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Xbox FAQ

From OCAU Wiki


This is a draft page used for proposing changes to the the article on before becomes final.

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NEW EDIT: noboundaries-au is working on this to try and get it a little more up-to-date, please bear with the messy page in the mean time -- Noboundaries-au 00:44, 4 April 2007 (EST)

Xbox Hardware

CPU: Modified Intel Pentium III 733MHz

RAM: 64Mb Onboard DDR RAM

Video: nVidia NV2A GPU (GeForce 3 derived)

Video Encoder: Conexant CX25871, Focus FS454, or "Xcalibur" chip

Hard Drive: 8Gb Western Digital or 10Gb Seagate

Optical Drive: A Thomson, Phillips, Samsung or Hitachi based DVD-ROM (all ~4x rated)

Sound: Onboard on nVidia MCPX chip (Same as on nForce MCP - nVidia Soundstorm)

Network: Onboard on nVidia MCPX chip (Same as on nForce MCP)

The Xbox Motherboard is quite similar to an nVidia nForce 420 based motherboard sharing many equal or related components.

The Xbox is a PC, more precisely a "legacy free" PC, as in it contains no ports for what was considered legacy items at the time. Though Microsoft has added security features to make the the Xbox unable to function other than as an Xbox gaming console, this is what modding circumvents.

Xbox Software

The Xbox runs on a stripped version of the Windows 2000 kernel, with an implementation of DirectX 8.1.

The standard dashboard shipped with the system only allows the user to play games, use Xbox Live, change basic system settings, manage gamesaves, and play audio cds.



<Insert useful info here>


Soft-Modding is the process of modifying how the Xbox runs without modifying any hardware. The two methods are outlined below.

Gamesave Exploits

This process involves using a modified game save transferred to the Xbox via USB key, or Xbox memory cartridge, and a game which is known to have an exploit, by exploiting the game, the system can enter a mode where it is possible to install non-standard software, and also install other software that will bypass the Microsoft Dashboard at bootup.

Hotswap Method (Potentially Dangerous)

This process involves booting your Xbox ot unlock its drive (the drive is locked from use as a security feature), and then using a normal PC to access the drive and modify its contents (and install software like the gamesave exploit). This can be dangerous due to different ground mechanisms employed by the two devices, and also by the fact that the current standards do not support the hotswapping of standard IDE drives. Techniques can be employed to minimise the risk of damaging any hardware, if completed successfully this method can allow you to mod your Xbox for absolutely no cost.

Speed/Functionality Mods

These hardware modifications allow you to gain faster speeds, or more functionality from your Xbox, failing that they may just look pretty.

Drive Cable Upgrade

By replacing the stock 40pin IDE cable, with an 80pin cable, faster transfer speeds can be acheived reducing loading times by about 25% across the board

LED Colour Change

In a stock Xbox some the wiring to the LED's that light up the "Power Ring" can be swapped to make it show red rather the green. Half ring colour changes can be acheived by only implementing half the modification.

In a modified Xbox, the dashboard can communicate with the LED controller, and allow Green, Orange, Red, a loop of the the previous colours, and also to turn it off altogether.

Larger Hard Drive

By accessing the Xbox's EEPROM it is possible to find the algorithm the Xbox uses to lock and unlock its hard drive, this can allow you to implement this on another drive and install a larger than standard drive for extra storage space.

Digital Sound Out

It is possible to add a port to allow the outputting of digital sound rather than the standard analog

USB Ports

The Xbox controller ports are standard USB1.1 interfaces with a different plug, by wiring up a standard USB port it is possible to use some USB devices in conjunction with your modified Xbox

Extra RAM (non-1.6 only)

RAM in pre-1.6 hardware systems can be doubled to 128MB by soldering extra RAM chips of the same type as the originals to the board.

Faster CPU (1.4Ghz vs. 733Mhz)

It is possible through alot of work to install Intel CPUs from the same socket type up to 1.4GHz. Most games will see an increase in performance, though some poorly written games, will play to fast, this is fixed by adding a switch to allow the user to switch back to 733MHz mode. The extra CPU speed can also allow the user to do more things in XBMC (as it can play more demanding movies), and Linux (as it can run more demanding programs).

