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Black Art of Xbox Mods, The

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Black Art of Xbox Mods, The


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2005
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 336
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-672-32683-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-672-32683-7

The Xbox is an exciting and fun video game console - but that's only half the story. Inside the case, Microsoft placed a customized PC that you can push well past the limits of Halo and NBA Live. In The Black Art of the Xbox Mods, gamer, programmer and midnight hacker Jonathan Harbour show you how to crack the case, strip your Xbox down to the motherboard, and take control from the inside out.

When you're finished, you'll know how to install a mod chip, boot up in a new operating system, and run cool third-party software. You'll also learn how to trick out your Xbox with case mods, glowing lights and other features to let the world know your Xbox has come a long way since you brought it home from the superstore.

With hundreds of pictures and step-by-step instructions, The Black Art of the Xbox Mods isn't for the faint of heart. But, if you want a 300GB Xbox that plays CDs, DVDs, and glows like an alien spacecraft, then this is the book for you.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Identifying Your Xbox Revision

Table of Contents

    What You Will Learn

    Conventions Used in This Book


1. Welcome to the Xbox Scene.

     "Getting" the Xbox

    Breaking into an Industry

    Video Game Competition: The Other Side of the Coin

    Learning Some Hard Lessons

    Xbox Rumors Realized

    Xbox Roots

    Timing Is Everything

    The Game Developer's Dream Machine

    Bridging the PC/Console Gap

    Promises, Promises...

    Did Xbox Work Too Well?

    What Can You Do with Your Xbox?

    So What's the Spiel?


2. Disassembling Your Xbox.

    Getting to Know the Xbox Hardware

    The Case

    The Motherboard

    The Power Supply

    The DVD-ROM Drive

    The Hard Drive

    The Central Processing Unit (CPU)

    The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

    Front-Side Bus (FSB)

    Media Control Processor (MCPX)

    Removing the Cover

    Removing the Rubber Feet

    Removing the Six Case Screws

    Lifting the Case

    Examining the Main Deck

    Removing the Hard Drive

    Removing the Hard Drive Tray Screw

    Removing the Cables

    Lifting the Hard Drive Tray

    Removing the DVD-ROM Drive

    The DVD-ROM Screws

    Removing the IDE and Power Cables

    Pulling the DVD-ROM Drive

    Removing the Motherboard

    Removing the IDE Cable and DVD-ROM Power Connectors

    Removing the Motherboard Power Supply Connector

    Removing the Motherboard Screws

    Unplugging the Controller Port Cables

    Removing the Case Fan

    Removing the Motherboard


3. Identifying Your Xbox Revision.

    Revision Notes








    Methods of Identification

    Manufacturing Date

    Hardware Serial Number

    Video Chip Verification

    Xbox BIOS Version Number

    Special/Limited Edition Exceptions

    Halo Special Edition

    Limited Edition Crystal Pack

    Additional Exceptions



4. Introduction to Xbox Modding.

    What Is a Mod Chip?

    How Does a Mod Chip Work?

    Are Mod Chips Legal?

    The Modded Xbox

    Why the DMCA Does More Harm Than Good

    What Can You Do with a Mod Chip?

    Xbox Media Center (XBMC)

    Homebrew Games

    Overview of Available Mod Chips







    Before You Install a Mod Chip...


5. Installing a Solderless Mod Chip.

    Solderless Xenium Installation

    Locating the LPC

    Fixing a Pre-Soldered LPC

    Locating the D0

    Installing the Solderless Adapter

    Installing the Mod Chip

    Booting Up the Mod Chip


6. Installing a Soldered Mod Chip.

    Removing the Motherboard

    Installing a Pin Header (All Revisions)

    Preparing to Solder

    Locating the LPC

    Removing Pin 4

    Inserting the Pin Header

    Soldering the Pins

    Installing the D0 Wire

    Xbox Revision 1.6 Mod Chip Installation

    Double-Checking the Revision

    Installing the Pin Header

    Rebuilding the LPC

    Installing the LFRAME Wire


    Problem with the D0/LFRAME

    Problem with the LPC

    Other Problems



7. The Xenium Operating System.

    Overview of the Xenium O/S

    The Xenium O/S Main Menu


    Disk Tools

    EEprom Tools




    Power Off


8. EvolutionX Dashboard.

    What Is EvolutionX?

    Installing the EvoX BIOS and Dash

    Acquiring EvoX

    Installing the EvoX Dashboard

    Installing the EvoX BIOS

    Creating a Custom BIOS

    Using the EvoX Dash

    Tweaking EvoX Dash

    The EvoX Dash Interface

    Creating Your Own EvoX Skins


9. Avalaunch Dashboard.

    Installing Avalaunch

    Customizing a BIOS for Avalaunch

    Copying the Avalaunch Files to Your Xbox

    Adding Avalaunch to the Xenium O/S Launch Menu

    Running Avalaunch

    Avalaunch Features

    The Main Menu

    XBox Media Player




    File Manager

    IRC Client

    Telnet Client





10. Xbox Media Center.

    Overview of Xbox Media Center

    Installing Xbox Media Center

    Installing the XBMC Files

    Installing a Hacked BIOS

    Running Xbox Media Center

    The Main Menu

    My Programs

    My Files

    My Pictures

    My Music

    My Videos





11. Replacing the Xbox Case.

    Stock Cases

    Tearing Down the Old Case

    Replacing the DVD-ROM Tray Panel

    Assembling the New Case

    Aftermarket Cases

    Assembling the Aftermarket Case

    The System Jewel


12. Upgrading the Xbox Hard Drive.

    Overview of the Swap

    The Stock Xbox Hard Drive

    The Replacement Hard Drive

    Connecting Both Hard Drives

    Master/Slave Settings

    Connecting the IDE Cable

    Connecting the Power Cables

    The Hard Drive Upgrade Wizard

    Running the Drive Upgrade Wizard

    Formatting the New Drive and Transferring Data

    Verifying the Upgrade Process


13. Lighting Up the Case.

    Cosmetic Xbox Modifications

    Cold Cathode Lighting

    How About a Glowing Jewel?

    Removing the Cold Cathode Bulb

    Gluing the Light to the Case Cover

    Custom Lighting with LEDs

    Creating Your Own LED Light Show

    Building the Main LED Wire Loom

    Putting It All Together

    Examining the Cold Cathode Light

    The Custom LEDs


14. Cooling Down Your Xbox.

    Software Cooling Solutions

    Setting Fan Speed in BIOS

    Setting Fan Speed in XBMC

    Active Cooling for Your Xbox

    Hard Drive Cooling

    Finding Room in the Case

    Installing a Hard Drive Cooling Fan


Appendix A. Xbox Resources.

    Xbox Information Sites

    Mod Chip Manufacturers

    Xbox Hardware Sites

    Xbox Software Sites



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