1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Nov 3, 2012 7:39 PM by dc&i
Huxley Dunsany Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

Hi everyone!

 

I bought my in-laws a nice new Apple TV 2 (from the Apple Company Store, no less!) yesterday, and I set it up this afternoon.  The unit was working fine all afternoon, but their ancient AirPort Extreme (flying saucer type) was dying.  My brother in law ran over to Best Buy and grabbed a new Belkin Dual-Band router, and we set it up with no problems.

 

However, at some point during the router swap and re-config of the Apple TV, the Apple TV seems to have gotten into Retail Demo mode! It will only connect to the original Apple router - with the new router connected, the ATV gives the standard "Your Apple TV isn't connected to the Network" error.  Furthermore, while we can go into the Settings menu, any attempt to select any of the options results in a "bonk" error tone and nothing else.  We are able to go into the Screen Saver options, and while it lists all the normal savers, the only one it will select is "Retail," which displays the stock photos seen on an Apple TV at the Apple Store.  We can't select Restore (gives the error tone), and rebooting the unit (via the remote or just by unplugging it) has no effect.

 

Given that several people were tinkering with it during the router swap, it's possible that someone pressed just the right combo of buttons to put it into Retail mode... but I have no idea how to put it back!

 

Any ideas?

 

PS  I would happily restore it, but as I'm visiting my in-laws (flew from Cupertino to Vegas this morning) I don't have my MacBook Pro with me, and their old iBook is probably far too old to do the job.

  • 1. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,035 points)

    How strange.

     

    Never heard of this problem before.

     

    Was the AppleTV new and boxed retail version or off ths shop floor?

     

    If the iBook is a G4 with USB 2.0 and running Leopard it should I think be able to run the latest iTunes.  You'd need a microUSB cable to restore AppleTV via iTunes:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4367

     

    Is the Apple store nearby? If so might just be worth taking it there as it's under warranty and may be exchanged for a new one or fixed for you.

     

    Also consider calling Apple support line for the device as they may have heard about this issue and know a fix.

     

    I thought the retail versions ran different software, though maybe it's all contained in one.

     

    AC

  • 2. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Huxley Dunsany Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Hi!  Thanks for taking the time to respond...

     

    I know a bit about the retail / demo mode, since in my old job with Apple (I was an Apple Solutions Consultant for several years), when we would set up an (first-gen) Apple TV demo unit, we would load it with a customer firmware which acted exactly like this new unit is.  As a remember, when a locked menu item was highlighted (i.e. Network or Reset), there was a special code of left and right presses on the remote to temporarily unlock the item when needed... but it's been years, and I can't recall the code (if it even works anymore).

     

    On the first-gen demo units there was a special version of the OS that we would load via a flash drive, but I'm guessing that the new ones have the demo mode built-in.  I just wish I knew exactly what sequence of button-presses got us into this jam!

     

    As for restoring it with the iBook, the system is still running Tiger, so that's a no-go.  I've made an appt. with a nearby Apple Store for tomorrow morning, and I'll just use one of their Genius Bar laptops to restore it.

     

    What a strange way to spend my first day of vacation!

     

    Huxley

  • 3. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,035 points)

    I think that's the best option - they may just swap it out for a new one you never know.

     

    I'm on holiday next week and will probably end up fixing my dad's PC - I'm still trying to convince him to use my old iMac.

     

    AC

  • 4. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Huxley Dunsany Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Yeah, life is strange.  As an Apple Genius I spend 40+ hours per week helping people solve these types of problems... but I only seem to encounter them myself when I'm out of town and have none of my usual resources.  Oh well - Murphy's Law strikes again!

  • 5. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,035 points)

    Good luck with it.

  • 6. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    David Rose8 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Huxley, OK, I just got hit with exactly the same problem. Apple TV 2, working fine for months and months, suddenly something happens and it enters "retail mode", wherein just like you, I'm unable to change settings, etc. Since it was clearly triggered by some action or glitch (that is, it isn't a question of a unique retail hard disk load), there obviously must be some combination of actions that can get it OUT of retail mode.

     

    I'm somewhat astounded that either no one else has hit this problem, or that no one else has chimed in with a solution!  Alley_Cat, since you're an Apple Genius, could you check some secret resource and figure out how we can get out of retail mode?!?

  • 7. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Marton25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    (sorry, you'll have to translate some words, I'm french)

     

    To turn on/off retail mode, go to settings, general, [fr] mentions légales [/fr].

    Do not open "mentions légales" menu, just put the cursor there.

    Then, on the remote, type this sequence : right - right - left - center.

     

    The AppleTV should reboot.

     

    If you're trying to turn it off, your problem is solved.

     

    If you're trying to turn it on, you'll have to find and select the "retail" screen saver, but you should have desactivated sleep mode and turn screen saver to "never" before turning on retail mode if you want it to work.

     

    What a secret ! ;-)

  • 8. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    David Rose8 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow. Just...wow! That may well be the most obscure Easter Egg (Easter Poison?) I've ever heard of. Thank you SO much!

  • 9. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Marton25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    (it's my job, I work in an Apple Premium Reseller in France... screen saver is very beautiful in the shop !)

    ;-)

  • 10. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    toomanyjacksons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks that worked wonderfully

  • 11. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    snofro Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much. I was going crazy. You rock

  • 12. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    mamamara Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh my gosh!!!  Thank you so much Marton!  I was about ready to buy a Roku and throw in the towel with this thing!  My 8 year old daughter said she thought she pushed some buttons somewhere in that last column a few days ago, but we had NO IDEA that the device was stuck in demo mode until just now when there was actually an error about "retail demo" mode....

     

    It's working!  Hallelujah!

  • 13. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Javortizb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Man, you´re a geniuos! I was about to pay 30 dollars for a guy in apple help me solve it via telephone!

  • 14. Re: Apple TV 2 is stuck in demo / retail mode!
    Odunnowho Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks a lot Marton25... The same just happened to me and eventually stumbled across the fact that it was stuck in retail demo mode and your solution worked. Cheers.

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