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A Question Or Two...


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#1 niccador

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:09 PM

Well. After feeling like I was safely immune for so long, I, too, was hit by the recent ban wave. Sigh.
Luckily, I happened to have a stock spare -- no HDMI, though, but at least I'm back up and running. But all the same, this ban wave has led me to think very seriously about whether or not I really want/need Live.

Truthfully, I don't really play on Live. I originally picked it up so I could play with a few specific friends and family, but I'm more of a casual gamer and not really into the FPS games that seem to make up 95% of the Live community -- I'm fine playing offline, but I just lack the skills to enjoy playing online with these other hardcore FPS'ers.

So, with that in mind, and the fact that there are somewhat viable alternatives to playing online with a select few through Xlink, it would seem that I could just drop Live completely, right? Sure, I'll miss the opportunity to be able to pay M$ more money for extra content for my Rock Band games, but I think I can Live, err, live with that. (Heh.)

But then ONE game comes along, and makes me question that....

Eternal Sonata.
This game failed to fully boot after a couple minutes, and was tried on three or four consoles -- all offline. On these particular consoles, the game would not boot properly until an update from Live was downloaded, after which point, it worked perfectly on all consoles that had the update. This is the first, and so far, only game which has behaved like this.

Then the doubt begins. So...

1) Naturally, I don't have a library of every single 360 game, so I have to wonder now -- are there any other games that have displayed this behavior of requiring an update to play properly?

2) While I am aware that DLC addons are tied to my original console and would have to be re-downloaded on the new console to be used, does this also apply to any game-specific required updates (meaning, the Live updates that it forces you to download the first time you connect with a particular game)?


#2 WBones

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:27 PM

QUOTE(niccador @ Nov 21 2009, 09:09 AM) View Post

1) Naturally, I don't have a library of every single 360 game, so I have to wonder now -- are there any other games that have displayed this behavior of requiring an update to play properly?

2) While I am aware that DLC addons are tied to my original console and would have to be re-downloaded on the new console to be used, does this also apply to any game-specific required updates (meaning, the Live updates that it forces you to download the first time you connect with a particular game)?


Usually if a game requires an update the update is contained on the disc. However if it was a dashboard update that it applied they are all downloadable from the Xbox website and can be installed from a USB drive.

Realistically that should never happen. There are people out there who never even hook their Xbox up to the internet so MS would be screwing them over too.

#3 niccador

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:14 PM

Yeah, I though that was a bit odd. I had Googled the problem when it first reared its head, and found a few other people experiencing it also, but it was unclear whether it had to do with the modded system, or just a random fluke. Strange, though, that letting it download the Live update resolved it.

A few other questions that need answers/opinions...

My general consensus is that I should stay off Live completely at this time.
However, should I feel that I absolutely must play on Live, the smartest and safest thing to do (obviously) seems to be to simply have a second, completely stock system, and only play originals on Live, swapping my hard drive or memory card back and forth as needed. (This, of course, assumes that no console-specific DLC is involved -- although any Live-related DLC in this case would be downloaded only for the Stock system.)

3) My understanding thus far is that the NAND is may or may not store information offline, to be uploaded to Live at its next opportunity. Obviously, when using two separate boxes, this would not be an issue then. But...is anyone aware of any such similar information being stored on the HDD or MC for Live?

4) So long as we're not dealing with a banned system, a Live profile with gamertag would not need to be recovered with each swap, as it would not be corrupted, yes? So only the Stock system would ever need to be online.

5) Although this next suggestion would be very cumbersome to do as often as would be necessary, what are the chances of having a modded drive and a stock drive to swap in and out of the same system, and being able to safely use Live while the stock drive was installed? This question kind of goes back to the NAND info, which I've only ever read what appears to be just speculation on.

Truthfully, if it could successfully function, #5 would end up being my personal choice.


#4 WBones

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:25 PM

3 and 4 look good. No info is stored on the HD and MS themselves have told people that if your console gets banned you can get a new one and just swap the HD to get all your stuff back.

You did touch on this but just to make sure... when you get banned your console loses its ability to digitally sign your profile. This means that if you sign in on a banned Xbox your gamertag will look "corrupt" on a non-banned Xbox. But if both of your Xboxes are not banned then you dont have to worry about this. There are ways to uncorrupt your profile though.

5. This likely wouldnt be safe. We still havent determined where/when/how the detection is being done. Its entirely possible that the check can still be done offline which would flag your for a ban the next time you go onto Live. If the checks are only done when connected to XBL then yes this would be a safe workaround but we dont know if thats the case.

I had actually considered doing something similar myself with a new Xbox...

#5 niccador

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:57 PM

Okay...that pretty much wraps up what I needed to know.
Seems common sense goes a long way. Go figure. smile.gif


I just noticed XVal 2.0 on Xbins.
If I'm reading it correctly, this basically allows you to determine if a system is banned without having to sign into Live, yes?

Would this also allow us to actually confirm whether or not information is being flagged on the console side, when offline, before being sent to Live? (At the risk of getting a clean system banned, of course.)

If so, this is actually a pretty great development, as it could eliminate (or legitimize) some of the paranoia of playing backups offline and then going onto Live......which might make the whole mod/stock swap idea perfectly viable.

#6 niccador

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:33 PM

Okay...just a little more clarification on some points...

1) Does signing into ANY profile on a banned box corrupt that profile, or does this only affect Live Gamertag profiles? (I haven't attempted this yet, as I do not want to screw them out of their save games...) If my family's offline profiles are safe from corruption, then this banned box is still perfectly usable for offline play for us...(Still wish I felt comfortable editing the NAND to restore functionality, though...)

2) Err...okay...I forgot my other question already... smile.gif

#7 WBones

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:24 PM

Yes signing into any profile on a banned Xbox will cause it to become corrupt. There are ways to uncorrupt it. The NAND option being the best but there are also tutorials where you can open up the profiles on your PC and resign them so they arent corrupt

#8 niccador

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:33 PM

And since they're offline profiles, editing the files themselves isn't really something to get worried about being banned over, right? I suppose that's a reasonable option.

If Majin wasn't flooded with NAND jobs at the moment, I'm pretty positive I'd just send it along to him to take care of... Although, if there were someone local (here in OK), I'd do that as well....
I would LOVE to be able to continue safely using this box offline, without worrying about losing acheivements or having to hack profile data....






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