Ok, I just got finished modding my Xbox and wanted to share my experiences and pitfalls in hopes that it will help others who might be experiencing the same problems.
I have an 1.0 Xbox(soldered in LPC points) with a Thompson DVD drive. I wanted to swap out the HDD so I can play games from it due to the fact that I have 3 kids under the age of 8 and game/movie CD's tend to get lost, broken, etc and I cannot afford to replace them every week.
SO what I decided on was the Xecuter 2.2 Pro. WHY? because of the external LPT port. I work as a network engineer and know that having another way to flash a hardware component should the 1st way fail makes good sense. I will talk more about this later on..Here is what I did in steps:
1. Disassemble the Xbox. Be careful and follow the instructions on how to properly remove stuff from the console. If you do not do this correct, you will hose your box before you even get started.
2. I removed the Motherboard as well as I went the easy route on the soldering and soldered to the alt DO point. It was easier than soldering the LPC points was. I did NOT remove the solder from the LPC points as some folks have recommended and I did NOT use header pins. I just soldered to the wires to the LPC points. I used a 15Watt Radio Shack soldering iron with 0.32 soldering rosin. The trick here is to get a small bead of the solder on the tip of the iron and touch this to the wire at the contact point and hold it there for a sec or 2. Never had a problem with the soldering.
3. Once the chip was soldered and mounted up to the Xbox case, I booted to the Cromwell bios. I put in the CD with the Xecuter2 4978.03 BIOS file(the one I created and renamed BIOS.bin file and a 200mg DUMMY.BIN file. There are a ton of tutorials on this site about doing this) and attempted to flash my chip.
4. The flash failed. It got to 25% and never got any further. The problem? I did not research properly the DIP switch settings that needed to be set for the flash to take properly. Now at this point the Xbox is rebooting 3 times and the power LED flashed green/red. Not good.
5. Its at this point I knew that my planning ahead with getting the chip with the LPT port was a GREAT idea. Now I had a fallback. I cannot stress how important it is to have a plan B when doing something like this. The programmer is a MUST HAVE with this or any other chip. No question.
6. Ok, so what WERE the Dip switch settings on the front of the switch SUPPOSED to have been set at you might be asking? Well the 4 pin(The flash enable switch) was supposed to be ON(up position) and the others were supposed to be OFF(down position). I did this and used X2BM, My parallel cable, the LPT port on the chip, and my laptop and loaded up the bios. I used a 1024 Bios so the bios I used filled up all of the banks. NOTE: I ALWAYS GOT A VERIFICATION FAILURE when I flashed the bios using X2BM. I am not sure what the deal is with this, but have noted MANY others with Xecuter 2.2 pros who get this as well. Looks like a software glitch to me as the chip booted up with the Xbox Xecuter2 logo and played games just fine. Once the flash was on installed, I flipped the #1 dip switch to the ON(Up position) thus enabling it to boot from bank 1. Seemed to work.
7. Ok, now for the hardest freakin part of this whole ordeal..The Evolution X boot CD. I am hear to tell you that this part is harder than the rest of this whole deal, hands down. Why? Because of the Thompson DVD Drive. Its a MF to read any media other than retail game DVD's(I have also had a few retail DVD's not load the first time with this drive...) So here is what I did to get success.
8. I bought a pack of 4x CD-RW Memorex 700MB blanks at CompUSA for about $4.99. I bought the Music CD-RW 3 pack. I only needed them for this part of it. I used my computer that has a CD-RW drive in it and downloaded the latest version of Evolution X .iso and Slayer 2.1 .iso and then I grabbed the SimpleX ISO program available here under the Tools ->ISO Tools area.
9. Used SimpleX ISO to extract the Evolution X .iso file to a folder on my computers hard drive.
10. Created a .zip file that totaled around 511mb of files. Does not matter what files you use to make this .zip file, just make sure the .zip file is about 511mb in size. Then rename the .zip file to DUMMY.BIN.
11. Create a sub-folder called AA00 within the folder you extracted the EvolutionX .iso to. Put the DUMMY.BIN file within the AA00 subfolder.
