Introduction: How to JTAG Your Xbox 360 and Run Homebrew

About: I'm interested in CNC, laser cutting, 3D printing and blow glass in my spare time.

I will be going over how to install XBR and Xell onto your Xbox 360.  Installing XBR allows you to do many things such run unsigned code(homebrew), install any sized hard drive(even 3.5in desktop hdds!), ftp into your box, and custom dashboards.  There are endless possibilities with being able to run any code you want.  You are able to modify Xbox 360 games to run custom maps and cheats.  You can also launch games off the hard drive without a disc.  It should cost you around $5 in parts, maybe even free if you have the parts already.

Step 1: Finding Out If Your Xbox Is Exploitable

Your kernel must be kernel 2.0.7371.0 or lower for this to work.  You can do this by opening up the system info tab.  After there is one more step to check if it still is exploitable, but you have to build your cable to dump your nand first.

Step 2: Getting Your Parts

Soldering iron
Computer with LPT port.

1x 25 pin d-sub connector (male or female depending on which kind of cable you have)
Digikey # 225FE-ND

1x 25 pin d-sub cable (lpt cable) You can actually skip the cable if you buy a male connector and make your wires long enough to extend from your xbox to the computer
Digikey # AE9863-ND

3x 330 ohm resistors (only for Xenon motherboards)
Digikey # P330BBCT-ND

1x 1n4148 switching diode (if you have Zephyr, Falcon, Opus or a Jasper get 3x of these)

Refer to the image below to tell what kind of 360 you have.

There has been a new update to the standard wiring you should use for the JTAG wiring on Xenon's which requires just 2x 1n4148 diodes.  I've never used this method before so I can't really help as much if you have problems.  But I would suggest going with it instead since it is supposed to be electrically superior and uses less parts so less room for failure I guess.

Step 3: Soldering the Cable

Soldering is generally pretty straight forward.  You actually don't need any solder for the motherboard end, as the holes all have solder in them.  So you just need need to heat it up and slide the wire through.  I suggest using at least a 30w iron as a 15w will have trouble getting the lead free solder hot enough.  All resistors on the connector are optional, it's just to prevent damage as some ports are 5v and the motherboard is 3.3v.

Here are some bigger pictures
All others

Recently there has been a new way to wire Xenons that is supposed  to be better, I have never tried it but I have included the diagram on how to wire it.
New Xenon

Step 4: Dumping the Nand

Download the files here (I forgot to include nandpro get that here)
Extract the rar, and open up the nandpro folder
install port95nt.exe (if running vista or 7 set it for compatibility mode for xp.)
Plug your Xbox 360 in, but don't power it on.
Plug the lpt cable in
Pop open cmd and change directories to your nandpro folder
type nandpro lpt: -r16 nand.bin
It will start to dump, this will take 35 minutes
Type nandpro lpt: -r16 nand2.bin and dump it a second time.

If during the dump it has trouble reading blocks, don't worry.  You only have a problem if can't read block after block, which means something went wrong in the middle of the dump and you have to restart it again.

If you are having issues having nandpro detecting it, go over and double check all of your soldering. If you skipped out on the diode, try adding one, and just restarting your computer has fixed the issue quite a few times for me. You also want to make sure your cable is short as possible.

Step 5: Testing If It's Exploitable

You're going to want to open up degraded included in the file pack.  Go to settings and under 1BL key make sure it says DD88AD0C9ED669E7B56794FB68563EFA and is checked.  You are also going to want to change file system start to 39.

Open up your nand dump and look at the CB version

If your CB is the following you're in luck!

Xenon: 888, 1902, 1903, 1920,1921, 8192
Zephyr: 4558, 4580
Falcon: 5761, 5766, 5770
Jasper: 6712, 6723
Jasper Arcade (256/512): 6723 or lower is Exploitable

If you are unsure if yours is exploitable, you can also check if CD = 8453, if it does you're out of luck.

Step 6: Extracting the Keyvault, Injecting and Flashing XBR

Select the proper XBR for your motherboard included in the rar file and put it in your nandpro folder.  Rename it to xbr.bin to make things easier.

