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Xbox Backup Troubleshooting (Game and Movie)


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#1 chefelf

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 05:44 PM

Xbox Backup Troubleshooting (Game & Movie)

Table of Contents

Guide 1: Game Backup/Freeze Problems [link]
A guide that explains the different reasons why game backups (and originals) freeze or reboot to the Dashboard and how to get rid of the problem.

Guide 2: Dirty Disk Errors [link]
A technical explanation of the reasons why Dirty Disk Errors (or DDEs) occur both on the Xbox Hard Drive and off of original and backed up discs. Here you will read why the errors occur and how to fix them.

Guide 3: Game-Specific Patches and Fixes [link]
A look at game backups that can't be fixed using the methods in the previous two tutorials. Games that require additional tweaking, fixes, hex edits or patches to backup properly.

Guide 4: Xbox DVD Movie Backups [link]
A general guide to backing up and playing movies on your Xbox hard drive including some helpful links and a brief FAQ.

---

Thanks to everyone who helped make these guides possible. More guides will come as needed. These threads are closed to avoid people posting game specific problems. Please PM me if you have any suggestions or anything to add to any of these guides.

EDIT: 08-30-05 1.) Added Guide 3: Game Specific Patches & Fixes. 2.) Changed topic title. 3.) Added direct links to individual guides. 4.) Added Xbox Movie Backup Guide.

Edited by xboxgamer733, 06 April 2007 - 06:16 AM.


#2 chefelf

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 05:46 PM

Guide 1
Game Backup/Freeze Problems
How to Fix 90% of Game Backup Problems

Every week when new games are released the Backup Forums (and Newbie Chat) are inundated with posts saying "Such and Such game locks up! What do I do?" A huge number of posts on the main page of the Backup Forum are about how someone is having a problems backing up a specific game (i.e. KOTOR, GTA, Crimson Skies, etc.).

These problems are hardly ever game specific. There are only a few games that have specific problems. For the most part game freezes happen for the same reasons on every game.

Follow these steps (one or more of them could be causing the problem) and chances are your game backup will play perfectly.

1.) Turn off IGR (Evolution X)

Problem:
The IGR in Evolution X has been known to have issues with some setups. Turning it off and using an IGR in your BIOS will alleviate any potential problems with games locking up on the "loading" screen.

Solution:
IGR (or In Game Reset) is toggled on/off through your evox.ini. It resides in three separate places: [Misc], [FTP] and [RDTOOLS]. Make sure each instance of IGR in the evox.ini file looks like the following:

CODE
IGR  = No


You can either do this in Evolution X through System Utilities/Settings (remember to save and exit) or by editing your evox.ini file and uploading it to your Xbox via FTP.

2.) Patch the Game

Problem:
A media check (read: copy protection) in newer games causes the game to lockup during loading. This usually occurs later than an IGR game freeze. All games released after February 2003 contain this media checks and it has several variations. The media check has been put in place so that the Xbox can verify that the game disc is a legitimate copy.

Solution:
The game can be patched any number of ways.

Backup to DVD (PC)
You can use a patching program such as Craxtion, Qwix or ADR Patcher. These programs are designed to go through the XBE files on your computer and actually patch them to remove the media checks.

Backup to Hard Drive (Xbox)
There are programs that will auto patch games while backing them up to the hard drive. These programs include dvd2xbox and Px-HDD Loader.

BIOS Upgrade
Newer BIOS versions (Xecutor 4977 or later, Evox M7 or later) can auto patch games on the fly. This allows you to play backed up games on your modded Xbox even if they contain the media check.

3.) Set Your System Clock

Problem:
Games tend to freeze during game play. This will often happen when games are auto saving and run into errors (i.e. the Xbox reporting a date of 11-15-2001).

Solution:
Set your system clock through MS Dashboard/settings. If you leave your Xbox unplugged for 4 hours or longer the clock will need to be reset when you boot it back up.

4.) Clear Your Cache

Problem:
When you load games, the loads are temporarily stored in "cache" to speed up load times. This works on the same principle as web browsing. HTML files and images are temporarily stored in a cache or temporary directory so that the sites you visit the most often don't have to load the same graphics and text again and again, increasing the speed of your web browsing. Games do the same thing so that your load times speed up.

Occasionally these cache files will get corrupted or will not erase properly. This and causes a game to freeze or not load properly.

Solution:
Delete your cache files. The following directories can be emptied (delete all the files inside, not the directories themselves).

