X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

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bengalih
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X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:51 am

So I'm curious if anyone has any experience/knowledge of this issue.

I have an X3 chip running X3 3294 BIOS on a 1.4 box .
Occasionally I will confront a backup to my HDD that fails to run, just giving a black screen and usually forcing a hard power down.
I have often chalked this up to a bad copy and usually have been able to locate another copy that works.

Tonight I tried to play a copy of Animaniacs and I got this black screen after loading.
I tried patching the XBE, running it from different dashes, different region settings, etc.
Nothing worked.

I decided to try another BIOS and sure enough the game launched without issue from:
EvoX M8 Plus
iND-BIOS 5003
iND-BIOS 5004

It however fails to launch from X3 3294 and from X2 5035

I've often been told and/or read how desirable the X3 chip is - and it was one of the more expensive and comprehensive solutions when I bought it 10 years ago. The config live feature and 2MB of flash space is very handy, but now I have concerns about the actual X3 BIOS as it seems to be lacking the ability to even launch some games apparently.

I can't find a hard date on the M8 Plus BIOS, but it looks like the iND 5003 came out at least 6 months prior to these X2/3 BIOSes, so I would think they would include any critical features related to running games.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Ideas on what the root cause may be? I don't see any configuration options in any of the BIOSes that would affect this.

Any other X3 owners ditched the X3 BIOS in favor of another option?

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by RunsilenT » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:03 pm

I found pressing the small white button on gamepad whilst on selected game allows the option to run
in PAL, NTSC modes. So do this before actually selecting the game to run, via X. I found a lot of PAL games
especially did exactly this when set to Nstc modes ie 720P etc. I own an X3 myself and posted this a long
time ago as I had your exact problem, try it out and hopefully it works for you.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:58 am

RunsilenT wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:03 pm
I found pressing the small white button on gamepad whilst on selected game allows the option to run
in PAL, NTSC modes. So do this before actually selecting the game to run, via X. I found a lot of PAL games
especially did exactly this when set to Nstc modes ie 720P etc. I own an X3 myself and posted this a long
time ago as I had your exact problem, try it out and hopefully it works for you.
This option becomes available in XBMC when you set "Enable Video Mode Switching" under Settings > Programs.
However, as stated above I did try different region settings - didn't work.

You are correct though that this does help on some games. One of my largest complaints about XBMC in comparison to other dashboards.
There were several games in XBMC I had to press the white button and set the right region whereas in UnleashX (and I think Avalaunch) it auto-magically launched it properly.

So - I am aware of this issue and the fix you describe but this didn't do the job. I really tried everything I know of in XBMC and other dashboards and nothing I do will get this game to run if I am running the X3 or X3 BIOS.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by Rocky5 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:58 am

You said you tried patching the xbe files, with what?


I always use DVD2Xbox to copy/patch my games as this will remove all fatx checks ( PC tools only remove 1 check ) and patch the media flags.

Not had a game that won’t boot from the HDD.
Download Xbox Softmodding Tool & Extras Disc
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Xbox Gamertag = Connxtion
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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:23 pm

Rocky5 wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:58 am
You said you tried patching the xbe files, with what?


I always use DVD2Xbox to copy/patch my games as this will remove all fatx checks ( PC tools only remove 1 check ) and patch the media flags.

Not had a game that won’t boot from the HDD.
Hey Rocky5..

I tried dvd2xbox, Qwix, the patch option in UnleashX. According to DEXBE all media types are checked (i.e. HDD, XBOX DVD, CD, Unlocked HDD, etc...). Also all regions are unlocked.

And it isn't that it won't boot from HDD...it won't boot from HDD with X2/X3 BIOS.
Originally I found that I could boot the ISO via patcher, but then realized that it wasn't that it was in ISO format, it was that it was running under a different BIOS.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by Rocky5 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:04 pm

I have never used an x3 bails as they were encrypted for use only on the x3 modchips, so no TSOP flashing for them :(

As for x2 again never used them as I need the partition table and 5035 is the only one that supports that.

Ind-bios 5003/4 is what I use and have no issues with games loading.

