So far so good?

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on July 30, 2007

We got a lot of people writing in about how the patch is NOT going to work for them.  We have already addressed that in the previous blog entry.

Now, we’d  like to hear from those who got the patch to work.  How do you like it?  Anybody got a 2TB drive plugged in yet?  Maybe you can send in a screen shot of the settings screen showing your USB drive size?

Come on.  Show some love.

USB Patch: 2 days later

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on July 29, 2007

We are aware that the USB Patch released on Friday night was pretty restrictive on the requirements:  Intel-Mac, OS X files, Apple TV Software 1.0, etc.

Now that the source code is out in the wild,  we would like the community to investigate these issues and submit improvements over the existing code.

We feel that the highest priority is to make the patch work with Apple TV software 1.1.  Reverting back your Apple TV software to the previous version is just a step backward.  One shouldn’t have to be forced to do this.

Next priority is to make the install script work on other environments:  Windows, PPC OS X, etc. Correct me if I’m wrong but if all of compilation takes place on the Apple TV, (which runs the Intel version of OS X) then there shouldn’t be any restrictions on the computer that remotes into it, right?  Or you can just tell me that I’m full of it.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to wrap the geeky stuff in a nice GUI, then we’ll all be happy.  Volunteers?

So what are you waiting for?  Help us out.  All lines are opened, operators are standing by.

USB patch released. HALLELUJAH!

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on July 28, 2007

After numerous delays, we present you the USB patch that you guys have been waiting for. You can find the link to the patch at the bottom of this blog entry.

Just a recap for those who are not familiar with this. A few months back, AppleTVHacks.net and FatWallet set up a bounty looking for a way to use an external USB drive as a primary storage for the Apple TV. The patch must still allow the Apple TV to boot from its internal hard drive but only use the external USB drive as its primary storage.

First of all, our team would like to thank Patrick Walton of University of Chicago for sending us the original entry. We certainly appreciate his effort; it was a quite an achievement. Unfortunately, syncing did not work. By the time we realized the problem, Patrick was already too busy to fix his code.

Fortunately, Tom Anthony, our resident geek, was able to pick up where Patrick left off and fixed the syncing problem that the original patch had.

We would also like to thank Turbo for spending the time to test out the patch.

Instructions

The patch was written for and, therefore, tested on Apple TV software version 1.0. If you have 1.1, the patch might not work. Please let us know if you can get the patch to work on 1.1.

What you need:

  • An ssh-enabled Apple TV. If you don’t have that enabled yet, you can refer to this post to get it enabled. For instructions on how to enable ssh without opening the case, refer to this wiki page.
  • An Intel-Mac or Intel-based *nix. This is needed to run the script to patch the kernel on the Apple TV remotely. It maybe possible to run the install script under Windows using cygwin. However, we have not tried this.
  • An installed version of Mac OS X 10.4 Intel. Or a full copy of the contents of the “/System/Library/Extensions” folder from one.
  • An original, unmodified copy of the ‘mach_kernel.prelink’ file from the Apple TV. If the kernel on your Apple TV has not been modified yet, you can just tell the script to get it from there. Otherwise, you can obtain the file from Apple TV Software 1.1 update available here.
  • An external USB drive formatted using “Journaled HFS+” with the Apple Parition Map option (which is the default). This is the format the Apple TV expects.

The Procedure

  • Once you have all of the above, extract the zip file and READ THE README file. In it, you’ll find the instructions on how to run the script and what to do get the USB drive to work.
  • IMPORTANT: Please please please please back up the content of your Apple TV first before running the patch script. If there is one important step in performing the patch, it is BACKING UP your Apple TV.
  • Once you have your Apple TV backed up, run the script “install-atvrhd.sh” and follow the instructions. This process should take you less than 5 minutes. Once the kernel on your Apple TV is patched, the device will reboot.

