Well first things first.
The first rule in modding an xbox is TURNING OFF THE CAPS LOCK KEY
The second rule in modding an xbox is TURNING OFF THE CAPS LOCK KEY!
Ok, now we've got that out of the way
For God's sake read the tutorials section of www.xbox-scene.com. ALL of them that even remotely relate to what you want to do. I just modded my first xbox and read everything i could. Lurked around in here, reading up on others' experiences. I'm proud to say my first install went flawlessly thanks to the folks here and those that wrote the tutorials.
If you don't feel comfortable doing ANY of this, please find someone else to do it for you. Luckily I went through college as an electrical engineer so I had the tools available already. If you don't, it's best to find someone who does. You could risk turning your xbox into a $180 paperwieght. On to recommendations:
Ok, since you're a self confessed total noob, i'd recommend waiting till the end of the month (just over a week!) and get the Xecutor 2.1lite+. Note the little + there. Make sure you get that one. It is the no solder chip, excellent for noobs. It also comes with a switch for disabling the chip so you can play xbox live.
Harddrive. Go get the maxtor 120gig with 8mb cache. It is pretty much universally guaranteed to work and most importantly LOCK. You have to lock your harddrive in order to play on xbox live.
Paint and Jewel. Do yourself a favor and order a jewel like you want from one of the shops linked from this website. Easier that way. For the paint, I'd really recommend getting a skin if this is your first mod and you can't afford to screw it up. Paint it if you want to, but buy Krylon Fusion paint in the color you want. No priming needed for plastic. Just spray it on. Get someone with some experience painting to help you out if you don't feel comfortable doing it.
BIOS - You're on your own kid =) But if you're a little resourceful you can find where to get them This post has been edited by Glycerine: Jun 20 2003, 03:19 AM