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Father Here: Should I Get An Old Xbox Modified For The Kids?


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#1 g725s

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 07:02 AM

I'm a father that is in possession of two old xboxs. I thought about doing some modifying to them myself. But that might take too much of my resources and time learning. I am very good with PCs and bulid all my own. Just that my time as a father is very limited. Kid's are currently 10 and 12, both boys. I've got about 50 games for it so far. If I could modify it or get it modified for me, how big of a hard drive could be installed and how many games could be loaded?

So could i get a couple of old xbox's modified to hold all the games that I have for them. With easy access via a new user interface to access the games on the fly?


I'm a total newbie to xbox modification.

And all I would really want is a box that could hold as many games as possible, and games as I get them could be added fairly easily.

Or is old xbox not worth it? Should I just sell the two boxes and move on to more modern tech? Just that I have so many games for it.

Edited by g725s, 08 June 2010 - 07:14 AM.


#2 Heimdall

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:04 AM

Definitely do it! A 2-300Gb disk for each Xbox should easily hold all your games, 500Gb will give you loads of headroom and space for emulators etc., and they'll all be accessible from the menu, so you can archive the game discs in the loft.

Easiest way to do it is to softmod with Krayzie 1.1.1 (this will help you find it and all of the other software you need), plus a compatible USB stick, an Xbox to USB adapter, Xplorer360 beta 6, and a copy of an exploitable game.

Once you have it softmodded you can upgrade the disk with xboxhdm, chimp, or lxhdm - start here for more details. If the disk is bigger than 250Gb you'll need to format it with XBPartitioner 1.1 and check the cluster size before you start to put games on it.

You copy the games to the Xbox with DVD2Xbox - latest version is 0.7.8.

Edited by Heimdall, 08 June 2010 - 08:15 AM.


#3 g725s

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:58 AM

Is it a good thing to have 2 xbox's? It seems you are saying to get a drive for each. Can you teather them together or somthing, and if so, is that a good thing?

Very rarely are more than just the two of my sons playing the xbox. So typically two players only and probably most often just one. Occationally a friend of theirs will come over and there will be three player, and maybe even more rarely four players.

Also are you saying that a 350gb drive is what to get? But you also mention a 500gb drive? If I did this I'd want to add more games to the collection we already have. So if I could get a lot more games in the future, would this be enough GB's? Is there a ratio of games to GB's?

And dang, I have a copy of 007 but it is the wrong one. No Splinter Cell.

Also can all these mods be done with a Windows 7 PC? I have just switched everything over to 7. I do have the ability to run XP, because I have 7 Pro, but have not setup that yet.

And just a guess. How much "time" in hours needed to read up and do this modifcation?

Edited by g725s, 09 June 2010 - 01:11 AM.


#4 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 03:28 AM

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 07:58 AM) View Post
Is it a good thing to have 2 xbox's? It seems you are saying to get a drive for each.

Given that you asked if you could "get a couple of old xbox's modified to hold all the games that I have for them", yes, a replacement drive for each console would indeed be required. We can't tell you how many machines you need in your house, though.

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 07:58 AM) View Post
Can you teather them together or somthing, and if so, is that a good thing?

You can network them. This has a few benefits - it makes it easy to transfer files between them (and your PCs), and you can also play multi-player games that way (instead of split-screen mode).

There's also the matter of media playback. A modified console can play most video/music/whatever files, and rather then storing these on each and every console, you can put them on a central server machine (eg your PC) and have the consoles play them from there. Plus you can stream videos/music/etc from the internet.

Actual X-Box games, however, must either run from the console's HDD or DVD drive.

Regardless, softmods are performed with re-usable tools, so once you've done the initial research, it takes very little time/effort to mod as many systems as you can get your hands on. If you're unsure how many new drives you'll need/want, start with one, and buy more if/when you need them. Regardless, you'll have to mod a system before you upgrade the HDD, so you've got some time to think about it. wink.gif

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 07:58 AM) View Post
Also are you saying that a 350gb drive is what to get? But you also mention a 500gb drive? If I did this I'd want to add more games to the collection we already have. So if I could get a lot more games in the future, would this be enough GB's? Is there a ratio of games to GB's?

Roughly 4gb per game, but it varies - most are probably 3gb, but an under-estimate only leads to disappointment.

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 07:58 AM) View Post
Also can all these mods be done with a Windows 7 PC? I have just switched everything over to 7. I do have the ability to run XP, because I have 7 Pro, but have not setup that yet.

Your OS doesn't matter all that much.

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 07:58 AM) View Post
And just a guess. How much "time" in hours needed to read up and do this modifcation?

The actual "hands on" work can probably be done within an hour (again, that's an over-estimate), the main difficulty is in getting the tools required.

An alternative to the game-save exploit method that Heimdall described is this. It doesn't require as much stuff, which'll chop out a lot of effort in terms of hunting down specific games etc... but there's a slight risk of hardware failure, either to your console, your PC, or perhaps even both. Using an exploited game save is faster, easier and safer once you have the gear (a once-off investment).

#5 g725s

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:59 PM

Sorry but how do you reply without the quote? Is this forum setup so that to reply there is only the Quote buttons?



