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Need Help Deciding On Bios


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#1 mulenmar

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 07:39 AM

I've been researching for the past three days, but could use some opinions/personal experiences from the modders here. So, here it goes. sleep.gif

I recently purchased a v1.4 Xbox, since I'd like to use an Xbox with my computer monitor when the television is otherwise occupied. VGA support and all of that. Now I'm trying to decide what BIOS would be best for it.

Currently I have an Xecuter 2.6CE chip installed, but this is temporary -- either it needs to go back into my soon-to-be-a-slim v1.6b, or I need to buy another chip. laugh.gif If possible, I'm going to flash the final BIOS to the TSOP.

Things I need the BIOS to do:
- Play XBOX games -- so that eliminates Cromwell.
- Force 480p safely in all games
- Work with VGA (that I have yet to build a cable for, but am going to.)
- Have a configuration utility that works with it
- Support LBA48 -- I can follow clear how-tos on how to patch BIOSes that don't support it, but if I understand correctly the modern BIOSes all support it? huh.gif

Those are just the bare minimums, these are the additional features I want:
- Edit/replace logos -- such as the colors, the "Microsoft" logo, XBOX lettering
- Ability to replace the flubber and machinery -- I know there are how-tos on the flubber, but I haven't seen anything about the machinery. Except that it's all DirectX animations and that the main places the custom stuff used to be at are mainly gone. (?)

Would be nice for future upgrades:
- Support for 128MB or have verison that does.

Don't need:
- Support for LCD screens -- I just don't see the point of them, sorry. Not when they're so expensive.

From my research, I've seen these might be good for the job:
- Xecuter2 5035 -- I've used this on the 1.6b, like it except for the "Xecuter Live Config Loading"... is there a way to inject this into the BIOS itself, change the defaults, or should I go the the Team-Xecuter forums about this?

- Xecuter2 4891 -- I read here that it boots faster, but I haven't looked up the changelogs yet to see what features I'd be missing out on.

- Evox M8+ -- It's what's on there now, it stutters as it gets to the end of the animation but loads into XBMC without other issue. I just don't like the logo and such, and I've heard it's outdated.

- iND-BIOS 5003 -- I saw somewhere that it was slightly less stable than Xecuter2, and I have never tried it, but from what I've read it supports everything AND fits in the TSOP.

So far, I'm leaning towards trying the iND-BIOS. But I'm only a Lvl 4 Xbox modder, Lvl 1 being n00b and Lvl 4 being 1 softmod, and 3 modchip installations/swaps. So I'm asking for advice. tongue.gif

Thoughts, advice, warnings, mild flames? (I like being crispy jester.gif )

EDIT: I've read that the Evox dash allows you to flash a BIOS to the chip, so could I set up a split VGA/non-VGA setup and still be able to change the BIOSes later? I don't have a programmer, so that's the only option I know of.

Edited by mulenmar, 29 May 2010 - 08:10 AM.


#2 Heimdall

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 10:02 AM

You have a 1.4 Xbox, so the TSOP is 256k, so you need a 256k BIOS. Your choices are iND-BIOS.5003 (although I can't find a 5003 VGA that isn't BFM, so you might have to use 5001, or patch your own 5003 VGA version), X2.4981, or Evox M8+, and all support LBA48. You can't use X2.5035 on your TSOP, because it's 512k.

Possibly the easiest way to test your system is to try the BIOSes in Frostys_BFM_VGA_BIOS_Pack.rar, using PBL to load them (Frosty's BFM VGA BIOS pack contains PBL and instructions). Once you have it working and have found a BIOS that meets your needs you can flash the non-BFM version of your preferred VGA BIOS to your TSOP. (DON'T flash the BFM version you have been testing with because it will brick your Xbox.) FYI, you have to boot with the softmod in order to flash the TSOP (you can't boot from the X2.6 chip then flash the TSOP), and you should be able to flash with Evox.

If you want to switch between VGA and standard TV you could flash a standard BIOS, and just continue to launch the BFM VGA BIOS every time you want to use VGA. Alternatively you could do it the other way round - flash a VGA BIOS then use PBL to load a standard BFM BIOS - it depends on which you use most. The final option is to leave the softmod in place, set up for either VGA or TV (depending on which you use most), and use PBL to launch the BIOS for the other set up. You don't get control of the boot sequence, but it avoids soldering.

Of your options, iND-BIOS gives you the most control over the startup sequence of the Xbox, and you can make all the changes to the ind-bios.cfg file without reflashing, so I'd start there.

Edited by Heimdall, 29 May 2010 - 10:07 AM.


#3 mulenmar

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for your help, Heimdall! smile.gif Sounds like it might be rather tedious to test everthing, but I'll install the new hard drive, try to set up a softmod, and give it a go. It'll be a few hours at least before I post back, as I just got done spraying my slightly-modified case with vinyl dye and have to put everything back together. laugh.gif

I didn't know that I can't flash the TSOP while running from the modchip -- you probably just saved me a lot of time and/or a bricked Xbox. happy.gif

I might end up just buying another DuoX 2, since I've got most of my experience running with a modchip... unsure.gif I guess I could fit both a VGA and a standard BIOS on it, and reflash from an EvoX dashboard later if need be...

And just to be sure I understand what you're saying, iND-BIOS will work in the TSOP? unsure.gif

-------

Please note, too,that I wasn't limiting what I'm willing to try by listing those choices, just what I've found recommended in my reading.

Now, I'm going to make a pot of coffee and put this thing back together.

#4 Heimdall

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:01 PM

iND-BIOS will definitely run from the TSOP, so long as you DON'T use the BFM version.

Testing is really quick - that's the advantage of PBL. Pick your BIOS, run PBL, see if it works. If it doesn't, just reboot and you're back with your original BIOS. Change the config, run PBL, see if it works, etc.. Once you're happy with the results you either set it up as a menu item so you can run it whenever you need VGA, or you get hold of the non-BFM version and flash it to your chip or TSOP.

#5 xboxmods2977

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:23 AM

QUOTE(Heimdall @ May 29 2010, 11:02 AM) View Post

FYI, you have to boot with the softmod in order to flash the TSOP (you can't boot from the X2.6 chip then flash the TSOP), and you should be able to flash with Evox.


mulenmar,

99% of 1.4 xboxes have the Winbond brand TSOP. You will not be able to flash with evox if you have this TSOP. You will need raincoat or a flash package containing it, such as eurasia.

Edited by xboxmods2977, 01 June 2010 - 12:24 AM.





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