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Ideas For Yet Another Boot Disc


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#16 Heimdall

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:43 PM

Excellent work beerchug.gif beerchug.gif Seems like we've all been doing similar things, but this doesn't quite do what I was aiming for....

- It doesn't provide one-click softmod fixing (the user still has to know which softmod they have, and make appropriate choices.)
- The Softmod Menu assumes that the user already has a clean 5960 dash with no previous softmods, and relies on the Krayzie installer to sort that out.
- The lxhdm implementation doesn't seem to leave the user with a softmodded xbox
- it doesn't ruthlessly remove / rename floating copies of eeprom.bin
- like CASH, it erases the E drive.

I have an old (but I think working) UnleashX fragment to automate lxhdm that leaves the user with a softmodded Xbox that I wrote some time ago, and another similar fragment to do the one click softmod fixing, plus a recipe to build the disc to support both (an extended version of my post about 5 back). I'm on my way to a party at the moment (Yes biggrin.gif ), I'll post the recipe and the fragments after I've had time to check them (and recover from the hangover biggrin.gif )

I suspect that the recipe plus config files approach is the easiest method for making this happen - it's easier than setting up and hosting another torrent for a complete disc image download, and Xbins (for obvious reasons) doesn't seem to host large files.

#17 bc54

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 06:41 PM

hmm. i don't really know how to implement a one-click softmod fix or the eeprom.bin rename/remove issue, but i can elaborate on the other points you made.
QUOTE
- The Softmod Menu assumes that the user already has a clean 5960 dash with no previous softmods, and relies on the Krayzie installer to sort that out.

i don't know how to fix the reliance on the 5960, but the user should know if the xbox is softmodded, then they could pick "Upgrade from any other softmod" so then the C & E drives would be formatted and NDURE would be installed.
QUOTE
- The lxhdm implementation doesn't seem to leave the user with a softmodded xbox

at the end of my lxhdm an evox dash call hddlock.xbe is launched. in that menu:
CODE
Section "Root"  
{
Item "Lock Hard Drive",@210
Line "-------------",2
Item "Evox Settings",ID_Settings
Line "-------------",2
Section "Back to XMU"
{
Section "Your HDD is now upgraded, but it has only the stock files on it."
{
Section "Please install a softmod from XMU's main menu or FTP your backups now."
{
Item "Back to XMU","D:\root.xbe"

this gives the user a chance to ftp any backups over, or the option to return to xmu and install a fresh NDURE.
QUOTE
- like CASH, it erases the E drive.

actually, it will only format C and E when upgrading from a non-NDURE xbox. installing the gamesaves will just copy over files, and upgrading just copies over upgrade files.


#18 ldotsfan

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 03:45 AM

QUOTE(bc54 @ Jun 7 2009, 01:41 AM) View Post

i don't know how to fix the reliance on the 5960, but the user should know if the xbox is softmodded, then they could pick "Upgrade from any other softmod" so then the C & E drives would be formatted and NDURE would be installed.

Krayzie's Minimum (Or is it called Basic) Install should work regardless of the dash version on C - likewise Kingroach's Ndure C can be used for verbatim replacement of C contents. Just no dual boot or the other fanciful features of Ndure.

QUOTE(bc54 @ Jun 7 2009, 01:41 AM) View Post

at the end of my lxhdm an evox dash call hddlock.xbe is launched. in that menu:
CODE
Section "Root"  
{
Item "Lock Hard Drive",@210
Line "-------------",2
Item "Evox Settings",ID_Settings
Line "-------------",2
Section "Back to XMU"
{
Section "Your HDD is now upgraded, but it has only the stock files on it."
{
Section "Please install a softmod from XMU's main menu or FTP your backups now."
{
Item "Back to XMU","D:\root.xbe"


The changelog for UnleashX V0.39.0222a Build 572 states that hdd locking/unlocking is available but I've not seen any references on how to use it on config.xml though.


#19 ldotsfan

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 05:54 AM

QUOTE(ldotsfan @ Jun 7 2009, 10:45 AM) View Post

but I've not seen any references on how to use it on config.xml though.


Answered my own question tongue.gif
The Settings Action in config.xml will allow the Storage->Hard Drive Locked Status to be toggled between locked and unlocked from that version of UnleashX onwards. But I have not tried it yet.

