Until now, 3rd party partitioning software has been necessary to perform a harddrive upgrade on the Apple TV, meaning it can be performed solely for the cost of the new harddrive.
Thanks to AppleTVHacks.net reader, Epon, we now have a method where the built in “factory restore” does the work for us. The updated process can be seen over on the harddrive upgrade tutorial page.
Thanks to the peeps over at the excellent awkwardTV site for getting this tutorial right.
To get Apple Remote Desktop running on your Apple TV, firstly enable SSH so you can access the Apple TV easier.
SSH into your Apple TV, then run:
echo 71463E00FFDAAA95FF1C39567390ADCA > /Library/Preferences/com.apple.VNCSettings.txt
That code is is a hash of the password ‘frontrow’, which you’ll use to access Apple Remote Desktop. Next you need to get the application going, for which you can use these commands:
sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -configure -clientopts -setvnclegacy -vnclegacy yes
sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -activate -configure -access -on -users admin -privs -all -restart -agent -menu
You may be prompted for your password after the first command.
You should be up and running, you can now use Apple Remote Desktop, if you have it, or the free Chicken of the VNC app to access your Apple TV remotely.
Thanks again to Jonathan for writing up the process. Here it is…
To get Apache running on your Apple TV, firstly enable SSH so you can access the box easier.
From there, you can scp the directory /usr/libexec/httpd/ from your Mac to the Apple TV:
scp -r /usr/libexec/httpd firstname.lastname@example.org:/usr/libexec/.
Then ssh into the Apple TV and run:
sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl start
Pow. Apache is running. You can now access the Apple TV from a web browser, in either fashion:
The default httpd.conf file uses the /Library/WebServer/Documents/ directory for its DocumentRoot and also enables the user-level Sites folder, so this also works:
Now, we are interested in whether that opens up the door to make a browser based administration system for the Apple TV. Combined with SFTP/AFP for files access, we believe an alternative system to iTunes could be built for managing the content on your Apple TV.
Whatever you do with this; let us know how you get on!
Credit for the original information used in making this how-to goes to TylerL82 over at the SomethingAwful.com forums. Written up here by Jonathan Bare.
So while you have your Apple TV open and you’re installing a new hard drive or just following along with the people over at SomethingAwful.com forums to get Xvid working, you might as well un-break SSH so you can access the Apple TV remotely.
Opening the Apple TV and connecting the hard drive to your Intel Mac are covered in the hard drive upgrade and elsewhere, so we’ll skip those steps and jump right to the point where you have the OSBoot and Media volumes mounted on your Mac.
This process assumes using an Intel Mac because the sshd binary may or may not be the same in the PowerPC version of Mac OS X; we haven’t checked. If someone would like to try using the PowerPC binary and let us know if it works, that would be great!
There are 2 ways to go about this; using the finder, or via the terminal. The finder method is probably best if you aren’t sure what is going on, whereas the Terminal method is quicker if you are confident.
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The members at somethingawful.com have kept tinkering with their Apple TV’s all day, and have made surprising progress. Amongst their achievements:
- They have the VLC player running on the box
- It has been noticed that components Apple Remote Desktop are installed, though no success in getting it working yet
- Some success getting SSH access up and running
- Where Finder.app would normally be is where the specialised interface app lives
Keep it up guys!
Update: Thanks to reader Epon, we now have a way to do this without requiring iPartition. So you can now do the upgrade for only the price of your new harddrive.
Here it is, a step by step tutorial on upgrading your Apple TV harddrive. With thanks to Jonathan Bare, the brave soul who worked this out!
It should be noted that this process will almost certainly void your Apple TV’s warranty and you are attempting this upgrade at your own risk.
You can do this via the terminal, or by using some applications (which add $100 to the cost of the process).
What you need:
2.5″ hard drive (we used a Western Digital 120 GB WD1200VE drive)
Wiebetech Forensic DriveDock (optional, but recommended) or any 2.5″ to Firewire bridge
Subrosasoft’s CopyCatX ($49), or be comfy with the terminal
Coriolis’s iPartition ($45), or use the Apple Factory Restore
This process was done on an Intel Mac Pro. Connecting the Apple TV drive to a Power PC Mac might damage the GUID partition, especially for anyone who hasn’t upgraded to Mac OS X 10.4.6 or newer.
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