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Replacing hard drive, help needed

System Mods, Hard Mods and Soft Mods - Discuss them here.

Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby MrDo » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:49 pm

I have an old Xbox with a hard mod done. It says ALX2+ when booting. It has an evolutionx dashboard v. 1.8 3285.

I´d like to replace the hard drive with a bigger one. I have bought one Sata-drive with an adapter which should work with my Xbox, but... it is a 750 Gb drive. It's has all the games and accessories installed (I guess from another Xbox?), so I was hoping to make a bolt-on change, but then I started to think:

Does my Xbox work with a hard drive big as this is?
Can I just swap the drives? I thought I could, because it's a modded Xbox, but it can't be this easy, so better to ask rather than assume ;)

So what should I do? Thanks for helping me with this.
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Re: Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby kittyflin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:14 pm

just put it in and see,with the mod chip it doesn't need to be locked,so should work if its come out of another xbox like you say,worst case scenario is using chimp to unlock it
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Re: Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby kaos_engr » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:59 pm

The current BIOS may not have LBA48 support therefore the max size HDD would be 137GB.
Need to determine the version currently booting.

For a SATA HDD and adapter, an 80-wire 40-pin IDE cable has to be used instead of the stock 40-wire/40-pin IDE cable.

ALX2+ has a fixed 256KB ROM and re-programmable 256KB EEPROM.

Basic ALX2+ info and installation diagram and boot options.

The latest 256KB BIOS's are M8plus, iND-BiOS 5003 or beta Feb-11-05 (aka 5004) and Xecuter X2 4983. (DL from the usual place!)

LBA48 BIOS's have 2 different partition configurations available .06 (F:\ only) or .67 ( F:\ and G:\). Which you need to flash to your modchip to support the 750GB HDD depends how it was partitioned.

All above stock 8GB to F: (partition6) or split to F: up to 137GB (unformatted) ~120GB formatted size and remainder to G: drives (partition6 and partition7). If the configuration doesn't match, a drive's directory will be empty making one think all files are lost. But, they are still there just the wrong location on the HDD being accessed to obtain the directory listing.

The evoxdash you have is a bit dated. The latest version is Build 3935. Team Evolution-X changed the naming convention from 1.8.xxxx to Build XXXX.

Not sure what the ALX2+ BIOS is. Is it a separate BIOS by the team that made this modchip or a customized Evox or Xecuter2 BIOS?

If so, it needs to be preserved -- BACKED UP and uploaded here so its not lost forever.
there are two different versions flashed to the memory devices on your modchip.

Installation diagram shows how to select between the two. Evox backup needs to be made and downloaded for each BIOS (renamed so you know which is which) as it will be named bios.bin in the Evoxdash backup.
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Re: Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby MrDo » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:51 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. Settings/info says that Bios version is unknown. I don't know about ALX2+'s Bios, but I haven't flashed it.

It's been 17 years since I last messed with my Xbox, so digesting all this takes time. If there is someone in Finland who could help me with this, I would be grateful. Otherwise I just have to take my time and learn.
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Re: Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby kaos_engr » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:49 am

MrDo wrote:Thanks for the quick reply. Settings/info says that Bios version is unknown. I don't know about ALX2+'s Bios, but I haven't flashed it.


RIght, you have the original BIOSes that came with the ALX2+ modchip. I'd like to preserve a copy of these two BIOSes.

Evox dashboard prints unknown for the BIOS version if no match to an identifying entry is found. The user adds these identifying; ROM ="<name>",<BIOS hash>; lines to evox.ini under the [BIOS] section. One line for each BIOS to be identified by its hash value along with the "BIOS name" displayed. Example evox.ini [BIOS] section:

Code: Select all
[BIOS]
#
ROM      = "EvoX 2.0",0x76fd88337b8d8c1f116f85f3984b98b6
ROM      = "EvoX 2.1",0x99487615bb30670cb65993388fcf2a63
ROM      = "EvoX 2.2",0x220ade778785cfc3c98bb5ea8bbd8608
ROM      = "EvoX 2.3",0xd79bc87c2caa1a50dcc7016adf2ccc0a
ROM      = "EvoX 2.4",0xe3ce66b99957a92fdac40af951c3f1fd
#
Flash      = 0x01d5,"AMD - Am29F080B",0x100000
Flash      = 0x04d5,"FUJITSU - MBM29F080A",0x100000
Flash      = 0xadd5,"Hynix - HY29F080",0x100000
Flash      = 0x20f1,"ST - M29F080A",0x100000
Flash      = 0xbf61,"SST - 49LF020",0x40000
Current      = 0xc349c2b047a3d6c2de2e1c10185ecf86

Evox.ini's ROM = lines identify the BIOS based on the value saved in the Current = line -- the booted BIOS's hash value. If no match is found, unknown is displayed in Evoxdash for the BIOS version.

