Apple to throw away a larger/faster disk you bought and replace it with a stock drive. I know for a fact that this can happen. A colleague of mine had his unit exchanged and Apple could not produce his old (bigger and faster) drive. He complained and they apologized, but they said that the stuff had already been disposed. They also claimed that they would only replace stock items or BTO improvements. But not transfer any third-party upgrades.

So if you want to be 100% sure you might want to swap back the old drive. But most probably you'll be fine sending in the new one. They certainly won't be able to tell who did the swap as AKcrab already pointed out.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 23, 2009, 11:28 AM
 
Hmm, strange. I could see that happening with repairs via mail (much like an iPod), but I would be surprised if that happened here, since I'm physically taking it to the Apple Store for a pretty simple repair.

But then again, you never know.

I've never thought about taking my 3rd party RAM out, but I've had 2 previous repairs without mention of that.

So now I'll probably be overly paranoid about losing my drive (despite having everything backed up). Crap.
     
Simon
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Mar 23, 2009, 12:16 PM
 
Don't worry too much about it. I just thought I should add this since I know it has actually happened before.

Also, just because you take it to an Apple store does not mean it will be serviced there. I have taken in a Mac only for them to send it off afterwards. Some repairs are done in-house, others aren't. It depends on the Mac, type of service, and type of store.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 23, 2009, 05:29 PM
 
That is good to know, thanks Simon.

In my experience, I've only had fairly simple repairs (fans/SuperDrive changed). Turn around time has been less than 3 days each time, so I would imagine (or wrongly assumed?) that the repairs were done in-house. But I suppose for something more catastrophic (display/logic board) it might be just as easy to swap the machine entirely.

Is this all stated on the repair authorization form? I don't recall, but I'll be sure to check it out when I take my machine in. It would be strange for them not to at least mention the possibility of people losing their 3rd party upgrades.
     
Simon
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Mar 24, 2009, 03:11 AM
 
I guess it's probably mentioned somehow in legal mumbo jumbo in the fine print somewhere. I never had it happen to me. And personally I've been very satisfied with both in-store and service center repairs. What has always amazed me is their speed. I have so far received three replacement items (two batteries, one iPod charger) within 24h of calling at zero cost.
     
shifuimam
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Mar 24, 2009, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
There have been cases where Apple has decided to swap a Mac sent for repair, but they did not transfer third-party disk or memory upgrades. Obviously you should have your disk backed up before you send it in. But you also don't want Apple to throw away a larger/faster disk you bought and replace it with a stock drive. I know for a fact that this can happen. A colleague of mine had his unit exchanged and Apple could not produce his old (bigger and faster) drive. He complained and they apologized, but they said that the stuff had already been disposed. They also claimed that they would only replace stock items or BTO improvements. But not transfer any third-party upgrades.

So if you want to be 100% sure you might want to swap back the old drive. But most probably you'll be fine sending in the new one. They certainly won't be able to tell who did the swap as AKcrab already pointed out.
Don't they tell you they're going to do that before they do it? I'd be pretty pissed if I took a machine in for warranty service and found out they replaced it without even asking me about it first.
     
amazing
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Mar 24, 2009, 10:07 AM
 
Personally, I've kept my old RAM and my old HD (external case) and if I need to send in my MBP, I'll replace the RAM and the HD. Time-consuming, but better than the headaches that might (or might not) ensue otherwise. The HD is finicky but not extreme.

Whether anybody else does this, it all depends on your tolerance for risk and your tech skills.

Many people seem to believe in the fairness of life, and they extend that to their tech toy companies. Apple in particular seems to have acquired god-like stature, where Apple is thought to be all-benevolent and all-compassionate.

I'm a bit more cynical.
     
Simon
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Mar 24, 2009, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Don't they tell you they're going to do that before they do it? I'd be pretty pissed if I took a machine in for warranty service and found out they replaced it without even asking me about it first.
In this case the guy went to pick up his MBP after 'repair' and was told his was not actually repaired. Instead he was given a brand new MBP. He told them that he had backed up his HDD so all was fine.

