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Black Art of Xbox Mods, The

Black Art of Xbox Mods, The

Jonathan Harbour

Jan 2005, Paperback, 336 pages
ISBN13: 9780672326837
ISBN10: 0672326833
This title is ordered on demand which may result in extended delivery times.
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The Xbox is an exciting and fun video game console - but that's only half the story. Inside the case, Microsoft placed a customized PC that you can push well past the limits of Halo and NBA Live. In The Black Art of the Xbox Mods, gamer, programmer and midnight hacker Jonathan Harbour show you how to crack the case, strip your Xbox down to the motherboard, and take control from the inside out.

When you're finished, you'll know how to install a mod chip, boot up in a new operating system, and run cool third-party software. You'll also learn how to trick out your Xbox with case mods, glowing lights and other features to let the world know your Xbox has come a long way since you brought it home from the superstore.

With hundreds of pictures and step-by-step instructions, The Black Art of the Xbox Mods isn't for the faint of heart. But, if you want a 300GB Xbox that plays CDs, DVDs, and glows like an alien spacecraft, then this is the book for you.

The Xbox is an exciting and fun video game console - but that's only half the story. Inside the case, Microsoft placed a customized PC that you can push well past the limits of Halo and NBA Live. In The Black Art of the Xbox Mods, gamer, programmer and midnight hacker Jonathan Harbour show you how to crack the case, strip your Xbox down to the motherboard, and take control from the inside out.

When you're finished, you'll know how to install a mod chip, boot up in a new operating system, and run cool third-party software. You'll also learn how to trick out your Xbox with case mods, glowing lights and other features to let the world know your Xbox has come a long way since you brought it home from the superstore.

With hundreds of pictures and step-by-step instructions, The Black Art of the Xbox Mods isn't for the faint of heart. But, if you want a 300GB Xbox that plays CDs, DVDs, and glows like an alien spacecraft, then this is the book for you.

What You Will Learn

Conventions Used in This Book

I. THE XBOX DEMYSTIFIED.

1. Welcome to the Xbox Scene.

"Getting" the Xbox

Breaking into an Industry

Video Game Competition: The Other Side of the Coin

Learning Some Hard Lessons

Xbox Rumors Realized

Xbox Roots

Timing Is Everything

The Game Developer's Dream Machine

Bridging the PC/Console Gap

Promises, Promises...

Did Xbox Work Too Well?

What Can You Do with Your Xbox?

So What's the Spiel?

Summary

2. Disassembling Your Xbox.

Getting to Know the Xbox Hardware

The Case

The Motherboard

The Power Supply

The DVD-ROM Drive

The Hard Drive

The Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

Front-Side Bus (FSB)

Media Control Processor (MCPX)

Removing the Cover

Removing the Rubber Feet

Removing the Six Case Screws

Lifting the Case

Examining the Main Deck

Removing the Hard Drive

Removing the Hard Drive Tray Screw

Removing the Cables

Lifting the Hard Drive Tray

Removing the DVD-ROM Drive

The DVD-ROM Screws

Removing the IDE and Power Cables

Pulling the DVD-ROM Drive

Removing the Motherboard

Removing the IDE Cable and DVD-ROM Power Connectors

Removing the Motherboard Power Supply Connector

Removing the Motherboard Screws

Unplugging the Controller Port Cables

Removing the Case Fan

Removing the Motherboard

Summary

3. Identifying Your Xbox Revision.

Revision Notes

1.0

1.1

1.2

1.3

1.4

1.5

1.6

Methods of Identification

Manufacturing Date

Hardware Serial Number

Video Chip Verification

Xbox BIOS Version Number

Special/Limited Edition Exceptions

Halo Special Edition

Limited Edition Crystal Pack

Additional Exceptions

Summary

II. MOD CHIPS.

4. Introduction to Xbox Modding.

What Is a Mod Chip?

How Does a Mod Chip Work?

Are Mod Chips Legal?

The Modded Xbox

Why the DMCA Does More Harm Than Good

What Can You Do with a Mod Chip?

Xbox Media Center (XBMC)

Homebrew Games

Overview of Available Mod Chips

Xenium

Xecuter

SmartXX

XBIT

Aladdin

X-Chip

Before You Install a Mod Chip...

