Softmodding an original Xbox

Discussion in 'Microsoft Xbox' started by SifJar, Oct 13, 2012.

Oct 13, 2012

Softmodding an original Xbox by SifJar at 11:32 PM (19,009 Views / 0 Likes) 58 replies

  1. SifJar
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    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    I recently obtained an Xbox. I am planning to softmod it. I have ordered a copy of Splinter Cell and one of these cables: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/49cm-USB-A-Female-Socket-Device-PC-Connector-Adapter-Cable-for-Game-XBOX-Console-/150890102822?pt=UK_Video_Games_Cables_and_Adaptors&hash=item2321c04026#ht_4030wt_1281

    My intention is to copy a hacked save for Splinter Cell to the Xbox via the cable and a USB flash drive, load the exploit and install UnleashX (which I believe is the best dashboard available, is that right?). I'd also like to get the latest possible version of XBMC that still works on the Xbox (I think that's 9.something?).

    My questions are these: What's the best exploit package/softmod installer to use? I have read advice to use Krayzie's Ndure Installer 1.1.1, but I have also read advice to use Softmod Installer Deluxe. Which is best for what I want? As far as I can tell, both will just install UnleashX, and I'll have to get XBMC up and running seperately.

    Also, where do I get the newest compatible version of XMBC? xbins only appears to have up to version 3 or something like that.
     


  2. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    XBMC was forked when the main project decided to sideline support for the xbox hardware, nowadays it goes by XBMC4XBOX and still gets the odd update.

    Also if you can not get your USB drive going (it is pretty picky but something eventually works if you are the sort of person that wanders around these sections- you probably have a large collection of random USB drives) then hit me up and I will see if I can fish out my xbox memory card and action replay.

    The actual hack package- either or really. I still recommend shadow C and virtual eeprom but remember to leave out the option to boot to the regular dash (it was only useful if you wanted xbox live).

    Yeah both will install unleashx or something similar- XBMC was too big to fit into the savegame hack payload. Once it is there you can FTP in (pass and user both xbox for just about everything) and copy a new dash or use something like autoinstaller delxue to install a new dash. Dashes are functionally equivalent as far as software launching goes but XBMC has the added bonus of being an awesome media player.
     
  3. SifJar
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    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    Thanks, that's very helpful. Are shadow c and virtual eeprom options given during the installation process of the soft mod, or is that something I have to do afterwards? also, I was planning on keeping unleashx as my dash, and just running XBMC from there when I need it. Can xbmc4xbox do all the "normal" dash stuff like booting game discs and homebrew and what not? If so, perhaps I'll replace unleashx with it...

    Again thanks for your help, and the very kind offer regarding the action replay.
     
  4. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    Afaik XBMC boots everything.

    Also if you have a 1.5 or lower xbox I'd recommend TSOP flashing it.
    The hacked bios will function like a modchip and allows for the installing of bigger harddrives.
     
  5. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    The xbox has drive letters as well and Shadow C was just a way to stop the actual hard drive C from being corrupted at some point at the cost of a couple of hundred megs.
    Virtual eeprom is much the same idea but for the EEPROM which holds a few settings in it and the keys for drives and such, you do want to keep a copy of your actual EEPROM though (tools like liveinfo can use it to do things and tools like xboxHDM want the proper one to mod hard drives with).
    Both are options presented during softmod install.

    xbmc4xbox might be a second or two slower to boot (probably still faster than any current console to boot) where the others are there almost as soon as the xbox logo is gone. I expect I might get pulled up for something really abstract as far as xbmc4xbox vs the others* for some but by and large it loads things much like anything else- games, homebrew, films and such all work fine.

    *I might argue it is a bit more rough around the edges as far as game support goes but that only really comes into it if you have a huge legacy collection of burned discs for some of the odder burning/iso handling methods.

    Oh and I should say European xboxes never got proper component and HD support so grab a copy of enigma video switcher I think it was to set your console to a NA console (the hacks make for region free anyway) if you can get a set of component cables (it is only up to 720p or 1080i but it is free/the cost of the cables).

    Most people eventually end up with XBMC as their main dash- if it is to become a choice media player (and it has proper network support so it definitely can) then it is the whole making it trivial for someone that is not you to operate it.

    Edit- TSOP is pretty nice and it makes life a bit easier. Reading DinohScene's the wrong way you might come to the conclusion softmods do not allow hard drive swapping which would be wrong although the drive will need to support locking ( http://xboxdrives.x-pec.com/?p=list ) if you do not have a modchip/TSOP flash as your hack method.
    For the slightly newer xboxes you can also gain an extra 2 gigs as the drive was formatted as 8 gigs but they were really 10 gigs in the later models.
     
