XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

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thepitt
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XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by thepitt » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:46 pm

XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial
(please read it in its entirety before attempting to upgrade your HDD)

Microsoft’s original XBOX™ video gaming console design was more like a PC then a traditional console. It featured a motherboard with most of the normal components you’ll find in a PC except for its proprietary DVD-ROM and Hard Drive. While the DVD-ROM was built using a proprietary interface the Hard Drive was simply a normal IDE drive formatted with a variation of FAT16 called FAT-X and was “locked” using special keys to restrict access it from a computer.

As the XBOX was so similar to a computer this made it possible to easily port code over from anything your heart desired which is why in its prime the XBOX combined with XBMC made a top of the line HTPC as it can output 720p HD. What also made it popular was the vast amount of emulators ported to the console allowing you to play your old games ranging from the Atari to the Super NES and all the way up to the Sony Playstation One.

This functionality was not “sold” with the XBOX, but was brought on by hacking the system to allow you to run your own code on it. This “unsigned code” aka “homebrew” particularly XBMC drew thousands of people into the “modding” scene and either used software or hardware to exploit the XBOX to the point where it could run the homebrew, games, emulators, media centers, etc … However there posed a problem – the stock IDE HDD (Hard Disk Drive) was 10GB so storing your media libraries on it posed to be a difficult. You could of course use burnt discs or use a LAN connection, but there was a demand to be able to use any size HDD you choose.

Soon support for adding your own HDD became a possibility and over time with the addition of LBA48 support you can now use a HDD up to 2TB in size. The thing is that IDE HDDs have become fossils and while back in the day finding a 2TB drive was easily and didn’t cost much it’s about impossible to find one now and if you do you won’t like its price tag. There is a solution; use an SATA -> IDE adapter board. These small PCBs are equipped with IDE and SATA connectors allowing you to use most SATA I, II & III drives up to 2TB in your XBOX saving you time and a lot of money.

In this guide I will show you how to find a converter board that works with the XBOX to install a 2TB SATA III HDD. You should already have obtained/know how to;

Modified XBOX
Disassemble the XBOX (Torx 10, Torx 20 & Phillips bits required)
Boot & Run Apps from DVD
Work with XBOX FTP Servers
SATA -> IDE Adapter Board
SATA HDD no Greater then 2TB
XBPartitioner 1.0 & XBPartitioner 1.1
[optional] Auto-Installer Deluxe & Slayer’s Evox Auto-Installer

The SATA Hard Drive

SATA to IDE conversion boards aren’t exactly a large commodity and can in most cases be found only online and to find one that is compatible and physically fits into the XBOX lowers your results. The small boards that do get the job done are rated to work with SATA II (3.0 Gbps) HDDs. Newer SATA HDDs are shipping with SATA III (6.0 Gbps) technology which are in some cases cheaper and are backwards compatible with the SATA II spec and I can confirm they do work in the XBOX. Drive compatibility differs greatly depending on the drive and SATA conversion board you use and while some might allow you to format them you might not be able to actually boot anything from them due to speed and factors I’ve yet to uncover. However, I do not know of any resource or list to verify which drives work and which don’t.

Unlike computers the XBOX is still limited to PATA (IDE) speeds therefore purchasing a faster drive is not necessary, but can affect the performance of booting. If the drive is slower like these “green” drives on the market the drive will take longer to “spin up” then say a Western Digital Black and if it doesn’t fully power up by the time the XBOX starts to look for it you will get an onscreen error therefore preventing you from booting code from it. There are some ways to bypass this (See “Slowing Down the Boot Process”) and the ideal situation would be to start with a drive that spins up fast so you don’t have to deal with this issue. You don’t need to go all out and buy WD Black, but I would avoid any “green” drives as well. So I’d suggest getting something in the middle like a Seagate Barracuda that spins at 7200RPM. Keep in mind the maximum size that the FAT-X file system can address is 2TB. If you require more space you should look up the XBOX Xtender which allows you to use 3 drives (all 3 drives must be the same make/model) via using an IDE switch (meaning you can’t use all 6TB at once, but can switch between each 2TB drive).

