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The Art Of Hotswapping


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#1 DaddyJ

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 06:24 AM

HOTSWAPPING FAQS
Hot swapping is the act of allowing the xbox to unlock the hard drive, so that you can gain access to it, by connecting it to a PC or Another Xbox. It involves removing the IDE ribbon from the Drive, while it is power on.

Do you need to have the EEPROM.bin or HD locking key?
NO, this is basically the reasoning for hotswapping. You are allowing the Xbox to unlock the hard drive for you, and then swapping the cable, so it will not lock until a reboot signal is received or power is lost.

When is the drive unlocked?
The Xbox HD DOES NOT unlock when your xbox boots into an error 6 or 7. The drive is usually unlocked for a short period on Xbox Errors 11, 12, 13, 16, & error 21, but Errors 11 & 12 are the preferable errors to do the hotswap. It is also unlocked inside the m$ dash, and also during gameplay.

What programs are available to hotswap into?
Ldots's XboxHDM v1.9
is the only program you should use. Windows based program just DONT have the support for what you are doing. One reason for this is Windows doesnt support this.
**There are a few issues that need to be discussed before we start**

1. Is Hot-Swapping Safe? No , according to ANSI Standards , IDE was not designed to allow for the disconnection of then supply ribbon interface while the ribbon is 'HOT'. Some dangers thats could arise during this action.

a. Electrical grounding backflow, this cannot be avoided, but can be decreased by running a ground strap or using the PC's power connector. This could physcially make the drive fail, or worse fry your motherboard.

b. Hard Disk Drive Shock, obviously you cannot avoid shaking the drive while you are removing the cable, this is also why we loosen the cable first, but you might be able to avoid shaking it as much if you understand the internals of the drive, think of it as a record player, but spinning at 5400+ RPMs (car engines usually run @ 2500), and theres a needle reading from it, the records are like glass, and one quick jolt, and its a scratch on the disk or worse a head crash. Becareful.


2. Grounding issues. The xbox uses a floating ground. Which means, since the top case if off, there is a hole in the grounding. There are 2 ways to eliminate this issue.

a. Is to run a grounding strap between the PC chassis, and the Xbox Metal.
b. Is to use the PC Power supply for the Power feed to the Xbox Hard Drive.


3. Since you are working with operational Electrical components, make sure you are fully grounded, make sure you have no built up static electricity.(touch something metal before starting.)

4. Repeated attempts of hotswapping, can lead to Hardware failure, Please only do this as a last resort.

5. There is NO garentee that this will work for you, it is an ART, and must be practiced to get right sometimes. The ways posted here have worked for me & countless others.
Be advised, you follow this under your own trust-worthyness, if you dont feel comfortable, dont do it.

YOU READY?

Start by Downloading the program you will be using, XboxHDM is highly recommended, but you can use your choice of software. This guide uses XboxHDM thou, so follow as best you can. Read about XboxHDM here!
** XboxHDM is a LINUX Distro. LINUX is CASE-Sensitive, so when you are prompted to type 'yes' or 'no' Please type yes or no, not y or n... This is very important, and will save you some headaches, and some flamers.

Also download your Exploit you will be using, this Tut uses UXE
as it is the latest exploit available.
UXE Complete v0.2.x is available at the usual spots, and is great for using with this tutorial. *** Please read & setup UXE complete according to its readme file. Check post #242 for my help with setting it up also.

PC Prep

Extract XboxHDM, you can take a look at it after you extract it, Everything we will be dealing with is in the LINUX folder.

Notice the C E & EEPROM Folders, We dont have an EEPROM yet, so ignore that.

Setup UXE-Complete , and place the file in the LINUX C & E folder respectively.
Go back into the folder where you saw LINUX, and in there is a .BAT file called make-win-iso.bat, just double click it, and a DOS box will show up for a few seconds. Then it will disappear, and a LINUX.ISO will be created.

This is a bootable CD image, and you can burn this using any burning software that supports RAW writing mode. (If your software gives you the option to burn an image, then choose that).
After that, reboot with the CD in Your First CDROM drive, (It can be a CDROM/CDRW/DVDROM/DVDRW, anything that can boot the cd you made).

Did the CD Boot? If yes, everything is well. If Not, then you either didnt write the cd correctly, or your PC BIOS is not set to boot from the CD, Correct this and try again, Proceed when you successfully booted from the CD. (There are too many PC BIOS's out there to describe how to set each one, Try visiting your MotherBoard Manufactors homepage to set this up.) Or look for a program called 'Smart Boot Manager'.

