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Turn your original Xbox into a fantastic emulation machine

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This one sounds complicated, but it's not as bad as it seems.  Modding the Xbox requires you crash the console by loading up a specific game and it's own exploited save game file.  Once you have done this, the whole console is unlocked and you can connect it to your home network and copy files to it from your computer via FTP. 

 

When I softmodded my Xbox many years ago, the only difficult part was getting the save file from the internet onto the console.  Back then, I used a Datel Action Replay with an official memory card. These days, this process is much simpler, as you buy a cheap 'Xbox to USB' cable from eBay (£3 delivered) and copy your save file to a USB stick. 

 

If you don't own one of the specific games, you will need to track one down.  Then you can download the specific saved game file for that game.  I used Splinter Cell as my game, downloaded the save file for it, copied it onto the memory card and played the game.  As soon as you load the save file the game crashes, then drops you into a new (basic) dashboard.  From here, you can access the Xbox hard drive and copy files to it via FTP.  Modern Vintage Gamer has produced a good video which I will link to below, but the whole process is very easy and the only tricky part seems to be for people who have never used FTP to copy files before.   

 

I'd also add that it's quite straightforward to switch the stock 8Gb hard drive from the Xbox with a bigger capacity one.  I had an old 500Gb knocking about so I stuck that in the Xbox.  If you've ever swapped a hard drive in a PC then the process is much the same, however you need to clone the old hard drive onto the new one during the process.  There's a great guide here 

https://www.instructables.com/id/Original-XBOX-Hard-Drive-Upgrade/

 

There's also the issue of the clock capacitor. There are various revisions of the Xbox motherboard up to version 1.6. The last version (1.6) was fixed but previous versions have a poor quality capacitor on the motherboard that is prone to leaking highly corrosive acid all over the motherboard. Luckily, as you're opening the case up anyway it is quite easy to locate the capacitor and yank it out. The Xbox works fine without it.  Full guide here. http://myoriginalxbox.weebly.com/capacitor-removal.html

 

In summary,  to swap the hard drive, you need to have softmodded the Xbox first.  Then you buy a Y splitter cable (mine was £1) which allows you to power the new bigger drive from the Xbox at the same time as the original 8Gb drive.  You install a homebrew program on the Xbox called "Chimp Hard Drive Clone". You set the new HD as a slave, and power it from the Xbox using the splitter cable.  With the Xbox powered on and running the Chimp program, you carefully remove the IDE cable from the DVD drive and connect it to the new hard drive.  The console now has 2 hard drives connected at the same time and no DVD drive.  Then the Chimp program clones the old hard drive onto the new one, including all the weird security stuff.  Once this is done, you can power off the Xbox, remove the old hard drive and Y splitter, put the new hard drive in place, reconnect the DVD drive and you're done. 

 

If it wasn't for the size and the wired controllers, the Xbox would be the emulation machine of choice.  It does everything the Wii does, but is way better on N64, as well as allowing you to back up all your Xbox games onto the Hard drive (Outrun, Burnout 2, loads of awesome Xbox exclusives like Jet Set Radio Future..... heaven...) .  The OG Xbox is a chunky thing, and doesn't sit under the TV alongside all the current gen consoles like a Wii or Raspberry Pi does.  But if you don't mind having it on display, it's a kick ass gaming machine, and the new front end for emulation is amazing and makes it well worth modding.

 

 

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Probably a good time to mention the clock capacitor issue. While you have the case open it might be an idea to remove it, if it hasn't already. There are guides out there. I'm not sure how long the things last or whether extended use makes it more likely to conk out. Surely any that would have died would have by now; there haven't been any new machines manufactured in nearly 15 years.

 

I was lucky enough to get a chipped one and, touch wood, it hasn't died yet although on my Sony Trinitron I get this weird green/purple banding on some games. I tried a couple of RGB cables and had the same result, so I'm assuming it's the unit.

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48 minutes ago, Vimster said:

Probably a good time to mention the clock capacitor issue.

 

True and MVG discusses that in the video. I think mine is a 1.6 so it's not affected but def worth checking .

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Great guide. I got my OG Xbox chipped about 2006. I put a bigger hard drive too. I remember downloading the torrents of Deadwood Season 3 the day after US broadcast to watch on XBMC. That was the first time I did that. Good times. I had a crystal one too which wasn't modded. I can't remember if I sold them or if they're maybe still at my Mums. I'll need to go up and have a dig about. I still have my chipped PS2 slim too.

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Ah Yoda Box

 

Sold mine (a crystal one no less) a few years back as much as I loved it I never used it.

 

But a fabulous emulation device - sadly these days my laptop does everything it did somewhat better but still a much missed device under the telly nevertheless

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Dug my Xbox Crystal out of the garage recently when I was back visiting my folks. Had a blast resurrecting my Wii and finding out what it can do. So now its time to turn my attention to the orginal modders machine. Better whip that capacitor out sharpish! 

 

Was put off by the lack of wireless controller options - but found this:

https://hackaday.com/2019/02/08/use-your-360-controllers-on-the-original-xbox/

 

Some chap in Oz has hacked together an arduino(?) board to allow original 360 controllers to work with the OG box. Judging by his twitter feed he's also working on emulating the Steel Battallion controller - as well as allowing other bluetooth controllers to work using the same board. Its £50 via his Etsy order page with pre-orders open for the next week or so.

 

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/682458413/preorder-ogx360-4-player-support-add

 

Or here is his Github if you fancy doing it yourself:

 

https://github.com/Ryzee119/ogx360

 

I've speculatively taken the plunge and will report back in 2 months when it will hopefully have arrived.

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I had a mod chip fitted to my Original Xbox back in 2003 and used it for emulation and err..other things, but I could never get the FTP thing working between it and my PC plus I was very reluctant to do the new dashboard install thing in case I bricked it, so I had to burn DVD's in order to play Emulators and err..other things, which was a right pain in the arse.Without running emulators off the hard drive there was no way to save settings and had to be done manually everytime i played them.

 

...the novelty soon wore off.

 

 

 

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