Using it

  • Turn on the Apple TV without the USB drive inserted.
  • Wait for the intro sequence (flying TV screens, etc.) and insert the USB drive then.
  • Once inserted, the content of the internal hard drive will be copied to the external hard drive. This process can take a very long time. To remedy this, we recommend that you erase the content of your internal hard drive first so that there is no need to copy the content.
  • The Apple TV will restart automatically after the content is copied.
  • At this point, your Apple TV will use the external drive as its primary storage.

Uninstall

Under Unix or Intel Mac, use “uninstall-atvrhd.sh” to uninstall the patch. It should undo the changes – however, if you get really stuck, use the “Factory Restore” feature on your Apple TV.
Support

If you would like discuss about this patch (problems, praises, etc.), please use AppleTVSource.com’s Forums page for that.

And lastly

AppleTVHacks.net team would like to thank FatWallet for sponsoring this bounty and for their patience. Without them, this would not be possible.

We would also like to apologize to the community for delaying the release of this patch. We never thought that it would take this long. We know that many of you were dissatisfied (to put it lightly) with the progress. Many unforeseen events happened that resulted in the delay. Please accept our sincere apology.

Good luck experimenting with it. And, remember, BACKUP!

USB Patch

Checklist for the USB patch

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on July 27, 2007

Are you ready for it? I certainly am.

Anyhow, here’s the checklist for you to get ready for the patch.

  • An ssh-enabled Apple TV. If you don’t have that enabled yet, you can refer to this post to get it enabled.
  • An Intel-Mac or Intel-based *nix. This is needed to run the install script to patch the kernel on the Apple TV remotely. You can certainly try cygwin if you’re on Windows. However, we have not tested this.
  • An installed version of Mac OS X 10.4 Intel. Or a full copy of the contents of the “/System/Library/Extensions” folder from one.
  • An original, unmodified copy of the ‘mach_kernel.prelink’ file from the Apple TV. If the kernel on your Apple TV has not been modified yet, then the install script can just use the one from your Apple TV. Otherwise, you would need to supply one.
  • An external USB drive formatted using “Journaled HFS+”. This is the format the Apple TV expects.

One more important thing. We have only tried running the install script against Apple TV software 1.0 not the current version, which is 1.1.

Oh and if you haven’t backed up your Apple TV yet, please do so. As with all hacks, there is always that possibility of transforming your Apple TV into an expensive paperweight.

Later down the road, we or somebody from the community will probably make this process more user friendly. As for now, this is how it is.

Update

Before this gets out hand, let me explain.

Regarding enabling ssh on your Apple TV, you can definitely do it without opening the case to void the warranty. You can follow this wiki on awkwardtv.org

The hack requires a copy of boot.efi from Apple TV. This, of couse, was impossible without opening the case and getting the boot.efi out of the drive. However, since the release of the Apple TV software 1.1, you can obtain this file from there. You can obtain the update here.

About requiring an Intel Mac, I can try running the install script under cygwin to see what happens.

Lastly, about the submission not being valid. We think that it definitely qualifies. The patch can be applied without opening the case. Also, there is no mention that the patch or the install script should work on one environment or another.

As previously mentioned, the process will get easier over time. We will refine it. This just the first version of many revisions to come.

What’s better than a non-working USB patch?

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on July 26, 2007

A working one, of course.  Our very own Tom Anthony managed to fix the USB patch.  He is still testing it and is working on an “undo” script.

He promised to have it wrapped up by tomorrow night after doing some aggressive testing.  So look for the patch Friday night.

I’m as excited as a little girl on a sugar high!

Forums page

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on July 23, 2007

OK, let’s not talk about the patch for a moment. I actually stopped updating the site waiting for the permission to publish it. Last I heard is that it will be approved any day now.

I realized a few weeks back that this site does not a forums page. The only way of communication for the readers is via comments. This is far from efficient. Luckily, I do have a forums page on the other site, appletvsource.com.

I would like some suggestions as to what topics I should put on that page to better suit the Appletvhacks.net crowd. Leave me some messages.

You can access appletvsouce’s page via http://forums.appletvsource.com .

Thanks a bunch.

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