How to Mod an Xbox

Two Methods:Modding an Original XboxModding an Xbox 360

In the early days of a console’s life, modding is usually only possible by installing new hardware, which can be a real hassle for the average user. Luckily, software mods are available now for both the Xbox and the Xbox 360. Follow these guides to unlock the full power of your console.

Method 1
Modding an Original Xbox

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    Download the All-in-One Exploit package. This piece of software cracks open the Xbox’s programming and gives you full control. Because of the legal gray-area that console modding exists in, these files are not easily found through websites. Instead, you’ll need to connect to IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and download the files directly from the community with an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client.
    • Download an IRC client. mIRC is the most widely-used client. After installing, you will be prompted for a Nickname and Alternative when you first start the program. Select any name you want, but avoid using any real names.
    • After selecting your name, you will be greeted with a blank console. Type “/server” and press Enter. This will connect you to a chat server. A list of rooms to join will open; close this window.
    • In the console type “/j #xbins” and press Enter. This will take you to a chat room for the Xbox modding community. On the right will be a list of all the users in the channel. Towards the top, you should see a user named “xbins”.
    • Type “/msg xbins !list” in the channel’s console. This will open a private message with xbins, which is an automated messenger. You will receive a private message containing login info for the FTP server. Keep this window open.
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    Open an FTP program. FlashFXP or FileZilla are two of the more popular clients. Once you are in the FTP program, click the Connect or Quick Connect button.
    • Login to with the username and password provided by xbins. The port should be set to 21 by default. This login information works once, so if you get disconnected you must message xbins again.
    • You will see a list of folders in the right frame of the program. Navigate to /XBOX/Console Based Applications/exploits/_Packages/Softmod Installer Deluxe/. Browsing through folders using FTP is much like navigating folders on your computer.
    • Download the Softmod.Installer.Deluxe.v2.0.Xbox-Hq.rar file. Drag it from the right frame to the left frame to download it. Open the .rar file with WinRAR. The archive contains several different files. For this process, you will need and These are save game files that will act as the installer for the new dashboard.
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    Use a Pro Action Replay to move the savegame from the computer to the Xbox. Plug the Pro Action Replay into your computer and install the necessary software. Insert your Xbox memory card into the Pro Action Replay. You can now access the contents of the card from your computer.
    • Click and drag the .zip files onto the Xbox memory card.
    • Remove the memory card from the Pro Action Replay and insert it into the Xbox. Copy the gamesaves from the Xbox memory card onto the Xbox’s internal hard drive. There should be two save files that need to be copied. One is 4 blocks and the other is 489 blocks. You will need both on your Xbox’s hard drive to proceed with the installation.
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    Start Splinter Cell. Splinter Cell is an exploitable game that allows custom software to be loaded through it. This process will not work with Pandora Tomorrow or Chaos Theory; it must be the original version of the game.
    • From the Main Menu, select Start Game. In the Profiles screen select “Linux”.
    • In the Load Check Point screen, select Check Points. Selecting Levels may cause the system to crash.
    • The screen will turn black and a few seconds later you will see the UnleashX intro screen, followed by the control panel.
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    Select “Install Softmod.” This will install the modified system code. Do not turn off the console during this process, or your machine will most likely become useless. When the status bar disappears, the installation process is finished.
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    Install a new Dashboard. Included in the Softmod install are two different custom dashboards, Evox and UnleashX. Both have the same basic function, so install whichever appeals to you more.
    • There are other dashboards available online. Be sure to check reliable sources. The #xbins IRC channel that you connected to earlier has a wide variety of homebrewed dashboards and applications.
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    Power off the Xbox. Once the install of the dashboard is complete, you need to turn off and restart the Xbox. If the installation was successful, you will see your new custom dashboard instead of the Xbox dashboard.

Method 2
Modding an Xbox 360

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    Understand that softmodding an Xbox 360 is a significantly more complex process. Due to the extreme number of variances between models, it is highly recommended that you research how the process will work for your specific model. These steps will give you a basic rundown of the process.
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    Flash your 360’s DVD drive. To mod a 360, you will have to load custom firmware onto the DVD drive that is installed in your console. Changing the firmware on the DVD drive is referred to as “flashing.” This will allow the drive to read burnt discs.
    • To flash the DVD drive, you have to identify which drive you are using. There are 4 different vendors for the 360 DVD drive: Samsung, Hitachi, Benq, and Lite-on. Samsung disc drives have long notches cut out of the center opening of the tray. Hitachi trays have several small holes and two distinct small notches in the center opening. Benq and Lite-on have the same tray with a smooth center opening.
    • To differentiate between a benq and Lite-on drive, you have to pop out the bezel located in the front and center of your console, right underneath the disc drive. If you see white wires then it’s a Benq; if you see yellow wires then it’s a Lite-On. If the Xbox is from before April 2008, then it is a Benq as Lite-on was not introduced until then.
    • From the 4 vendors there are 12 different models of disc drive, each requiring slight variations in the process. Samsungs are the most simple to flash, Lite-ons in general are the most complex.
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    Disassemble the Xbox 360. In order to flash the drive, it will need to be connected to a PC. To get access to the drive so that you can do this, you will need to take apart the 360.
    • Remove the front panel first by turning the 360 upside vertically and pulling the panel out from the bottom.
    • Remove the vent plates on both ends of the console. These are attached with tabs that have to be popped out one at a time. Gently pull on the plates while releasing the tabs.
    • With the plates removed, lay the 360 upside down. Remove the bottom place by pressing in the tabs around the console.
    • Once the plate is removed, undo the screws from the steel chassis. Turn the 360 back over and remove the top plate. You can now access the DVD drive.
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    Attach the DVD drive to your computer using a SATA cable. Most computer SATA ports are located inside the case, physically attached to the motherboard. You will need to open your computer to run a cable from the 360 DVD drive to your SATA port.
    • The DVD drive will need to be powered in order to flash. While you can run the power from the 360, this is not recommended, as the 360 logs each time that the system powers on with no DVD drive connected. This will most likely lead to your console being banned.
    • Since the power connector is not a standard one, you will need an adapter that will let you connect your PC power supply to the 360 DVD drive.
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    Flash the drive through Windows. There are multiple ways to flash a drive, including command line prompts. The easiest way is to download and run JungleFlasher which combines all the different flashing methods into one program that runs through Windows.
    • Be sure to follow the guide available on the JungleFlasher website so that you perform the correct flash according to your DVD drive model.

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Categories: Xbox