X-Boxen

General purpose discussion about gaming and emulation.
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X-Boxen

Post by DaMadFiddler » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:29 pm

I know I'm kinda late to the party here.

But recently, I have been presented with the opportunity to obtain an Xbox fairly cheaply, and I'd like to mod it as a media center.

My friend Robert is looking to get rid of his Xbox, because he wants to save up for a Wii. He was going to just trade it into Gamestop for credit, but I told him I would take it off his hands to turn into a media box. It gets me a cheap Xbox, and it gets him a better price than he would have gotten at the store. All in all, I'm getting an Xbox with 2 controllers, a DVD remote kit, and 20 games for $120. He originally offered it to me for $100, but I felt bad taking it for that little.

So anyway, as of this week, I will have this Xbox which I would like to turn into a media and emulation box. I've been getting some advice from Roofus as to how exactly to go about it. I was going to pay him to mod it for me, since he's local and I wouldn't have to ship it, but it's a 1.6 and he doesn't work on those.

However, I have heard that there are some solderless mods (and solderless adapters for regular modchips) that work on 1.6. I don't know a whole lot about this, though, so I'd appreciate any suggestions as to what is the best way to go about hard modding a 1.6-revision Xbox, without solder. I'm going to drop a 400GB hard drive in there, and I'd like to set it up with XBMC and some emulators.

A few questions:

- What is the best (solderless, or solderless-adapter compatible) modchip for a 1.6? Roofus suggested a Spiderchip, and I've also heard about Xecutor chips that come with a solderless adapter. What's the best / easiest to install?
- How do I go about the actual modification? Are there software changes I have to make before installing the modchip / swapping out the hard drive?
- Do I need any PC tools? My computer is running Mac OSX (and ONLY OSX), and I'm not proficient with a *nix prompt. Is this a problem at all?
- What is the best dashboard replacement? The whole point of doing this rather than building a cheap HTPC is because--once it's all set up--I want it all to be a really smooth, polished experience.
- Are there any cheap, good wireless controllers?
- Is this product worth the price / difficult to install? It seems like it would be nice, since I want it as a media box primarily, and it would be nice not to have to turn the TV on every time I wanted to get some music going...but I don't know how fully the functionality for this has been integrated into any software. (Also, it apparently only works with Xecutor chips).
- How difficult is it to install programs? I'd like to get everything set up in one fell swoop, and then not have to tinker with it any more...but I'm still hoping it won't be too terribly complicated.
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Re: X-Boxen

Post by az_bont » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:41 pm

I purchased my Xbox pre-chipped, but I did install the exploit on a friend's Xbox (quite an old model), so I'll have a stab at answering a couple of your questions.
DaMadFiddler wrote:- What is the best dashboard replacement? The whole point of doing this rather than building a cheap HTPC is because--once it's all set up--I want it all to be a really smooth, polished experience.
I use the Xbox Media Center as my dashboard, mainly because that's all it's used for these days. However, you can still launch applications and games from it, just as you would with EvoX or any of the others, and it looks nicer than any of the dashboard replacements I've seen.
DaMadFiddler wrote:- How difficult is it to install programs? I'd like to get everything set up in one fell swoop, and then not have to tinker with it any more...but I'm still hoping it won't be too terribly complicated.
Everything can be done via FTP. You log onto your Xbox, and you'll see each of the hard drive partitions listed as folders. You just drag folders onto it and you're away.

There's also a program called dvd2xbox which lets you transfer stuff directly via the Xbox's drive, but I've never bothered with it.
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Post by Nico0020 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:00 pm

Though it does not answer your question, i'd go with a softmod as it takes about 10 mins and is so simple anyone can do it. Though you do have to have an action replay and one of 3 games.
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:02 pm

Nico0020 wrote:Though it does not answer your question, i'd go with a softmod as it takes about 10 mins and is so simple anyone can do it. Though you do have to have an action replay and one of 3 games.
I want it as a media center, which means I want to put a ginormous hard drive in there to hold all my media. Soft mods are out.
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Post by Caboose » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:15 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:
Nico0020 wrote:Though it does not answer your question, i'd go with a softmod as it takes about 10 mins and is so simple anyone can do it. Though you do have to have an action replay and one of 3 games.
I want it as a media center, which means I want to put a ginormous hard drive in there to hold all my media. Soft mods are out.
You can easily upgrade the hard drive even with a softmod. Krayzies ndure is piss easy to use, and takes literally 20 seconds to do the mod. After that you get FTP access and backup everything useful from the original Xbox HD (like eeprom, gamesaves, exploit files so you don't have to copy them again). After that you use a program called XBOX Hard Drive Maker (XBOXHDM) to create an .iso of you hard drive. You take out all hard drives from your PC, put in the one you are going to put in your xbox, pop in the disc you made with the hard drive files on it, XBOXHDM does all the work. Put the drive in your xbox after it's finished and run the autoinstaller again.

Soft mods are in.
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:18 pm

One problem with that, Caboose. My "PC" is a MacBook Pro. I haven't owned a Windows machine in nine months, and I haven't owned a desktop PC in over two years.
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Post by ace » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:46 pm

Well, you could always go bootcamp ;).

I've softmodded mine, so I can't help you in the chip department, but if you want a clean, functional, and polished dashboard, you should check out XBMC.

