Getting around the patchstick creation problem under Leopard

by editor @ on November 20, 2007

As many of you are aware, if you have just upgraded to Leopard, you can no longer create patchsticks on your Mac.

According to Maraklov’s wiki post on, the system extensions from Leopard are incompatible with those on Apple TV, which are based on 10.4.x. He is still working on trying to making this work. So, good luck, Maraklov. You have our support.

If you can’t wait for Maraklov’s solution, however, here’s a “duh” way to creating patchsticks on your Mac again: re-install Tiger.

No, I don’t mean re-installing the old operating system over your brand-spanking new Leopard; that would not be wise. What I meant was installing Tiger on another bootable flash/hard drive. You can then boot your Mac up into Tiger then run the patchstick script under that OS. Just make sure you do the minimum install and also update it to the latest version of Tiger first. Oh, and please keep track of which drive is which since now you have a Leopard drive, a Tiger drive and then a patchstick drive. Don’t overwrite the wrong one.

Can’t afford another hard drive? A reader named Vak suggested using Bootcamp to get around booting from another drive altogether.

Here’s how to do it:

  • run Bootcamp
  • allocate some space for the Windows partition (10GB should be plenty)
  • at the end, when asked to insert the installation CD, choose to install later.
  • quit Bootcamp
  • run Disk Utility
  • change the newly created Windows partition to Apple HFS+
  • reboot and insert the Tiger installation CD
  • install Tiger onto the newly created partition. Again, make sure to choose minimum installation

So why not just run Disk Utility and repartition your main drive without Bootcamp? Because Disk Utility doesn’t allow this. You can only do this via Bootcamp or use other commercial utilities for this.

So there you have it. I know some of you are going to say that these solutions are “LAME”. But, hey, they work!

Update:  OK, call me a liar.  You can, in fact, use Leopard’s Disk Utility to repartition your main hard drive without running Bootcamp first.  Thanks, Hugin777, for correcting me.

I apologize for this.  I, myself, am holding off on upgrading so I was not aware of this new feature in Disk Utility.

  • Hugin777

    I thought it was possible to resize partitions non-destructively in Leopard, thereby making it unnecessary to use BootCamp for that…?

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  • Maksym

    What if I have OS X 10.4 on a VMWare, will that work?

  • Daniels

    How about directly installing Leopard on a AppleTV? Cut out the middleman, so to speak

  • Martijn

    But… Can’t you simply add /Volumes// behind the cp command inside the script, to copy the files needed directly from an existing Tiger volume? I did that and the script seems to run just fine.

  • hypotheek

    Long story but it worked for me yesterday. Jesus you guy’s make our lives so mutch more enjoyable:-)

  • Scott

    There’s another way – works for all versions.

    Download the ATV4Windows image file ( Unzip the img file. Format usb drive. Use dd to copy it to the drive.

    e.g. dd if=PatchstickATVT2.img of=/dev/disk1 bs=1048576

  • sander

    @Scott, you’ll need an account to download it at Anyone? Email me at if you have the image!

  • Gekko69


    I’m noob on hacking Apple TV. What is dd ??

    I have my Patchstick-v2.4.img on my desktop. I formated my 1Gb USB Pen with Disk Utility in Mac OS format.

    How can i put the image on my USB ?

    Thanks !

  • Hypotheek

    Thanks guys after two weeks of strubbling we finally solved the problem.

    Keep blogging,

    thanks in advance

  • Peter Bureaustoel

    Does this also works for VM Ware?

  • nemat

    hej can somebady help me.?
    i want to hack my atv, i have patstick (bay it from atv 4windows) i know araund WinSCP (HAVE IT ) Putty

  • J. Kantoormeubelen

    can someone help me with the config?

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