VGA Output

It is possible to wire up the Xbox for VGA output, the exact process depends on the Xbox hardware revision, and the monitor to be used. If all else fails, 3rd party devices can be used instead.





XBox Media Centre (XBMC)



Linux XBOX Version 1.6 Warning

OLDER STUFF BELOW(Potentially outdated)


This is a copy from the Original Xbox Faq from the forums. Thought this might be a good starting point for an Xbox FAQ. Will require a large amount of updating no doubt.


Q. What are the Xbox specs?


The Xbox cpu is a Mobile Intel Celeron 733mhz 128k Cache chip.
The Xbox cpu has a S-spec of SL5SN. This is not listed on the Intel website but the following also match the specs: SL5SP, SL5SS, SL5SK
233mhz Custom based Nvidia Geforce Solution.
Pretty much a Geforce 3 with two vertex shader units (like the Geforce 4)
Custom based Nvidia/Microsoft Design.
Comparable to the Nforce Motherboard sound.
64mb DDR Samsung Ram. globally shared.


Either an 8gb Western Digital 5400 OR a 10gb Seagate 5400. Keep in mind the xbox will only ever use the 8gb regardless of which drive you get.

Q. Can i break my Xbox if it overheats? A.this is very unlikely. In the event of the Xbox overheating due to a fan failure or something like that, The Xbox will automatically switch itself off when it reaches a designated tempreature. The light on the front will blink and you can simply turn the Xbox off for a while and it will be fine. Although if it continiously happens then I would look into the cause of it.

Q. Can I make my Xbox DVD Region Free? A. If you have a mod chip installed then you can watch any region DVD. There are two programs on the internet to do this.

DVDx V1.0 This patches the original Microsoft DVD player so it will play all regions. This still requires a DVD Remote control.

DVDx V2.0 This is a standalone player. Plays all regions and doesn't require a DVD Remote control.

Q. Can I use my Xbox controller on my PC

A. Yes!!!. There are drivers at the following sites.

XID open source xbox controller drivers

All you need is to either cut your controller cable up and stick a USB plug on the end, or buy an extension cable and hack that up. The wires are colored according to USB spec so shouldn't have any trouble wiring it up. Although the Xbox controller has an extra yellow wire. Just ignore it (this is to do with timing).

Q. Is the Xbox just a computer?

A. No. Go play your PS2.

Q. Someone said that the Xbox has USB Ports. I don't see any. Are they lying to me?

A. No they are correct. The Xbox uses USB for its controller ports. Although they may not look like USB they are in fact USB 1.1 ports. The only difference is the fact that it has a proprietary design and it has 1 extra wire (5 wires instead of 4.)

Q. Can I make use of these USB ports?

A. Yes you can. Some homebrew software supports USB devices, such as keyboards and mice.

Also if you plug in a HID Mass Storage Device such as a USB flash disk then the Xbox will detect it and format it so it can be used as a memory card. This is another great use for owners of the Nokia 5510 :)

Microsoft are also selling Phantasy Online in Japan with a USB adaptor so you can use your keyboard on the xbox. This is the first official keyboard adaptor for sale.

System Version

Q. Which Version Xbox do I have?

A. This page on Xbox-scene has all the info you need to know about finding out which version Xbox you have.

Xbox-Scene Versions

Q. Can my Xbox be Modded?

A. Yes all current Xbox models can be modded. There are six different Xbox Versions on the market, V1.0 to V1.6. All of these can be modded but require different bioses on the mod chip itself.

v1.0 had a LPC port with solder filled holes. Allows Cheapmods.

v1.1 had a LPC port with empty holes. Allows Cheapmods.

v1.3-1.5 had a LPC port with a disabled #LFRAME sig. Onboard flash can be written.

v1.6 had a LPC ROM BIOS/video chip. Requires new modchip without #LFRAME.

Note. Most Xbox Since 2005 are 1.6 Xbox


Hard Drives

Q. If I put a bigger, Faster drive in my Xbox will it overheat?

A. Most likely not. I have used a few different drives in a few Xbox's and have never ever had heat problems. Of course this may depend on the end user, but I can assure you that I know a few people including myself that have run 80gb 7200rpm Seagate drives for over 6 months now with no problems what so ever. 120Gb Western digital drives have lasted in several user's heavily-used Xboxen for over 2 years.