Open up cmd, navigate to your nandpro folder and type

nandpro nand.bin: -r16 kv.bin 1 1
nandpro nand.bin: -r16 config.bin 3de 2

Then typenandpro xbr.bin: -w16 kv.bin 1 1
nandpro xbr.bin: -w16 config.bin 3de 2

Now for the flashing!

Just type and wait 35 minutes
nandpro lpt: -w16 xbr.bin

Step 7: Getting Your CPU Key

Reassemble your 360, and boot your 360 with the DVD drive ejected.  Or if you don't have a DVD drive you can plug in a wired controller into the back usb port.  

You should see a blue screen pop up and whole bunch of things fly by.  When it says CPU fuses, your either going to want to write really fast or snap a picture.

fuseset 3 and 5 or 4 and 6 is your cpu key.

So if it said
fuseset 03: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
fuseset 05: yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

My CPU key would be xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

It should 32 characters.

Step 8: Extras

I included quite a few extra programs in the .rar file.  A lot of them will come in handy with your Xbox 360 homebrew experience.  I'll be going over what each program is good for.

360 Flash Tool
This tool allows you to view all the files in your nand and your keyvault.  You need your CPU key for this.

KeyVault Modder
This allows you to modify the region code, or what your DVD drive key is.  If your Xbox 360 DVD drive is missing or you burned yours out, this is the tool you need to recover it!  You can either change the key to someone simple as just 1's or what it originally was.

Since you can run any code now, you can patch .xex game files.  With this tool you can remove region coding from games and many other things.

XBLA Unlocker
This will allow you to unlock any DLC, or XBLA games you may have that are demos and that are signed to a certain console.  You can download game demos on the Xbox marketplace and unlock it with this tool.

Xbox Image Browser
This tool allows you to view the content of an Xbox 360 Iso image.  What I use this tool for is extracting the files from the iso then putting them on my xbox instead of the iso.  Xbox 360 iso's are zeroed out to 7 gb or so no matter how big the game is.  A game with 1gb of files could be wasting 6gb of space.

This program allows you to modify the console ID on DLC, and XBLA games to run on any console.

This is a xbins autoconnect tool.  Use this to download the latest files.

Freestyle Dash
This is my favorite Xbox 360 custom dashboard.  It includes DVD ripping and FTP support.  It is one of the most progressing dashboards that is constantly being updated with new features.

This tool creates containers from xex files that can be launched from the dashboard.

This allows you to navigate your hdd on your xbox and launch .xex files directly.  It also has an ftp server running in the background also.  I included 2 versions, one is the ISO which you just burn to a CD and put in your xbox, the other is a XBLA file that you put in your content folder on your hard drive and launch.

Step 9: Installing a 3.5 in Desktop HDD

This requires you to cut the end off a sata cable and solder it under the HDD connector. 

Wiring goes as follows
Pin 1: SATA Signal GND
Pin 2: SATA Signal A+
Pin 3: SATA Signal A-
Pin 4: SATA Signal GND
Pin 5: SATA Signal B+
Pin 6: SATA Signal B-
Pin 7: SATA Signal GND

The side of the sate cable with the writing goes up, and you start left from right.  You only have to solder the white shielded cables inside as these are the data cables.  Just wire the rest of the ground wires some where else.

Where to get my 12v?
There are many spots on the Xbox motherboard where you can get 12v of power from, I picked the power connector on the bottom of the board as I'm not soldering onto any other connectors or anything.

How to wire up the sata power connector
Yellow: 12v
Red: 5v
Black: GND

Hard drives have been tested up to 2tb and worked successfully.

Step 10: My Avatar Is Only a Silhouette!

Usually your avatar will be a blank silhouette and it will tell you, you need to install an update to use them.  All you need to do is download this update file, and place it on a USB flash drive, and plug it into the back usb port of your xbox.  Your 360 should detect it and install it.  Make sure you extract it first and the root of the drive is the $SystemUpdate folder.  You can also burn it to a CD to update.

If you're paranoid you will brick your console because microsoft is out to get you and ruin your homebrew, you can look at the picture about removing the r6t3 resistor to keep from having your fuses blown.

I also provided a mediafire mirror in case the microsoft one goes down.$