Learn how to improve a first-generation Apple TV


Apple TV 1st era.

Final up to date

Apple first launched the Apple TV set-top field in 2006. Here is methods to refurbish and restore one of many unique items, to make the set-top field pretty much as good as new.

All by way of the Nineties, Apple had been toying with the thought of constructing a set-top TV field for house customers. Like a cable TV field, Apple needed to have a TV platform that was compact, cheap, and straightforward to make use of.

However by 1995, Apple had deserted the mission, and work started to plot a brand new machine that was smaller and less complicated. 9 years later, the outcome was the primary Apple TV.

In contrast to at present’s Apple TV, the unique system did not have an App Retailer. As a substitute, Apple’s iTunes app was used to synchronize motion pictures, music, photographs, and different media to the system over a community, or by way of the USB port.

Many of those gadgets are nonetheless out there on-line, in working situation at low costs.

We discovered ours on eBay for lower than $15. Nonetheless, its inside drive had been wiped of the working system, which can current a problem for some customers.

The technical specs for the first-generation Apple TV might be discovered at everymac.com.

Based mostly on Mac OS X Tiger

The primary era Apple TV launched to the general public was truly a minimized Mac, working a specifically modified model of Mac OS X Tiger (10.4). The machine was primarily based round an Intel Pentium M chip working at 1GHz, an Nvidia GeForce Go 7300 GPU, and 256MB RAM.

Design-wise the system might theoretically assist 1GB of RAM, though not one of the gadgets ever shipped with greater than 256MB. As we are going to see under, it’s doable to hack the Apple TV to assist 512MB, nevertheless it’s very tough.

1st generation Apple TV with its box.

Authentic 1st era Apple TV with field.

On the rear of the system are a wide range of ports: energy, USB, Ethernet, HDMI, part video, analog stereo audio, and optical audio (TOSLINK). All first era Apple TVs additionally included WiFi built-in.

The system is constructed round a metallic body, a transparent and white lucite prime, a metallic backside cowl, and a single massive rubber pad on the underside held on with adhesive. The motherboard and many of the electronics are literally constructed into the highest of the system.

There’s solely a single inside 2.5-inch ATA exhausting drive secured to the underside metallic cowl with 4 Torx screws.

On this article, we’ll have a look at methods to disassemble, clear, restore, and optionally improve the unique Apple TV.

Apple TV first generation bottom view.

Backside view: the big rubber foot, metallic cowl, and metallic body.


Earlier than continuing, we should always warn you that disassembling the unique Apple TV requires some ability and a few particular instruments.

You also needs to ask your self the query: Am I prepared to just accept some small minor harm to my Apple TV in alternate for cleansing, upgrading, and repairing it?

This query is necessary, as a result of as a result of age of the system, it might be unattainable to open it with out incurring some small harm to elements (most notably the underside foot and inside fan).

Having mentioned that, it is also fully doable to carry out the restore with out inflicting any everlasting main harm – if you’re cautious. Additionally, bear in mind there are some excessive voltages within the Apple TV energy provide (250V) and it is doable to get shocked in some instances if you’re not cautious.

Try this restore at your individual danger.

As with earlier refurbs, you will want a particular set of instruments to open the machine:

  • A 4.5-inch (11.5cm) wall spackling software
  • A medium magnetized Phillips-head screwdriver
  • A tiny magnetized Phillips-head electronics screwdriver, or jeweler’s screwdriver
  • A small flat plastic or metallic spudger
  • Small Torx screwdrivers
  • Scissors
  • A small pastime knife
  • A tiny artist’s paintbrush
  • A multimeter
  • Compressed air or an air compressor
  • A shiny flashlight
  • Vivid room lighting
  • Optionally a microscope, or a small magnifier or jeweler’s loupe
  • Kapton tape and masking tape
  • A CR2032 alternative button-cell battery

Maybe probably the most tough step in opening your Apple TV is eradicating the big rubber foot. This half is definitely two layers of rubber fused collectively and glued to the underside metallic cowl with plastic adhesive.

When attempting to take away the foot, it should probably start to separate and tear in spots the place the rubber had bonded to the adhesive. Because of this, you need to use a large spacking knife to pry the foot off very slowly.

To start, place the system face-down on a well-lit floor on prime of a soldering mat or gentle hand towel with the rear ports dealing with in the direction of you. Utilizing each palms gently and slowly start prying up the rubber foot at one nook along with your fingers.

Go slowly and periodically cease to verify if the underside of the rubber foot is tearing on the skin. Whether it is, cease and use the spackling knife to get beneath the adhesive and pry it up together with the foot.