  6. SifJar
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    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    TSOP looks a bit more complicated than anything I'm comfortable trying right now, by the looks of things it requires soldering etc., which I don't have a whole lot of experience with. For now, I think just a softmod will be fine. Maybe someday I will TSOP flash it and stick in a bigger hard drive or whatever. Is there any other benefit to TSOP flashing other than easier switch to a bigger hard drive?

    Also, thanks for the tip regarding HD support, could come in handy. I'll have to look into the price of the relevant cables and see if it's worth it. I don't have much HD media at the moment, so perhaps not.

    I just have one last question (I think): I have heard stuff about "clock loops", but as far as I can tell these were only an issue with older softmods. Am I right in thinking that I don't need to worry about that at all using SID or Krayzie's Ndure Installer (think I'll probably go for SID)?

    Again, thanks to both of you for your help.
     
  7. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    Yeah clock fixes and such like went away several versions of softmods back.

    True benefits (there are little things like custom boot logos) to TSOP/chip vs pure softmod other than easier hard drive replacements are few and far between. Certainly there is no "you can only run this on a hardmod" type of thing aside from the obvious hardmod dash installers and things to handle updates to the hardmod (be it chip or TSOP led BIOS).

    Also the xbox does not do so well with "HD" media but it will upscale pretty well (better than a lot of TVs), I got my cables years ago (just checked and the email invoice says 2009) but http://www.consolesandgadgets.co.uk/catalog/component-cable-with-optical-out-for-xbox-p-1849.html was it I think. You can build your own as well if you have some cables to gut. The slightly hard things to find now are media remote controls for the xbox (the controller works great but going back to the "person that is not you" thing) although what was once a fiver now seems to be just north of a tenner.
     
  8. SifJar
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    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    If you mean the dvd remote thing, I actually got one with the xbox, so I'm good from that aspect. Thanks for the advice about the cables, will be sure to look into it.
     
  9. SickPuppy

    Member SickPuppy New Member

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    If you get this working, please post. I've tried to softmod my XBOX a while back, but I think the problem I ran into was that I needed WinXP, and my WinXP computer is in need of repairs right now. I think it had something to do with Vista not recognizing something that was required. So I kind of put the softmod on the back burner, never did investigate further.
     
  10. SifJar
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    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    That doesn't fill me with confidence considering I use Windows 7, but hopefully it'll be fine...I will be sure to post back when I have attempted it.
     
  11. SickPuppy

    Member SickPuppy New Member

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    Well, I spent hours trying to mod my xbox. My guess is that I just don't have a compatible usb thumb drive. I tried a 1GB and a 4GB (the 16GB was a no no), and then I tried 2 microSD card readers with a 4GB sandisk microSD. I did find out the there was no difference between WinXP home and Win7 home pemium, the same results with both windows versions.

    I think maybe a thumb drive with a smaller capacity may do it, perhaps < 1GB. There is also a softmod that uses an official XBOX memory card instead of a usb thumb drive, maybe that is the way to go.
     
  12. SifJar
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    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    To use a memory card you need Action Replay though, AFAIK. Or it may be possible to use a cable such as the one here: http://www.ebay.co.u...=item3f1ddb6b7f (the clear one) along with some software (xplorer360? I'm not sure). I believe it is possible to create these cables from a USB cable and a breakaway cable as well, I remember seeing a guide to doing so before, but can't quite remember where (EDIT: I may have been mistaken about seeing such a guide...). If I can find it, I'll post it. In the mean time, there is also this: http://www.llamma.co...r_to_pc_usb.htm but that requires an actual controller port from an Xbox (I'm sure there are sites you can buy spares of these, but they may be hard to track down now). It may be possible to figure out the wiring from here though and translate it to the wiring within the breakaway cable.

    I am also wondering about the 360 breakaway cables. They are USB, and the other end (the end that connects to the controller) looks rather similar to the breakaway end of the original Xbox controller/cable. Maybe they would do the job for connecting an original Xbox controller to a PC, allowing the memory card to be read with xplorer360? EDIT: Found a site which answers this question, the cables aren't compatible. Has to be custom made, or bought specifically as an original Xbox to USB adapter.

    If I can't get any of my USB drives to work, I may try something along some of these lines. In hindsight, it may be a more reliable method, but I have already ordered the other cable, so I will wait for it to arrive before trying anything else.
     
