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Old 31 July 2008, 16:51   #41
alexh
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Originally Posted by gklinger View Post
I have a friend with a hardware modded XBOX so the first consideration shouldn't be a problem. What is "AR"? Also, why is an original game needed if this is being done on a PC?
The "hot-swap" method does not need a memory card, original game or an AR (Action Replay).

Basically the hard drive in an X-box is locked using a key stored in an EPROM on the hard drive. If you were to remove it, put it in a PC you could not read or write to it. To soft mod you have to copy files onto the hard drive and so you can either do this using:

A software only hack (where you need a memory card, a way of getting a save game from the PC to the card, and one of three susceptible games) using a bug in a game you copy files from the save game over the hard drive.

OR:

A hot-swap, where you take the drive out of the X-box AFTER it has unlocked the drive, without removing the power, and connect it to a PC running linux to copy the files over.

Once the soft-mod files (Ndure) are on the drive it is possible to run unsigned 3rd party software such as Emulators, XBMC (X-box mediacentre) etc. but remember to use a tool to dump and copy the EEPROM key for locking the hard drive to your PC for safe keeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
Alexh and rest of soft-mods, what dashboard replacement do you suggest? Which one works best?
There is only one worth using and that is XBMC! (X-Box Media Centre)

Softmodding is VERY VERY easy thanks to the hard work of the software programmers like KrayZie who created the installers.

Last edited by alexh; 31 July 2008 at 16:56.
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Old 31 July 2008, 16:54   #42
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Hard mod'd mine with an Xecuter 2.6CE (as it's a v1.1 XBox) and it was the best thing I ever did. I also used the solderless Xapter adapter (took 5 minutes to do - the hardest thing was doing the D0 connector).

I now have a 120GB HD in there with all of my original games copied to it so I can just choose a game and go - there's no getting up to change it.

I wouldn't bother with Soft Mod'ing your XBox as it's just as easy to hard-mod it (although a little more expensive - cost me 50 for the Xecuter and Xapter).



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Old 31 July 2008, 16:56   #43
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Originally Posted by alexh View Post
A hot-swap, where you take the drive out of the X-box AFTER it has unlocked the drive, without removing the power, and connect it to a PC running linux to copy the files over.
Just so I'm 100% clear, I let the XBOX boot so it will unlock the drive and then I unplug the power connector and IDE cable from the drive without shutting off the XBOX (which presumably relocks the drive) and away I go?

That sounds too easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macca View Post
I wouldn't bother with Soft Mod'ing your XBox as it's just as easy to hard-mod it (although a little more expensive - cost me 50 for the Xecuter and Xapter).
If you've opened your XBOX to install a modchip, why not just remove the drive and do it the way alexh is describing?
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Old 31 July 2008, 16:57   #44
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I wouldn't bother with Soft Mod'ing your XBox as it's just as easy to hard-mod it (although a little more expensive - cost me 50 for the Xecuter and Xapter).
And a chance of fubar-ing your box when you solder in the chip.

Solderless mods for the X-box are not good... they come loose very easily if the box is regularly moved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gklinger View Post
I let the XBOX boot so it will unlock the drive and then I unplug the power connector and IDE cable from the drive without shutting off the XBOX (which presumably relocks the drive) and away I go? That sounds too easy.
You do NOT unplug the power... just the ide cable. Unplugging the power would re-lock the drive.

The PAIN is that you need to have the XBOX and your PC close as the hard drive power cable is short.

Be warned!! If you switch off the power to the xbox during the procedure you WILL have to desolder the EPROM and use an I2C EPROM reader to get the key and re-lock the drive. (or buy a hard-mod)

Once the drive is connected to the PC and linux(?) is booted you use the NDure 3.0 tool to adjust the contents of the drive (some fonts and a few other bits and bobs) and put it back in the xbox

Edit: I am not sure if the NDure 3.0 installer tool is for Linux or Windows...

Last edited by Graham Humphrey; 31 July 2008 at 17:06.
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Old 31 July 2008, 17:02   #45
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This mods, does it meant these X-Boxes cannot be used on Xbox live?
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Old 31 July 2008, 17:05   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
The "hot-swap" method does not need a memory card, original game or an AR (Action Replay).

Basically the hard drive in an X-box is locked using a key stored in an EPROM on the hard drive. If you were to remove it, put it in a PC you could not read or write to it. To soft mod you have to copy files onto the hard drive and so you can either do this using:

A software only hack (where you need a memory card, a way of getting a save game from the PC to the card, and one of three susceptible games) using a bug in a game you copy files from the save game over the hard drive.

