Bricked 1st Gen Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BuckusToothnail, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. BuckusToothnail macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
    I have one of the 1st gen Apple TVs. A few years ago I jailbroked it so I could play HD movies off an external hard-drive on it.

    Then one day it just stopped working.

    I suspect it tried downloading an automatic update which bricked it, but I'm not sure.

    But any case I couldn't turn it back on no matter what I did. Tried resetting it, tried everything with the remote control. Nada.

    So since it's still hooked up to my system doing nothing, I'm wondering if anyone here knows how to fix it.

    Or is it completely bricked and I should throw it away?
  2. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    You could extract the hdd, and rebuild it using the ATV1 drive images that are out I the wild and reinstall the hdd. Of course if the hdd is kaput, you can install a new hdd imaged up.

    Of course, I'm assuming it's the hdd that's stuffed, and not some other component.
  3. BuckusToothnail thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
    Thanks, sounds promising. So this is basically like a re-install back to factory settings?

    Other than the HDD, what other components could be causing the problem?
  4. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    It's basically a very shrunk down computer so it could be anything...power supply, CPU etc.

    Does it still have the light showing up when you have it plugged in?
  5. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Before you throw it away ... send it to me, I will pay the shipping. ;)
  6. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Hey, you would certainly deserve it with all the work you do for the community. :)
  7. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Hey I was going to change the hard drive in my first generation not Jail broken -- just regular Apple TV -- the hard drive is fine, I just want a larger one in there.

    If you want my original hard drive let me know, it's the 40gb size. I was going to upgrade to either an 80 gb drive or a new 250gb drive I have -- I could also clone one of those, if that's what you want.
  8. BuckusToothnail thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
    Yes, it's been flashing the amber light for the last two years since its been bricked. Never bothered to take it out of my set-up and it's really that blinking light that has teased me to thinking I shouldn't throw it away.


    Thanks so much California! Mine is a 160GB model so I'm going to try Omne666's suggestion first. Really appreciate the offer though!
  9. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Those things were kinda bricked from the box. I can't tell you how many issues I had playing videos that worked fine on my iMac. I still have it, but I don't use it because it ends up not working more than it does work.
  10. BuckusToothnail thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
    Yeah, it was definitely a frustrating piece of equipment at the time though when it did work it was great, but mostly for music. What I hated about it was it seems to re-sync my whole music library every few days. I'm not sure if it was something to do with the wifi or what, but that was annoying especially when it was syncing right when I was about to use it.

    Also it was cool using the Remote app on my iPhone but it would only work for a little bit before it lost the connection or froze and I would have to re-pair it. Way too much trouble.

    And then when I jailbroke it to play HD videos off an external HDD, I found it the it wasn't powerful enough to do 720p smoothly so it was pretty much a wasted effort. It couldn't do what my PS3 could do, even at just 720p instead of 1080p, and then soon after that it bricked which I suspect was from an automatic update.

    The only reason I even want to get it working again is just for music. The 160GB HDD can basically fit my whole music library and I like the HDMI out straight to my receiver which is better than any analogue iPod dock. Plus the UI of the first-gen Apple TV is still good especially just for music.

    Only thing I'll do is once I've updated it with my music library, I'll never have iTunes open in its vicinity so it doesn't try to re-sync all the music again. And I'm looking forward to using my iPad now with the Remote app. Don't know if they ever made an iPad version or if I have to life with a 2X iPhone app but the functionality should be worth it over using the little white remote.

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