Genius = Watchdog?
January 2, 2012 9:11 AM   Subscribe

[MacFilter]: Will software with "common" serial numbers be recognized by Apple employees?

I need to update the memory on my 2007 Mac Mini. I don't have anything like pornography on it, but there are a couple of very old applications I received courtesy of Captain Jack Sparrow.

If I make an appointment at a Genius Bar to get the memory upgraded, is there any risk that they'll check for this? What could be some potential consequences if so?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
They will not look for it or care about it at all.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:13 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

They don't have any good reason to run any programs on your computer, I wouldn't worry about it. It's a hardware task, man!
posted by oceanjesse at 9:14 AM on January 2, 2012

The potential consequences depend entirely on your jurisdiction, which you don't say, but they will not check for this. They will install the RAM, turn on the computer to check it boots and reports the correct amount of RAM, and give it back to you.
posted by caek at 9:15 AM on January 2, 2012

Nope, they simply don't care. At all.

With a RAM upgrade, the only thing they will do is to see if it boots up (to make sure the RAM was recognized).
posted by babby╩╝); Drop table users; -- at 9:25 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I find they always boot off an external diagnostic disk, unless there's a pressing need to boot and test your machine (eg, new hard disk). The only time they've ever looked at my disk was noticing I had bootcamp before replacing the internal HD (as well as whole lower chassis).

Booting from their version of OSX means there's fewer variables when testing things, so I suspect that's their MO for everything.
posted by davemee at 10:17 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just upgraded two Mac Minis. If you're worried about something like that, do it yourself. has a perfectly good walkthrough on how to do it.
posted by Mad_Carew at 12:05 PM on January 2, 2012

I was about to suggest that you simply do it yourself but wow, the RAM upgrade process is way harder on those old Minis. And here I thought that Apple stuff generally got less user serviceable as time went by.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:46 PM on January 2, 2012

I highly doubt they have the time to do anything more than what they need to do. If they ever did something like that I'm sure we would have read about it in someone's furious blog.
posted by chairface at 6:12 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, geniuses don't care about your pirated software unless you have a software problem and refuse to erase your computer because you "lost" your CS5 discs.

That said, ram in an old mini is a hassle and a half to install. It's not considered "user installable". Apple stores don't usually carry the proper ram for four-year-old computers in the store, and typically don't install third party components. I'd look around for an Apple Authorized Service Provider that isn't owned by apple and they should be able to take care of your ram.
posted by sleeping bear at 7:01 PM on January 2, 2012

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