Looking to buy my first ever 360 and mod it......advice needed

Discussion in 'Xbox 360 - Hacking & Homebrew' started by David80008, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. David80008
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    Newcomer David80008 Advanced Member

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    Hello, never owned an Xbox or an Xbox 360 but I'm considering purchasing one for the purpose of modding it for personal use. I've always been a Nintendo person and have also owned PS2 and PS3. I had a look through the guides and I found the number of different models and mods a little bit overwhelming. I recently modded my Wii using ModMii so I'm no stranger to modding. I'm looking to run 360 games, XBLA games and XBOX games too. Possibly other emulators. I hope to run these from an external HDD, I'm sure a 2TB or 3TB will be sufficient. No access to Xbox Live isn't a problem as I don't have an account anyway. Hoping said modding can be done with softmodding or using a device, not keep on hardware modification.

    So which model of XBOX should I look for and which process should I hope to use?
    What will give me what I need for the best cost possible?
    What else should I look out for?

    Any advice on the matter would be much appreciated, Thanks
     
  2. tubebar

    Member tubebar GBAtemp Regular

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    Same here, I do have an old Xbox but not modded. I am currently researching the 360. From what I have read the jtag sounds like the best way to go, unless you don't care about using an external HDD and running DLC.

    Since I am as much of a n00b with it as you are, just going to see what the experts reply as I also need advice. What is the best model to hunt down? I don't mind getting an old model w/ right FW if I have to, I have a source for that it's where I got my 3.55 PS3.
     
  3. pyromaniac123

    Member pyromaniac123 ส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็(ಠ益ಠส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็

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    @[member='DinohScene'] , get in here now.
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    If you want more than a token bit of XBLA and DLC then you are going to need to go down the JTAG/RGH route. JTAG and RGH have more or less identical end results although JTAG can be done with the results of a trip to a basic electronics shop where RGH requires some more fancy soldering and you to buy in some hardware. JTAG requires a machine that has not been updated since August 11th 2009 where RGH can be done on more recent versions of the dashboard (although there is a cutoff for later versions unless you otherwise have keys and NAND access which you would not have unless you have otherwise done the hacks). Chances are you will not find a JTAG capable machine these days* and RGH machines, assuming another version of the hack does not come along, are also getting a bit harder to come by (14699 or last December's update- I am not sure when new games started requiring it but it is usually a couple of months later, Borderlands 2 which only just hit requires the next version up though).
    JTAG definitely stops live and RGH can not be used with live but there are ways to do dual NAND and have a version that goes on live, dual nand is a pain to do and keep current so I do not suggest it for most people.

    *you might see them offered for sale, I personally suggest nothing that is not a Jasper motherboard (the seller will know and if they do not know then walk away) be purchased for fear of RRoD but others might take a Falcon motherboard.

    Most people opt to modify the DVD drive though (which only does copied DVDs and the DLC installation mentioned in a moment), these days that comes in two types.
    1) Traditional DVD modding, here you find the DVD keys (different to the keys mentioned a moment ago) and use them to build a custom firmware for the DVD drive. Tutorials http://jungleflasher.net/downloads.html Generally the older the system (my stance on motherboards does not change here) the easier the mod unless it has been updated past July 2011's update or it is a 360 slim (some are not so bad but they require thought where most earlier drives could be done without really thinking about it).
    You can buy a standalone modding tool to do it (reasonably expensive) or you can sort appropriate hardware out (less expensive and stuff you can buy from mainstream retailers). These days most big releases (pretty much every big game since August last year) will also require you to have a specially modded DVD drive for burning, they are not that expensive, not that rare (although they are getting ever so slightly harder to get your hands on as the months drag on) and can still be used as normal DVD drives at other points. All of it requires dual layer discs to work.

    2) Optical disc drive emulation (ODDE). If you ever used a WODE for the Wii it is pretty much that but for the 360 instead. Some have claimed they are not as safe for xbox live but if you do not care about this then it is all good. Here you stick your keys into the ODDE and then hook a USB drive up to it.

    The token XBLA and DLC I mentioned is stuff like the borderlands double pack, fallout expansions and such which came as disc installers and can be stuck on the hard drive via other means (this is as close to a softmod as you can get for the 360). This is perfectly safe and can even be done on stock machines. There is not a lot else these days worth doing (profile hacking is fairly pointless as it gains nothing), before there was stuff like profile sharing DLC and XBLA but MS put a stop to that.
     
