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Puting A Different Dvd Drive In A Xbox With A Softmod


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#1 gavo.145

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 06:43 AM

Can I put a different dvd rom drive in the stock xbox drive. Im trying to use a laptop dvd drive and my concern is the box is just softmoded. Will I get a error using a different dvd drive such as a laptop harddrive or regular ide harddrive or will it work fine?

#2 StrictPuppet

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 07:44 AM

Some work, some don't. You will just have to try it out. Of course it won't read originals any more, but will play backups.

#3 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:09 AM

There's a bit more to it when dealing with a softmod. I can't remember the full details; if memory serves, you need to leave the yellow cable hooked up to the old drive, which must also have a disc in it. I'm sure someone else around here knows more.

Personally I'd just flash the system TSOP if possible.

#4 whitefox4

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 06:43 PM

QUOTE(StrictPuppet @ Apr 21 2009, 01:36 AM) View Post

Some work, some don't. You will just have to try it out. Of course it won't read originals any more, but will play backups.



I'm thinking why wouldn't it read original games? An xbox dvd drive has two lasers if I believe correctly, one is DVD and the other is CD. If he were to install a DVD drive, theoretically I think that it would work if he "flashed the TSOP". Am I wrong? if so, why?

#5 StrictPuppet

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 07:39 PM

Its not the laser thats the issue, its the drive firmware. Its the same reason why you cant copy an original disk in a computer without a special dvd drive, it cant decode a section of data (security sector).

#6 Heimdall

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 07:53 PM

Only one laser AFAIK, and it my understanding is that it wouldn't work because an original Xbox DVD disc is written to be read from the outside inwards (like a vinyl record), not from the inside out like a conventional CD/DVD. The firmware in the replacement DVD drive has no understanding of this non standard (outside in) game disc layout, so can't read it.

This always leaves me wondering how burned discs (like backups of games, or boot discs) work. Presumably one of the things that programs like Qwix do is reverse the order of the data in the .iso file, and then when you burn the iso you effectively burn it backwards so the Xbox DVD sees it as a game. Even with that I still don't understand why the Xbox DVD drive doesn't object when it can't find the security sector on the burned disc - unless that checking is done in the BIOS on the original Xbox, and the hacked BIOS bypasses it?

So many questions......

Edit: ....and way too slow!

Edited by Heimdall, 21 April 2009 - 07:53 PM.


#7 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:17 AM

I'm pretty sure X-Box discs are written in the correct order, though there are a lot of rumours flying around that GameCube discs are back to front (apparently they're wrong too).

Though when I put a GameCube disc in my PC, it will literally stall until I take it out.

In both cases I'm not really sure why a computer can't read the disc. In theory, blindly reading every sector off the disc should work. It doesn't.

The Sega Saturn has an interesting copy protection measure. There's a holographic rim around the edge of the disc, which simply cannot be replicated with a standard burner. Makes sense as to why those can't be copied.

PS2 discs, on the other hand, can not only be browsed in Windows Explorer, but a PC can quite easily backup/copy the entire disc with no special drives/firmware. A softmodded PS2 will boot these quite happily (though you might have to patch the ISO prior to burning).

As to why an X-Box DVD drive will accept burnt discs? Well, the truth is that it doesn't; you put one in and it tells the system that it's not a legal disc, but since the mods we use change the system's actual BIOS, the console goes "who cares?" and runs the game anyway.

Compare this to the 360, where you can flash the drive's firmware to make it report burns as valid discs. The system's still paying attention to security, but the drive's feeding it false information.

#8 lordvader129

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:08 AM

IIRC xbox discs are in fact read backwards, the reason a PC drive cant read it is because it reads the outer section (which is a dvd video telling you its an xbox game, and instruction you to put it in an xbox to play it) and then its a hard "end of disc" marker so it doesnt read any farther

xboxs read from the inside and see the game before the dvd-video (then later hit the end of disc marker and never get to the video portion)

for a backup, it only has the one region, the game, so it reads (maybe the inside out, maybe from the outside in, who knows) and eventually find the default.xbe, and runs it

if its an unmodded xbox one of two things happens, it hits the xbox and tries to run it, if its signed it runs it, but the media check within the xbe prevents the game from playing, if it has been media patched its signature is no longer valid, so the stock bios doesnt play it

for xbox1 modding, the hacked bios ignores the lack of proper signature, for a 360 the firmware patch counterfeits the media check and reports a proper, retail pressed DVD instead of a dvd-r


for PS2 the media check is not the in the executable, but in the ps2 firmware itself, thats why burned movies wouldnt play on old ps2s (i think they later updated it so it would play dvd-video from a burned disc, but not ps2 games)

#9 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:34 AM

Ah... So in theory, a PC should be able to clone burnt discs directly? It's not something I've tried.

