Xbox Alpha Kit Recoveries + VGA Bios

Discussion in 'File Downloads - Share and Request' started by gelberhase, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. gelberhase

    gelberhase Gutsy Member

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    CodeAsm and APE like this.
  2. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    Oh fucking sweet. Been wanting to try my hand at hacking an Alpha box together, the VGA BIOS was the lynch pin.
     
  3. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    Good luck with that one APE, it won't (shouldn't) be easy.

    Regardless, thanks for the February recovery, works great. Still can't transfer stuff over using Xbox Explorer, but I captured some video before I ship off my capture card. Expect it soonish.
     
  4. gelberhase

    gelberhase Gutsy Member

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    nice^^
    Can you do me a favor and capture the whole booting process?
    Especially interested in the Logo.

    By the way: I only uploaded the files, I don't know who released what.
     
  5. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    The logo doesn't work right on the capture part, it switches signal to quickly. But if you are interested in seeing the fireworks, its already on Youtube from me..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ17T-vMjyw

    The February version is starting to resemble the later XDK dashes, but is still obviously quite early. Some different samples on this dash though, which was nice. Compressing video now.

    Edit: Picture
    [​IMG]

    Excuse the fact that my homemade svideo cable is terrible :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  6. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I'm hoping it won't be. If it was then it wouldn't be fun. :thumbsup:

    BTW, if you still would like a floppy drive and a few floppies to dump your Alpha's VGA BIOS for kicks I can still send them. Obviously we have this one available but you never know if there is a difference.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  7. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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  8. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I wouldn't mind knowing myself either. Picked at it a bit with a hex editor and done some google legwork to do comparisons and beyond the bloody obvious:

    1) NV20 core - GeForce 3 lineage
    2) Bios Ver: 3.20.00.00.00 - clearly states its essentially an Engineering sample and not for final use. There are BIOSes out there at 3.20.00.28.00 for GF3 Ti 200 cards.
    3) Whatever it is has S-Video output.

    The GeForce 3 was released February 2001 which is probably what is used in the Alpha II and this BIOS. Trying to track down an original GF3 BIOS to run some comparisons with but given how old this stuff is I might just break down and start buying this stuff to dump myself.

    I'm unfortunately in the dark as per specific part numbers (and/or high resolution images) as I have not an Alpha or Alpha II. Seems there is some general taboo on making the information publicly known as well.

    The last piece of data missing would be a BIOS dump from the mobo. From what I can tell its a straight Intel VC820 with what must be a custom BIOS. Be Fun to push that boot up animation to a retail XBox.

    Of note though, the BIOS posted today and the one in your video are the same exact revision. I would assume they'd hash the same but you'd never know.
     
  9. Annoying_one

    Annoying_one Peppy Member

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    we need the pc bios and some more details on the hw
     
  10. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I can assure you, it won't be as easy as flashing the correct BIOS to the mobo and video card. If it was I'd wager someone else would have come along and done it by now putting aside the one publicly known attempt at doing so.

    He didn't do a very good job at documenting his progress so what problems he faced aren't exactly known.

    Though after looking at a video that has a decent look at the video card it most assuredly looks like it was based on nVidia's reference design for the GeForce 3. Can't find an equivalent card on eBay as the one I saw had no heatsinks for the ram and a fan situated within the GPU heatsink (as well as the GPU heatsink being green).

    Nothing I do to dissassemble the BIOS lends me many clues either such as 32/64mb, timing, clock rate, etc. Wouldn't be surprised if the specific card used wasn't also some sort of engineering sample provided to Microsoft ahead of schedule. The retail release for the GF3 was February 2001 but you'd have to be gullible to think prototypes weren't being kicked around for testing long before then. Regardless the card I was seeing had the FCC logo and information silkscreened on it so whatever it was had passed through FCC certification beforehand meaning there is a picture and some information sitting somewhere.

    I'd also wager a strong guess that the LAN and USB cards are interchangeable so long as the chipsets are compatible with whatever the dash is expecting to find. Intel used to/still do make both so it wouldn't surprise me if they weren't intel made cards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  11. gelberhase

    gelberhase Gutsy Member

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    AFAIK you need the exact same parts used in teh Alpha Kit, some of them are very hard to track down by the way, and then you would only need to flash the BIOS and run a recovery.
    This info isn't really reliable though, just something I remember to read somewhere, not sure if taht's the only problem though.
     
  12. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    The only known conversion needed both software and hardware modifications.
     
  13. xboxhaxorz

    xboxhaxorz Member

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    the link no longer works and im guessing it does not work on a alpha I only alpha II
     
  14. gelberhase

    gelberhase Gutsy Member

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    for me the DL still works, are you referring to the VGA Bios?
    If you do: Yeah, probably won't work for Alpha I, it's an Alpha II Nvidia Bios.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  15. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I'm hoping to track everything down and document the entire process enough so that someone could reproduce what is necessary. Hypothetically one might also be able to use the information to replace parts in Alpha kits that are missing. I'm still stuck on step 1 and 2 which is determining what is in an Alpha/Alpha II and procuring necessary files/information. Can't seem to find any documentation on the Alphas either.:crying:

    Yep:
    http://www.ps3news.com/forums/console-news/how-build-alpha-xbox-scratch-w-retail-parts-22278.html

    Not a very good write up but he didn't exactly intend for it to be a how-to guide either.

    From the sound if it it looks like he modified the retail BIOS of the Intel mobo to do what he wanted rather than flashing the Alpha/Alpha II's BIOS to the board. Same goes for the video card.

    On top of that it would appear some of the information was redacted or deliberately left out with some text making it appear that he intended to include specifics but didn't.
     
  16. gelberhase

    gelberhase Gutsy Member

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    I can have a look through a few of the early press discs, doubt that I will find stuff about the Alpha kits though......

    Other than that I cann tell you that one can upgrade an Alpha I to Alpha II, if you got time look through the original Xbox section, someone said what the differences between them are, didn't save a link though
     
  17. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    There WAS more information on his conversion, but the forum its on is long gone and google didn't cache it well (or archive.org). My alpha is one of the converted bunch I believe, based on the fact that its got the Alpha 1 badge :p
     
  18. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

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    great stuff!
     
  19. Annoying_one

    Annoying_one Peppy Member

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    great job now the files got deleted


    thanks assembler
     
  20. kl0wn

    kl0wn <B>Site Supporter 2013</B><BR><B>Site Benefactor</

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    How is this anyone's fault? I've still got the files and I'm sure others do too.
     

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