Summary

5. Installing a Solderless Mod Chip.

Solderless Xenium Installation

Locating the LPC

Fixing a Pre-Soldered LPC

Locating the D0

Installing the Solderless Adapter

Installing the Mod Chip

Booting Up the Mod Chip

Summary

6. Installing a Soldered Mod Chip.

Removing the Motherboard

Installing a Pin Header (All Revisions)

Preparing to Solder

Locating the LPC

Removing Pin 4

Inserting the Pin Header

Soldering the Pins

Installing the D0 Wire

Xbox Revision 1.6 Mod Chip Installation

Double-Checking the Revision

Installing the Pin Header

Rebuilding the LPC

Installing the LFRAME Wire

Troubleshooting

Problem with the D0/LFRAME

Problem with the LPC

Other Problems

Summary

III. SOFTWARE MODS.

7. The Xenium Operating System.

Overview of the Xenium O/S

The Xenium O/S Main Menu

Launch

Disk Tools

EEprom Tools

Settings

Reboot

Recovery

Power Off

Summary

8. EvolutionX Dashboard.

What Is EvolutionX?

Installing the EvoX BIOS and Dash

Acquiring EvoX

Installing the EvoX Dashboard

Installing the EvoX BIOS

Creating a Custom BIOS

Using the EvoX Dash

Tweaking EvoX Dash

The EvoX Dash Interface

Creating Your Own EvoX Skins

Summary

9. Avalaunch Dashboard.

Installing Avalaunch

Customizing a BIOS for Avalaunch

Copying the Avalaunch Files to Your Xbox

Adding Avalaunch to the Xenium O/S Launch Menu

Running Avalaunch

Avalaunch Features

The Main Menu

XBox Media Player

Games

Applications

Emulators

File Manager

IRC Client

Telnet Client

Settings

Reboot

Shutdown

Summary

10. Xbox Media Center.

Overview of Xbox Media Center

Installing Xbox Media Center

Installing the XBMC Files

Installing a Hacked BIOS

Running Xbox Media Center

The Main Menu

My Programs

My Files

My Pictures

My Music

My Videos

Weather

Settings

Summary

IV. MAJOR HARDWARE MODS.

11. Replacing the Xbox Case.

Stock Cases

Tearing Down the Old Case

Replacing the DVD-ROM Tray Panel

Assembling the New Case

Aftermarket Cases

Assembling the Aftermarket Case

The System Jewel

Summary

12. Upgrading the Xbox Hard Drive.

Overview of the Swap

The Stock Xbox Hard Drive

The Replacement Hard Drive

Connecting Both Hard Drives

Master/Slave Settings

Connecting the IDE Cable

Connecting the Power Cables

The Hard Drive Upgrade Wizard

Running the Drive Upgrade Wizard

Formatting the New Drive and Transferring Data

Verifying the Upgrade Process

Summary

13. Lighting Up the Case.

Cosmetic Xbox Modifications

Cold Cathode Lighting

How About a Glowing Jewel?

Removing the Cold Cathode Bulb

Gluing the Light to the Case Cover

Custom Lighting with LEDs

Creating Your Own LED Light Show

Building the Main LED Wire Loom

Putting It All Together

Examining the Cold Cathode Light

The Custom LEDs

Summary

14. Cooling Down Your Xbox.

Software Cooling Solutions

Setting Fan Speed in BIOS

Setting Fan Speed in XBMC

Active Cooling for Your Xbox

Hard Drive Cooling

Finding Room in the Case

Installing a Hard Drive Cooling Fan

Summary

Appendix A. Xbox Resources.

Xbox Information Sites

Mod Chip Manufacturers

Xbox Hardware Sites

Xbox Software Sites

Index.

Jonathan S. Harbour has been an avid gamer and programmer for 17 years, having started with early systems such as the Commodore PET, Apple II, and Tandy 1000. The first console he disassembled and tried to hack was the Atari 2600. He holds a degree in computer information systems and enjoys writing code in several languages. Jonathan has experience with several platforms, including Windows, Linux, Pocket PC, and Game Boy Advance. Jonathan has written nine books on the subjects of game programming, application development, console programming, cross-platform programming, and now console modding. He maintains a website dedicated to these subjects at http://www.jharbour.com.

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