#20 bc54

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:00 AM

yeah, about the 5960 dash reliance, i figured if one did choose upgrade, the C drive would be formatted, and a 5960 dash would be installed. i could add an option to install 5960 dash in the softmod menu, thereby saving the E drive from being formatted. also, is the minimum install accessible from the gamesave? if it then i would let the gamesave handle that option.

i would rather not have the disc install a premade C drive softmod (minmum install or retail install), because that could lead to people wanting to be lazy, and skipping the gamesave install. then if their softmod goes bad, and they can't run any homebrew, having a exploitable game won't help them at all. then they will be back at step 1. this way they can always recover with one of the exploitable games.

secondly, i just tried the system -> settings -> storage -> hard drive locked status, and it works perfectly. however, i don't know how to incorporate this into a singular Action="something" command. so, i plan on leaving it as is, because i can guarantee it will work and the user won't have to search through setting menus to lock the drive.

saying all this, i figure that all that is left to achieve all of the goals, is a one-click softmod repair and remove extra copies of eeprom.bin. i guess a one-click repair could be achieved thru a format of C, then copying a retail NDURE onto C. if i recall correctly, any E drive problems on a softmod (ex. missing dash) can be fixed thru recovery dashes on the C drive. as for the eeprom.bin issue, i tried to copy NDURE's approach, by using the same location used by the ShadowC setup (E:\Backups\eeprom). i didn't want to copy CASH's location (C:\Backup) because many options would end up formatting C, and somebody might not care to ftp the backup immediately. also, eeprom backups don't take up much space, so it shouldn't really bother, and if it did really bother you, all you have to do is delete the extra copies.

also, i have started working on to this some more today, and i have it fully capable of installing to the hard drive, with fully working config files and xboxrom.bin's (1 for .06 bios and 1 for .67 bios). now i think it can fully replace AID (i should double check, but its late).


#21 Heimdall

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:43 AM

Just a quick update:

So, I've now got:
- one-click* Kingroach and Krayzie** softmods working, with only the C partition reformatted regardless of the original softmod, and with 5960 restored before the softmod starts (similar to lxhdm)
(*apart from the "Are you sure" warnings and the extra keypresses for eeprom backup for Kingroach)
(**that's one-click up to the point that the Krayzie installer is launched smile.gif )

- three step lxhdm (untested, but taken from a previously working version). Similar to bc54's version, but with the softmod install automated as part of the rebuild - exactly as per the original lxhdm process, but with the stock C files taken from CASH

- a troubleshooting section to help fix video / eeprom / shadowc problems

- Evox TSOP/chip flash, recent BIOSes only, with copying of config files and dash before flashing

- Winbond flash, recent BIOSes only, with copying of config files and dash before flashing (untested, but taken from a previous working fragment)

- a recipe for building the disc image (like LXHDM), so only the configs need to be downloaded

- a backdoor to all existing AID, CASH, Frosty's and Slayers functionality (which was where all this started - using Frosty to run CASH with shadow C bypassed!)


Still to do:
- unwanted eeprom rename to prevent eeprom mismatches. The process is sorted and working, but I'm struggling to find a definitive list of locations that Kingroach and Krayzie check when looking for an eeprom.bin to use as the virtual copy.

- a bit more testing on more Xboxes, especially on older softmods, and specifically on SID 2.0 (PBL) and SID 4.0-5.1, and on partially broken softmods.

- add in lots more error checking, in case files are missing or in case copying doesn't work, etc.

- add more in-line comments to the config

- try to find a Winbond flash process that requires fewer steps (this looks promising).

- polish the embedded instructions, and check them on a 4:3 screen.


Still thinking about:
- using xman954's eeprom dumper for the eeprom backup - requires one less click than using Evox, and gives total control over the name and location of the eeprom backup

- changing the disc logic so that the Kingroach install also populates the shadow C automatically in the same way that Krayzie does. Trouble is, to do that compromises one of the original design goals, of making a recovery disc that provides simple CASH-like repair functionality on all existing softmods (because you can't automate the Kingroach process AND boot PBL initially, which means that things like existing softmod video and eeprom problems can't be bypassed at initial boot). It also creates a potential problem with incomplete updates that's too long to describe here at the moment (I have to go to work in 5 minutes sad.gif ), but I'll have a think about that while I'm driving.