Work from one nook horizontally throughout to the opposite, then ahead evenly in the direction of the entrance of the system. Cease at intervals to verify for tears on the skin.

If tears do happen it is not the top of the world – if you happen to cease instantly and use the knife to peel the glue off, the tearing might be minimized and will not be clearly seen on the skin.

You might also wish to attempt heating the foot barely with a sizzling air gun or hair dryer to melt the glue, but when the adhesive is simply too outdated and brittle, this may occasionally not have a lot of an impact.

Lastly, take away the rubber foot completely as you progress ahead in the direction of the entrance of the system. As soon as all of the glue is separated, the foot will come free. Set it apart for now.

Apple TV 1st generation bottom foot removal.

Rubber foot elimination and small tear harm. Proceed slowly.

Step 2: Open your Apple TV

If there may be any residual glue protecting the 4 Torx screws on the underside cowl, take away it with a pastime knife, then take away the 4 screws.

These screws maintain the underside cowl to the highest lid. There are 4 extra Torx screws that maintain the inner ATA/IDE exhausting drive to the underside cowl – however do not take away these but.

Clear corner screws of glue with a hobby knife.

Take away extra glue from the nook Torx screws utilizing a pastime knife.

Step 3: Take away the exhausting drive

Subsequent, flip the underside cowl over, and take away the exhausting drive’s ATA ribbon cable from the connector on the motherboard. As soon as it is free, flip it again over and take away the 4 Torx screws holding the drive to the quilt.

Detach the ATA cable and examine it for harm. Clear each the drive and cable with compressed air adopted by a moist fabric. Additionally, clear the within of the quilt to take away any mud.

Set all three elements apart for later.

Word that not like at present’s computer systems, the first era Apple TV used ATA/IDE drives. 2.5-inch ATA drives had been the usual for many laptops within the late 1990’s. SATA hadn’t but been broadly deployed on the time.

Removing Apple TV's bottom cover and hard drive.

Take away the ATA drive, its ribbon cable, and the quilt.

As soon as the drive and canopy are free, we are able to examine the motherboard and major elements. Clockwise from higher left, they’re:

  1. CR2032 coin-cell battery
  2. Community and LED/distant wires
  3. ATA connector
  4. Energy provide
  5. Rear ports
  6. WiFi card
  7. Fan
  8. Lid assist/warmth conduit

Above the motherboard is a small inside house the place the wi-fi antennae reside. Until your Apple TV could be very soiled inside, there is no have to open this cowl.

Word that the small warmth conduit subsequent to the fan is manufactured from aluminum. This half acts as each a warmth spreader which conducts fan exhaust warmth to the metallic body, and acts as a assist for the underside cowl.

The warmth conduit is held down by a metallic submit on the backside and a single Torx screw on the prime. You will not have the ability to entry this screw with out the proper measurement Torx mini screwdriver that may match by way of the small gap above it.

Truly, there is a approach round this if you do not have the proper software, which we’ll get to under.

There are literally three elements to the highest cowl: a metallic plate the motherboard is mounted on, a metallic body, and the clear/white plastic prime. All three elements are held in place till you take away the warmth conduit and its two screws (and the WiFi card).

1st generation Apple TV with bottom cover removed.

Apple TV’s motherboard and case.

Step 4: Take away and take a look at the battery

Utilizing a pastime knife, take away the CR2032 coin-cell battery as proven. Watch out to not brief something, and to not harm the plastic battery holder both.

One of the simplest ways to take away the battery is to insert a pastime knife into the holder on the backside proper or prime edge and pry in the wrong way. The battery will come out of the holder.

Take away the battery rapidly so it would not contact any motherboard elements and brief them.

Removing the CR2032 coin-cell battery.

Take away the CR2032 battery utilizing a pastime knife.

Check the battery utilizing a multimeter by setting it to 20V DC (the facet with the dotted strains on it). The right full voltage for CR2032 is 3.3V. Ours measured 2.89 volts – a bit under regular.

We determined to switch the battery anyway with a brand new one. Nonetheless, do that final after the machine is reassembled.

Remove and test the CR2032 battery for correct voltage.

Check the battery with a multimeter. Right max voltage is 3.3V.

Step 4: Check energy

At this level, you may plug your Apple TV right into a wall outlet to see what the entrance mild reveals. The entrance panel LED ought to flash a gentle amber.

If it would not then it means there’s another {hardware} failure apart from the lacking exhausting drive and OS.

