Retrieve content from Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Pariah Zero, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Pariah Zero macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2008
    I'm aware of the sync from an Apple TV -> iTunes. However, my understanding is that this only works the first time.

    I've got a sad story: I've been storing my iTunes library on a RAID-5 array - that way, if one drive dies, I can replace it & rebuild the array without losing any data.

    One drive failed.:eek: No problem; I replaced it and started rebuilding the array... A second drive failed partway through the rebuild process. :mad: (This was of the drives I needed to do the rebuild - not the replacement).

    The end result of which is that my entire iTunes library is not recoverable from that drive.

    But, I did have a second backup. Paranoia helps sometimes. ;) After restoring from the backup, I found a few files that are missing, and the only place they exist is on my Apple TV.

    Does anybody know of an easy way to force the Apple TV to dump its library back to my computer? It's the only "complete" iTunes library I have, and I'd rather not have to re-purchase from iTunes (and re-download; TV shows take a while...)
  2. TexasAg macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2008
    I'm relatively new to the ATV hacking arena, but it seems you have two choices. You can open up the ATV, hook up the hard drive to your computer, and find the files and copy them. Or, you could patchstick the unit and then remotely access and download the files. I have patchsticked mine, and it's quite easy. There are also instructions floating around for removing the menu items that the patchstick adds (my better half didn't like the extra menu items like CouchSurfer, nitoTV, and Files).

    Note that if you're really paranoid about it, you could patchstick the unit, get the files, then do a factory restore to remove the patchstick modifications. That way, if something went wrong later, you probably wouldn't get any grief from Apple about voiding your warranty by opening or modifying the unit.
  3. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    The problem with patching is that you are supposed to do a factory restore before you start patching. I am not sure if you can patch without a factory restore.
  4. TexasAg macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2008
    That's not what I did. I let it update to 2.0.2 and then patchsticked it, then made the modification to prevent future upgrades.

    A factory restore would take me back to the 1.0 software. If I patchstick it then, I'm stuck at 1.0.
  5. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    Just out of curiosity. Where did you get the 2.0.2 Patchstick version / instructions from?
    All the hacking sites I know only have instructions for 2.0.


  6. drag0n macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2008
    Get your free Patchstick image and instructions for ATV2.0.2 at
  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    On a side topic - could you post details on your RAID5 Array? I'm also very paranoid about loosing all my TV Shows and Movies (I've got one hard drive with better not fail! Touch wood).

    As for your Apple TV, try phoning Apple and see if they have any easier solutions - be interesting to hear their textbook response to it.
  8. Pariah Zero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2008
    While RAID 5 is a bit sexier than other methods, I'll suggest you go with RAID-1. It's very simple: One disk is kept as a mirror copy of the other. You get speed gains on reads, because it's able to stripe the reads from each disk. Every write (or delete) happens on both disks at the same time, so they are kept as a mirror of each other. If one dies, the other disk is still working.

    My own setup is on a network-attached server running Linux with software RAID, and is more complicated than most people will ever want to deal with.

    But OS X and Windows both do software raid as well. (In fact, a lot of the on-motherboard sata-raid chipsets are really software raid, though they disguise the fact well).

    So buy a drive the same size as the one you have, hook it up, and use RAID-1. Of course, back up everything else first... I'd say you want to do it "just in case", but the reality is you should back it up because you're gonna wish you had it sooner or later.

    I'm actually to the point now where I have more GB stored as backups than I do actual data.
  9. jonheg macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    This worked for me

    The rubber bottom of the apple tv peals off. Under the rubber are four screws (#10 Hex) that you need to remove. In the middle are four screws (#8 Hex) that hold the hard drive in. Loosen, but don't remove the screws. Unplug the hard drive cable from the board (not the drive.) Use the loosened screws of the hard drive and push on them, this will break the sticky seal on the bottom of the hard drive. Now remove the hard drive screws. Buy an external case for a 2.5" IDE Hard Drive and place the hard drive in it. Plug the hard drive into your mac. Two drive partitions will mount. Open iTunes and import media from the "Media" drive that mounted. Open iPhoto and import to library from "MEDIA." I know this voided my warranty, but I had one picture of my son at six months meeting his Great-Grandfather at his 104th birthday. The only picture I had of the two of them together was on apple tv after my MacBook Pro crashed for the third time in two years. I spent $15 on the external case. The money and the loss of warranty were worth every penny. Shame on Apple for not allowing Apple TV to be a backup drive for our media files.

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