The SATA to IDE Boards

I’ve successfully tested two SATA to IDE boards allowing the use of up to 2TB drives on XBOX models v1 -> v6b. The Sabrent SATA Device -> IDE Device Mini Vertical Bride (Item# SBT-STDB) and the Kingwin ADP-06 SATA to IDE Bridge Board work almost flawlessly with each XBOX revision. While there are many types of SATA -> IDE boards one must take into consideration of the space or lack thereof inside the XBOX. Both of these devices add an extra inch to the size of the HDD which barely is enough room. So if you’re thinking of purchasing something larger good luck fitting it inside the XBOX case.

The SATA to IDE Boards
- Sabrent SATA Device -> IDE Device Mini Vertical Bride (Item# SBT-STDB)


Image
(1TB Drive Only an Example – It was the previous drive.)

This board was the first I tried and it worked out of the box. It has the power and data female SATA ends that seamlessly plug into the SATA HDD, but the board is a bit flimsy and one should take care when inserting and removing the IDE cable due to the fact the male IDE pins are exposed without the plastic casing one is accustom to on most motherboard connectors.

Additionally, the device requires the use of a normal sized 4 pin Molex connector to mini-Molex 4 pin. This cable is included with the device, but does add extra space. One might want to dremel the black plastic container the HDD sits in for optimal airflow, but optimizing your XBOX for cooling has been covered many times in many guides by many people so I’m not going to go into detail. I can however mention that during large FTP transfers (200+ GB at a time) to the SATA HDD using the Sabrent in a v1.0 XBOX caused the device and the XBOX itself to overheat and an undetermined amount of data was corrupted after the transfers – I tested this several times. Once I got the v1 XBOX cooling correctly the problem went away and I was fortunately unable to duplicate the problem on v2 – v6b consoles. Depending how long it takes your replacement HDD to spin up may also cause the XBOX to throw and error message at you. See “Slowing Down the Boot Process” for ways around this problem.

Image

The Sabrent board features (from the back of the box);
  • Supports any type of SATA Device (DVD, DVD-RAM, MO, CD-ROM, CD-RW, Hard Disk, …..)
    48 bits LBA can Break Capacity Limit to Support HDD larger then 137GB
    Mini Board Size (75mmx26mm), No Wasted Space
    Complaint with Serial ATA 1.0a specifications
    Support Spread Spectrum in receiver
    Complaint with ATA specifications
    Compatible with Ultra ATA 133/100/66/33
    100% hardware bridge converter to support PC, MAC and Linux environment
The things one needs to pay attention to is the LBA Break, Size, SATA Specs and the ATA specs. While the Sabrent claims to support Ultra ATA 133 when I tried to use 80-pin IDE cables (normal IDE are 40-pin which come in the XBOX) the XBOX couldn’t detect the SATA HDD. I had to use the slower 40-pin cables for it to work. I also tested the Sabrent with a couple of SATA drives one of which was an older SATA drive, one 1TB SATA II and a 2TB SATA III drive. Theoretically the SATA III drive should go into backwards compatibility mode by itself (like the SATA II drive did) and it indeed do so. Even though the SATA I, II and III drives I tested worked fine this is not to say that all of these kinds of drives will work with the device.

The SATA to IDE Boards
- Kingwin ADP-06 SATA to IDE Bridge Board


Image

The Kingwin board is a little wider than the Sabrent, but not my much and due to the fact it has a normal 4-pin Molex connector built into it there is no need to cram any sort of extra wiring behind the drive. Its IDE connector is not bare like the Sabrent meaning it would be much more difficult to accidently bend pins. The SATA side also comes with adhesive preapplied which you can optionally use to attach the board to the HDD for a permanent connection.

