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tmwnni
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Xbox Version: 1.0
Modded: xbox linux

Joined: Sep 16, 2018
Posts: 2

Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:27 am   
Post subject: Have I painted myself into a corner?
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Please forgive me if this is in the wrong place, if I've missed something in my searching or if this is 1000th re-post and I'm somehow unaware. I'm a little confused and hoping somebody can guide me with some direction. Maybe somebody has done something similar?

I believe I may have painted myself into a corner with regard to my old original xbox. Sometime several years ago I modded my original xbox to run xbox linux as a 'fun' project. I went through soldering my motherboard to allow writing a new bios, successfully installed Cromwell and xbox-linux and was able to experience what that was like. After that I went to install an updated Cromwell but I forgot to add my eeprom.bin file in the process (a process i've since forgotten) and ended up flashing Cromwell with the hdd password XBOXLINUX to my bios. Since I'd left my HDD password as the original it now doesn't match the bios and is unable to boot past Cromwell. All the hardware like DVD drive etc was all working before the 'disaster' but it's been several years so hopefully everything is still working.

To summarize:
Xbox 1.0 with soldered motherboard to allow bios flash
running Cromwell bios with XBOXLINUX hdd key
Locked hdd with original hdd key, key is not known

My main question: is recovery from this situation possible? Ideally I'd like to get everything swapped back over to a modded xbox running a modern dashboard so I can play games on the console again. I'm willing to take this pretty far but I understand if it just isn't possible.

From the reading I've done it seems like I might be able to recover the hard drive using the technique described in the sticky in this forum, or I could possibly build an EEPROM reader (something I've done once before) and dump the original hdd key that way if I can find a way to make use of it... It also seems like I'd need to flash the bios to something other than Cromwell that will allow me to boot a dashboard, perhaps I could work around that by using a mod chip since I can't currently boot into xbox-linux and run a flashing tool? On the positive side there is no data on the hdd that needs to be saved, except possibly the original key.

Thank you, I appreciate any help.


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SPPV
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Joined: Sep 13, 2010
Posts: 2621
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

Post Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:48 am   
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Since you have the Master Password unlocking the HDD is no issue provided you have a PC that can handle IDE drives. Where you may have an issue is reflashing the XBOX TSOP with a hacked BIOS. I honestly have never used the Cromwell BIOS so Im unsure as to whether or not it will allow you to run an Evox disc like Slayers to reflash the TSOP.

If I was in your situation this is what I would do
1) I would try to cold boot any installer disc with eeprom backup (AID, Babylon, Hexen etc)
2) If it boots I would backup the eeprom and FTP it to the PC
3) I would then use the discs flasher menu to flash the XBOX either retail or M8 or IND BIOS
4) If flashed retail I would cut the solder points on the TSOP after installing a softmod


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kaos_engr
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:37 am   
Post subject: Re: Have I painted myself into a corner?
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tmwnni wrote:
...After that I went to install an updated Cromwell but I forgot to add my eeprom.bin file in the process (a process i've since forgotten) and ended up flashing Cromwell with the hdd password XBOXLINUX to my bios.

I've never heard of a process that you add your eeprom.bin to the Cromwell BIOS.

Or, setting the HDD password to XBOXLINUX.

Update: Do you mean the MASTER password of the HDD was set to XBOXLINUX? Easy enough to unlock the hard drive with tools available in XboxHDM23USB Beta 2. smartctl.exe v6.2 can be used in a CMD.EXE window to unlock the drive.

But, that may just be me. Smile

Quote:
Since I'd left my HDD password as the original it now doesn't match the bios and is unable to boot past Cromwell.

What do you mean "Since I'd left my HDD password as the original"?

The Xbox BIOS computes the unlocking password for the hard drive using the HDDKey stored in the Xbox's configuration EEPROM (an 8-pin 2048-bit serial EEPROM on the motherboard and information from the hard drive itself.

