Installing Linux Will Void Your Warranty

/ 2 years ago


Say what? Installing Linux on your computer will void the warranty of the hardware. Wow, that is a hard one and I don’t even know where to start without this turning into a complete rant. So let’s try to stay calm for the sake of the story.

So yes, installing Linux on your computer will void the warranty. At least if it is bought at Currys/PC World in the UK. This is what Roy Schestowitz found out about a week ago. His old desktop computer had died and he needed a replacement fast.

Ordering over the internet wasn’t an option as the system was needed now and there was no other computer store in his region. So he got into his car and drove to the only computer store in his area, Currys PC World, with the intention to buy what they had to offer and accept the price that it would cost. So far so good, this is a normal scenario many of us have been in.

Roy is a little bit upset in his blog post about the fact that Currys PC World sells all their systems with Windows 8, but that’s personal preference and something that easily can be replaced. At least that’s what any normal person would assume, format the hard disk or create a second partition and install whatever operating system you like. If you however do that on a PC bought at Currys, you’ll void any warranty on the system.

“After many chats with colourful language and even car analogies or other such arguments about the separability of hardware and software we decided we just couldn’t do business at PC World. The company is inherently GNU/Linux-hostile. Avoid Currys.”

Okay, I can understand if they don’t offer any technical assistance and support once you move away from the configuration it was sold with, but going as far as completely voiding the warranty seems a bit insane and as a very outdated policy.

As it turns out, this is a fact and was confirmed by multiple employees at multiple PC World stores according to the blogger. Once you install GNU/Linux, even if it is dual boot with Windows, the warranty wouldn’t cover any damage to the hardware. This even includes the keyboard, mouse, screen and so on. One employee Roy talked to regretted the situation, but defended the policy “because it is imposed from above”.


After we published this article a lot of employees, both current and former, came out and denied these allegations. There was this policy 5-8 years ago, but it’s no more. Roy must have had the luck to run into one of the uninformed stores on this matter.

Thanks to Roy Schestowitz for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of RetailWeek

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  • Andy Caveney-Heyes

    Why not??? Is it only the same as chipping/modding a Playstation or Xbox. You are altering the original manufacturers specifications for a bootable device!

    • wilsonjonathan

      Errrm no it isn’t Software is not hardware. What next, only allowing MS office or your hardware warranty is void? All applications must be as originally installed so if you upgrade the drivers or applications or even put a newer version of wonkdows on it you then void the warranty?

    • Xavier Isaacson

      The amount of stupid in your post is staggering.

    • Alistair Hardy

      Remember when apple tried to use a simular line about jailbreaking iphones?
      and the courts told them to stuff it because people can do whatever they damn well want to with their hardware.

    • Louie Hill

      No. Not in the slightest; hardware =/= software, you did actually read the article and get the point of it, yes?

  • Alistair Hardy

    That’s utter BS.
    He could complain to Trading Standards and hope he gets someone technically minded enough to understand the difference between Software and Hardware.

    I know a friend of mine was turned down for a job with them while we were at college because he effectively knew too much about computers and was honest (aka, he wouldn’t BS you into buying something crap).

  • Wayne

    Good for Roy. Kick up a storm and go public with it, he’s well within his rights and he’s right. When these knuckleheads over at Currys suddenly find themselves facing insolvency they’ll quickly amend their ridiculous policies, hopefully for their employees sake it won’t be too late.

  • Scooter Rodriguez

    Implying software has no effect on hardware. It’s a well-known problem with many Linux distros that they cause laptops to overheat and shut down. This reduces the lifespan of the laptop. This policy makes sense.

    • Dean7337

      I’ve been using the same laptop for about 7 years (Maybe longer) and I
      have used Ubuntu ever since I got it. No problems to report.

      • Scooter Rodriguez

        That’s great, but you cannot deny that overheating is a common problem for laptops with Linux. A simple Google search on the issue will provide you with thousands of documented instances.

        Overheating Linux laptops is just one example.

        The point is that software has an effect on hardware. To claim otherwise is to deny reality.

        Should I be allowed to buy a brand new CPU, take it home, use unapproved software to overclock it until it catches on fire, and then return it to the store for a full refund?