Image

The Kingwin board features (from the back of the box);
  • Suitability: All SATA devices
    Interface: 7 + 15 pin SATA
    OS Compatibility: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista
    Dimensions: 100 x 19 x 21 mm (L x W x H)
    Model: ADP-06
    SATA to IDE Bridge Board
    Convert all SATA devices to IDE
    Support all SATA devices (H.D.D./DVD/CD-ROM, etc.)
    Data transfer rate up to 3.0 Gbps
    Two LED indicators for “power on” (green) and “HDD” (red)
While the product description is lacking detailed specifications is does include LBA Break and PATA (IDE) Devices up to Ultra ATA 133 compatibility. The issues with the v1.0 XBOX including overheating and throwing an error during the boot process still exist. Contrasting the Kingwin to the Sabrent one should be aware the Kingwin is comprised of a much sturdier PCB, doesn’t require the Mini-4 Pin Molex connector, has its IDE pins shielded, features LEDs to help during installation and costs less. However, I’ve had much greater luck with compatibility using the Sabrent. Some drives using Kingwin’s hardware will let you format the drive and run software via DVD, but will not allow anything to run from it (even with the boot tricks) and I’ve yet to determine why.

Image
(1TB Drive Only an Example – It was the previous drive. Green too, ew…)

Installation – Hardware

Make sure the XBOX is unplugged and remove the top of the case, the Molex and IDE cables from the HDD. There is no point in removing the current HDD until the replacement SATA is working. Both SATA to IDE boards mentioned here require you to remove the jumper which turns the devices into Cable Select mode. So do that and then attach the IDE and Power cables to the SATA to IDE adapter then plug it into to the SATA drive. Next you need turn on the XBOX with a bootable disc in the drive. If all you get is a flashing light then an error message you can try putting the jumpers in different locations, but there is a 99% chance that your HDD is incompatible with the SATA to IDE board and there is nothing you can do about it other than trying another SATA to IDE board. Western Digital (Green / Black) and Seagate (Barracuda) drives seem to be the most compatible.

Image

Installation – Software

In a nutshell you need to format the HDD and give the F: and G: partitions both 927.78 GB using 64k clusters. It’s very important each partition use 64k clusters otherwise once the drive starts to get full you will notice missing data and/or the ability to write new files. This is done by first formatting the HDD, then using XBPartitioner to format the Extend partitions with 64k clusters. However, XBPartitioner 1.1 has a bug in it where if it detects a partition over 999MB it will lock up therefore you must first use XBPartitioner 1.0 to start as a basis for using XBPartitioner 1.1 that is after you initially format the drive which can be done very easily using the Auto-Installer Deluxe (AID) Software or Slayer’s Evox Auto-Installer.

While there are many ways to initially format the drive before using XBPartitioner I chose to use AID as which is based on UnleashX and comes with a built in FTP server, boXplorer and XBPartitioner 1.1. boXplorer can be used to copy files to and from the DVD to any partition so if you’re going to be using AID I would suggest opening the AID disc (.iso) image before you burn it an place any files like XBPartitioner 1.0, XBMC or a previously backed up version into it, save then burn it. This can be accomplished using Disc Image Editor that support XBOX images such as UltraISO. Of course, this is totally optional and just saves time and a disc if you’re going to be doing any DVD transfers during your installation.

Image

You can initially format the HDD any way you like, but if you’re using AID then when it starts it will ask if you wish to format the HDD. Proceed through the prompts. If you’ve added XBPartitioner 1.0 to the AID disc (as suggested above) simply run boXplorer then launch XBPartitioner 1.0. If you haven’t then you can either FTP transfer XBPartitioner 1.0 over to the C: or E: drives or boot it using a homemade disc. Now run XBPartitioner 1.0.

Image

In XBPartitioner 1.0 under the “Extended Partitions” press the “A” button until both drives show 927 some MB. Now use the “Right Trigger” to lower each to around 260MB. You’re doing this because due to a bug XBPartitioner 1.0 doesn’t format each 927MB partition using 64k clusters and XBPartitioner 1.1 will, but it cannot handle changing the Extended Partitions using “A” due to the fact if a partition goes above 999MB XBPartitioner 1.1 will freeze. You’re also lowering the initial two partitions as there is another bug in XBPartitioner 1.1 that will not change the cluster size unless you’ve changed the initial partition values. Once you’re done lowering each partition to 260MB press “Start” and then “Y” to format them.

