Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Discussion about Modding the XBOX, including hardware and software hacks.
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leolobato
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Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Post by leolobato »

Hey everyone,

This is the first Xbox I own and have read a lot about modding it. I was holding off asking for help, but maybe it is time as right now as I'm not sure what could be wrong. :)

I bought an original Xbox v1.0 that had a bad HDD. I removed the clock capacitor (there was no leakage on the mother board).

I was able to dump the eeprom.bin file using a Raspberry Pi and rebuilt the HDD using xboxhdm23usb beta3 and the stock 5960 retail dashboard on a 128gb SSD I had around. I plugged a 80 pin IDE cable to the Startech IDE2SAT adapter and was able to boot the Xbox just fine. That was exciting. :)

I've then softmodded it using the latest Rocky5's Softmodding Tool Build v1.1.7 I just downloaded and PAL Splinter Cell, using a XBOX to USB flash drive adapter. Rebooted a few times, saw the "softmodded dash" (not sure how to call it, the gray one that you install stuff with). Was even able to confirm that FTP was working (didn't touch any files).

After I confirmed everything was fine, I've unplugged the Xbox and reassembled everything (the dvd and disk were sticking out of the Xbox case), and turned it on once again just to check before I closed.

Now it will freeze right after the first Xbox animation, but I do see the Microsoft logo. It's as if the Dashboard was about to be presented (I can see its first frame very faintly on the screen). If I hit eject, the animation will play again. It also won't boot any original DVD or the Softmod Extras DVD. If I unplug the ssd, I can see error 07.

I've read there are some kernel versions that don't like the fact that the clock capacitor is missing. Could this be related? This is a 1.0 version with kernel K:1.00.4034.01.

I've remade the HDD with the original C files from "xboxhdm23usb beta3" (which were supposed to softmod the Xbox on boot), but it boots straight into the black screen (after the boot animation and Microsoft logo).

I've then remade the HDD one more time with the stock dashboard and it will boot and I'm able to set the clock once again.

Could someone maybe shed a light on what could be going on?

Would flashing the TSOP help this issue in any way or is it riskier? Is there a simpler solution?

Thank you!

TL;DR: Softmodded a Xbox v1.0 and it worked fine until I unplugged it from the wall. Now it's freezing after boot. HDD is fine and locked, I've removed the clock cap. What could be wrong?
Coldly-Indifferent
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Re: Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Post by Coldly-Indifferent »

So you built the new HDD using XBHDM USB in stock configuration, locking it and it works perfectly.

You installed the SC PAL installer/exploit saves, boot the SC disc, clicked on Checkpoints and got to the installer dashboard and used that to softmod it.

All installed correctly and it worked when you checked it by rebooting the console a couple of times. The main dash (UnleashX?) loaded straight away.

You then reassemble the Xbox and suddenly you get the problem described. Correct?

I assume when you tried re-rebuilding the HDD with stock files you tested that it worked with the Xbox disassembled. Have you tested it with the Xbox full re-assembled?

On the evidence provided It must be something to do with the reassembly.

Have you checked the other capacitors? Its a v1.0 so could be 18+ years old. If there are any bulging caps, particularly those ones near the heat sinks, they could be on their last legs. If solder joints, almost anywhere, have dried and cracked, the act of screwing the case back together again could be putting enough stress on the MB or other components to disconnect something vital.

That's all I can think of at this point.
leolobato
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Re: Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Post by leolobato »

Thank you for your response and trying to help.
Coldly-Indifferent wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:39 pm So you built the new HDD using XBHDM USB in stock configuration, locking it and it works perfectly.

You installed the SC PAL installer/exploit saves, boot the SC disc, clicked on Checkpoints and got to the installer dashboard and used that to softmod it.

All installed correctly and it worked when you checked it by rebooting the console a couple of times. The main dash (UnleashX?) loaded straight away.

You then reassemble the Xbox and suddenly you get the problem described. Correct?
Not sure about which dash it was showing, but it is correct.

I was then able to reinstall the original dashboard audio files and go into it.
Coldly-Indifferent wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:39 pm I assume when you tried re-rebuilding the HDD with stock files you tested that it worked with the Xbox disassembled. Have you tested it with the Xbox full re-assembled?

