Introduction: How to Softmod Your Xbox...for FREE

This instructable will show you how you can convert your normal xbox into a super crazy multimedia, avi , mp3 playing GOD...All without a mod chip...This also allows you to still be able play on xbox live. All you needs is a computer, a cd burner and a torx 20 screwdriver: will go into this in a later step.

**NOTE: I am not responsible for any damage that may be caused while attempting anything in this tutorial. If you attempt in doing this, you do so at your own risk. If something gets broken, it's only your own fault and you should not blame anybody. Please notice that according to ANSI standards, hotswapping is not considered safe and is therefore only recommended if you cannot find another way to modify your Xbox.:**

Do everything in this video and much more:

Step 1: Materials:

Desktop PC with an ATA connection NOT SATA
CD Recorder in your PC
Blank CD-R
ISO Recorder v2(Or any other program to burn ISOs to cds)
WinRAR or the very awesome and free 7-zip
XboxHDM v1.9 (Scrow down to download it)
Kingroach's NDURE 3.0 (Scrow down to download it) or go here NDURE 3.0
Torx 20 Screwdriver for opening the xbox
Whatever is needed to open up your computer case
Some intelligence and patience

Download the necessary files from above. Install ISO Recorder and WinRAR. After WinRAR is installed, use it to extract xboxhdm.

Step 2: Create Boot Disk

First - Find your xbox's kernel and dashboard version...To do this, boot up to the MS Dashboard, go to Settings, and the System Info. After the scrolling text, you should see this at the bottom.

Note: It is recommended to update your dashboard to MS Dash version 5960. While this may not be necessary for everybody, this tutorial will not work for people who have the 4034 dash. To avoid any and all problems, upgrading the dash to 5960 is highly recommended because nobody should have problems if they are running that dashboard. This softmod works perfectly with the 5960 dashboard version.

To update your dashboard, you can use any newer (post-Halo 2) retail Xbox LIVE game. You don't have to have Xbox LIVE, you don't have to have an internet connection, and you don't even have to have a network cable plugged into the Xbox. Just load up Halo 2 or any game made after that, select Xbox LIVE, and it will proceed to upgrade your Xbox dashboard.


Second - Run NDURE 3.0 next and you should see this screen:

Ndure Options

First, I will briefly explain what each option does.

Basic Files - These are the basic files and are required for the softmod to function.

Retail Files - These are the files necessary so that you can have MS Dash access. Most people should leave this checkmarked, the only people who would not need this are people who do not have Xbox LIVE and have no need for the memory and music functions of the MS Dash. You dont gain anything by leaving this box unmarked, so you might as well include it.

Shadow C - Recommended for all users, because it prevents your Xbox from dash updates overwriting the softmod.

NKPatcher Options

NKP .67 - Use this if you have a hard drive over 200 gb, this will create a G partition.

NKP RGB - Use this if you are going to use the Xbox primarily with VGA output on a computer monitor (Only works with Focus video encoders)

NKP Progressive - This forces 480p for anything that attempts to run in 480i.

Kernel Specific Fonts - These fonts are designed to work exclusively with a certain kernel version. It is recommended to use a kernel specific font, as it should prevent any problems and provide an incredible level of stability.

Default boot xonlinedashconsole - Enabling this option will set up the dualboot feature. When the Xbox is powered on by using the eject button, and the softmod detects an open disc tray, it will boot to the Xbox LIVE Online Dash. In this screen, you can manage all of your network settings, as well as manage Xbox LIVE accounts.

UDDAE - This is a backdoor rescue dash that is based off of the Easter Egg Exploit, the uberdash, and an audio exploit. The thing about UDDAE is it allows you to completely turn off your softmod, going to a retail, unmodded state.
Now, once your softmod is deactivated, how are you going to activate it? In order to switch it back on, we need to change some files around on the Xbox, and we can't mess with the files in an unmodded state. Basically, the problem lies in we need to have it modded in order to 'turn on' the mod. Which really makes no sense.
This is where UDDAE comes to the rescue. Even with the softmod deactivated, we have a way to run homebrew code through a set of actions in the MS Dashboard. While this is a great feature for advanced users, it will not be used by the average user, but it doesnt hurt anybody by installing it. If you are interested in this, you can read up on SCEEE HERE and UDDAE HERE.

