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Softmodding an original Xbox, or how I learned to love console hacking!

ok so this thread is pretty straightforward, it's going to go over in detail step by step how to mod an original xbox

Disclaimer: I don't approve of nor support the use of the information herein for illegal and grey area purposes, that being said I say do what you want with it, just have fun!

Also... I am not responsible for any damages you incur to yourself or your equipment, that's all on you!

Terms to be aware of

Softmod: the act of changing the software on a device either by reloading it with something else or modifying it in some way, usually to gain more features.

IDE: An outdated type of connection which the xbox uses for data, was replaced by the now common SATA

hotswap: to switch cables on a device while it's powered on

XBHDM: Xbox Hard Drive Manager (how we softmod the damn thing!)

ISO: a common type of virtual disc image, used to backup and restore discs like CD's, DVD's, etc.

Stuff you need:



Blank CD

CD burning drive

either a USB to IDE adaptor or an old PC with a cd drive

A torx 20 and a torx 10 screwdriver

A phillips head Screwdriver

Optional: An old tv


XBHDM 1.9:

Ndure 3.0.exe:

Script file (more info below):

CD burning software or an os that supports burning of ISO's like windows 7, linux, unix (find it yerself!)

ok now that all of that's outta the way let's get started!

first thing you need to have is an xbox to mod:

[Image: xbox1-18115468.jpg]

second you need your screw drivers

the torx ones have a shape like this on the end and sorta look like stars (ask your local hardware store, they'll be sure to find you the right ones!)

[Image: 20-Pieces-Magnetic-Security-font-b-Torx-...Bit-S2.jpg]

and of course the classic phillips screwdriver

[Image: philips-head-screwdriver.png]

now that you have your tools outta the way the first thing you do is download the software I linked, both the XBHDM and the NDure menu.

the XBHDM is in a .rar file so you need either win rar or a similar program to open it, google it to find one.

now you need some information before you begin so don't go taking apart that xbox yet!

you need to boot up said xbox and go into the settings on the dashboard, then go to system information and wait for it to scroll down to the following:



looks sorta like this


those are the Kernal and dashboard versions, usually a string of numbers but MAKE SURE YOU WRITE THEM DOWN!, they are important for the next part, they are not as I wrote them here as they can vary from xbox to xbox.

now you want to bring up the NDure program that you downloaded here, it's important as it installs it so you can use the hacked menu dashboard on the xbox.

also make sure that the xbox HDM file is extracted, it's called something odd but don't worry about it.

anyway make sure you remember where you extracted it, I put it on my desktop.

now once you bring up NDure you will get a series of options

Basic Files - These are the basic files and are required for the softmod to function.

Retail Files - These are the files necessary so that you can have MS Dash access. Most people should leave this checkmarked, the only people who would not need this are people who do not have Xbox LIVE and have no need for the memory and music functions of the MS Dash. You dont gain anything by leaving this box unmarked, so you might as well include it.

Shadow C - Recommended for all users, because it prevents your Xbox from dash updates overwriting the softmod.

NKPatcher Options

NKP .67 - Use this if you have a hard drive over 200 gb, this will create a G partition.

NKP RGB - Use this if you are going to use the Xbox primarily with VGA output on a computer monitor (Only works with Focus video encoders)

NKP Progressive - This forces 480p for anything that attempts to run in 480i.

Kernel Specific Fonts - These fonts are designed to work exclusively with a certain kernel version. It is recommended to use a kernel specific font, as it should prevent any problems and provide an incredible level of stability.

Default boot xonlinedashconsole - Enabling this option will set up the dualboot feature. When the Xbox is powered on by using the eject button, and the softmod detects an open disc tray, it will boot to the Xbox LIVE Online Dash. In this screen, you can manage all of your network settings, as well as manage Xbox LIVE accounts.

UDDAE - This is a backdoor rescue dash that is based off of the Easter Egg Exploit, the uberdash, and an audio exploit. The thing about UDDAE is it allows you to completely turn off your softmod, going to a retail, unmodded state. 

Now, once your softmod is deactivated, how are you going to activate it? In order to switch it back on, we need to change some files around on the Xbox, and we can't mess with the files in an unmodded state. Basically, the problem lies in we need to have it modded in order to 'turn on' the mod. Which really makes no sense. 

This is where UDDAE comes to the rescue. Even with the softmod deactivated, we have a way to run homebrew code through a set of actions in the MS Dashboard. While this is a great feature for advanced users, it will not be used by the average user, but it doesnt hurt anybody by installing it. If you are interested in this, you can read up on SCEEE HERE and UDDAE HERE.

Ndure Toolset - This is a set of tools designed by kingroach to help with your EEPROM backups and other maintenance. It is basically a simple menu that helps you to protect your softmod and keep it running smooth and provides you with the information needed to save your Xbox if anything goes wrong. Just another way kingroach looks out for his users and wants to make them feel safe. While I have never personally used this, I would recommend installing this.

Create XBOXHDM Installer Obviously, we want this enabled, as this entire tutorial is for installing NDURE with XboxHDM.


My Setup goes like this: (X equals a checkmark)

X Basic Files

X Retail Files

X Add ShadowC

+ Kernel Specific Fonts

X 4034 (You would choose the number of your kernel that you found using System Info at the beginning of this tutorial I told you to write it down)

X Default boot xonlinedash console (because I have Xbox LIVE)



+ Select Kernel Specific ST.DB

X 4034 (You would choose the number of your kernel that you found using System Info at the beginning of this tutorial I told you to write it down)

X Add NDURE Toolset

X Create XBOXHDM Installer

this is a great setup I've found.

be patient and make sure you do everything correctly or you can brick your xbox (brick meaning to turn it into a useless paperweight)

once you've set the options click next and it will ask you where to install it, go to where you extracted the XBHDM and go into the following folders /Xbox HDM/Linux/ this is so the installer info is inputted correctly for the next part.

next you need an updated script for it, the file will have a random extension but you need to delete the .whatever so it reads as "ndure" without the quotes, make sure file extension showing is turned on in windows if that's what you are using

Save this updated ndure script file to the /xboxhdm/linux/ndure/ folder. Since there is the old script already in there, it should ask if you want to overwrite. Say yes. If it doesn't ask you if you want to overwrite, please check the /xboxhdm/linux/ndure/ folder and make sure you named it just ndure and not ndure.htm.

