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Get It Running Efficiently!


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#1 h8raid

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 08:46 AM

In one of my previous threads it was brought to my attention that the reason Windows will not run on the Xbox is because of the checks that are run by Windows. Thank you Scan-C for bringing this to my attention. I had suggested that a bios hack would be a solution, but this brings it's own problems because of the complexity of the code which would be required to get this going. We obviously cannot alter Windows to run because we do not have the source, so we must get the checks to pass and we should be home free, or at least past a major obstacle standing in our way. The problems as addressed by Scan-C in the previous thread are:

"There's no source code for Windows. It has to not address some areas of the ram because this locks up the Xbox, and it has to not scan the pci bus otherwise, lockup. These are the major problems with Windows. Another thing are the drivers, there are none. The people who have Windows running use it through Bochs or Linux with VMWare. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it will be hard and without source code you will need a way to readdress the ramparts and stop the pci buxs scan. It's exactly the part where I am with my FreeDOS port. I'm just lacking the programming skills, but I'm learning right now biggrin.gif at least FreeDOS is open source so I can rewrite it. A bios would be pretty complicated, but maybe load a program into memory that does this [forces the checks to pass] before the actual Windows bootloader kicks in. What I mean is some kind of a layer between hardware and Windows. I'm not experienced enough to write such code, but I think it should be possible."

To sum things up, I am proposing that if the proper code were loaded into memory to force the ram checks and pci bus scan to pass, as well as support the NTFS file structure, we should be at least one GIANT step forward in running Windows on our Xbox EFFICIENTLY. GreenGiant is working on a project for me that will allow remote HDD switching, you will be able to reconfigure settings such as button 1 will boot hard drive 1, bios bank 2, dvd drive 2, etc. through a program run on the Xbox. This will work by storing the settings to memory on either a SmartXX or Xenium chip. I do not know why it will work on those chips, but those were the examples he gave me when explaining how it works, but I do know it will require a modchip. This is relevant because it proves that it is possible to establish the "layer between hardware and Windows" explained by Scan-C. Further, this also proves that it will boot the information stored to memory before the Windows bootloader. That said, I am trying to gather other useful information that may either support, or prove this idea impossible, or to not be a feasible solution. ANY insight on this idea will help. We need to know things such as:

Do you think this will work? Why?/Why not?
Do you think this is a good idea? Why?/Why not?
Are there any conflicts you know of which will cause problems getting this to work?
Do you have the skills to get a start/help on this project?
Do you know anyone that has the necessary skills to get a start/help with this project?
Do you have any information that will help with the project?

Regards,
-H8raid

#2 Scan-C

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 05:33 PM

wow i almost forgot about this.
as is said we would need some kind of layer. i don't know enough about what windows is doing at boot time. if it erases everything stored in the ram our layer would also be deleted.
someone who knows what windows exactly does while it's loading?

for the ntfs filesystem... this won't be a problem. once the windows setup is running it can reformat the hdd to fat32 which cromwell supports. isn't ideal if you still want to be able to play xbox games laugh.gif but that's a problem you can think about when windows is at least booting up.

as for storing things on a mod... the smartxx and xenium have some kind of os and this let's you choose which drive to power over their spi bus with some additional hardware. at least that is what i think greengiatn trys to accomplish. this won't work for the needed layer tho...

Edited by Scan-C, 24 September 2004 - 09:24 PM.


#3 h8raid

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 10:15 PM

Thanks for the additional information. I realize that Windows will make the NTFS partition, what I was saying is that I do not know if the Xbox hardware will support the file structure, only questioning this because I know currently we have to have a FATX partition to use upgraded hard drives. As for being able to play games still, like you said this issue can be addressed later, it is already solved for me through the project GreenGiant is working on to allow remote HDD switching. I had not thought about Windows wiping our layer. Since what we would be doing is forcing it to send a response back telling Windows that the checks passed, wouldn't it be possible to write protect our layer, or just do the same thing with the wipe if this is what it does. What I mean is, not allow Windows to wipe the memory, then send a generated response back that it wiped successfully. This is of course assuming that Windows actually does wipe the memory entirely. Once we get our research, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, conflicts, comments, etc. together, we need to approach somebody with the skills necessary to at the very least get a start on the project. We have tried all the other possibilities with no luck or "real" progress besides a very poorly running Windows, it's time to do things right and get this project off the ground.

EDIT: Almost forgot this, if anybody knows of GOOD forums regarding Windows that would help us compile the information we need to know about the boot processes, please don't hesitate to post. If you are interested in helping gather information for the project so we can get things off the ground, PM me. Scan-C can I count you in? It seems like you are interested to see if this is the path to light or just another dead end. I am positive there is light at the end of this tunnel, we just have to generate the interest and have our facts together before attempting to make it happen!

Edited by h8raid, 24 September 2004 - 10:23 PM.