Ndure Toolset - This is a set of tools designed by kingroach to help with your EEPROM backups and other maintenance. It is basically a simple menu that helps you to protect your softmod and keep it running smooth and provides you with the information needed to save your Xbox if anything goes wrong. Just another way kingroach looks out for his users and wants to make them feel safe. While I have never personally used this, I would recommend installing this.

Create XBOXHDM Installer Obviously, we want this enabled, as this entire tutorial is for installing NDURE with XboxHDM.

My Setup goes like this: (X equals a checkmark)

X Basic Files
X Retail Files
X Add ShadowC
+ Kernel Specific Fonts
X 4034 (You would choose the number of your kernel that you found using System Info at the beginning of this tutorial I told you to write it down)
X Default boot xonlinedash console (because I have Xbox LIVE)
+ Select Kernel Specific ST.DB
X 4034 (You would choose the number of your kernel that you found using System Info at the beginning of this tutorial I told you to write it down)
X Add NDURE Toolset
X Create XBOXHDM Installer

Step 3: Create Boot Disk 2

Hit next and it will ask you where you want to save your NDURE folder. Save it to /xboxhdm/linux/ , which is wherever you extracted your Xboxhdm ZIP archive you downloaded earlier. Hit Install and wait for it to finish. When it is finished, the last line will say Completed and you can hit Next, then Finish to close out of Ndure.

First, you must download the updated script (at the bottom of this step). When you save the file it will ask you where you want to save the file and what do you want to name it. It may add a .txt or .htm or .tmp file extension to it, so you will have to delete the file extension so it is just ndure. *Make sure your have explorer set to show extensions.*

Save this updated ndure script file to the /xboxhdm/linux/ndure/ folder. Since there is the old script already in there, it should ask if you want to overwrite. Say yes. If it doesn't ask you if you want to overwrite, please check the /xboxhdm/linux/ndure/ folder and make sure you named it just ndure and not ndure.htm.

Go back to the main xboxhdm folder and you will see a bat file titled make-iso-win. Run this, and wait for it to finish making the ISO. You should now have a new ISO file in the xboxhdm folder titled linux.

All you need to do is insert a blank CD into your CD Recorder and right-click the linux ISO File and hit Copy Image to CD. Just hit Next on the burning screens and wait for the recording to finish.


Step 4: Opening Your Xbox

Take your xbox, disconnect anything and everything from it and flip it on it's back.

Now Peel off the corner plastics (see picture 2) and poke through the plastic to unscrew all 6 torx screws.

Flip it back careful not to let it open and when you have it on same ground lift the top part of the case off.

Now in order for you to hot swap your xbox you will need to move your xbox as close as possible to your computer. With the case off connect the power and video cables back on.

You have both the Xbox and PC hooked up as normal. You will use the Xbox power supply to supply the power to the Xbox hard drive.


Step 5: Booting From Cd

Go into the BIOS and set your PC to boot on the cd drive.To check this, restart your computer. When it starts up, you will have to hit a key in order to enter the BIOS configuration screen. Usually it will say on screen to Hit key to enter Setup. Watch for this. If you cant see it anywhere, I have listed the following BIOS config keys for some computers.