Should you do get another error, the machine will want restore, or if you’re an electronics knowledgeable, additional analysis.

Be sure to not contact any a part of the facility provide at this level. Inside the facility provide are high-voltage 250V capacitors and if you happen to contact them along with your naked palms it is more likely to knock you off your ft or worse.

Normal US family outlet present is 120V, and the Apple TV energy provide is designed to deal with this and 240V for different international locations equivalent to in Europe and the UK. That is sufficient voltage to electrocute people.

It is for that reason the facility provide is wrapped in an insulating plastic cowl and sealed with tape. Even so, it is nonetheless harmful when reside.

Bear in mind even after being disconnected capacitors inside energy provides can retain their voltages for a number of minutes.

In case your Apple TV’s energy provide is not working, you will have to take away it with a view to substitute it. This process is for superior customers so we’ll depart this as an additional step on the finish.

Apple TV 1st generation front panel power LED.

Testing energy. With out the exhausting drive connected, you need to get a gentle blinking amber LED.

Step 5: Take away and clear fan

The Apple TV’s fan is held in by three small plastic posts with clips a the tops. The clips snap into holes on the fan’s edges, locking it in place. At this level, you will have to resolve if you wish to danger damaging these posts with a view to take away the fan.

After seventeen years, the plastic in these clips will probably be extraordinarily brittle and susceptible to breaking. You may nonetheless reinstall and safe the fan utilizing different strategies later, nevertheless it’s probably eradicating the fan will break not less than certainly one of them.

Should you do resolve to take away the fan, you will have to squeeze the highest of every submit with small tweezers, then gently pull up on the nook of the fan to free it. Repeat this step for the opposite two posts till the fan is free.

You may additionally have to disconnect the fan’s wire connector on the motherboard. Watch out since this connector will probably be brittle too.

The fan would not truly cool something instantly. All the key chips are on the opposite facet of the motherboard. There’s a small financial institution of resistors and capacitors beneath the fan, and it retains these elements cool since they energy the chips on the opposite facet.

A lot of the warmth on the motherboard is cooled by way of convection. The fan attracts air throughout the board and sends it out to the warmth conduit the place it will get unfold to the primary body and backside plate.

Apple TV 1st generation cooling fan.

The principle cooling fan. Word the posts on the three corners.

At this level, until your Apple TV could be very soiled inside, or the facility provide is not working, you are largely accomplished with disassembly. You may wish to use compressed air to blast any mud out of the fan, and from across the motherboard.

Until you wish to take away the motherboard you need not take away the WiFi card or energy provide. You should use compressed air to wash the remainder of the motherboard and from across the elements.

Apple TV 1st generation internal fan.

Fan eliminated and prepared for cleansing. Ours was solely barely soiled.

Step 6 (Optionally available): Take away and clear energy provide

Should you do have to take away the facility provide, proceed with warning. As we talked about it will probably comprise harmful excessive voltage.

All the time put on rubber gloves when dealing with the facility provide, and by no means contact it whereas the system is plugged in.

This step ought to solely be tried by skilled customers with data of electronics and electrical energy. Proceed with warning.

Should you merely wish to clear the facility provide of mud you need not take away it. As a substitute, simply use compressed air across the ends and the small openings to blast any mud out of it

In case your energy provide would not work, you will have to discover a new alternative on-line and substitute your entire unit.

That is pretty straightforward: to take action, take away the three Torx screws holding the facility provide down, disconnect its connector from the motherboard, then slowly peel it up from its sticky insulating pad.

The insulating pad has robust adhesive on it and you may have to rigorously and slowly pry the facility provide up from the pad to free it. Set up of a brand new energy provide is the reverse of elimination.

One cause Apple makes use of this sort of insulating pad to carry the facility provide in place is to make sure no excessive voltages arc from the availability to the metallic chassis of the system – which might pose a well being hazard for customers.

Because of this, do not take away the insulating pad from the system – you will want it once you set up the brand new energy provide.

Apple TV first generation power supply removed.

Energy provide eliminated. Word the adhesive insulating pad and the three mounting holes.

Energy provide deep dive

Only for enjoyable, let’s check out the within of the facility provide. Ours is mannequin ADP-36BF A from Delta Electronics of Taiwan, INPUT: 100-240V~1.0A 50-60Hz, OUTPUT: 5V @ 7.2A.

You may skip this part if you happen to’re not within the inside workings of the Apple TV energy provide.

A lot of the work of this provide entails taking the enter 120V or 240V home AC present and stepping it right down to 5V DC the system can use.

Apple TV 5V power supply..

