Got an original xbox for free. How to I get it working, and how do I mod?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Xbox' started by codezer0, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    So, simply, always wanted an original xbox, in part because of all the good stuff you could do once modded. While obviously late in the game, I encountered one I was basically given for free, because it "couldn't read discs". Far as I know, that could be anything from as simple as a need for cleaning the disc drive assembly, to needing to replace the entire optical drive.

    So, with that said, while I figure out how to get it open (since it seems like it's basically been untouched/not modded in any way), what should I look out for while getting this thing back in fully functioning order? If I do need to replace the DVD drive at all, is it a case like the 360 where the drive is married to the console motherboard? And where would I be able to find a working one to put in it if I can't repair it?
     


  2. Viri

    Viri GBAtemp Maniac

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  3. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    Thanks for the link. I'll definitely need to look at that, once i can verify what's wrong and if I need to do any repairs. Looking internally, the thing's freaking immaculate, which is a shocker to me.

    Does soft-modding the console need a specific dash at all? my only experience being with what was needed for a 360, I have genuinely no idea if the original Xbox needed any specific dashboard(s) or updates. And whether I could update to the last available dashboard/firmware for the OG thing.

    I also recall there were differences based on the motherboard revision. Where would I find that on this thing?

    Couple things to share, if this will help in terms of helping me get it repaired. Hard drive is a Seagate U series 5.
    As for the DVD drive, it states...
    I know on the Xbox 360, the DVD-ROM drive is pretty much married to the motherboard. is that the same case with an original Xbox as well?
     
  4. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps

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  5. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

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    You can mod with a dead DVD drive. Just have to use the hotswap method instead of a game save exploit.
     
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  6. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    Well, a quick test fire shows that it does turn on, but didn't have a controller to manipulate the menu. Still don't know how to tell what revision motherboard I have in this unit, but it looks like might as well be immaculate on the inside. I'm guessing it's either just been flawless internally, or it's simply been officially serviced, since there was no dust at all, and all the warranty stickers were intact before I did my inspection. :P

    One quickie thing I remember that was done for improving performance was giving the system an 80-pin IDE cable. Considering this thing seems like it was never opened except for warranty service, I'm guessing it's still got a 40pin IDE, right?
     
    Last edited by codezer0, Jun 1, 2016
  7. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    It's got a 40 pin IDE yes.

    If you need to identify your Mobo revision, take a look here
     
  8. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    Is there any difference in modding capability/options based on motherboard or dashboard revision?

    Also, are original xbox dvd drives married to their motherboard the same way that a 360's is?

    At least following that link, it identifies that this is a v1.0 motherboard. Are there any things I need to look for that are specific to this board? I recall reading something about a clock capacitor that could leak and ruin the board.
     
  9. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    Nope, 1.6 can just be as easily modded as a 1.6.
    Difference is that 1.6 doesn't have a writable TSOP.
    1.0 and 1.1 have a 1MB BIOS and 1.2-1.5 have a 265kb BIOS.

    You can swap out any DVD drive.
    They don't have DVD keys.

    Yep, remove it asap.
    It will leak and the only thing it does is keep track of the time for... 3 hours/days after it's unplugged.
     
  10. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    Still trying to find out the location of said clock capacitor though. Also need to find an original xbox controller, as all I have on hand are meant for the 360.

    What few motherboard pics I find referencing the subject of the clock capacitor doesn't seem to match my v1.0 motherboard.

    **UPDATE**

    Found the clock capacitor, and promptly removed it.

    Undid the heatsinks on the CPU and GPU. Cleaned off the thermal pads and the bare chips with some ArctiClean solution, and assistance from a razor blade to help clean it off completely, and visibly. Applied Antec Formula 7 on the GPU (since it has a heatspreader), and Arctic Silver 5 on the CPU because it's a bare die.

    Found an 80-pin IDE cable, and noticed that the stock 40-pin cable has its connectors (relatively) upside down. But some finagling got everything connected.

    Turn it on, and so far all that I can test still works. I just still cannot get past the screen to go set the clock because I currently don't have a controller to use with it.
     
    Last edited by codezer0, Jun 2, 2016
  11. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    Okay, finally picked up a controller. Set the time and date, and...

    Holy *expletive* this thing's on its original dash... 4034!

    Holy *expletive*! Disc drive seems to actually work, too! :D Oh my god, yes! :hrth:

    Okay, I guess now I need to know what the crap I need to properly mod it. Once that's up and running, I can then see about getting a nice and big hard drive to put in it. I might even start asking about the CPU/RAM upgrade mod(s) that were avaialble for the thing, but just gotta take it one step at a time. B-)

    Just feels really good to have it up and running.
     
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  12. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    Sweet.
    If possible, dump a savegame exploit on it and exploit it that way, backup the C drive and if you want to, send me a copy pls.

    I'd go for a TSOP flash.
    Easier to swap harddrives + kinda brick prevention (hdd brick)

    CPU/RAM upgrade...
    You'd need to be extremely comfortable with soldering.
    RAM upgrade is still doable but CPU upgrade is a whole nother story.
     
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  13. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Yeah, the Xbox uses a customized Celeron processor, based around the Pentium III. And since it's custom, I don't think it can be messed with at all. :/
     
  14. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    You can get a 1.4Ghz Tualatin working on the Xbox.
    Tho it requires a switch to make it clock back to 733 Mhz for when you're running games and what not but for XBMC, it works perfectly.
    There's quite a few people with upgraded CPU's.
    Someone over at assembler is currently still doing CPU upgrades iirc.
     
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  15. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    Okay, well, the dvd drive sorta works... Sonic mega collection loads up fine, but the thing just struggles with my copy of Chaos Theory. :(
     
  16. GuyInDogSuit

    GuyInDogSuit I ain't your pa.

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    Be prepared to spend money for this. You'll need Splinter Cell and Action Replay with a USB adapter. These days it probably will be hard to find, and not cheap.
     
  17. codezer0
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    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

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    I still need an action replay unit for the soft-modding process? I thought that guide said I only needed that Xbox to USB adapter cable...

    Also, about the DVD drive...

    It does seem to kinda work. Out of the games I do have for the original Xbox that were BC with the 360, Sonic Mega Collection loads fine for the games. However, it seems to have a lot of trouble loading and playing Chaos Theory. I usually have to try a couple of times before it will even load a stage; most of the time it then gives me the disc read error.

    So, for this, would it be more cost effective to replace/repair the laser, or to simply get another drive? Amazon and ebay are both being difficult to find one, and my next payday should be tomorrow.
     
  18. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

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    You can always use the hotswap method, don't have to buy anything then.

    Some of the stuff is out of date (pretty sure there is a newer ndure package now), but process is still the same.

    http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?/topic/496263-ndure-softmod-through-xboxhdm/

    Technically there is a risk of damage with this method, although despite the scaremongering some people (probably resellers of ar/splinter cell) do over this method, as long as you use a ground strap between pc & xbox it's pretty minimal.
     
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  19. Lumstar

    Lumstar Princess

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    Action Replay specifically isn't needed. Some USB flash drives are recognized by the Xbox.
    If you can find one, it's just a matter of formatting and writing the data to it.

    The USB cable is the easy part. They're sold pre-made.
     
  20. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    I'd say just hotswap it quickly.
    You can kill your drive but if you do it correctly, it should be minimal. indeed.