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XBPartitioner Version 1.1


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#31 xboxgamer733

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:55 AM

QUOTE(hoof_hearted @ Jul 5 2008, 08:22 PM) View Post
How do you download from there?
Just use this.


#32 hoof_hearted

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 03:15 AM

Much appreciated. Got it on my xbox. Any idea what would cause it to "not work". What I mean is that when I launch it, it shows the screen, but won't let me do anything. When I press A, it does not cycle through. When I press start, it tells me to press Y, but does not format. BTW, this is a softmod. I had it do this last month, and the way I got around it, is by sticking the HD, back in the PC, and doing a "prepare from scratch". THis allowed me to format one big F drive and even cycle with the A button to see all the other options. Is is a once-use only thing?

#33 MrFish

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:43 AM

QUOTE(hoof_hearted @ Jul 6 2008, 03:51 AM) View Post

Much appreciated. Got it on my xbox. Any idea what would cause it to "not work". What I mean is that when I launch it, it shows the screen, but won't let me do anything. When I press A, it does not cycle through. When I press start, it tells me to press Y, but does not format. BTW, this is a softmod. I had it do this last month, and the way I got around it, is by sticking the HD, back in the PC, and doing a "prepare from scratch". THis allowed me to format one big F drive and even cycle with the A button to see all the other options. Is is a once-use only thing?

At the risk of asking the insultingly obvious, it isn't, by any chance, asking you to 'press y', because 'Custom partitions will not work with this BIOS'?

If not, perhaps using black to delete the partition table, (and maybe restarting xbpartitioner)? Write it down on paper first, so's you can restore it.

#34 ldotsfan

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 12:58 PM

QUOTE(MrFish @ Jul 6 2008, 02:06 AM) View Post

Because the FATX driver is the only thing that sees any changes, you don't need to make any changes to anything at a higher level than it: the only thing you have to do is modify the partition table, and format the partitions. No changes are needed in userland, barring obvious things like not trying to use space you don't have.

And you don't even need to hack any BIOS: the work's already been done. Just flash an LBA48v2 BIOS, fire up XBpartitioner, make partition 2 500MB, partition 1 250MB, and partitions 3-5 50MB each. Reboot, format, job done.

Even in the highly unlikely event that you're right about FATX not working on partitions smaller than the ones the xbox ships with, it still makes no difference to your ability to use XBMC: there's plenty room to install it on the C drive, and the C drive is the exact same size as on a standard Xbox. There's no way that can't work.*

Hell, if you used a 2BG card you could play games: make partition 2 500MB, partition 1 250MB, and partitions 3-5 750MB and overlapping each other. As far as the Xbox is concerned, the X, Y and Z drives are all valid, and just happen to have the same data on them. As long as you never write to more than one at a time (which you won't, unless you explicitly try to), you won't corrupt the FS, and even if you do, so what? It's just a disk cache. You'd probably need to blow away localcache00.bin on every boot, but that's a trivial modification.

Things aren't that simple:
1. Most posts on LBA48 bios relate to the treatment for F and/or G drives. It's quite a leap of faith to assume non-standard sizes for X,Y,Z will work just like that out of the xbox. Physically the sectors for X,Y,Z are laid out first before C and E. I've done some work on xboxhdm and the linux tools confirm the physical layout of X,Y,Z. Even a chipped bios will make some underlying assumptions on these partitions and those will be broken in your proposed partition scheme.
2. In order for XBMC's to be copied to the non-standard C partition (its starting address has been changed), you need to find a dash that runs from dvd that reads the oz_paulb style partition table and uses the new location for C partition so that you can copy the XBMC files over. Today I don't think any such dash exists.

So for both bios and dash, there's some gaps to overcome to achieve the outcome described

#35 hoof_hearted

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE(MrFish @ Jul 6 2008, 12:19 AM) View Post

At the risk of asking the insultingly obvious, it isn't, by any chance, asking you to 'press y', because 'Custom partitions will not work with this BIOS'?

