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Aladdin XT + write enable


MarkC1970
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I am just getting to know my old Xbox again and I cant seem to get the BIOS to flash.  I have D0 on the board tied to ground so it always boots from the modchip and the BT on the RHS of R3G3.

If I click the power button it disables the Aladdin and frags, this is what I expected.  If I hold the power button down either briefly or for longer it boots but the BIOS is write protected.  How do you boot these Aladdin's so that the BIOS is flashable?

Thanks...

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56 minutes ago, MarkC1970 said:

I am just getting to know my old Xbox again and I cant seem to get the BIOS to flash.  I have D0 on the board tied to ground so it always boots from the modchip and the BT on the RHS of R3G3.

If I click the power button it disables the Aladdin and frags, this is what I expected.  If I hold the power button down either briefly or for longer it boots but the BIOS is write protected.  How do you boot these Aladdin's so that the BIOS is flashable?

Thanks...

Some of them show a different hex value for flash type and it isn't always present in the ini file. The good news is: it tells you the current value for the flash it booted from. You can copy that down and add it to the ini file. Usually that makes the flash writable. 

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14 hours ago, OGXbox Admin said:

Some of them show a different hex value for flash type and it isn't always present in the ini file. The good news is: it tells you the current value for the flash it booted from. You can copy that down and add it to the ini file. Usually that makes the flash writable. 

Can you expand of that a bit please?  The current BIOS is shown as unknown but where does it show the current hex value and which ini file do I add it to?  Thanks.

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14 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

For some Aladdin modchip designs, holding the power button for longer than 5 seconds write-enabled the modchip.

Edit: found a site that said 2 seconds to write-enable.

Aladdin Advance XT (knightdiscounts.com)

Thanks for the info.  I think the issue is that the dashboard cannot ID the modchip correctly but we will get to the bottom of it.    Device ID is just a - and in the flashing tool the current BIOS is listed as 'unknown'

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2 hours ago, MarkC1970 said:

Thanks for the info.  I think the issue is that the dashboard cannot ID the modchip correctly but we will get to the bottom of it.    Device ID is just a - and in the flashing tool the current BIOS is listed as 'unknown'

Unknown for the BIOS name means that the dashboard's configuration file does not have an MD5 hash and name to associate with it.  Look for the kernel version instead.  It will be a number with the following format:

  • 1.00.KKKK.NN or 1.0.KKKK.N

Which dashboard are you using: evoxdash or UnleashX?

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7 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

Unknown for the BIOS name means that the dashboard's configuration file does not have an MD5 hash and name to associate with it.  Look for the kernel version instead.  It will be a number with the following format:

  • 1.00.KKKK.NN or 1.0.KKKK.N

Which dashboard are you using: evoxdash or UnleashX?

Evo X dash and reports 1.00.5838.01

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6 hours ago, MarkC1970 said:

Evo X dash and reports 1.00.5838.01

Hard to say exactly which BIOS since there are two different modified Xbox BIOSes that report that save version number.

  1. Evox M8, and
  2. Evox M8plus

Download the evox.ini file from the Xbox.  Open it in a text editor and look for the line that starts with

  • Current =

What is the value after the equal sign?

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5 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

Hard to say exactly which BIOS since there are two different modified Xbox BIOSes that report that save version number.

  1. Evox M8, and
  2. Evox M8plus

Download the evox.ini file from the Xbox.  Open it in a text editor and look for the line that starts with

  • Current =

What is the value after the equal sign?

 

Current = 0x401094bd0f5bb490cb14413efdc63fc1

The line above is Flash = 0x9000, "Chip not writeable", 0x40000.  The flash chip is a 49LF020A

Thanks.

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28 minutes ago, MarkC1970 said:

 

Current = 0x401094bd0f5bb490cb14413efdc63fc1

The line above is Flash = 0x9000, "Chip not writeable", 0x40000.  The flash chip is a 49LF020A

Thanks.

I don't find a matching MD5 hash value for the M8 or M8plus BIOS. Your BIOS must be a version that's been modified from the default settings of the xbins releases.  Any time any setting is changed it's up to the user to note the new MD5 hash value and add a new line to the evox.ini file to identify it.

ROM = "<name of the BIOS you want evoxdash to display>,0x<MD5 hash value of the BIOS>

 

 

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Sorry for the delay I went down with this delightful Covid.

I have edited the evo.ini so it now says "Who knows" for the current bios but the chip will not flash.

I read that because the Aladdin Plus2 has the 49LF020A chip it needs EurAsia Pro Generic Flash v1.3 tool.  I downloaded this and it ID's the chip as 0xbf57 which is a 49LF002B but the chip in the socket is definitely a 49LF020A.  It fails to erase "Erase error at +0x0...read 0x09"   Very confused LOL...

