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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.   

 

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, 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

 

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 connect your new, bigger capacity hard drive as a slave, and power it from the Xbox using the splitter cable.  Your Xbox is now running as normal, but also powering the new hard drive, which 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.  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 completely, remove the 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 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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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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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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