Can I put an SSD in my MBP?
May 4, 2012 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm just curious, but if I install something like this, would it invalidate my (purchased separately) AppleCare on a year-old MacBook Pro?

Thanks for your help!
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
You can't void your warranty from installing your own hard drive, but they will probably refuse to do any service on your laptop if you bring it in with non-factory parts. Just put your old hard drive back in when you need hardware support and you're fine.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:01 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

The data doubler involves more than just installing your own drive. It involves removing the built-in optical drive, which is not designed to be removed by the user, and replacing it with a hard drive.

Looking online, I see a lot of discussion of the issue but no reports that Apple has given anyone grief over it. OWC's own take seems to be that it shouldn't void your warranty so long as you install it properly and don't break anything in the installation process or in the process of putting the original equipment back before getting the computer serviced by Apple.
posted by jedicus at 2:24 PM on May 4, 2012

The honest answer is, it depends on how much of a stickler for the rulebook the people that look at your machine in the future are. The official answer will probably revolve around the following line in the warranty:
Apple is not responsible for damage arising from failure to follow instructions relating to the Apple Product’s use.
Apple does not provide instructions to end users for servicing any parts other than the hard drive and RAM. Consequently, you had better be sure of doing everything exactly right if you go beyond this point. Although I have not encountered this specific situation, I have known Apple to take both magnanimous and hardline stances on warranty issues and the only difference I could see was how the agent making the decision felt at the time.

YMMV. Greatly.
posted by fearnothing at 3:28 PM on May 4, 2012

Not directly related to the question at hand, but I did this exact upgrade earlier this year and have loved it. Makes my MBP fly. I haven't had any issues requiring me to need service *knock on wood*.
Ensure you put the SSD in the primary hard drive position, and install the HDD into the Data Doubler.
posted by smitt at 3:45 PM on May 4, 2012

FWIW, I installed an SSD in the CD bay using the MCE OptiBay, which I think is about the same thing (the OptiBay comes with a flimsy plastic enclosure to hold the CD drive as an external disk, and some software to make everything work).

IIRC, after I got the OptiBay, I found some other online places that had more-or-less the same thing significantly cheaper. All you really need is a frame to fit in the drive space, and a little adapter cable. I'm pretty sure there's no electronics in there; you just need to match one connector to a different one. So if money is an object, poke around for CD to SATA adapters for generic laptops -- they're likely to be cheaper than Apple-specific stuff.

I had a fair amount of grief getting things to work with a Pyro SSD and a regular hard disk. Eventually, I ended up putting the SSD in the main drive bay and the hard disk in the OptiBay. Then, when I replaced the hard disk with another SSD, I had to swap things around again (the machine wouldn't boot otherwise).

So...if you do the install and the machine won't boot reliably, don't panic. Swap the disks and try again.
posted by spacewrench at 7:20 PM on May 4, 2012

I have exactly this unit installed in my MBP.

I don't have AppleCare, but when my machine was Kernel Panic-ing for no good reason I could tell, Apple gladly took it in for hardware testing under regular warranty.

(For the record, it was a couple of detritus kernel extensions from a version of VMware which I had installed long ago and forgotten about, and which weren't compatible with Lion.)
posted by tomierna at 8:46 AM on May 5, 2012

Smitt (and others): you should keep your mechanical hard drive in the original bay. If you move it to the DVD drive bay, it will no longer use the sudden motion sensor.

And, like everyone else has said, I'm pretty sure if you put the original DVD drive back in before sending it in for service, there won't be any issues.
posted by kethonna at 5:01 PM on May 5, 2012

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