Apple TV 1st era energy provide from Delta Electronics.

To open the facility provide (assuming you have confirmed it is absolutely discharged first), you will have to take away its outer plastic cowl. Should you simply unplugged the Apple TV wait a number of hours earlier than making an attempt this with a view to give the capacitors time to discharge.

There are two small plastic clips on one facet of the availability you will have to take away with a pastime knife.

You may additionally have to peel again three items of tape holding the plastic cowl on. As soon as that is accomplished you may rigorously take away the quilt.

Chances are you’ll want to attain the tape in a number of locations to free the quilt, however this may be re-taped later – or sealed with sizzling glue.

Removing the cover of a 1st generation Apple TV power supply.

Chances are you’ll want to attain the tape in a number of locations.

With the quilt eliminated, we are able to see the facility provide’s elements. From proper to left within the photograph under:

  1. Enter
  2. 250V rectifier
  3. Two massive EMI movie caps
  4. Inductor
  5. Excessive voltage ceramic cap (blue)
  6. Bridge rectifier
  7. Two massive smoothing caps
  8. Smaller cap and excessive voltage ceramic cap
  9. STB10NK60Z 600V MOSFET transistor
  10. Massive choke
  11. Three 10V output caps
  12. Output
Apple TV 1st generation power supply removed from the device.

Apple TV 1st era energy provide with cowl eliminated.

Briefly, the facility provide works like this:

At enter, the AC present is stabilized and filtered by the enter rectifier and the 2 EMI movie caps. These caps assist take away any static or electromagnetic interference which may be within the constructing’s electrical wiring.

Movie caps are additionally identified for having the ability to face up to excessive voltages with out producing numerous warmth. Many movie caps present in private computer systems relationship all the best way again to the Nineteen Eighties are rated at 100V or extra.

The coiled inductor then additional stabilizes the present by way of an electromagnetic discipline. The aim of most inductors is to retailer vitality and resist any adjustments in present passing by way of them.

Subsequent the present passes by way of the MOSFET transistor and the bridge rectifier. They’re partly liable for changing them to DC and stepping them right down to a decrease voltage, together with the big coiled choke to the left.

Chokes act considerably like massive resistors and so they work by means of a giant copper wire winding which gives resistance to present passing by way of it. Relying on the facet of the coil, voltages might be both elevated or decreased by both drawing kind of energy on the other facet.

In addition they block higher-frequency AC present whereas permitting lower-frequency AC and DC present to go by way of. Widespread mode chokes are additionally used as a part of EMI suppression.

MOSFETs are multi-use transistors that may act each as amplifiers and switches. MOSFETs can be utilized as gates that change the conductivity of the system primarily based on the worth of an enter voltage at one of many system’s terminals.

Subsequent, energy is saved within the energy provide within the two massive electrolytic caps to clean it. Often called smoothing caps, these elements act like small batteries and stop any spikes or surges which may be current within the enter circuit.

Bridge rectifiers or “diode bridges” are small packages that comprise a number of diodes which forestall present from flowing in the wrong way. In addition they deal with changing AC present to DC present.

On this case, the facility provide accommodates a D2SB bridge rectifier rated for 200V @ 1.5A.

Most bridge rectifiers work by changing the destructive portion of the AC enter to a optimistic voltage. They then clean it to provide a single steady DC present.

Some bridge rectifiers can deal with two AC inputs and two DC outputs on the similar time.

These elements are sometimes present in switching energy provides equivalent to those present in Apple TV.

Bridge rectifiers had been invented within the late 1800s and had been a essential step needed earlier than built-in circuits may very well be produced.

D2SB bridge rectifier in Apple TV 1st generation power supply.

Reverse view of the facility provide. Word the D2SB bridge rectifier lurking on the heart.

You will have famous plenty of hardened white putty round a number of of the facility provide’s elements.

This putty is used to carry elements in place so they do not contact, nevertheless it additionally acts as a high-voltage insulating materials to forestall electrical arcing. This arcing might probably brief and destroy the facility provide, trigger fireplace, or injure customers.

By sealing most of the high-voltage elements in insulating putty the designers of the facility provide can guarantee no antagonistic results or harm. For these causes by no means take away any of the putty from the facility provide – until it’s a must to with a view to substitute a part.

Should you open the facility provide, examine all of the electrolytic caps for leakage or bulging. When some electrolytic caps get outdated they begin to bulge on the prime alongside the metallic disk and plastic wrapper.

If the metallic disk on prime of a cap appears swollen, or if it appears unusually broad with solely a small quantity of plastic round it, the cap could also be unhealthy.