Go back to the main xboxhdm folder and you will see a bat file titled make-iso-win (for linux it's make-iso-lin, and for dos it's make-DOS-floppy). Run this, and wait for it to finish making the ISO. You should now have a new ISO file in the xboxhdm folder titled linux.

All you need to do is insert a blank CD into your CD Recorder and burn the file to disc with whatever program you are using to do so, and wait for the recording to finish.

so that's most of the technical stuff done

now for the actual modding.

take your torx screwdrivers and remove the six screws at the following locations

[Image: FYP430I2H9EWUSLT0Q.LARGE.jpg]

There are 4 underneath the rubber feet and 2 hidden behind stickers as shown above.

after that you flip the xbox back over and lift off the top of the case revealing this


now what you want to do is hook the xbox up to it's power and video cables but keep it next to the computer you are modding it with, as the next part get's tricky!

Take that burned CD, leave it in the CD drive of the pc you are modding with and have it's case open or the IDE to USB adaptor available (make sure said PC is set to boot from CD or this won't work)

Then power on the PC and hit the pause/break key on the keyboard before it starts reading information, you may have to set it to do the full bios load if the option is there.

finally unplug the xbox's DVD drive's power supply (yellow cable at the back) and power on the xbox, it'll error out leaving the Hard drive unlocked so you can load it with the hacked software.

now the following is important information


PC is set in BIOS to boot from CD 

My xbox is close enough to your computer that the primary master IDE cable (and or IDE to usb adaptor) can reach it. 

My IDE cable that will be used for hotswapping is connected to the primary IDE channel. (for older pc's, use USB if you don't have one)

My CD/DVD drive is connected to anywhere but the primary IDE connection. 

My primary master IDE connection is vacant, as this is the one I will hotswap the Xbox drive to. (In other words, you have an IDE cable with nothing attached.

for those that don't know IDE looks like this

[Image: ide_cable.png]

ok now that everything's setup and your system is paused on the bios load screen, and the Xbox is error'd out, the next thing you need to do, with both the PC and the xbox powered on, is unplug the hdd's IDE cable and plug in the pc's, make sure the connection is firm or it won't work and can fry the pc and the hdd, causing what we in the hacking world call "Magic Smoke", basically shorting it out.

Provided that was done correctly hit either spacebar or enter on the pc's keyboard and it will boot the CD with the hard drive hacking software (old pc's are recomended for the stuff leading up to this point for the ide connection and lack of issues.)

DO NOT TURN OFF THE XBOX or DISCONNECT THE POWER CABLE from the xbox hard drive. Now on your computer type xbrowser and see if your computer is unlocked, if so you're good to go as it'll give you some options

After making the swap, type 1 on the keyboard to enter the VGA console. (1 and 2 are basically the same thing) After the scrolling text, you should eventually end up at a screen like this


Type xbrowser and you should see a screen that looks like this:


|              Name                      | Size       | MTime         ||      Name     | Size        |   MTime       |

|/..                                            |UP--DIR|                       ||/..                    |UP--DIR |                      |

| ABOUT_THIS_CD.txt        |      1392|Apr 14 17:48|| C                   |       4096|Apr 14 17:48|

| C                                           |      4096|Apr 14 17:30|| E                   |       4096|Apr 14 17:48|

| E                                           |      4096|Apr 14 17:30||                       |                 |                      |

| eeprom                               |             0|Apr 14 17:30||                        |                |                      |

| F                                           |      4096|Apr 19 02:13||                        |                |                      |

| check                                  |       6013|Apr 18 21:47||                        |                |                      |

| isolinux                               |      4096|Apr 14 17:30||                        |                 |                      |

| ndure                                  |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |

| readme.txt                          |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |

| xbox                                     |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |

|                                              |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |

|                                              |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |

|                                              |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |

+--------------------------------------------- -----------------++------------------------------------------------+

|/..                                                                                    ||/..                     |                 |                      |


GNU Midnight Commander 4.6.0


1Help   2Menu   3View   4Edit   5Copy   6RenMov   7Mkdir   8Delete   9PullDn   10Quit

Go into thendure folder and you should see this screen


Hit enter on the *ndure script and you will be presented with the NDURE Installer Menu.

First, you will want to backup your C drive. This is very important. So choose Option 4 to backup your C drive to E:/backup. It may take awhile, but let it finish. When it's done, it should go back to the installer menu. 

Now, we're ready to install Ndure.

Select option 1 to install ndure. It will proceed through the 3 parts. Be patient, this process takes a long time (around 15 minutes or more). Part 2 takes the longest. Even if you think it might have frozen, let it go. There have been many times where I was wondering if it had froze, and then just see it finish up so go grab a snack or something.

After all 3 parts, it should give you a message saying "Done, now exiting". At this point, you can turn off your computer and turn off your Xbox. Connect the hard drive back into your Xbox, and if everything went well, you now have a softmodded Xbox running Kingroach's NDURE 3.0. And the best part about all of this is it was free, or at least really cheap!
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

[Image: 5.jpg]

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out standing tutorial here leo.. !

you really put some time work and effort into this post , thanks so much !
Find -->
awesome tutorial, thanks for sharing this!

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