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View Full Version : 250GB Apple TV Upgrade = Success!




pacmania1982
Mar 6, 2010, 09:21 AM
Hey guys

Thought I'd share my experience today upgrading my 40GB Apple TV. I've had it for about 18 months now, so is well out of warranty.

I bought a Western Digital WD2500BEVE 250GB 2.5" hard drive and got it delivered on a Saturday from eBuyer.com. I originally ordered the 320GB drive, but I got an email stating the drive was no longer available. I rang them and changed the order to lower capacity drive.

So it arrived this morning just after 10am. I'd already bought an 8 piece torx screw driver set in preparation (you a need Torx 8 and a Torx 10 screw driver to perform the upgrade).

So - unplugged the Apple TV, and let it cool down a bit before flipping it over and removing the rubber foot. It was a lot easier to take off than what I had read and was still sticky. Unscrewed the 4 screws, one in each corner, then the 4 that hold the drive in place and carefully opened up the case. I prized the 40GB drive off the case and removed the IDE cable. I connected the drive to a USB adapter and plugged it into my 13" MacBook Pro. I was surprised that the drive mounted on the desktop as I hadn't plugged in the power cable to the adapter.

I'd read several articles on how to copy the various partitions off the drive to my MacBook Pro, but I thought I'd give atvcloner a go first (http://dynaflashtech.net/atvcloner/). It found the drive and showed the partitions and with a press of a button saved three disk images to my desktop, boot.dmg, efi.dmg and recovery.dmg. I ejected the two partitions on the desktop, waited for the drive to spin down before disconnecting it and plugging in the new drive. Once plugged back into the MBP, OS X immediately told me that the drive couldn't be read and needed to be initialized. This was a bit of a shock as I've become so used to drives being preformatted as NTFS or FAT32. I clicked the cancel button and fired up atvcloner again. After selecting the new drive, I chose the three disk images and clicked the prepare drive button. It promptly crashed and quit. Not panicking, I opened up Disk Utility and created one 250GB partition and wrote the changes to the drive. I then opened up atvcloner again, duplicated what I had done with the disk images and pressed the prepare drive button once more. This time it sat there and actually did something. After about 10 mins or so atvcloner told me it was complete and had already ejected the partitions off the desktop. I pulled out the USB cable and disconnected the drive.

I proceeded to put the Apple TV back together again, plugged in the HDMI cable and power cable and watched the light on the front flash. I was mildly concerned when no picture came onscreen, but realized the TV was set to the wrong input. Once I'd switched it over, I was greeted by the welcome screen and asked to choose a language. I was expecting this as I didn't see atvcloner copying the contents of the Media partition. I selected English and pressed OK. The Apple TV then asked me to select a wireless network, I chose mine and put in the password then was told setup was complete. 5 random numbers appeared on screen which I then typed into my Mac mini which houses all of the media. After pairing the two devices, the Apple TV showed 228.59GB under the capacity in iTunes. I was rather surprised that it still had the 3.0.2 firmware on as I expected it to have reverted back to version 2 which it shipped with. So even better and not having to redownload and install the 3.0.2 update.

Needless to say it has been a very painfree upgrade which was made extremely easy by atvcloner and the Upgrading Apple TV Hard Disk guide from Jamie Dresser which can be found here http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/Framework.cfm?page=/Tips/appletv/appletv.html

If anyone has an Apple TV that is out of warranty and is thinking of doing the upgrade, seriously, don't think about it, just do it

pac
:D:D:D



pacmania1982
Mar 6, 2010, 09:27 AM
Better to see a screenshot ;)

pac
:D:D:D

dbwie
Mar 6, 2010, 11:52 AM
I'm looking forward to doing the same upgrade. ATV cloner has a user guide online: http://dynaflashtech.net/atvcloner/atvcloner-user-guide/

MacRumorUser
Mar 6, 2010, 01:25 PM
Thank you I just picked up a cheap 40gb ATV and want to upgrade the HDD. That's great news that the simple app works.

Now i need to find the torx 8 & 10 screwdrivers though :o

rdlink
Mar 6, 2010, 02:13 PM
Thank you I just picked up a cheap 40gb ATV and want to upgrade the HDD. That's great news that the simple app works.

