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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 you think. Modding the Xbox requires you hack the console by loading up a specific game DVD from a list,  and having a copy of a modified save game file to use.  You start the game and load your save file and the console freezes, then switches to a new dashboard, with the security removed so you have full access to the console and the hard drive.  Once you have done this, the whole console is temporarily unlocked and you can connect it to your home network and copy files to it from your computer via FTP. This includes installing a whole new dashboard to the hard drive so that your console is permanently modded.

 

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. This makes the whole process really easy, because the USB stick effectively becomes an Xbox memory card, allowing you to easily copy files from your computer to the Xbox.

 

If you don't own one of the specific games you will need to track one down on eBay for pennies. Then you can download the specific saved game file for that game.  I used Splinter Cell, 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.   

 

There's 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 it is quite easy to locate the capacitor and remove it , either with a soldering iron, or by snipping the legs off off carefully. The Xbox works fine without it.  Full guide here. http://myoriginalxbox.weebly.com/capacitor-removal.html

 

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/

 

In summary,  to swap the hard drive, you need to have softmodded the Xbox first.  You install a homebrew program on the Xbox called "Chimp Hard Drive Clone". Using a "Y" Power splitter cable (mine cost £1) you can power 2 hard drives at once from the Xbox.  You open up the console, put the Y cable in place and connect the Xbox hard drive and your replacement hard drive at the same time.  Your Xbox is now running as normal, but also providing power to the new hard drive. The new drive is not connected to the IDE cable yet.  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.  The console is unaware that you switched things and 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 completely, remove the Y splitter, put the new hard drive in place, reconnect the DVD drive and you're done. The guide linked above is clear and you shouldn't have any problems as long as you read through it first to make sure you understand what the steps are.

 

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 at N64 emulation, 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 neatly 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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Saw this this morning, a little optimistic i think...

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2019-05-03 at 07.55.27.png

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On 15/04/2019 at 10:15, MrMorgasaurus said:

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.

 

I grabbed one of these from here with four micro usb cables. 

 

Its brilliant! I’ve combined it with a 8bitdo usb wireless adaptor and now have an Xbox one pad working perfectly wirelessly. Any supported controller for the adaptor will work. 

 

Ive also been in touch with Ryan and he updated the firmware to work with my 360 mad catz fightstick TE. I’ve tested the firmware for him and he’s going to roll it into the main firmware shortly. 

 

did I mention it is brilliant? It is!!

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That’s great to hear. :)

 

Mines in the post so probably on a container ship from Oz at this very moment.... :mellow:

 

Still - great to hear it works as advertised. As it’s just the board I’m going to need a case from somewhere. 

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Also - I finally got round to pulling the capacitor out. No acid on the board but it was leaking a little. And it’s surprisingly potent stuff. My fingers were stinging pretty bad after I’d taken it out. 

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I love the Xbox but I've attempted hack at about 3, got one working then fucked it up by unlocking the hard drive via Chimp. Had cloning problems too.

 

Just now I have 2 xboxes, one opened up with an unlocked hard drive that refuses to boot. The other one is basically brand new, but needs a rubber band replacement of the disc drive, and then the CFW installed. I don't trust myself not to fuck it up, can anyone with experience do this for me and replace the HD with a 500GB one I have? Will pay for time , effort and shipping. 

 

Weirdly I enjoyed Rollercoaster Tycoon Xbox and Morrowind the most, the latter I actually modded on the Xbox with higher quality textures and graphics and looks great.

 

There's modded version of games like Morrowond, GTA and Battlefront out there on OG Xbox .

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Moving house and I'm trying to scoot through lots of unfinished retro projects. Can I ask a question? It's based around me wanting to play DVDs on an original Xbox so pretty silly.

 

I've got an EvolutionX V+3935'ed Xbox and I'm struggling to get it to play DVDs. Selecting 'Launch DVD' was just hanging on the 'Loading' screen in EvolutionX. Now it's going into 'Loading' then going back to the EvolutionX homepage. I'm using one of the DVD remotes and dongles. Anyone got any advice? Or any advice on booting to the original Xbox homepage so I can check the machine will play DVDs. It's fine with game discs....

 

HANG ON! I've managed to get it to work via XBMC. Return to your families.

 

Thanks all xxxXXXxxx.

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On 01/06/2019 at 20:18, MrMorgasaurus said:

That’s great to hear. :)

 

Mines in the post so probably on a container ship from Oz at this very moment.... :mellow:

 

Still - great to hear it works as advertised. As it’s just the board I’m going to need a case from somewhere. 

 

Did it arrive, kean to hear your impressions.

 

I've ended up with two of these so if anyone wants an OGX360 then drop me a PM! I could hand deliver it when we go to the pub @Fireproofradiator?

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12 hours ago, watusi said:

 

Did it arrive, kean to hear your impressions.

 

I've ended up with two of these so if anyone wants an OGX360 then drop me a PM! I could hand deliver it when we go to the pub @Fireproofradiator?

 

I’ve had a quick go. Works like a dream. Really need a case to tidy up all the cables, but functionally I’m very impressed. As attractive as I think a crystal OG Xbox is - this means I can now tuck it away in a cupboard. Now to convince my old Uni alumni to come round to play some 4 player Top Spin and Mashed. 

