Parental Control

Hope somebody can help on this one.


My ATV2 has parental control enabled, I don’t think I ever enabled it, but it is and I don’t know the PIN. I tried every possible PIN I regularly use with no luck.


I’ve tried to reset the settings as suggested in some posts, but my ATV just freezes on an apple logo with an static progress bar. I left it overnight and no reset is made.


Then I read about removing the file assuming the ATV will regenerate it. Apparently it did and parental control was removed, BUT the problem I got was that the ATV keeps rebooting itself as soon as frontrow is displayed ONLY WHEN THE ETHERNET CABLE IS PLUGGED (or a wifi connection is established).


If I unplug the ethernet and no wifi is enabled, then it stops rebooting and I can access the NITO, XBMC and settings menu items, but as soon as I plug the ethernet it reboots continuosly. If I disconnect my cable modem from Internet, thus having just a LAN without internet access, then it doesnt reboots either, so what makes it reboot is having internet access, probably connecting to apple servers is the problem.


I restored a backup copy of the file and everithing (luckily) seems to be back to my starting point WITH parental controls enabled.


I copied both files (working and regenerated) to my XP laptop and opend them with the old DEBUG utility. On the one with parental controls enabled, I see the text “ParentalControlAccessPin” which is not on the fresh copy of the file. I assume this is where the PIN is stored. This label is followed by the following HEX bytes: 5F, 10 & 12 (and preceded by 5F, 10& 18) as seen below:


0CC5:01F0  50 61 74 68 5F 10 18 50-61 72 65 6E 74 61 6C 43   Path_…ParentalC
0CC5:0200  6F 6E 74 72 6F 6C 41 63-63 65 73 73 50 69 6E 5F   ontrolAccessPin_
0CC5:0210  10 12 53 63 72 65 65 6E-53 61 76 65 72 54 69 6D   …ScreenSaverTim


I tried to enter these and some combinations of them in HEX and decimal as the PIN but had no luck.


Does someone knows how to interpret the pin from these codes or at least recode them to a known PIN (for example “0000”)?




PD. I don’t have a Mac. Maybe Mac has an editor or utility to easily edit this file and in this case I would appreciate if someone can edit the file for me.



Found a solution to get the parental control PIN:


  1. Copied file from ATV to PC

  2. Used plutil -convert xml1 <filename> to convert to xml on win xp

  3. Renamed the file to .xml

  4. Opened the xml file and the PIN is listed after ParentalControlAccessPin

This worked perfectly.  I just had to do the same thing to an ATV2 that grandma had locked herself out of via parental controls.