A Few words of advice.
I always hear the best time to hook your XboxHD into your PC is at the POST screen, and hit pause,
IMO this entirly false, and the reason being is that this is one reason for security freezing. I Always wait until the XboxHDM main screen comes up to hookup the hard drive, this often will avoid conflicts with the PC BIOS, as it will find no hard drive, and not interfer with XboxHDM's access to the drive. You have 300 seconds to make the swap, if this is not enough time, I show you how to increase the default boot time in the next post (scroll down).

Xbox Prep

Ok so remove the xbox top (using the 6 Torx screws on the bottom) and set this as close to the pc you can get it. ATTENSION The Xbox must have the Video Molex connector connected to the xbox to unlock the hard drive, IT HOWEVER doesnt need to be hooked to the TV, just the xbox.

OK, the most successful method to get the xbox to unlock the HD is to unplug the XBOX DVDROM IDE cable. Leave the Yellow/White cable hooked to the DVDROM, and leave the XBOX IDE hooked to the XBOX HD (loosely as it is usually tight, and difficult to remove, you are working against time, so you need to be quick)
**Again, the XBOX IDE Ribbon should be connected to the Xbox MotherBoard & Xbox HD Only.
**You should recieve an Error 11 or 12, if you recieve an Error 7 then your IDE ribbon is too loose, and the hd will never get unlocked with an error 5, 6, or 7.

**If you are doing a hotswap in BLIND mode (No tv hooked), then I found in my experience, that if your using the Error 12 method, that you should disconnect the Xbox HD IDE at the exact moment that the LED goes to RED Flashing. (By EXACT, I mean pull the cable out exactly when the LED changes, watch it a few times before doing it, count!)
I have never had any problems hotswapping at this exact moment.


You can also hook you PC Power connector to the Xbox hd at this time. This will spin the HD up ahead of time and get you to the XboxHDM screen.

It is recommended to SEE the xbox boot, but it isnt required.

Lets Do IT

Ok boot the PC before the Xbox or at the same time, the xbox takes around 8 seconds to reach the part where the White M$ logo appears at the bottom of the screen, at this point the HD will click a few times, At this exact point, swap the XBOX IDE cable, with the PC IDE cable. (the PC Primary IDE cable, is the Last connector on IDE Channel 0, which is usually connected to your PC's HD, so this will need to be disconnnected ahead of time.)

If you are using the PC power connector, then it is safe to turn the xbox off, if not leave it on till were done.

Boot into Option 2 on the XboxHDM CD. (Option 1 & 2 are the exactly the same, except for graphic modes, Option 1 uses graphic mode, Option 2 uses Text mode)

The XboxHDM will whine about not being able to read the hard drive partitions, this is normal, and then you will be brought to a prompt.

Backup your C before you install the exploit

This will be done using XBROWSER, so go ahead and fire it up by typing
xbrowser
at the prompt.

From there, hit TAB to access the xbox hard drive, and hit the DOWN ARROW to highlight /E, then hit ENTER.

Hit F7 to create a new DIR on E , name it ORIG_BACKUP. Then hit TAB to return to the CD side of xbrowser.

Now highlight the /.. and hit ENTER. Hit the DOWN ARROW until the /PriMas is highlighted then hit ENTER.

Highlight the /C and hit F5, this will bring up the copy dialog, just hit ENTER to begin the transfer. This will backup the complete XBOX C into the folder E:\ORIG_BACKUP\C.

Now hit F10 to drop you back to the prompt.

Install the Exploit

You have a few options here, but we are only concerned with typing
xboxhd
This is a excellent script that Ldots has written for us, and it will bring up a nice little menu.

Install Exploit 1 (Already Partitioned HD)
We are only concerned with Option 2 {Rebuild C Partition} ***(WARNING, this will delete everything on the C partition, Make sure you backup or C)***

This formats the C, and then copies the contents of CDROM\C into PriMas\C, (when prompted type yes )and then drop you back to the menu
Exit the menu, and fire up xbrowser, on the left side point to CDROM\E\ROOT in the right side point to PriMas\E, then F5 to copy the ROOT folder.
F10 to exit. (proceed to Resume section.)

Install Exploit 2 (Un-Partition HD *Needs EEPROM *Requires Locking)
All you need to run is Option 1 and it will wipe the complete drive, partition & format the drive, and then copy the CDROM\C & CDROM\E to PriMas\C & PriMas\E (when prompted type yes ). Then drop to the menu again.

