need Xbox modding tips

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by beretta85, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. beretta85

    beretta85 Peppy Member

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    I went garage sale hunting today, and I found one that was selling an Xbox for only 15 dollars. I had to buy it. Now, I want to turn it into my own personal arcade, but I am not sure what to do or where to start. So, I'll ask the pros...

    I want to mod this Xbox so that I'll be able to play nes/snes/mame/etc on it. I did some google research, and seems like all I need to do is use ANY modchip. Is this true? In your experience, what is a "good" chip to use? Is there a such thing as a solderless modchip? Soldering skills aren't a problem, but finding an installation guide thats actually helpful is.

    Any words of wisdom from someone who has experience with this?
     
  2. LEo

    LEo Fiery Member

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    Any modchip would work, but from my experience the cheapest are really the most you need.
    http://www.divineo.com/cgi-bin/div-us/dd-xb_duox2cr
    Its only 10 dollars, easy to install on any version. When you boot up the xbox it will load a "cromwell" bios which allows you to flash the chip with any custom bios you want. The best ones are either the Evox_m8 or the newer xecuter bios. Take not this chip can fit 2 bios! Or a large bios that has more features.
     
  3. hl718

    hl718 Site Soldier

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    You don't even need a chip.

    All you need is a custom save + exploitable game and you have everything you need for a softmod.

    If you want to do a hard mod then soldering two points on the mobo makes the flash chip writeable and you can reflash it with your mod BIOS.

    -hl718
     
  4. Taemos

    Taemos Officer at Arms

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  5. hl718

    hl718 Site Soldier

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    That's exactly what I said re:softmod. :)

    You do need to solder though if you want to flash the onboard BIOS chip for a hard mod. Flashing the chip does have the benefit of making hard drive upgrading a whole lot easier. Recovering from a catastrophic error is also a lot easier with a hard mod.

    -hl718
     
  6. Taemos

    Taemos Officer at Arms

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    Whoops, missed that part. I just saw "solder" and assumed you were talking about a TSOP flash.

    The Action Replay DOES make this a lot easier, unless he wanted to make a USB->Xbox adapter for a flash drive.
     
  7. beretta85

    beretta85 Peppy Member

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    I think I'll go the softmod route.

    When I bought this thing, it came with 2 controllers. One was an official, non-duke, controller, and the other was a madcatz. The official controller didn't work because the cord was snipped. The madcatz worked, but was a mess. A dog or something had chewed off the analog sticks and the right trigger was completely snapped off. So, I just took them both apart, attatched the madcatz cable to the official controller with electrical tape, reassembled the thing, and it works like a charm. I used the spare (snipped) cord to create a xbox to usb adaptor so I can plug a thumb drive into the xbox. I confirmed it works because 2 of the 6 usb drive I tried were recognized and formatted by the xbox, but they aren't compatible enough to finish the final steps involving the AR software. I'm buying a compatible thumb drive off ebay now, and i'll look for splinter cell tomorrow at a flea market.

    I used these guides:
    http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/578329
    http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/558747

    The only thing I don't know now is how to put files in the thing after the softmod is installed. Can I simply copy files off a dvd? Do I need to hook the xbox hdd up to my computer? I can't find a guide for doing this.
     
  8. Taemos

    Taemos Officer at Arms

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    You can copy files from a DVD with the help of a file manager (Avalaunch, UnleashX, and XBMC have this built-in). Honestly, though, I recommend you get an FTP connection up and going, or set up samba shares between your PC and Xbox. Transferring files from DVD is painfully slow.
     
  9. itsmattxp

    itsmattxp Active Member

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    Nevermind forgot some steps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  10. beretta85

    beretta85 Peppy Member

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    I'm starting to think that theres more to whether a usb drive will work or not. Some people report success with a certain drive, while some using the same drive say it doesn't work. I'm sure theres a degree of human error involved. I'm a little up in the air about what to do now.

    I can either play usb drive roulette and hope I get one on the first or second try that works, or I can going with the sure thing and blow 30 bucks on an AR. I kind of wanted to do this as cheaply as possible.

    I even tried the Ndure 3.0 route, and that didn't have any good results. I mean, people only have to many pcs lying around their houses to try and use, let alone ones that have a primary IDE hdd. I'm losing hope quickly.
     
  11. Segata Sanshiro

    Segata Sanshiro speedlolita

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    I've used the ndure 3.0 method a couple of times and it's been fine. I always manage to brick my Xbox attempting to install a new dashboard though. I used THIS guide to set it all up and it's fine. Surely you have access to a motherboard, cd drive, cpu and an ide ribbon?

    I got my USB to Xbox adaptor for about £3 off eBay, only problem is I couldn't quite manage to get the exploited saves onto the memory so I could go that method.

    You could also buy an EEPROM reader off of eBay for about $14, find your EEPROM and then use the HD builder program to build an Xbox compatible hard drive and considering what you're wanting to use it for this may be the best method as the Xbox only has a 10GB HDD.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  12. beretta85

    beretta85 Peppy Member

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    I am so frustrated now, its beyond explanation.

    I used the guide you posted on hotswapping.

