Xbox

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The Microsoft Xbox was released on November 15, 2001 to 2005. Several internal changes were made during its lifetime to reduce costs. Microsoft has also decided to remove the traces to the debug points in revision 1.6 and 1.6b, which makes it more difficult to modify the console.

Due to some security measures, it is necessary to modify the consoles for certain repairs like to be able to replace the internal Hard Drive.

XBOX Revisions
Manufacture Date Revision TSOP flashable Video Encoder
01/2001 – 07/2002 1.0 YES Conexant
08/18/2002 - 01/25/2003 1.2 YES Conexant
12/01/2002 - 03/15/2004 1.3 YES Conexant
03/02/2003 - 07/26/2003 1.3 YES Focus
07/20/2003 - 04/10/2004 1.4, 1.5 YES Focus
03/14/2004 - 09/06/2004 1.6 No, Modchip Required Xcalibur
09/13/2004 - 08/2005 1.6b No, Modchip Required Xcalibur
Common Issues
Problem Reason Solution
Bad HDD The Xbox is using old IDE Hard Drives which are getting old and may start to fail. The Xbox is using a HDD Password so the Hard Drive can't just be swaped with another but there is a Solution for it. You have to either Lock the new Hard Drive, install a Modchip or flash the TSOP.
  1. Install a Modchip or Flash the TSOP
  2. Install a New IDE HDD or SATA HDD/SSD and use a IDE2SATA Converter Board.
  3. Burn Hexen to a DVD-R.
  4. Boot the Xbox using the Hexen Disc and rebuild the new HDD
Xbox doesn't keep the Time The Xbox is using a Capacitor to keep the Time and it's very common that they start to leak Replace or Remove the Clock Capacitor and clean any corrosion on the Mainboard
Xbox unstable (Freezes) Bad Capacitors

