***** DISCLAIMER ******
I am in no way affiliated with Micro$oft, the Xbox or XBMC or any of the associated trademarks, products or people. I do not, nor have I ever possessed a copy of the XDK or compiled any source code for the Xbox therewith. I am not responsible for any damages to your person or property as a result of following the instructions contained in this Instructable.
Step 1: Tools & Parts
An original XBOX
An original XBOX "breakaway" cable
A male-to-female USB cable
A copy of Splinter Cell
Soldering Iron & solder
Helping hands (not absolutely necessary, but the sure do help)
See step 5.
Gather your tools, the breakway and USB cables and clear a workspace. You might want to set down newspaper or a protective covering as you will be soldering.
I ruined the expensive and terrible USB cable pictured here that I purchased from The Source. I then bought one at the dollar store for a fraction of the cost that ended up being of much better quality. Lesson learned.
Step 2: Prepare the USB Cable
Strip the outer rubber shell of the wire with the wire stripper, leaving as much space as you think you'll need (usually 0.5-1.5 inch but as you can see I left a lot). Carefully strip each individual wire a similar distance from its end. Neaten the ends and remove and extraneous filler (shielding, string, fiber, etc).
Get our your soldering iron and carefully tin each wire, using the helping hands if available / necessary.
Step 3: Prepare the Breakaway Cable
Cut the breakaway cable between then end and after the sleeve, about 1-2 inches from the end.
Prepare the end of the cable for soldering as was done for the USB cable in Step 2:
Strip the end, leaving 0.5-1 inches. Strip each individual wire, tidy and tin.
The yellow wire is 12v which is used to power the rumble in controllers and is not needed.
Step 4: Connect the Cable Segments
I believe there is a standard cable colouring system for USB which has red, green, black, and white wires (correct me if I'm wrong). Unfortunately my dollar-store USB cable did not adhere to this convention which made some thinking and the use of a multimeter necessary to determine which wire to connect to which. You may be required to do something similar. Just make sure the wires from each pin of the connector on one end of the cable match up to those corresponding on the other end.
Step 5: Acquire Necessary Software
You will require a certain save file or two for Splinter Cell to proceed. Later in the instructable will also require a build of XBMC which runs on the console. More information can be found on via Google.
Step 6: Format USB Key
If not, you've either wired the cables incorrectly or haven't established a good enough electrical connection with the soldering. If the former is the case, you've probably toasted your USB key. Either way you'll need to go back and repeat Steps 2-4 after restripping the wires.
If all has gone well the XBOX will recognize the key as a memory card and state that there is an error. The key will then be reformatted by the system into the FATX format.
Addendum: It's been pointed out to me by several readers who have attempted this that not all USB keys will work. I was fortunate in that the second key I tried was compatible (the first got toasted). A comprehensive list of USB key compatibility and issues by manufacturer and model is maintained at the XBOX Linux project (kudos to them). I used a Sandisk Cruzer 1GB (in photo) and experienced no issues.
Step 7: Transfer Save Game to USB Key
If you are comfortable in a real operating system you can download a Xebian LiveCD and boot your computer with that. At the prompt type 24 to load kernel version 2.4 with FATX support. Mount your hard drive (or another usb key containing the save files), and then mount the formatted usb key in FATX using mount with the
Step 8: Transfer to XBOX and Load
Insert the Splinter Cell disc and reset the system. From the menu in Splinter Cell load the save which you have copied to the hard drive.
Step 9: Install Softmod
Follow the prompts in the dash - first back up the eeprom, then do a basic install. I installed the UnleashX dashboard, though it doesn't really matter, as later in the Instructable the dash will be set to XBMC.
Step 10: Copy Files and Set XBMC As Dash
Using Filezilla connect to the XBOX (using its IP as the address) with the username and password specified in the new dash (usually found under Network in settings).
Copy XBMC to a suitable folder such as E:\Apps\xbmc.
Follow the instructions from XBMC.org to set XBMC as your dash.
Step 11: Reset and Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed the Instructable and found it useful. As always I welcome your comments.