A good place to see if your hard drive will work in the xbox is check this list

Xbox Hard Drive Compatibility Chart

Q. How is the Xbox Harddrive set up?

A.Harddrive is partitioned into the following:

C:\ - Dashboard & UI settings
E:\ - user data - xbox dashboard audio - save games
F:\ - not used, but we can format it and use it (2gb for 10gb hdd, 0gb for 8gb hdd. When installing a bigger harddrive this is the partition that receives all the extra space available.)
G:\ Same as F:\ Drive sometime used when a hdd is bigger than the 137GB limit but that now has been fixed so its not used as much
X:\ -swap
Y:\ -swap
Z:\ -swap

CD/DVD Drives

Q. Do CDR's Work in my Xbox?

A. Using CDR's on your Xbox is a bit of a hit and miss affair. Most new model Xbox's will play CDR's just fine. But there are always exceptions. The older models had a lot more trouble playing CDR's. Keep this in mind Mircosoft didnt want people copying burnt music CD so the xbox just doesnt like CDR, CDRW seem to work a bit better than just normal CDRs but it now 2006 DVD drive are getting cheaper every day Xbox will read pretty much any DVDR so please use DVDRs. ALl the drives with will read CDR's are Samsung drives. There are several companys making drives, Thompson.

Q. I have one of the dodgy DVD Drives on my xbox. Can I swap it with another drive?

A. Yes it is possibly to use a PC DVD drive in your xbox so you can run CDR's and other media with full compatability and speed. You can either do a full DVD Replacment or hook up a PC drive as well as the Xbox drive as shown here

Keep in mind that a replacment drive WILL NOT play original Xbox media on an unmodified Xbox. So only do a complete replacment if you don't plan on using Xbox media. However, if you use a modified Xbox, most BIOSes allow the usage of replacement drives (even specially-patched 16x DVD drives which give the standard 4x DVD drive a run for its money). Modded Xboxes with upgraded drives even play original games - not to mention that upgraded PC drives also provide a nice antidote to the normal horror of XBOX dvd-drive media matching (i.e. read nearly all CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R, etc).

if you look around the net like ebay and other online game shops you can pickup replacement parts for your xbox however upgraded PC drives can be hard to come by and sometime need to be aquired from the USA.


Q. What can I do if I mod my Xbox

A. Unlike the PS2 or PSX a modchip in the Xbox means much more than copied games. There are many things you can do when you get a modchip. Here is a small list in no particular order:

  • Run Unsigned Code
  • Region Free DVD
  • Run Progressive Scan DVD
  • DVD without the remote control
  • Run Linux
  • Cheap Gateway (that can play games :) )
  • IRC
  • Convert a PAL box to NTSC
  • Emulators :)
  • Access the internet
  • Play many different media formats (Divx,Xvid,Mpeg,VCD,MP3 etc)
  • Develop and run your own code on the Xbox
  • Upgrade the HDD

Q. Where can i learn more about Xbox Hacking?

A. There are a few different sites that cover xbox hacking but the two main ones that I view are:


Xbox Hacker

Both these sites should cover any new developments in the Xbox world. Good thing to check these sites at least once a day because at the moment the Xbox Hacking scene is very lively.

Mod Chips

Note a lot of these mods chips are old will update soon

Q. Which mod chip is the best?

A. Hard question. Depends on your needs. I could go on and on here about different mod chips and advantages/disadvantages so I will just list the top 3-4 chips and pro's and con's on each. In the end the decision is yours. Keep in mind that in the end they pretty much do the same thing.

CheapMod (LPC 9 Wire Homebrew Mod) Pros Cheap (can be purchased for as little as $25) Fairly easy to install Can be switched off if installed with a switch. Cons Home made (Depending on how you look at it you may see this as a pro.) 256k bios Requires #LFRAME

Xodus (No Solder CheapMod Clone) Pros No solder Can be upgraded outside Xbox Can be switched off but have to open Xbox Fairly easy to install Cons No solder Expensive Same theoretical design as CheapMod. 256k bios Requires #LFRAME

Executor 2 (LPC mod with installation options.) Pros 1mb bios Can be switched off Installation options (solder less, solder, its up to you.)

