Update weekend – some progress

This weekend, i finally took some time to start the long overdue upgrade steps for the mac mini, the apple tv and the network. Partly due to the fact that i caught a mighty cold and wasn’t able to leave the house for too long.

The following steps were planned:

  1. mac mini should receive an upgrade from a 60GB to a 500GB SATA disk,
  2. the Apple TV an upgrade from the 40GB to a 160 GB IDE drive as well
  3. as an upgrade from 2.2 to 2.3 and finally
  4. a Netgear GS108T 8-port Gigabit Switch should be installed.

Due to the cold and unexpected problems with step 2 i was only to complete step 1 and 2. The first attempt at step 3 failed and i am postponing it until some real reason emerges for doing so.

To summarize:

Step 1 was time consuming but all in all easier than expected. Backup was done with Xupport, and OWC’s installation video proved helpful for disassembling and assembling the mini.

I now have MacOS X 10.5.5 server running on the mini (with a handpatched frontrow added to the lineup) and am now able to host all the music, images and videos on the internal drive, freeing up the external drive for backup purposes. And being able to shut it off most of the time, which is helpful because it makes to much noise for constant operation in a living room).

For step 2 i tried various approaches (e.g. this one at awkwardtv.org) for partitioning and factory restoring the unit. All the different attempts didn’t work. The awkward.tv version at least resulted in a drive that was recognized, but the factory restore failed. This might be due ti the fact, that i patchsticked the original drive with atvusb-creator (and had other things done to the OS prior to the update). Does anybody know if atvusb-creator causes problems with subsequent updates?. In a final try i not only dd-ed the EFI and recovery partition but also the OSBoot partition to the new drive. This worked and i was able to see the 144GB free n the ATV.

After downloading the 2.3 update to the update the first try to update the firmware via the ATV OS crashed. Since i already downloaded the .dmg for a new patchstick, i’m now wondering if it is more efficient to update via the shell (ssh access was the main reason for the patchstick)

Right now the mini hosts the main iTunes library and the ATV synchronises via 801.11n (not too fast but also not too slow). Since all our computers (as well as the Airport Extreme) now host a Gigabit interfaceand i recently had the Ethernet cabling upgrade d to CAT7 the final step is to install a Gigabit Switch. The GS108T looked like a good compromise between price and functionality/features. It is also used by the networking team at my wife’s company.

Hence i’m looking forward to install it  after christmas.