Acer: - Ctrl+Alt+Esc
ALR PC: (F2) or (Ctrl)(Alt)Esc)
AMI BIOS: (Del), (F1) or (F2)
AST, Advantage, Award, Tandon: - Ctrl + Alt + Esc
Award BIOS: (Del) or (Ctrl)(Alt)(Esc)
Compaq: (F10) (do this when the cursor is in the upper right corner of the screen blinking)
Dell: - F1 or Del.
Dell: - Some require pressing reset twice
Dell: - Ctrl + Alt + Enter
Gateway 2000: - F1
Hewlett Packard: - F1
" Older Models - In order to get into the configuration of the IBM setup screen (CMOS) screen you need to hold down both mouse buttons during bootup.
" Aptiva - Press F1
" IBM PS/2: (Ctrl)(Alt)(Ins) after (Ctrl)(Alt)(Del)
" IBM PS/2 with reference partition: - Press Ins during boot
" Some PS/2s, such as 75 and 90: - Ctrl Alt ?
" Some PS/2s when pointer at top right of screen: - Ctrl + Ins
NEC: - F2
Packard Bell: - F1 or F2
Phoenix BIOS: (F1), (F2), or (Ctrl)(Alt)(Esc)
Phoenix BIOS: - Ctrl Alt S
Phoenix BIOS: - Ctrl S
Phoenix BIOS: - Ctrl Alt Ins
Sharp Laptop 9020: - F2
Sony: (F3) while you are starting the PC, then (F2) or (F1)
Tandon computers: - Hold down the key after turning on power
Tandon: - Ctrl + Shift + Esc
Toshiba Laptops: - Toshiba Utility
Toshiba: - Press Esc during boot
Toshiba, Phoenix, late model PS/1 Value Point and 330s: - Press F1 during boot
Olivetti PC Pro: - Shift Ctrl Alt + Num Pad Del
Miscellaneous PC's: - Ctrl + Esc or Ctrl and Alt and +
Zenith: - Ctrl Alt Ins

PC is set in BIOS to boot from CD
My xbox is close enough to my computer that the primary master cable can reach it.
My IDE cable that will be used for hotswapping is connected to the primary IDE channel.
My CD/DVD drive is connected to anywhere but the primary IDE connection.
My primary master IDE connection is vacant, as this is the one I will hotswap the Xbox drive to.

Softmod Time!

Make sure your XboxHDM disc is inside your CD/DVD drive. Boot up your Xbox and PC at the same time.

Your Xbox should go to the MS Dashboard.
Your PC should go to the XboxHDM main menu.(See picture 2)

Step 6: The Art of HotSwapping

Hot swapping is the act of allowing the xbox to unlock the hard drive, so that you can gain access to it, by connecting it to a PC. It involves removing the IDE ribbon from the Drive, while it is power on.

Ok so you removed the xbox top (using the 6 Torx screws on the bottom) and set this as close to the pc you can get it. ATTENTION The Xbox must have the Video Molex connector connected to the xbox to unlock the hard drive, IT HOWEVER doesnt need to be hooked to the TV, just the xbox.

For a hotswap to be successful the Xbox hard drive needs to be unlocked. This can be done by simply doing this:
- put an audio cd in the xbox
- copy one track to the hd
- play the track from the HD, let play for a few seconds
- pause the song
- you HDD is now ready for hotswap!

More ways to unlock the drive:
1. Let the Xbox sit at the dash for a little while and then hotswap
2. Play a music track off of a soundtrack, pause it, then hotswap
3. Boot a game and start playing it, then hotswap
4. Unplug the DVD drive's power cable so you get an error 12 and hotswap
5. Hotswap right after you see the MS splash logo
6. If not connected to a TV, unhook the DVD drive's power cable and hotswap right when you get the red light.

Imagine this if you can:
You have both your computer and your xbox next to each other. The xbox is open so that you can easily disconnect the cables inside. Now turn on both your computer (the primary IDE slot should be empty and the secondary slot should be with your cd drive) and your xbox. You should be booting your computer from the ndure cd. Now once your xbox finishes loading, go to the music tab and play a song for 5 minutes. After five minutes disconnect the IDE cable from the back of your xbox and connect it to the primary IDE slot on your computer BUT DO NOT TURN OFF THE XBOX or DISCONNECT THE POWER CABLE from the xbox hard drive. Now on your computer type xbrowser and see if your computer is unlocked.

