XBox noob needs some help with modded system

Discussion in 'Microsoft Xbox' started by Shadowfied, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Shadowfied
    OP

    Shadowfied GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,586
    1,328
    Dec 6, 2014
    So, a few years back I bought an XBox from my friend for a few bucks. Supposedly, it has a modchip. I know NOTHING about Xbox modding but am somewhat knowledgeable about modding consoles in general.

    When booting the XBox, it shows this menu, which I'm pretty sure is the standard one. Checking the "Memory" page, there are a lot of obvious mod stuff such as emulators (not that you can boot them there or anything, it's just saves and data). I have no idea what mod chip the system has, is there a way I can find out? How do I run homebrew? I've seen that people tend to use XBMC, is that something I should look into? Can I run games over ethernet (like OPL on PS2) or in some way other than burning discs? The system seems to have a Samsung disc drive, and from what I understand, it can't read DVD-RWs, is there a way to make that work or would that require a new drive?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,154
    8,895
    Nov 21, 2005
    Yeah that looks like the standard menu. There were a few alternative dashboards that were made to look a bit like stock but that very much does look like the original. Things tend to be launched from the dashboard and most people then use alternative dashboards.

    There are two broad classes of original xbox mod

    1) Hardmod
    2) Softmod

    Hardmods are chips and the so called TSOP flash available for the slightly older models.
    Softmods are much like they imply, done in a couple of ways (hotswap and hacks launched by bad saves in a game).
    There are some extra hardmods like overclocking and more memory but they are of very limited use.

    Both do much the same thing, the only thing softmods do not do is allow easy hard drive replacement (you have to find a model that locks and actually lock it -- http://xboxdrives.x-pec.com/?p=list&v_size=500&sort=brand ). Taking it apart would tell you very quickly and there are kind of some software things you can do but nothing like the Wii CIOS reports. When you were told chip I guess it could also have been shorthand like some people use terms like jailbreak today.

    Not sure what goes with whatever chip you have but usually it is stuff like "power on using the eject button" if you want to launch hacked modes (unhacked tended to be the only way to get on xbox live). If it is a really old softmod you might have to do something else like go to a certain menu to launch a font based exploit, I hope it is not that though even though it would not be bad to fix.

    XBMC is wonderful, however with the scene and most others having now shifted to H264 as a video standard the old xbox (basically a 700MHz p3 with no memory) does choke a bit on it. A raspberry pi with XBMC (I guess it is called kodi these days) will beat it easily. I do suggest it though, it is a bit heavier than other alt dashes but it is still good. The XBMC team dropped support for the original xbox a while back but the xbmc4xbox folks are where you want to be looking these days ( http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/ ).

    Video and music will load over network* and USB (the controllers are basically USB devices so you can solder in a USB extension and have a very limited use USB1.1 port). Games will only load off discs and the hard drive. You can try setting book types on the discs but if you have one that struggles to read a type then I say just get the ones it likes, or use the superior hard drive loading. The xbox originally shipped with a 8/10 gig drive, of which you can use about 4 (most xbox games hover around the 2-3 gig mark but you can shrink them a tiny bit, some are dual layer though). The 10 gig drives were formatted as 8 but you can gain an extra 2 for another partition. Obviously you will run of space quite quickly just using the stock hard drive but the chip, if it exists, should allow you to stick any old IDE drive in there. Once you have a nice sized drive in there then you can transfer things across easily enough (basically everything on the xbox uses FTP to manage this so make sure you have a copy of filezilla, users and passes are typically both xbox and the port is usually 21 as well).

    http://www.xbins.org/applist.php covers what various pieces of homebrew are out there, xbox homebrew was typically made with the official SDK so you tend to have to download it with xbins (search for a program called auto xbins/easy xbins). Way back when there was a tool called Auto-Installer Deluxe which had all the nice emulators, homebrew and whatever else but the trackers for it went down a while back and it can be harder to find these days, if you can get it though then do.

