Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Discussion about Modding the XBOX, including hardware and software hacks.
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bengalih
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Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by bengalih » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:53 pm

I have a hard-moded (X3 bios:3294) that I just pulled out of storage.
Currently has a Maxtor Diamondmax 250GB PATA drive in it.

I'm looking to replace it with a 2TB drive as my research suggests that is the maximum size that can be supported.

However, it appears that the 2TB is a FATX limitation, so I'm unsure if a larger drive can be put in, and just partitioned into several areas(?)

I have also read some posts that indicate that having a partition larger than 1TB can create some corruption issues - though I have yet to see any factual evidence on this.

I am currently in the process of acquiring a PATA to SATA adapter and a UDMA IDE cable (80 wire) to connect the new drive I decide to purchase.

Here are my questions:

1) Do I need to worry about corruption on partitions larger than 1TB?

2) Is it possible to use multiple partitions for storing games, etc - and is this recommended to break up in less than 1TB increments?

3) If indeed we can partition into multiple 1TB-2TB partitions, can I not then put a larger drive inside? In all honesty, I think the 2TB will be enough, but if putting a 4TB in partitioned into 2x2TB or 4x1TB is an option, I may do that.

4) How much will the speed and cache of the drive effect performance in the XBOX? I assume that a 7200 RPM will show a substantial increase over a 5400, but is 128MB or 64MB cache worth it over say 16MB?

5) Can someone recommend what current HDD are a good fit (budget friendly please)?

6) When it comes time to swap out the drive, will using something like "chimp" allow me to partition the new drive however I want and clone the existing data over to one of the new larger partitions? I am perfectly fine building from scratch, but I have 80 games and some emulators already copied and I'm wondering if a direct IDE transfer won't be quicker than trying to rip all my discs again.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide...

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professor_jonny
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Re: Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by professor_jonny » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:52 am

2tb is the limit is a kernel limit because of the bios there is no work around, a larger drive will work but the xbox can only address the first 2tb and the rest will be wasted.

partitions are limited in size because of the cluster size you pick when formatting if you format the incorrect size you can corrupt the data on the drive.

To be able to have a large partition you need to use larger clusters and it becomes wastefull the bigger the partition is.

At 64k clusters if you copy on a 1kb file it will occupy 64kb of space on the harddisk it is best to format the 2tb drive as two equal 960 odd gb so you best use the available space as you can use the lowest possible cluster size with a 2tb drive.

ultimately you can only use f and g as most apps don't support more drives than that so two equal partitions is the most supported size.

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GoTeamScotch
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Re: Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by GoTeamScotch » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:28 am

Just to confirm and expand on Jonny's reply - my two cents:
bengalih wrote:1) Do I need to worry about corruption on partitions larger than 1TB?
As long as your extended partitions (F & G) are formatted properly to 64kb clusters, not really, no.
16 KB - 1MB to 256GB partitions
32 KB - 257GB up to 512GB partitions
64 KB - 513GB up to 1TB partitions
Use xpartitioner 1.3 or Chimp 261812 to format your two 1TB partitions in 64kb clusters. Other versions of Chimp may work, this is just all I can verify. Your 1TB partitions will be closer to 960GB in reality once formatted.
bengalih wrote:2) Is it possible to use multiple partitions for storing games, etc - and is this recommended to break up in less than 1TB increments?
You can if you want. Games can be stored on F, G, or both. More partitions than that simply won't work.
bengalih wrote:3) If indeed we can partition into multiple 1TB-2TB partitions, can I not then put a larger drive inside? In all honesty, I think the 2TB will be enough, but if putting a 4TB in partitioned into 2x2TB or 4x1TB is an option, I may do that.
Nope. It is a hard-set limitation of the Xbox. For bigger partitions, you'd need to rewrite a whole lot of code. 15 years later and no one's done it yet for good reason.
bengalih wrote:4) How much will the speed and cache of the drive effect performance in the XBOX? I assume that a 7200 RPM will show a substantial increase over a 5400, but is 128MB or 64MB cache worth it over say 16MB?
Speed improvements won't be very noticeable. You might notice latency (seek times) being better with faster 7200RPM drives and it feeling slightly snappier but overall your transfer speeds won't be affected. As far as cache specifically goes I'm not sure. The bottleneck is lies in the Xbox's older connections and limited I/O bandwidth which prevents us from taking advantage of modern SATA speeds.
bengalih wrote:5) Can someone recommend what current HDD are a good fit (budget friendly please)?
These days I've been using Seagate model ST2000DM001 with success. There's others but this is what I personally have been using for a while when doing 2TB boxes. This is the adapter I recommend: Startech 40-Pin IDE PATA to SATA Adapter Converter. Other adapters may work, but some will cause long boot times (~20 seconds). There's many out there and some are fast like this Startech one and others cause long boot times while others will cause timeouts during boot-up some of the time.[/quote]
bengalih wrote:6) When it comes time to swap out the drive, will using something like "chimp" allow me to partition the new drive however I want and clone the existing data over to one of the new larger partitions? I am perfectly fine building from scratch, but I have 80 games and some emulators already copied and I'm wondering if a direct IDE transfer won't be quicker than trying to rip all my discs again.
Someone else will have to answer this. I've had bad experiences with cloning so I usually just copy stuff via FTP and just let it run overnight when needed. Keep in mind that if you have two Xbox's you can copy files through FTP straight between them as opposed to copying to a computer first.
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bengalih
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Re: Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by bengalih » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:37 pm

