I managed to mess up the files in my original XBOX’s C: drive. The XBOX would boot to this error:

According to the Internet there should have been an error code in the top corner to tell me what was going on.  I did a good enough job on it I wasn’t getting any error at all.

I had a backup of my XBOX’s drive and eeprom. What I needed to do was get access to the C: drive so I could copy over the backed up files. My first thought was to boot off of a DVD and FTP the files over. I tried Slayers and Hexen, neither would boot. Seems the XBOX needs something on the C: drive to be able to boot a DVD.

My next plan was to plug the drive into a PC. There were a few problems with that. I didn’t have anything with an IDE interface like the XBOX’s drive uses. The drive is locked to the XBOX, meaning I would have to unlock it to use it on another computer. The XBOX’s drive uses the FATX file system and I didn’t think anything supported that.

The first problem was solved by a USB to IDE adapter. I ordered a Vantec CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE. It also supports SATA drives. It’s pretty nice.

The second problem is solved by xboxhdm23usb. Among many other useful things, it will lock and unlock drives.

The third problem was solved by Xplorer360. It will allow you to copy to/from the FATX file system.

Here is what I did:

  1. Removed the hard drive from the XBOX.
  2. Changed jumper on the drive from master with slave to single/master.
  3. Plugged the drive into the USB adapter and plugged it into my PC.
  4. Placed my eeprom backup in the same folder as xboxhdm23usb.
  5. Used xboxhdm23usb to unlock the drive.
  6. Opened Xplorer360 and use it to copy in your backup.
  7. Locked the drive
  8. Put the jumper on the drive back to master with slave.
  9. Put the XBOX back together.

Some gotchas that I ran into:

The USB adapter was very flaky when connected to the front USB ports on my computer. It would only get recognized half the time and when recognized would sometimes just drop out. It worked fine when connected to the rear USB ports. This is the only device I’ve ever hard problems with on my front ports. The front ports are USB 2.0 while the rear ports are 3.0, maybe the problem, maybe not.

Don’t forget to lock the drive when you are done. I had it my head the drive starts locked and you have to unlock it to use  it, that is not right. The drive is unlocked until locked and then locked until unlocked.

In the end it worked out for me and my XBOX is working properly again.

 

What follows are some very brief thoughts that are not worthy of an entire article.

I have owned a GPD XD for about a year now. It is by far the best handheld emulation device I’ve used. It plays the fifth generation consoles (PlayStation, N64) very well. Since it has a built in stand via the controller it also makes for an excellent device for watching movies during flights or lying in bed.

Hipsters have the market for buying old consoles all messed up. Everything is much more expensive than it should be. If you’re dead set on collecting you are going to spend some money, if you just want to play some games:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3 plays everything up to the fifth generations of consoles well. PlayStation support is excellent, N64 support is very bad. A Pi 3 and a PS4 controller makes for a very nice couch experience. Run RetroPie, its the easiest way to go.
  • A Nintendo DS will play GBA games. A Nintendo DS also costs a lot less than a GBA.
  • A 3DS can play DS games. A modded New 3DS can play GBA, SNES, GEN, Gameboy, NES, and more very well.
  • Nothing can emulate an original XBOX. Spend some money and get one that is pre-modded. TSOP is preferred since it makes it easy to change the hard drive.
  • A modded PS3 will play PSX, PS2, PSP, and PS3 games.
  • A modded Wii-U will play Wii-U and Wii.
  • A modded Wii will play Wii and GameCube.
  • You can buy pre-modded consoles on Ebay for not much more than a non-modded one.
  • If your PC is within 50 feet of your TV, a long HDMI cable and a PS4 or XBOX One controller will turn it into a great couch gaming ‘console’. If you also have a wireless keyboard and a mouse you’re in for good times.