CODE

E:\\CACHE
X:\\
Y:\\
Z:\\


5.) Game Specific Patches

Problem:
Some games have long file names that work fine with the DVD file structure but don't work on the Xbox hard drive's "Fat-X" file system. There are only a few games that have this problem (most notably: Enter the Matrix).

Solution:
In order to run these games on the Xbox hard drive, the filenames have to be changed and the game has to be patched to look for the new, shorter, file names.

6.) Delete Save Game Files (Last Resort)

Problem:
A corrupted save game file makes it impossible for a game to launch properly or the game freezes when trying to load a game.

Solution:
Delete the save game files for that game. Obviously this is a last resort because no one wants to lose all the progress they've made in a given game. Your game saves are located in the following directories:

CODE

E:\\TDATA
E:\\UDATA


These directories are pretty hard to decipher on their own. You would be best served to download XBox-Saves Manager. This program, if you are not familiar with it, will FTP into your Xbox and allow you to read the save game files to see what games they represent. You can then delete the offending file from the game giving you trouble.

*Make sure to make a backup of any data on your Xbox before you try removing any files. Not only could you use a save game file but you could possibly delete important system files and prevent your Xbox from functioning properly. With your C and E drive backed up you should be able to safely remove save game files.*

-------

To the best of my knowledge those are the causes of and solutions to the majority of game freezing and backup problems. I am by no means an expert but hopefully this will serve as a useful guide to those of you having problems.

If anyone has anything to add to this list (or sees anything wrong with my technical explanations of the problems) please PM me and I will change it to keep this guide up to date. As I said, I'm not an expert so my technical explanations could be flawed or just plain wrong. That doesn't change the fact that the solutions to these problems are the same and usually solve the problems.

I may not be an expert but my game backups never freeze so that's got to count for something. wink.gif

EDIT: 12-05-03 Changed information on HDD backup programs. Thanks Xeero!
EDIT: 12-30-03 Added information about game specific patching. Thanks Mr Ed!

#3 chefelf

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 05:47 PM

Guide 2
Dirty Disk Errors Explained
How they Happen and How to Fix Them

I've noticed an increasing number of posts regarding the Dirty Disk Error (or DDE). I thought I'd write a brief description of why they happen and how to fix them.

A lot of people suspect that they need a patch or it is a new form of copy protection but the plain truth is that it is basically one thing that causes this: the Xbox cannot properly read a file. There are a number of ways that this could happen.

Here are the main reasons that a DDE will occur. I've noted after the reasons whether they affect the DVD (DVD), HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or both.

1.) The Obvious Reason: A Damaged Disc. (DVD)

Problem:
A scratch or blemish on the disc causes it to be unreadable.

Solution:
Sometimes simply wiping the disc down can make the disc become unreadable. If the disc is damaged beyond repair (deep scratch or chip) then there isn't much you can do. You can try contacting the manufacturer. Some manufacturers will exchange scratched discs for new one. If the game/movie is brand new you should be able to exchange it for the identical disc at the place of purchase, depending on store policy.


2.) A File is Missing or Corrupted (DVD/HDD)

Problem:
This can happen if a file fails to transfer properly via FTP, or copy to the HDD properly.

Solution:
  • Check your FTP log after you transfer and make sure that all the files transferred properly. If files fail to transfer it could be one of two reasons:
    • The disc is scratched or dirty (see problem #1).
    • The file has a long filename and cannot be written to the HDD's Fat-X file system which will only accept 42 character long file names.
    • You ran out of HDD space during the backup.
  • The filemanager you used to backup the game missed a file. This can be caused for thre reasons:
    • The disc is scratched or dirty (see problem #1).
    • The file has a long filename and cannot be written to the HDD's Fat-X file system which will only accept 42 character long file names.
    • The filemanager you use skips files when it encounters errors rather than alerting you. I would suggest using a good, reliable filemanager. IMHO the best backup tool/filemanager by far is WiSo's dvd2xbox. Make sure you're using the latest version. He comes out with new releases very frequently.
    • You ran out of HDD space during the backup.
3.) Bad ISO Image (DVD)

Problem:
The ISO you have created is not a valid Xbox ISO file.

Solution:
Use a proven reliable ISO maker (i.e. Craxtion, Qwix or SimpleX). DO NOT USE xISO. Want to know why? Read this.




4.) Faulty DVD Drive (DVD)

Problem:
The DVD drive in your Xbox is no longer reading games properly.

Solution:
Some drives (particularly the v1.0 Thomsons series) can reach a point where they have trouble reading discs (retail or backup). This, of course, isn't a problem exclusive to Thomson drives. Any drive can stop functioning properly at any time but the Thomsons have the reputation as the drive that causes the most problems.