If not, perhaps using black to delete the partition table, (and maybe restarting xbpartitioner)? Write it down on paper first, so's you can restore it.


No, it is displaying this warning:

!!!!!!!! WARNING !!!!!!!!
Changed partitions will be formatted!
Press Y to continue or any other button to abort.

After I press Y, it just goes back to the main xbpartitioner screen as if nothing happened.

Black does nothing either.

This all worked when I first setup the harddrive. Now it does not. I am cursios what I could have did to "break" it.

#36 MrFish

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:44 PM

QUOTE(hoof_hearted @ Jul 6 2008, 02:33 PM) View Post

No, it is displaying this warning:

!!!!!!!! WARNING !!!!!!!!
Changed partitions will be formatted!
Press Y to continue or any other button to abort.

After I press Y, it just goes back to the main xbpartitioner screen as if nothing happened.

Black does nothing either.

This all worked when I first setup the harddrive. Now it does not. I am cursios what I could have did to "break" it.

It should be going back to the main screen, but the bar at the bottom should display the various things it's doing. You should get it saying 'writing partition table', and then 'formating device 0', etc.

Maybe there's an error in there?

Have you tried deleting the partition table and writing a new one? There's some way to make it do that and not format the partitions.

#37 MrFish

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:04 PM

QUOTE(ldotsfan @ Jul 6 2008, 01:34 PM) View Post

Things aren't that simple:
1. Most posts on LBA48 bios relate to the treatment for F and/or G drives. It's quite a leap of faith to assume non-standard sizes for X,Y,Z will work just like that out of the xbox. Physically the sectors for X,Y,Z are laid out first before C and E. I've done some work on xboxhdm and the linux tools confirm the physical layout of X,Y,Z. Even a chipped bios will make some underlying assumptions on these partitions and those will be broken in your proposed partition scheme.

It's quite a leap of faith to assume that the BIOS does what it says it will?

I have some evidence to the contrary: http://img58.imagesh...nshot000is8.png

I set it up in the following order: [c][x][y][z][e]

BIOS is X2 5035 on TSOP. XBMC is installed on the C drive. XBMC is a rather out-of-date home-build.

It plays videos, browses the network, shows me the weather just fine. I've not tried any games, but I don't imagine they'll work - not enough swap space.

Now a few caveats: I'm actually using an Xbox hard disk here, because I don't have any disks that small to hand. I think it will work if you dd the image over a 1GB drive, but I don't have the kit necessary to test this yet. If anyone's interested, I'll try it in a few days when I can get my hands on a smaller drive and a dd rig.

dd is going to have to be involved at some point, because xbpartitioner, boxplorer, xbmc, and many more won't run without present and formatted save and swap partitions (which can't exist until you've partitioned and formatted the drive. Catch 22.). They can be diminutive, but they do have to exist. What this means is that you'll need to (at the very least) dd the partition table for a 1gb partition set over to the small drive before you can boot with it present and run something that's not evox.

I think I've proven that there's nothing in the application or API layer that prevents you doing this. It's yet to be demonstrated whether there's a BIOS that can boot a disk this size, but I think I've also demonstrated that a BIOS can boot a layout this size. I'd be interested in any reasons you think I haven't. I'll also do my best to answer questions on how I installed it.

QUOTE(ldotsfan @ Jul 6 2008, 01:34 PM) View Post

2. In order for XBMC's to be copied to the non-standard C partition (its starting address has been changed), you need to find a dash that runs from dvd that reads the oz_paulb style partition table and uses the new location for C partition so that you can copy the XBMC files over. Today I don't think any such dash exists.

So for both bios and dash, there's some gaps to overcome to achieve the outcome described


See above. I think I've demonstrated pretty conclusively that there's no reason at the application level why XBMC can't work with seriously non-standard partition layouts. No changes to XBMC (or evox) were performed or necessary, because there's nothing magic about the dashboard: it's just an application like any other.

