updated 12:20 pm EDT, Mon July 30, 2007
External USB for Apple TV
Patrick Walton and Tom Anthony have collaborated to deliver a hack that allows the Apple TV to use its internal hard drive to boot and perform operating system functions, but also use an external, USB-based hard drive to store media. The new capability is the result of a contest established by AppleTVHacks.net and FatBounty with the intended goal of using an external USB drive as a primary storage for the Apple TV. The hack requires an SSH-enabled Apple TV. You can enable SSH on your AppleTV via these instructions. It also requires an Intel-based Mac to patch the kernel on the Apple TV remotely. You'll also need an original, unmodified copy of the 'mach_kernel.prelink' file from the Apple TV, which can be extracted from the Apple TV Software 1.1 update. Finally, you will need an external USB drive formatted using 'Journaled HFS+.'
The installation process is relatively simple, and involves simply running a script and following on-screen instructions -- a 5 minute process. The Apple TV will automatically reboot after after the patch is applied. An uninstallation script is also provided.