Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

Img 1565Scaled
Erica writes-

If you feel like violating your AppleTV warranty, here’s a quick how-to. You’ll need:

  • One Apple TV
  • A putty knife (optional)
  • A set of Torx screwdrivers

1. Unplug the AppleTV. Remove the power plug and cables. And while you’re at it, kiss the warranty goodbye. The AppleTV runs hot, so you may want to let it cool down before you proceed.
Img 1567Scaled
2. Peel the rubber backing off the bottom of the unit. I used a putty knife to get things started, but if you have good nails or better dexterity, you can probably skip the putty knife.
Img 1568Scaled
3. Use a small Torx wrench (T10) to remove the four corner screws. The screws come in 2 different sizes, so make a note of where each screw originated.
Img 1569Scaled
4. Gently pry off the back panel. There’s a ribbon cable holding the disk drive (on the back panel) to the rest of the unit, so use caution.
Img 1570Scaled

Img 1571Scaled

Img 1572Scaled
When you’re done oggling, replace the back panel and tighten the screws back in place and gently return the rubber backing into place.


  • acidrain69

    So….. what’s in it? What chips? What interfaces? Was there a point to voiding the warranty, or is it just a demonstration of how to open the box?

  • Nohbudy

    @acid: They are just showing you, how to safely get inside. It is up to you, the hardware hacker to figure the rest out. Isn’t that all the fun anyway?
    Anyway, even if you are not a hardware hacker. Just give it a few weeks, and you will see a few “How to install Linux” tutorials floating around.

  • johnreptues

    I am just wondering how to do this without linux and with mac os x, can it be done in vista or xp to copy the drive
    It seems that Apple TV does not perform well on some SD TVs which should be fixed, because not everyone has bought a HD TV at home.

  • marsjo

    I just wonder if it’s possible to use a 3.5″ IDE Disk, too.
    Surley the 3.5 Drive will not fit within the appleTv but this doesn’t matter. Also I want to know if it’s possible to add a second drive? Maste and Slave Disk at the appleTV IDE Port?

  • anonymous

    Apply even pressure all around. My rubber back tore.

  • Sascha

    Use the patchstick http://code.google.com/p/atvusb-creator/
    to create a bootable stick to install SSH and XBMC. It works in Take 2 without a problem.

Related Supplies at Maker Shed