Can you list the games? and I will try them out and get back to you if they do indeed work.
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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:37 pm

Rocky5 wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:04 pm
I have never used an x3 bails as they were encrypted for use only on the x3 modchips, so no TSOP flashing for them :(

As for x2 again never used them as I need the partition table and 5035 is the only one that supports that.

Ind-bios 5003/4 is what I use and have no issues with games loading.

Can you list the games? and I will try them out and get back to you if they do indeed work.
The only one I have right now that is showing this is "Animaniacs."
I just redid my box and am copying games back now so I am going to try more as I add them back.
I have had the "black screen" issue several times in the past and usually the answer was a region setting in XBMC.
Although not always and I do know that at least a few other times in the past I have simply given up on a game or tried to find another copy that I did get to work.

Again, I have no problem on 5003/5004/M8+, it is only on the X2/X3 BIOS.
If you can load a copy of 5035 and try it on that and it works then something is definitely weird, because it won't run on mine.

I'm going to PM you some more info.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:26 pm

Just found another interesting case - although this time with the iND 5003 BIOS.
I've been experimenting loading various BIOS both from TSOP (X3) and from BFM.

Right now I was booting with iND-BiOS.5003.67.bfm.bin (so...BFM obviously) from my X3 BIOS and the second disk in DOA Ultimate (so that would be DOA 2) fails to run from HDD.

Instead of the legalese warning you get at the beginning you just get a garbled screen.
Booting from 5003 on the chip or from under M8+ (either on chip or BFM) or from X3 there are no problems.

Haven't done extensive testing yet, but it definitely won't boot under the BFM 5003...wasn't having issues with bunch of other games being tested.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by Tom M. » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:20 pm

I only use Evolution X and no issues but I do remember that a long time ago (2006-7) XBMC had problems launching games. Duox2 Xboxes.

Ironically (as for the name of this topic), I switched exclusively to Xecuter BIOSes (X2) because with a M8plus_16 BIOS there was an issue with NHL Hitz. The game did not manage to load stadium textures on the very first load from HDD which affected negatively a few first seconds of gameplay. I have found out by accident, that on my Xecuter Xbox this did not happen. So I reflashed all others with Xecuter - and guess what - NHL Hitz works flawless from HDD on all of them. I am no expert but I do confirm there is some issue with M8plus / Duox2 / NHL Hitz / HDD.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:31 pm

I just wanted to put some closure (for the time being at least, as I don't know how much more I will investigate this).

The game I was having problems with was Animaniacs. I was having another weird issue with this game. I had renamed the XBE title to be the complete game name - "Animaniacs: The Great Edgar Hunt" but for some weir reason, XBMC kept truncating the name to like "aniacs: The Great Edgar Hunt." If I tried to rename it within XBMC it would display correctly there, but then when viewed from UnleashX it would show as "AnimAnimaniacs: The Great Edgar Hunt." So clearly XBMC was having some strange issue with this XBE.

I encountered a similar problem with one other title that Zorlon over at EPForums had issued a patched xbe for. When I looked at this problem XBE (sorry I don't remember which title now) I noticed that the XBE he provided was 1KB less than the default.xbe even though his patch was supposed to be for the same region. Since all of his other patches were the same byte size as the xbe files they were replacing I thought this was odd. I went ahead and searched his patch for his hex changes and then applied them to the original XBE so that I had a same-byte size version with the fixes (I believe they were file name fixes for long file names). I then had no problem with this modified-original xbe showing the title properly in XBMC.

I relate the above story only as reference in that I began to suspect that maybe I had a corrupt xbe in the Animaniacs title which is why I was having issues loading it with the X3 BIOS. Because I could stand the title display issues I went ahead and got a PAL copy of the game instead of my preferred NTSC. This copy had no issues loading with any BIOS as long as the dash properly launched it for NTSC consoles.

In short, I'm fairly convinced that something is wrong with the NTSC Animaniacs XBE file. There is perhaps something corrupt in the header, etc that manifests itself in the ways I described. My guess is that both XBMC and the X3 Bios were a bit touchy with this an somehow failed to load it and that UnleashX and the M8+ BIOS were not strict/flexible enough to allow these issues.

