Let’s face it Xbox 360 games are not the cheapest and when you’re spending $100 or more on games you want to make sure that they are still around when you want to kill a few hours with friends. While holidaying in Thailand, I discovered MBK shopping centre in Bangkok and an entire floor dedicated to electronics and your gaming needs. While not all are legit it gave me the idea that I too should be backing up my precious games. I asked myself whether I should void what little warranty I had left and decided to take the plunge.
I’ve never softmodded a console before but I knew that there was a huge online community dedicated to such ventures so I researched what I can and watch a number of videos on YouTube. In the end I was successful after 11 frustrating hours of turning my pc on and off, plugging in and unplugging cables while trying to follow written & video tutorials. My Xbox 360 has a Hitachi DVD drive (00078FK) and while this is a common dvd-rom it certainly is not the only model it comes it and neither is it the easiest one to flash, in my opinion anyway.
This blog entry is basically a reminder for myself on all the things that I was doing wrong during the whole process. Realistically the entire modding process takes only about approximately 30-45 minutes from the time you open up your xbox, flashing and closing it backup. If you’re a complete noob like me then try to allocate between 4-6 hours and make sure you’ve had coffee and plenty of hair because you’ll be wanting to tear them off your head during the course of the mod. I started my first mod at around 3Pm in the afternoon and I was playing my first backup at around 2am, yes I took my time, made sure I read what needed to be read and took the precautionary measures in case I “bricked” my beloved xbox. The second mod (more of an update really!) took about 5 hours, mainly because I had completely forgotten what I did 4 months ago and had to go back and learn most of it again. So here are the tools that I used to complete my second mod but before I do that, let me just quickly explain why I needed to flash my DVD-Rom to the latest firmware. My first flash was an iXtreme 1.41 and while it worked for most of my older games, the newer games such as Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.K.X, Prototype and MLB 2K9 will not, unless I upgrade the Hitachi firmware to 1.51. I won’t go into the difference between these games and that of 2008 simply because I do not have the technical capacity to do so, if you want to find out why, then Google is your friend.
- JungleFlasher 1.62
- iXtreme 1.51
- Slax 2.1
- Windows XP with SP2
- Textbook’s Xbox 360 Firmware Flashing Tutorial
Besides WinXP of course, the tools above can be found at www.360mods.net
So here is my version of the tutorial of what you need to do to play your backups on a flashed Xbox 360with a Hitachi drive 00078FK. This worked for me but I cannot guarantee that it will work in every scenario so use this ony as a guide.
- Open your xbox and void your warranty. – Video Tutorial Here
- Unplug the SATA cable from your Xbox drive and use another SATA cable to plug into a SATA port on your motherboard.
- Configure the BIOS on your PC to boot from CD-ROM
- Load Slax 2.1 CD
- Restart PC and turn on your Xbox before your PC finishes posting and make sure Hitachi drive is detected if not then restart again until you get it right.
- If you manage to get Step 5 done correctly Slax will boot off the CD-Rom and do it’s thing, this will process will pause and show a “Spinning Disk” message, when you see this message, hit Open/Close button on your xBox and eject the tray. Slax will then continue to boot…
- Once Slax finishes and displays a Login: option hit the Open/Close button on your Xbox, if it doesn’t close at your first attempt then hit the button again and the tray will close. This means your Xbox 360 is now in Mode B which is some sort of a debug mode. This is very important otherwise your flashing will not work.
- Some video tutorials that I’ve watched will say that the tray will automatically eject when in Mode B, while this did happen to me during my first flash, it didn’t do it the second time around, I don’t know why this is perhaps it’s because it’s already loaded with a different firmware. Moving on…
- Press eject twice on your Xbox and with the tray open, hit the close button once and then push the tray in gently. Once you’ve done this, you will see the Green light flashing away on your xbox. This is a good thing.
- Hit the reset button on your PC and unload the Slax CD and boot into Windows, making sure that the BIOS detects the Hitachi drive.
- When completely booted into WindowsXP click on My Computer and you should see two CD-Rom drives listed, your internal DVD-Rom and your Hitachi drive. Success! Congratulations, you’re over the hardest part. This took me hours to get right.
- Open up Jungleflasher and you should see your Hitachi drive listed on one of the ports.
- You must restore the original firmware of your drive before flashing to a new hacked firmware, this is quite easy and is achieved with a few simple clicks of a button.
- Once the restore to the original firmware is completed, you can now flash it to the hacked firmware of your choice the latest one being the iXtreme 1.51
- Turn off the Xbox and plug the original SATA cable back into the drive and test with one of your latest back ups preferably one that is a “3rd Wave” release. If it all works then you can close her up.
As you can see, even when rushing through this tutorial there is still quite a few steps to be followed and others are more important than some. Like I said, what I wrote above applied to my situation and may or may not work with your setup. Using Jungleflasher is a tutorial in it’s own so I suggest downloading their user guide and familiarise yourself with the section that applies to your drive. You can download this guide here