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TSOP'ed Xbox blinking orange after new HDD 1TB + XBOXHDM 2.3 beta3


johnyept
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I have 2 original XBOXes, one is v1.6 and I'll eventually add a modchip, and the other is a v1.2/v1.3. I finally got around to fix the corroded traces problem on the v1.2/v.13 by soldering 4 wires from a 80pin IDE cable, it looks much cleaner than using 4 stranded wires ;)

I added a used 1TB sATA HDD + IDE to sATA adapter + 80pin IDE cable and used Hexen 2018 or TruHexen 2021 (not sure which) which installed fine.

BUT... I know the laser will eventually die and I want to have an alternative method of setting up an HDD, so I picked up a 2nd 1TB HDD and tried XBOX HD Maker 2.3 USB beta3, with the batch file modified to make it work with any connected HDD, not only USB. The steps I did were:

- ran xboxhd.bat, option 2 (Launch xboxhdm), then within QEMU, option 1 (Build a new Xbox HD from scratch)

- did NOT format partitions because it outputs "Error: out of memory" when formatting F: and then scrambles the entire output and menu, instead I went with option 3 (Format extended partitions on Xbox drive) + 4 (F and G splits space evenly), then 2 (Rebuild C-partition on existing Xbox-drive).

When booting the XBOX with this HDD I get a blinking orange light and nothing on screen after the initial boot logo. If I use Hexen to install a Dashboard it works fine, so I know the HDD is correctly partitioned and formatted. The batch installs some files on the C drive, maybe these files are not the correct ones for a TSOPed XBOX?

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Just checked and the version I used to TSOP was TrueHexen 2021, option "EvoX M8 plus F only". HD Maker 2.3 USB beta3 created F and G, the DVD also had "EvoX M8 plus F and G", does that make any difference?

I have the retail 5960 zip from Rocky5 softmod, should I add that to C partition instead, softmod the console with the Splinter Cell save game exploit, then backup whatever files are in C and E partitions, or am I just over complicating things? I'm also not locking the drive, since the TSOP doesn't require it, and it remains unlocked after installing the dashboard from TrueHexen.

Edited by johnyept
fixed misspelling
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I would go with OGXboxinstaller2021

This Disc saved my bacon. Grab that and read up on the section on formatting drives. If you still get a wonkey dashboard after (it did happen to me) grab a movie or a game with the most recent update to update the dashboard and install it. And you should be good after that

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5 hours ago, johnyept said:

The batch installs some files on the C drive, maybe these files are not the correct ones for a TSOPed XBOX?

They are not correct for a TSOP modded / modchip installed Xbox.  Beta 3's HDD_Files/C folder is preloaded with a no-original-game-disc-required bootable Xbox Softmodding Tool installer.   

You need remove what's already in Beta 3's HDD_Files/C folder and add files needed for a hard modded console:

  • Stock MS Dashboard and replacement dashboard file sets. 

For most modified BIOSes, they attempt to load C:\evoxdash.xbe to run the replacement dashboard.  However, with many of the new installer discs; OGXbox Installer 2021, etc.; they have BIOSes available with many different boot order settings.  You need to know which XBE files your flashed BIOS is set to use to know where the replacement dashboard files need to be added to the hard drive.

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4 hours ago, johnyept said:

Just checked and the version I used to TSOP was TrueHexen 2021, option "EvoX M8 plus F only". HD Maker 2.3 USB beta3 created F and G, the DVD also had "EvoX M8 plus F and G", does that make any difference?

F only will work for a 1TB hard drive.  F and G for a 2TB drive.  Actually, either will work for a 2TB drive; however, I'm not sure that XboxHDM23USB adds the XBPartitioiner partition table to the hard drive. Hmmm,...

Quote

I have the retail 5960 zip from Rocky5 softmod, should I add that to C partition instead,

Yes, however, that file, 5960 zip, doesn't have the audio files for the stock dashboard.  There's another zip archive at his github repository you need too:

https://github.com/Rocky5/Xbox-Softmodding-Tool/blob/master/Extras Disc/Softmod/dashboards/msdash/other/Audio.zip

It contains the Audio subfolder for the stock 5960 retail dashboard.

Quote

softmod the console with the Splinter Cell save game exploit, then backup whatever files are in C and E partitions, or am I just over complicating things?

You are complicating things. You do not softmod an already hard modded console.  The two clash and you generally get a  black screen after the big X logo of the startup animation.  No replacement dashboard will be running to FTP into the console.

Quote

I'm also not locking the drive, since the TSOP doesn't require it, and it remains unlocked after installing the dashboard from TrueHexen.

A TSOP'd/modchipped console booting a modified Xbox BIOS does not require the hard drive to be locked.

A softmodded console does require the hard drive to be locked since it uses the original BIOS to boot the console.  The stock/original BIOS requires the hard drive to be locked.