When the electrolytic fluid leaks out of a cap it often does so alongside the underside across the connecting pins. So search for discoloration alongside the underside edge or on the reverse facet of the board.

As soon as you have cleaned or obtained a brand new energy provide, you are prepared to maneuver on to the following step. To take action the facility provide should be eliminated first.

Should you opened your Apple TV’s energy provide and plan to maintain it, reinstall the plastic cowl and plastic snaps, and reseal the tape.

Step 7 (Optionally available): Take away and clear the motherboard

This step can be optionally available. In case your Apple TV is not very soiled this step is not actually needed. Grime and mud can gather beneath the motherboard and stop airflow and warmth dissipation.

In case your Apple TV motherboard could be very soiled you may wish to clear beneath it.

To take away the motherboard, you will first have to take away the WiFi card by eradicating its screw and wires, after which eradicating the warmth conduit on the left facet.

If you cannot attain the recessed Torx screw by way of the opening within the prime of the conduit, you may nonetheless take away it by barely (and punctiliously) bending the highest facet to the correct to permit entry with a standard Torx driver.

Should you do that, accomplish that rigorously, and do not bend it an excessive amount of. The highest of the conduit additionally acts as a assist for the underside cowl so it has to sit down evenly with the body.

When you take away each the conduit screws, elevate the conduit out of the system.

Torx screw in Apple TV 1st generation heat conduit.

The hidden Torx screw beneath the warmth conduit.

At this level, the motherboard is successfully free, nevertheless it’s nonetheless being held into the body by the ports in the back of the machine. To take away the motherboard, slide it ahead and elevate its entrance edge up and out.

As soon as the motherboard is free, flip it over and examine it for any harm, burn marks, corrosion or different inconsistencies.

Two of the chips on the underside of the board have thermal paste on them. Until it is extraordinarily dried out and flaky, there is no actual cause to take away and substitute it. Strive to not disturb it if you happen to’re not changing it with new paste.

Re-installation and re-assembly of the motherboard is the reverse of elimination.

Apple TV 1st generation top case with motherboard removed.

Motherboard eliminated with underside seen. The highest case additionally has two stick-on thermal pads for the opposite two chips.

This step can be optionally available. Should you do not wish to improve your Apple TV’s RAM, skip this step (it is fairly lengthy and sophisticated).

As talked about, the primary era Apple TV solely shipped with 256MB RAM. The structure of the system permits for as much as 1GB of RAM, however as many Apple TV modders have found, the actual higher restrict is 512MB.

This improve is extraordinarily tough and also you danger damaging your Apple TV motherboard within the course of.

The RAM improve is not as straightforward as merely changing chips. It additionally entails soldering bodge wires, eradicating the chipset controller (Intel G45U), eradicating, reprogramming and re-flashing the firmware ROM, and superior SMD and sizzling air soldering abilities.

To carry out the RAM improve you will additionally want particular tools and solder flux. This consists of:

  1. SMD solder paste
  2. Sizzling air board preheat system
  3. Sizzling air soldering station
  4. Soldering iron
  5. Solder wick
  6. Effective enamel-coated wire
  7. Voltmeter
  8. Tweezers
  9. Optionally a microscope
  10. 4 alternative 128GB DDR2 SMD RAM chips

You may additionally want a USB EPROM programmer and a Home windows pc to connect it to. The programmer should additionally embody the proper adapters to suit the small SMD ROM chip you will have to de-solder and modify.

You carry out this step by de-soldering the ROM, inserting it within the USB programmer, dumping its ROM code to a Home windows machine, patching the code for bigger RAM chips, then flashing the modified ROM again to the chip and re-soldering it.

Worse, the higher-density RAM chips have totally different reminiscence lanes and among the RAM connection factors on the Apple TV motherboard aren’t related to something.

This implies you will must solder further bodge wires onto the chip pads. You’d additionally must de-solder and re-solder the built-in Intel chipset controller to attach the extra RAM strains.

All of this can be a daunting process and if you happen to’re not 100% sure of your abilities, do not do it – it is too straightforward to destroy the motherboard or elements within the blink of an eye fixed.

As in a number of late-model Macs, the RAM is soldered to the Apple TV motherboard as surface-mount gadgets (SMD). These gadgets are flat and have a solder-ball matrix on their undersides.

There aren’t any through-hole or edge connectors and these RAM gadgets can solely be soldered on with sizzling air.

