This great device was here this is the Xbox and so for the first time let me now unveil Xbox. The original Xbox just turned 16 years old and it’s fair to say it’s one of my favorite, if not my all-time favorite console ever. There was something special when the machine was released in 2001 and it truly felt like it was the last console you’d ever want to play. Microsoft really hit it out of the park.It had it all – 64 megabytes of RAM, built-in hard drive, broadband network port, DVD movie support and of course – The Duke. What a controller this was often criticized for being oversized but to me it was awesome.
The later released “S” controller became the prototype for the Xbox 360 controller that preceded it. The system was modded pretty easily thanks to the ability to flash a modified BIOS to the TSOP package. Microsoft clearly did not anticipate the system being busted wide open so quickly. Because it was x86 based and utilized DirectX what this did was open the door for homebrew, emulation and media players that could be developed on the PC but easily ported to the Xbox.
If you’ve ever owned a modded xbox the chances are you’ve played my homebrew and emulators. So I ended up finding a local seller that was selling an Xbox for about $50 so I decided to pick up the Machine and see if we can softmod it as well as fit a compact flash device in place of the eight gigabyte hard drive that come stock with an Xbox – so let’s see if we can make that work. So this is the Xbox that I picked up it’s in pretty good shape there’s a few minor scratches but overall it’s well looked-after. Now I’m going to walk through how to softmod an xbox there are a ton of tutorials and videos out there but it’s also a little confusing if you’re not sure what to do. So I’m going to keep it real simple You’ll need an Xbox of course, a copy of Splinter Cell and it has to be an original version not a greatest-hits version or anything else Also you’ll need a USB to controller port cable adapter these cost a few bucks on eBay and finally you’ll need a USB flash drive 512 megabytes or higher is recommended.
Now on your PC plug in your USB thumb drive and download these soft mod install files and Xplorer360. I’ll leave a link in the description below for a location of both of these. Next what you want to do is extract these soft mod install files onto your hard drive next load up Xplorer360 and select partition 0 now you can drag the contents of the soft mod installed files that you previously extracted into partition 0. Go ahead and unplug your thumb drive from your PC and then connect up your USB to control port cable to your Xbox and then plug the thumb drive into that. Now on the Xbox dashboard go to the memory sub menu and then select Controller 2 – now you’ll see to save files go ahead and copy both of those save files to the internal Xbox hard drive. Now it’s time to load Splinter Cell you’ll see a profile called Linux select that and then select checkpoints and that will trigger the exploit and boot up to a custom dashboard now from here we’re ready to install the softmod. What we need to do is first back up our EEPROM this will copy it to the hard disk in case we need to recover it later Install the softmod just follow the on-screen prompts and you will have a modded system on your next reboot you will have a fully modded xbox to play backups, emulators and media players.
Now we have a soft modded system and we could stop right here but remember I want to install a compact flash card into this machine and we can’t do that with a soft mod. Let me explain. So before we continue I think it’s important we talk about locking of hard drives. Each Xbox system has a hard drive which is an 8 gigabyte hard drive and that’s locked to the console with a serial number and the serial number is stored in the Xbox’s EEPROM as well as on the hard drive and essentially what that means is if you try to take a particular hard drive and install it into another Xbox it’s not going to work because the serial number on the hard drive does not match the EEPROM serial number in the second Xbox that you try to install the hard drive – so what you need to do once you’ve modded your Xbox is to unlock the drive.
Unlocking the drive essentially means you can take it and install it onto another Xbox that has been modded previously but it doesn’t mean you can install it onto an Xbox that is a stock standard Xbox. Now what does this have to do with compact flash cards ? Well it’s quite simple – we can’t install a compact flash device on a soft modded xbox what we need to do is enable the flashing capability on the motherboard flash a new custom BIOS and then install the compact flash device. So let’s take a look at that now. So opening up an Xbox is pretty simple first turn the Xbox over there are six screws that need a Torx 10 screwdriver to remove go ahead and remove each of them two of the screws are underneath warranty stickers and the other four are concealed under the rubber feet. Once that’s done flip the system upright and remove the top shell it should just lift away. This is the inside of the Xbox and we’ve got the 8 gigabyte hard drive which is what we’re going to be replacing with the compact flash device and this is the DVD drive we’re going to keep that in the system in fact there’s nothing the system won’t work without a DVD in the system and of course you know we want to keep it anyway because I have a back catalog of games that I want to play.
