MSNTV 2/Extracting System Content

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The MSNTV 2 might just appear to be another run-of-the-mill internet appliance with nothing worth getting out of it, but as known by probably almost no one right now, the MSNTV 2 does indeed have things that are worth analyzing from its CompactFlash storage card. These things include but aren't limited to: firmware/boot data and cached files from MSNTV 2 service pages. If you're up for it and have a previously registered MSNTV 2 unit that hasn't been wiped clean, you can easily extract this content out of the unit's CompactFlash card.

Disassembling the MSNTV 2

To get to the CompactFlash card though, you'll have to dismantle your MSNTV 2 unit. It's relatively easy, but requires a few steps and a bit of patience.

First, before even getting to unscrewing anything, you'll have to cut or remove the sticker with trademark information that's conveniently placed on the right side of the back of the unit, which holds the two parts of its plastic case together and prevents anyone from being able to properly dismantle it. Since Microsoft most likely doesn't care about what anyone does with a discontinued 17-year old product for a service they no longer operate, you can easily slice this sticker by the crease it holds together, or go through the tedious process of completely removing it. However you decide to separate the sticker, that'll be dealt with and you can finally get to unscrewing the unit.

Now do you see those four rubber feet on the bottom of the unit? Underneath those are four screws that you'll have to unscrew to remove the bottom half of the unit's shell. Pry off each rubber foot and afterwards remove each of the four screws. Now gently remove the side of the shell facing you and you'll see a metal cage with even more screws that hold the motherboard and top half of the plastic shell together. Specifically, there are 5 screws holding the metal cage: two on the left, two on the right, and one somewhere in the middle. Unscrew each of these screws, and once you're done, remove the metal cage from the top half of the shell and flip it over. Now all you have to do here is remove the metal covering at the top and remove the CompactFlash card from the motherboard's card slot. Congrats, you've successfully extracted the CompactFlash card from your MSNTV 2. Next step is actually extracting the contents from it.

Extracting System Content

With the CompactFlash card out of the unit, you can now extract the cache or anything else worth getting out of the card. Using a computer or device that can read CompactFlash cards, either dump the entire thing raw or look for any partitions that might be part of the CompactFlash card (these will appear as drives on Windows) and copy any files of interest from the card onto your desktop.

If you'd like to help us preserve MSNTV 2, you can send your CompactFlash card dump to us at

Be sure to put your MSNTV 2 unit back together after you're done, if you care.