Eradicating and re-soldering these gadgets entails heating the motherboard with sizzling air to take away the elements, then melting the outdated solder, making use of flux and including new solder. After that, you place the brand new elements and fix them to the motherboard with sizzling air.

Because the solder heats up, every system is robotically drawn into place on the solder grid on the motherboard. When sizzling air is eliminated, the solder hardens securing every half in place.

It is actually straightforward to mess this sort of restore up and render the pc un-bootable. Therefore, solely try this step if you’re absolutely assured in your SMD soldering abilities.

A detailed-up view of the underside of the Apple TV motherboard reveals 4 64MB RAM gadgets alongside the left facet for a complete of 256MB of RAM. The unique RAM chips are made by Micron and are DDR2:

Apple TV 1st generation motherboard RAM.

4 DDR2 RAM gadgets alongside the left facet of the underside of the motherboard.

To get began place the motherboard face down on a hot-air SMD preheating system. You do not wish to use an “oven” type PCB preheater to warmth the board – you need the type which blows sizzling air out of the highest to evenly warmth the board beneath the spot its laid on.

One instance of such a preheater is the Hakko FR830-02 from Japan, nevertheless it’s actually costly (near $400).

The preheater retains the motherboard at an elevated temperature in order that once you hit the RAM chips along with your sizzling air-station, they arrive proper off with out an excessive amount of time.

Subsequent, apply additional flux to the sides of the RAM chips take away all 4 chips along with your sizzling air soldering station and a pair of tweezers.

Apply additional flux to the pads the place the RAM chips had been soldered to the motherboard, warmth them, after which take away any extra solder from the pads with a solder wick.

Additionally utilizing the preheater and your sizzling air station, take away the firmware ROM chip on the front-side of the motherboard. Relying on which motherboard you will have, the scale and placement of this chip might fluctuate.

Often, it is a 14-pin or 8-pin SMD system close to the highest fringe of the motherboard. You may have to de-solder it, clear it, and place it in a correctly-sized EPROM adapter.

For some EPROM programmers, you will have to first solder the ROM chip onto one other adapter board which then will get inserted into the programmer.

Now plug the adapter into the EPROM USB programmer and plug the programmer into your Home windows pc. Utilizing the software program that got here along with your EPROM programmer, copy the contents of the ROM to a file and save the file to disk.

You may later modify this ROM file by patching a piece of it and re-flashing it again to the ROM chip utilizing the programmer. This step means that you can inform the firmware what measurement RAM the pc has.

Lastly, take away all the additional flux from the RAM solder pads utilizing a paper towel and isopropyl alcohol.

Four Apple TV RAM chips on its motherboard.

The 4 RAM chips soldered to the motherboard atop the recent air preheater. Word the solder balls beneath the chips. Courtesy dosdude1.

Word the format of every matrix on the motherboard the place the RAM chips had been. These pads join elements of every RAM chip with totally different elements of the pc.

You may search for the solder matrix on Micron’s RAM web site to see what every pad is used for.

A number of the solder pads join the handle strains of every RAM chip to the chipset controller which accesses their information by way of these connections. Sadly, the larger-sized RAM chips require further entry (handle line 13) to work which Apple did not anticipate utilizing.

So among the pads required for bigger chips aren’t related to something on the Apple TV motherboard. Due to this unlucky oversight, you will want to attach these RAM strains your self utilizing bodge wires.

And you may want to do that for every of the 4 RAM chips.

A bodge wire is just an extra additional wire utilized in electronics to attach one thing that wasn’t supposed to be related, or to bypass circuits on a board to rewire connections.

You additionally want to attach every of the bodge wires related to the proper pin on the controller chip to a spare unused pin on a pullup resistor on the motherboard with a view to join every to the DDR2 energy rail.

The entire bodge wires on all 4 RAM chips join the identical factor since they’re all a part of the identical RAM financial institution.

On this case, the bodge wires will join the extra handle line to the chipset controller instantly. However first, you will want to change the ROM’s SPD information for the brand new reminiscence chips and reflash the ROM.

To take action, open the ROM file you dumped above in a Home windows hex editor and seek for the string “80 08 08 0D 0A”. That is the header for the SPD information within the ROM file.

Every byte within the string tells the firmware in regards to the traits of the RAM put in on the motherboard.

You may have to dump the 256 bytes following this string to a file. Then you’ll have to open it in a Home windows app referred to as SPDTool which lets you view the SPD information in a UI, adjustments its values, then reserve it again to a file.

As soon as you have modified and saved the file, you may dump that information again to the unique information within the ROM file. This overwrites it and thus updating the SPD information which tells the Apple TV firmware what sort of RAM is within the machine.