#38 ldotsfan

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:35 PM

QUOTE(MrFish @ Jul 7 2008, 05:40 AM) View Post

I set it up in the following order: [c][x][y][z][e]

Now a few caveats: I'm actually using an Xbox hard disk here, because I don't have any disks that small to hand. I think it will work if you dd the image over a 1GB drive, but I don't have the kit necessary to test this yet. If anyone's interested, I'll try it in a few days when I can get my hands on a smaller drive and a dd rig.

dd is going to have to be involved at some point, because xbpartitioner, boxplorer, xbmc, and many more won't run without present and formatted save and swap partitions (which can't exist until you've partitioned and formatted the drive. Catch 22.). They can be diminutive, but they do have to exist. What this means is that you'll need to (at the very least) dd the partition table for a 1gb partition set over to the small drive before you can boot with it present and run something that's not evox.

I think I've proven that there's nothing in the application or API layer that prevents you doing this. It's yet to be demonstrated whether there's a BIOS that can boot a disk this size, but I think I've also demonstrated that a BIOS can boot a layout this size. I'd be interested in any reasons you think I haven't. I'll also do my best to answer questions on how I installed it.
See above. I think I've demonstrated pretty conclusively that there's no reason at the application level why XBMC can't work with seriously non-standard partition layouts. No changes to XBMC (or evox) were performed or necessary, because there's nothing magic about the dashboard: it's just an application like any other.

Yes, please share your secrets with us smile.gif

I'm sure there's others who would want to do what you did and setup a pure XBMC non-gaming rig with non-standard partitions.

With your permission, I'll be cross-linking this post to another x-s forum.

#39 MrFish

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE(ldotsfan @ Jul 7 2008, 01:11 PM) View Post

Yes, please share your secrets with us smile.gif

I'm sure there's others who would want to do what you did and setup a pure XBMC non-gaming rig with non-standard partitions.

I thought I already did: flash lba48 BIOS, [if drive is blank: boot evox, format], run xbpartitioner, adjust partition tables to your liking, boot evox, format, install xbmc, beer.

The tripping point, at the moment, is the BIOS. Or maybe the Xbox itself. X2 5035 won't boot my 1GB device, even with a valid partition table. No error message, just a FRAG. This is almost certainly due to its brain-damaged 'config file on a disk we shouldn't even be reading this early in the boot process' scheme.

IND-5003* stops with an error 9: Xbox rejects drive ("kernel - HDD parameters (PIO/DMA/or size {debug}, certain size minimum is required for debug) "). The drive in question is a 1.6GB Quantum Fireball.

Both BIOSes can boot the exact same string of sectors off the disk the Xbox comes with, so it's definitely the hardware.

I'll have more time to look at it on wednesday/thursday, but totally don't mind if someone wants to try and scoop me. In fact, I'd welcome it. Try this kind of thing out, see what happens.


So where do we stand?

- IND-5003 is the best option, as it gives error codes, can be set to boot without having to read its settings off the disk, and is 256k, so it'll fit in a cheapmod/budget TSOP.
- Ancient drives from 1996 don't work. For reasons unknown. Is it capacity? If so, what are the cutoffs?
- Modern drives do work, and you get an extra 1.4GB through getting rid of the swaps (rising to ~1.9 if the only thing on your C drive is a shortcut to XBMC). In addition, you can consolidate the whole lot on to E, and have all your free space in one partition.
- Given the above, a compactflash card may or may not work. I've not got the adapter I need to try it**.


*Obligatory 'I'm an idiot' story: the 'enable 480p' in iND's setup ap, despite being hidden in the animation tab, actually sets the Xbox's default screen resolution. If you have a TFT HDTV, best enable it, or the box will go into Helen-Keller mode, and you'll have to reflash it without the benefit of a screen to look at.

**I do, however, have a 4GB microdrive kicking around. Remember when the idea of 4GB of flash was so completely out there that it was a sensible idea to stuff a winchester inside the can of a compactflash?