#4 Scan-C

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 11:09 PM

no one should bother with ntfs for now. fat32 is easier and already implemented in cromwell. would be nice but can be done later too.

yes count me in. i'm a linux fanatic but this is a challenge and it would be nice to get it going.

the thing about the boot process makes me think of a version we want to try. i think windows 2000 prof would be best here. isn't outdated but doesn't need as much resources as xp.

#5 h8raid

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 02:10 AM

UPDATE! Scan-C has done some work already gathering information about the boot processes and has done some analyzing of exactly what happens. I am attempting to contact Xantium to inform him of the project to hopefully get more people involved here. Come on coders, everybody has said running Windows on the Xbox smoothly would never happen. This is going to be a huge breakthrough and your chance to show your skills if you haven't already had the opportunity, get involved!

#6 fire2501

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 04:25 PM

alright, i think this is a great project being started here. First let me say i think we should work on embedded rather then xp.. because we can then code it ourself, and it doesn't take NEAR as many resources then even win95 to run.. and no extra services, just what we need.. only problem is that we would need experienced coders to code embedded to work properly..

if i can help in any way pm me.. ive been taking "coding class" at the UofC for a year and a half now and im not bad in the coding part but ive never coded xboxs before... wink.gif seriously.. great project and i really hope we can get windows running on the box in some way!

#7 Scan-C

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 08:53 AM

nice to have you on the project.

for embedded i already told h8raid that it would be illegal to release it without license. that was my main reason to pick 2000. it's up to date, can do anything that xp can and everyone can buy it. if we can develop some kind of bootloader which runs in cromwell everyone could download our code completely legal and install their copy of 2000.
on the other side xpe would be running at great speed and maybe we could leave out the pci bus scan (don't know for sure).
some kind of hard decision biggrin.gif

#8 fire2501

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 10:58 PM

so theres no way we can use embedded on the xbox legaly? because that would beet linux in a second if we got it working properly.. maybe we could bend the rules muhaha.gif never know.. but everything else is illegal for the xbox anywayz, but well have to see.

#9 Scan-C

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 03:04 PM

not really. everyone would have to get their own license. the same goes for 2000 or any other windows version but xpe is expensive compared to 2000. as for beating linux... i don't think so. xpe is fast but the memory management still sucks.

h8raid and i talked about xpe and 2000 pro. don't know if he already told you what we want to use but i think he wrote something like that.

#10 betaluva

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 01:17 AM

why not use a final beta version of win2000 or embedded, osbetaarchive.com have talked to MS and ms says its ok to download and install betas so long as no money is paid for the beta.

#11 Snout

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 12:49 PM

I have a copy of the windows 2000 source if needed comp.gif

#12 betaluva

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 11:24 PM

the source code that was leaked is for servicepack 1,it is not the source code for windows 2000.

#13 klik

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 05:03 PM

Chech this out.
http://msdn.MS.com/l...tml/ram_sdi.asp
Why don't make a XP Embedded image, put it in a xbe and ram boot it.


#14 fire2501

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 05:29 PM

thats what i was thinking!! wink.gif BY THE WAY! im taking a programming course at the university and theres a kid in my class thats 13 years old and hes a t.a for us and knows more then half the teachers in the university about programming.. Im trying to get him involved and he seems interested but hes never used an xbox before and knows nothing about them, but i think he could pick up quick, and get this thing rolling!

#15 h8raid

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 05:22 AM

Wow! I have been in classes all this week so have not checked the thread recently. Glad to see this project is generating interest, pm me with your credentials to get onboard with the team. Fire, definately keep trying to get that boy involved, haha, sounds like he would be an asset. If needbe, you could always show him around your xbox so he can get familiar with things, and we can get him on these forums so he can check things out and get to know how things work. There is a wealth of information on these boards, and really just reading up on the boards would help immensely. Klik, good idea, that is basically what we are attempting. What we are doing is establishing a layer between hardware and Windows to solve the problems that are causing the Xbox to lock up. I think it was already discussed earlier in this thread, so in a nutshell, Windows runs checks that cause the Xbox to crash. Our layer will stop these checks before they run and force a response back telling Windows that it passed. I am sure we are going to run into several other issues along the way, but this is a starting point. Also, I would like to make not to everybody that the "other project" mentioned on this board by the_devil73 about hacking a bios. I got a response from him after inquiring about their progress and informing them of this project. Funny stuff going on there, the guy is obviously full of shit and to my knowledge HAS NO PROGRESS, he told me they are on a 10 million dollar budget and paying coders. They also, told me they are a group of seniors and 3 willing teachers. The person who responded stated he is only 16. I don't know something about a team like that having a 10 million dollar budget just sounds like a load of shit, he refused to communicate anything feasible that they had progressed on, talking about such things as they are working on using sections of the 2000 source to build their own version of Xbox-Windows, codenamed XWindows. Lol! Come on, then telling about hacking a PC based bios to run windows on the Xbox :::cough::: bullshit :::cough::: Scan-C if you still have the PM that I forwarded to you, would you please post it in here for all to see, if you don't want to, just send it back to me and I will do it. Thanks.




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