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Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:56 am
by NeMesiS
Performing a RAM upgrade on an original xbox is something I've been wanting to do for a long time
I went on a little bit of an eBay binge last week and bought myself a hot air rework station,
along with a couple of 10cc syringes of mechanical solder paste and anti-static tweezers.
This is the best video I could find to demonstrate what I will be doing...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHfuWBpu5MA

Now I'm at the point where I need find me some Samsung RAM chips
With the consoles I have, I found that not all consoles have the same chips

XBversion 1.0-1.1 = K4D263238M-QC50
XBversion 1.2-1.3 = K4D263238D-QC50
XBversion 1.4-1.5 = K4D263238F-QC50

I've been informed by supplies that there pretty much all the same chip... Opinions?

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am
by xboxmaster
Hi as long as the rams chips are samsung brand no problem they can be used on any version 1.0-1.5(you can use ram chips from a 1.6 dead motherboard and install them on a 1.0-1.5 motherboard as long as they are samsung brand ) but hynix brand rams chips doens't work for this mod.

List of the most recent bioses compatible with the 128 mb ram
For TSOP, xbox TSOP must be flashed before instalation of the ram chips with one of the following bios.
IND-BIOS 5004.67
IND-BIOS 5003.67
XECUTER 5035.67 (this one is the best bios in my personal opinion for 1.0-1.1 xbox console and is 512k in size so is only for 1.0-1.1 xbox)
Xecuter 4981
Xecuter 3
Note: alignment an orientation of the ram chip is critical on this procces,use flux, and before installation of the rams chips you can use desolder braid to clean the excess of solder on the pads and clean prepared the pads before installation (where the rams chips goes)
good luck :D
here a video tutorial how to install 128mb ram https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xMn2JFd5GU&t=1403s

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:39 pm
by NeMesiS
xboxmaster wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am
Hi as long as the rams chips are samsung brand no problem they can be used on any version 1.0-1.5(you can use ram chips from a 1.6 dead motherboard and install them on a 1.0-1.5 motherboard as long as they are samsung brand ) but hynix brand rams chips doens't work for this mod.
Good to know, thanks... I would prefer to use new chips trying to minimise any potential mistakes, but...
I only ever thought 1.6 consoles had hynix chips. It made me curious and went to check my 1.6 boards I got in a box
I found 2 boards one with samsung and other with hynix which is dead
Can I salvage samsung chips off the working board and replace with the hynix from the dead board?
This might be a good way to practice, I generally dont care much for 1.6 boards...
xboxmaster wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am
List of the most recent bioses compatible with the 128 mb ram
For TSOP, xbox TSOP must be flashed before instalation of the ram chips with one of the following bios.
IND-BIOS 5004.67
IND-BIOS 5003.67
XECUTER 5035.67 (this one is the best bios in my personal opinion for 1.0-1.1 xbox console and is 512k in size so is only for 1.0-1.1 xbox)
Xecuter 4981
Xecuter 3
Yea I looked into this a while ago, I cant use the X3 because I TSOP flash or the X2-4981 because I'm sure it doesn't support 2Tb drives.
Then I chose iND-BIOS over the X2-2035 as I like to keep things consistent and can TSOP flash all consoles 1.0 to 1.5 with the iND-BIOS.

xboxmaster wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am
Note: alignment an orientation of the ram chip is critical on this procces,use flux, and before installation of the rams chips you can use desolder braid to clean the excess of solder on the pads and clean prepared the pads before installation (where the rams chips goes)
good luck :D

here a video tutorial how to install 128mb ram https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xMn2JFd5GU&t=1403s
Yea I noticed theres already a small amount of solder already on the pads, I think its mentioned in the tutorial...
I've seen that tutorial a while ago but I thought there had to be an easier method, so I went with hot air, which arrived today.
DSC04684.JPG

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:16 am
by xboxmaster
NeMesiS wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:39 pm
xboxmaster wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am
Hi as long as the rams chips are samsung brand no problem they can be used on any version 1.0-1.5(you can use ram chips from a 1.6 dead motherboard and install them on a 1.0-1.5 motherboard as long as they are samsung brand ) but hynix brand rams chips doens't work for this mod.
Good to know, thanks... I would prefer to use new chips trying to minimise any potential mistakes, but...
I only ever thought 1.6 consoles had hynix chips. It made me curious and went to check my 1.6 boards I got in a box
I found 2 boards one with samsung and other with hynix which is dead
Can I salvage samsung chips off the working board and replace with the hynix from the dead board?
This might be a good way to practice, I generally dont care much for 1.6 boards...
xboxmaster wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am
List of the most recent bioses compatible with the 128 mb ram
For TSOP, xbox TSOP must be flashed before instalation of the ram chips with one of the following bios.
IND-BIOS 5004.67
IND-BIOS 5003.67
XECUTER 5035.67 (this one is the best bios in my personal opinion for 1.0-1.1 xbox console and is 512k in size so is only for 1.0-1.1 xbox)
Xecuter 4981
Xecuter 3
Yea I looked into this a while ago, I cant use the X3 because I TSOP flash or the X2-4981 because I'm sure it doesn't support 2Tb drives.
Then I chose iND-BIOS over the X2-2035 as I like to keep things consistent and can TSOP flash all consoles 1.0 to 1.5 with the iND-BIOS.