        • Faiz A Faiz

          “overclocking will void the warranty” seems a better notice in this case, compared to “using linux will void the warranty”.
          It is a proven fact, Linux can run on the weaker hardware, without getting them burnt. A simple look at can tell you…

        • andre silva

          You dumb ass, linux isn’t an overclock software, and the CPU is prepared from factory to run linux, dont talk shit just go back to school and learn man…do your homework you 12 year old kid…

        • andre silva

          Intel for example even has support software for linux

    • andre silva

      ah, causes overheating…overheatingis a hardware problem that comes from bad design of the computer, and it not because of the software you have installed…All PC’s have to perform well (cooling wise) even when they are with all components used at 100%(processor, hard drive, ram, battery, etc), any problem with cooling it’s a design flaw and not a software inflicte harm, don’t believe in all the crap lazy manufacturer’s tell you…It is non-sense that any man that fixes computers can tell you, it’s just as simple as this…

      • Scooter Rodriguez

        You’re wrong.

        • Shaun

          You realise that ignoring well-placed points and evidence doesn’t automatically become valid just because you say “you’re wrong”, right?

          It’s basically “na na na I’m not listening”.

          But if you want to make an actual argument for your case, I’m sure we’ll all heed it.

        • andre silva

          I gave you well known facts in describing why you are wrong..If you don’t have the braipower and knowledge to understand it, well it isn’t my problem anymore…explain with reasonable sense why you think the way you think, and not only say “you’re wrong” that just implies that you have a low IQ

      • Andres Reyes

        I do 3D modelling and Rendering, basically when you start the render your CPU and RAM goes to 100% literally by days LITERALLY, rendering a photo realistic image beyond 1080 depending on the complexity can take several hours so imagine render a 20 second video with 24 FPS, and yes overheating its a hardware design problem I use software that get my CPU to 100% for days and the temperature won’t change if I use the Linux version, the only way that an OS will overheat your CPU more is only if you overclock, please read a little and give your opinion with bases don’t talk just for talk, give your opinion only if you have experience in the subject

        • Steve Kerry

          I also use my PC for 3D modelling and rendering. A small job takes less than an hour, a big job takes days. As soon as I hit that button, my CPU (or GPU depending on the software) jumps up to 100% and stays there until the job is finished. The cooling fans ramp up accordingly to keep the hardware within an acceptable temperature range. I can walk away and leave it running overnight, knowing that the system will shut itself down safely if something goes wrong and it gets too hot (cooling system failure, for example). Admittedly I built this PC myself and set it up this way, but any half-decent machine should do the same – perhaps the real problem is people buying the cheapest PC they can find, installing it where there is insufficient airflow, then working it to death and complaining when it overheats?

          • Andres Reyes

            I get you Steve, and it’s real I do a lot of renders but I can go to sleep because I know my system will never surpass 45°C, I’ve tested it and watched temp logs and never passed that, I invested in AIO Watercooling for CPU, Fan for rams and good quaity case and cooling fans so I know what my PC can hold the thing is, that doesn’t matter what OS you use Linux wont burn your PC parts unless you overclock that’s the only way, and you can do that from BIOS and not even load windows to do that, just overvoltage your CPU and it’s done thats it, the same with RAM or GPU, so Doesn’t matter what OS you use you should have your guarantee

  • Zach Dalakas

    You know what would make sense, just in case a piece of software was prone to inflaming faulty hardware? A reimbursement from the software company to the hardware company. Not screwing up the client him/herself.

    Let’s put it in very simple lines:

    Linux may overheat your system and cause hardware trouble? Well. Either there’s a problem in how the software co-operates with certain hardware, or a problem in the hardware itself.

    No legit, humane conversation can judge the client that experiences the problem responsible. Especially when the problem may be caused by well-renown products.

    The only way any of us can be held responsible for hardware damage, is if we cause malfunction to our system parts using KNOWN risk of damage.

    I’ve been using Linux in many desktops/laptops over many years now. I’ve never experienced any problem whatsoever. If something comes to light now, it’s Linux’s responsibility to alert people and/or figure out a solution.

    But as years advance, I see companies trying to screw people over for money rather than help them. I’ve never in the past experienced trouble reimbursing a faulty piece of hardware. Since 2013, it’s getting more and more difficult.

    I really miss the times when someone would treat you well and try to help you instead of using 5 pages-long End User Licence Agreements to avoid, well, pretty much any expense with a view to pure profit. I get that there is a huge amount of illiterate, stupid consumers out there that provoke damage on hardware due to their lack of knowledge. But still, some time ago we used to help those instead of letting them drown.

    Seems like proper organization and honest effort for quality over quantity is ignored more & more by the year. Money over soul.

    Money. Our new God.

    • Scooter Rodriguez

      Implying Linux is owned by one person or organization, and has a responsibility to do anything.

      • Zach Dalakas

        Unfortunately, that’s the weakest link in that case. But I generalized the scenario a bit further.