If all this sounds complicated, it’s. However fortunately legendary retro YouTuber dosdude1 has a video detailing your entire RAM alternative and firmware modifying course of.

He additionally explains the variations within the reminiscence lanes between the 2 totally different measurement RAM chips, and methods to do the bodge wire soldering to bypass the RAM connection limitations on the Apple TV motherboard.

As soon as you have up to date and re-flashed your Apple TV ROM with the brand new SPD information, apply some new solder paste flux to its pads on the motherboard. Use it to re-solder the ROM again onto the motherboard utilizing a sizzling air station.

Clear the ROM space with isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab.

Earlier than you truly connect the bodge wires, you will have to take away the Intel G45U controller chip utilizing sizzling air, “reball” it (reflow its solder balls on the underside utilizing sizzling air), and clear off any left over flux.

Apple TV's Intel G45 controller chip.

Intel G45 controller chip. Discover the solder-ball matrix on the underside. Courtesy dosdude1.

You may want to attach a bodge wire from pin seven on the G45 chip to the pad for handle line 13 on the first of the RAM chips.

It seems Apple offered a by way of – a pass-through gap to the opposite facet of the board on pin seven on the underside row of the G45 chip on the motherboard (the G45 pin row closest to the RAM chips).

On the topside of the board, this by way of attaches to a testpoint not removed from the coin-cell battery holder. This implies you may join the bodge wire from handle line 13 on the primary RAM chip to the testpoint on the topside of the board and never must mess with soldering the wire to the G45 chip itself.

Testpoint on the top of the Apple TV 1st generation motherboard.

The topside testpoint close to the coin-cell holder which attaches to pin seven on the G45 chip on the opposite facet of the motherboard. Courtesy dosdude1.

You may additionally have to solder one other bodge wire from the fourth RAM chip’s handle line 13 to the spare pullup resistor pin on the underside of the board for DDR2 energy. This resistor is just under the RAM chips.

Do that step after the G45 chip has been reballed and resoldered to the motherboard

Subsequent, solder a bodge wire from every of the RAM pads for handle line 13 to the adjoining RAM chip’s handle line 13 pad. On every chip that is the decrease backside proper pin in every solder matrix.

You wish to join all 4 handle line 13 pins along with wire.

By soldering all these pins along with wires you full the circuit for handle line 13 so the G45 chip can entry the brand new RAM absolutely. That is by far probably the most tough step within the RAM improve.

Bodge wires for RAM installed on Apple TV 1st generation.

Bodge wire set up – bridging handle line 13 on all RAM chips, to the pullup resistor, and at last on the left to the topside of the board.

Lastly because the final step, solder all 4 new RAM chips onto their pads on the motherboard utilizing sizzling air after including new flux to the chip pads – ensuring not one of the bodge wires transfer or come unfastened.

Clear any extra flux from the world with isopropyl alcohol (rigorously so you do not pull the bodge wires unfastened). Lastly, reinstall the motherboard again into the Apple TV chassis, reinstall the warmth conduit, and the WiFi card.

Chances are you’ll wish to cowl the bodge wire space with broad Kapton tape simply to insure not one of the connections can brief to the chassis or to the motherboard.

Reattach the WiFi card antennae wires, then reinstall the facility provide after all of the motherboard elements are secured to the Apple TV.

Step 9: Reinstall the fan and shut the case

Now that many of the Apple TV is again collectively, you continue to have to reinstall the fan.

If a number of of the plastic posts holding the fan in broke once you eliminated it, concern not. Drop the fan again in place on its posts, and if the tops of any of the posts broke off, merely add a big drop of sizzling glue with a glue gun to the highest of the posts.

If you do not have a glue gun, a small quantity of waterproof toilet caulking will work. Use simply sufficient to cowl the highest of every damaged submit, and let it dry.

This could securely maintain the fan on. In our refurb we misplaced two of the three submit clips when eradicating them however sizzling glue labored simply high-quality after changing the fan:

Apple TV 1st generation fan.

Fan reinstalled with sizzling glue used on the 2 posts on the correct.

Do not forget to reconnect the fan connector to the motherboard.

Lastly, plug the ATA drive’s ribbon connector again into the ATA connector on the motherboard, and substitute and safe the underside cowl with the 4 nook Torx screws. This completes the restore.

Take away any extra glue from the underside of the quilt. You need not take away all of it however take away any that sticks up even a bit of since it should forestall the underside rubber foot from laying flat on the quilt.

