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.
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...