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My Classic Xbox is a Classic BASTARD


Jess Ragan
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So I heard about all the neat things you can do with a hacked Xbox, and picked one up from an online auction. Unfortunately, the only neat trick my Xbox seems to do is piss in my eye from ten feet. It was working fine UNTIL I attempted a soft mod, using Softmod Installer Deluxe. I backed up the my files, as instructed, then ran the soft mod, as instructed. Except it wouldn't actually RUN the soft mod, telling me that the "batch process failed." Repeated attempts to make it work went nowhere, so I decided, "Okay, I'll just restore the files and return to this later."

 

I restored the files. When I returned to it later, I discovered that my dashboard was gone, replaced with Error 13. Well, fuck me. However, I could still boot games, so it seemed like a temporary setback. I could just come back to it in a little while and fix whatever problems it had after I bought the right equipment.

 

Yeah, right. I fired up the system a day later and Error 13 became Error 16. Evidently if the Xbox hasn't gotten power for a while the clock dies, and if the clock dies and it can't find a working dashboard, it decides that it won't even TRY to work, at all, with or without discs. Once this happens, the instructions tell me, I am "fux0red." Oh, but there's a solution! Wait wait, you're gonna love this.

 

-Get a friend with a modded Xbox.
-Unlock his HDD with eeprom management from AID or XBMCID.
-Than, place his HDD in your Xbox.
-Boot with your chip on.
-Now the Xbox DOES find a dashboard when you boot in original mode and you can set the time in the MS dashboard clock settings.
-Shut off Xbox and remove your friends HDD
-PLace his HDD back in his Xbox and lock it again
-Install your HDD
-(clock has been set) So boot up with AID / XBMCID.
-Install normally whatever you wanna install
-lock HDD
Oh yeah, sure, that's no problem. I'll just find someone in the vicinity with a console that hasn't been actively supported for a decade, then ask them to open the thing and swap hard drives several times. ARE YOU FUCKING OUT OF YOUR GOURD?! What the hell kind of "easy and newbie friendly solution" is that?
I spent money on the Xbox. I spent more money getting peripherals and software for the Xbox so I could use it. Now it's looking like I'll have to spend even more money to get it fixed. At this point it would probably just be cheaper to buy an entirely new Xbox, except of course if I screw up the softmod on that, I have two boat anchors instead of just one. In other words, I'm hosed no matter what path I choose.
This was supposed to be easy? Nothing about this has been easy... NOTHING. "Easy" is running one of a dozen exploits on your Wii and putting the Homebrew Channel on it. "Easy" is putting two files on your PSP's memory card and running one of them to hack the system. "Easy" is installing Henkaku Enso on your Vita, by visiting a site and then installing a VPK file. Easy is NOT buying weird peripherals from China, digging up an old flash drive the old-ass Xbox can recognize, putting files on it with an arcane file transfer program, putting said files on the Xbox's hard drive, running an exploit game, starting the exploit, and ruining your Xbox because the damn soft mod wouldn't start!
Forgive the outburst. Wasting my time and money on absolutely nothing tends to get me a little cranky.
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Yeah, right. I fired up the system a day later and Error 13 became Error 16. Evidently if the Xbox hasn't gotten power for a while the clock dies, and if the clock dies and it can't find a working dashboard, it decides that it won't even TRY to work, at all, with or without discs. Once this happens, the instructions tell me, I am "fux0red." Oh, but there's a solution! Wait wait, you're gonna love this.

 

 

Do you know what the clock chip is?

I don't really know anything about Xboxes beyond what they are but I was wondering if the clock chip was similar to the one in the Falcon that uses RAM for storing data, in which case the dashboard data may have become corrupted when the clock battery failed (if that is where it is stored).

If that is the case and the clock chip can be easily replaced then perhaps the system might recognise a replacement clock chip and run some kind of internal setup program that would restore access to the dashboard, or at least get you back to the Error 13 state so that you can still boot games.

 

That said the clock chip failing at the same time would be quite a co-incidence, unfortunately I would think it more likely that some kind of file corruption occurred as a result of either the failed attempt at the software mod erased or during restoration of the backed up files that has screwed it up.

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It does not sound like your xbox is chipped (hard mod) so I don't think those instructions will work. Also sounds like you have an xbox version that some of those automatic "scripts" do not like. On mine and my nephews I had to telnet into the xbox's and run the process manually. Working around the error that the install script produced.

 

It is also possible to connect your xbox HD to a computer with an IDE controller and a softmod boot disk (for PC). But that would require some work.

 

You could always try looking for help at www.emuxtras.net or http://www.xbox-hq.com/html/forums.html

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Thing is, I've done a soft mod on a classic Xbox before! I didn't anticipate any problems with this mod, but boy did I get them.

 

The only options I seem to have at the moment are the aforementioned hard drive hot swap and just installing a mod chip. I wouldn't be totally averse to dropping in a mod chip, but I'm starting to wonder if it's worth all the trouble I'm putting myself through. I've thrown more money at this Xbox than I wanted already, and I'm thinking maybe it's time to back out before the situation gets worse. I'd like to find someone to do this for me, but I'd have to pay for shipping both ways and labor on top of that. At that point I might as well throw out the damned Xbox and start from the beginning, or say "to hell with it" and forget the whole thing.