Resume
After it is finished, your xbox hd will be ready, so hit Option 8 to drop back to the prompt and type
poweroff

the computer will shutdown, and the HD will automatically be re-locked. Hook your xbox back up properly, leave the top cover off (just in case).

Did it work?

If everything went correctly, you'll boot the expoit, and then the first thing you should do is run Evox's BACKUP function in SETTINGS, and this will create a BACKUP folder on the Xbox in the Same folder as the Evox XBE file.
Get the EEPROM

FTP in and grab this folder. In it, is the EEPROM.BIN.

Re-burn the CD with the eeprom

Now you can re-create the XboxHDM CD with the your current C, E & EEPROM folders. This will become your restore cd, or you can use it to upgrade/restore your hd.

Some other Tips
QUOTE
People with a 1.5 or 1.6 who are having problems hotswapping:

- put an audio cd in the xbox
- copy one track to the hd
- play the track from the HD, let play for a few seconds
- pause the song
- you HDD is now ready for hotswap!

- BTW: the button sequence for starting a soundtrack without seeing it on-screen is: A + DOWN + A + A + A(play)..wait...A(pause)


Also see Posts #5, #9 & #242 for more information.

Edited by DaddyJ, 08 June 2006 - 08:10 PM.


#2 krayzie

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 08:12 AM

Looks very acurate. This can be helpfull to many people.

#3 triggernum5

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 12:11 PM

Yo DaddyJ, you can't be honest with noobs.. When they ask if there is any other software that can do this for them, the correct answer to give them is: "No xboxhdm 1.9 is the only software ever written for this task..smile.gif ".. Then cut them off quick when they start mumbling about hdd driver..smile.gif
Couple of things about hotswapping that 'I think' I know:
-Loosening the cable to the xbox hdd before beginning is awesome advice.. I loosen mine to the point where it will fall off if I let go of it..
If the no-dvd trick doesn't work: You can hotswap with the hdd unlocked from any dash/game.. Just avoid doing it if any serious data transfers are occuring..
If the no-dvd trick doesn't work, no dash will boot, and no games will load:
-As the xbox boots, the hdd is briefly unlocked right about the time the XBOX test appears under the X-Logo. The hdd will stay unlocked until a split second after the MS text appears.. (Assuming the MS text is ever going to appear. The appearance of the MS text indicates that any xboxdash.xbe was found..)
Wierd Shit: Should your xbox display the X-Logo on the screen but not the XBOX text below, then jump straight to an error such as 13/16/21, AFAIK the kernel is reporting an error 6 incorrectly. (Error 6 sucks ass btw)

#4 adil786

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 12:20 PM

looks good, yet another great tut made by the xcellent members of the xbe community.

cheers, lets have a beer now beerchug.gif

#5 DaddyJ

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 06:40 PM

XboxHDM & Misc Tips can be found here!

1. How to increase the time XboxHDM sits at the main menu, this would give you more time to swap, and not have to fool with your PC BIOS, and hitting pause and all that good junk.

Once you have extracted the XboxHDM contents, browse thru the folders and look into this folder '\linux\isolinux' folder for a file named 'isolinux.cfg'
Open this file with Notepad or Wordpad. Look for this line
'timeout 300' 300/60 = 5min (Thats a long time, but it goes quick wink.gif )
change it to something like
'timeout 600' 600/60 = 10min (there ya go, doubled the amount of time you get)

Save the file, and re-create the linux.iso file.

XboxHDM Packages
I always like doing things manually, but sometimes that isnt always an option, especially when hotswapping. So I use UXE-Complete v0.2.x , this is a great package, and only takes a little pc prep, before we place it on the cd.

Edited by DaddyJ, 04 March 2005 - 02:59 PM.


#6 triggernum5

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 12:17 AM

I forgot to comment on the quality of your tutorial.. Yet another great compilation of info for noobs to ignore..smile.gif


#7 DaddyJ

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 12:48 AM

QUOTE(triggernum5 @ Dec 31 2004, 06:48 PM)
Yet another great compilation of info for noobs to ignore..smile.gif

View Post


Completely wink.gif


#8 krayzie

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 02:08 PM

QUOTE(triggernum5 @ Jan 1 2005, 12:48 AM)
Yet another great compilation of info for noobs to ignore..smile.gif

View Post



sigh.... If only I could say you were wrong.


#9 DaddyJ

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 09:26 PM

Adding a gamesave, thru hotswapping

So you dont have a memory card, or dont feel like cutting your controller card to make a home-made action replay, but you have an exploitable game, and would like to use the gamesave?

Well this is a enhancement on my hotswapping tut above, and uses XboxHDM to get the job done. So read along if you want to know how to do it.