  1. LFRAME not required, which supports v1.3-1.6

Cons A tad expensive for most users (~$115AUS for lite version)

Homebrew 29 Wire Pros 1mb Bios Can be switched off Extremely cheap. Total Bios Replacment Cons 29 Fucking wires :)

After seeing all the features I honestly can't see any reason at this point in time to not go with the CheapMod. It is cheap and very easy to install if you have a bit of soldering experience and take it easy. I would steer clear from the matrix. In my opinion it is overpriced and not a great product. Does the same job as the CheapMod but more than 4 times the price. Also note that at the moment their are no bioses (except complex bios) which are bigger than 256k.

EDIT: To mod a v1.6 chip you need to tie #LFRAME to GND to disable the onboard bios. Then any modchip which doesn’t require #LFRAME will be supported. v1.6 requires a v1.6 BIOS.

Q. Are mod chips illegal?

A. Although this is always seen as a bit of a grey area, in Australia mod chips are seen as legal at the current time. Sony Australia attempted to take legal action against a chipper and lost.

Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment v Stevens 2002 FCA 906 (26 July 2002)

So at the moment they are not seen as illegal. But i will make a quick point. Don't use mod chips for playing games you don't own. If you enjoy a game then pay for it.

Q. How do you flash the CheapMod chip?

A. There are two ways to do this.

1) You can reprogram the chip using the latest evo-x software. You must have booted from this chip, or a similar chip in order to program with evolution x.

2) You can also use a cheapmod programmer, or lpc^2 programmer to program this mod.

Q. Where do I get the file to flash onto the modchips

A.Because the mod's use hacked Microsoft code they are deemed illegal, so they are hard to find. I can not give out information on finding these but I will say that IRC is your friend.

Q. What is the difference between the 29 wire mod and the 9 wire mod?

A. The 29 wire mod is a full Bios replacement. The Xbox see's it as a new bios as it has all the same contact points as the original bios.

The 9 wire mod (LPC mod) uses the debug points on the Xbox motherboard. The Xbox boots up with the original bios but switches straight away to the LPC bios and then continues booting. This method is much easier to implement and is used by all the current generation mods.

Q. Can I Flash the onboard bios with a modified bios so I don't need a modchip?

A. Yes this is possible but not recommended. It may seem like a good idea as then you won't need to keep the modchip installed. But if something goes wrong then you are left with an Xbox that won't boot. Also keep in mind that if you do this you can't boot to the original bios anymore.

Q. HELP I accidentally erased the onboard bios and my Xbox won't boot. What can I do?

A. The only way around this is to flash the original bios again. But keep in mind you can't use a 9 wire mod (LPC mod) as this uses the original bios to boot with (and you deleted it didn't you :) ). You have to install a 29 wire mod to reflash the onboard bios. Have fun and don't do it again.

Q. I need a modchip, or my xbox modded for me in Australia, who can provide this service?

A. The following Australian websites provide modchips and Xbox upgrade services: - Mod chips, mod chip installations and Xbox upgrades.

Soft mods

You can use a exploit and hack the xbox without a modchip


Q. Why is it so hard to find the homebrew software?

A. Homebrew software uses the Microsoft XDK to compile the code. Because of this it is in infringement with copyright laws. Therefore all software that is compiled with this is considered illegal. Work is being done on a Legal SDK so hopefully in the near future we won't have this problem.

Q. Can ya point me some place for xbox software

A. Try using IRC on a efnet search of xbins also you will need to know FTP aswell FlashFXP is one of the best for xbox world


the dashboard is basicly the xbox os all it really is a program that the system boots to you can make any xbox program a dashboard if ya want. so basicly this list below are all the Microsoft Dashboard Replacement pretty much all of them do the same thing list program ,games, FTP server,


one of the oldest dashboard and the first it doesnt get updated anymore it a very basic dashboard where the menu system can not be moved it support FTP server, basic skining, bios flashing,


one up over evox becasue it support ftp boostmode and there the ones that invented it, ftp client/server, it has IRC chat, xlink kai client (need a server on a PC), basic skining system, autoupdates, download of skins from its interface, music played on startup and images screensavers, rss ticket tag

Unleashed X

very nice dashboard prob the best one these days slick skining system there been a few updates this year 2006, it supports webupdates, music player, image viewer, video screen saver (WMA format only) ftp client/server, save file managerment menu to access programs and games, rss ticket tag