The hard drive cradle is held by a single Torx that can be easily removed once that’s done remove the IDE cable and the molex power connector and then remove the cradle away from the motherboard. The DVD drive has two Torx screws on either side at the front of the cradle so go ahead and remove those as well next remove the yellow power cable and the IDE cable from the DVD drive and then the cradle will simply just lift away now before we can remove the motherboard from the case we need to disconnect all the connectors from the motherboard so remove the GPU fan and the case fan as well as the main power connector there’s also two connectors that connect up to the controller remote board don’t forget those as well now with the Torx screwdriver go ahead and remove all the screws connecting the motherboard to the case there should be 11 of them so once all the screws have been removed the motherboard should easily lift away from the case if it doesn’t double check your work and ensure that all the screws have been removed before proceeding so what we want to do next is flash a custom BIOS onto the tea shop and the reason why we have to open up the case to do that is because the tea’s up by default is read-only now by bridging to solder points on the motherboard we can make the teashop read writable which means we can then flash a custom bios onto the motherboard so in order to flush the t’s up what we need to do is bridge a SATA point on the top side of the motherboard and then flip it over and bridge another saddle point on the bottom now I will say that there are different versions of the Xbox or motherboard there is everything from version 1 to version 1 and version has a certain way of enabling the t-top flash version to have another method and with version I don’t believe you can actually flash a teashop because I believe the LPC header has been removed so I think your only recourse if you have a is either soft modding or a mod ship so soldering those two points takes a little practice but it’s pretty simple to do it took me all of about 2 minutes then I checked my work and everything looked good so now we can form the BIOS flash because we still have a soft mod I’ve burnt a utility called hexan to a DVD and booted it on the Xbox once it loaded I then selected t-top flash from the menu and flushed a custom by us this process takes about a minute or two the next time you boot up you will see a custom boot screen now we can finally install our compact flash card for my xbox I’m going to use a 32 gigabyte compact flash card it’s not the largest but the bigger compact flash cards can get quite expensive however I think a compact flash to SD card adapter would work quite well if you did want something larger now that we have our modded xbox with compact flash let’s go back to what makes this machine so awesome first of all the homebrew support is excellent this tool called DVD to Xbox will allow you to copy your discs to the hard drive I have a nice collection of original games and of course nothing beats original games but the less where on my DVD drive and discs the better so I just prefer to install these games on my compact flash card and play them that way incidentally Microsoft officially added the same functionality on the Xbox 360 many years later even though there is support for HD displays I’ve always preferred to play original Xbox on a CRT display the Xbox has some fantastic games out run 2006 is one of my favorites but it’s getting harder to find these days so if you do see it in the wild I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up another benefit of a modded bios is the ability to play games from other regions this is the Japanese version of Jet Set Radio future by Sega which is easily one of the best games for the system in my opinion and any region games can be installed to the Xbox hard drive using DVD2XBOX and how can I not talk about Timesplitters 2 which is a fantastic first-person shooter by Free Radical.
If this game reminds you of Goldeneye on the N64 you’d be correct. Free Radical is made up of essentially the same development staff that developed Goldeneye and Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64. Speaking of Nintendo, the emulators on the Xbox are excellent and still hold up very well today. Let’s take a quick look at some of my software ports this is my Super Nintendo emulator called xSnes9x which is based off Snes9x I’m only just revisiting this emulator after about seven years and it still feels and runs great today. It even supports lightguns for super-scope games and justifier games like Lethal Enforcers. Did you ever think it would be possible to play Killer Instinct on an original Xbox? Well here it is a Raspberry Pi or Pandora’s Box has no chance of running this thing anywhere close to full speed. There are many emulators that can boot from original discs this Sega CD emulator called Xenesis can boot from originals with full CD audio music.
This Nintendo 64 emulator called Surreal64 was a very ambitious project where I combined three open-source emulators into one to increase compatibility. I went back and played it and I noticed there are certainly issues with some of the games and some graphical glitches but there is a team that has been maintaining and updating it that I’ll definitely need to check out as it stands it runs many classic Nintendo 64 games very well I was very proud of this emulator and I consider it one of the best things I ever coded and worked on and my port of a Neo Geo CD emulator called neo CD STL can also prove from originals what’s cool about the Xbox is that it’s truly the only system you ever needed for all your gaming and emulation needs I also find it interesting that there are active Kickstarter campaigns for CD cloned based systems when the Xbox has been doing this since about 2002 now before I go I did want to mention a couple of things now obviously in this day and age we all know about raspberry PI’s and how great they are for emulation devices but one thing I will say is don’t discount a $50 Xbox it has everything that you need literally out of the box to get an emulation station as well as playing amazing amazing Xbox original games in one system you can plug it into a high-definition television fly component cables or you can keep it retro and use a CRT and plug it in via s-video scart RGB or composite video and all that stuff is available to it out of the box for you know $50 for a used system it’s pretty much a no-brainer and with the Nintendo 64 PlayStation and arcade emulation that’s out there it’s really a great device and to top it off you’ve got a huge library of a really really good Xbox original games to pick from as well now I did showcase some of them on this particular video but there are so many awesome Xbox original games out there for you to play before you think about picking up a Raspberry Pi and a power supply and a controller and a SD card and all the little bits and pieces you need to get a emulation station running on a Raspberry Pi maybe you want to think about picking up an Xbox because they do a really great job for about the same amount of money and I would argue less money than a Raspberry Pi as well as having the ability to play those classic Xbox games well that’s it for this video guys I hope you enjoyed it let me know what you thought about it in the comments below as always don’t forget to Like and subscribe and I’ll catch you guys in the next video bye for now