He went home and intended to restore from his backup. That's when he noticed they had not transfered his big and fast internal drive, but instead given him the new MBP with its stock drive.

So he went back to Apple and asked for his old drive. They explained that they had replaced the machine with what he had bought and that was what was covered by warranty. He asked if they could find his HDD and swap. They checked, but then said that that would not be possible since the old MBP and with it the third-party HDD had already been thrown out. They apologized, but remained firm.

So sure it pissed off my colleague, but what do you want to do? If the HDD's been trashed it's gone.

And because I know first hand that this can happen I try to warn people about it. Personally however, I have never had this happen to me and I only swap back stock RAM for repairs.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 24, 2009, 10:41 PM
 
Well I think I'm gonna take mine out just in case. As well as the RAM. I have a reservation at the Genius Bar on Thursday. I'm going to keep troubleshooting until then, because I'm not sure if it a faulty SuperDrive itself or something else (I'll post about my problem elsewhere if need be).
     
farhadd
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Mar 26, 2009, 09:39 AM
 
Unfortunately, Apple is a notorious ball breaker when it comes to third party parts. Especially if you have to dispatch it to their repair depot. It's really pretty silly considering that they document how to replace these parts in the user manual. But nontheless, if you mail out your machine for service, you'd better swap the parts back for the originals or they'll just bounce it back and blame any problems you have on the third party parts. If you're just going to an Apple store you might be able to get away with it.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 26, 2009, 01:03 PM
 
Yeah I'm just going to the Apple store. But I swapped my parts out anyway. I know I'd just kick myself if it came back to bite me.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Mar 28, 2009, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by AKcrab View Post
There is not. If we (Apple Authorized Repair Shop) upgrade a hard drive, there is no mechanism to "report" that to apple.
However I can usually tell when someone has been upgrading their internals, as around half the internal screws are either missing or put back incorrectly.
     
AKcrab
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Mar 28, 2009, 05:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andrew Stephens View Post
However I can usually tell when someone has been upgrading their internals, as around half the internal screws are either missing or put back incorrectly.
LOL! This is so true.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 28, 2009, 05:50 PM
 
Ha fortunately I'm very careful about that.
I swapped everything out, got it serviced, and now I'm back up and running.
     
amazing
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Mar 28, 2009, 06:45 PM
 
Aha! So, they swapped out the Superdrive in-store? How long did it take?

Congratulations!
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 28, 2009, 06:56 PM
 
Yeah, swapped it out in store. It took about 3 hours, but they also did an archive and reinstall of my system because they noticed a distorted cursor when they woke up my computer. It happens sometimes when I put it to sleep when it's in clamshell mode, then unplug it and take it with me, and wake it back it. It always went away after I'd launch an application, but they figured that would fix the problem. Too bad for them, it was a moot point because I just swapped that drive back out anyway, but good to know I suppose.
     
ghporter
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Mar 28, 2009, 07:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andrew Stephens View Post
However I can usually tell when someone has been upgrading their internals, as around half the internal screws are either missing or put back incorrectly.
Originally Posted by AKcrab View Post
LOL! This is so true.
I can't understand how someone could "reassemble" something and have parts left over and think they had done it right... Maybe I'm anal, or maybe I just got well and thoroughly trained, but when I take something apart, I put all the fasteners in order (and with a diagram if that's what it takes) so I can get 'em back where they belong later. Except for putting a large-headed screw where a small-headed screw goes and vice-versa, how do you put a fastener in "incorrectly?" I'm having a failure of imagination on this one...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
AKcrab
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Mar 28, 2009, 07:46 PM
 
Usually it's screws that are just plain missing. Customers are usually pretty sheepish when confronted.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 28, 2009, 11:51 PM
 
Hah too funny. You'd think if they have the gusto to disassemble the machine themselves, they'd want to at least have some idea what they're doing. Although I could understand how it's easy to miss a screw if you aren't keeping track of them/don't know what you're doing.
     
