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Author Topic: CLONING AN X-BOX HARD DISK WITH XBL  (Read 4196 times)
Posts: 15

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« on: July 10, 2006, 04:24:41 AM »



All information on this website is for informational purpose only and is
provided "AS IS". Everything you do with this information is at your own

Everything done on this project is for the sole purpose of supporting
interoperable software under Sect. 1201 (f) Reverse Engineering exception
of the DMCA.


Skill Level: Intermediate

You should be somewhat familiar with PC internals. That is to say, you have
some hands-on experience opening up a PC case and changing or removing an
IDE (aka ATA) hard disk, and know how to difference between 'primary',
'secondary', 'master' and 'slave'.

You should be familiar with burning raw CD images.

You should know how to create zip files.

Your brain should have normal oxygenated blow flow and be free of
alcoholic and narcotic substances.


None. Should be a no-brainer.

Tools Needed

- A desktop PC (laptops *might* work if it has a means of hotswapping 3.5
  inch IDE hard disks) that supports CD booting (practically all modern
  ones do). Minimum requirements for the PC are: Pentium, 64MB RAM, VESA
  compatible video, has IDE hard disk ports, keyboard, mouse and Ethernet).

- XBL ( At least version 0.1.10a.

- A couple of blank writable/re-writable CD/DVDs.

- Torx 20 and Torx 10 screwdrivers.

- Your X-Box EEPROM.

- Hard Disk >= 8GB


1. First, make sure the disk you have (or going to obtain) is compatible
   with the X-Box. Head over to to find out.
   The disk should also be the same size or larger than the disk you want
   to clone.

2. If you softmodded your X-Box by following my "SOFTMODDING AN X-BOX BY
   HOTSWAPPING" tute, and you created the recovery xbl CD at the end, you
   can reuse this CD and skip this step.

   Extract XBL zip file into a folder and copy your X-Box's eeprom.bin to
   the "out\extras" sub-folder.

   Double-click make_iso.bat generate an ISO file named xbl.iso and burn
   xbl.iso to a CD as a raw image (make sure it's IMAGE!!!).

3. Set the hard disk to clone from (this is likely your X-Box hard disk)
   as primary master and plug it into the primary master end of the IDE
   Set the hard disk to clone to as primary slave and plug it into
   the primary slave end of the IDE ribbon.
   Set your CD/DVD drive to secondary master (if it's not already
   secondary master) and plug it into the secondary master end of the IDE
   ribbon (remember the original configuration if you disconnected your
   CD/DVD drive).

4. Boot up PC with the xbl CD. Select option 1 at the boot menu (type "2"
   without the quotes at the boot prompt). This should boot up the
   graphical interface.
   See "Troubleshooting" if you have mouse, keyboard or display issues.

5. Right-click on the desktop and select "Disable Disk Lock". When prompted
   for a method, select "Automatic".
   If you've followed step 3 properly, there should be exactly two disks
   to select from (/dev/hda will be primary master, /dev/hdb will be
   primary slave). Disable the lock on the disk to clone from.
   You will get a success notification message if the lock was
   successfully disabled. See "Troubleshooting" if you get locking errors.

6. Right-click on the desktop and select "Clone Hard Disk". You'll get
   a confirmation screen, click "Yes".

   Select /dev/hda as the disk to clone from.

   Select /dev/hdb as the disk to clone to.

   You'll see a progress meter while the cloning is in progress. It may
   take a while. Note that units displayed are in blocks of 512 bytes.

   Once done, you'll get a notification message.

7. Right-click on the desktop and select "Lock Disk". When prompted for a
   method, select "Automatic".

   Select /dev/hdb. You will get a success notification message if the
   disk was successfully locked.

   Repeat for /dev/hda if you want to continue using it for your X-Box
   (or keep it for recovery purposes).

8. Put the cloned disk into the X-Box and bootup. If your cloned disk is
   larger than 8 GB, you can enable F: or G: from your dashboard (in
   UnleashX, this is under Systems -> Settings -> Storage) and format F:
   and/or G: (from main menu, Systems -> Format Menu, Password is "xbox",
   without the quotes) to enable the extra space.


-  The keyboard/mouse doesn't work in xbl.

   If you have a USB mouse, you need to boot option 2 as
   "2 xbl_ui_mouse=/dev/input/mice".

   If you have a serial mouse, you need to boot option 2 as
   "2 xbl_ui_mouse=/dev/ttyS0" (this is if the mouse is on COM1, replace
   ttyS0 with ttyS1 for COM2, ttyS2 for COM3 and ttyS3 for COM4).

   If you have a USB keyboard/mouse and it doesn't get detected, then the
   hardware autodetection wasn't able to pick it up. Try appending
   "xbl_drv_list=usb-uhci,usb-ohci,ehci-hcd" (without the quotes) to the
   boot option.

   Firewire devices are not supported.

   Note: the boot options are case-sensitive. ie xbl_ui_mouse is not the
   same as XBL_UI_MOUSE or Xbl_UI_Mouse.

-  The video appears garbled.

   Your monitor probably doesn't support the default display resolution
   (800x600x16). Try overriding the default by appending
   "xbl_ui_screen=640x480x16" (replace "640x480x16 by whatever mode that
   your display supports).

-  I can't get the hard disk to lock/unlock. Complains about the disk being

   A hard disk is "frozen" when it disables itself from receiving
   security related commands from the CPU until the next reboot. Some PC
   BIOSes freeze the disk as a security measure to prevent malware
   (viruses, trojans etc) from locking your disk and then holding you
   hostage with the password. To overcome this, do not plug in the IDE
   ribbon of the disk when your PC is booting. Do it only at the boot
   menu of the live CD which you are using.

-  I get invalid EEPROM errors when trying to lock/unlock the disk.

   Your EEPROM file is corrupted. Perform the EEPROM backup again and
   recreate the xbl CD.

-  I've successfully installed the softmod, but I get an error on boot
   (or the system freezes).

   If you're getting error 5, you have not locked the disk successfully.
   If you're getting error 6, you locked the disk with the incorrect EEPROM.

                                   # ~ EOF ~ #
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 10:26:19 PM by x-bugs » Logged
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