MSI: Upgrading Wind RAM Voids Warranty

Forget about upgrading the memory on your new MSI Wind. Never mind that the system supports up to 2GB of RAM, but comes with either 512MB or 1GB preinstalled. Pay no attention to the easily-accessible, open DIMM slot that’s just sitting there on the bottom of the system whispering “fill me! fill me!” Just let it go if you want a warranty. When we were fact checking our review of the Wind NB, an MSI rep told us that we should not list the RAM as being “expandable to 2GB” because doing so would void the warranty. Of course, we’d already written and filmed our tutorial on how to upgrade the Wind’s RAM and, if you’re willing to go warranty-less or you’re reading this about a year after you bought your Wind, it’s an easy upgrade. What’s ironic about MSI’s warranty position is that the Wind is an upgrader’s dream. In fact, it looks like the lilliputian laptop was built to be modified. Unlike the ASUS Eee PC, which comes with its sole DIMM slot already filled, the Wind comes with an unused slot. To upgrade an Eee PC to 2GB, you have to waste perfectly good silicon by removing the 512MB or 1GB preinstalled DIMM and replacing it with a 2GB module. To upgade the Wind, you just need to fill the empty slot that’s sitting there beckoning you. When we removed the bottom of our WInd’s chassis and looked at the components, we noticed that the 1GB DIMM which is preinstalled in our review unit is nowhere to be seen. Our theory is that the preinstalled DIMM is actually seated on the other side of motherboard, just beneath the keyboard, but we don’t want to try popping our keyboard out.

So it looks like the designers of the Wind deliberately separated the preinstalled DIMM slot from the “upgrade” DIMM slot to make it easy for users to access the upgrade slot, without accidentally tampering with the default memory module. Our MSI rep told us that the company plans to offer 2GB configurations of the Wind in the future so we’re left to assume that the empty DIMM slot will be filled on future models. Still, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, because, if MSI wanted to offer 2GB configurations and prevent users from upgrading the RAM, they could leave off the second second DIMM slot and put a 2GB module in the primary slot. We won’t even talk about the 2.5″ SATA hard drive that MSI has made very easy to remove and replace the default with a larger or faster after-market drive. I think users who want to swap out their laptop’s hard drive aren’t expecting to get warranty coverage afterwards. When the Eee PC first came out last fall, it had a “Warrany Void if Removed” covering the RAM access door. After a huge uproar, ASUS issued a clarification, allowing users to upgrade the memory without losing warranty protection. Perhaps MSI will issue a similar clarification. Without a “void if removed” sticker, it’s unclear how MSI will be able to enforce its warranty policy. Users who have upgraded their RAM and later need warranty service may remove the additional DIMM before sending their systems for repair. More MSI Wind Coverage:

Complete MSI Wind Guide

AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. jerry Says:

    Hmmm…. I sure hope MSI will actually go ahead and follow asus and issue that same clarification.

    I had been waiting to see this thing, as a longtime MSI product user (MB’s mainly with occasional videocard purchases) who has been totally satisfied with them, I definately want to get one of these as soon as I can but I sure would like to be able to have that warranty and be able to upgrade to 2GB or one could always wait for that 2GB pre-installed I guess. Naw, me wants it now! it’s one very nice looking little computer imho and cannot wait to play with this thing.

  2. Brandon Says:

    I hope they are going to change there stance on these upgrades. Its like dangling candy in front of kids saying don’t eat it! Either way, I want it and I want it bad. I wish they would launch the linux model at the same time, but I understand that the windows model has more mass appeal.

    Guess I’ll just have to be patient to get some linux love.

  3. BoatingBuddy Says:

    What an outrage. MSI had better wake up to how things are in the real world !!!!

  4. Agnivo Roy Says:

    My concern is, if the built-in memory module is soldered on the board and by chance it malfunctions, the laptop would be rendered useless. I’m not sure if it’s soldered, but if it’s so, then real perils for the owners!

    I think MSI should add a backside door to access the RAM (and HDD too?) on it’s next revsion. Also, worth mentioning that the memory cards protrude out of the slot when inserted.

  5. Mike Cane Says:

    >>>We won’t even talk about the 2.5″ SATA hard drive that MSI has made very easy to remove and replace the default with a larger or faster after-market drive.

    Or even with an SSD (it seems they are getting cheaper). Which would also improve battery life.

  6. wind4me Says:

    >>>We won’t even talk about the 2.5″ SATA hard drive that MSI has made very easy to remove and replace the default with a larger or faster after-market drive.

    Can we talk about this? I video on replacing the HD would be nice, too! :)

  7. Woofer Says:

    I would think the same consideration that forced Asus to back off from their warranty voiding stance applies to MSI (in the US at least): a pretty convincing argument was offered by a blogger that Asus’s restriction was in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, so that should apply equally to MSI. Although taking off the whole case bottom vs opening an access door, might be a different situation (although I have done that plenty of times with various notebook repairs and upgrades ;-).