xboxmaster wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am
Note: alignment an orientation of the ram chip is critical on this procces,use flux, and before installation of the rams chips you can use desolder braid to clean the excess of solder on the pads and clean prepared the pads before installation (where the rams chips goes)
good luck :D

here a video tutorial how to install 128mb ram https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xMn2JFd5GU&t=1403s
Yea I noticed theres already a small amount of solder already on the pads, I think its mentioned in the tutorial...
I've seen that tutorial a while ago but I thought there had to be an easier method, so I went with hot air, which arrived today.

DSC04684.JPG
For the 1.6 board i reaaly dont know if hynix rams have diferent speed or timing maybe but i never tried that,you can try that method to practice on 1.6 boards :D

Yes there is solder already on the pads this is a problem when it comes to allign the ram chips,so i recommend to remove carefully with desolder braid or other method the excess of solder in the pads before install the rams this make the work more easy and easy to allign the ram chips place a good amount of flux before installing the ram chips so no problems or bridges under the chip,when you already install the first ram you clean all the flux with alcohol let it dry etc and conect the motherboard and test the first ram chip installed if the power led blink orange- red this is normal (but if the power led blink red-green use a magnifier check for bridges on the ram chips fix that) so this must be done everytime you install a ram chip to ensure is correctly installed,when you install the last ram chip number 4 the xbox must boot normal with video and sound and finally use a aplication called XBLAST OS to test the rams chips if all the ram chip pass the test congratulations :D

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:45 pm
by psyko_chewbacca
Hi, late to the party. Here's my input.

The K4D263238F part is an updated version of the M variant. If offers more timing configurations and reduced power consumption. It also ditch lower speed grade (over QC50). So you could solder in either the K4D263238F or K4D263238M as long as the speed grade is either QC50 or QC40. I would favor K4D263238F part as they are less power hungry and cheaper than their older variant. It doesn't matter to mix a motherboard with M and F parts.

Few tips, before soldering on the chips, remove any leftover solder that could be on the unused pads with solder wick. Some boards have solder already applied on the pads which makes them round on top and makes it really difficult to align the chip right and seat it properly against the board. Plus it's old solder and will require refluxing to reduce the risks of cold joints.
Of course you should have a good magnifying glass as there could be very tiny shorts between the legs not visible to the naked eye. I know a few people who also use a phone with a good camera to take macro shots.

If you don't have it already, you should have a spare modchip with XBlast OS on it. There's a RAM tester feature in it that will test all extra RAM chips and report which one isn't soldered right (or is defective, very rare). I've included in the XBlast OS package a picture that indicates which RAM chip number in XBlast OS correspond to which physical RAM chip on board.

XBlast OS RAM checker tool isn't a replacement to a thorough visual inspection of your solder job. It's very easy to permanently fry a board on a RAM upgrade if you try to power it on when a address or data line is shorted to either ground or VCC! Also, some pins next to each other will appear shorted when in fact they are supposed to. It's the motherboard that has them wired like that. For example, pins 14 and 15 are both tied to VCC on the motherboard. I think 58-59 and 95-96 are too.

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:20 pm
by NeMesiS
psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 7:45 pm
The K4D263238F part is an updated version of the M variant. If offers more timing configurations and reduced power consumption. It also ditch lower speed grade (over QC50). So you could solder in either the K4D263238F or K4D263238M as long as the speed grade is either QC50 or QC40. I would favor K4D263238F part as they are less power hungry and cheaper than their older variant. It doesn't matter to mix a motherboard with M and F parts.
Great to know... K4D263238F are the ones I've been looking at as they are much cheaper... Still okay to mix with D variant?
psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 7:45 pm
Few tips, before soldering on the chips, remove any leftover solder that could be on the unused pads with solder wick. Some boards have solder already applied on the pads which makes them round on top and makes it really difficult to align the chip right and seat it properly against the board. Plus it's old solder and will require refluxing to reduce the risks of cold joints.
Of course you should have a good magnifying glass as there could be very tiny shorts between the legs not visible to the naked eye. I know a few people who also use a phone with a good camera to take macro shots.
Thanks, Think it was mentioned earlier...

psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 7:45 pm
If you don't have it already, you should have a spare modchip with XBlast OS on it. There's a RAM tester feature in it that will test all extra RAM chips and report which one isn't soldered right (or is defective, very rare). I've included in the XBlast OS package a picture that indicates which RAM chip number in XBlast OS correspond to which physical RAM chip on board.
XBlast OS RAM checker tool isn't a replacement to a thorough visual inspection of your solder job. It's very easy to permanently fry a board on a RAM upgrade if you try to power it on when a address or data line is shorted to either ground or VCC! Also, some pins next to each other will appear shorted when in fact they are supposed to. It's the motherboard that has them wired like that. For example, pins 14 and 15 are both tied to VCC on the motherboard. I think 58-59 and 95-96 are too.
Huh... Modchip with XBlast OS? First I've heard of this...

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:34 pm
by psyko_chewbacca
NeMesiS wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 5:20 pm
Great to know... K4D263238F are the ones I've been looking at as they are much cheaper... Still okay to mix with D variant?

Yes but I would advise keeping same parts in groups of 4. Don't mix and match D and F's in your 4 extra chips you're about to install. Keep it all a single type of chip. It's not a problem if the 4 RAM chips already on board are D's and you plan on adding 4 F's. I hope it's clear, I don't know how to phrase this right lol.
NeMesiS wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 5:20 pm
Huh... Modchip with XBlast OS? First I've heard of this...
Yeah, I still have a few XBlast Lite Pre-Edition for sale. I also released a CPLD mod for Aladdin XT PLUS2 modchips that basically turn them in 4th gen modchip with OS support. Temp link here: https://web.archive.org/web/20160707203 ... ast.55068/. I call them Aladdin XBlast. Modding them yourself is a bit challenging but it's doable. If you prefer, I think people are selling pre-modded units. Last I heard, Bad_Ad84 was.

It's a bit messy atm with AssemblerGames down. I'm looking on moving all my threads on ObscureGamers.

EDIT: To be clear, you don't absolutely need a XBlast compatible modchip to flash XBlast OS as a BIOS. Any modchip will do, just as if you'd flash Gentoox Loader onto one. It's just that XBlast OS has the ability to control XBlast compatible hardware and gives it a few extra features.

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:34 am
by professor_jonny
xboxmaster wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 8:16 am
when you already install the first ram you clean all the flux with alcohol let it dry etc and conect the motherboard and test the first ram chip installed if the power led blink orange- red this is normal (but if the power led blink red-green use a magnifier check for bridges on the ram chips fix that) so this must be done everytime you install a ram chip to ensure is correctly installed,when you install the last ram chip number 4 the xbox must boot normal with video and sound and finally use a aplication called XBLAST OS to test the rams chips if all the ram chip pass the test congratulations :D
I was under the understanding if you solder them in in a specific sequence you will get a boot picture maybe with corruption between each test I read it somewhere i dont know if there is any trouth to this tho.

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:45 am
by xboxmaster
professor_jonny wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 1:34 am
xboxmaster wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 8:16 am
when you already install the first ram you clean all the flux with alcohol let it dry etc and conect the motherboard and test the first ram chip installed if the power led blink orange- red this is normal (but if the power led blink red-green use a magnifier check for bridges on the ram chips fix that) so this must be done everytime you install a ram chip to ensure is correctly installed,when you install the last ram chip number 4 the xbox must boot normal with video and sound and finally use a aplication called XBLAST OS to test the rams chips if all the ram chip pass the test congratulations :D
I was under the understanding if you solder them in in a specific sequence you will get a boot picture maybe with corruption between each test I read it somewhere i dont know if there is any trouth to this tho.
When you install the first 3 rams there is no video xbox try to boot 3 times just blank screen power button flashing red orange(red-green means bridges on the rams in this case), then when you install the last ram number 4 the console must boot normaly :D with video ind-bios logo etc

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:30 pm
by Xphazer
If I remember correctly with cromwell (and XBlast OS I guess) it should boot between every chip, with video display.