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Thanks for all the input. Your suggestions gave me an idea: I connected the HDD to XBOX HD Maker again, went into disk explorer, deleted every file/folder, then installed UnleashX dashboard with TrueHexen's disc and set it as default. After that I used FTP to transfer the files from C and E to my PC and start the process all over again but this time with the files I FTPed. XBOX HD Maker forcibly wants a xboxdash.xbe in C so I copied evoxdash.xbe to xboxdash.xbe so it runs the copy process, then deleted it using disk explorer. I might have missed something because now the XBOX hangs at the startup logo with the Microsoft word at the bottom, but I was already very sleepy so I might have missed something. Will try again later today.

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I knew a good night sleep would solve the problem! I didn't noticed that Xbox HD Maker doesn't copy the files from the E folder to the E partition, so all I really needed was to install UnleashX using TrueHexen, backup C and E through FTP, and when I need to  install a new HDD, I'll use Xbox HD Maker with the C folder I FTPed and backed up, plus option "4. Browse files on Xbox drive" so I can copy files over from E folder to partition E, taking note of the checkbox to also copy subfolders.

I now have a backup of UnleashX configured to my likings, with TrueMSdash_2_Green skin, modded 5960 dashboard with Audio, plus a few apps including XBpartitioner 1.3 to merge F and G into one partition with 64k clusters.

Now I only have one problem: the clock isn't setting itself, even with the Xbox connected to the net and the "Autoset Clock" option set to Yes...

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11 hours ago, johnyept said:

Now I only have one problem: the clock isn't setting itself, even with the Xbox connected to the net and the "Autoset Clock" option set to Yes...

Is use of an SNTP server enabled?

What is the SNTP server's IP address? 

Compare your UnleashX dashboard's settings to those pictured below.

 

UnleashX - System - Settings - Date and Time - SNTP Server IP Address.png

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Sorry for the late reply, been busy with other stuff. Just tried your settings for the SNTP but it doesn't update, even after reboot. Even weirder, the XBOX has been powered off for 2 days and although it has no capacitor, the clock was 11/9/2021 6:25, when current date/time was 13/9/2021 0:35, so it's not a timezone setting because it's over 24h.

 

The version of Xbox HD Maker I used was the unofficial 2.3 beta3.

Edited by johnyept
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On 9/13/2021 at 2:40 AM, johnyept said:

Sorry for the late reply, been busy with other stuff. Just tried your settings for the SNTP but it doesn't update, even after reboot. Even weirder, the XBOX has been powered off for 2 days and although it has no capacitor, the clock was 11/9/2021 6:25, when current date/time was 13/9/2021 0:35, so it's not a timezone setting because it's over 24h.

 

The version of Xbox HD Maker I used was the unofficial 2.3 beta3.

As long as the console is connected to AC power, the clock is powered.  The power supply has a standby voltage supply that is always on.  It is used to power the PIC processor (v1.0-1.4) or custom Xyclops chip (v1.6/1.6b) - System Management Controller - SMC, clock cap charging circuitry and clock. 

The Xbox uses soft power on / off that requires a part of the console's circuitry to always be powered.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I said powered off, I meant completely cut off from the AC, but somehow the clock was remembering the last date/time. The timezone was also already set from within the Microsoft Dashboard. Anyway, I'm now using XBMC4Gamers as the default app/dash and it correctly sets date/time after booting, so it "kinda" solved the problem.

I did notice another problem though: the led is always orange, I can turn it off from UnleashX or XBMC4Gamers but I can't change to another color. I reflashed the EvoX.M8+ BIOS with the color set to green but it's still stuck on orange... when it was softmodded I could change the color at will with UnleashX, I'm not sure why I can't change it now.

Edited by johnyept
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3 hours ago, johnyept said:

When I said powered off, I meant completely cut off from the AC, but somehow the clock was remembering the last date/time. The timezone was also already set from within the Microsoft Dashboard. Anyway, I'm now using XBMC4Gamers as the default app/dash and it correctly sets date/time after booting, so it "kinda" solved the problem.

I did notice another problem though: the led is always orange, I can turn it off from UnleashX or XBMC4Gamers but I can't change to another color. I reflashed the EvoX.M8+ BIOS with the color set to green but it's still stuck on orange... when it was softmodded I could change the color at will with UnleashX, I'm not sure why I can't change it now.

It may have a short across 2 of the 4 traces across the front of the board as of the 4 traces the 2 closest to the edge are power/eject and the next 2 are red/green led, Or a bent pin the the plug connecting the switch board to the main board.

 

Cheers

SS Dave


Soft modding is like masturbating, It gets the job done but it's nothing like the real thing.

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8 hours ago, SS_Dave said:

It may have a short across 2 of the 4 traces across the front of the board as of the 4 traces the 2 closest to the edge are power/eject and the next 2 are red/green led, Or a bent pin the the plug connecting the switch board to the main board.

 

Cheers

SS Dave


Soft modding is like masturbating, It gets the job done but it's nothing like the real thing.

That might explain it, as I did repair the traces. If I understand correctly, the XBOX doesn't have an orange light, it simply combines green and red LEDs to show that color, so a short would force both LEDs to light up whenever one or both of the LEDs are powered up. I'll check for shorts between the traces as soon as I can to confirm. Darn amateur soldering skills!