Simon
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Mar 29, 2009, 06:45 AM
 
I've had an AASP reassemble a Mac and miss screws. Twice actually. I did enjoy the look on the manager's face though when I came back to ask for my missing screws.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Mar 29, 2009, 03:21 PM
 
Top tip. I use a stack of plastic cups. Screws for each stage go in the top cup, cups are then stacked in reverse order. If I'm going to wait before reassembling I put an empty cup on top. That way if I knock the stack over, nothing can fall out and each stages screws are in their owned sealed space automatically sorted into reverse order.

Works every time.

If you are worried you can also slip a label into each cup as a reminder of which stage. You do need to watch which screws go where but experience teaches you that. Any left over screws are immediately obvious at each stage.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Mar 29, 2009, 03:24 PM
 
My other beef is machines with massive dents or cracks in them.
"Dropped it have you"?
"er, oh, I hadn't noticed that before. Not that I remember."

It's not like it's still in warranty or anything. why lie.
     
Simon
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Mar 29, 2009, 05:58 PM
 
If the machine is out of warranty what does it matter? Why ask? All it will do is embarrass the customer. No wonder some will lie.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 29, 2009, 06:43 PM
 
I usually tape mine down on a piece of paper grouped by step. No fail strategy.

Only word of caution: don't put a screw into one of the holes for the DVI connector. You'll have a hell of a time getting that out.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Mar 30, 2009, 06:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by wrambro View Post
Only word of caution: don't put a screw into one of the holes for the DVI connector. You'll have a hell of a time getting that out.
Yup done that. Surprised you didn't hear my curses. Was a total bugger to get it out again.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Mar 30, 2009, 06:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
If the machine is out of warranty what does it matter? Why ask? All it will do is embarrass the customer. No wonder some will lie.
Because when they come in with a malfunctioning machine, it's important to find out what happened to it in order to fix it. Dropping an iBook and then the screen failing points to possible causes and cures.
     
Simon
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Mar 30, 2009, 07:32 AM
 
But if you know they dropped it, why ask?
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 30, 2009, 08:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andrew Stephens View Post
Yup done that. Surprised you didn't hear my curses. Was a total bugger to get it out again.
Did you end up taking the logic board out to get the screw out?
     
Andrew Stephens
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Mar 31, 2009, 05:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by wrambro View Post
Did you end up taking the logic board out to get the screw out?
No I used a very tiny screw driver to lever it out. Took a while.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Mar 31, 2009, 12:00 PM
 
Yeah I spent the better half of a Tuesday night some time ago trying to get that puppy out. Not easy.
     
revMedia
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Apr 4, 2009, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
In principle the disk can stay in there. There are two important issues ou should know though.

In case of third-party RAM it's always a good idea to put the stock RAM back. Apple likes to blame things on third-party RAM. Re-installing their original RAM just forces them to thoroughly diagnose your Mac rather than sending it back with a snide remark about 'non-authorized third-party memory'.

There have been cases where Apple has decided to swap a Mac sent for repair, but they did not transfer third-party disk or memory upgrades. Obviously you should have your disk backed up before you send it in. But you also don't want Apple to throw away a larger/faster disk you bought and replace it with a stock drive. I know for a fact that this can happen. A colleague of mine had his unit exchanged and Apple could not produce his old (bigger and faster) drive. He complained and they apologized, but they said that the stuff had already been disposed. They also claimed that they would only replace stock items or BTO improvements. But not transfer any third-party upgrades.

So if you want to be 100% sure you might want to swap back the old drive. But most probably you'll be fine sending in the new one. They certainly won't be able to tell who did the swap as AKcrab already pointed out.
This. I have put new drives in many of my Apple computers over the years, and never had a problem.
     
   
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