OR:

A hot-swap, where you take the drive out of the X-box AFTER it has unlocked the drive, without removing the power, and connect it to a PC running linux to copy the files over.

Once the soft-mod files (Ndure) are on the drive it is possible to run unsigned 3rd party software such as Emulators, XBMC (X-box mediacentre) etc. but remember to use a tool to dump and copy the EEPROM key for locking the hard drive to your PC for safe keeping.


There is only one worth using and that is XBMC! (X-Box Media Centre)

Softmodding is VERY VERY easy thanks to the hard work of the software programmers like KrayZie who created the installers.

....... yeah.... imma thinking hard-mod.... much easier.... at best its only 6 solder points , at worse its an LPC rebuild *12 easy solder points with the little card that coms with the Xecutor 2's and 3's ...

Hot swapping, can only lead to disaster!
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Old 31 July 2008, 17:06   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
This mods, does it meant these X-Boxes cannot be used on Xbox live?
I'd say the softmods, yes they can't as they'll get banned (but that's a guess).

The hardmods usually have a switch to revert back to the original.

I never intend to use XBox live anyway.
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Old 31 July 2008, 17:07   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
This mods, does it meant these X-Boxes cannot be used on Xbox live?
Ndure 3.0 softmod is (last time I checked) not detectable in Live as it uses virtual C:/ drive to hide the hacked fonts etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetr0 View Post
....... yeah.... imma thinking hard-mod.... much easier.... at best its only 6 solder points , at worse its an LPC rebuild *12 easy solder points with the little card that coms with the Xecutor 2's and 3's ...

Hot swapping, can only lead to disaster!
I'm thinking xbox game save softmod:
  • plug in memory card
  • boot game
  • load hacked save
  • follow the on screen instructions
  • wait 4 minutes as it copies files
  • softmod complete (FTP access available)

Last edited by Graham Humphrey; 31 July 2008 at 17:28. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
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Old 31 July 2008, 17:09   #49
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alexh,

what replacement dashboard you suggest to use?

Also, If I first softmode my original drive and get key file transferred to my PC, can I then use that key to lock-unlock another (bigger) HD?

How's that done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodwych View Post
I'd say the softmods, yes they can't as they'll get banned (but that's a guess).

The hardmods usually have a switch to revert back to the original.

I never intend to use XBox live anyway.
I neither will ever use XBox live. Only reason I tried PS2 online is because it was free. Why pay for something others offer for free? (and I'm not into online gaming )

Last edited by Graham Humphrey; 31 July 2008 at 17:28. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
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Old 31 July 2008, 17:20   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
what replacement dashboard you suggest to use?
XBMC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
Also, If I first softmod my original drive and get key file transferred to my PC, can I then use that key to lock-unlock another (bigger) HD?
Yes, if the drive is capable of being locked (check online list of all PATA drives and their lockability).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
How's that done?
You FTP the files off your X-box drive C:/ and E:/ (or download some) together with your Xbox HDD Key and use them to create a bootable ISO image of XBOXHDM (google for it) which is a special linux boot disk and burn to a CD. Put your new hard drive on IDE0 as a Master. Boot off the new XBOXHDM disc... follow the instructions to format and partition the drive and copy the files over before locking it. Transfer back to the X-box and voila!

If you use a hard drive over 250Gbytes you will need to use the X-Box tool xboxpartitioner later to re-format the F: and G: partitions with larger clusters or you will loose data.
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Old 31 July 2008, 17:30   #51
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So for drives smaller then 250 I shouldn't have any problems (planning to install either 120 or 160 GB drive).

Also is there a good place with updated instructions, as most of those I find are way outdated.

And thank you all for help!
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Old 31 July 2008, 18:42   #52
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Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
So for drives smaller then 250 I shouldn't have any problems (planning to install either 120 or 160 GB drive).
None whatsoever.
Btw what updated instructions are you looking for ?
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Old 31 July 2008, 18:45   #53
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I found a lot of instructions of how to soft mode x-box, but most of them are dated back to 2003 and 2004. Also I wonder what is good resource to check latest software versions. (I can't find homepage for any of the software mentioned here)
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Old 31 July 2008, 19:16   #54
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Official Krayzies Ndure 3.0 Softmod installer thread
[ Show youtube player ]
Hot-swap with Ndure 3.0 installer for Windows
How to make a new bigger hard drive using XboxHDM

I have never used any of these tutorials... to be honest they are overcomplicated for the task in hand if you ask me.