GoTeamScotch wrote:Just to confirm and expand on Jonny's reply - my two cents:
Awesome guys thanks, I couldn't have asked for better.

Just a few follow ups:

1) Regarding the adapter: The one you mentioned is a bit pricey - almost twice as much as some other "name brands" and 5-10x as much as what some have recommended are workable ones off ebay, etc. I realize you are only telling me what you had success with, so I may just spend the money - but if anyone has positive experience with any cheaper boards, I'd appreciate it.

2) Regarding the drive: It seems the ST2000DM001 has been replaced with the ST2000DM006. I'm not sure if the 01 is produced anymore and what is out there may be existing stock. For what it is worth the 06 seems to have the same specs and is a few bucks cheaper most places. I know you probably don't have direct experience, but I would expect the 06 to work just as well?

3) Regarding partitioning: I believe on my current 250GB drive I partitioned with the X3 menu. Should I avoid this opting for XBPartitioner or Chimp instead. I assume if I have to use a 3rd party tool to do this then I somehow need to either hook my new drive up at the same time my existing is (in place of the DVD?) or else boot somehow using the DVD to launch these programs? Forgive me it has been like 10 years since I modded this the first time and I don't recall how to perform this piece.

Again, thanks for your info.

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Re: Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by xman » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:52 pm

927Gb on each drive, (F and G), is what you will get if you have reclustered the drives correctly. No more.

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Re: Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by skeletor64 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:49 pm

bengalih wrote:
GoTeamScotch wrote:Just to confirm and expand on Jonny's reply - my two cents:
Awesome guys thanks, I couldn't have asked for better.

Just a few follow ups:

1) Regarding the adapter: The one you mentioned is a bit pricey - almost twice as much as some other "name brands" and 5-10x as much as what some have recommended are workable ones off ebay, etc. I realize you are only telling me what you had success with, so I may just spend the money - but if anyone has positive experience with any cheaper boards, I'd appreciate it.

2) Regarding the drive: It seems the ST2000DM001 has been replaced with the ST2000DM006. I'm not sure if the 01 is produced anymore and what is out there may be existing stock. For what it is worth the 06 seems to have the same specs and is a few bucks cheaper most places. I know you probably don't have direct experience, but I would expect the 06 to work just as well?

3) Regarding partitioning: I believe on my current 250GB drive I partitioned with the X3 menu. Should I avoid this opting for XBPartitioner or Chimp instead. I assume if I have to use a 3rd party tool to do this then I somehow need to either hook my new drive up at the same time my existing is (in place of the DVD?) or else boot somehow using the DVD to launch these programs? Forgive me it has been like 10 years since I modded this the first time and I don't recall how to perform this piece.

Again, thanks for your info.
I've used the cheaper adapters - They work, but are slower to load. I was having issues where I was loading in the 25 second range from the unleashX splash screen. In my case, I switched the adapters to GoTeamScotch's recommendation and did notice improvement. Combining this will adding a delay on loading icons for my xbox games, I was able to get that time down to about 12-13 seconds. I'm not saying you won't get similar results with the cheap kinwin type. What I've recently found out is that all of my Icons cache at boot, and that has a bigger effect on the bootup when you have a ton of games on there. For my 250GB builds, it loads in like 5 seconds. On my 2TB version, where I have over 500 xbox games backed up and every one of them has an icon, it would take about 20 seconds to load up even with the good adapter. I put a delay in my config file so they don't pre-cache, and that has made all the difference for me. What I like about the startech mostly is the build quality, as it really snaps into the sata port of the hard drive, where as the cheap ones need the tape to stay in there.

For Hard drive, I had back luck with that Seagate model, but I know others have had great results. I've had some very good success using this drive http://www.ebay.com/itm/152292511893?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

The best part is, it's cheap, and has worked for me with no issue. This gave me more of a budget to buy a better adapter/cables etc in my build.