On the evidence provided It must be something to do with the reassembly.
It doesn't seem related to reassembly. I've rebuilt the HDD a few more times using the original 5960 dashboard, reassembled everything and it is working perfectly. I have unplugged it from the wall, plugged it back in (it will ask me to set the clock) and am able to boot games and everything. It's all fine.

Somehow it seems related to the softmod. In summary:

- Rebuild and lock using the original 5960 dashboard: no issues (besides needing to set the clock everytime I unplug it from the wall)
- Rebuild and lock using the softmod tool included in xboxhdm23usb beta3: black screen after boot animation/Microsoft logo right away.
- Rebuild and lock using original 5960 dashboard then softmod using Rocky5's Softmodding Tool Build v1.1.7 and PAL Splinter Cell: works fine and softmodded until I unplug it from the wall (and it loses the clock?). After that, It will go to the black screen after boot animation/Microsoft logo.

Any other ideas? Are there any possible incompatibilities with the softmod tool and any v1.0 xbox?
Coldly-Indifferent
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Re: Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Post by Coldly-Indifferent »

I've been thinking about it and I can not make any sense of what is happening. What it seems to boil down to is that it works until you disconnect the power.

If it was a clock cap issue you'd expect an error 16 but you get a blank screen. No unusual LED flashing?

Are you sure its a v1.0? If it was a v1.6 and the clock cap was gone it might explain it. You could try reinstating the clock cap either with the original cap you removed, if its in a fit state, or get a new one, you should have no trouble finding a supplier on Ebay etc.
leolobato
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Re: Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Post by leolobato »

Coldly-Indifferent wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:22 am I've been thinking about it and I can not make any sense of what is happening. What it seems to boil down to is that it works until you disconnect the power.

If it was a clock cap issue you'd expect an error 16 but you get a blank screen. No unusual LED flashing?
No weird flashing that I'm aware.

Just reinstalled the official dashboard. It works perfectly with or without the clock set.

Soft modded again, but this time tried to enable the persistent softmod and alternate dashboard. Did not run the extras disc. Rebooted a few times, all good. Then unplugged from the wall waited a few minutes and turned it back on: black screen. After the animation/Microsoft logo appears, when the screen freezes to black, the eject ring stays green.

The disc eject keeps working (and it shows the xbox logo again), but it won't read any disks.

At least it is consistent. 😅

I'll remake the HD again with the official dash.
Coldly-Indifferent wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:22 am Are you sure its a v1.0? If it was a v1.6 and the clock cap was gone it might explain it. You could try reinstating the clock cap either with the original cap you removed, if its in a fit state, or get a new one, you should have no trouble finding a supplier on Ebay etc.
Yes. It has the internal fan cooler and even the softmodding tool shows it as v1.0.

Even if I put the capacitor back, I suspect this might be still an issue if I leave it unplugged too long, so I rather find a way to make it work like this (if at all possible).

Any other ideas?
leolobato
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Re: Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Post by leolobato »

OK, solved it! Was looking for clues on Rocky5's documentation and found this:
Install Kernel Font:

This option will install a kernel specific font. This isn't really needed but if there are boot issues this can fix the issue.
I had to install the kernel specific font, instead of using the generic one installed automatically by the softmod. Now I can unplug, reboot and everything is working fine with the softmod installed. :)

Thanks for your help!
Coldly-Indifferent
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Re: Black screen rebooting after a softmod, boots OK with official dashboard

Post by Coldly-Indifferent »

What a weird, obscure cause for such a problem. I've learned something new.

Glad you have it sorted.

Makes me wonder about a problem I've had with certain Xboxes and getting generic MS dash files to work. Those Xboxes only work with their own MS dash files which of course would be using the correct font/kernel combo. If you try to use them with the generic MS dash filesit results in an error 21 screen usually and I'm wondering now if that might caused by the same thing and be be fixed by the same solution.

I wouldn't have considered that without this thread and the solution you discovered which fixed your problem. So thanks to you for that and thanks due to Rocky5 too of course.
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