Thursday, August 11, 2011

JTAG an Xbox 360: Protecting your console [Part 6]

The final tutorial for the initial JTAG hack and setup! So your console is now Jtagged - Congrats! In this final tutorial, I'll show you how you can keep it Jtagged and unbanned! This is all optional, but I strongly recommend doing it if you have Jtagged your Xbox 360.

First off, we will bridge 2 points on the underside of the motherboard. Heat up your soldering iron and simply smear the solder of the 2 points together.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

JTAG an Xbox 360: Writing Custom NAND [Part 5]

Welcome to part 5 of my JTAG tutorial! Last time I showed you guys how to wire up the JTAG mod, now we're going to exploit the software =)

First thing you need to do is hook up your Xbox 360 to your computer again via the NAND cable you created in part 2.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

JTAG an Xbox 360: Wiring the JTAG mod [Part 4]

In the previous tutorial, we read our NAND image and determined if it was exploitable by our CB version. If you have an exploitable CB, congrats - we're almost done! What we've do so far has not affected the way our console runs... it should still run like normal. The next step will cause the JTAG hack to change the way the console operates.

In order to trigger the JTAG hack, we will need to bridge 3 points on the motherboard with some wire and solder. The points bridged depends on the Xbox motherboard version. Find your motherboard version and wire according to the appropriate schematic.

XENON motherboard:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

JTAG an Xbox 360: Dumping the NAND [Part 3]

Last time we wired up our NAND cable, today we're going to use the cable to dump the NAND image from our Xbox 360! The file we're going to get out of this is the software the Xbox 360 runs on. Think of it as the operating system + bios combined. The purpose of retrieving this data is so that we can modify it and write it back - with less restrictions!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

JTAG an Xbox 360: The NAND Cable [Part 2]

In the previous step of the JTAG tutorial I showed you what you need to get ready to JTAG your Xbox 360! Let's begin the actual mod by first creating your NAND cable!

Friday, July 22, 2011

JTAG an Xbox 360: Introduction [Part 1]

Welcome to part 1 of my Xbox 360 JTAG tutorial. This will likely be a 4 or 5 part tutorial, as it requires a lot of explaining and a lot of time!

First off, what's a JTAG? A JTAG is a modification to an Xbox 360 motherboard & NAND chip that allows it to run unsigned code. The programs created using this unsigned code is known as homebrew. Typical homebrew usually consists of classic game emulators, media programs, and file managers. An Xbox 360 that has been "Jtagged" is also able to run retail Xbox and Xbox 360 games directly from the hard drive (HDD) with no DVD in the tray.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An application dock for Windows

This will be my first PC post! Recently I've had a lot of people ask me if there was an easy to set up application dock for Windows. Well... there is! I've been using Stardock Objectdock 2.0 for a long time now, and it gives very easy access to all my games, applications, and folders on my Windows 7 PC. It even supports 64 bit operating systems!

Here's a screenshot of how I set my desktop. Pretty slick, eh?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fix the YLOD with a Heat Gun Reflow

In the previous tutorial I showed you the process of taking apart a fat (phat?) PlayStation 3. This time I'll show you how to fix the Yellow Light of Death! Like I said in my previous post, the YLOD is very, very similar to the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death (RROD). It's also fixed the exact same way!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disassemble a PlayStation 3

I recently acquired another 60 gig, backwards-compatible PS3 on craigslist for a mere $30. Only catch? It has the "Yellow Light of Death" (YLOD). This is basically the PlayStation 3 equivalent of the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death (RROD). It's caused by the solder joints under one of the microchips on the board (usually the GPU - just like the 360) breaking or pulling away from the board.

In this tutorial I will guide you through the steps needed to disassemble your PS3 (fat model) so you can then later fix your YLOD. Another reason to disassemble your PS3 would be to dust it! This is the main cause of excess heat in these systems that leads to the Yellow Light of Death!

First thing you'll want to do is pop off the small plastic cover over your hard drive (HDD).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A simple fan shroud mod for Xbox 360

One reason why the Xbox 360 has so many problems is poor air circulation. When you open up an Xbox 360, you see 2 heat sinks and a white plastic "shroud" coordinating air flow.

What the Microsoft engineers seem to have forgotten is that air will travel in the path of least resistance. As a result, the heat sink on the left (for the GPU) receives a very small portion of the air flow to cool it off... this is why the GPU is where most problems occur on the Xbox 360.

To fix this, we're going to create a divider so that both heat sinks will receive equal air flow - greatly reducing the operating temperature of the GPU. I would highly recommend doing this to any 360 that is not under warranty, as it can prevent the RRoD.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fix the RRoD with X-clamp replacement

Today I'll walk you through an easier way to fix the Red Ring of Death. This is commonly known as an X-clamp replacement because you replace the 2 x-shaped clamps holding the heat sinks onto the motherboard.

The theory behind this is that the clamps do not provide enough pressure to keep the heat sinks firmly attached to the board. Because of this, the heat causes the motherboard to warp and the CPU and GPU pull away from the board - causing the dreaded RRoD!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fix the RRoD with a Heat Gun Reflow

So now you have your Xbox 360 completely taken apart and you want to fix your Red Ring of Death. The Red Rings of Death is usually caused by solder joints under the microchips that become weak and break as a result of the constantly fluctuating temperature.  What we are going to do is reflow the solder under the chip to reconnect the broken points.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Xbox 360 Error Codes

So you go the dreaded Red Ring of Death. Did you know that not all RRoDs are the same? Yes, each RRoD has a 4-digit secondary error code. In order to find your secondary error code, first power on the console. It should, obviously, be flashing 3 red lights.

Now what you'll want to do is hold the sync button (little round white button near memory slots) and tap the DVD eject key to cycle through the 4 digits in your error code.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Disassemble an Xbox 360

 Welcome to my first tutorial! Today I will be showing you guys how to open an Xbox 360. Once it's open you'll be able to flash custom firmware to play backups, fix errors, perform case mods, and so much more!

Microsoft decided to go with a "screwless" assembly on their console, so it's a little tricky to open. I happen to have a spare RRoD console (that I will be fixing in another tutorial) to demonstrate the process of cracking one of these open.

An introduction...

Hello readers!

I will be using this blog to post various tutorials on how to fix and/or modify your video games, game consoles, and other electronics. All of these tutorials will be written by myself and will include pictures of the processes. Hope you stick around and ask questions - I'm here to help!