Get your gamesave
Most gamesaves come in a ZIP format, and in the archive either contain a UDATA folder or just the {titleID} folder.
For this method, we are only concerned with the {titleID} folder, in this example I will be using 007:AuF which its titleID is 4541000d.

So download the save, and extract the gamesave so you have just the {titleID} folder.
(Example = c:\4541000d is the folder I am after)

Now that you have this folder.

Place it on the XboxHDM CD
(By now, you should realize, when modding your xbox, its worth the $2 bucks to buy a CD-RW disk, so that you can keep re-writing the new linux.iso to it.)

Anyways, place that folder into the XboxHDM's E Folder, and re-create the iso.

XBROWSER is your friend
I was surprised to learn, people fear xbrowser, but there is nothing to fear. It does all the work for you, when you first start xbrowser, it will automatically look for the xbox hd, and it will mount it, and the CD.

Xbrowser is a basic ASCII GUI to alot of linux commands, We are only concerned with the ARROW KEYS, TAB, F5, and the ENTER key.

What to look for
When xbrowser starts, the CD contents will be listed in the LEFT pane, and the Xbox HD will be listed in the RIGHT pane.
TAB switches between the 2 panes, so go ahead and hit TAB to highlight the XBOX HD, then hit the DOWN ARROW KEY until the /E is highlighted, then hit ENTER.

If there is no UDATA folder, then you will need to create one by pressing F7 and then type UDATA and hitting ENTER. This will create the new folder, Go ahead and highlight it, and hit ENTER to navigate into this folder.

Now hit TAB to return to the CD, and navigate to where you placed the gamesave folder. (usually always E).

Highlight the gamesave folder, and hit F5 to copy it to the XboxHD, a confirmation dialog will appear, just hit ENTER to begin the transfer.

Great JOB

Once this is done, you have successfully transfered a gamesave via hotswap. Hope that clears some confusion about that, and if you have something to add, please add it.

**Word to the wise
XboxHDM is not without faults, when using xboxhdm to write to the E, it is know to corrupt the E partition, causing the retail kernal to see it as corrupt and therefor read-only. You can always avoid this, by booting your exploit, and FTPing into the E and backing it up to the PC, and then without powering down the box, Format the E, and FTP the E back onto the Xbox, this will fix any gamesave error that occured, and is also the reason for needing to delete the e:\cache folder.

Hotswapping a gamesave is only neccessary if you dont have a memory card, but own an exploitable game wink.gif

Edited by DaddyJ, 02 June 2005 - 09:53 PM.


#10 triggernum5

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 11:26 PM

Can't hurt to add all the exploitable gamesaves.. Never know what might save your ass some day.. Word of advice though, you should avoid playing/saving any games that you rely on for hdd access since they don't like it if other profiles are present in the game's {titleid} folder..

#11 DaddyJ

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 02:04 AM

QUOTE(triggernum5 @ Jan 1 2005, 05:57 PM)
Can't hurt to add all the exploitable gamesaves..  Never know what might save your ass some day..  Word of advice though, you should avoid playing/saving any games that you rely on for hdd access since they don't like it if other profiles are present in the game's {titleid} folder..

View Post



Great word of advice, thanks for the link in your sig. beerchug.gif

#12 DaddyJ

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 01:45 AM

I'll be updating with a few more practicle procedures soon.

Such as Xbox to Xbox Hotswapping, and a few other need to know basics.


#13 kizm0

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 05:37 AM

your tutorial probably broke peoples computers and xboxs or no1 attempted it , because if you were to copy the exploit onto the C folder on the disk and do a recompile option of the C: drive , then your whole C: drive wold be erased and the only thing that would be copied is the fonts folder rofl...and the exploit



you didint say that you should backup , another problem with this sucky tutorial ...


Edited by kizm0, 04 January 2005 - 05:39 AM.


#14 sony3d

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 07:15 AM

QUOTE(kizm0 @ Jan 4 2005, 06:08 AM)
your tutorial probably broke peoples computers and xboxs or no1 attempted it , because if you were to copy the exploit onto the C folder on the disk and do a recompile option of the C: drive , then your whole C: drive wold be erased and the only thing that would be copied is the fonts folder rofl...and the exploit
you didint say that you should backup , another problem with this sucky tutorial ...

View Post



You need to learn how to read.

#15 DaddyJ

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 12:09 PM

QUOTE(kizm0)
you didint say that you should backup


That is about the only thing you got right. But the M$ dash is so easy to regain, that a backup isnt really required.






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