Introduction: The Easiest Way to Soft Mod an Original XBOX

Picture of The Easiest Way to Soft Mod an Original XBOX

This Instructable is taken from gh3tt0h4x0r on Youtube (including screencaps, as my Gamebridge was being weird the night i did this). His two part video shows how you can do a simple install of the XBMC (XBox Media Centre) on an XBox without the need for Action Replay, a memory card or compatible USB thumbdrive (i used my Kingston 4 gig, He used a PSP). This is simple, Links are provided off this site (due to size) for this install, and the only long part to this is the copying of files at certain points. I have done this myself and i must say that this was a no-brainer!

Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started

You will need the following:
USB thumbdrive (at least 512 Meg is a good size, as this is a big install)
the softmod install files (updated file location as Megaupload is now dead:
Xplorer 360 (Program that allows you to inject files onto the Thumbdrive)
Decent computer running Windows XP or Windows 7 but will be testing under Wine in Xubuntu (I GUESS you could use Vista :S )
Device to connect Thumbdrive to XBox (i used my Controller
Game that can use an Exploit (I used the First Splinter Cell as any version will work. If you can't get that, the Original Mech Assault, or an Older version of 007:Agent Under Fire, as most of the newer ones will not work.)
Original XBox
Optional: 12 pack of your favorite frosty 'BEvERage'

Step 2: File (and How to Prepare Them!)

Picture of File (and How to Prepare Them!)

Boot up your Xbox without a game in the drive then go to memory. Make sure your thumbdrive is plugged into the controller or otherwise connected to the XBox. Your XBox will say that your thumbdrive is not working correctly and has been erased (i hope you didn't have anything valuable on it!). After this, simply plug that sucker into your computer. when the PC identifies the drive, it will ask if you would like to format it. Don't! Install Xplorer 360 to the desktop and as well, extract the NTSC folder within the compressed folder to the desktop as well. then start X 360 and go to >Drive >Open >Hard Drive or Memory Card. It will identify the thumbdrive as Partition 0 (the thumbdrive has been formated by the XBox as FatX so your PC will not recognize it on its own). Now Drag 'N' Drop the four folders inside NTSC to the right hand of the X 360. This will take about 15 minutes or so as the files aren't simply copied, but 'injected' onto the thumbdrive. So crack a cold one and throw on something to pass the time (it was Hulu for me :D and yes i am in Canada, but i know a way around that ;) )

Step 3: Copying Files From Stick to XBox

Picture of Copying Files From Stick to XBox

Once the Files have completed injecting onto the stick, you can now plug it into the XBox. You will want to access the Memory section of the Dashboard, then select the area where the thumbdrive is recognized (in the case of my install, it was Controller One). You will want to open that part, then press Right (->) on the D-Pad on the controller then copy the appropriate save file to the hard drive (in this case, The Splinter Cell Linux save). Now this will take a while again to copy, so its good to have something to do. This should take about ten minutes (blame the USB 1.1 connectivity of the XBox). when this is done you can check the hard drives contents in the Memory Section to confirm. When this is done, exit all that then remove the thumbdrive. Now load your Game and on to the next step!

Step 4: Installation (the Not-nearly-as-slow Part!)

Picture of Installation (the Not-nearly-as-slow Part!)

Ok, no worries the long parts are past us, as the files are now on your hard drive! Boot the Game now (hit start to skip past the opening). Go to the Start Game Screen, and select the "Linux" profile. Hit A three times then watch the system load onto the BSOD installer (B@$tard Sons Of Dialup). You will now only have a few simple steps to follow. First, in case something like a power outage or other Act of Randomness inturrupts the install, select "Back up C Drive" first off! Confirm by selecting Yes after you start the backup process, and this will only take maybe a minute (it's all being done on the hard drive now so it's a LOT faster!). When that is completed, select "Install Softmod". This will load into a different screen where you will see a scroll down menu. Select "Backup EEEPROM". Then back it up to the E Drive. This will take a second. Then select "Install Softmod". this may take 3 to 5 minutes. once this is done, select "Back To Main Menu". Then select "Restart XBox".

Step 5: The Fruits of Your Labours!

Picture of The Fruits of Your Labours!

Just restart the XBox now and enjoy the payoff! XBox Media Centre will play any file format that you throw at it, including MP4, MKV, OGM, DIVX, Xvid, and supports iTunes Network Play, album art, and some kick-ass emulators (those you will have to install yourself besides FCEEmu (NES Emulator included with the installation, but you have to supply the roms, naturally). Now i do not recommend playing movies off of the USB as it is only 1.1 (slow data transfer rate). Network or DVD Drive is recommended (that may be in another tutorial). As well, this WILL allow you to play Backups (burned games) but if you make your own backups, burn them at a low speed, and use DVD-R (some drives have been shown the ability to recognize the +R, +RW, as well as CD-R). Enjoy!!


jeremym201 (author)2017-06-08

This memory stick works great
some things have changed follow martinK3's comment

justanotherlittle (author)2017-04-02

Bsod does not come up. It takes me to a black screen saying contact microsoft with green words... please help

MharJ1 (author)justanotherlittle2017-04-13

same with me paps

justanotherlittle made it! (author)2017-04-02

I think i did it! Got a blue screen with multiple options such as launch DVD, games, applications, emulators, and system.