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5 hours ago, MarkC1970 said:

I read that because the Aladdin Plus2 has the 49LF020A chip it needs EurAsia Pro Generic Flash v1.3 tool.  I downloaded this and it ID's the chip as 0xbf57 which is a 49LF002B but the chip in the socket is definitely a 49LF020A.  It fails to erase "Erase error at +0x0...read 0x09"   Very confused LOL...

The 49LF020A chip is the correct chip to flash with evoxdash or any other flashing tool for the Xbox.  However, the ID for a REAL 020A is 0xbf52, not 0xbf57.   

The flash memory chip in your modchip has possibly been relabeled as a 49LF020A but is actually an 49LF002A or 002B (I keep finding different chip part numbers for this ID) or is a FAKE.

One other thing to try is to hold the power button for longer than 5 seconds.  On some Aladdin modchip designs, the CPLD's logic had three different states:

  1. Disabled - short power button tap to power on the Xbox
  2. Enabled - 1 second power button press
  3. Write-enabled - greater than 2-5 second power button press.

Without the extra-long power button press, the flash chip is write-protected.

So, try holding the power button for 5 seconds then try to flash it.  Does it still report the Manufacturer ID 0x09, Device ID 0x00?

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Connected BT to Ground and made no difference.  It would appear I have fake chips, oh the joys...

If I understand this correctly I have 2 options.  (1) get some real 49LF020A's and they will ID and flash correctly, but can I hot swap them? or (2) pull the chip out and flash it externally. 

One thing the puzzles me is that the Xbox can't see the writing on the chip and so if it is a genuine 002A/B then why doesn't it flash it as such?  I suspect the answer is the code on the Lattice chip is only setup for flashing 020A's but just checking if anyone can shed light...

Thanks all.

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35 minutes ago, MarkC1970 said:

If I understand this correctly I have 2 options.  (1) get some real 49LF020A's and they will ID and flash correctly, but can I hot swap them? or (2) pull the chip out and flash it externally. 

After the Xbox boots the BIOS currently stored on the modchip, pull the modchip from the pin header, pop the current flash memory chip out of the socket, install a REAL SST49LF020A flash chip, re-install the modchip onto the pin header then flash it with Evoxdash.

I believe the problem with flashing the relabeled/FAKE SST49LF020A - ID bytes 0xbf 57 => making it an SST49LF002A - flash memory chip is that the logic in the Lattice LC4032 CPLD doesn't work for it.  However, I have no proof to verify my suspicion.

Edit: Another possibly cause is that not all of the pins on the chip are connected to allow it to be programmed (see datasheet quoted paragraph 2 below).  

2 Mbit / 3 Mbit / 4 Mbit / 8 Mbit Firmware Hub
SST49LF002A / SST49LF003A / SST49LF004A / SST49LF008A

Design Considerations

SST recommends a high frequency 0.1 μF ceramic capacitor to be placed as close as possible between VDD and VSS less than 1 cm away from the VDD pin of the device. Additionally, a low frequency 4.7 μF electrolytic capacitor from VDD to VSS should be placed within 1 cm of the VDD pin. If you use a socket for programming purposes add an additional 1-10 μF next to each socket.

The RST# pin must remain stable at VIH for the entire duration of an Erase operation. WP# must remain stable at VIH for the entire duration of the erase and Program operations for non-Boot Block sectors. To write data to the top Boot Block sectors, the TBL# pin must also remain stable at VIH for the entire duration of the Erase and Program operations.

SST49LF00xA 32-lead PLCC Pin Assignments.png

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I’d like to piggy back this thread a tad. I have several of the cheap Aladdin XT Plus chips from AliExpress. Seems the reviews on there say that they can’t be flashed. Is this a fact or would the 2 second power option work for those as well? I have not tried in fear of screwing something up. I’m very good at that.

8A71AF80-CD1C-4997-9249-90119172EBEB.jpeg

Edited by MadMartigan
Pic added for reference
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On 3/13/2022 at 9:22 PM, MadMartigan said:

I’d like to piggy back this thread a tad. I have several of the cheap Aladdin XT Plus chips from AliExpress. Seems the reviews on there say that they can’t be flashed. Is this a fact or would the 2 second power option work for those as well? I have not tried in fear of screwing something up. I’m very good at that.

8A71AF80-CD1C-4997-9249-90119172EBEB.jpeg

Not sure at present but I have a external programmer on order to find out.  I suspect the chip is a rebadged 002A but we will see what it ID's as and if it flashes externally shortly....

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On 3/20/2022 at 9:36 PM, MadMartigan said:

Would love to know what you figure out. 

