The `Noob` Tutorial on Using The Font/Audio Exploits With The Hard Drive Swap Trick
(Or "The Complete Idiots Guide to Setting Up an Exploit`"...)
`Co-written` By Tsurani & STKD. Current version as of 26/07/03 = "Super Final UnRetail II Turbo Edition 1.0"
(Pretty much finished now, barring tiny edits.)
First thing first - NO MOD CHIP REQUIRED AT ALL as long as your Xbox is up-to-date.
Secondly - First warning. DO NOT TRY THIS UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THERE IS A VERY HIGH RISK OF DAMAGE OCCURING TO YOUR XBOX HDD DURING THE DRIVE SWAP PROCEDURE. CAREFULLY CONSIDER IF THE END RESULTS ARE WORTH THE RISK BEFORE YOU TRY THIS.
A PC running either Windows 2000 with .NET installed, or Windows XP with SP1 or .NET installed. This is a recommendation, HDD Driver may still fail to work.
The font exploit - contains the fonts and a default.xbe etc..
OR the audio exploit. (See *** sections later on)
A new dashboard (YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO USE A NON UPDATED ONE... I'M NOT SURE)
the program called HDD_DRIVER.zip (its on the console section of www.megagames.com)
Please note there is NO alternative to HDD Driver as of.
DASH 4920 (you can get this dash by updating with a xbox live enabled game)
I'm pretty sure this exploit should work with ALL xbox's but just to be sure update your dashboard via Xbox Live at least. Try without doing so at your own risk.
No information currently available on what versions the audio exploit runs on, should work on all that meet above conditions.
Note: It is very important to be running either Win2K *with .NET installed* or XP with SP1 or .NET so that HDD Driver works... possibly Windows Server2K3 may work also but I'm far too lazy to find out. May test eventually
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR BEGINNERS - The audio exploit is FAR safer and easier to try, as you will still be able to use your Xbox for games, access the normal dashboard etc. See the readme.txt for more information on it. Font exploit is only recommended if you are
100% sure you know what to do afterwards to get things running.
Whatever you try;
Things DO go wrong with these exploits and especially the swap trick sometimes, and not all problems are easily solved. Tsurani wrote the font exploit part of this guide. I have never even used it, and I'm not going to try it because I don't want to risk my own Xbox with that one.
I cannot help you if you mess something up by trying these exploits simply as I've never experienced any of the more serious problems. This tutorial is written with plenty of warnings that BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN and SERIOUS DAMAGE CAN OCCUR because there IS NO 100% SAFE method. You are taking a SERIOUS RISK by trying them. Yes, you can pretty much kill your Xbox - quite easily too. Think about that. I'm not writing these warnings in (or any of this tutorial) for my own benefit. I wrote this (with Tsurani's info) to inform people of the best known methods - but the potential for BAD THINGS HAPPENING still exists. Whether you try it is at your own discretion but myself, Tsurani or xbox-scene.com take no responsibility and likely CANNOT HELP if things go really wrong for you. Bear it in mind and think very carefully before taking the risk.
Safety notice: PLEASE take proper electrical precautions when working with the Xbox/PC internals, and at NO TIME touch the Xbox power supply when the Xbox is opened up.
This information is currently under revision. It is no-one's responsibility but your own if you mess this up and screw up your Xbox - you have been warned more than enough times now. If anyone wants to confirm it/suggest changes, please do so.
NOTE: The first technique we will use is referred to as "hot-swapping" the Xbox hard drive. This is to gain access to it via your PC and is risky to the Xbox HDD. The potential exists for accidental and serious damage to your Xbox HDD. If you ignored all the other warnings so far, PLEASE only continue on the understanding that this could happen and it is entirely at your own risk. Thank you.
1. Open up the Xbox, turn it on and let it boot the dashboard and nothing else, and give it around 5-10 minutes so the hard drive spins down. (This is so the Xbox HDD is "unlocked" into a state the PC can read...).
Leave the Xbox switched on at all times now for the duration of this tutorial unless told to do otherwise later on, so that power is still going to the Xbox HDD.
***OPTIONAL STEP - you may wish to unscrew the Xbox HDD for easy access if you doubt your cable will reach, do this BEFORE you turn on the Xbox of course.***
2. Unplug the Xbox HDD IDE cable from the back of the drive, and plug the Xbox HDD into the 2nd IDE cable on your PC instead - no other devices should be attached to this cable.
3. Turn on the PC and you *should* see it detect the Xbox HDD while booting. You may need to play with your PC BIOS HDD detection setting.
ALTERNATIVE METHOD IN CASE PC WILL NOT DETECT XBOX HDD WITH ABOVE METHOD
1. Turn on the PC, quickly hit the Pause-Break key before it detects the hard drives. Leave it paused.
2. Open up and turn on the Xbox, probably best just to let it boot the dashboard and nothing else, and give it around 5-10 minutes so the hard drive spins down. (So the Xbox HDD is unlocked...)
3. Unplug the Xbox HDD IDE cable and plug it into your 2nd IDE cable on your PC - no other devices should be attached to it.
Hit enter so the PC resumes the booting process and *should* detect the Xbox HDD. You may need to play with your PC BIOS HDD detection setting.