MartinK3 (author)2016-11-10

Just thought I'd add a comment as I softmodded my original xbox last night and used this guide as a basis. Obviously things have changed a little since it was posted but overall this was a good guide.

Firstly, I struggled to find a flash drive that would be recognised by the Xbox. I think everything I tried was probably too new (USB 3.0 drives) or too large. I found an ancient 128mb flash drive that was detected ok but that was too small for the exploit to copy on to. In the end I used an old 512mb memory card plugged into a USB Card reader and that was detected and erased by the Xbox fine.

Secondly, the download link for the softmod installer was no good for me, I think it only has part of what you need.

I googled for "Splinter Cell soft mod NTSC" and eventually found this site that had the files I needed and a little more detail on which ones to copy onto the flash drive.

Otherwise everything else is much the same, use Xplorer 360 to "inject" the files onto the flash drive, copy them over to the xbox hard drive and then load up Splinter Cell or whichever game you're using and load the same game from the hard drive.

Next up I need to get a bigger hard drive in there and also get some emulators copied onto it!

bandora (author)MartinK32016-11-17

Thanks for the update.. Is Splinter Cell absolutely required? I have Halo 1 & 2, NFS Hot Pursuit, and Counter-Strike. Would any of those work?

MartinK3 (author)bandora2016-11-17

No, I'm pretty sure you need either Splinter Cell, Mech Assault or 007: Agent Under Fire.

I was able to pickup a boxed copy of Splinter Cell for five bucks from a store near me recently and I think it's the easiest one to find out of the three.

bandora (author)MartinK32016-11-21

Thanks for the info! :)

Joao PauloA2 (author)2016-02-13

What should i do ? please tell me step by step

2dj (author)2011-02-15

So everything seems to work fine until I try and "inject" the folders to the thumb drive. x360 says its injecting but nothing happens. I've tried using the x 360 and x 360 beta 5 with both vista and win 7 in compatability mode. Do you have any other suggestions on how to get the files onto the thumb drive?

cpk86 (author)2dj2011-02-17

Hey man. I was having this problem too. I ended up using my old computer that is running Windows XP. I was still having trouble with xplorer360. I could get "partition 0" to show up but the files weren't "sticking" to it. This is how I got it to work (somehow haha...):
I opened xplorer360 (beta 6 I believe)
Clicked Drive>Open>Harddrive or memcard...
Partition 0 showed up on the left hand side
I right clicked Partition 0 and clicked Extract
I then extracted a folder onto my desktop that was named Partition 0 (it was empty)
I then took the NTSC files and draged-n-dropped to the right hand side of xplorer360 them per the instructable and they began injecting to the jump drive.

I used a sandisk cruzer 2 gig jump drive with the U3 partition removed.

I also found this list of compatible jump drives:

Hope that helps!

kingsleyfreedom (author)cpk862013-11-26

Hey, Thanks alot for this, it really helped . I kept dragging the files over in xplorer360 , they said they were injecting but nothing was showing up on the card.
I then tried what you suggested above " right clicking on Partition 0 and clicking Extract, then extracted a folder onto my desktop that was named Partition 0 (it was empty)
then taking the NTSC files and draged-n-dropped to the right hand side of xplorer360 them per the instructable and they began injecting to the jump drive.""
It worked perfectly Thanks alot!!:))

AlynD1 (author)kingsleyfreedom2015-06-21

Try this with modding xbox 360 software very simple steps

tbrown303 (author)cpk862011-11-17

same problem here :( says it's injecting (takes 1-2 seconds) then doesn't show up in explorer360 or on the xbox?

daiatlus79 (author)2dj2011-03-05

has to be injected for this hack.

alex9900 (author)2014-01-20

Hi! I want to do this to run classic console emulators, like NES, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, etc. How do I install the emulators and roms? do they run from the USB thumb drive or can I burn them into a dvd that runs in the xbox?

AlynD1 (author)alex99002015-06-21

Try this with modding xbox 360 software very simple steps

TheDoctor64 (author)2014-10-15

Which Usb drives plus does it have to plug into the memory slot or can it just plug directly into the xbox

AlynD1 (author)TheDoctor642015-06-21

Try this with modding xbox 360 software very simple steps

AlynD1 (author)2015-06-21

Try this with modding xbox 360 software very simple steps

c4ptainlaur3n (author)2015-01-19

so i have the files on my xbox, and the Linux save shows up when i run splinter cell, but when i try to load it nothing happens. it just sits on the screen where you select check points or levels. help please???

ghguti0101 (author)2015-01-12

Idk if this is what I was looking for but I had this guy do something to my Xbox and he put tons of classic games . well he said to press some buttons to get it going . anyone know what I'm talking about? Help .