Image

Next load up XBPartitioner 1.1 (it can be found on AID) and change the sizes of both 260MB partitions to 927.78 GB, press “Start” and then “Y” to format them using 64k Clusters (this is automatic). Make sure not to press “A” under XBPartitioner 1.1 or it’ll freeze and you’ll have to reboot. You’re all done with the partitioning.

Image
(This shows drive F: after a 1k file upload as drive G: was the same size as F: - however, you do not subtract G from F or F from G. Only subtract the initial from the current value from the same partition after the 1k upload per drive)

Next you need to check the Cluster Size to make sure it’s set to 64k. This can be done by creating a 1k file (like test.txt) and then uploading it to the G: and F: partitions. Compare the free space before to the free space after and if it’s 64 + bytes the hard drive partitions are correctly formatted with 64k Cluster Sizes. You will need a program that displays how much free space is down to the byte and the easiest way to do this is to boot up Slayer’s EvoX Auto-Installer Disc which shows you on the right hand side how much free space is on every partition. Make sure to test both F: and G: and if one or both don’t equal to 64k then you need to repartition them. If both do then you’re all done verifying the Extended Partitions of your 2TB HDD.

Image
(Finally, the 2TB SATA III HDD)

Installation – Finish Up

To start unplug the XBOX’s power cable then once you’ve got the SATA HDD working you can remove the current HDD using the Torx (to remove the caddy) and the Phillips bits (two on each side) to remove the HDD. Replace the old HDD with the SATA HDD and put the XBOX back together.

Image

Installation – Installing Software

If you’ve included your dashboard (which is most likely XBMC) on the AID disc then simply copy it over to the drive of your choice using boXplorer. You can also transfer files using AID’s FTP Server which is much faster (11MB p/s) than XBMC’s FTP Server (6-8MB p/s). However, you cannot control the fan speed under AID to help with cooling when transferring large amounts of data. Either way you go you should give the XBOX a rest every 200GB to be on the safe side. There is also no way to monitor the internal temperature of the XBOX’s CPU, GPU and HDD so before transferring anything with AID try XBMC to determine if your XBOX overheats and how long it takes to do so. Overheating can be caused by a combination of the heat the new HDD produces, inadequate air flow and the data transferring over the network uses the CPU. The latter is more relevant in v1.0 XBOX consoles. Results of overheating can lead to data corruption and/or loss ranging from files, partitions and the entire HDD. For a safe, but much slower transfer stick with XBMC, set the FAN SPEED to 100% and let it rest after every 200GB transferred.

Slowing Down the Boot Process

Power On, Power Off

Sometimes or all of the time when you first power on your XBOX the new HDD will fail to spin-up fast enough for the XBOX to read the boot XBE configured in your BIOS and throw you an error. An easy way around this is to let the XBOX sit for 5-10 seconds after the error, turn it off and then back on again.

BIOS Boot Order

The BIOS you’re using to boot unsigned code (X3, Evox M8+, Xecuter 4983, SmartXX …) can be configured to boot from drives using a specified XBE in a particular order. The Evox M8+ BIOS for example will first check for “default.xbe” on the DVD-ROM and if it’s not found it will then check C: F: and G: partitions - You can purposely slow down the boot time by making your BIOS check other locations before it checks where you’ve placed your dashboard. So if you’ve placed it on C: then use your BIOS configuration tool to search F: G: and then C: If it can search more than 3 locations then more the merrier.

Xbe Shortcut Maker 1.0

Say you have your dashboard on the C: drive, but want to slow down the boot process so it actually boots you can use this tool to produce an XBE which sole purpose is to boot another XBE. So you could create an XBE named “default.xbe” that you put on the F: drive that loads “C:\xbmc.xbe”. You can combine this method with the BIOS Boot Order trick and create as many XBE links as it takes for your dash to boot.