    Woof

  8. arrowspace Says:

    I ordered a MSI Wind and though it hasn’t even shipped yet, I have already ordered the $20 1GB memory upgrade. Aren’t I escared??

    Well, I will test run the computer as delivered out of the box to make sure it has no initial problems.
    The article here on adding the memory already tells you what to do in case problems are encounterd later; reopen the case, remove the added memory, and THEN send the computer back for warranty service. I doubt MSI will dust the memory module for your fingerprints.

    The idea of upgrading the hard drive is a huge temptation. I have music, photos and even videos……
    but then I would have to copy the operating system to the new drive somehow.

  9. Jmage Says:

    Warranty WON’T be void if we ONLY upgrade ram. I personnaly asked for this question on the MSI-computer.ca website and they answered me :

    “You can just break the warranty stick if you are only upgrading the memory. The memory will not void but please make sure you do not modify or change other components.

    Thanks.”

    Then I replied with : “Awesome! Thank you so much for this quick reply! So there is no risk of voiding my warranty if I put another gig of ram inside? That\’s great!”

    And their final answer was: “Yes, no risk of voiding the warranty if only upgrade the memory.

    Thanks.”

    SO!!! Have fun upgrading your MSI Wind to 2gigs SAFELY!!

    Have a nice day because I had one :D

  10. PH4NTOM Says:

    I got the same answer that Jmage got about upgrading memory. You CAN upgrade memory and hard drive. If you need warranty service later and the mainboard or other components looks tampered with outside a RAM/HDD upgrade, then the warranty is void.

  11. NewMSi Wind-r Says:

    Just bought the Wind and 1gb Memory card to the upgrade. Mine has a sliver sticker that says breaking this seal voids the warranty. So, your recent posts that the Warranty will not be void is great to hear. I have to say, so far this machine is GREAT. My boss with his $1200 HP and my colleagues are drooling and all for about $425, with the 6 cell.

    I saw a post that someone found a 9 cell. Let us know where, please!

  12. Richard Says:

    In case anyone is still nervous, here’s proof that the warranty remains intact:
    http://flexandair.com/files/MSI_official_response.mp3

  13. MSI Noob Says:

    Just a note: I contacted MSI Support and they confirmed that it will not void the warranty. I also had them send me an email stating that it would not for posterity.

  14. Kevin Says:

    I’m not at all technical and have recently purchased a 2GB RAM stick that does match the same kind of RAM that’s in this netbook… but after reading some posts, it sounds like I can only upgrade with an additional 1GB stick, yes?

    Here’s the RAM that I purchased…

    http://www.cesell.com/product.php?productid=131710

  15. Mattgew Says:

    In regards to Kevin’s coment above, the Wind comes with a DDR2 667mhz type RAM , so you can either upgrade a second stick at the same speed, or disable on board ram and buy a 2GB 800mhz RAM stick.

    i did the later using corsair gaming RAM , this allows for a more stable overclock plus speed is nicer :P

  16. The Online Boat Parts Store Says:

    I recently upgraded from the DDR2 on my wind to a second stick, with no fallout my speed is great I have had this machine for a couple of years. didnt know about the void warranty though, I will have to call MSI to see if I goofed…lol

  17. Fernie from LA Says:

    I was thinking about buying a Wind but with the warranty situation as it is I will go ahead and just get an Asus and kick it up to 2gigs without worry. Sorry Wind with policies like this one you just lost a customer.

  18. noone Says:

    [quote]
    # Fernie from LA Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 2:55 am

    I was thinking about buying a Wind but with the warranty situation as it is I will go ahead and just get an Asus and kick it up to 2gigs without worry. Sorry Wind with policies like this one you just lost a customer.
    [/quote]

    they did lost a non-reader customer for sure.

  19. Roland Szigeti Says:

    There is no RM slot on my lapt.

  20. Owen Says:

    My MSI Wind U100 has the slot, and the 1GB upgrade seems to work. I noticed that the existing 1GB memory is soldered to the motherboard right above the DIMM socket (hidden under the foil between the DIMM socket and battery connector in your photo — my netbook doesn’t have the foil), and is made up of four Hynix HY5PS1G1631C chips (http://www.hynix.com/datasheet/pdf/dram/HY5PS1G4(8.16)31C(L)FP(Rev0.3).pdf). Soldering it on the motherboard, rather than in a slot as you suggest, probably keeps the cost of the netbook down. Also, for @Agnivo Roy, in the BIOS there seems to be an option to disable the onboard DRAM.

  21. ken froehly Says:

    my u100 doesnt power up. it could be the switch and asking if any parts are available.

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE