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  1. #1
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    Softmodding Xbox

    I finally had time to try softmodding an original Xbox.

    I've not really needed to do this for gaming as I own most of the good games ever released for the system, which amounts to about 50. But it is always fun to unlock a console so you can do more with it, such as emulation, and games that were never released in the region.

    After some research it was obvious that the best softmod method was to use Krayzie's Ndure package, and I can say it is very well made and works perfectly. I now don't understand quite how so many people who in the past have managed to brick their Xbox's trying to softmod them. Maybe they were attempting to use an older unstable soft modding method. Who knows. All I know is that this method worked.

    Here is a quick run through of the procedure.

    Firstly you need some things:

    1. 1 of the 3 games that can be used with the softmod save game exploits.
      • Splinter Cell
      • Mech Assault
      • 007

    2. Xbox memory card with access from PC. Best to use is Action Replay (AR Max). Another method is to hack a USB pen drive to work with the Xbox, and tutorials on how to do this are fairly easy to find.
    3. The Krayzie Ndure 1.1 package.
    4. The Krayzie Ndure 1.1.1 update package.

    I own both Mech Assault and Splinter Cell. Initially I tried Mech Assault but this didn't work as apparently you need a specific release of the game. I had the original first release so thought it might work, but it didn't. So I then tried Splinter Cell and that worked perfectly.

    For the memory card I bought an Action Replay AR Max from ebay which comes with a PC software disc, 8MB Xbox memory card, and a cable to connect the memory card to the PC via USB.

    For the softmod software it has to be downloaded from the underground Xbox hacking scene ftp called Xbins. This can be quite hard to find out how to access so I've attached the Xbins client program to this post. It is called Auto-Xbines 2008 by Ground Zero, and it is a standalone FTP client which is designed to connect only to the Xbins ftp server. Works perfectly and is also good if you are interested in getting hold of Wii and Xbox 360 hacks/exploits too.

    Once you have all the files a very easy to follow tutorial on installing the softmod can be found at http://www.se7ensins.com here

    It goes through every step clearly, and it is all very straight forward.

    As I said, I used the Splinter Cell save game exploit. Just copied the save game files to the memory card on the PC, connected the memory card to the Xbox controller, booted it to the M$ dashboard and copied the game saves to the Xbox's HD. Then restarted the Xbox with Splinter Cell in the drive. Went to start a new game and selected Linux from the game save list, the system rebooted into the NDure softmod interface. Backed up the Xbox Eprom and copied the backup to the memory card. Then selected Basic install and followed the onscreen messages.

    It all went smoothly and within a few minutes I was booting into the soft modded xbox with the EvolutionX (EvoX) dashboard. It then did a slightly longer automated task of backing up the Xbox's C drive. Then it was ready to run.

    I've only so far downloaded a copy of Dino Crisis 3, but that ran perfectly for a DVD-R.

    I still need to do the 1.1.1 update to the softmod. For this I need to connect to the Xbox via FTP from the PC and copy over an Extras directory. Will be trying that this evening and see how it goes.

    Then some emulators I think.

    So if you own an original Xbox and it is still original and not modded I highly recommend the softmod approach. Works perfectly.

    No need for a hardware mod chip and the involved opening of the xbox and soldering the chip. Or any HDD hacks which involve hot swap drives, unlocking the HDDs and hacking the filestructure.

    I might be tempted at a later date to swap te default 8GB HDD for a nice large one so that games can be stored and run from HDD, but for the moment I'm not that bothered as I can just load them from DVD-R, which is fine.

    If anyone is interested in trying this out PM me and I can send you the files needed. I might even be able to lend you my AR Max memory card and copy of Splinter Cell. Or mod your Xbox for you.
    Attached Files Attached Files

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
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    I've setup the latest XBMC for Xbox today and I'm impressed. I had tried the XBMC media centre on the PC a few times before but was never that impressed with it compared to other media players for specific things such as MediaMonkey for music, and the build in Windows Media Centre offers nearly identical features.

    However on the Xbox itself XBMC makes a lot more sense. It is fairly streamlined and fast to navigate around, and has a lot more functionality compared to other Xbox dashboards such as EvoX. However rather than replacing my softmodded Xbox's standard EvoX dashboard I installed XBMC as an application so I have both at hand.

    It finds networked computers and NAS drives without issue and all media I've tried so far has streamed and played flawlessly. Accessing my whole music library on my NAS is useful as I can now leave the Xbox on without needing the PC to play anything, which after all is the purpose of a media centre. And DivX files with 5.1 audio encoding play correctly, switching my receiver into the correct 5.1 or DTS modes. Picture quality also looks really good on the TV, when the source quality and resolution of most is considered.

    If you have a modded Xbox and want to give XBMC a try don't download it from XBins as they only have some very out of date versions on there. Instead grab the latest version from http://t3ch.yi.se/, current release is 9.04.1 Babylon. And is 63MB.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  3. #3
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    Also just a quick mention about FTP. I couldn't believe how easy that way. Kust load up any FTP client, and point it to the IP of the Xbox and use Xbox as both the user and pass and you are in. A full partition list of the Xbox's HD is shown as directories and you can do whatever you like with the files on the Xbox HD. So easy and it just works.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
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    Thats funny harrison, i did the exact same thing last month to my xbox! For the exact same reasons haha! Which is mainly for being able to emulate on the comfort of a nice big TV with a wireless controller!

    It was all very easy to do once you follow the newest walkthroughs. I also thought it was something I couldnt personally do due to horror storys and reading older FAQs.

    XBMC is AWESOME! But is there a way of getting the xbox to boot straight to it coz with that on there i cant see the point of the evo X dash?

    The stage I am at now is upgrading the HDD. I've tried to use a program called Chimps 2.4, seems easy enough. I just need a hard drive that isnt full of bad sectors haha!

  5. #5
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    If I'm right, over 3 years I didn't use the XBox though, you can set in the options what to boot, f.ex. a game directly. If so, I guess it would be possible to also boot to the XMBC.

  6. #6
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    No, I think you have to actually change the dashboard files. I read a guide last week about this. The custom default dashboard is booting because it replaced the original Xbox dash files. To replace it with another Dashboard you have to FTP into the HD and overwrite them with a different dash.

    It can potentially mess the HDD up so backup before trying it. If I find the guide again I will post a link.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  7. #7
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    Thanks harrison, if you could find one that would be great. I'm struggling to get my head around it!

  8. #8
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    Here you go

    http://www.se7ensins.com/forums/xbox...rd-w-pics.html

    All you basically need to do is create a new shortcut file that points to the neww dashboard you wish to boot from. The program to create this shortcut is linked to from the tutorial.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  9. #9
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    haha, as easy as that! All done. Cheers mate!

    HDD upgrade next then

  10. #10
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    Modded Xbox's, got to love 'em.

    Mine has the latest executor modchip, but softmods are great too.

    I think I prefer my Xbox over my PS3, because I have control over its hardware, emulators are fantastic and it has loads of split screen games and homebrew software on the hard drive.

    With XBMC, it's just such an awesome device!
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