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Newbie's Overview To Modding An Xbox

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#1 sauroneru


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Posted 22 February 2004 - 03:19 PM

This is a brief and concise overview of Xbox modding. You should also read nearly all of the posts at http://forums.xbox-s...php?act=SF&f=23 , but this will get you started and hopefully give you a feel for how every component fits in.

What can I do with a modded Xbox?
  • Copy games and play them from your harddrive. This allows for faster load times and a backup of your DVD media. Games can be burned on DVD, but the Xbox will not read CDRs.
  • Play DVDs without a DVD playback kit.
  • Run linux. Go to http://xbox-linux.sf.net/ and http://gentoox.shallax.com/ for more information.
  • Run emulators. These run great on an Xbox, due to its universal hardware. See: http://forums.xbox-s...howtopic=116567 .
  • Play MP3s, DivX/XviD AVIs, etc. See: http://www.xboxmediaplayer.de
  • Install a larger hard drive. You can stream media files from a networked computer, but games and emulators must reside on the Xbox's hard drive.
How can I modify my Xbox?
The BIOS of the Xbox won't let you do the above fun things. You must bypass it somehow.
  • Hardware bypass: the mod chip ($30-$70). Either solder or use a "pogo pin" adapter for a solderless install. As of now, popular choices are the Xecuter, Xbit, and Xenium chips. The SmartXX is on the way. A good place to buy is http://www.modchipman.com/ , but there are several other stores. See http://www.xbox-scene.com/modchips.php for a description of all modchips and the BIOS that you can use. For the newbie, just grab one of the more recent BIOSes - the Evolution X and Xecuter BIOSes are about the same right now.
  • Hardware bypass: TSOP flash (free, if you can get the equipment). Take a modchip from above to overwrite the TSOP, where the Xbox stores its BIOS. However, you must have a modchip to do upgrades as well, plus find someone willing.
  • Software bypass: Gamesave/font/dashboard exploit (free, if you can get the equipment). Use software security glitches (in a MS product???) to change the Xbox's loading procedure. If something goes wrong, or if your Xbox's software is updated, things can be hard to fix. The font exploit can load a new BIOS when the Xbox boots, but has problems at times sending your Xbox into a continuous startup/shutdown loop. The gamesave exploit is nice, but requires you to have a MechAssault (or another compatible game) DVD, and load a saved game to start the modification. See: http://forums.xbox-s.../index.php?c=11 to start your journey.
    Basically, I highly recommend an actual modchip unless you really need to save the money. It just makes everything easier.
I installed my modchip, now what?
If you use a software bypass, you need to follow that specific bypass's instructions. Hardware bypasses are much more general. Now it's time to put on the fun software.
  • Get a new dashboard. The MS dashboard (the screen you see when you start the Xbox with no disc) cannot run these programs. Replacing it can be involved, but people have made it easy on you. Using a file sharing program, find SlaYers_EvoX_Auto-Installer_v2.5_FINAL.exe. Some versions have a trojan virus - check this post (http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=117478) for information on how to use IRC. There may be a new version out by the time you read this. This will make a CD that autoinstalls many things. READ ITS DOCUMENTATION CAREFULLY. To install a few more things, you can use X-Disk (http://www.x-disk.com/) instead. As of now (version 1.01), it comes with no documentation, but if you read Slayer's documentation all will make sense. You can also manually install dashboards (Evolution X, Avalaunch, MediaXMenu, etc. are popular choices). For the newbie, just go with Evolution X and explore others later.
  • Install dashboard and software. Again, use the Slayer's documentation, and follow it step-by-step. Understand it. This will guide you through software installations no matter what path you follow.
  • Explore! Now you can use your software, FTP files back and forth, explore new dashboards, edit their INI files, etc. If you used an autoinstaller CD, learn where it copied the files, look at the INI or XML files, and get a feel for how everything was put together. Then it's easy to add or upgrade software.
Let me know what else needs to be included in this list (while not making it too long), and I'll edit this post to include updates.

Edited by sauroneru, 23 February 2004 - 12:59 AM.

#2 g352nv


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Posted 30 December 2005 - 08:15 PM

Thanks this helps a lot.

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