    *XBMC supports basically every protocol that matters, including plain old windows shares, which is nice, especially when it means I have been doing it for many years at this point when other things are sort of thinking about catching up.

    I will leave it there for now.
     
  3. Shadowfied
    OP

    Shadowfied GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,586
    1,328
    Dec 6, 2014
    Thank you for the reply, I appreciate it very much :)

    I'm pretty sure it is some hardmod, especially since the crews that are behind the stickers on the bottom had been opened as well. I guess in order to see if there is a hardmod, I'd need to take out the HDD and DVD drive? Wouldn't really be a problem I guess, but I kinda wanna know what I'm looking for.

    Also I heard people say you can use BIOSChecker, however, to run it, I need some way of running .XBE files..
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,154
    8,895
    Nov 21, 2005
    Did turning it on the the eject button (or whatever button you did to get that picture above, do the opposite) not do anything? It is the usual way in which these things are selected.


    Someone might have taken it open to fix the DVD drive (the little plastic band that opens the drive door can get dusty and slip, clean it/replace the band and it starts working again). You should be able to see the chip soldered onto the motherboard if you removed enough of the torx screws to get in there, unless it was a TSOP flash* in which case that gets harder to tell.
    *I know I focused more on the dashboards but in practice it is actually a BIOS replacement at the heart of it, the TSOP stuff was a security hole in earlier motherboard versions that allowed you to solder something, flash a new/replacement BIOS and then undo it.
     
  5. Shadowfied
    OP

    Shadowfied GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,586
    1,328
    Dec 6, 2014
    Since I have nothing to compare to, is there anywhere I can see the different modchips that were made so I can see if something like it is in there? Also, do I need to remove the DVD drive or is the HDD enough?

    Also, turning it on with the eject button did nothing, and it refused to boot my CD-R containing the BIOSChecker app.

    Thanks once again.
     
  6. GreenZeldaCap

    GreenZeldaCap Member

    Newcomer
    45
    9
    Apr 26, 2015
    Canada
    For anyone who might know, are there any good guides out there for modding an old xbox? There are so many on Google but a lot of them are hard to follow.thx
     
  7. Shadowfied
    OP

    Shadowfied GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,586
    1,328
    Dec 6, 2014
    If I do need to remove the DVD drive, I'm shit out of luck for now. That torx screw that is tucked in at the very edge of the system is in too tight of a spot for my screwdriver to reach...god damnit.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,154
    8,895
    Nov 21, 2005
    There were loads of different mod chips, including some fly by night things that nobody will probably remember. I have never seen a site that details all the various mods available for the xbox.

    http://www.xavbox.com/pages/puces/plans/aladdin-live-plan.jpg is an example for the aladdin chips (one of the more popular varieties), you would not be able to install it but you should be able to see some of the wires it will use even if you can not remove the DVD drive.

    Beyond that have a poke around some of the links on http://www.eurasia.nu/wiki/index.php/XboxInfo if you like, it might get you something more.


    You must have searched badly. A basic softmod amounts to "install hacked save on memory card/USB*, copy save (make sure to select both files, default copy on original dash will only select the first), insert game for the hacked save you loaded (normally splinter cell but there are others), try to load save but see hack install load instead, follow on screen instructions**, next boot it will dump you on a basic hacked dash so install XBMC if you want). Hotswap mods are not much worse (you boot the xbox, at a certain point pull the hard drive data cable out, insert it into your PC and copy the relevant data to new drive (you will probably want xboxhdm to do this), add hacks, lock drive with keys from xbox, insert new drive into xbox and carry on with life.
    TSOP and mod chips work in kind of similar ways to each other but I will leave them for now.

    *easier said than done for some. Some use an action replay, some use a USB drive and a USB controller adapter (if you can solder wires together you can make one), some use an already modded xbox to copy the hacked saves to an existing memory card and some do other things again.

    **you want virtual eeprom and shadow C, xbox live is gone so no need for the boot to stock dash options really.