#10 StrictPuppet

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:03 AM

QUOTE(Bomb Bloke @ Apr 21 2009, 09:26 PM) View Post

Ah... So in theory, a PC should be able to clone burnt discs directly? It's not something I've tried.


ehhhhhmmmmm....<clears throat>

QUOTE(Chancer @ Dec 23 2006, 11:06 AM) View Post


WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED
Any talk of making multiple backups from other backups (no cute excuses like , its for the neighbour/friend who legally owns the copy). If your backup is damaged re-rip the original having disposed of the damaged one. You are legally (in most places not all) allowed one back up of a game you legally own. The staff here are only too well aware of why people want to make multiple backups and its not for legal reasons so it stays away from the posts in here.





#11 Heimdall

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 09:21 AM

Done a bit more digging, and some thinking.

CDs / Conventional DVDs read from the inside out, Xbox DVD drive reads games from the outside in. Your PC DVD burner burns from the inside out regardless of whether it's burning a standard (PC) disc or an Xbox disc. I just checked with all my boot / rescue discs, and burned the latest AID to double check, and you can see the location and size of the various burned areas - they all start from the inside of the disc.

I've also taken the latest AID, opened it with Magic ISO (it will happily open Xbox iso images), and resaved it. When I burn that the Xbox sees it as a data DVD.

Consequently, I conclude that Qwix must reverse the order of the data in the iso image when it saves it. The Xbox tries to read the disc from the outside in, and if it gets valid data - which it will if the image file is reversed by Qwix - it concludes that the disc is a game. If it gets invalid data it tries reading from the inside out, and if it now gets valid data it concludes that it's a data disc.

If you try to read the same boot / rescue disc in your PC (for whatever reason) it reads it from the inside out, and doesn't recognise it as a valid disc because the data is reversed.

And for an original Xbox game disc there are two sessions, as Lordvader describes - an outside-in session containing the actual game, and an inside-out session containing the video. The Xbox reads from the outside in and sees the game, your PC reads from the inside out and sees the video.

I'm still a little sceptical about this plus the digital signature being the totality of the security on an original Xbox disc, for a variety of reasons - especially the security around media checking - so I'm off to do some more digging.


#12 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:02 AM

I gather there are different file systems you can use when burning discs. For example, to memory one of them doesn't support files larger then 2gb, while others do. (I have a memory that XBMC can't read all of them, and I know PCSXBox won't read proper PSX discs - XPort did the coding required, but apparently the read rate was so slow that he left it out of the actual emulator).

Could well be that proper discs don't have the game data around the outside, they may well be like our burns; all the actual tracks are near the center, and the outer areas around the rim of the disc just get ignored (as opposed to having a great big gap between in the video/game tracks).

Standard multi-track data discs are another anomaly. If memory serves, the only track the console will read is the last one.

(These days people don't use them so much, but back in the day discs cost more and it was often prudent to add more data to an old burn then to pull out a fresh one each time. Not all PCs would register the original tracks though, and if you did it wrong the original tracks would be hidden (though still accessible if you had the right software)).

Bah, too many different discs/formats for my mind!

Edited by Bomb Bloke, 22 April 2009 - 11:04 AM.


#13 whitefox4

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:27 AM

The only way to know which way an Xbox reads the disc, speaking in terms of direction: Is to have a clear DVD-Rom case, instead of the factory sheet metal casing. You can purchase those clear DVD's online, and you can actually see the game spinning. I imagine you could be able to see the laser if it's near the inside or not when you start it up.

#14 gavo.145

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 02:24 AM

my question was that if I had a softmodded xbox, could I hook a dvd rom drive any dvd rom drive up and it would be like normal or would I get a error. Does it have to be tsop to run a non stock dvd rom?

#15 StrictPuppet

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 03:31 AM

QUOTE(StrictPuppet @ Apr 20 2009, 10:36 PM) View Post

Some work, some don't. You will just have to try it out. Of course it won't read originals any more, but will play backups.






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