    I am using my grandfathers old dell desktop computer. Everything is disconnected from the mobo except for the cd drive, its ide cable, and the ide cable that will have the xbox hdd plugged into it. The cd drive is in the secondary master slot, and the hdd is on the primary master slot, with its jumpers set to master w/o slave. I'm using a PS/2 keyboard as well, because I thought I don't want to use a usb keyboard (doubt this has anything to do with it)

    I have the xbox's power going into the hdd, and the IDE ribbon is placed in the back the loosest it can possibly be while data can still be read from it. I boot the xbox and play a song off the hdd, that I have copied from a cd, for at least 5 minutes. At like the 4 minute mark, I boot my pc and let it sit at the boot cd screen, awaiting a command (1-4).

    I do the fastest IDE ribbon switch that I am humanly capable of after the song has played for 5 minutes. I count to like 20 to make sure the drive has been recognized by my computer. I pick option 2. I type xbrowser, and I get an error that says it cannot locate a device on my dev/hda (primary master)

    what the fuck. why.

    When I boot my pc with the xbox hdd initially connected, it recognizes it was a western digital drive when I check the IDE deviced in the bios. I have even tried pressing pause-break right after the pc startup, and then pressing space again after connecting the xbox hdd. same results...

    I really don't know what to do here.
     
  13. Segata Sanshiro

    Segata Sanshiro speedlolita

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    I rip out the IDE cable immediately after the Microsoft logo flashes up.
     
  14. Taemos

    Taemos Officer at Arms

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    Keep in mind that a hard drive hotswap will not work unless the hard drive is lockable.

    It's going to be frustrating, by the way. I spent a good eight hours working on mine before I realized there was an auto-installer. I've been able to get flash drives to show up as memory cards before, but there's always been some error getting in the way of actually using them to transfer save games.

    If you really want to do this, I highly recommend you just get the AR. If you ever come across any more Xboxes, it will be trivial to mod them. I'm not condoning this route, but if you really want to get by doing this as cheaply as possible, you could always mod a few friends Xboxes for $10-15 and just make your money back on the AR.

    Assuming you get all of this working and want to upgrade the hard drive, make sure you take a look at the compatibility chart floating around. I got lucky when I bought my 200gb, but there are plenty more that are unlockable and it would suck to wind up with one of them.

    Edit: Oh. It looks like you're talking about using the original Xbox HDD, in which case my first statement doesn't really apply. I still say go with the AR, but it's really up to you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  15. beretta85

    beretta85 Peppy Member

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    what auto-installer?

    I feel that 10gb is more that sufficient for all nes / snes / msx2 / gameboy / genesis / select mame games. I ironically have no intent to play any xbox games on my xbox.

    Is your PC on and sitting at the boot disc menu before you power on the xbox? is the hdd powered by the tower or the xbox? Stupid question, but when you mean the xbox logo, you mean the big X? If I don't swap properly, is that most likely the cause of my computer not recognizing the drive (because its locked)? are you pause/breaking at any point? I mean, there must be a serious hardware problem on my end if I can't get this. I literally tried all night, every possible scenario for unlocking the drive and swapping it was done.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  16. Segata Sanshiro

    Segata Sanshiro speedlolita

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    Your PC is supposed to be at that menu yes. The Xbox HDD is still being powered by the Xbox's molex connector. You simply swap the drive's IDE cable so that it can be detected by your PC for all the stuff. I usually leave an Xbox game in the drive and wait until the "microsoft" logo flashes out and then immediately swap them over. Another way you can unlock the HDD is simply by booting with the Xbox DVD drive power unplugged. I tried it recently with an 8GB v1.0 Xbox and wasn't able to do it properly, but it worked fine with my other 10GB v1.0 Xbox.
     
  17. beretta85

    beretta85 Peppy Member

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    woop woop got it working with hotswapping after like 15 hours of deadends.

    Now its time for the fun part. Emulators. Suggestions?

    Also, it says my 10gb standard xbox hdd only has 4.7gb free. seems a little low.
     
  18. Segata Sanshiro

    Segata Sanshiro speedlolita

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    The HDD is an integrated part of the console, as in system files are stored on it. 4.7GB isn't much, but now you've got it working grabbing the EEPROM and putting in a new drive wouldn't be hard. You should be able to get a 40/80GB HDD anywhere for very little, hell even an old 20GB would be better.
     
  19. beretta85

    beretta85 Peppy Member

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    Thank you so much for helping me out with this.

    If I would have just followed the instructions to a T, I would have never gotten this to work. I deviated from the instructions slightly, and it paid off. The trick was

    1) hotswap to install a fresh hdd + 5960 dash
    2) hotswap and install ndure. option 4, then option 2. boot xbox.
    3) hotswap again with endure. this time, pick only option 1.
    4) scream YESSSSS at the top of your lungs and take a nap.

    I currently have nes/msx/mame up and running well, and snes/genesis/gb is in queue to be added. Are there any other emulators worth mentioning? I noticed that there was a psx emulator, but I think i'll pass on that one. Is there an n64 emulator out there (that works at a decent speed)?
     
  20. Taemos

    Taemos Officer at Arms

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    I don't think the extra 2gb of space is seen unless you format it. At least, that's how it's always been on the 10gb drives I've seen. It's up to you whether or not you want to deal with it, but 4.7gb is plenty of space for most ROMS (at least until you start going into N64/MAME territory).
     

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