For the partition, I used Chimp for the cloning, but before I did that I enabled the G drive on the original, then cloned it. Once I swapped to my bigger drive, I didn't use chimp again to re-format. I went directly to xbpartitioner1.3 and set my two last partitions to 927 at 64K clusters. However, there seems to be a little glitch as I've had to run XBP1.3 a couple of times. Once I get the F drive set, sometimes the G drive won't show up right away on the dash. Go back into XBP1.3, and set the G drive to something just slightly below 927, then format. After that it shows up on the dash. Then I run it one more time setting G back to the max 927, and it works fine. I don't know why that is, but has worked for me every time.

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Re: Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by bengalih » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:25 pm

skeletor64 wrote: I've used the cheaper adapters - They work, but are slower to load. I was having issues where I was loading in the 25 second range from the unleashX splash screen. In my case, I switched the adapters to GoTeamScotch's recommendation and did notice improvement. Combining this will adding a delay on loading icons for my xbox games, I was able to get that time down to about 12-13 seconds. I'm not saying you won't get similar results with the cheap kinwin type. What I've recently found out is that all of my Icons cache at boot, and that has a bigger effect on the bootup when you have a ton of games on there. For my 250GB builds, it loads in like 5 seconds. On my 2TB version, where I have over 500 xbox games backed up and every one of them has an icon, it would take about 20 seconds to load up even with the good adapter. I put a delay in my config file so they don't pre-cache, and that has made all the difference for me. What I like about the startech mostly is the build quality, as it really snaps into the sata port of the hard drive, where as the cheap ones need the tape to stay in there.

For Hard drive, I had back luck with that Seagate model, but I know others have had great results. I've had some very good success using this drive http://www.ebay.com/itm/152292511893?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

The best part is, it's cheap, and has worked for me with no issue. This gave me more of a budget to buy a better adapter/cables etc in my build.

For the partition, I used Chimp for the cloning, but before I did that I enabled the G drive on the original, then cloned it. Once I swapped to my bigger drive, I didn't use chimp again to re-format. I went directly to xbpartitioner1.3 and set my two last partitions to 927 at 64K clusters. However, there seems to be a little glitch as I've had to run XBP1.3 a couple of times. Once I get the F drive set, sometimes the G drive won't show up right away on the dash. Go back into XBP1.3, and set the G drive to something just slightly below 927, then format. After that it shows up on the dash. Then I run it one more time setting G back to the max 927, and it works fine. I don't know why that is, but has worked for me every time.
Thanks - I've gone ahead with the Startech and the Seagate model I mentioned and so far everything is going well.
The XBpartitioner issues you mention I think are covered in the other tutorials - they mention that you should use v 1.0 to partition both drives to around 260MB, then use 1.1 to increase each to its maximum 927 and finalize the format. I'm not sure if 1.3 was supposed to fix these issues, but I can confirm that 1.1 did hang if it saw an extended partition about 1GB.

After re-familiarizing myself with some of the modding/dashboard basics I'm back up with the latest XBMC and now copying all my backups to the HDD - a process that will probably take me all week.

I'm still waiting on an 80 pin ATA cable, as the one I had was too short, so after testing with it with the xbox still disassembled, I've put the original cable back in while I wait.

I can't really comment on the Startech quality compared to the others - although I don't seem to have any spin up delays after the blob animation. I will say that the adapter does pull out of the drive relatively easily when I pull on the IDE cable. I'm also not too confident that the pin adapters which face the drive might not make contact with the metal, so I'm going to go ahead and put some tape over them to avoid any contact.

I did consider the drive you linked - but I could pretty much only find them refurbished and I really didn't want to put anything but a brand new drive in here.

Next project is CoinOps or equivalent - thanks again for all the assistance guys!

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Re: Hard drive mod assistance - several questions.

Post by bengalih » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:57 am

Hey guys - just wanted to update you that I did this upgrade and all is well.
It took me a couple tries to get a new IDE cable that was workable and I did indeed see a slight performance when ripping games from DVDs.

I'm having a little bit of a problem from the exploded clock cap and some trace corrosion on the power trace - but after cleaning the circuitry it is mostly stable - I think I'll eventually need to repair the trace, but until it starts acting really weird I'll leave it as-is.

Because you guys all helped out here I want to assume you have a box with a large 1-2TB drive in it as well and, subsequently - a large collection of games?

If that's the case I'm wondering if you guys have the issue I describe here:

http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... f=6&t=6813

...and if so - have you found any solutions/workarounds.

thanks.

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