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samspin last won the day on April 24

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About samspin

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  1. Sometimes I find that I have to format newly resized partitions twice to get them to show up and work properly. I set the partitions up with XBPartitioner but still find that the partitions are marked with zero size in UnleashX. Use UnleashX to format such partitions, and then go into XBPartitioner again. To get XBPartitioner to give the option to reformat partitions marked ERR press the white button on your controller until "format current partition" is displayed rather than "write partition table" and then press start. Then the partitions should work properly in all dashboards.
  2. I can testify that the tray above will mount in the Xbox HDD tray and the screwholes will align properly. WD Velociraptor Icepacks will also work just as well too, I was lucky getting a bunch in a joblot.
  3. When the temperatures start to get too high for my liking I tend to replace the heatsinks with VGA coolers. Having said, the last time I did this yesterday, I heated the original heatsinks too much in the process of unsetting the glue, teaches me to use a temperature controlled gun to gently heat rather than a hairdryer! Now the board FRAGs and is irrepairable. I'm really not proud of myself for this and don't know why I tried that on this occasion when I normally use a temperature controlled gun. I guess I was acting out of haste, but it's a vital lesson learned to be much more careful with these things. My usual equipment I don't have to hand due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Anyways, I've found that Evercool UFO VGA coolers fit well for both the CPU and GPU, although you'll need to remove the existing plastic retainers from the board, and cut away two screw fittings from the bottom of the case under where the GPU area is. This will give you room to use bolts to hold the new heatsinks on. https://www.ebay.com/itm/332248005105 They aren't too noisy and do their job well. I keep meaning to make a tutorial for this process, but after wrecking my board during the last time I did this, I feel the need to brush up on my skills before doing such a thing. I have got a photo of one of the heatsinks attached on an earlier board I did (and is thankfully still working!): For the avoidance of doubt, I have already posted about this over on the XBMC4XBOX forum.
  4. I've got a board with the same issue, fancy taking it off my hands? It already has the full 128MB on it but FRAGs due to BGA solder problems on either the CPU or GPU after getting the heatsinks too hot from a hairdryer while removing them (the stock thermal glue gum is a PITA to remove). So much for trying to replace the heatsinks and getting ahead of myself. It would be a shame for the RAM to go to waste but I don't have the skills neccessary to do this kind of soldering. For someone with the right skills and equipment I imagine it would be easy. Long answer is yes. However it is very expensive to get it done and very few people are around who openly advertise that they have the neccessary equipment and can do this. If you were softmodded and have saves on a locked HDD and need to extract the EEPROM however, there are tools you can buy to extract it externally. Keep googling, and donate the board to someone who can reuse the RAM! If you do want to go down the route of learning how to do BGA soldering, you'll need to buy a rework station and practice on some old computer equipment you don't care much for. You'll need to preheat the board carefully on a specially designed tray, then apply hot air directly above the GPU to remove it. Then remove all the existing solder balls underneath. You'll need a stencil template of the bottom of the GPU to help you apply new solderballs to it. I've never come across such a stencil for the XGPU so you may well have to make one yourself. Only then you can place the GPU back on carefully and apply hot air again to solder it back into place. That's... the short story. A good example of this kind of work can be seen from DosDude1's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/dosdude1 . Good luck with whichever way you wish to proceed, but you well find yourself repairing a lot of other boards as well as other people's once you've learned this stuff! Repairing other people's stuff as well as your own will be the only feasible way you could make up the cost of buying the equipment.
  5. I usually use the same StarTech one, I've found them to be the fastest- both in terms of startup time and stability during FTP transfers, and most reliable. Sadly though the price has gone up from £8 each to around double that since the COVID19 outbreak began. My last order for two of those at that price magically went missing in the post recently. I'm now back to trying my luck with cheaper ones. I'll post back in here with my results and a link to a listing if I have any luck with them once they arrive.
