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Why Canīt Microsoft Detect Ixtreme Firmware?


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#1 pedro_gaucho

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 05:13 PM

Iīm just wondering why canīt microsoft detect ixtreme firmware? itīs easy, for example microsoft could release a code that would check the firmware SIZE in the rom memory... ixtreme probably has a different size than the original firmware... so itīs a piece of cake... am I wrong with anything??

#2 caster420

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE(pedro_gaucho @ Jan 24 2008, 11:49 AM) View Post
ixtreme probably has a different size than the original firmware... so itīs a piece of cake... am I wrong with anything??




Yes, you are. The package that holds the firmware on the drive is a fixed size. The hacked firmware is the same size, 256kb, as the original.



Caster.





#3 aclark20

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 08:41 PM

QUOTE(pedro_gaucho @ Jan 24 2008, 08:49 AM) View Post

Iīm just wondering why canīt microsoft detect ixtreme firmware? itīs easy, for example microsoft could release a code that would check the firmware SIZE in the rom memory... ixtreme probably has a different size than the original firmware... so itīs a piece of cake... am I wrong with anything??


Could also be a physical xbox hardware limitation. Maybe they don't have built in hardware that can read the firmware. Think about it while your designing it, if its an extra part, and it's not really needed for anything forseeable, why include it?

Think about what it takes for us to read firmware... some drives need to be put into mode B, some need to be powered on / off correctly and read with a certain chipset...

Just a thought..

Edited by aclark20, 24 January 2008 - 08:47 PM.


#4 Bravo1

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:28 AM

I would say that having MS check firmware is not likely. If so I should have been banned a long time ago. I'm still running the Xtreme 4.2b on my MS25. I only modded it just to see if I could do it because it looked easy. And I can still connect to Xbox Live, get updates, download content and play online against others with all my store bought games. biggrin.gif

I still think it has to do with bad backup games that aren't stealth patched. Who knows? uhh.gif

#5 Nuvious

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 03:22 AM

**Disclaimer**
I'm a CS nerd and have a rough idea on why this hasn't been implemented, but feel free to correct points of my explanation.

Firmwares, in general are always a set size as they are often put on flash chips which, in order to complete flashing, must have every bit set in them. You can't just upload 124K of a 128K flash chip because it'll just sit there and wait for the other 4k to come through.

The way they would likely check for a spoofed firmware would be to read the whole flash file through a hashing algorithm and check to see if it matches the factory firmware. This is probably not implemented because you can't read the flash unless the drive is unmounted (when you flash a computer drive in windows, the drive is usually unmounted and disabled).

When you run mtkflash through dos boots, the drive hasn't been mounted as no drivers are loaded, which is why you can flash the drive. To implement something like this on the 360, a pre-dashboard program would have to be run to check the flash EVERY TIME, and would have to be written robustly enough so that if you shut down the xbox in the middle of a read that it didn't brick your system or produce an invalid hash to get you banned. The dashboard, since it is reading the discs, always has the drive mounted and the drive, initially to make them harder to flash, won't allow you to flash them while they are mounted (except maybe the newer hitachi drives).

Microsoft is limited to what few commands it can send to the firmware and, if these are properly spoofed, then the only way they could check the firmware is by reading it out. Since the firmwares are now spoofing these commands, it's next to near impossible to uncover a fake one.

Again, this is what I know from about 2 weeks of research, but I wanted to contribute to this post. Feel free to correct me on points I've made and I hope I helped answer your questions.

#6 cory1492

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 08:39 AM

I'd point out the obvious thing... if they made the drives easy enough for their kernel to read/write while still in the xbox, they'd also make it even more easy to reflash. Drives tend to need a special mode to update, probably to prevent the random data you'd send over the port when using the drive normally from toggling a inadvertent device/sector erase command from being issued to the flash chip.

Also, it's part of the price they paid (or saved) when choosing to use a semi-generic drive format instead of a custom one that is actually tied to the device it is in (see PS2 for an example). Cheaper to make, but out of the/external to the strong security loop that is found in the 360's system software because the controller for the drive is basically an external processor to the system.

Edited by cory1492, 25 January 2008 - 08:41 AM.


#7 bozza69

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:54 AM

QUOTE(pedro_gaucho @ Jan 25 2008, 03:49 AM) View Post

check the firmware SIZE in the rom memory... ixtreme probably has a different size than the original firmware... so itīs a piece of cake... am I wrong with anything??



lol u know what else is a piece of cake:
right click on orig.bin > properties
then
right click on ixtremXX.bin > properties

and compare filesize?

=P





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