It might be unfair to fault either the XBMC app or the X3 BIOS if they are adhering to a standard that this xbe might have not followed but it is still important to note that I *was* able to launch it with M8/iND when the X3 wouldn't. So, regardless of where the blame lies it is still possible (though fairly unlikely) that an xbe might not launch based on your loaded BIOS.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by Grumbleduke » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:50 pm

I have had a similar experience but i'm not sure its the bios that's causing it. I recently updated to a 2TB drive from a 120gb, flashing the M8 bios to the X2 during the process. At the moment i have 2 games, Taito Legends 1 and 2 both that hang at the first load screen. They both ran flawlessly with the old setup. All the other titles i've installed so far are fine. I've tried installing them from DVD2Xbox, PX HDD 1.3 and FTP all with the same result. I've also tried with various dash boards, again the same problem.And the strangest thing is the original discs have the same problem if i attempt to boot them from the dashboard. If i hard reset the xbox with either disc in the drive they both boot ok. It doesn't look bios related but i'm at a loss to explain it.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:35 pm

Grumbleduke wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:50 pm
I have had a similar experience but i'm not sure its the bios that's causing it. I recently updated to a 2TB drive from a 120gb, flashing the M8 bios to the X2 during the process. At the moment i have 2 games, Taito Legends 1 and 2 both that hang at the first load screen. They both ran flawlessly with the old setup. All the other titles i've installed so far are fine. I've tried installing them from DVD2Xbox, PX HDD 1.3 and FTP all with the same result. I've also tried with various dash boards, again the same problem.And the strangest thing is the original discs have the same problem if i attempt to boot them from the dashboard. If i hard reset the xbox with either disc in the drive they both boot ok. It doesn't look bios related but i'm at a loss to explain it.
What it comes down to is this. Can you play these games from HDD with BiosA but not BiosB?
If the answer is yes then it is unquestionable the BIOS. Now that may mean that BiosB has an issue with a certain harddrive setup - but if BiosA plays it fine then that just shows that the other BIOS can't handle whatever variables exist.

Your issue is not exactly the same because you are modifying multiple variables (HDD and BIOS). If you say that those games worked before we don't know whether it was the X2 BIOS that worked for you or the smaller HDD.
You also aren't stating if another BIOS works for you (i.e. flash back the X2 and try on your larger drive).

I'm stating that everything else being equal X3 wasn't playing some games that M8 was. Now, as I mentioned I do have suspicion that something may have been unorthodox about that game file...but that doesn't diminish the fact that the M8 seems more "stable" if you will at playing all games...even one that may have been problematic. Ofc, I don't have enough experience with the M8 to say that it might not have problems with some games that the X3 plays!

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by Grumbleduke » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:29 pm

I will have to experiment with Bios B at some point after i get properly up and running. I would certainly have said it was a HDD or dash issue and not at all bios related if it wasn't for the fact that the original DVDs wont boot and hang at the exact same point as the installed versions do if booted from the dashboard. That's whats really throwing me. I forgot to mention i'd tried booting in PAL and NTSC modes as well.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by Deelaroc » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:51 pm

I have a similar issue when running a retail or modded version of Counter Strike. It just boots me back into XBMC when I launch it. When I have time I’ll try to use the DVD2HDD default.xbe instead of the one from the Resources4xbmc file and see if that changes it to work.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by Deelaroc » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:27 am

Seems that my issue was using the default.xbe from the Resources4XBMC pack. I tried a freshly ripped version from my original copy of my game and it worked. Sorry for double posting but wanted to update my post.

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by fergusson » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:40 pm

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Re: X2/X3 BIOSes won't load some games?! (others do)

Post by bengalih » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:53 am

Just adding another footnote in this saga.

I just modded another xbox. This time a softmod with Rocky5's latest tools (great and easy BTW!).

Was going though my list of copied games, installing updates, DLC, and what not.

I was unable to launch my copy of Jade Empire: Limited Edition in XBMC4XBOX. I was only getting a black screen on launch.
Same title launched fine from UnleashX.
This was the first title I had yet encountered to give me an issue on this XBOX.

Turns out that the XBMC setting "Apply flicker filter setting to games" was causing the issue.

I don't profess that this is the reason that my other problems occurred (I can't test that easily anymore). Nor do I say it is the reason that others may see this issue.
But, clearly - this is one setting that can interfere with the proper launching of games from within XBMC.

Hope it helps someone!

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