So my brother in law buys me a new Xbox for Xmas... great! Of course the main thing I want it for is to run XBMC, and so a modchip is the natural choice. After looking around for a bit I figure, hey, SpiderChip 1.1 is cheap and solderless, heckuva lot cheaper than paying brother's guy hundreds to mod it. At the same time my brother wants a chip for his friend's Xbox, so I pick up 2.
Only after placing my order do I find this forum and all the problems people have with their SpiderChips... well HackDaBox's instructions helped me out a lot so I'm coming here to say hey - if you ordered a SpiderChip you're not necessarially screwed! You can get it to work.
So I get my chips, crack my Xbox for the first time, discover (surprise surprise) it's a 1.6b, damn Hynix memory chips. Install the chip following HackDaBox's instructions (I shielded the bottom of the chip with foil, as well as using the wedge method - two normal LEGO bricks and two flat bricks worked perfect) and my box FRAGs with the chip on, boots normal with the chip off. Well OK, it should work then but I need to flash the chip with the right EvoX somehow. Damn, and it took me 30 minutes to carefully get all those wires into the vias, and I'm going to have to remove and re-install. Oh well. Patience is a virtue.
Ended up borrowing brother's other friend's unmodded Xbox which was 1 year+ old - it ended up being a 1.6. Ripped it open and installed my SpiderChip, second time around getting those wires in was a lot easier. It boots to the Cromwell screen! (Which says "SpiderChip 1.0b" - hrm, I thought it was supposed to be 1.1?) Burned the BIOS disk on a CD-RW, flash worked after finally finding said CD-RW.
Problem #1 when flashing: I was using a MadCatz controller, which the Cromwell BIOS didn't init on boot. However simply unplugging and re-plugging the controller got it to work.
Problem #2 when flashing: If the box couldn't read the BIOS off the disc it doesn't really tell you... you pick flash from disc, the tray ejects, drop the CD in and close the tray. Then it will try to read the CD. After 3-4 seconds tops a progress bar will appear - if that happens then you're flashing. If not it will just sit there for 10-15 seconds and then eject the disc and go back to the menu - no error message or anything. And USE A CD-RW - NOT A CD-R. Don't even bother with a normal recordable CD, you need a rewritable.
Sha-zam, my chip is flashed, then my brother in law says "Hrm, I'll bet I'll need to flash that other SpiderChip too" and I tried to do the same thing with the other chip. But there was no joy, as getting the C wire in the via this time was a HUGE pain in the ass! Even though it just had another chip installed, it seemed like the wire's tip wasn't as sharp as the rest. I didn't have the right tools around to fix the via thought I tried, and eventually I got the wire in (I thought) but when the box booted it just reset thrice and flashed red. At this point I had to run and I highly suspected the C wire anyways, so we decided to just try again later. I'm pretty sure once I get a good connection on that wire I'll be able to flash it as well.
Since so many people read about failures with this chip I thought I'd write my semi-successful experience up here - and now that I'm part of the "scene" I'll be sticking around and helping folks out. Thanks to HackDaBox for his excellent instructions (I never even bothered with the official instructions, except for the shielding).