The Flash = lines are used to identify the Flash EEPROM chip on the motherboard and its size to call the correct flashing routine for reflashing the BIOS stored there.

The BIOS section above does not contain the Flash= lines to reprogram the ALX2+'s BIOS. The following two lines need to be added (really, one for the ALX2+ and the other for the ALX2+ R2):
Code: Select all
Flash = 0x04A4,"ALX2+ FLASH",0x40000
Flash = 0x04BA,"ALX2+ R2 FLASH",0x40000


The ALX2+ chip came pre-flashed with 2 BIOS's. One in a ROM, one-time programmable Read-Only Memory chip and another in an Electrically-Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory chip, EEPROM, that can be reprogrammed/flashed with the Evoxdash to store a new updated Xbox BIOS.

The two ALX2+ BIOS's have the big-X at the end of the flubber set to a different color to know which one you have booted.

ALX2+ Installation and Usage

alx2diag.gif

With Eject and Power button wires installed, there are three mods of operation.

stock_green.jpg
Boot Original BIOS with Mod Disable
  • i.e. use for XBOX Live (no Xbox Live anymore for original so...)
Press EJECT button OR quick tap on POWER button

alx2blue.jpg
Boot User Programmable Flash BIOS
  • preprogrammed with BLUE BIOS
  • flashable BIOS area that can be updated
Press & hold POWER button for 1-2 seconds

alx2red.jpg
Boot Backup BIOS
  • preprogrammed with RED BIOS
  • this BIOS is write protected and always available
Press & hold POWER+EJECT buttons for 1-2 seconds

It's been 17 years since I last messed with my Xbox, so digesting all this takes time. If there is someone in Finland who could help me with this, I would be grateful. Otherwise I just have to take my time and learn.


Evox dashboard should have a menu option 'Backup'. This saves Xbox configuration data to the C:\backup directory:
  • bios.bin
  • disk.bin
  • eeprom.bin
  • hddinfo.txt
  • hddkey.bin

The Xbox needs to be powered on with the button combo listed above to boot the RED (backup) BIOS boots. A backup needs to be made by selecting Evoxdash's backup menu item. The files stored in the Xbox's C:\backup directory need to be FTP'd (downloaded) from there to a PC in a subdirectory to identify them as the RED BIOS backup file set.

Reboot the Xbox but use the button combo above so the BLUE BIOS boots and again backup and save the C:\backup files to the PC in a subdirectory to indicate they are for the BLUE ALX2+ BIOS.

The files in both subdirectories added to a ZIP, RAR or 7Z archive and uploaded to TiZ or PM me with the archive attached and I'll upload them to TiZ as I already have a f i r e d r o p, FD storage account setup (FD spelled out changes to FD as seen here before the word spelled if the spaces were not added in the first place) to do so.

Source of Images used above: https://web.archive.org/web/20060207121 ... agram.html
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Re: Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby MrDo » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:20 pm

I would gladly send you the files. Unfortunately there is a problem with my ethernet connection or the cross over cable is faulty. I have tried everything (at least I think so), but I can't get it connected. Or there is a problem with my Win10. I have switched off firewall, but it did't help. It was super easy last time I did it.

I will send you the red bios when I figure out what is wrong. Unfortunately I have to flash the bios if I want to install the new hard drive... But shouldn't they be the same (blue and red) anyway?
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Re: Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby MrDo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:21 am

Ok, now I have tried everything to get a ftp-connection. I can't get it working. Bought a new cross over cable, tried also a router and my friend tried to connect (an IT pro), but no, it doesn't connect.

Next, I downloaded a bios updater disk and edited the evox.ini and added the lines (for ALX). When trying to update the bios, It just says: Flash type ALX 2+ R3 Flash error reading bios file. So what could I try next? Softmod + TSOP? This is kind of frustrating...
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Re: Replacing hard drive, help needed

Postby MrDo » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:10 am

Problem solved with hacky rehash bios flash disk. Now it boots fine :)
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