Move the Dashboard

In certain situations all that is needed is to not place your dashboard on the C: drive what-so-ever. If you’ve already placed it there you can move it easily using boXplorer to either the F: or G: drives. You might want to try this if the above tricks have failed and then if it’s still not booting from the F: or G: drive then try the three methods above over again.

Create a Boot Disc

Using Xbe Shortcut Maker 1.0 you can create a XBE that will load your dash which can be placed on a DVD disc. When the XBOX turns on your BIOS will first attempt to load this XBE and by the time it does your drive may have spun-up by then. This is a last ditch effort which of course can be combined with the rest of the above tricks.

- THE END -
another kick ass guide by

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Last edited by thepitt on Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by AwesomeNurd » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:14 pm

Bravo for this tutorial :)

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by sakamoto » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:28 am

any suggestions where we can buy those SATA/IDE boards with shipping to europe? thanks
xbox v1.1 - x3 3294 - xbmc 3.2 (r31195) slik

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by MrMajst3r » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:24 am

Check compatiblity list here: http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... 612&p=5606
and buy working one in your local store or Ebay.
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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by thepitt » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:41 am

Thanks for the comments and the link to that compatibility thread.

I purchased both devices on newegg.com and am not sure how they handle overseas orders.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by professor_jonny » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:14 pm

I have been playing around with a discected bios in ida and have been looking for a fix to the slow booting hdd's with sata to ide devices.

The problem has been that the microcontroller resets the xbox after a specified time after turning it on if i put a delay in the bios at the start of the kernel load segment the xbox frags and i think it is because of the micro resetting the xbox as if it does not get a signal from the i2cbus saying ready it spazzes out and frags.

I have been looking at a hardware mod to do the same trick by holding the xbox in reset halting code while the hdd and sata board initilises which i am yet to try.


Also of note the teamuix shortcut tool seems to work better for me than the others the xbmc one with the ini is least reliable.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by thepitt » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:32 am

professor_jonny wrote:I have been playing around with a discected bios in ida and have been looking for a fix to the slow booting hdd's with sata to ide devices.

The problem has been that the microcontroller resets the xbox after a specified time after turning it on if i put a delay in the bios at the start of the kernel load segment the xbox frags and i think it is because of the micro resetting the xbox as if it does not get a signal from the i2cbus saying ready it spazzes out and frags.

I have been looking at a hardware mod to do the same trick by holding the xbox in reset halting code while the hdd and sata board initilises which i am yet to try.

Also of note the teamuix shortcut tool seems to work better for me than the others the xbmc one with the ini is least reliable.
Great! The XBOX is still a viable HTPC even with it's lack of being able to play 1080p content with high bitrates. It's emulators seamlessly fit into XBMC and due to the relative cheap prices for used consoles and the ability to store 2GB per HDD still makes it a great option to add to your setup. I'm glad someone is working on a way to solve the HDD/SATA issues present and hope you succeed!

I do want to ask one question; maybe I include your theory about why the SATA fails to boot in a revision of the guide I posted? I surely will credit you.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by professor_jonny » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:12 am

most sata adaptors are to slow to initilise before the xbox has time to boot from the drive so it throws an error it is common knowlege i haven't said any thing that was not said by someone else so id say put up what you like.

one thing of note that i have a sata adaptor that boots but only if it is powered from an external source and is powered before the xbox so it hold up the case that it does not present the hdd quickenough to the motherboard.

A software /bios solution would be best but im not that hot on kernal hacking in assembler and the xbox bios is a mess of priporitry xcodes and init tables for the hardware and chips on the board it is kind of hard to figure out what is code and what are data segments.

this is what i was trying to add in to bios:

Code: Select all

mov eax, $x
 start:
 inc eax
 cmp eax, 0xFFFFFFFF
 jne start
 mov $x, eax
essencially it will to is increace the register eax up until it counts up to 4,294,967,295 on run of the code and depending on the speed of the processor add some delay how much I dont know its a prity big number but it processes thousands of op codes per second there is definatly a better way to do it but the code is real simple and easy to squeese in somewhere.
as the eax register is probally in use i have to try each register and move the value from eax into another register or pop and pust it back to the stack so the value does not get lost if it is needed, if it carried the stack pointer or some important data when i took control of it it would most likely make the xbox crash after the code runs.

it has been a long time since i did any assembly stuff but im having a play none the less it might be beyond my skills.