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  5. Shadowhunta

    Member Shadowhunta GBAtemp Regular

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    This pretty much covers it! I will add that with xboxes and LT+ (the custom firmware option) most drives apart from the ones with the last few months xboxes can be modified, verbatim discs are best and are ALL i have ever used in the past 5 years i've been modding xboxes, don;t try and be cheap and go for aone or anything like that, you WILL have issues.
    I have been using an ODDE for a week now and its kinda cool, i'll carry on using it for a while longer to see what i think, but so far, its not bad at all, and removes the need to burn disks, it takes like 2 mins to copy the iso to an external drive.
     
  6. David80008
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    Newcomer David80008 Advanced Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. Much appreciated.

    So I guess I'll go for RGH mod. I think I know a few places I can get it done. Whats a reasonable price to pay for this service? (£GBP)

    Also which model Xbox should I go for and why? What's the most cost effective? I don't want to run into any hardware errors along the way.

    As I said before, I intend to run all games from an external HDD, is this possible for XBLA games too? Are WD Elements 2TB and WD MyBook 3TB both compatible?

    Can games be run off FAT32 and NTFS? My preference is FAT but this usually requires a wad manager which breaks files up into multiple 4GB files. Is there such a thing?

    What about this dashboard mod stuff? Is it simple enough? Is there like a homebrew browser thing for this/emulators/etc or must everything be downloaded externally?

    Also worth noting, lack of XBLive is not an issue to me. I have a PS3, a modded Wii and a PC already.


    Thanks in advance :-)
     
  7. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    Roughly 50 quid.
    The chip itself is 20 ish quid.

    Phat Jasper (MFR date late 2009 or better)
    Or Trinity Slim (MFR date 2011)

    Why not upgrade the internal HDD.
    It's faster then a external one and it also saves space.
    I currently got a 500 GB in mine (internal) and it works perfectly.
    Quicker then external.

    Internal drives are formatted to FATX and external ones should be formatted to FAT32.
    And if you want to put games on it you'll have to use Xbox image browser (to extract the game files)
    Or make them into a GOD container using ISO2GOD.
    XBLA also work yes.
    XBLindie also work with FSD 3.0 and Dashlaunch 3.0 (set fakelive to true)
    Xbox 1 games also work (extracted ones)

    My personal preference is individual xex files.
    It saves a lot of space and allows for easy modding of games.


    FSD is just a replacement dashboard which has more features then the MS dash.
    Plus it allows for the loading of xex files through the dash (skipping the need of XeXMenu which imho you shouldn't remove from your 360 EVER!)
    There are some emulators for the 360 yes.
    But they usually require you to boot them through XeLL.
    Homebrew is very limited for the 360.
    There are some homebrew games but most of it consist of flashers and other system tools/XeLL booters.
     
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  8. David80008
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    Newcomer David80008 Advanced Member

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    Thank you very much for the very informative information. Much appreciated.

    Regarding:
    'Phat Jasper (MFR date late 2009 or better)
    Or Trinity Slim (MFR date 2011)'

    Being a Xbox noob, what models of console can I expect to find these in?


    Regarding:
    'Why not upgrade the internal HDD.
    It's faster then a external one and it also saves space.
    I currently got a 500 GB in mine (internal) and it works perfectly.
    Quicker then external.'

    The main thing that puts me off this is capacity. I'm gonna assume internal 360 drives are either proprietary or 2.5" drives as opposed to full sized drives? Thus, cost goes up. From my experience, the average Wii retail game seems to be around 2.5GB. I can imagine the average 360 game being at least 3 times this. Considering it didn't take long to fill 1TB with wii and Gamecube games, I'll most likely need more space for 360/xbox/XBLA games.
    I'm assuming 360's support USB2 but not USB3 right? Are there any games that will be disrupted due to USB2 transfer rate?


    Another couple questions:

    Is there an equivalent program to priiloader for 360 enabling region free everything/block disk updates/etc?
    Should i go the external HDD route, what exactly will I need the internal HDD for? Operating system. Anything else? What size will be sufficient?


    Thanks again :-)
     
  9. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    Exactly like I said.