you got your xbox mod-chipped by him most likely

gwatts1 (author)2014-12-31

ok I have updated dash and formatted 4gb sandisk cruzer edge with the xbox original and have put it in pc I didn't see no message about formatting the drive although it installed a driver for the cruzer edge. my computer don't show the drive but it shows in device manager. I right click on xplorer360 and select run as administrator I select open hdd and get a message can't find fatx drive. I'm using windows 7

gwatts1 (author)gwatts12014-12-31

the xbox itself formatted the cruzer edge so it says memory unit 2a just to make that clear

jeffery2476 (author)2014-12-27

i have a modded xbox but now the screen want get off of the starting menu and want play any games how do i get it to work again

justinw3 (author)2014-11-24

so after i hack the box... where am i putting my emulators and roms to play them because they wont show up after i FTP them into a Folder in E:\\games

jblue4878 (author)2014-10-21

How recent is this thread? 2014??

TheDoctor64 (author)2014-10-15

Just looked up stuff does any usb work or just compatable ones?

TheDoctor64 (author)2014-10-15

Also can I use a action replay pro as the also does it have to be a thumb drive or can ut be a regular flash drive

TheDoctor64 (author)2014-10-15

I have a PAL Xbox, is there a PAL folder?

Some James (author)2012-03-13

The softmod install files: (scanned with Comodo and safe)

These files do not match up with the tutorial. How can these be applied to the walkthrough? Do you have any more information? Feedback would be appreciated. Thank you. :)

I have the same issue! Nothing I do with these files works. Once I get the files copied to the thumbdrive and bring it up in the XBox all i can do is Delete the "corrupted saves"

daiatlus79 (author)Some James2012-03-21

thanks friend. i will put them in the tutorial :) much appreciated. been rather busy these days and havent gottena chance to do it myself!

eagledust22 (author)2013-12-22

how do u get a usb drive hooked up to a Xbox controller I cant get it to go it there like it shows in ur pictures.

This walkthrough did the job. Hope it works out for you. I used epoxy for mine rather than silicon.

aparker26 (author)2013-08-05

hi all i was wondering if this mod will work on a pal model as it would be good to get the old xbox doing something again many thanks

dantmcclellan (author)2013-07-03

I have 2 problems:

1: There is no NTSC folder in the zip. I have a SID folder & a folder with a bunch of numbers for a name.

2: My xbox recognizes my flash drive as a memory card but I can't get xplorer360 to find it.


killamobz (author)2012-04-03

Yeah same problem here as bripilot. the file doesn't have the ntsc folders?
Is it not the right file or maybe just a part of it? If someone could send me the right files to me that'd be sweet!


bripilot (author)2012-03-25

In your tutorial, you say to "Now Drag 'N' Drop the four folders inside NTSC to the right hand of the X 360"

However, when I download your SID file, there is no NTSC folder, and when I go to load a game in Splinter Cell after copying your SID folder to my USB Stick, There are no save games.

Could you provide a little further clarification? Thanks!

cooldoodtekk (author)bripilot2012-04-01

ya same thing

trashcanz (author)2012-03-01

Can files be transferred, between the Xbox & computer, via the "Controller to PC / MAC USB Cable Adapter" on an Xbox controller with memory card?

daiatlus79 (author)trashcanz2012-03-21

the memory card is no good, as it is only 8 megs and this mod requires much more space. the cable adapter is more recommended, if you cannot mod your controller as i show in the other tutorial i have (puts a usb female port in place of one of the memory card slots)

Taizoc (author)2012-02-23

Hey, I've gotten the softmod to work about 90% correctly. I'm using UnleashX and I can't get it to save the skin I want it to use after a reboot. I don't know what that's about.
Also I'm using a 2GB Kingston Datatraveler to transfer files from my computer and everything works fine if my computer is writing to the card, but if the Xbox tries to save anything to it, it comes up with Error 0. Does anybody know what that's about?

daiatlus79 (author)Taizoc2012-03-21

if you have hacked the xbox successfully, try using FTP to transfer files between pc and xbox. its easier and less of a headache. Filezilla and FlashFXP are two good programs

heapish (author)2012-03-05

Where can I get hol of the CNG-Xbox-Softmod-Pack? As the megauploa link is dead now.

KKBug (author)2012-01-28

Your links to get the Xplorer 360 and softmod install files don't work anymore. Both of them send you to pages that say they've been seized by the Federal Government for Anti-Piracy Laws. Do you have new links to get those files or plan on trying to include updated new links?

dfalk (author)2012-01-21

Does I have to use a game?? :/ I don't have that one who needs :/

daiatlus79 (author)dfalk2012-01-27

the game can be gotten online from most auction sites for about 2 bucks. its an easy game to get. if not, then the 007 and Mechassault games will work as well, but they MUST be the first editions! no reissues will work with the mod

About This Instructable



Bio: techie who believes in making things that i own do what i want or what they were intended to do!
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