Here are a couple of solutions to this:
  • There are ways to tweak the DVD drive to make it do a better job of reading discs. It can be a risky proposition as you could do further damage to your DVD drive in the process. It is also possible that this will only work as a temporary solution. To find out more about "pot tweaking", click here, here, and here.
  • Getting a new DVD drive. This can be costly but is probably the most effective way to fix the problem. Sadly it often isn't too much less expensive than buying a new Xbox. You can order replacement drives here or here amongst other places.
Not sure which DVD drive you have? Look here.

5.) Faulty Hard Drive (HDD)

Problem:
The Xbox HDD has failed and can no longer access data properly. This is not common but it does happen.

Solution:
Sorry to say but just about the only fix is to get a new hard drive. It's a good idea to stay in the habit of backing up your Xbox HDD data data frequently just like you would on your computer. The most imporant directories are C (system files) and E (save game data). You wouldn't want to have to play those first four levels of Aquaman all over again, would you?

-------

To the best of my knowledge these are the main reasons for dirty disk errors. If anyone has anything to add to this list (or sees anything wrong with my technical explanations of the problems) please PM me and I will change it to keep this guide up to date.

Thanks to sulfur for additional information from a previous post on DDEs.

EDIT: 07-27-04 fixed link to xISO article. Thanks shootn3zzintulsa!

Edited by chefelf, 28 July 2004 - 01:28 AM.


#4 chefelf

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 09:03 PM

Guide 3
Game-Specific Patches and Fixes
How to Fix Problems With Specific Xbox Games With Fixes, Patches, Etc.

If none of the methods listed about have worked then it is possible that there is something about a particular game that is causing it not to work. In that case, I have compiled a list of the specific games which have been known to cause issues that cannot be solved by the normal backup/freeze methods.

The purpose of this tutorial is to address those games that cannot be fixed by ordinary backup problem methods (i.e. clearing cache, deleting saves, etc.). This is an attempt to list the games which require specific fixes/patches:

** All games are NTSC unless otherwise noted. **

007: Everything or Nothing [NTSC & PAL]
Problem: Game freezes when played from HDD. Cannot be fixed by normal methods listed above.
Solution: The XBE files require a special patch. Process the ACL when backing up with dvd2xbox using the appropriate ACL files. The Game ID is: 45410042.
Fixed by: WiSo
Link to Fix (NTSC) | Link to Fix (PAL)

Fable
Problem: Game does not work from DVD when backed up with Craxtion 4.
Solution: Use Craxtion 3 or Qwix to back up game.
Fixed by: I dunno. Me?

Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball
Problem: Game freezes when played from Xbox HDD.
Solution: A patched XBE is necessary to fix this problem. You cannot request it here.
Fixed by: ??? (More info...)

Halo 2
Problem: Won't fit onto a DVD-R
Solution: Delete files.
Fixed by: lordvader129
Link to Fix

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Fix in development
Problem: Game freezes at specific point when run from the HDD (long filename issue).
Solution: None yet...
Fixed by: No one yet.
Link to Discussion

Incredible Hulk ultimate Destruction
Problem: HDD Fix
Solution: PPF patch.
Fixed by: Angerwound
Link to Fix

I-Ninja
Problem: Game freezes/locks up at specific point.
Solution: Update BIOS/Change Region
Fixed by: mkjones
Link to Fix

Jade Empire
Problem: Game is too large to backup on DVD5.
Solution: Several: Downsampling and deleting certain files.
Fixed by: Nailz (Downsampling Method)
Link to Fix (Downsampling)
* It is also possible to remove certain videos to make the game small enough. Find out which character you are going to be and then remove all the videos that relate to the other characters. *

Leisure Suit Larry
Problem: Game does not work properly from HDD.
Solution: ACL fix for dvd2xbox.
Fixed by: AgentEB
Link to Fix

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance
Problem: Game is too big to fit on one DVD.
Solution: A simple tool that splits the game to two discs.
Fixed by: ???
Link to Fix

NFL 2k5
Problem: Game is too big to fit on one DVD.
Solution: Removal of certain files.
Fixed by: [Sonix]
Link to Fix

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Problem: Game freezes at a specific point when playing off HDD.
Solution: Simple INI edit. A few other methods as well.
Fixed by: Chefelf
Link to Fix

Worms 3D [PAL]
Problem: Game will not start from NTSC Xbox HDD.
Solution: Hex edit default.xbe file.
Fixed by: Yoritomo
Link to Fix

-------

This is an attempt to start a complete list of the game-specific problems and link to areas on how to fix these problems with specific games. If you know of a game with a specific problem and the fix, PM me and I'll consider adding it to the list. ** Please do not PM me with games that can easily be fixed using the normal methods **

EDIT: 08-31-05: Added Jade Empire Backup to DVD5 info and 007:EON ACL fix.
EDIT: 10-21-05: Added Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball information.

