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Building A Xbox Hard Drive Using Ubuntu (wip Thread)

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#1 GoTeamScotch


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Posted 16 May 2010 - 10:20 AM

Building a Xbox Hard Drive using Ubuntu
'XBUNTOX' (working title)
An ongoing project by GoTeamScotch - Work In Progress thread.
Here I will document my progress with making a user-friendly GUI interface that runs in an Ubuntu/Linux environment. I will be working with Ubuntu because it is the most commonly used Linux distro and is my distro of choice (I use it as my main OS). Any ideas or input are welcome.

Brief project overview/goals:
Produce a product that will run in Ubuntu that will:
  • Build (copy files)
  • Format in FATX
  • Lock stock and large Xbox hard drives formatted with the FATX filetype system
Side goals-
  • User friendly interface
  • Relatively safe with accident prevention in mind
  • Be a self-contained package

Still left to do:
  • Damn near everything!
  • Determine whether Ubuntu can recognise and utilise the FATX partition table. If not, consider using VirtualBox and a modified Linux kernel to complete this task
  • Explore ATA disk locking options. Ubuntu comes with hdparm which can issue ATA security commands, but only does so in ASCII (Xbox = hexadecimal)

other thoughts:
It is possible to make a FATX hard drive using XboxHDM 1.9 (by ldots) in a virtual machine inside of Ubuntu. However, this was only tested when using a software based virtual hard disk, not the real deal. There is a method to allowing VirtualBox to have direct access to a hard disk, rather than the 'virtual disk' method it uses by default. I will explore this more later on.

VirtualBox notes
Using this command line in the Terminal will yield a list of partitions
sudo sfdisk -l

This command will create a virtual hard disk image that uses the actual physical hard disk rather than a virtual image that is stored in a single .vdi file on a hard disk to use (a vdi file is kind of like an expanding .iso image file, so to speak).
VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename /home/**username**/.VirtualBox/HardDisks/vDiskImage.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sdb -partitions 1

Note: in using this command, substitute username with the active user logged in, vDiskImage with what you want the image to be called, and " /dev/sdb" with (in this case), the Xbox hard drive attached. This way, even if the host machine doesn't recognise the Xbox HDD, the guest machine will be able to have direct access to the physical drive and use it. Here I have the 'partitions' trigger active so it will make a raw disk image of only a certain partition. This trigger will not be necessary later on.

IPB Image
Here you can see my Ubuntu desktop on the left and in the center is a virtual WinXP installation that has Xplorer360 open. It is viewing a FATX formatted virtual partition that was built using XboxHDM 1.9. As you can see it is not recognised by Windows XP, but Xplorer360 can still access it and see its files. The C drive is open on screen. On the far right is XboxHDM running from an ISO created using XboxHDM 1.9. This is an early test, I may use XboxHDM 3 in the final product.
Here is a close-up of the center workspace.
IPB Image
Xplorer360 sees the FATX formatted virtual disk that is mounted in WinXP. This test was to see if FATX partitions could be created successfully in a virtual machine environment.

More updates to come. . .
cool.gif -Scotch

#2 ldotsfan


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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:39 AM

1. I chose qemu for xboxhdm2 because it was relatively easy to have raw access to the physical xbox hdd. The flag -hda /dev/hdX will suffice.
2. Asking Ubuntu to use the FATX enabled 2.6 kernel is a step back as it will break the support for modern hardware that the Ubuntu variant of the kernel offers. It is also unknown if 2.6 FATX actually works. Hence a virtualization solution like qemu/VirtualBox to skip around the problem.
3. Will you be supporting apt /Ubuntu Software Center style installs of the package?

Looking forward to the finished product in due time smile.gif

#3 djv8


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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:24 PM

WOW That would be a really great program to have.!!
let me know when you get something like that going.!!

WOW That would be a really great program to have.!!
let me know when you get something like that going.!!

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