Quote:
All the hardware like DVD drive etc was all working before the 'disaster' but it's been several years so hopefully everything is still working.

...

What "disaster"?


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kaos_engr
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Joined: Jun 04, 2012
Posts: 91

Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:29 am   
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tmwnni wrote:
To summarize:
Xbox 1.0 with soldered motherboard to allow bios flash
running Cromwell bios with XBOXLINUX hdd key
Locked hdd with original hdd key, key is not known


The original key used to lock the HDD is stored in the motherboard's configuration EEPROM. XBOXLINUX is the master password that the Cromwell BIOS sets on a locked HDD. It is not the HDDKey used to generate the password. The HDDKey is stored in the configuration EEPROM. You can use a PC and PonyProg software to read the 256 bytes from it or a Raspberry PI and PiPROM software.

Does the Cromwell BIOS boot?

If so, go into its HDD Menu. There should be a Lock or Unlock menu item based on which operation needs to be accomplished. If the drive is locked, unlock will be available; or if unlocked, lock will be available.


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tmwnni
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Xbox Version: 1.0
Modded: xbox linux

Joined: Sep 16, 2018
Posts: 2

Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:06 am   
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Thanks for the responses and apologies for the confusion. I'll see if I can clear things up a little bit. To clarify:

When I say I 'left my HDD password as the original' what I mean is my HDD is (or I thought) locked with the original microsoft password, I never set it to all 1's or nulled it out. Cromwell on the other hand is unaware of the correct key to use. I did try using smartctl.exe but it was unable to get any info on my xbox hdd, possibly because I was using an IDE to USB adapter rather than a computer with IDE on the motherboard. The harddrive itself contains only an install of Xebian which is data I don't care about recovering.

By the 'disaster' I'm referring to back when I flashed Cromwell without proper the HDD key. The second I did it I realized what I'd done and my heart sunk into my stomach because I knew I was in a tough spot. I seem to remember that at the time the available tools weren't as good as they are now, so I have renewed hope for this project.

Yes, Cromwell boots just fine. Upon starting Cromwell I see info about my system like the DVD drive type (Thompson) and there's a message saying the HDD was successfully unlocked. Navigating to the HDD menu curiously shows an option to lock the HDD, doing so results in a message saying the drive was locked successfully but the menu option for 'lock' doesn't change to 'unlock', presumably because of the key mismatch between Cromwell and my HDD.

So far I've been able to get Cromwell to boot both xDSL and Xebian livecd distros from the DVD drive. I hadn't seen my Xbox boot ANYTHING in YEARS so I got really excited when I saw that. My original optical drive is still working, wahoo! However I am NOT able to boot HeXen. Cromwell will only boot 'linux' and even though HeXen is linux based I can't get it to boot. I'm not totally certain why but perhaps the HeXen isn't using linuxboot.cfg which is what Cromwell wants.

Currently I only have a couple ideas that MIGHT allow me to boot an engineering disc like HeXen:

1. Bake my own Xebian or xDSL livecd that includes a copy of raincoat (the TSOP flashing tool) and a copy of EvoX M8 (which seems like the best bios version to go with for what I want to do), then boot from my livecd and run a TSOP flash.

2. Purchase a modchip containing a non-cromwell image and install it

Once I have EvoX M8 running on the board I'm hoping I'll be able to boot up HeXen but I'll still have to deal with the HDD lock and install a modern dashboard. I tried out smartctl as suggested but it couldn't read the drive through my usb adapter so I'll have to try again on a machine with IDE on the motherboard, maybe that would work. If HeXen is capable of correcting the HDD in the Xbox itself then that could work too, though I'm still trying to understand all of the tools on there. I can always get a fresh harddrive if that helps somehow.

If anybody has any other ideas or thoughts about how I might approach this I'm all ears. I feel like I'm shooting in the dark a little bit but I'm willing to push on. Thank you.


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