What sort of glue to make use of to reseal the underside foot is as much as you. Do not use rubber cement. It isn’t robust sufficient and the chemical substances in it trigger the rubber foot to twist up making it unattainable to re-secure it.

We used small quantities of Cheesy Glue from Fabrique Pour (aleenes.com).

Chances are you’ll not have to cowl your entire backside of the quilt with glue to re-attach the foot. A small quantity within the corners and within the center might suffice. Strive it and see.

Set a heavy object equivalent to a big e book or weight on the foot till the glue dries to ensure it sticks evenly.

Step 10: Reinstall the OS

Should you upgraded the Apple TV’s exhausting drive, or wiped it whereas it was disconnected, you will have to reinstall the working system.

To take action, use a software referred to as OpenELEC and a USB thumb drive. You may additionally want a Mac drive flasher utility equivalent to BalenaEtcher to flash the manufacturing unit restore installer picture onto your USB thumb drive.

The unique infrared distant management included with the first era Apple TV can be required. That is wanted as a result of holding down a particular key mixture on the distant tells the Apple TV in addition from the USB port as a substitute of from the inner exhausting drive. Extra on this under.

The web site tweaking4all.com has detailed directions on methods to use OpenELEC to reinstall the OS.

Additionally see this web page on Apple’s dialogue boards.

Primarily the method entails downloading the three.0.2 restore picture for Apple TV (factoryrestore-3.0.2.img.zip) flashing it to a USB thumb drive, inserting the drive into the Apple TV’s rear USB port, then rebooting the Apple TV.

Unzipping the above file yields a picture file named “factoryrestore3.img”. Use BalenaEtcher to flash this picture file to a USB thumb drive. Bear in mind doing so will erase every little thing beforehand on the thumb drive.

After the flashing completes, the Mac Finder offers you an error saying the USB drive is unreadable. Click on Eject then take away the USB thumb drive out of your Mac.

Plug the newly flashed USB drive into your Apple TV, plug it into an HDMI TV and a wall outlet, then energy it on. As quickly as you see the amber flashing LED on the entrance of the Apple TV, maintain down MENU and the + buttons on the distant management.

As quickly as you see an exercise mild on the USB thumb drive, launch the 2 buttons on the distant.

Shortly you will see the OpenELEC app load:

OpenELEC booting a 1st generation Apple TV.

OpenELEC boot sequence on Apple TV.

There isn’t any interplay onscreen with OpenELEC – as soon as it masses it wipes the Apple TV inside drive and begins restoring the Apple TV OS to it. After it finishes, OpenELEC will reboot your Apple TV, dropping it into the default Restoration mode.

Use the distant to scroll right down to Manufacturing facility Restore and click on the heart button on the distant to verify. Apple TV will reboot and go into full restore mode to revive the system to manufacturing unit situations.

Recovery mode on the 1st generation Apple TV.

Apple TV Restoration mode. Scroll down and click on “Manufacturing facility Restore” then press the middle button on the distant.

After TV Restoration mode does its factor, the Apple TV will reboot once more, and this time you will be thrown into the default manufacturing unit setup sequence. You may see a little bit of animation adopted by a number of setup screens.

Enter your information to arrange your Apple TV. As soon as setup is full, you will be on the major menu immediate with none content material:

Apple TV 1st generation's main menu screen for content.

Apple TV 1st era major menu.

Step 11: Connect with iTunes

As we talked about beforehand there is no such thing as a App Retailer for the primary era Apple TV. To add content material to your Apple TV you will want to attach it to an older Mac or Home windows 7 pc and run Apple’s iTunes app – the predecessor of at present’s Apple Music app.

In iTunes you may hook up with your Apple TV and sync any media content material to it you wish to play. To do that, run iTunes, choose your Apple TV in its sidebar, then choose what media to sync within the righthand pane and click on Sync.

Chances are you’ll be requested to enter a code displayed in your Apple TV’s show in iTunes with a view to join.

Connecting to Apple TV 1st generation in iTunes on Windows.

Connecting in Apple’s iTunes on Home windows 7. Courtesy dosdude1.

The unique Apple TV was a revolutionary system for its time and though it did not have entry to an app retailer, it was nonetheless helpful. You may nonetheless use these gadgets for photograph albums, music, motion pictures, or if it is advisable to run older apps.

The primary-generation Apple TV was quickly changed with the extra trendy fashions we all know and love at present.

Steve Jobs as soon as referred to as the Apple TV “Our pastime” nevertheless it has advanced into rather more than that – and it’ll probably be with us for a very long time to come back.