Edited by chefelf, 21 October 2005 - 06:22 PM.


#5 chefelf

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 09:20 PM

Guide 4
Xbox DVD Movie Backups
FAQ and helpful links

This forum is intended for helping people to backup their Xbox games. Still, we get a lot of posts regarding DVD movies. While we don't want movie-related backup discussed in this forum we would like to provide the following helpful links for backing up your DVD movies.

Xbox DVD Movie Backup FAQ

Can I backup my DVD movies to my Xbox HDD?
Yes. However, you cannot currently have full menu functionality off the Xbox HDD, you can only play the VOB files individually (or "stacked" using XBMC).

What program should I use to play my backed up DVDs?
You can use the MS Dashboard to play any burned DVD if you have the DVD dongle kit. You can use dvdx 2 to play a burned disc if you don't have the dongle kit. You can use Xbox Media Center (XBMC) either way. Information on all three programs can be foundo n this site.

How do I back up DVDs to my Xbox HDD?
You use a program called dvd2xbox by WiSo. This program works for movies and games. Please read the dvd2xbox Video Ripping Information guide for more information.

Can I access DVD menus from my Xbox HDD?
No. Unfortunately this is not possible at the moment though many people are working to try to make this a possibility in the future.

How can I use my Xbox to play backed up movies or video files from my PC?
Use XBMC, the best video tool for the Xbox.

How to I use Xbox Media Center (XBMC)?
Read the pinned topic, Xbox Media Center General Information, to answer your questions.

Helpful Links

Doom9.net - The Definitive DVD Backup Resource
Daily updated news on the latest DVD/Video tools and software for your PC. Helpful tutorials, guides, FAQs and active support forums. Arguably the best DVD/Video site on the net.

cdfreaks.com - world's largest CD/DVD community
News, guides, tutorials and forums. Tons of information and support for your software and hardware needs. Another great audio/video backup resource, arguably one of the best.


Free Recommended Tools

Xbox Tools

dvd2xbox
This app will allow you to copy DVD movies (and games, of course) to your Xbox's hard drive. This just rips and decodes the raw files (i.e. IFO, VOB files). You will need a media player such as XBMC to play those ripped files.

Xbox Media Center
XboxMediaCenter is a free and open source multimedia player for the Xbox from MS. Currently XboxMediaCenter can be used to play/view most popular video/audio/picture formats such as MPEG-1/2/4, DivX, XviD, MP3, AAC, JPG, GIF plus many more less known formats directly from a CD/DVD in Xbox DVD-ROM drive or of the Xbox harddrive, XBMC can also play files from a PC over a local network and even stream media streams directly from the internet. XBMC has playlist and slideshow functions, a weather forecast and many audio visualizations. All these features enable the Xbox running XboxMediaCenter to fully function as a multimedia jukebox. XBMC is easy to use, it's convenient, flexible and offers great price/performance ratio. (This, The XboxMediaCenter Project is also known as "Xbox Media Center" or simply "XBMC"). Note! XBMC is a hobby project that is only developed by volunteers in their spare-time for free. (Remember that XboxMediaCenter does require a modded Xbox to run on or it will not function).

PC Tools

DVDShrink
DVD Shrink is software to backup DVD discs. You can use this software in conjunction with DVD burning software of your choice, to make a backup copy of any DVD video disc. The output from DVD Shrink can be saved as files on your hard drive, which you can then burn with software of your choice. [See doom9's DVD Shrink Guide for in depth details].

DVD Decrypter
DVD Decrypter is a free tool that allows you to decrypt and copy DVDs to your PC's hard disk. From there you can watch them with the likes of WinDVD and PowerDVD, you can write them back to DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW / DVD+R DL / DVD-RAM media or you can convert them to VCD / SVCD / DivX for burning onto CD-R / CD-RW.

DoItFast4U
DoItFast4U is a slightly more advanced tool which allows the user greater flexibility when it comes to demuxing your DVDs.

Do you have anything you think I should add to this guide? If so, PM me and I'll consider including it.

EDIT: 03-29-05: Typos. wink.gif
EDIT: 08-30-05: Added some information. Added guide to overall Xbox Troubleshooting Guide.


Edited by chefelf, 30 August 2005 - 09:33 PM.





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