Edited by Heimdall, 09 June 2009 - 10:44 AM.


#22 ldotsfan

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE(Heimdall @ Jun 9 2009, 05:43 PM) View Post

changing the disc logic so that the Kingroach install also populates the shadow C automatically in the same way that Krayzie does. Trouble is, to do that compromises one of the original design goals, of making a recovery disc that provides simple CASH-like repair functionality on all existing softmods (because you can't automate the Kingroach process AND boot PBL initially, which means that things like existing softmod video and eeprom problems can't be bypassed at initial boot).


Nkpatcher 8.1 comes with a driveimageutils and inside, there is a shadow C maker which remakes real C into a shadow C - sort of the reversal of the usual way shadow C is created nowadays in the softmod package.

Does this serve your purpose?

#23 run088

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 05:07 AM

I am very impressed with the work you guys are doing. Keep up the good work! If I can help you all any way don't hesitate to ask.

#24 ldotsfan

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:40 PM

QUOTE(run088 @ Jun 12 2009, 12:07 PM) View Post

I am very impressed with the work you guys are doing.

@Heimdall and bc54, any updates on your progress? I'm looking forward to both of your finished products very eagerly.

#25 Heimdall

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:59 PM

Hit a couple of small snags (bugs) with UnleashX file handling within scripts. I think I now have them nailed - fingers crossed. I think I'm also having some problems with my DVD burner, which isn't helping - I can't easily tell the difference between a bug in the script and a bug in the DVD burn!

I'm also working through more robust error handling, and optimising the order things are done in to make it more failsafe.

With a bit of luck I'll be making the beta recipe and config files available later today, if not then it will be the weekend.

I'll post the UnleashX bugs and workrounds in the UnleashX section once I've finished and I'm sure it all works. smile.gif

#26 bc54

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:29 AM

thats impressive heimdall. i cant wait to see how you put it all together

@ ldotsfan - hmm, i didnt know that people might be interested in my little home project. i never really intended for this to be a release type of thing, it was just meant as a more useful version of aid, but if you want me to realease it, i could do that. it really does everything i want right now, so i really don't have any intentions of maintaining it (unless i come up with some new ideas later), but if anyone out there wants it, i can set something up. just a warning, if i do release it, i haven't gotten around to testing everything (mainly stuff with g drive & softmod upgrades), so you know...

Edited by bc54, 17 June 2009 - 12:32 AM.


#27 ldotsfan

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE(bc54 @ Jun 17 2009, 07:29 AM) View Post

i didnt know that people might be interested in my little home project. i never really intended for this to be a release type of thing, it was just meant as a more useful version of aid, but if you want me to realease it, i could do that. it really does everything i want right now, so i really don't have any intentions of maintaining it (unless i come up with some new ideas later), but if anyone out there wants it, i can set something up. just a warning, if i do release it, i haven't gotten around to testing everything (mainly stuff with g drive & softmod upgrades), so you know...

Yes, please release it. The little gem XMU you have come up with deserves that smile.gif

@Heimdall: What are you going to call your disc?

#28 bc54

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:11 PM

ok, its on the net, just google XMU1.0 biggrin.gif .
i have to say, i could probably fix some bugs for now, but i can't do any major maintaining for very long. i hope you all can understand.


#29 FrostyTheSnowman

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:24 PM

Wow, looks you guys are having a lot of fun with this idea, I support it. smile.gif

Just think of it, an all-in-one 'master disc' for the original XBOX... it gets the nerd in me all excited. happy.gif

If you guys have any questions about the custom PBL and BIOS contained on my Rescue Disc, let me know, i'm happy to help.

Edited by FrostyTheSnowman, 17 June 2009 - 09:27 PM.


#30 bc54

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 10:19 PM

yeah, i have a question about the custom BIOS you used, is it capable of working on a 1.6? and is it .06 or .67? when i was putting together xmu, i wanted an option to install to hdd, and i figured that i would need a bfm bios version for .06 setups and one for .67 setups. then it hit someone might need a 1.6 specific bios. so then i wondered if your bios would work on a 1.6, and if it doesn't, then i might have to release a 1.6 only version.





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