Asus: memory upgrades will not void Eee PC warranty
Well, in some countries, at any rate...
Asus has bowed to the desire of Eee PC buyers to tinker with their teeny laptops and said it will continue to honour the machine's warranty even if users open the unit's memory hatch.
That cover currently has a tiny sticker applied over one of the two screws that hold it in place. The sticker reads: "Warranty Void if Removed." Beneath the hatch sits the elfin notebook's single 667MHz DDR 2 SODIMM memory slot with a pre-installed module of up to 512MB capacity.
Quite a few Eee PC users have considered upgrading the machine's memory, particularly those who want to run Windows on the machine rather than the version of Linux it come pre-installed with. However, some have avoided doing so in case the process prevents them getting another part of the machine fixed for free at a later date.
However, this weekend Asus told users: "Asus is committed to... making sure that its customers are free to make appropriate hardware and software modifications and upgrades, regardless of whether the service is performed by an approved facility, a non-approved service provider, or by the customers themselves."
Asus Eee PC and friend: fiddle away, your warranty's safe
It added it will "replace the warranty label with a label to warn users that ASUS will not be responsible for the damage caused by improper hardware change".
The adjustment probably doesn't go quite as far as to leave folk who build Bluetooth and USB Flash drives into their Eee PCs, as one guy did.
That said, the company appears to be making the change not for philanthropic reasons but because the stickers have been applied to machines sold in countries where "these stickers are not permitted".
The warranty notice was posted on Asus' US website, suggesting the US at least is one nation that takes a dim view of warranty-voiding stickers.
Thanks to Reg Hardware reader Robert for the tip.
• Asus Eee PC 4G
SATA and Windows XP
A SP2 slipstream CD will recognise more SATA controllers than previous versions but probably won't have the drivers for the newer hardware of Vista designed machines. The HP NC6400 I last tried this on certainly was not supported by just the CD and I needed to generate the floppy. Check the BIOS of the laptop and see if it supports SATA legacy mode, which will lose you performance but the OS will treat the hard drive like an IDE one. I'd look into exactly what 3rd party manufacturer ASUS used to make their SATA controller on that model and see if the manufacturer of the interface chip itself or another laptop manufacturer using the same interface provides a driver floppy for XP.
Or you could use linux/BSD...
Yes it is legal, and justified.
With the usual disclaimer that IANAL: I used to work for a company that built and sold PCs, and I saw enough ham-fisted upgrades or mods that would come back to the shop with deep screwdriver scratches in delicate components. The perpetrators would actually look shocked that when they removed or damaged the 'warranty void if removed' stickers, we would no longer honour the system warranty.
We would of course warranty the parts so long as they were not damaged, but if you're willing to open up the case and tinker, you have to accept the consequences.
Of course the situation with the EEE is slightly different. I can understand the manufacturer's desire to ensure that the system is as supplied in warranty claims, but it is perhaps a minor design flaw that this affects the owner's ability to perform a fairly simple upgrade. As I recall not a lot else is accessible through the panel on the bottom, so perhaps the warranty stickers should have gone deeper inside.
Warranty void if removed
If the sticker says "warranty void if removed", surely the simple answer is to not REMOVE it, simply stick your screwdriver through it such that it is broken but still in place?? That's what I do every time and have NEVER had a problem!
Oh yeah, I forgot... they're catering for the 'merkin market - got to go with the lowest common denominator of intellect - label must be blatently obvious in case some 'merkin twat cocks things up.