Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Patchstick Working - Unlocks ATV in minutes

I was finally able to get my patchstick working last night using the instructions on the AwakwardTV Wiki. It's actually a lot easier than it looks, your basically making 2 partitions, loading them up with all of the correct files (that you patched yourself or found somewhere else), then changing the partition table at the end to a string that the Apple TV will boot with.

I created 2 bash scripts that convert the partition table back and fourth from ATV mode and standard mode so I can get in and edit the root partition files on my mac mini.

Now that I have the correct files needed to boot on an apple tv, I can take a fresh apple tv from the store, and in a few minutes have it loaded up with every codec, plugin and screensaver available. Just pop in the USB stick, press Menu and - to reboot the ATV, and it will reboot and run teh code on the memory stick. The scripts on the stick copy over all relevant files and make any necessary changes to your Apple TV OS, then you simply reboot and enjoy all of your new plugins/screensavers/codecs.

There is still much more work to be done for the code to be moved over to 100% open source code so that a disk like this can be distributed to the masses legally, but I would imagine that sometime in the near future there will be a nice and easy drag and drop utility that includes all of the files you need to make a usb patchstick.

This opens the floodgates to a lot of people. Once these USB keys exist and more apps such as ATV Loader are released, the Apple TV Scene is going to explode. Now any idiot with $299 and a usb stick can become an 'Apple TV Hacker'.

I am looking forward to all of the new content I will be able to watch on my bigscreen.
Have fun and keep it open source!


Mats Börjesson said...

Please give us an step by step guide on how to get it working with an USB Thumdrive and Patchstick.

I am sure a lot of people would be glad and you would save us alot of time. ;)

Chris said...

Where'd you track down a boot.efi file from? There's word the ones floating around are bad and can brick the unit. Any tips on where I can find a good one?

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