Can you use an AASP to fufil an AppleCare service?
September 12, 2008 4:32 PM   Subscribe

MacFilter: Question regarding servicing and Apple Authorised Service Partners

So, long story short, my Macbook's hard disk died this evening. The clicks of death and everything. Thank the Good Lord that I did a time machine backup a few days ago.

Now, this is within the year's warranty so I will be calling up AppleCare (UK) tomorrow and getting this part replaced. But, having never used AppleCare before I've got a question so I can be informed for the process...

- Can Authorised Service Partners provide a replacement part under warranty? I'm happy to fit it myself etc, but really don't want to have to wait a week for a new part.

Even if it comes before then, I won't get it because no doubt it'll be courier'd and since the whole house is at work 9-5. It would be ideal to pop down to the local service partner tomorrow and have the weekend to get back up and running again.

posted by gkhewitt to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Any decent-sized AASP will have a 2.5" HD that you can put in your MacBook. Apple made swapping the HD's in the MacBooks extremely easy, so you could even do it yourself if you wanted. It's going to depend on the AASP you go to whether they have shelf of parts like HDs or whether they order everything on an as-needed basis.
posted by at 4:59 PM on September 12, 2008

Nope. Unfortunately, while the part is "generic", it's still an apple part; they don't trust you to open the machine and not have problems. If you break something else, whose fault is it? So opening your MBP voids your warranty.
posted by filmgeek at 9:08 PM on September 12, 2008

> So opening your MBP voids your warranty.

Asker has a MacBook, not a MacBook Pro. Installing a hard drive in a MacBook does not void the warranty, unless you damage the computer in the process.

That said, an AASP cannot (as I understand your question) just swap a part like a hard drive for you at the counter under warranty, allowing you to install it yourself. At my place of employ, we have workarounds for swapping laptop batteries, as well as keyboards and mice, at the counter -- once one of our techs can verify the fault -- but definitely not for hard drives and the like. As part of the agreement with Apple, an Apple-certified hardware technician has to install it for you.

As far as whether they'll have them in stock, that's something you'll simply have to ask around to find out. Give some places a call and ask what a normal turnaround time for an in-warranty hard drive replacement is on a MacBook. In my case, we have aftermarket drives we can sell over the counter, but the Apple-branded drives in the machines have to be swapped like-for-like, in a manner that puts turnaround at around 2-4 business days, if you want AppleCare to cover it.
posted by churl at 9:44 PM on September 12, 2008

Apple hasn't been consistent in the level of user-serviceability under warranty between models. I think they were experimenting with allowing more a few years ago, but have scaled things back on newer models (e.g., G5 iMac vs. Intel iMac).

I searched a bit; it appears that the 2006 MacBook (but not MacBook Pro) included the hard drive as well as RAM as user-serviceable, but by 2008 only the RAM. There may have been some internal change which made the drive more difficult to access. It's in Apple's advantage to save money on shipping and labor on warranty repairs. I suspect that too many users who thought they knew what they were doing damaged replacement drives or caused further damage to the computer.
posted by D.C. at 9:51 PM on September 12, 2008

Thanks folks, that's helpful. At the end of the day I'm not fussed if to qualify for the repair under warranty they have to be the ones to replace it, I only mooted the self-install as a way of minimising turnaround!

Will give them a call when they open this morning to see what's what.
posted by gkhewitt at 12:41 AM on September 13, 2008

> I searched a bit; it appears that the 2006 MacBook (but not MacBook Pro) included the hard drive as well as RAM as user-serviceable, but by 2008 only the RAM.

As I type this, the manuals page for 2007 MacBooks (the current model) still includes DIY instructions for hard drive replacement. I would say it is safe to assume this will not void your warranty.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:47 PM on September 18, 2008

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