I still recommend that you use the Game-Save exploit and Krayzie installer to perform the initial softmod and then use FTP (to get your drive contents and HDD lock key) and XBoxHDM to format/partition/install bigger hard drives.

6 Minutes to Game-Save softmod from start to finish.
30 Minutes to create a new bigger HD from start to finish.

I'm probably quite arrogant about how easy this as I've done literally 100's of them. Once you get over the initial fear... it is piss easy.

Last edited by alexh; 31 July 2008 at 19:29.
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Old 31 July 2008, 19:54   #55
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Originally Posted by alexh View Post
You do NOT unplug the power... just the ide cable. Unplugging the power would re-lock the drive.
Ah. Is there a risk in unplugging a powered drive? I'm worried that something is going to get fried.

It sounds less risky to use the other soft unlock method you spoke of. Unfortunately I don't have one of the required games or a memory card and I suspect that for the price of obtaining them I could buy a modchip. My friend with the chipped XBOX tells me he spent $40 on the modchip itself and installation took < 10 minutes.

Decisions, decisions.
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Old 31 July 2008, 20:26   #56
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Originally Posted by gklinger View Post
for the price of obtaining them I could buy a modchip.
But who is going to fit it? And there is a risk associated with soldering in chips

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Originally Posted by gklinger View Post
My friend with the chipped XBOX tells me he spent $40 on the modchip itself and installation took < 10 minutes.
It's a lie. It takes you at least that amount of time to get the motherboard out of the case! Plus you need a TorX screw driver set and a soldering iron!

Also once you've invested in your memory card and game... you can softmod as many boxes as you like for no extra. Can't say that about a hardmod!

Last edited by alexh; 31 July 2008 at 20:44.
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Old 31 July 2008, 21:11   #57
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But who is going to fit it?
Me? I figured, perhaps naively, that it wouldn't be anymore difficult than installing JiffyDOS on a 64. I'm not a hardware expert by any stretch but I can handle simple chores like that.

Quote:
It's a lie. It takes you at least that amount of time to get the motherboard out of the case!
Perhaps he was referring to the act of installing the chip.

Quote:
Plus you need a TorX screw driver set and a soldering iron!
Doesn't everyone have those things?

Quote:
Also once you've invested in your memory card and game... you can softmod as many boxes as you like for no extra. Can't say that about a hardmod!
You've got me there. If there wasn't an ocean between us I'd nip over and ask you to mod one more...

I'll have to consider my options. You've been a great help once again.
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Old 31 July 2008, 22:11   #58
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If you are a lazy git (like me) the best mod for the Xbox is an XIR which is a board which enables you to switch on (and off) the xbox using the DVD remote control (even after it has crashed).

If you play emulators and games... this is a must as the XBox kernel does not offer great memory protection and crashes happen from time to time (more that you'd like, trust me) and if you have to get up to power cycle each time... you can see how annoying that would get!

The other hard-mod worth getting is a new fan. The old ones are sooooo noisy. The best replacement fan is the Acousti 70mm not cheap but it fits in the case without cutting and it works with the 7v xbox fan connector which gives you full fan speed control within XBMC. When combined with Fan Gasket it makes it almost 100% silent even at full speed.

As with any fan mod, make sure you have the fan blowing in the right direction. Before you screw the case together, try a few games in 3D for a while and test out the temperature to make sure it is not overheating. (Reset into XBMC and check the temperature... should not be above 60c)

Last edited by alexh; 31 July 2008 at 22:22.
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Old 31 July 2008, 22:45   #59
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Alot of questions in this thread. I think most of the links have already been posted and the questions already answered.

To unlock the xbox hdd you have to disconnect the ide lead just before "Microsoft" appears at the bottom when you start your xbox. You can then connect it to your pc and using 3rd party software like Xplorer360 read the drive and backup your eeprom which contains the locking/unlocking key which is THE most important thing to do imo.

If there is anything else I can help with please don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 31 July 2008, 23:12   #60
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You can then connect it to your pc and using 3rd party software like Xplorer360 read the drive and backup your eeprom which contains the locking/unlocking key which is THE most important thing to do imo.
Utter nonsense.. you cannot get the EPROM key this way. It is not stored on the drive.
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