 

As as for input lag - Soul Caliber 2 is as responsive as I remember. So it’s pretty imperceptible (+4ms in tests if I remember correctly). 

 

Steel battalion with a keyboard add on will be interesting. But that’s for another day. 

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If you need the firmware that supports mad catz fightsticks then let me know. I can email it you. 

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9 minutes ago, watusi said:

If you need the firmware that supports mad catz fightsticks then let me know. I can email it you. 

 

Yes please! My sf iv stick can then be used on Final Burn Alpha. Will pm. 

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On 08/06/2019 at 22:09, watusi said:

 

Did it arrive, kean to hear your impressions.

 

I've ended up with two of these so if anyone wants an OGX360 then drop me a PM! I could hand deliver it when we go to the pub @Fireproofradiator?

I would like one of these, do you still have a spare?

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On 11/06/2019 at 12:44, gunrock said:

I would like one of these, do you still have a spare?

 

Sorry I missed this. I still have a spare, drop me a pm

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Does anyone know of/have any experience of any decent HDMI solutions for a modded original Xbox? I would I like to retire my old AV Receiver as the component inputs for my original Xbox are the only reason I still use it. 

 

Edit - or would a component to HDMI scaler be my best bet?

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@Jazz Glands

 

I have the pound hd link hdmi cable. Online reviews indicate it’s not perfect but they are far more discerning/fussy than me because I’ve found it to be excellent. No issues with lag. Image looks clean and games like soul calibur 2 at 720p look great. 

 

Comparison

 

https://youtu.be/c1-MVEy3Y8Q

 

I got mine via amazon - though looks like only 3rd party sellers now. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07D19QQHW/

 

Incidentally the hdmi footage in the review linked looks a little more washed out than the image I’m getting. 

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Does anyone know if it is safe to simply snap off the clock capacitor? I remember seeing one person saying you can move it back and forth until it snaps but can’t find it now and all the examples I found are using a soldering iron to desolder the capacitor.

 

I will open my Xbox up tomorrow but I suspect it has leaked already. 

 

 

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On 01/06/2019 at 21:09, watusi said:

 

I grabbed one of these from here with four micro usb cables. 

 

Its brilliant! I’ve combined it with a 8bitdo usb wireless adaptor and now have an Xbox one pad working perfectly wirelessly. Any supported controller for the adaptor will work. 

 

Ive also been in touch with Ryan and he updated the firmware to work with my 360 mad catz fightstick TE. I’ve tested the firmware for him and he’s going to roll it into the main firmware shortly. 

 

did I mention it is brilliant? It is!!

 

I had a search to see if there were wireless controllers for the original Xbox as my dog kept going to investigate the cables as I was playing SSX Tricky.

 

I found the adapter for the 360 controller last night but if it works with the Xbox one controller then that‘s even better even if it needs multiple 8bitdo adapters (I skipped the 360 so have none of these controllers ).

 

The only problem seems to be this adapter seems to be sold out  currently.

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Rocking it back and forth will be fine but if it’s already leaked it’s worth checking what damage it’s potentially already done.

 

Make sure it’s not a v1.6 though

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I think it’s not but makes sense to check. I guess the hexen tool disc is the easiest way to check this (it’s already soft modded). I have another model in storage but I bought that at the end of Xbox so I assume that is a 1.6 model but will dig that out to check this week as well. 

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The bios version is 5838 which suggests 1.6. It was built in August 2004.

 

The serial number doesn’t match the list I found here as the digits that are 5 and 4th last are 43 and the list seems to go to 42

https://www.xbox-hq.com/html/xbox-tutorials-228.html

 

It is a crystal Xbox but it surprises me if it’s a 1.6 as I bought it second hand and it’s way louder than the original Xbox I bought new when they were selling them off. 
 

I will try and find my old Hexen disc to check or burn a new one but is the video chip the best way to check?

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@crocked

 

If you are taking the lid off the console anway, like, if you are in the process of swapping hard drives, then it's easy to look at the video chip to get the answer you need. But that's a lot of hassle if you have a Hexen Disk, as Hexen displays the revision on the menu anyway. 

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I took the old Xbox out today, and something has happened that is confusing. It's a crystal Xbox and the Kernel is 5838 so I think that means it's a 1.6. when I originally softmodded this machine it would take me 3 or 4 attempts to get it to switch on in the soft modded state. It would always get there eventually, and I assumed it was something to do with having the machine warm up, or maybe to do with the clock.  Once the machine at booted up as a soft modded machine it stayed that way.  But for some reason for those first few attempts it would switch on as if it was not modded.

 

Today the console has been powered on continually for about an hour, but every time I turn it on it goes to the Microsoft clock settings screen, then to the official Microsoft dash. I've even loaded splinter cell, and use the original method to reinstall the soft mod. At the end of the process the console rebooted into the soft mod environment which said that there was one more step to do. It did that step, reboot to the gang and now I'm back to the original Microsoft dashboard. If I browse the hard drive contents I can see all my games and save files. I can successfully loads the softmod application through splinter cell and play the games from disc. But....  it will play a burned disk! 

 

So can anyone shed any light on what's going on? 

 

Does My kernel number mean I definitely have a 1.6?

 

The manufacturing date is August 2004. 

 

Is there a button combination to switch between soft mods and regular that I've forgotten?

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