Xbox Media Center

Yes xbmc can be a dashboard aswell and why not it support everything the other dashboard support and then some booting up an xbox with xbmc is great if you have boardband internet becuase xbmc can download the latest weather, rss news, watch video from the apple website, and a the best xlink client on the box

Xbox Media Player

Q. Can I watch Divx on my Xbox?

A. Yes.

Xbox Media Center Can play many different formats including DVD's on your Xbox. . More info at


Q. Is there a PS2/Gamecube/Dreamcast/Saturn emulator?

A. No. And don't expect it EVER!! the xbox is really not powerful to emulate these system bar the Saturn

Q. Is there a Xbox emulator on PC ?

A. No. Work is being done on converting XBE -> EXE but an emulator is still a long way off

Q. Is it true the Xbox can emulate other consoles?

A.If a console is emulated on the PC then chances are it either has or will be ported to the Xbox. So far the most noteable emulators are

Sony Playstation

There is one but it only uses software rendering so the Nintendo 64 one works better

Nintendo 64

There is one

Super Nintendo

xSnes9X - Super Nintendo Emulator.


FCEUltra - Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator

Mega Drive

Dgen - Genesis (Mega Drive) Emulator

Sega Master System

SMS Plus - Master System Emulator

Atari 2600

Stella - Atari 2600 Emulator


GnuBoy - Gameboy / Gameboy Color Emulator


MameX - Arcade Emulator


NeoPop - Neo Geo Pocket Emulator

There are a few others floating around and plenty more to come. Keep in mind most of these are built with the Microsoft XDK therefore are considered "illegal". So you won¡'t find them as easy as most emulators.


Q. What is Xbox Linux? A. Xbox linux was a project started by a group of people with the intention to get the Xbox to run Linux. They saw it as a cheap alternative to a computer and they are doing a great job. For more information check out:


Q. Can i connect my Xbox to my PC?

A. Yes you can :). This opens up a whole new chapter to Xbox Hacking. If you have software such as Evolution-X installed you can use an FTP program to access your Xbox Harddrive. Then you can:

Copy files to your xbox.
Copy files from your Xbox harddrive to your PC.
Copy files from your Xbox DVD drive to your PC.
Format your Harddrive

Networking your Xbox to your PC is pretty straight forward. Just treat it like any old computer. IE. Use a crossover cable to go from PC -> Xbox. Otherwise use a Straight Cable to go from Xbox -> HUB -> PC.

You can find step by step instructions here.

Xbox Live

Q. Can I use Xbox Live with a modded Xbox?

A. Microsoft have taken a pretty tough stance in the worldwide on modded Xbox's on Xbox Live. If you happen to access Xbox Live with your modchip enabled you will be permenantly banned. Even if you disable it in the near future.

Even though not yet implemented Microsoft could easily detect an LPC mod even when it is disabled so do not rely on the fact that you can disable your chip. Unless you physically remove it you are not safe.

Also keep in mind that even if your playing an orignal Xbox Live game with a Mod Chip, Microsoft will still ban you.

Also if you upgrade your harddrive after you have first logged into live then you can also be banned it basicly doing something like a Windows XP Check when you frist go onto live it take a hardware signature of your xbox if that changes then is a mismatch and you get banned so if your going to get live upgrade your harddrive first

Getting Unbaned basicly you have to find someone that never going to play on live and buy there eprom off them you can get them online but it is risky

The following is taken straight from the American Terms of Use for Xbox Live.

7. SERVICE OPERATION AND EQUIPMENT Xbox Live may only be accessed with an unmodified, except for Microsoft authorized repairs and upgrades, Xbox video game console. Any attempt to disassemble, decompile, create derivative works of, reverse engineer, modify, further sublicense, distribute or use for other purposes either the hardware or software of this system, is strictly prohibited and may result in termination of your account and/or your ability to access Xbox Live via your Xbox, and the pursuit of other legal remedies by Microsoft. Microsoft may take any legal action it deems appropriate against users who violate Microsoft's systems or network security, and such users may also incur criminal and/or civil liability.

Xlink Kai

Play Xbox Games free online with games that support system link this software tunnels the games across the internet

you will need to install xlink kai on a PC on your network that has internet access you can download and find out more infomation from there website Team Xlink

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