Black Screen I think I know what the problem is. Need Help

I installed the official AppleTV 3.0 update and it rebooted to a blank screen. I then installed the aTVFlash 4.0 update and got the same results.

It then hit me that I use an external USB drive to store my iTunes data and that I failed to switch it back to the internal drive before I ran the updates. I’m assuming that this is the problem.

What am I left to do? A total wipe and reinstall? If so, then how?


This is exactly what I was worried about.
I too use an external drive for my iTunes library so not seeing any actual details about this in the upgrade options I have posted to get more details on the situation before upgrading.
My library is backed up on another external drive connected to my Mac and iTunes but I really don’t want to wipe out the ATV and then re-sync everything back over but that may be the only solution???

If you factory restore the AppleTV, the media on the external drive will not be affected and can still be used.

The process for updating the AppleTV to 3.0, and installing aTV Flash 4.0 is as follows:

  1. Remove all copies of aTV Flash (folders, files, everything) from your computer.
  2. Download a fresh copy here:
  3. Format the flash drive to be used as described here:
  4. Update AppleTV to 3.0 through Settings > General menu. (Note: Updates may need to be enabled through the Maintenance > Settings menu.)
  5. Install aTV Flash as before. The current 4.0 version will be installed, and will overwrite the outdated version that is on the AppleTV.

If you’re using an external drive as primary iTunes storage you need to add these steps:

  1. Before updating AppleTV to 3.0, switch to internal storage through Maintenance > Settings menu (synced media on external drive will not be changed)
  2. Update AppleTV to 3.0
  3. Install aTV Flash 4.0
  4. Run Smart Installer to enable USB port.
  5. Change storage back to external drive. The media that was previously synced to the external drive will be recognized so you won’t need to resync all your media over again.

If for some reason you have failed to revert to the internal drive first or the power goes off during a restore, etc. then you will need to put the Apple TV into diagnostic mode to force a factory restore.

None of the data stored on the external drive will be affected by this (and you should definitely unplug the external drive first) and you should be able to safely switch back to the external storage method after updating everything.

To put the Apple TV in diagnostic mode, follow the instructions listed in the Apple KB Article #HT1560.