After making the swap, type 1 on the keyboard to enter the VGA console. (1 and 2 are basically the same thing) After the scrolling text, you should eventually end up at a screen like this(Picturte2):

Type xbrowser and you should see a screen that looks like this:

|              Name                      | Size       | MTime         ||      Name     | Size        |   MTime       |
|/..                                            |UP--DIR|                       ||/..                    |UP--DIR |                      |
| ABOUT_THIS_CD.txt        |      1392|Apr 14 17:48|| C                   |       4096|Apr 14 17:48|
| C                                           |      4096|Apr 14 17:30|| E                   |       4096|Apr 14 17:48|
| E                                           |      4096|Apr 14 17:30||                       |                 |                      |
| eeprom                               |             0|Apr 14 17:30||                        |                |                      |
| F                                           |      4096|Apr 19 02:13||                        |                |                      |
| check                                  |       6013|Apr 18 21:47||                        |                |                      |
| isolinux                               |      4096|Apr 14 17:30||                        |                 |                      |
| ndure                                  |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |
| readme.txt                          |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |
| xbox                                     |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |
|                                              |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |
|                                              |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |
|                                              |                |                       ||                        |                 |                      |
+--------------------------------------------- -----------------++------------------------------------------------+
|/..                                                                                    ||/..                     |                 |                      |
GNU Midnight Commander 4.6.0
1Help   2Menu   3View   4Edit   5Copy   6RenMov   7Mkdir   8Delete   9PullDn   10Quit

Go into thendure folder and you should see this screen(Picture 3):

Hit enter on the *ndure script and you will be presented with the NDURE Installer Menu.
First, you will want to backup your C drive. This is very important. So choose Option 4 to backup your C drive to E:/backup. It may take awhile, but let it finish. When it's done, it should go back to the installer menu.
Now, we're ready to install Ndure. Select option 1 to install ndure. It will proceed through the 3 parts. Be patient, this process takes a long time (around 15 minutes or more). Part 2 takes the longest. Even if you think it might have frozen, let it go. There have been many times where I was wondering if it had froze, and then just see it finish up.
After all 3 parts, it should give you a message saying "Done, now exiting". At this point, you can turn off your computer and turn off your Xbox. Connect the hard drive back into your Xbox, and if everything went well, you now have a softmodded Xbox running Kingroach's NDURE 3.0. And the best part about all of this is it was free!

Step 7: Now What?

Turn your xbox on for the first time and it will behave the same.

To run the softmod:

In the xbox dashboard go to Music,
there should be a blank soundtrack,
Copy>Select>Copy>New Soundtrack and name it (SEE PICTURE):
(with two '<' Symbols, capital 'E', beta Accent '�' and two '>' Symbols) click Done
(UberDash starts)>Music>blank soundtrack>Copy>Copy>New


I would advice that you backup basically, everything. First, launch EvoX, go down to System Util, and hit Backup. It will look like it didnt do anything, but rest assured that it did. Now, FTP into your Xbox and backup your entire C and E drives to your computer and keep it safe.

Do add applications simply FTP to your xbox and drag those illegal files on the E drive with FileZilla.

Here are some pages i used (copied/stole) from, everybody should read these:

Total N00b Guide To Everything
HotSwap Faq

If you want to replace your dashboard with a media center dash simply download XBMC from below and replace the files in your E:dash folder...
****Where to get XBMC? HOW or latest T3CH release from here: T3CH

I finally go to purchasing an HDTV and had trouble getting XBMC's resolution to change. Here's what I did:
1. Create a file in the root of the E:/ drive and title it "EEPROM_off.bin" without the quotes. It can be any size.
2. After creating the file, manually reboot your Xbox by powering it off then back on by using the power button.
3. When the softmod loads back up, there will be no virtual EEPROM protection, so you can change your video settings and they should stick from now on.
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