OK are you saying that if they are tethered together that two players can play multiplayer with one screen? And would they both need to be setup, modified, the same way? If so that would be very attractive, and make game play for two players much better. Often times that is why my two kids don't play together, they don't like the smaller split screen. But would three players need three xboxs and so on.

Did the first responder to this thread say 300gb good, then 500gb best? And what type of drive do they take? I could start looking for a deal....

Never had an xbox hooked to xbox live. But can a modified xbox hook up to xbox live? I thought I read somewhere once that it could not, or would have limited access. But if so, would this older version xbox be good online?

And if I'm going to spend the money on drives and other stuff, and the effort researching and doing the mod, is the soft mod the best way to go? Would it be worth it to spend a little more time and money on a better type of mod with this older version xbox?

What is considered the best mod, hard or soft?

Edited by g725s, 09 June 2010 - 01:50 PM.


#6 Red_Breast

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 01:47 PM

50 games. They will take a long time to copy to the hard drive.

I'll say something which is easy for me as I have quite a bit of spare time and if I'm going to do anything I like to set a lot of time for it. But I appreciate not everybody is the same and some people's time is limited.
The softmod method that Heimdall mentioned is the one that I would / do use. So I could do it in let's say 15 minutes. That's the most basic without opening the Xbox and using the existing hard drive. I've never replaced a hard drive but I imagine for those that have done it before it would take about an hour. But I find generally talking if you haven't done something before it can take a lot longer. And when it's something like this you need, at least would prefer, to take your time.
I don't want to put you off. Just offer some food for thought. It's worth doing if the boys use the Xboxen a lot already. Note some game modes, for example Halo co-op, can only be played in split screen. System link won't work. You can play versus modes with system link for example deathmatch Slayer though.

I believe Microsoft turned off Xbox Live access to the original Xbox.
As for hard drive size. The games came on DVDs. But they vary a lot in size. I think the first Halo is 3.5GB. But I've seen some under 1GB.
As others have said once you've modded if you try XBMC. the media player, and some of the emulators you, or the boys, might be impressed so you need to allow hard drive space for those as well.

Edited by Red_Breast, 09 June 2010 - 01:54 PM.


#7 Heimdall

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 12:59 PM) View Post
OK are you saying that if they are tethered together that two players can play multiplayer with one screen? And would they both need to be setup, modified, the same way? If so that would be very attractive, and make game play for two players much better. Often times that is why my two kids don't play together, they don't like the smaller split screen. But would three players need three xboxs and so on.

You need one TV per Xbox. Many games have multiplayer modes on the same Xbox (i.e up to 4 players on a single Xbox running split screen), some have system link capability (single or multiple players per Xbox, with the Xboxes connected over your local network). The system link Xboxes don't need to be modified in the same way, but I've never tried system link between a modded and an unmodded Xbox. I'd just mod them both, so they look and feel the same.

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 12:59 PM) View Post
And if I'm going to spend the money on drives and other stuff, and the effort researching and doing the mod, is the soft mod the best way to go? Would it be worth it to spend a little more time and money on a better type of mod with this older version xbox?

What is considered the best mod, hard or soft?
There's very little difference. Both give you the same basic capabilities. Softmods are easier and quicker to do, chip / TSOP mods require soldering and can be a bit more tricky, but give you a bit more flexibility. It's a little easier to install a larger hard drive with a chip / TSOP Xbox.

#8 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:35 AM

Note also that system-link can be used in combination with split-screen mode. For example, two consoles with up to four players each equals up to eight players in the one game.

In order to network each of the consoles, you'll want a switch. Attach every host-box in your network to it via straight-through cables (eg, PCs, X-Boxes, whatever), then, assuming you have a separate router box (such as a DSL router), connect the switch to that using a crossover cable. Boom, you've got yourself a LAN.

QUOTE(g725s @ Jun 9 2010, 07:59 PM) View Post
Sorry but how do you reply without the quote? Is this forum setup so that to reply there is only the Quote buttons?

Keep scrolling down the page for the "add reply" button.

Edited by Bomb Bloke, 10 June 2010 - 01:38 AM.


#9 g725s

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:44 AM

Thanks to all for your insight. I search this site and get confused at all the options. I do get that a soft mod would be the best way to go for me at this point. I also have decided that starting with one box would be best.

Anybody have a link to an exact method to follow to soft mod and put in the larger hard-drive and load up all the games? A method without a ton of different options LOL ?

#10 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 08:27 AM

If you choose to go with a game-save exploit, then choose what game you'll be using first (you'll probably find SplinterCell easiest), grab a USB-to-Xbox adapter, then try various USB drives until you find one the MS dash will treat as a memory card. Worry about the guide once you've got the gear.

If you choose to go with a hotswap, then follow the guide I linked you to.

No "single and optionless" guide that covers both methods exists; you will have to at least choose one.

Worry about hard drive upgrades and game loading after you've achieved your first softmod. The steps involved will make little to no sense to you until you've got that mod installed (sorta like how someone won't understand the concept of drawing with MS Paint until they've at least experienced using a mouse), but rest assured that your chosen method of softmodding will have next to no affect on these later matters.