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Well I solved the LED problem: I mistakenly reversed wires 3 and 4 on one of the ends, resulting in orange light. I resoldered the 4 wires and the LED problem went away, but now I created a new problem: the eject button sometimes resets the console... ARGH! When I went at it again, I noticed that the 4th trace doesn't need rewiring as it's working perfectly, so I resoldered the 1st 3 wires but the eject problem is still there... I'll look for bent pins in the plug later today and might take another go at resoldering, but if I can't figure out the problem I might as well leave as it is, since the eject button will have very little use. Every game I have has already been added to the console in ISO format, I also recreated the ISOs so they occupy less space using extract-xiso (some games might not like it, I'll check that later), and I even downgraded the 1TB sATA to a 400GB IDE with about 100GB to spare.

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58 minutes ago, KaosEngineer said:

If the modified BIOS you are booting doesn't have the Eject fix patch, reseting the console is what the Eject button is supposed to do.

 

Unmodded, the Xbox will reset when you press the Eject button.

I used evox.m8plus.bin from TruHeXen 2021 and EVtool 1.0.9 to mod the BIOS, I don't see an option for an eject fix patch, but I did disable the DVD Drive Check in case I wanted to power up the XBOX without the DVD Drive later on. Could that be the problem?

Edited by johnyept
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4 hours ago, johnyept said:

I used evox.m8plus.bin from TruHeXen 2021 and EVtool 1.0.9 to mod the BIOS, I don't see an option for an eject fix patch, but I did disable the DVD Drive Check in case I wanted to power up the XBOX without the DVD Drive later on. Could that be the problem?

Looking at the BIOS feature table,  All Retail Bios Information (From XBox-Scene), the Evox M8plus BIOS shows that it includes the eject trick but not the eject fix patch.

eject trick if xbe is compiled with specific flag, the xbox will not reset when you press eject-button
eject fix xbox will never reset if you press eject-button

Some applications, most likely homebrew programs like replacement dashboards, are compiled with that specific flag - need to do a bit more research to find out what flag that is - so the Xbox will not reset when eject is pressed.   However, retail games most likely do not have that flag set.  If you are playing an Xbox game and press Eject, the console will reset.

 

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I found a "M8plus pack v1.4.1 of the PBL Metoo Edition" which includes Metoo-M8plus_16-06.bin and Metoo-M8plus_16-06-EF.bin, readme file says:
 

Quote

 

The M8plus pack v1.4.1 of the PBL Metoo Edition
-----------------------------------------------

Features:
---------

* The bios loader is based on Phoenix Bios Loader 1.3 and works with all
  Xboxes (retail kernels 3944-5838). This is not a Phoenix release and they
  are not to blame for it. :)

* Contains a BFM (Bootable From Media) image of EvolutionX M8+ bios with IGR
  and LBA48 added by NghtShd's EVtool 1.0.9. BFM works with Xboxes v1.0-1.6.


The included image Metoo-M8plus_16-06.bin has the following
settings/patches (can be edited with the included EVtool.exe):

* Partition 6 (F drive) takes rest of the hard disk space
* Quick IGR
* Eject trick (improved over the original, can't be edited with EVtool)
* X2 style Xbox Live blocking (can't be edited)

The image Metoo-M8plus_16-06-EF.bin is otherwise the same except it
has eject fix (this is the corresponding image to the one in M8 pack v1.0).

 

I'll try the 2nd one tonight, if the eject problem goes away, I'll try customizing it with EVtool to my custom setup to see if it breaks or keeps the eject fix. If it works, I don't mind posting a link to it in case someone else finds it useful.

 

EDIT: this is a BFM (Boot From Media) BIOS, I  don't think I'm supposed to flash it, but run it on boot?

Edited by johnyept
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21 minutes ago, johnyept said:

I found a "M8plus pack v1.4.1 of the PBL Metoo Edition" which includes Metoo-M8plus_16-06.bin and Metoo-M8plus_16-06-EF.bin, readme file says:
 

I'll try the 2nd one tonight, if the eject problem goes away, I'll try customizing it with EVtool to my custom setup to see if it breaks or keeps the eject fix. If it works, I don't mind posting a link to it in case someone else finds it useful.

 

EDIT: this is a BFM (Boot From Media) BIOS, I  don't think I'm supposed to flash it, but run it on boot?

Correct, a BFM BIOS is loaded by the Xbox application Phoenix BIOS Loader (PBL), not flashed to a modchip.  If you do flash a BFM BIOS to your modchip, the console will no longer boot.

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Well, mystery solved. Since I'm using ISOs instead of extracted folders, I'm loading Rocky5's BIOS Virtual Disc Patcher Loader before XBMC4Gamers, and that loaded BIOS either causes the eject button to reset by default or doesn't have the eject trick/fix. Just booting XBMC4Gamers makes the problem go away, so I'll ask about that in the correct topic.

I also noticed that the original IDE cable doesn't work correctly with the 400GB IDE drive, which I thought only happened with sATA drives with a IDE adapter. Live and learn.

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