 

It's a shame. Coin-Ops and Final Burn Legends look REALLY nice. I've got a dozen game systems and handhelds that can do emulation, but none of them offer an interface that looks this good and works this seamlessly. With other systems you're just picking files from a menu... with the Xbox emulators it feels like an arcade jukebox, with images and even footage of every title available. That MATTERS. If the Wii had an interface that slick and ran emulators worth a damn I'd just go with that, because lord knows I have plenty of those, and they don't tend to self-destruct the way this Xbox has.

Edited by Jess Ragan
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I've never had a softmod fail before like that, but there is another way. You can do the hot-swap method... when you turn on the XBOX, it unlocks the drive. If you leave the drive powered on and swap the IDE cable to a running PC carefully, you can use xboxhdm to rebuild the drive.

 

None of this is an "easy" fix, though.

https://xbox-hq.com/html/xbox-tutorials-161.html

 

No reason to get upset about it. An old XBOX isn't worth more than $20. They are cheap and easily found and generally easy to mod, but many of them have problems now after 15 years, so there is risk. The tools are old and take old computers with IDE and CD drives to hack them...

 

They make a really nice box to play old emulators on though. Not so much anymore for watching video because everything is HD and they don't have the horsepower to decode anything above 480p.

Edited by R.Cade
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So you're basically saying that the best approach is to buy a different Xbox and start anew. I'll take it under consideration. It's a shame, though, as this was a late model system with a capacitor that doesn't leak all over the place after ten years. I may attempt the hot swap if I can find an el cheapo computer in the vicinity... none of mine have IDE drives, so I'd have to track down a guinea pig for that purpose. If it costs more than just getting another Xbox, I'll just get the Xbox.

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Sorry to hear about the problems you're encountering after talking about modded Xbox in my earlier thread.

 

Although I've soft modded a couple of them, I'm still a noob when it comes to what happens during the process. All I can say is that the YT video I'd linked worked great for me, a first-time soft modder. (There's even a useful comment on the page that tells you to move the D-pad left, then right again after Chimp starts so that you don't have to race against the clock when hotswapping the DVD drive for the upgraded HDD.)

 

If your DVD drive works, you already have about 80% of the value of an Xbox. (It's hard to sell an Xbox with noted drive problems for even $10 before shipping.) It's not difficult to pick up an "untested" example for $30 shipped. You just have to make sure that it boots up to the date/time screen and doesn't have a red ring. (Flashing green/orange is usually okay because it means that the AV cable isn't plugged in).

 

I like the clean, late-model 1.6 version, which is what it sounds like you have, but it does have problems with some games running at 480p -- most notably, Panzer Dragoon Orta.

 

Also, if you're looking for larger IDE drives, you can buy brand new 250GB models for $20 shipped off eBay.

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Another thing you can do is commit to having two softmodded Xboxes. A modded Xbox is so cool that you may want two anyway. You may want to use one for Coinops and the other for storing Xbox games (which use up a fair amount of HDD space).

 

Then, you can look for one that's NOT a 1.6 so that you can play those few games in 480p. The key here is having at least one working DVD drive between them, because you'll need to be able to boot up Splinter Cell.

 

However, once you have softmodded and loaded what you want, you don't really need a working DVD drive (although it's preferable to have).

 

That way, you can try the solution you quoted in the first message of the thread.

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What really chaps my buns is that I do have a modded Xbox... in Michigan. Doesn't do me much good there, and who knows what condition it's in at this point. I don't even remember doing much with it afterward, making me wonder why I even bothered. (Sure would come in handy NOW, though.)

 

At any rate... I have a mod chip coming from AliExpress, which should arrive in maybe a month? It's a daunting procedure (1.6 systems are the hardest to mod it seems), and judging from my recent luck with mods, I'll probably wind up blowing the roof off the house in the process.

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What really chaps my buns is that I do have a modded Xbox... in Michigan. Doesn't do me much good there, and who knows what condition it's in at this point. I don't even remember doing much with it afterward, making me wonder why I even bothered. (Sure would come in handy NOW, though.)

 

At any rate... I have a mod chip coming from AliExpress, which should arrive in maybe a month? It's a daunting procedure (1.6 systems are the hardest to mod it seems), and judging from my recent luck with mods, I'll probably wind up blowing the roof off the house in the process.

 

I'm new to the modded Xbox scene, but it seems as though the advent of Coinops changed a lot. I'm not sure when Coinops launched, but version 8 is really slick.

 

I was just messing around with it earlier, and played some 4-player arcade TMNT & Simpsons and GBA Legend of Zelda Minish Cap.

 

I'm not sure if standalone emus are better than the ones built into Coinops, but they've all seemed pretty solid to me (except for the newer systems like PS1 and N64).

 

The screensaver is fun all by itself, randomly scrolling through thousands of 10-second video clips of each game.

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