  6. Also depends on the IDE cable. Some cheap IDE to SATA adapters only work well with 80-wire IDE cables, as opposed to the standard 40-wire IDE cable the Xbox comes with. I've never had much luck obtaining straight flat 80-wire IDE cables with the correct length that bend properly, and they often liked to move themselves in the way of the rear screw during reassembly and get themselves broken with a screw right through the middle! I've had much better luck with round-ribbon 80-wire IDE cables as they are much more flexible to fit in the case. The problem is the short end is often wired intended for 'master', long end wired for 'slave'. This means I can't use Cable-Select mode since the short end will only reach the DVD drive which must be 'slave', while the HDD on the right (which is furthest from the IDE connector on the bottom left of the motherboard) is meant to be 'master'. This means I have to use an IDE to SATA adapter that allows selecting 'master' or 'slave' manually. The DVD drive is already hard-set as 'slave' internally. Just thought I should mention this! Example 45cm round ribbon 80 wire IDE cable I use: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/362614729776
  7. Keep in mind that unless you use EEPROM Nuller on your all Xboxes before installing DLC, you will not be able to swap disks between them (well you can, but DLC will be broken and updates won't be used despite being present). DLC and title updates are uniquely signed per HDDHEY! Therefore using an all zerod HDDKEY will allow you to easily swap disks between Xboxes without having to reinstall DLC and title updates all over again. If you do need to swap disks to another Xbox and have to reinstall your DLC, it has to be removed first. Since this is a chore via the MS Dashboard (and doesn't include title updates) it is easier to do this via FTP. Download your E partition files via FTP, then delete the ones currently on your Xbox, leaving just the copy of them on your computer. Then search for any folders named "C$" and "U$" and delete them, then upload the remaining files back your E partition. EEPROM Nuller is part of JCRocky5's softmod package, if anyone wants the download this part, I'll leave a link to it here. https://gargoyle.acns.pns.edu/xbox/TSOP or CHIP EEPROM Nuller.zip BUT: I would highly recommend that you do NOT do this unless you have not got many invested saves. Some games use the HDDKEY to prevent saves being transferrable between consoles, and such saves would break if you use EEPROM Nuller *after* starting such games. Be warned! With a bit of forward thinking, it is best when first starting off with a new Xbox to use EEPROM Nuller, launch each game that has DLC at least once, then install the DLC. Then your Xbox disk can be easily cloned between other Xboxes you may possess (after using EEPROM Nuller on those too). Makes life a lot easier when you have an Xbox in more than one location and want to easily transfer your progress between each.
  8. You can find offline DLC installers over on Digiex https://digiex.net/threads/xbox-offline-xbox-live-downloadable-content-dlc-installers.675/ You'll find the missing Halo 2 update and official DLC maps there.
  9. Oh I remember the joys of trying to avoid going anywhere near having to find a soldering iron doing this the first time ten years ago. I was only successful flashing ONCE after using a pencil and playing join the dots. Sadly though when I tried to update it again to a more preferable BIOS, the TSOP was left partially erased and of course it was impossible to convince EvoX to retry flashing, it just froze in the middle of the process until the power was cut. On next power on: unbootable Xbox. This of course is because alternative materials have a high level of resistence and makes connections unstable and unreliable. I can tell you now it's exactly the same with conductive paint in my experience. Conductive paint or graphite = no no no! Seriously, please don't prolong the inevitable like I did. Get a soldering iron, a reel of tin and a bottle of no-clean flux! Once you learn it is so easy to do! P.S. The unbootable Xbox in this story has been revived years later, only it required more wires to trick the Xbox in attempting to boot from an intact bank in the un-erased portion of the TSOP. Goes to show: you just end up having to dig yourself deeper into a hole trying to put off the inevitable!
  10. I would be interested to see if this could be a viable solution, especially for Xbox owners who don't have their machine hardwired to their router constantly for one reason or another. I know a friend whom has "mum acceptance factor" issues running an ethernet cable from the hallway, where the router is, then across the living room floor to the TV stand, since everything else in the house uses modern wireless. I can say from experience that some games do depend on the time being correct to avoid unpredictable behaviour. One example being Star Wars KOTOR 2. In case of the friend I speak of: The living room powerstrip always gets unplugged at night, causing the Xbox there to lose the time and get autoset to sometime in 2007 by the BIOS on the next boot. Loading a savefile the first time is okay, but then subsequent saves are dated to 2007. This means every time your character dies the game chooses what it believes is the latest save, which is dated 2020, and autoloads it despite there being more recent autosaves. This is quite annoying as it means one has to reload manually and the order of the saves gets mixed up, causing confusion. Even worse, sometimes they get truncated after making many autosaves, resulting in lost progress- especially after the power has been cut more than once between sessions making it difficult to keep track of exactly what the latest save is! I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are other games out there with autosave that could potentially suffer from this issue due to the correct time being lost.
  11. Short answer: sounds like your Xbox PSU is busted. Long answer: you need to check for continuity on the wiring from the Molex cable down to the points they connect to on the PSU. If the Xbox is otherwise working, then the proper voltages are still being properly generated (at least up to the power connector). Therefore I would suspect a loose connection for the Molex wiring and you'd need to reflow the solder holding it in place on the PSU to ensure a reliable connection. Also check the two black wires (ground) are connected properly on the PSU. A continuity meter here is your best friend. If you find that there is a break in continuity you might be able to solder some wires underneath to repair the connections, though at this point I would suspect that the PSU board has cracks in it, so it might be worth a sensible examination overall. Hopefully helpful pointers: the red wires toward the power connector should have continuity to the red wires on the Molex connector, same for the yellow and black wires. Sources: Sometimes I've had wierd issues where laptop size drives would work, but desktop sized ones wouldn't. Eventually I traced it to: the 12V wiring was not connected properly, but the 5V wiring was. Most laptop sized drives (except enterprise ones) only need the 5V circuit, but desktop ones typically need both. If you do not have the tools to diagnose and trace breaks in the circuits on the PSU, I would recommend replacing it for the time being, but plan to fix it later if and when you can get tools to do so. Or give it to someone who can repair it. There is only a finite supply of original Xbox components after all. EDIT: Sensible disclaimer: Do NOT try testing continuity whilst the PSU is plugged into the mains. Also always press the power button on your Xbox after unplugging from the mains: you will notice it will briefly turn on then off. This will help drain the capacitors on the PSU to avoid a potentially nasty shock while handling it, and you should give it a few minutes before taking it out anyway (don't ask me how I know this!). I apologise in advance if I sound like I'm insulting your intelligence, but it is better to be safe than assume/be sorry!