    Phat is the original style 360 and Slim is the new version.
    Refer to my 360 hacking thread which is stickied to find out what motherboards where made during what years.
    It has a visual indication on how to find the MFR date.

    Best is to get a 360 which is build during either late 2009 to early 2011.
    The power supply units will read 150w (for the Phat) and 135w for the Slim.
    Then you're sure you got a good one (in therms of RGH)


    Really depends on the game.
    But games will never be bigger then ~7 GB (.xex extracts)
    Unless their multi discs like RAGE.
    (Iirc Naughty bear is a 700MB game, so that's more then 6 GB of padding)

    RGH'd machines can take any sized 2.5 inch drive.
    Ofcourse it's more costly but imho it's better then a ugly external next to it.
    Besides it adds more portability if you want to take it to a friend of yours.
    Plus if you want to play old Xbox games then a HDD is needed.

    But if you really insist on going the external method then you'll need a USB 2.0 one.
    Max size for the 360 is 2TB (iirc it's also the max size for FAT32?)

    Dashlaunch can be considered the equivalent of Priiloader.
    Dashlaunch is needed if you want to play Indie games + autoboot to Freestyle Dash.
    However the 360 is pretty much region free and regions don't apply to hacked 360's


    The internal HDD is needed for Xbox 1 games and avatars.
    As I said you can fit a 2TB in it but I doubt you'll fill it.
    Unless you download a shit load of games you hardly will play but hey, who am I to judge you;p

    Anyway I got a 500 GB with ~20 360 games, 100 GB of XBLA which I'm going to sort out soon, 30 ish GB of Indie games which I'm also going to sort and 5 or 6 Xbox 1 games.
    I still have ~200 GB of space left.




    To add to updates.
    If you keep updating your 360 with 360 multi builder (creating a freshly hacked NAND and flashing it to the console and installing the official MS update AFTER you flashed a new NAND) then you shouldn't be worried about disc updates.
     
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  10. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Edit- beaten to the punch but I will leave it up.

    MFR date = manufactured date. It is on the back of every xbox and I am not sure about the slims but you can see it when it is boxed as well. Also useful http://team-xecuter.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76989

    Yeah the internal is a 2.5 inch sata drive. Some people did find a 12V supply internally to add 3.5 inch sata support but that is a proper mod (not terribly troubling but not a simple throwaway mod) and others powered it externally to similar effect. I am not sure what goes now but a couple of months back when game/gamestation were thinking about going down the tubes I was picking up old 20 gig drives for a fiver and the Chinese tat sites also offer drive cases for about the same price.

    I have not heard of the WD drives not working and as they are the usual external ones people have- where on the Wii it was fairly normal for a USB drive not to work it is very much the exception on the 360 (seen but worthy of raising an eyebrow for).

    Sizes as you mentioned them- http://www.stripesonfire.com/xbox-360-game-install-list/
    5 to 6 gigs is about average although it can go either way.

    Priiloader... yes and no. The hacked dash itself will enable many of the niceties by default, what there is is called dashlaunch which can add support for such things. Disc updates usually take about 2 months to filter down (although it can be quicker) into released games and once hacked you are more or less in the software world as far as updates go but dashlaunch should feature update blocking. If you want to be really paranoid (also lose the ability to consider xbox live) I am not sure what RGH vs R6T3 is at these days but it looks like it works- this prevents updates from taking hold to put it past the point of no return (the 360 CPU contains fuses which blow and can then signal things).

    360 drive speed vs USB (yeah it is 2.0)... I imagine I could cook up a scenario involving fragmentation and simultaneous stuff but by and large the 20 odd megs a second USB2 puts out sits well with DVD read speeds.

    Oh and for the record (read I forgot to make it as clear as I might have up above) the 360 DVD hack and the likes of JTAG/RGH are not mutually inclusive- the RGH/JTAG stuff does not leave you able to run burned discs unless you also mod the drive. It makes getting keys far easier, which was traditionally (less so for some slims) the "hard" part, and one of the teams was supposed to release a program to allow drive hacking on the 360 itself (after all MS updated the drives in the field) but I am not sure what is going on there right now.
     
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  11. David80008
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    Newcomer David80008 Advanced Member

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    Thanks again guys :-)
     
  12. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    Welcomes at all time~
     

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