It needs to be but in after the pic watch dog timer is reset after the 2bl and kernel is loaded and the i2c is initilised and the micro recieves an all ok keep booting message or the xbox frags.

currently i can get the xbox to frag when i insert my code which is not real good but a start.

if anyone is more cleaver than me give us a bell :-)

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by xman » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:54 pm

Seeing as you guys are talking I'll throw in my 2 cents worth as I have done quite a number of these 1 and 2TB machines which most of you would know from the old site. I only use modded M8 bioses from the Slayer's disc. Note, they are not the latest version of the M8 bios, (you need to use the one for your model Xbox..1.0-1.5 bios or the 1.6 bios not the M8+ bios that does all Xboxes), but they work when you combine them with the DealsXtreme Revision 3 and 3.1 adapter boards and Seagate Barracuda Hard drives. You MUST put the booting app on either C or E drive and I use the EvoxDash shortcut on the Slayer's Disc to find XBMC in my E/Apps folder. I repeat the same bios boot path on the Aladdin modchip 3 times in all the 3 available locations on the chip. On the DX sata to IDE adapter I set it as cable select meaning NO links. This setup works perfectly on the older (thin) Thailand made Seagates and fails about once every 30 bootups using the newer (fat) Chinese made Seagate Hard drives. This setup I use will give 12 second bootup times very reliably providing the HDD has about 200Gb of data on it. It can take up to 40 seconds when the HDD is empty. I always found it unsual why it doesn't cause a bootup failure myself but it doesn't, only the slow bootup. I'm thinking the older M8 bios may be why I have such good results. May be wise to try earlier bioses that probably take longer to boot?.
I'm also thinking holding the reset pin high or low, (depends what it needs to be), on the LPC port for a second or so for those troublesome HDDs.
LCP pinout.jpg
LCP pinout.jpg (19.86 KiB) Viewed 297310 times
Pin 5 that would be.
P.J. -you have more idea about this than me about a delay circuit on this pin. It has also been suggested to me, (Xphazer), to use the "quick IGR reset" setting on the modded m8 bioses so as to not reset the HDD every time you do a reset and also maybe not reset the HDD when holding the reset pin on bootup. Another thought may be to boot the machine with the chip momentarily disabled for about a second before linking the "BT" to ground to enable the chip and stop the TSOP for trying to boot the machine?. I am really trying here boys but haven't really had a need to go looking for an immediate answer because what I do actually works but one in 30 fails with the newer Seagates is becoming a problem. Might be high time to get this sorted once and for all with a reliable setup that works with all HDDs.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by professor_jonny » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:25 am

holding the reset pin on the mother board may not work as the micro controller waits for a responce from the xbox to say i have passed kernel loading and then turn of the frag control i believe.

if we halt the processor and the micro is still going it will reset the xbox resetting the ide from pin 1 on the ide bus it might not work until you lift the reset pin on the micro im yet to have a play and see what happens, the reset signal could be i2c based i dont really know if it is there is nothing i could do with out the micro code to extend the pic watch dog timer.

im looking to extended the boot time and hope it will also make non dvd slims possible as i think the dvd board may add delay as it will check for a default .xbe and tray status when the bios loads.
this may be the tipping factor which causes the xbox to give enough time for the hdd and adaptor to init.

as i know no dvd ide xboxes boot real fast.

it may not be the case im just making up theorys at the moment :-).

