Hardmod vs. Softmod Answers by NknavePublished by forahobby on 2006-04-09
Category: XBOX | Page Views: 46,621
Well, there's so much out there to explain to ppl about, but I'm going to start this off with some ovious facts, and what it's most important for ppl out there who are trying to find the answers to which way to go.
The Modchip, the TSOP flash, or the Softmod.
(TSOP flash, after it's done it's equivalent to a modchip running the hacked bios)
How hard is it to flash a TSOP?
-Not to hard, but you must not try this if your not too experienced with soldering, cause it's very risky.
How hard is it to Install Modchip?
-Same Answer as for TSOP motherboard rebuild, but modchips nowdays are solderless too, and that will make it almost risk free to install.
How hard is it to Softmod?
-Not at all IMO, but some people come up with the weirdest results, I don't even understand, but my theory is, if you do it by the book, you should be fine.
What can a Modchip run that Softmod can't?
-Both will do the EXACT SAME THING, meaning you can play your backups, install all the good homebrew apps, emulators, games, linux, sometimes it's best to run linux from .xbe loaders rather than flashing Cromwell to Chip.
What is cheaper? Chip or Softmod?
-Personally could be Softmod, since you can build a homebrew action replay and getting the exploitable game used can be as cheap as $5 USD.
A chip can be as cheap as $14 dollars for a Duox2, or as expensive as $100 USD or more, it all depends on the end of chip to get, but here's a equivalent comparison.
Chip(Duox2) $14+shipping mb= $20-25 USD
Torx Screw Drivers $5
Soldering tools??? If you don't have it!! $20 (including mostly all needed)
Total estimate without Soldering tools to buy= $25-30 USD
Total estimate with Soldering tools to buy= $45-50 USD
1 of the 3 Exploitable games $5-15 USD
Torx Screw Drivers $5
Action Replay $30
Total estimate if you build homebrew Action replay.
+usb cable $3
+extra or sacrifice xbox controler link $5-10
Total estimate if you buy Action replay= $40-55 USD
Totals don't unclude taxing, and they can vary.
So as you can see, it all depends on what methods you take.
Advantages of Having a Modchip.
-Installing depends on solder or solderless.
-Reliable, and most secure when getting the latest out there with recovery modes.
-easiest to upgrade to a bigger hard drive (pop in, format, install files)
-multiple bios to flash and use, and turn off mod to use retail hardware and bios.
-hardware mods on modchips can support other devices on the outer, like the lcd screen that SmartXX and X3 support, my point of view will not be stated, but it does look good on the xbox.
Disavantages of Having a Modchip.
-I could say there is none, but I'll state the only one I can think of within the 90 days of purchase (xbox).
-you cannot return a broken xbox to the place you bought it after the seals are broken, and to get to the screws to open your xbox, you must break these seals, therefor voiding your warranty!
What makes this better than a Softmod overall?
-Safe, Secure, easy hdd upgradability, multiple bios banks, recovery modes, other addon hardware mods.
Advantages of Having a Softmod.
-Installing is easy on most updated installer packages.
--Recomended packages are few, but since we are in HQ, I suggest SID 4.5
-SId 4.5 is reliable but it doesn't meant it can't break.
Explaining a softmod in brief.
-softmod will have to have files installed to the HDD, and to do that we must take an .xbe and exploit it, some and most recent use the update.xbe or xonlinedash.xbe and loads hacked fonts that will patch to run habibi signed .xbe files (.xbe is like the .exe format in windows), and there we use our loader or patcher to complete the mod and run our homebrew and others.
Now if any of these files is tampered with, CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO SOFMTOD, leading to error codes, xbox not working, fragging, and other nasty stuff you'll pannic when you see it.
Luckily, the newest softmods are protected as much as possible to avoid stuff like this.
Nkpatcher is created and coded by rmenhal and other memebers of the screne, and they've archived the mounting of virtuals with the xbox kernel, allowing us to replace a drive with a file that will take it's place, that way we can hide a partition with a file that will become like 1.
Long story short, it's like mounting an .iso disc image file to a virtual dvd-rom on your computer, but hidding the other dvd-rom.
-Upgradding Hard Drive is not hard, but some people claim it is, well, I can tell you it's not easy, but it's not hard, it just takes some time and patience.
Using a Linux Distro called "XboxHDM" and a proper backup of your eeprom of your xbox you can do this on a desktop, but it requires you to do other steps I will not explain here. but here's the main deal.
1.- yes you can upgrade a hdd, but it will not be a pop and play
2.- it can take you around 30 tops I guess, and thats pushing the time, cause it should take alot less than, less than 10 minutes in my book.
3.- hard drive must support the ATA Security System, that means you should be able to lock your hdd with a serial key, or else the xbox will not be able to use it, cause retail kernel requires the hdd to be locked with proper key of the eeprom.
Disavantages of having a Softmod.
-Files are exposed if using older softmods and can lead to easy wreakage.
-BUT.......Having an updated exploit like SId 4.5 can reduce those changes by 80%, and your xbox will be more stable, and you shouldn't be able to mess with stuff YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO.
-upgrading a HDD is not as fast, nor simple.
What makes this better than a Hardmod Overall?
-Truely nothing, there are some hacks out there that prove that we can do so much more with hacking the kernel with software exploits in way a chip cannot, but that's something that's not discussed here.
The reason to have a softmod is left out to you, what I can say, is that SId 4.5 is very safe, and it's good to use, you will not regret it!
Xbox Live? What is my choice to keep using Xbox Live?
-First of all you must know that once you go on xbox live, MS will take your eeprom, and hdd serial, and if you ever upgrade a HDD you'll get banned even if you don't run any mods at all!!! you've been warned!
1.- hardmods are switch or software switchable, and yes, you must run the retail mode (original xbox bios) to use xbox, and only retail games!
2.- softmod weren't capable of this, until the discovery of few hackers that i'll update names here later. We can now go on xbox live when you power your xbox with the alternate boot, to run retail mode, and only original games are to be used.
Example: Install SID 4.5 Nknave's Ndure (Next Dimention Uber Rmenhal Exploit), and when you power your xbox with DVD tray closed, it will boot your softmod and will run your custom stuff. Open with DVD tray open and it will tell the xbox to run another .xbe to go into retail mode, SID 4.5 will load up Xbox Live dash, and that's enought to put game in (original) and play on live, or use the Live dash feauters. You shoudn't get banned, unless you do stuff you shoudln't do and you know what I mean by this.
Note: Even thought the retail boot is based on a softmod sequence, patching the retail back, YOU CANNOT LOAD ANYTHING BUT MS SIGNED .XBEs, and that means nothing but original games. Comprende*?
So the choice is up to you, this thread will be updated as I go.
Related URL: Xbox-Hq Official Topic