  12. I will tell you now from personal experience: some games simply do not like being run on higher than stock clock speeds. Some are highly timing dependent in order to present animations in the correct order, some can be skipped entirely in my experience even when running a slight overclock at 740mhz- even with a patch. You can patch your .xbe files with the new clock speed and this can increase compatbility somewhat, but it doesn't work for all games. Notably Rockstar games seriously suffer from this issue- I found GTA 3 to be impossible to start due to the camera angles being incorrectly set, even after watching the severely messed up cutscenes. Even if you copy a savefile from a stock speed Xbox, you will find that time-limit based missions will count down faster, with traffic on the road going faster and therefore getting in your way more- essentially making it almost unplayable. It's worth keeping two Xboxes around- one for stock speeds, one with an overclock (or CPU mod). That way you get the best of both worlds- on some games that can handle the higher clocked speed you get a noticable reduction in lag when using it as a host for LAN games. If you do want to try running time-sensitive based games on an overclocked Xbox, make sure you backup your XBEs and patch them with XBEpatcher with the new clock rate (which can be found by viewing System Info in XBMC4Xbox). https://www.ogxbox.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=2805 This works for some games but not all of them, as noted above. In my opinion: a great combo is a 1.4ghz Xbox with an overclock for both the GPU and CPU. Really great for homebrew! I note that you mention Kekule is making an interposer for dropping in 1.4ghz PIII CPUs. This has been done before, and even if it is successful you still need someone with access to the equipment and skills neccessary to fit such an interposer. Generally the people who gain the knowledge to do this spend a lot of time and money doing this, and realistically do have to charge accordingly to make it worthwhile. This is the likely reason only a few people in the world actually are willing to pull off such a mod, let alone give out the knowledge they spent a lot of personal time and money to discover. BGA soldering is no easy feat! I long for a day when BGA soldering is made easier for home users, making repairing today's tech a lot more viable as well as keeping older equipment upgradable for longer. But I'm probably wishing for a mountain there.
  13. I am extremely sceptical such a thing has ever existed. Overclocking needs to be set at a very low level before even the Kernel is started. Further down on that archived page a comment states: "so i downloaded this and can confirm it has a 3dmark06 keygenerator, not as described, why have the comments that told people not to download been taking down this is not as described." It sounds more like the uploader was disgusing a means to pirate software as an Xbox overclock tool. Even if that comment wasn't there, I wouldn't believe it. The serial number of the Xbox is stored in a separate EEPROM. XbOverclock does not require the serial number of the Xbox to work, it directly modifies the BIOS for flashing to TSOP, which is otherwise identical across many Xboxes, and no serial number is stored there.
  14. I'm afraid here's where things get a little tricky. You can indeed use the modchip as leverage, but heres the important thing: to flash the TSOP directly from the Xbox itself, you MUST have booted from it in the first place (that's the short story. It IS also possible to flash the TSOP even when booted off modchip when using a really old, 21-wire chameleon modchip, but those are nearly impossible to find and it's a lot more work anyway. I have heard it is also possible with an XBlast modchip, but i personally haven't tried this as I don't own one). Here's how I would do it in your situation: 1) Temporarily install the modchip and whatever hard drive you want to use. The modchip will allow you to boot the Xbox without requiring that the hard drive be locked. 2) Boot from DVD drive using HEXEN . You can download this here and then burn it to a DVD. Go through the options to format the disk and prepare it. Make sure you install a SOFTMOD, and then choose to lock the hard drive. The reason you have to do this is because the retail BIOS on the TSOP requires the hard drive to be locked. 3) Remove the modchip, and then follow this guide to see where you need to solder the write-enable points on your Xbox board: https://www.biline.ca/xbox_solder.htm 4) Boot using the HEXEN DVD again. The installed softmod will allow the DVD to boot. This time you can go through the options to flash the TSOP to whatever BIOS you want (EXCEPT X3 BIOSs, since these are only for X3 modchips, not a TSOP.) Provided that your soldering was correct, the flashing should take place and then power the Xbox off. 5) If all has gone well, you should be able to turn the Xbox on again with HEXEN one last time. This time, go through the options to "clean up softmod" after TSOP flashing. I honestly can't remember at this stage precisely where in the menus it is (it is ages since I've used this) but it should be there. Also: make sure you UNLOCK your hard drive as you no longer need this! Once you've done that, remove the DVD and turn off the Xbox. 6) Turn on the Xbox and enjoy, put on games via FTP, or whatever.

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