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by xman » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:31 pm

I'll have the test machine out again shortly P.J.. I'll have a try at some of my ideas, is there anything you want me to try?. Just bear in mind, my test machine is a 1.6 but I'll have a 1.4 shortly as well when I make it up. I have Seagate 1 and 2 TB HDDs to experiment with. Only have DX 3.1 adapter boards though. I think the modchip may work but still until I test, no idea really. No DVD drive bios load at the same speed as DVD fitted by the way, not very much in it if at all. Thinking of trying m7 bios with g partition +127GB modded bios and see what happens. Never used an early bios like that before. On the DVD side, I can say having the tray in the out position on bootup adds time because the machine has to close the tray before going looking for the Default.xbe on a possible disc. I can also confirm having a net connection to the Xbox also slows down the bootup. I did have a machine at one stage that would not reliably load the f drive without this connected. Once connected it worked perfect. On the 1.6 maybe not allowing the 3.3volt from the onboard 1.6 regulator straight away is worth looking at but that would only possibly help on 1.6 machines. If the reset hold was to work I figure I can test using the DVD eject button to hold the signal low if low is required. Just thinking out aloud now. That's what I've got right at the moment.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by thepitt » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:55 pm

In my experience using the Sabrant Adapter with a Barracuda placing XBMC on F: or G: along with having the BIOS load an XBE shortcut from the C: drive doesn't throw errors.

M8+ Boot Order

f:\
g:\
c:\shortcut.xbe -> f:\xbmc\default.xbe

I've yet to have any v1.6 xbox's frag out with this combo.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by professor_jonny » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:14 pm

xman wrote:I'll have the test machine out again shortly P.J.. I'll have a try at some of my ideas, is there anything you want me to try
Go for it try holding the reset for several seconds on boot up and see what happens i guess would be first try different bioses boot options etc... but first you need to get a non working setup to try get it to boot.

I don't have any spare hdd's as grimloc sort of helped me out in that area some time ago with a hole lot of previous news paper articles :-) that ended up getting put on my xbox hdd that was re purposed.

I have a spare 200 gig hitachi sata that i could get to work previously (it would format but not boot) to to play with and a few working and non working models of sata to ide adaptors to play with, i also have 7 test xboxes now which need a purpose till I paint and sell them.
theyare varing models everything except for a 1.0 and 1.1.

So I have all the components for a non working setup to play with and see if i can get it to work I only lack spare time mow to do any thing this working thing takes up too much of my time I'm hoping someone may have a solution to that on the forums too :-).

i have used the blue label wd drives in the past and the green ones too without fault even the advanced formak 4k sectors 2tb green power and seem to have no problems.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by professor_jonny » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:55 am

i have had a play this weekend and i and get a non booting sata to ide to board and hdd to boot from it 50% of the time but it is still not worth the effort i think there is an issue with transfers across the ide bus?


i can get the hdd to boot with bridging the reset pin on startup alowing the hdd to operate before the motherboard starts to run but there is a more sinister issue down the line there is some sort of collisions or over runs happening on the ide bus.


data transfers seems to be unreliable for example if i ftp into evoloution x and dump files on the xbox half the stuff will fail if i dont limit the transfer speed from with in filezilla even then it still throws a few errors.

I had to format the c,e,and f drive several times within slayers to get it to comit the changes after a reboot and transfering files to the hdd at times caused it to loose partitions on reboot and inspecting them the fat had been made corrupt.

it looks like there is a bios issue causing these problems it can be heard the drive retrying and crashing if i momentarally cycle the power to the hdd it will continue on transfering files where it would normally time out and skip.

i could get it to boot with out the dvd drive board present also but this required more time to init the hdd and lift the reset pin on the sata to ide board and lift the reset trace from the micro but it would flash the chrismas lights all the time while it was running if you held it in reset longer than the christmas light that would happen on the third boot attempt.

