Upgrade Original Xbox Hard Drive (HDD) via Softmod

Welcome, this tutorial is to upgrade the hard drive on a softmodded original Xbox. This tutorial is intended for Krayzie’s Ndure softmod. Otherwise, this tutorial will not be compatible. This info is also helpful in case you want to research further on upgrading your hard drive. We strive to provide the complete tutorial, the more you comment and ask questions the better and more complete this tutorial will be. 

Please visit this page to learn how to unscrew the original Xbox hard drive before installing a hard drive before you start

*** Warning ***

If you lock the hard-drive to a wrong password you will have a dead hard-drive that you can't use anymore. (unless you’re lucky enough to know what the wrong password was.

*** Warning ***


1. Obviously a Hard-drive, but it needs to support 'Password Locking' or be 'Lockable'. The majority of all Hard-drives are, but some models don't support the feature, check first to save yourself a lot of grief. Here’s a list of compatible original Xbox hard drives.

2. You will need access to a PC and need some hardware experience as you need to remove and install Hard-drives.

3. T10 Torx screwdriver and a T20 Torx screwdriver.

4. A program called Xboxhdm 1.9 Download Xboxhdm 1.9

5. FTP program and knowledge of how to use it FTP Tutorial w/Download Links

6. Program named 'ConfigMagic Download ConfigMagic

*it's also important to know your Xbox version (i.e v1.6 etc.)

Get the EEPROM

You need to FTP the uncompressed folder for "ConfigMagic" to your original Xbox (it should go under 'E:\Apps' but you may need to modify its location for your Dashboard) Once done Reboot your original Xbox and you should have access to it under the 'Applications menu' in UnleashX or EvolutionX dashboard.

The purpose of the program is to retrieve your EEPROM information which is needed to get the password used to lock your Hard-drive. Once you've launched 'Configmagic' you need to press 'start' to continue, when it shows the warning screen (We won't be changing anything that could cause problems so continue). to bring up the main menu press 'start' again now select "Create Backup Files". Once this is completed press 'start' once more and select "Exit Config Magic".

Switch to your PC and FTP into your original Xbox (IP address is on your Dashboard screen) Transfer the file called "EEPROMbackup.bin" which should be on the root of drive 'E:\' to your PC Hard-drive and rename it to "EEPROM.bin" copy this file to floppy disk and set it aside for later (we'll need this later don't loose it)! For those of you who are running a PC that has no Floppy drive skip this step.


This kind of softmod you have installed created a virtual drive C: by doing this any updates to the dash are on the Virtual Drive C: not the real one, this protects your Softmod from getting buggered up but when you back-up drive C: your getting the Virtual C's contents not the actual drive C: which means this procedure will not work.

You have two possible options:

Option #1

1. Here’s what you need to do.

2. There is a shadow partition, So unlock the factory drive (you should already have the eeprom.bin ).
3. Mount /dev/hda50 (drive E) to /mnt and /dev/hda51 (drive C) to /c. And then: tar cf /mnt/actualc.tar /c/* After a while it creates a copy of the files on drive E, in a single archive.
4. Lock the drive and put it back into the original Xbox.
5. Take new hard drive (previously prepared) and mount /dev/hda50 (drive E) to /mnt, /dev/hda51 to /c
6. FTP to the original Xbox and retrieve from drive E "actualc.tar"
7. Decompress (tar xvf actualc.tar) and place the files in the proper partition
8. Lock the drive, swap old for new, and your're done it should work fine!

Option #2

Create the new larger HDD to factory then install the softmod but you'll need the contents from a pre/un-modded Drive C: (If you don't have this check around you should be able to find one somewhere).

Prepare your Files

If you haven't uncompressed the 'Xboxhdm' program then do so now, inside the base 'Xboxhdm' folder you'll see a 'C' folder and an 'E' folder, FTP the entire contents of the Xbox 'C:\' drive into the 'C' folder and of course the entire contents of the 'E:\' drive into the 'E' folder on your PC.

Users without a Floppy will have to include the eeprom.bin file but it MUST all be in lower case for the xboxhdm program to detect the file, place the eeprom.bin file into the "eeprom" folder, Floppy users can try this but if you have an issue you can just use the Floppy instead.

Now look under the root 'Xboxhdm' folder and you will see a file called 'make-iso-win.bat' run this file and you'll end up with an '.iso' image that you can burn with your favorite CD Burning tool such as Nero, if unsure how to burn the image file refer to your documentation that came with your Burning software.

Create the New Xbox Hard-drive

You need to make sure you can boot from your CD/DVD Drive, this may require a settings change in the Bios. Once you've powered off the PC you will need to disconnect all your Hard-drives (ensures you don't format the wrong one in error) and attach the Hard-drive you plan to install into the Xbox as the Primary Hard-drive on the Primary IDE controller, also make sure that any jumpers are set to 'CS' or 'Cable select' (default for most drives). Power on your PC and enter your Bios screen under the drive setting section try and disable any auto-detection features for the drive and if needed enter the parameters from the drive into this section. Save your changes and reboot hopefully your CD/DVD drive will prompt you to press any key to boot the disk or it will enter the boot process automatically.

You should see a menu with various options we want option 1) Boot VGA console with xbox-drive utilities select this option and wait for the Linux system to finish booting (3-7 Minutes) when done your 're dumped to a command prompt. Type in 'xboxhd' (without quotes) to start the program now choose 1) Build a new Xbox HDD from scratch and it will ask you some questions. you need to type 'yes' or 'no' (without quotes) to each question it asks (you most likely want an 'F' drive and everything formatted). When this is all completed you will need to reboot.

Load Linux again but This time when the CD loads, choose 3) Boot linux with locking/unlocking utilities after you get to the command prompt type in 'lockhd -a' (without quotes) the program will run and complain no valid EEPROM file was found if it was named incorrectly or not included with the build. It will then give you three options choose 1) read from Floppy it will then ask you to put the floppy into the drive, put the floppy from step one with the EEPROM.bin file into the drive and hit enter. If all goes well it will report it found the file and proceed to lock your Hard-drive, if it reports an error about a 'Frozen drive' read the section below. Once done Linux will ask you to shutdown so power off and remove the locked and prepared hard-drive and install it into your Xbox!

You can find instructions on opening your original Xbox Here (Refer to the sections about opening the Xbox and re-connecting the hard-drive only.)

Frozen Drive

If the process reports 'drive has been frozen' you most likely have a bios that is preventing the lock command from working. You can try to disconnect the IDE cable while booting and attach the cable before Linux boots but chances are you'll need to resort finding a computer that will allow the lock command or as a last resort to a much different process that involves the use a TSOP flashed or Chip modded Xbox, to attempt the hard-drive Lock using this method click Here

Source: www.biline.ca

Original Xbox Softmod Kit