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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Methods of Identification

There is no single method of identifying your Xbox revision with 100% accuracy, but by using three well-tested methods together, you will be able to determine the version of your Xbox with certainty. The methods are as follows. It is best to perform all of these tests because Microsoft doesn't print the revision number on the Xbox (that would make it too easy for modders!).

The goal of revision identification is ultimately to determine which type of mod chip you can use, so after you have determined the revision by a single test, it's a pretty safe bet that you have your revision. But just to be cautious, I recommend performing other checks of the revision to be certain.

Manufacturing Date

The manufacturing date of an Xbox is just a "suggestion" for the revision. The manufacturing date is printed on the serial number label on the bottom of the Xbox. You can see this label through a hole in the retail box (used for scanning the serial number at the cash register), so you can try to identify the revision without even removing an Xbox from the box (although a used Xbox is probably lacking a retail box in the first place).

The serial number/bar code label on the bottom of the Xbox includes a "MFG. DATE" value in the format YYYY-MM-DD, representing year, month, and day. Table 3.1 will help you to identify your Xbox revision using the manufacturing date (although assembly line and factory appear to be more relevant factors).

Table 3.1 Revision by Manufacturing Date

Date Range

Revision

Location

01/2001–10/2002

1.0

Hungary

11/2002–04/2003

1.1

Hungary, Mexico

05/2003–03/2004

1.2–1.5

China

04/2004–?

1.6

China, Taiwan


Hardware Serial Number

If you are browsing the used Xboxes at your local video game store in the hope that you can buy an older Xbox that will work with your solderless mod chip of choice, you will need to use the serial number version test. But what happens if the manufacturing label has been removed? This is a fairly common occurrence that might have something to do with Xbox owners not wanting to change their Xbox Live accounts (which makes one wonder why they sold the Xbox in the first place). Here is how you can decode the hardware serial number if it is available:

LNNNNNN YWWFF

where

  • L is the number of the production line within the factory.

  • NNNNNN is the number of the Xbox produced during the workweek.

  • Y is the last digit of the production year.

  • WW is the number of the week of the production year.

  • FF is the code of the factory where the Xbox was manufactured, according to Table 3.2.

Table 3.2 Factory Codes

Factory

Location

Revision

02

Mexico

1.0 or 1.1

03

Hungary

1.0

05

China

1.2 (or later)

06

Taiwan

1.2 (or later)


Because the factory code method is not very reliable (because there may be some codes missing from this list), let's try another method of identifying your Xbox to narrow things down a bit. See Table 3.3 for a serial number check that is accurate but not very specific. If your code is not shown, I would recommend using the closest code to yours, leaning toward the previous one if there is a value above and below your code.

Table 3.3 Serial Number Check

Serial Number

Revision

LNNNNNN 20WFF

1.0

LNNNNNN 21WFF

1.0

LNNNNNN 23WFF

1.0, 1.1

LNNNNNN 24WFF

1.1

LNNNNNN 25WFF

1.1

LNNNNNN 30WFF

1.2

LNNNNNN 31WFF

1.3

LNNNNNN 32WFF

1.3

LNNNNNN 33WFF

1.4, 1.5

LNNNNNN 42WFF

1.6


Video Chip Verification

If you have used the preceding two checks to narrow down what you think your Xbox revision is, the next two steps will really give you a concrete answer to the question. Assuming you have already opened your Xbox per Chapter 2, "Disassembling Your Xbox," you should look for the video chip. It is located on the motherboard, directly below the video output port on the back of the Xbox (see Figure 3.8). This is another excellent verification of the revision, as Table 3.4 illustrates, and may be considered foolproof.

Table 3.4 Video Chip Identification

Video Chip

Revision

Conexant

1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Focus

1.4, 1.5

Xcalibur

1.6


Figure 3.8Figure 3.8 The location of the video chip on the Xbox motherboard.

Xbox BIOS Version Number

You can use one final check to verify the Xbox revision that you own (or are considering buying): Look at the BIOS kernel version and dashboard version numbers. To view these numbers, boot the Xbox in dashboard mode (by powering up without a disc in the DVD-ROM drive). Go to Settings and then System Info. A disclaimer will scroll down and will eventually show you two version numbers: a K: value for the kernel and a D: value for the dashboard. You can perform an unscientific check of the revision using Table 3.5.

If you are at a video store, this may be your only way of double-checking the revision. Note that revision 1.0 of the Xbox did not provide these numbers, so if you can't find them, it is definitely a 1.0. Nevertheless, I will include the 1.0 kernel version in Table 3.5. Some kernel versions may not be shown in this list; if yours is not shown, you can base it on the nearest version to yours. Along with the other noninvasive tests, this should give you a clear idea about the revision for a particular Xbox.

Table 3.5 BIOS Kernel Versions

Xbox Revision

Kernel Version

1.0

3944,4034,4036,4627

1.1

4817,4972

1.2–1.5

5101,5713

1.6

5838


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