At this point i think it would need possibly slowing down the data rate on the bus, allowing greater wait states between ide commands, screened 80 wire cable, bus termination i dont really know.

some one like superfro, ozpaulb xman925, frosty or some other talented x96 bios/kernel coder to make it work.

and was very un relaible 9 out of every 10 boots would throw error13 or would load up the evox dash dim then increace in brightness every 20 or so seconds till it was fully loaded and the whole thing was real real real slow.
also e drive almost allways fails to come online if there is any thing stored on the partition.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by xman » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:37 am

Interesting findings there P.J..Sort of rules out the reset hold on bootup. Interesting how it ignored the no DVD part though. On holding the reset, did you hold it to ground or high?. If it was ground I wonder what would happen if you hit the reset after Christmas tree lights or an error 13?. Will this create another bootup process to start or is this to late?. Maybe we all "barking up the wrong tree", and an easier answer may be with the DVD board itself such as on bootup, one signal to eject the tray and then another close it?. We could adjust the time delay by how long it is before the tray receives the close signal and there for start to try to find the default .xbe on the non existent DVD in the tray?. I have found non working/ bad laser DVDrives allow extra time as with booting the machine with the tray ejected does.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by xman » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:12 pm

P.J., just thought of another approach, what about the power supply itself?. We disconnect the wire that goes to the on/ off button, and put a wire from the switch to a relay so when you push the switch it works the relay. This relay contacts connect the standby voltage supply to the power supply's feedback wire ( this is how the board turns the power supply fully on),and a diode is put in this wire to stop the power going back into the mother board. So now the board has power and after a time delay, created with a simple time delay board, you ground the original start button wire you previously removed from the on / off button.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by SFORCES » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:06 am

Can we use 2.5 drive's?

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by professor_jonny » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:51 am

SFORCES wrote:Can we use 2.5 drive's?
yip and the 1.8" ones too with the correct adaptors.
I think asbo made one fit in his custom xbox?

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by SFORCES » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:36 pm

professor_jonny wrote:
SFORCES wrote:Can we use 2.5 drive's?
yip and the 1.8" ones too with the correct adaptors.
I think asbo made one fit in his custom xbox?
Thanx appreciate it.

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Re: XBOX 2TB SATA Upgrade Tutorial

Post by UJLammy » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:40 am

I'm not sure if the Sabrent adapter has been revised or if I got a busted one but I couldn't get it to work.
I tested it with these 2 HDDs:
Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2 TB SATA2 5400rpm 32 MB HD204UI/Z4
Seagate Barracuda 500GB SATA 7200rpm 32MB ST3500320AS
Both hard drives work flawlessly on a PC.
I tested on 2 different XBOX systems, 1st is a 1.1 with X2-5035 TSOP flash and the 2nd one is a 1.5 with ind-5003.67 TSOP flash, both systems work fine with the original hard drives and have Unleash-X and all popular apps installed and working.
So basically with the Sabrent I get the exact same results with both hard drives and systems, the Slayers 2.7 disc runs horribly slow and is unusable/unresponsive. AID 4.53 detects the new hard drive formats it fine, then the AID main menu comes up and everything looks normal but when I get into most of the menus like file explorer or the dashboard installation menu I just get garbled/unreadable text and a lot of the options just trigger a reboot.
I tried Chimp2618, it detects the new hard drive and completes the cloning process with no errors, however I was unable to boot any of my XBOX systems with any of my 2 cloned hard drives.
I plugged the hard drives to my pc after this to check the contents and used Xplorer360.beta6, with both of them I get the same results, all partitions are accessible but partition 6 (F) shows weird/corrupted character file names and everything I try to copy into this partition also shows corrupted file names. All other partitions seem to be fine and I can copy and extract files with no problems and all the files are the correct sizes.
So I tried installing dashboards to both E and F anyway but still was unable to get any of my systems to boot.

One last thing I would like to mention is I actually tried another adapter prior to this, I bought this cheapo adapter from Amazon based on what I read on other threads and forums:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005N7 ... 06_s00_i00
The adapter actually worked fine at first, Slayers ran at it's normal speed and was able to format with no issues, however the adapter died on me after a few minutes (to the point where it caused lock ups when connected to my PC and causing the IDE port on my PC overheat, I guess it was starting to short out)

EDIT: Forgot to add I did all these tests using 2 different Ultra DMA ATA133 cables.

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