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

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. acidrain69 says:

    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?

  2. Nohbudy says:

    @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.

  3. johnreptues says:

    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.

  4. marsjo says:

    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?

  5. anonymous says:

    Apply even pressure all around. My rubber back tore.

  6. Sascha says:

    Use the patchstick
    to create a bootable stick to install SSH and XBMC. It works in Take 2 without a problem.

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