QUOTE(ldotsfan @ Jul 7 2008, 01:11 PM) View Post

With your permission, I'll be cross-linking this post to another x-s forum.

I don't think there's anything much to report: the current state of play is pretty unimpressive.

#40 ldotsfan

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:32 PM

QUOTE(MrFish @ Jul 8 2008, 04:34 AM) View Post

I don't think there's anything much to report: the current state of play is pretty unimpressive.

I'm interested in this non-gaming setup - bigger than the stock 8Gb.
1. Minimum sizes for X,Y,Z,C. X,Y,Z as small as possible as long as the chipped bios can boot.
2. C will hold just a shortcut xbe to XBMC on E.
3. E will be custom size - big enough for XBMC.
4. F will be media partition custom size.

Will this boot on a 256k bios like ind-5003?

#41 MrFish

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:47 AM

QUOTE(ldotsfan @ Jul 8 2008, 03:08 PM) View Post

I'm interested in this non-gaming setup - bigger than the stock 8Gb.
1. Minimum sizes for X,Y,Z,C. X,Y,Z as small as possible as long as the chipped bios can boot.
2. C will hold just a shortcut xbe to XBMC on E.
3. E will be custom size - big enough for XBMC.
4. F will be media partition custom size.

Will this boot on a 256k bios like ind-5003?

Yes, I've tested that configuration, albeit with a larger C drive. The only times it didn't boot for me was when I was using the ancient 1.8GB drive. I injected the iND configuration, but I don't think you actually need to (you'll be without your bios configuration when you're formatting/partitioning, but the defaults are pretty sensible). You'll have to do without the MS dashboard, but I think XBMC can do everything it does now.

XBPartitioner is pretty user-hostile; I found the best way to do this kind of thing was to remove every partition, and then add them back in the order I wanted them on the disk. Next version: on-screen keyboard, please.

Something you might want to experiment with is removing C entirely: most BIOSes can boot anything you like, including subfolders (such as e:\xbmc\xbmc.xbe). I've not tried it with iND, but I think it will work.

If you don't want to modify XBMC, I'd recommend making X,Y,Z around 25MB: it uses them for stuff like extracting the weather textures.

A caveat with iND: if you're using component HDTV and you disable the intro, the video never gets initialised, and you don't get to see anything. Fix it by booting into x-dsl (re-initialises the video, but even if it doesn't, you can append 'ssh' to start sshd on boot) and reflashing.

#42 ldotsfan

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE(MrFish @ Jul 9 2008, 12:23 PM) View Post

Yes, I've tested that configuration, albeit with a larger C drive. The only times it didn't boot for me was when I was using the ancient 1.8GB drive. I injected the iND configuration, but I don't think you actually need to (you'll be without your bios configuration when you're formatting/partitioning, but the defaults are pretty sensible). You'll have to do without the MS dashboard, but I think XBMC can do everything it does now.

XBPartitioner is pretty user-hostile; I found the best way to do this kind of thing was to remove every partition, and then add them back in the order I wanted them on the disk. Next version: on-screen keyboard, please.

Something you might want to experiment with is removing C entirely: most BIOSes can boot anything you like, including subfolders (such as e:\xbmc\xbmc.xbe). I've not tried it with iND, but I think it will work.

If you don't want to modify XBMC, I'd recommend making X,Y,Z around 25MB: it uses them for stuff like extracting the weather textures.

Thanks for the detailed instructions, I'll try this soon.



#43 bmcclint

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 05:34 AM

QUOTE(bmcclint @ Jul 2 2008, 05:14 AM) View Post

I went down this road about a year ago but no real answers.

It reads like some BIOSs can read the partition table from the disk rather than from the BIOS so this suggests that a custom layout can be accomplished. Has anyone ever experimented with this?