I will report back but I ordered the programmer from China (silly mistake) and I think it is coming via DHL on Mars LOL.  I have just dropped in a 320Gb IDE hard drive and it only sees the first 132Gb (ish) so whatever BIOS they load onto this Aladdin Clone is not LBA48.

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15 minutes ago, MarkC1970 said:

I will report back but I ordered the programmer from China (silly mistake) and I think it is coming via DHL on Mars LOL.  I have just dropped in a 320Gb IDE hard drive and it only sees the first 132Gb (ish) so whatever BIOS they load onto this Aladdin Clone is not LBA48.

Run XBPartitioiner v1.3.  Does it display an error message that LBA48 support is not found in the BIOS?

If there is an error screen, continue past it and check the version of the LBA48 patch in the top right-hand area of the screen.

                                               vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

85044186_XBPartitionerv1.3PartitionList.jpg.025cb07d73e1f1cf4c36ff5bc2463bde.jpg

 

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That is interesting because we have no error message and it reports as LBA48 patch v3 with the missing storage on partition 7.

G: shows as 0GB so I am guessing the mystery BIOS is F only.  Can I just copy the finishing sector value for partition 7 into partition 6 and zero out partition 7 to move it all to F:?

 

39 minutes ago, KaosEngineer said:

 

Run XBPartitioiner v1.3.  Does it display an error message that LBA48 support is not found in the BIOS?

If there is an error screen, continue past it and check the version of the LBA48 patch in the top right-hand area of the screen.

                                               vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

85044186_XBPartitionerv1.3PartitionList.jpg.025cb07d73e1f1cf4c36ff5bc2463bde.jpg

 

On 3/20/2022 at 9:36 PM, MadMartigan said:

Would love to know what you figure out. 

I will report back but I ordered the programmer from China (silly mistake) and I think it is coming via DHL on Mars LOL.  I have just dropped in a 320Gb IDE hard drive and it only sees the first 132Gb (ish) so whatever BIOS they load onto this Aladdin Clone is not LBA48.

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2 hours ago, MarkC1970 said:

That is interesting because we have no error message and it reports as LBA48 patch v3 with the missing storage on partition 7.

G: shows as 0GB so I am guessing the mystery BIOS is F only.  Can I just copy the finishing sector value for partition 7 into partition 6 and zero out partition 7 to move it all to F:?

Backup any data you currently have stored on the F drive.  Then, use XBpartitioner v1.3 to properly format the extended partition(s) on the hard drive.  

Press the (A) button to step through all of the possible configurations available.  Select the configuration that you want to use.  For the hard drive you have, i'm not exactly sure what all the options will be: one with all of the free space above the stock partitions 8GBs of allocated space for partition 6, another with partition 6 using 120.xxGB and the rest to partition 7 and probably another with the free space of the drive split equally between partitions 6 and 7.  For a 320GB drive, I suggest using all space allocated to partition 6 (F drive). Next, make sure that the command in the upper right-hand corner of the screen reads Write Table & Format. If it is not, press the White button to step through all of the command options until it is.  Finally, press the Start button to perform the selected operation.

 

REMEMBER: All data stored on the F drive will be lost.  You will have to upload the files from the backup you made to restore the content.  The stock partitions' content will remain unaffected by XBPartitioner's reformatting of the extended partition(s).

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OK that was painless enough and there was indeed an option to allocate it all to F:.  So we learn the mystery BIOS is LBA48 v3 and F: only.  What the mystery chip is remains to be seen but when the pigeon finally gets here with my package we will see...

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13 hours ago, MarkC1970 said:

OK that was painless enough and there was indeed an option to allocate it all to F:.  So we learn the mystery BIOS is LBA48 v3 and F: only.  What the mystery chip is remains to be seen but when the pigeon finally gets here with my package we will see...

I don't believe old apps such as UnleashX will format the F drive larger than 137GBs.  To use LBA48 for larger partitions, you have to format the extended partition(s) with XBPartitioner v1.3 which writes a partition table to the first sector of the hard drive.  A BIOS with LBA48 support will check for the partition table and if present override the BIOS default settings.

 

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any luck yet with the fake chip.   I have the same one with id 57.    Would love to update the chip with another bios with no dvd check etc.   If you can get into the chip let me know,   i would love to send you mine to have updated if possible.   thanks.

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On 3/27/2022 at 10:04 AM, MarkC1970 said:

OK that was painless enough and there was indeed an option to allocate it all to F:.  So we learn the mystery BIOS is LBA48 v3 and F: only.  What the mystery chip is remains to be seen but when the pigeon finally gets here with my package we will see...

Fingers crossed for good results. 

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