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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.




Maybe you've seen people selling theses Jtagged Xboxes and noticed the price - why are they so expensive? Well, there are certain requirements to JTAG a 360. First, your dashboard MUST be 2.0.7371.0 or LOWER. There is no way to JTAG you Xbox 360 if it has been updated past this version, sorry. This update was sent out to all Xboxs that have been connected to Xbox live started Summer 2009 I believe. Also, make sure your Xbox was not manufactured after Summer 2009, you can check the manufacture date on the back - near the power port.

To check your dashboard version, go to Console Settings and scroll down to System Info. Your dash version is shown on the right.

Also, your PC must have a parallel printer port - it is required to dump/write the NAND image.




If your PC does not have a parallel port already, you can purchase a PCI expansion card with a parallel port on it, like the one shown above.


Meet all the requirements? Great! First thing we're going to do is build a NAND cable to connect our Xbox 360 to the parallel port in our PC. Go down to your local electronics parts store (I went to Radio Shack) and purchase the following:


  • 1 x RJ45 Extender
  • 1 x CAT5 Patch Lead (make sure it's CAT5 not CAT6)
  • 1 x DB 25 25 WAY Male Plug (LPT Printer Cable) + Hood Cover
  • 5 x 100ohm Resistors (as per the image above)
  • 2 x Switching Diodes for later on: Part No: BAT41 or 1N4148 or 1N4153

This isn't my picture, but I had already built my cable previously =)  The supplies should cost around $16 USD if I remember correctly. Note: the resisters and switching diodes are not shown in the above image. Also, the RJ45 extender is optional - it provides a breakaway point in the cable so you can easily connect and disconnect the cable without removing the cable from your PC or 360. I highly recommend it.

In part 2, we will begin the mod by creating the NAND cable to prepare to dump our NAND image. Get your soldering irons ready!

Until next time...

44 comments:

  1. Now THIS is something i need to know. Love the blog!

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  2. I used to have a JTAG for emulators and homebrew, a week later it got the RROD.
    Fucking great reliability right? haha

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  3. This is nice! You explained it very well.

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  4. @WFMS -

    Man, that sucks. Did you get rid of it? If not, might want to check out some of my RROD fix tutorials :)

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  5. Cheers for this man, its hard to find a decent tutorial for this on the internet! always people are trying to charge money for it!

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  6. I read other tutorials for this but I never understood it and didn't dare to try it, but your tutorial reads pretty well. So I'm gonna go ahead with this now. It's good that I have some of those parts at home already and I'll get the rest tomorrow. Write it up fast though :D

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  7. Seems pretty useful, you could do lots with your Xbox...

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  8. i like this! very informative i might try the jtag

    add me back bro.

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  9. Very nice, like it!

    FOLLOWED

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  10. hard console mods scare me D:

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  11. Hmmm I don't know if this would be of any use for me, but the option is there, so I'll keep it in mind!

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  12. Man people always ruin COD with this!

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  13. Too bad i don't have a xbox :(

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  14. very useful i have a box with rrod and i was thinking bout selling it super cheap, maybe ill keep it now

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  15. Great tips bro, can't wait for the rest so I can try this out.

    Following.

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  16. I wish I had a rig I could mess with. Anyone got a cheap one?

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  17. You really helped me

    FOLLOWED

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  18. That explanation is really helpful!

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  19. yup, definitely interesting for my XBOX future. :)

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  20. Cool info. I bet you can make serious money doing this stuff professionally.

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  21. interesting, I'd like to edit a few things on some stuff.

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  22. I don't believe in Jtagging but its a good instructional

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  23. good instructions you wrote there. easy to understand. :D

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  24. Good instructional blog dude, may tamper with my PS3 :)

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  25. very useful. great post. do you know how to crack a nook? +followed

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  26. pretty handy stuff :O +follow check out my blog ;3

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  27. Wow! Well done tutorial! Wish XBOX was still alive, things happen...

    I have seen a few post of yours and I got a grip on your blog, I like it. I will be following you now.

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  28. too bad, my xbox has the newest dashboard!

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  29. Good tutorial; following and supporting, mate! :)

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  30. I still have my old core xbox 360 in the box I never used. I'm gonna have to try this since I have the new xbox slim (which i hate). nice post!

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  31. I have a friend who's been looking to mod his xbox a bit, i'll link him here :)

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  32. Great tutorial, very very well explained

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  33. Now I just wait for the rest of the rest of the tutorial.
    Other than that, this is really useful.

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  34. I can't wait for the other posts that will come, it's really helpfull.
    Followed

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  35. I'm learning all kinds of new stuff.

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  36. thats really nice man, dont got a 360 but this is awesome

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  37. wow im really going to follow and read this directions since step 1

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