As for wireless controllers, this one is probably the best Xbox one, though it may be more difficult to find now, as it seems to be discontinued. It's easily the best controller I've ever owned.
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:20 pm

ace wrote:Well, you could always go bootcamp ;).
As I've said before: I switched to a Mac to get AWAY from Windows, not so I could find more convoluted ways for RUNNING it :P
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Post by melancholy » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:53 pm

Yeah, as much as I love softmods, in your case you are better off with a chip, DMF.

At any rate, for what you want to do, XBMC is hands down the best dashboard. I couldn't imagine ever going back to Evox now that I've used XBMC as my dash.
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Post by Egotistical EvilN » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:53 pm

You got a nice deal. Unfortunately, with your lack of a windows PC, I'm not sure how to help you. Flat out refusing to use windows is a little bit stupid, when it's only a temporary install. I'd suggest going to xbox-scene, and start reading.

However,I do know that once you have it softmodded, you can use a certain disc (not sure of the name at the moment). You boot the disc, swap out the hard drive, then it sets up your hard drive and installs the uxe mod on it at the same time.
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Post by APE » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:05 pm

1.6's require an LPC rebuild, which just means you lay down this PCB, solder it's points to the PCB and it brings the 1.6 into spec with the rest of the xboxs for an easy chip install.

Solder is the best way to go easy. Exploits are meh. If for any reason they do mess up you'll wish you hadn't gone that route.
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Post by pixel » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:50 am

DaMadFiddler wrote:One problem with that, Caboose. My "PC" is a MacBook Pro. I haven't owned a Windows machine in nine months, and I haven't owned a desktop PC in over two years.
I've done the Krayzie's mod and XBOXHDM on my mac. All these losers are n00bs. PM, email, IM or call me if you want to go over it sometime.
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Post by MulletMan13 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:52 pm

I'd like to put XBMC as my dash, but I've really fallen out of touch with how to do anything on the Xbox... plus I have all the menus set up the way I want with Evox...

damn.
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Post by Thomas » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:02 pm

I'd really like to drop a large (250 or 320gig) HDD in my box, but I was the not the one who softmodded so I would have no idea what to do.

You got a pretty good deal for $120 as well.
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Post by pixel » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:50 pm

MulletMan13 wrote:I'd like to put XBMC as my dash, but I've really fallen out of touch with how to do anything on the Xbox... plus I have all the menus set up the way I want with Evox...

damn.
All you have to do is upload XBMC to the root of C: and replace evoxdash.xbe in with default.xbe (XBMC). Then it should boot directly to XBMC.
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Post by abydos1000 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:19 pm

pixel wrote:
DaMadFiddler wrote:One problem with that, Caboose. My "PC" is a MacBook Pro. I haven't owned a Windows machine in nine months, and I haven't owned a desktop PC in over two years.
I've done the Krayzie's mod and XBOXHDM on my mac. All these losers are n00bs. PM, email, IM or call me if you want to go over it sometime.
He has a laptop though. I assume he will at least need a firewire or USB enclosure.
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Post by az_bont » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:12 pm

pixel wrote:
MulletMan13 wrote:I'd like to put XBMC as my dash, but I've really fallen out of touch with how to do anything on the Xbox... plus I have all the menus set up the way I want with Evox...

damn.
All you have to do is upload XBMC to the root of C: and replace evoxdash.xbe in with default.xbe (XBMC). Then it should boot directly to XBMC.
That causes all sorts of problems with the latest versions of XBMC, at least with my modchip.

There should be another small program included with the XBMC release, just an XBE and a configuration file, which can be used to launch XBMC instead. You edit the config file to point to where XBMC really is, and use that small XBE as your "C:\evoxdash.xbe".

The advantage of this approach is that you can install XBMC to the larger E: drive, so that you won't run out of room if you've got a lot of skins or scripts or whatever.
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Post by atf487 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:55 pm

Thomas wrote:I'd really like to drop a large (250 or 320gig) HDD in my box, but I was the not the one who softmodded so I would have no idea what to do.

You got a pretty good deal for $120 as well.
Get an old copy of Mechassault and uninstall the mod, then install a new and better one.

I think my friend has my game laying around, if you paid shipping I'd send it to you.
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Post by pixel » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:50 pm

az_bont wrote:
pixel wrote:
MulletMan13 wrote:I'd like to put XBMC as my dash, but I've really fallen out of touch with how to do anything on the Xbox... plus I have all the menus set up the way I want with Evox...

damn.
All you have to do is upload XBMC to the root of C: and replace evoxdash.xbe in with default.xbe (XBMC). Then it should boot directly to XBMC.
That causes all sorts of problems with the latest versions of XBMC, at least with my modchip.

There should be another small program included with the XBMC release, just an XBE and a configuration file, which can be used to launch XBMC instead. You edit the config file to point to where XBMC really is, and use that small XBE as your "C:\evoxdash.xbe".

The advantage of this approach is that you can install XBMC to the larger E: drive, so that you won't run out of room if you've got a lot of skins or scripts or whatever.
You can do exactly what you want. In one of the config files, you can choose a different XBMC folder AFAIK.
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Post by sixteen-bit » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:08 pm

pixel wrote:
az_bont wrote:The advantage of this approach is that you can install XBMC to the larger E: drive, so that you won't run out of room if you've got a lot of skins or scripts or whatever.
You can do exactly what you want. In one of the config files, you can choose a different XBMC folder AFAIK.
If you're softmodding and have a phantom C: (most decent softmods do) then your dash (XBMC, EvoX, whatever) resides in E:\dashboard\ anyway. :)
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