Now i need to find the torx 8 & 10 screwdrivers though :o

Sorry guys, I think you're just bored with nothing to do. ;) There is no WAY I would go through that for a mere 250 GB drive. If there were 1TB drives available in EIDE, perhaps. But Apple just makes it far too easy to get your content from your Mac or PC streamed to the ATV. I have one Mac-based library feeding both of my ATVs, and nothing on their hard drives. In fact, I wish I hadn't spent the money on 160GB when I bought my first one.

dbwie
Mar 6, 2010, 03:08 PM
Sorry guys, I think you're just bored with nothing to do. ;) There is no WAY I would go through that for a mere 250 GB drive. If there were 1TB drives available in EIDE, perhaps. But Apple just makes it far too easy to get your content from your Mac or PC streamed to the ATV. I have one Mac-based library feeding both of my ATVs, and nothing on their hard drives. In fact, I wish I hadn't spent the money on 160GB when I bought my first one.

To each his/her own. Streaming is not very good on my network, and sometimes my MacBook is not at home when I am at home. Thus, I want everything on the AppleTV. Given that all of my music, photos, and movies totals about 50GB, a small upgrade is all I need. This upgrade process doesn't look very difficult at all. :D

pacmania1982
Mar 7, 2010, 05:50 AM
Sorry guys, I think you're just bored with nothing to do. ;) There is no WAY I would go through that for a mere 250 GB drive. If there were 1TB drives available in EIDE, perhaps. But Apple just makes it far too easy to get your content from your Mac or PC streamed to the ATV. I have one Mac-based library feeding both of my ATVs, and nothing on their hard drives. In fact, I wish I hadn't spent the money on 160GB when I bought my first one.

In an ideal world, I wouldn't have needed to have upgraded the Apple TV, but when you have a library with over 350 movies of which 145 are 720p, streaming can't cut it all the time. I hate watching a movie and have it stutter so my favorite movies I have synced to the hard disk. The same goes for my TV shows, 52 shows, 12 all in 720p.

Apple doesn't mention anywhere on their website about the streaming pausing and having to rebuffer while playing. And yes I have an Airport Extreme base station.

If I had had the Apple TV hardwired in, then this wouldn't have been needed either.

pac

rdlink
Mar 11, 2010, 09:06 PM
In an ideal world, I wouldn't have needed to have upgraded the Apple TV, but when you have a library with over 350 movies of which 145 are 720p, streaming can't cut it all the time. I hate watching a movie and have it stutter so my favorite movies I have synced to the hard disk. The same goes for my TV shows, 52 shows, 12 all in 720p.

Apple doesn't mention anywhere on their website about the streaming pausing and having to rebuffer while playing. And yes I have an Airport Extreme base station.

If I had had the Apple TV hardwired in, then this wouldn't have been needed either.

pac

Sorry. I have a Time Capsule, and 11, yes 11 devices on my network. Never have I experienced any stutter. As a previous poster stated, to each his own. But I still say that the process is not worth the incremental gain in space. I would consider it to go to a TB or more.

madoka
Mar 11, 2010, 11:02 PM
Sorry guys, I think you're just bored with nothing to do. ;) There is no WAY I would go through that for a mere 250 GB drive. If there were 1TB drives available in EIDE, perhaps. But Apple just makes it far too easy to get your content from your Mac or PC streamed to the ATV. I have one Mac-based library feeding both of my ATVs, and nothing on their hard drives. In fact, I wish I hadn't spent the money on 160GB when I bought my first one.

You don't have anything on your drives anyways because you stream everything, but you would do the mod if you could have a 1tb drive? So you could have 1tb of unused space? :rolleyes: Now who's the one whose bored with nothing to do? :p

dbwie
Mar 16, 2010, 07:00 AM
I successfully upgraded my 40GB :apple:TV to a cheap 120 GB drive (Fujitsu, 4200rpm, 8MB cache drive very similar in specs to the stock drive) and it now holds my entire 50GB media library. ATV cloner crashed on me a couple of times when attempting to copy the images to the new drive. Reformatting the target drive with Disk Utility and then reopening ATV cloner did appear to help. You will know that ATV cloner is successful when it creates a "media" and a "OS boot" partition on the new drive. This first time I ran ATV cloner, for some reason it successfully created the media partition, but not the boot partition, and I got a flashing question mark when I put this back in my :apple:TV.

One thing not explicitly noted on the upgrade instructions provided on the macsales site is that the T8 screws appear to hold the hard drive to the bottom plate, so make sure to line up your new drive with those holes when you put the :apple:TV back together.

Kebabselector
Mar 16, 2010, 07:16 AM
Hey guys

Thought I'd share my experience today upgrading my 40GB Apple TV. I've had it for about 18 months now, so is well out of warranty.

Nice one, I may seek advice should I ever get round to buying one.

doug.hall
Mar 19, 2010, 10:44 AM
A great guide. Just updated my aTV with the 320GB version. Works a charm and only took 30 mins.

A tip for taking off the rubber base is to do it while the device is still warm because the glue is weaker when warm.