Thoughts are using a 1GB flash with a basic C, X, Y, and Z and the rest an E drive enough to store XBMC. Since I stream everything to the system no need for a 8GB disk or an optical. Solid state XBOX.

Anyway...anyone have pointers? What BIOS to use and will xbpartitioner allow me to create a legal file system on a 1GB CF card?

Thanks...


Too any and all interested...Working, mostly, on a v1.1 flashed with EVOX M8plus using a 6gb hdd only partitioning only 900mb. I say mostly cuz still waiting on CF to IDE order. Partitions are 1=250,2=500,3-5=50. Boots just fine, reports only the 900mb and steams video, music and pics from smb.

Ordered SYBA CF to IDE adapter and 1 GB 80x CF card. Will be here Fri, got my power adapter and shorty IDE cable and hope to test the solid state version this weekend.

---v1.1, EVOX M8plus, XBPARTITIONER 1.1, UNLEASHX(newest), XBMC 11/07.
---Built a UDF cdrom with unleashx as default.xbe, xbpartitioner.xbe and folders for C and E preconfigured. M8 kernel boots in this order D:/default.xbe, C:/bootdash.xbe (using and INI for E:/apps/xbmc/deffault.xbe, E:/apps/unleashx/default.xbe, c:/xboxdash.xbe), c:/xboxdash.xbe, c:/default.xbe. Edited with evtool and flashed w/ raincoat.

I honestly believe it will run on a 256mb which I have and will test. Since I have no desire to play games at all I don't think I need the xbox dash software at all and XBMC is ~127mb. So...1=25,2=150,3-5=25. Might work...E shouldn't need much for the few UDATA and TDATA entries and XYZ don't seem to use much cache so 25 each should suffice. Can't add much to C but if I remove all the visualizations, languages, skins, scripts and the like should be able to fit more.

All in all it seems to be working. More to come...


#44 Milleman

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:26 PM

QUOTE(AWD Bus @ Jun 30 2008, 08:50 AM) View Post

Actually you do not need to do that. I have done a ton of 500s and a few 750s with no trouble at all. All on G partition. There is NO REASON to even mess with the F partition.

The original program would do 1.2 tb anyways. I have used this program so many times, Huge thanks to the guy who wrote it!


What BIOS do you use in order to use the G drive only?

I've played around with my existing X2-4983.67 Bios, but starting the XBPartioner 1.1 it will nag about "lba48 not found". It doesn't work formatting the G only (partition 7) either.

So... How did you do it?

#45 MrFish

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 07:04 PM

QUOTE(Milleman @ Jul 10 2008, 01:02 PM) View Post

What BIOS do you use in order to use the G drive only?

I've played around with my existing X2-4983.67 Bios, but starting the XBPartioner 1.1 it will nag about "lba48 not found". It doesn't work formatting the G only (partition 7) either.

So... How did you do it?

You need an lba48v2 BIOS. Ones I've tried are x2 5035, and iND 5003. Elsewhere in this thread Evox m8plus is reported compatible.

If your BIOS doesn't support partition tables, XBPartitioner is right to nag: if you set up a partition table and format it, but your BIOS doesn't support it, then when you reboot the BIOS will use its hardcoded partitions, which won't correspond to the filesystems XBPartitioner has just set up.

QUOTE(bmcclint @ Jul 10 2008, 06:10 AM) View Post

Ordered SYBA CF to IDE adapter and 1 GB 80x CF card. Will be here Fri, got my power adapter and shorty IDE cable and hope to test the solid state version this weekend.

I'm interested in your results: when I tried a 1.6GB winchester (albeit not with evox m8), the XBox refused to boot, with error code 9.

A partitioning scheme I used on an Xbox I just built was the original 10GB drive, with no F drive, and a larger than normal E drive. Your system might benefit from a similar approach: remove the C drive entirely, boot straight off the E drive.

Overlapping cache partitions might also be worth trying, but I think I'm just recommending this because I want to know if they work, but am too lazy to try it myself. :)




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