  13. stanleyopar2000

    Member stanleyopar2000 The Official GBATEMP Thread Killer. No Mercy.

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    I have UnleashedX and a copy of the old Mechwarror game (HARD AS HELL TO FIND) and i'm good :D
     
  14. SickPuppy

    Member SickPuppy New Member

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    I'm getting somewhere now. The guide I was following had me using action replay to transfer the files to the memory stick. I found another guide that has me use Xplorer360 and I am transfering files right now. I'm using a 4GB Sandisk cruzer. I sure hope I'm doing it right, it looks like it takes a while to inject the files to the usb device.

    I made my cable from a breakaway and a female usb connector. It looks just like the one in the first post.
     
  15. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I am impressed- size of drive should not trouble this one (sometimes above 4 gigs you can partition appropriately) and it is usually around 40% at worst for successful drives. I guess it has been a few years though.

    As for XP bartpe and such should do for this if you really need it, I tend to keep such a machine around for hacking and repair purposes anyway so I probably want to be quiet. Likewise most of the hard drive stuff (access aside) goes through a custom linux liveCD anyway. Speaking of the liveCD and if one of your machines still has IDE you could instead do the hotswap softmod.

    I just looked through my old consoles games box and just fished out two action replays, a memory card (likely still with a copy of the softmod on there) and a copy of splinter cell as I was apparently thinking that day and stuffed the xbox softmod kit all together in a bag.

    Edit- as for the USB drives- I tend to use the breakaways. Inside they are the standard USB colours plus yellow- wire as usual and leave the yellow connected was pretty much the whole deal.
     
  16. SifJar
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    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    Following on from my last post, I found this: http://www.stlflops....ox-Pin-Outs.png

    By my reasoning, converting a breakaway cable into a USB cable should be as simple as cutting the breakaway cable somewhere along the cable, cutting a USB cable somewhere along the cable and connecting (i.e. soldering) the like-coloured cables. Then plug into computer and controller, and hopefully xplorer360 should be able to detect the memory card attached to the controller.

    FAST6191, does this sound right? I fear I'm over simplifying something, as any guides I can find online for creating USB cables for Xbox controllers involve using actual controller ports, not breakaway cables. Is that just to preserve the breakaway cables for continued use with the Xbox?

    EDIT: Actually, the site I took that from on closer inspection seems to be instructing to do it the way I have described. http://www.stlflops.com/techemporium/xboxctrl/ This doesn't seem overly difficult, I may try it if I can't get it to work with any of my USB drives (I only have a couple of 4GB drives and a 128MB one).
     
  17. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I always used to solder poundland/QD USB extension cables (be careful as they sometimes use nonstandard colours) onto the breakways which gave me something that worked in every possible combination- xbox controller on PC, USB drive on xbox (it is USB 1.1 but enough for an AVI and enough to copy things around), still acted as a USB extension and a breakwaway.

    As for guides- really it is just a matter of colours (plus leaving the yellow connected even though I think it was only the guns that used it) but if you want one http://www.aid.xbox-hq.com/index.php?title=SID_Manual_Appendix_D#The_USB_-.3E_Xbox_Cable was the one I usually linked.
     
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  18. Maverick Lunar X

    Member Maverick Lunar X GBAtemp Fan

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    Let me know if you need help with files at all, I kept all of mine and recently softmodded two Xblocks' for a couple of guys so we could play Steel Battalion, Win7-x64. If you plan on doing an HDD upgrade, I highly recommend the Chimp 2618 method.
     
  19. SickPuppy

    Member SickPuppy New Member

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    Well, I'm back at square one. I can get the usb memory stick formatted, action replay and Xplorer360 can both recognize the usb memory stick. The files just will not transfer to the memory stick. I am using a Sandisk 4GB, and can also use a microSD USB adapter with a 4GB Sandisk microSD. I think I need to try a different memory stick.
     
  20. SickPuppy

    Member SickPuppy New Member

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    Well, I finally got unleashX installed. I found a guide that was a bit different than all the rest of the guides on the net, maybe it wasn't the guide but the files I downloaded may have been different, I used the SID 5.11 files. It even works with all my usb flash drives that were formatted with the xbox (512MB SanDisk micro Cruzer, 4GB Sandisk Cruzer, and a 4GB microSD Card in a USB adapter that I got with my M3DS Real). Now I have to figure out what I want to do with it, more than likely install xbmc, but I'm debating installing a higher capacity HDD.
     

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