in Technology

How NOT to upgrade your Xbox

Apple Xbox

When I was at school my teachers used to tell me that I would go one step too far and ruin my work. Although I was never great at art and tech, they would (quite rightly) point out that the useless mess in front of me was the result of just going beyond the point at which I should have been satisfied and stopped. It would seem that impulse to tinker hasn’t left me…

Since last year we’ve had a NAS drive attached to our wireless router. The modded Xbox I bought from eBay 18 months ago is also connected via ethernet to the router:

The Belshaw's network diagram (v2)

This gives wireless access to the NAS drive from anywhere in the house and, as the NAS drive, router and Xbox are in a cupboard underneath the TV, allow us to watch DivX movies and TV programmes (via Xbox Media Center). It’s a great setup, but I had to tinker, didn’t I…

The outcome I was trying to achieve was that of this post: How To: Turn Your XBox Into An AppleTV. I was half-way there: I had the startup video and the skin sorted out. It was looking peachy. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to get rid of the ‘flubber’ animation that comes up when you boot the Xbox. You know, this one:

Xbox Flubber animation

Trouble is, that involves modifying the BIOS. Now you’d think with a name – sorry, acronym – like that (Basic Input Output System) I’d take more care. But no. I ploughed straight in and now I just get the hardware equivalent of a nonchalent French shrug-of-the-shoulders every time I try to boot it up.

Guess what I’ll be doing with my evenings next week whilst Hannah and Ben are in Devon…

  • http://www.anygivenfriday.com Paul

    I like that your life, in many ways, can serve as a warning to others :)

    • Jon

      Which chip do you have? Does it not have 2 BIOS chips?
      The executer 2.6 and newer do…
      I have modified the BIOS to remove the animation and changed the XBOX logo to blue, but having a backup BIOS via switch helped!

  • http://www.dougbelshaw.com Doug Belshaw

    @Paul: Thanks for that – I’m going to call you ‘pithy Paul’ from now on… ;-)

    @Jon: Therein lies the problem. I’m not entirely sure which version of the Xecuter2 chip it is as I bought the console off eBay. There’s certainly no switch (unless I have to open the case?) :-(

    • Jon

      Sometimes the switch bank is installed inside. Can you boot any discs?

  • http://www.dougbelshaw.com Doug Belshaw

    Yes, I can boot Slayer’s Evox installer. I think the problem is that I used one of the apps on there to (accidentally) change the settings on the EEPROM. Now I’ve no idea how to change it back!

    When I try to flash the BIOS it says that the ‘Flash ROM is not writeable’. This makes me think that I haven’t actually done anything unrecoverable. But I’m still stumped…

    • father-in-law

      Stupid boy! I hope you’re not wasting time, when you should be marking!

      • Jon

        The BIOS is write protected, you need a switch to change that.
        The problem you have is the BIOS specifies which executable to boot to (if no disc is present) most probably evoxdash.xbe, which is probably now missing/corrupt. Simply replace or rename whichever .xbe you want to boot to, to evoxdash.xbe.
        Do this through a boot disc with a filemanager of some kind.

        • http://www.dougbelshaw.com Doug Belshaw

          Jon, thanks for your suggestions. I'm reckon I'm on the way to sorting it and I shall detail what I did in a separate post when I do so! :-)

  • Pingback: Musings of a Wannabe Genius » Blog Archive » Howto: fix your Xbox after messing about with the EEPROM

    • kelvin

      i cant access my media player any more. as i deleted it from flash fxp . i was trying to install xbmc. i was instructed by a you tube fool .” make xbmc your main dash board”. now i dont know what to do

  • NoneOfYouAreReal

    well now you can get an xbox 360 to do the same job while you tinker harmlessly with the xbox – although i would recommend a ps3 instead