Edited by Bomb Bloke, 11 June 2010 - 08:28 AM.


#11 Red_Breast

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 07:46 PM

I can't tell where you're from g725s.
I've lent my softmod kit (Splinter Cell, Xbox gamepad male to USB female lead and USB stick with Krayzies softmod) out to a few people by post here in the UK. When I started doing it there were a number of people doing it so I started. It's PAL so useless for the NTSC Xbox.
But I would say half the fun comes from the experimentation although I get the impression your not that type.


#12 g725s

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 01:51 AM

Thanks you both for the reply. I'll check that link again. I don't have the right game, I'll have to get that. Also I'll have to get all that stuff, but thanks for the offer I'm in the S.W. U.S..

QUOTE(Heimdall @ Jun 8 2010, 08:04 AM) View Post
Easiest way to do it is to softmod with Krayzie 1.1.1 (this will help you find it and all of the other software you need),


What is this? Sorry but I'm a bit tenative to download anything that I don't know is definately free of bugs and other junk.

#13 Heimdall

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 04:28 AM

Auto Xbins. Connects you to the Xbins IRC FTP server. Some AV engines falsely identify it as a trojan - have a quick search and you'll find loads of threads about that. I use McAfee, which oscillates - it never used to complain, then about 6 months ago it started to identify it as a trojan, then about two weeks ago it reverted and is now quite happy.

I can't guarantee that it's definitely free of bugs, but I've been using it quite happily for a couple of years and it's never caused any problems.

#14 1hotjob

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:04 PM

I live in South Eastern New Mexico if that is close enough.

Doing the first softmod is a little nerve wracking. When I started there wasn't anything like Krazie's. It will walk you through it step by step.

My advice for you is to get to the back up eeprom screen. Run the back up then FTP into the Xbox and copy the C and E drives to the PC. That way you have your own starting point and back up files. The eeprom.bin file is the single most important file for an Xbox. If you lose it you will need to chip the Xbox or use an eeprom reader to put in a new hard drive. Some people e-mail it to themselves using Gmail or Hotmail so it will be stored on an outside server.

After getting the files to the PC, I stop right there.

I use XboxHDM and build a CD with the files I just FTP'd over. Connect the HD by itself to the system, taking your HD out of the loop. Boot with Xboxhdm and build the drive. Lock the drive by rebooting and using option 3 to lock the HD. Type in lockhd -a. It will lock it for you. Since you are needing to lock the HD, usually and Western Digital will lock. With newer versions of Xboxhdm I don't think you need to reboot, but I haven't used them. They will also boot from USB so you don't need to build a CD.

After getting the new HD in the Xbox, it should boot to the Xbox Menu. From there I run the game again and do the full install of the softmod. You can copy Xbpartitioner 1.1 over to the E drive. Make a folder named Apps and drop it in there. Reboot and it will show up on the menu. Format the drive with it and you should be ready to copy games over. FTP DVD2Xbox to the Apps folder. When you run it, it will read and copy the games to your hard drive. I think it is set up to rip to F:\Games.

After you get more comfortable with it, you can change dashboards and many other things.

A 200gig drive will hold 70-85 games in my experience. Any larger drive you may look at splitting or formatting with larger clusters. Look at the previous posts on how to check what cluster size you are using if you go with a larger hard drive. Incorrect formatting will result in data loss.

Keep the original HD as a back up for that Xbox.

Good luck. After you get the first one done, you will be eager to get working on the second one.


#15 Red_Breast

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:39 PM

I can't help but feel I should comment on your post 1hotjob and say that I feel for anybody doing their first Xbox mod that surely Krayzies is the way to go? However I'm quite happy to be proved wrong. I know you have more experience with the Xbox 1hotjob, and I definitely don't want to get on the wrong side of a moderator.
With that I have to add I've never used Xboxhdm before. It's just that after reading lots and lots about Xbox modding it seemed that the general consensus is to use Krayzies for ease of use and because if you do want to take things further then it's easy as there is an uninstall option in the menu. With Krayzies you still have enough room on the hard drive to ftp at least one game over. Get used to that and have a look at the hard drive and how it works (caches, shadow drives etc) with your chosen ftp program and then decide what size hard drive you want to install.
As I've already said I haven't used Xboxhdm but I do know it's Linux based. As I haven't used it I don't know how much it helps to have experience of Linux. Maybe it does and maybe not. If it does I don't know how much experience of Linux g725s has.
I'm glad you pointed out the importance of the eeprom backup 1hotjob. Although I believe when you have installed Krayzies it is pointed out at the end.
It might also be worth saying quickly that the Xbox uses a file system called fatx.
One other thing to mention is that when you come across tutorials always look at the date. A lot of the earlier methods were improved on although obviously with the age of the Xbox even the later tutorials will probably be a few years old now.
I hope that g725s is not getting confused by all of this. I guess one way you could look at all these posts g725s is think of all of us as mentors and we all have our own methods. There's no right or wrong. Just different ways of doing the mod.

Edited by Red_Breast, 14 June 2010 - 02:49 PM.





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