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 3:35 am
by NeMesiS
psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 4:34 pm
Yes but I would advise keeping same parts in groups of 4. Don't mix and match D and F's in your 4 extra chips you're about to install. Keep it all a single type of chip. It's not a problem if the 4 RAM chips already on board are D's and you plan on adding 4 F's. I hope it's clear, I don't know how to phrase this right lol.
Yea, I get ya... Good to know, Thanks...
psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 4:34 pm
To be clear, you don't absolutely need a XBlast compatible modchip to flash XBlast OS as a BIOS. Any modchip will do, just as if you'd flash Gentoox Loader onto one. It's just that XBlast OS has the ability to control XBlast compatible hardware and gives it a few extra features.
Awesome, I got about 3 Aladdin's but have to see if any of em work, I know I stuffed one up by turning the console off during a flash...
Can XBlastOS just be flashed to a modchip using evox as for example?
If I flash an Aladdin with XBlastOS I won't be able to reflash it using an xbox console would I?

I've also got a couple of Xenium's and XChanger's, perhaps these could be a better option?
Xeniums are pretty easy to work with, supports multiple bios's and can be flashed via web, usb, hdd, etc...
I havn't played around with these XChangers for a while, but I'm sure it'll only support one bios at a time upto 1mb...
I'm sure xchangers should be able to flash a file from the hard drive?

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 6:47 am
by psyko_chewbacca
NeMesiS wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 3:35 am
Can XBlastOS just be flashed to a modchip using evox as for example?
Yes or by loading the XBE verison of XBlast and using the built in BIOS flasher to flash the modchip.
NeMesiS wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 3:35 am
If I flash an Aladdin with XBlastOS I won't be able to reflash it using an xbox console would I?
Yes you can, you can reflash the modchip 3 possible ways. From bios located on your HDD at C:\BIOS, using a burned DVD-R (or CD-RW) in ISO9660 (not xISO as it's usually the case for Xbox games) or with Netflash through your PC's web browser.
NeMesiS wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 3:35 am
I've also got a couple of Xenium's and XChanger's, perhaps these could be a better option?
Xeniums are pretty easy to work with, supports multiple bios's and can be flashed via web, usb, hdd, etc...
I havn't played around with these XChangers for a while, but I'm sure it'll only support one bios at a time upto 1mb...
I'm sure xchangers should be able to flash a file from the hard drive?
Yes those are good options too. As you point out, having multiple banks doesn't limit you to having only XBlast OS on it. However, I'm not sure Xenium will allow saving back any in OS settings like fan speed or backup EEPROM(but I fairly sure Xenum OS does have a backup feature as well). It's not that big of a deal, you can still use XBlast to modify EEPROM and other things.

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:15 am
by NeMesiS
psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 6:47 am
Yes or by loading the XBE verison of XBlast and using the built in BIOS flasher to flash the modchip.
Thanks for the reply...
psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 6:47 am
NeMesiS wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 3:35 am
If I flash an Aladdin with XBlastOS I won't be able to reflash it using an xbox console would I?
Yes you can, you can reflash the modchip 3 possible ways. From bios located on your HDD at C:\BIOS, using a burned DVD-R (or CD-RW) in ISO9660 (not xISO as it's usually the case for Xbox games) or with Netflash through your PC's web browser.
But wait how is this possible with an Aladdin?
Or do you use the XBlastOS currently flashed to reflash the modchip again?
psyko_chewbacca wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 6:47 am
Yes those are good options too. As you point out, having multiple banks doesn't limit you to having only XBlast OS on it. However, I'm not sure Xenium will allow saving back any in OS settings like fan speed or backup EEPROM(but I fairly sure Xenum OS does have a backup feature as well). It's not that big of a deal, you can still use XBlast to modify EEPROM and other things.
Cool... I might try this with my Xenium for now...
So how does one compile XBlast to a bios.bin? Or would there be one floating around on the Repo somewhere?

Re: Preparing for RAM Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 6:38 pm
by psyko_chewbacca
NeMesiS wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:15 am
But wait how is this possible with an Aladdin?
Or do you use the XBlastOS currently flashed to reflash the modchip again?
Flashing XBlast OS on a modchip is just like flashing Gentoox Loader bin except it doesn't boot linux but has a ton extra features.
NeMesiS wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:15 am
Cool... I might try this with my Xenium for now...
So how does one compile XBlast to a bios.bin? Or would there be one floating around on the Repo somewhere?
Download package available here. Contains both BIOS bin version and XBE version.

This is an open source project (hence why hosted on bitbucket). You can build it on almost all recent Linux distribution running on x86 or amd64 architecture, with the necessary build tools; gcc, binutils and ia32 compat layer if you're on a amd64 platform. Currently, I'm building it on amd64 Xubuntu 17.04 distro with gcc 6.3.0. I plan on release a prebuilt VirtualBox image if anyone would like to tinker with it but is not comfortable enough to make his own setup.