END OF ALTERNATE METHOD.
4. Assuming all is ok, wait a few minutes after running Windows to make sure the Xbox hard drive is added. If it hasn't worked, try the trick again. In most cases it *will* work as long as your BIOS picked up the Xbox HDD.
HDD SWAP COMPLETED! Well done!
5. Run the "HDD Driver" tool (this will let you access the Xbox hard drive from Windows). Click the OK button. Usually a few errors will pop up ("invalid file size"), ignore these and keep hitting "OK" until it gives you access to the drive (I only get about 5-10 errors).
If you have problems starting the program eg... "cant find Msvcirtd.dll" goto www.google.com and look for that file name. Download it and put it into the directory where the "driver.exe" is located (YES the HDD driver). It is also a good idea to update your MS Visual runtime files with the latest version located at www.M$.com
Note: This should not happen if you have WinXP with SP1/.NET or Win2K with .NET components installed afaik.
6. BACK THE ENTIRE XBOX HARD DRIVE UP NOW! Go into the "tools" menu of HDD Driver and click Backup HDD.
Do NOT skip this step unless you want to risk ruining your Xbox permanently.
<<<<THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!>>>>>
If you dont do this you may be very sorry later on if something goes wrong.
Make sure you have at least 11-12GB's on your normal Windows hard drive for this.
Ok, proceed with the backup (this takes about 30-45 mins, may depend on your PC)
7. 30 minutes later... Ok so now you have a backup. GOOD (wasnt that worth waiting for?)
the next thing to do is to extract the font exploit you downloaded previously. (can be found all over the place)
8. Run HDD Driver again (it usually closes itself) and expand the "system" partition on the left. There should be a whole heap of files in here (don't worry if it all looks corrupted, it's NOT). You should see a "fonts" folder here (providing you have a newer XBOX version or you updated the dashboard using a XBOX live enabled game). For those using the audio exploit, now refer to the *** sections.
9. Expand the "fonts" directory. There should be 2 files in there named "Xbox.xtf" and "Xbox Book.xtf". Now right click these files in the LEFT window (one at a time, duh!) and choose "properties". Now, change the extension on each file from ".xtf" to ".old". Do NOT leave the .XTF extension on these files!
***10a. If you chose the audio exploit, instead go into E:TDATAfffe0000music and rename the file ST.DB to ST.old if it exists.
(These files may also be found in the main directory - just do the same with those to be sure.)
10. Now using the LEFT pane of the window go back to the "fonts" directory and right click it. Select the option "insert file". Select the "Bert.xtf" file on your PC and insert it into the directory. Do the same with the "ernie.xtf".
***10a. Copy the exploit file ST.DB from your PC into that music directory.
11. Now browse back to the main folder (the parent directory for "fonts") and insert theother file that we downloaded in our exploit pack "default.xbe".
***11a. Copy the linux.xbe from your PC into the main Xbox directory (E:)
12. Shut down the PC after everything is copied.
13. Replace the original Xbox IDE cable back into the Xbox HDD. Turn off the Xbox afterwards.
14. If you chose the free-x font exploit, boot up the Xbox without any cd's. It should come up with the Evolution-X dashboard here. You can now do lots of cool stuff.
15a***. If you chose the audio exploit; (From the original readme.txt)
When you want to run Linux, just boot the Xbox with an Audio CD inserted, and once the CD plays slowly press the following 8 keys :
B, Down, A, Right, Right, A, A, A
(or go into the "audio cd" menu, choose "copy", then "copy" again and then "new soundtrack", then "ok")
* Linux should be running! :-)
EMERGENCY-ONLY SECTION: "So You Messed Up, Didn't You?" (By Tsurani)
If you've buggered it up and you can't get back to your normal dashboard dont worry. I screwed mine up last night and was unable to "unlock" the HD for hot swap because I couldnt get into the dashboard. All you have to do is boot up your console with a game disk when doing the HOT SWAP and just wait for it to load into the game. Now your HD is unlocked again.. PHEW!
There is also another problem when it screws up once you go back to the HDD driver, you will be bombarded with error messages but dont worry; Just ignore the errors and click the "tools" menu and select the Hard Disk Restore Option. This will make it so that your Xbox is back to normal (aren't you glad you backed it up now? See, told you it was a good idea) and so that you can try the process again as it wont give you infinite error messages next time you load the HDD driver.
This tutorial is the culmination of the simplfied HDD swap guide authored by "STKD" using available information from other sources with respect for their work, and information provided by "Tsurani" on using the font exploit and EvoX. All material in this guide was originally posted on the forums of xbox-scene.com. No responsibility for any problems arising from the information in this guide will be taken by xbox-scene.com or the afforementioned writers. Use it at your own risk and understand there *is* a small chance you may mess something up. This tutorial is given copyright free to use as you wish, as long as the information is not charged for and xbox-scene.com and the relevant writers are namechecked to indicate its origins. Thank you.
Feedback wanted. This is the `cleaned up` amalgamated version of the earlier HDD swap guide and Tsurani's EvoX/Font Exploit guide (kudos due), with some basic information on using the audio exploit instead added by myself.
Edited by RiceCake, 30 January 2005 - 07:11 PM.