12. Use SimpleX ISO to create an new .iso file from the contents of the folder where the Evolution X files/folders/AA00 folder are. This .iso file can be whatever you want as the name does not matter.
13. At this point you should have a file called something like evolutionxwdummyfile.iso that is around 514MB in size. Open Nero Burning ROM and put your blank CD-RW in the CD-RW drive of your computer. If the CD-RW is NOT blank you need to do a FULL ERASE at 2X speed and make sure it erases successfully. THIS IS IMPORTANT! QUICK ERASE WILL NOT WORK. The cleaner the disc before you burn this, the better the results will be.
14. Burn that 514MB .iso file you just created to the blank CD-RW at 2x speed.
15. When the CD s finished burning, put the newly created CD-RW into the CD drive of the Xbox, disable the modchip, and turn on the Xbox. It should boot to the MS Xbox logo and then tell you that the CD in the drive is damaged or dirty. Turn the Xbox off, enable the chip, and turn the xbox back on. The Xecuter2 Xbox logo should come up and if all went well, the EvoX dashboard should come up. If all did not go well, you will just get a Xbox logo with Xecuter2 under it and nothing else. Make sure you give it a sec or 2 as there is about a 3-4 sec delay between the Xbox Xecuter2 logo and the Evox dashboard appearing. You also might have to go through this step once or twice to actually get it to work so be patient. It will eventually work. I thought it never would, but patience and persistence pays off. If you still cannot get it to load, go back through steps 9-15. It WILL work eventually. Trust me. If you are getting the Xecuter2 logo but no EvoX, its not your chip..Its the CD or the way you burned it.
16. Once you can get Evox to load on a pretty consistent basis using the step 15 method, and you can FTP into your Xbox successfully and can see/access the retail drive, and you have backed up C: and E: on your Xbox to another computer(my laptop in my case) you are ready for Slayer 2.1. Burning the Slayer image is exactly the same process as I laid out for creating the EvoX boot disk except using the Slayer program. If you forgot already, refer to steps 9-15.
17. Disassemble the Xbox again and remove the Retail HDD and put in your new drive.
18. Boot the Slayer Cd the same way you did the EvoX cd (See step 15)
19. Follow the intructions for the section labeled: "Setting-Up a V1.0 or V1.1 XBOX with a NEW Upgraded HD and a MOD chip that can be turned OFF!" located within the SlaYer's EvoX Auto-Installer v2.1 Instructions .txt file(comes with the Slayer 2.1 software)
20. You are ready to use an FTP client to FTP the files on a game DVD to the Xbox drive and play them!
21. Enjoy the fruits of the PITA odeal.
Q: Is it worth all of this trouble?
A: Hell Yes
Q: Is it time consuming?
A: Hell Yes
Q: Was this hard to do?
A: Not really, just time consuming. The hardest part was gathering all of this information on how to do all of this and make it work in my particular case.Information and techniques are pretty much everywhere. Many folks are doing things different ways cause they are getting different results. This whole process I used may not work for you believe it or not. Its worth a try though.
Q: Was the D0 as hard as it seems to be?
A: Not if you use the alt D0. Piece of cake. I would not dream of trying the top D0. My eyesight is not good enough.
Q: Would you recommend soldering over pogo pins?
A: Hell Yes. I would not want to have to open this thing up again and have to muddle with it..Especially after the time it took to get it all setup in the first place. No Pogo, Solder the mofo IMHO.
Q: Where can I find EvoX and the bios software you were talking about?
A: I have no idea.
Q: Will you mod my Xbox for me?
A: Hell No.
Q: I cannot understand your instructions? Can you be more clearer on your information?
A: If you cannot understand any of this, you do not need to doing it at all.
Q: Can I make a tutorial out of this information?
A: Hell Yes. The more people who know how to do this and make it actually work with minimal headache, the better.
Happy modding and I hope this helps someone somewhere.
Edited by bbohanon3, 12 September 2003 - 04:12 PM.