Another habit of the Xbox is that the Capacitors are failing/leaking/bulging

Replace all Capacitors near the CPU/GPU
LED Error Codes
LED Code Reason Solution
Solid Green Corrupt BIOS bank or unseated video cable. Try another video cable. If 1.0 or 1.1 motherboard, solder A18 and/or A19 to ground. If all else fails, install a modchip.
Solid Red Bad EEPROM or improper modchip install. Flash EEPROM or install modchip.
Flashing Green Bad EEPROM. Flash EEPROM or install modchip.
Flashing Orange Damaged trace or solder splashed on components. If the unit flashes orange and shuts down this could be a sign that electrolyte has affected the ADM1032 temperature sensor, Try reflowing the ADM1032 or replace it.
Flashing Orange and Green Missing or broken video cable. Try reseating or replacing the video cable. May be bad video hardware.
Flashing Red and Orange Video display issue Try reseating or replacing the video cable. May be bad video hardware.
Flashing Red and Green (FRAG) General system failure Try cleaning the inside of your Xbox or adding a heatsink to the NVIDIA chip. May be leaking clock capacitor
Tries to Boot 3x then FRAG (Christmas Lights) Usually due to a failed or improperly installed modchip or the IDE cable being plugged in upside down somewhere. Check modchip wiring and IDE cables. If you did not do any soldering, it could be a bad PSU.
Other Likely bad EEPROM. Likely need to flash EEPROM or install modchip.
Error Codes
Error Code Problem Cause / Solution
01 General motherboard issue. Cause is unknown; it is recommended to replace the motherboard.
02 EEPROM check failed. This error is triggered by the bootloader and as a result does not display an error code on screen. You will see the Xbox rebooting and flashing red and green lights (FRAG). You flashed something wrong or caused a short somewhere on your motherboard (possibly while soldering). If you're using a modchip and you just flashed it, try again using a different BIOS. If you recently did some soldering to your Xbox, check for any stray solder balls that may be present and carefully remove them.
03 General motherboard issue Cause is unknown; it is recommended to replace the motherboard.
04 RAM check failed. This error is triggered by the bootloader and as a result does not display an error code on screen. You will see the Xbox rebooting and flashing red and green lights (FRAG). RAM chip failure. This could be from pins on the RAM chip(s) becoming bridged, possibly from an accidental splash of solder or a failed 128MB RAM upgrade. Remember, electrostatic shock can sometimes damage integrated circuit chips like RAM chips, so even if you can't see a problem, the RAM could still be fried. Replacing the RAM chips could be a solution.
05 Hard disk drive (HDD) not locked. If you have not replaced your Xbox's BIOS via a modchip/TSOP flash, then your HDD needs to be locked using a special password that is generated based on your Xbox's EEPROM, which is unique per each individual Xbox. Microsoft designed it this way to prevent people from being able to plug the drive into a computer and have access to its contents and thus hacking it. Virtually all non-retail BIOSes (including modchip/TSOP) will not require the hard drive to be locked in order to start. If you're seeing this error on a non-retail BIOS, then chances are your modchip/TSOP flash process had issues and for some reason you are now using a stock BIOS which is now requiring a password-locked hard drive again. If you're seeing this error and your Xbox has been softmodded (through gamesave/font/audio exploits), then you just need to lock your drive again. Hopefully you have your EEPROM backed up at this point because if not, things get a lot more complicated. If you unlocked your HDD on the Xbox itself (using ConfigMagic for example), chances are the app you used made a backup of your EEPROM for you and it's now sitting on your E:\ drive called "eeprom.bin" or something similar. You can plug the HDD into a computer at this point and use an Xbox hard drive explorer program like "Xplorer360" (Windows only) to view its files to copy your EEPROM backup. There are multiple ways to lock a HDD, one of which is by using XboxHDM by author ldotsfan. XboxHDM runs on a PC and one of its features is the ability to lock hard drives if you have an EEPROM backup. Choose option "3" from XboxHDM and follow the on-screen instructions to lock the HDD.
06 Incorrect hard drive password. The hard disk drive (HDD) is locked but it is locked with a password that belongs to a different Xbox. You will need to unlock the HDD and then re-lock it using the correct password. As stated above, each Xbox is locked using a password that is generated based on each Xbox's unique EEPROM. Assuming you have the EEPROM of your Xbox backed up, you will just need to unlock the drive and re-lock it using your EEPROM backup. See the solution for Error Code 05 for more info.
07 Hard drive timeout / HDD took too long to become ready. The Xbox seems to know the HDD is present but it times-out waiting for the drive to become ready and respond to commands. This is probably due to a loose connection or faulty wire. See the solution for Error Code 08. If you're using a SATA to IDE adapter, it's possible that the adapter you're using is not compatible with the drive you're using or isn't compatible with the Xbox at all. Try another SATA to IDE adapter / HDD combination. Some "green" drives are temperamental with certain SATA adapters. This error may also be caused if you have a SATA to IDE adapter and you are not using an 80 pin IDE cable (by default, they are 40 pin cables). Or, the console's DVD drive is bad preventing access to the hard drive via the IDE bus. Swap the DVD drive with one from a different Xbox. They are all interchangeable.
08 No hard drive found. The Xbox can't find the hard disk drive (HDD) while booting up. Try the following:
  • If you are using a SATA to IDE adapter, you will need an 80 pin IDE cable. By default, it will be a 40 pin cable.
  • Make sure the IDE ribbon cable (flat grey cable) is securely connected to the HDD, the DVD drive, and the motherboard itself.
  • Check the IDE cable for signs of damage. If the cable looks like it has been scraped or has evidence of any damage then replace it.
  • Check the HDD's power cable and make sure it's securely plugged in.
  • If you can wiggle the HDD power cable around and make the Xbox work at certain times, then the leads coming from the power supply are loose and the power supply should be replaced.
  • Take the HDD out and make sure the jumper is set correctly. There should be a diagram printed on the drive's label that shows how the jumper should be connected. Make sure its set to Cable Select (CS), Master, or isn't present at all. If the drive is set to Slave then you will run into issues!
  • If all other cables are in fact securely connected and not damaged, you can try replacing the IDE cable anyway. It's possible that it is damaged in a way that isn't visible and IDE cables are cheap to come by.
  • If all else fails, your hard drive is probably to blame and is faulty and needs to be replaced.
09 Hard drive parameters are missing or incorrect. Very uncommon error. The hard drive might be in the wrong transfer mode (PIO/DMA), or set to slave instead of master.

If it's a debug console, the size may be incorrect (minimum size is required for debug). Replace the hard drive otherwise.

10 DVD drive timeout. Similar to error codes 07 and 08, this is usually caused by a loose/faulty cable. The Xbox seems to know the DVD drive is present but it times-out waiting for the drive to become ready and respond to commands. Check the yellow cable running from the motherboard to the DVD drive. If all else fails, replace the DVD drive.
11 No DVD drive found. The Xbox cannot find the DVD drive. Similar to Error Code 10, this is usually from a loose/faulty cable. See solutions for Error Code 10. Note that many non-retail BIOSes can configured to skip using a DVD drive entirely.
12 DVD drive parameters are missing or incorrect. This is an uncommon error. Try solutions for Error Code 10.
13 Dashboard failed to launch due to missing/bad key, or anything else that would prevent it from running and the dashboard didn't specify why it failed. This can be caused by a kernel version issue but is a lot less common in recent years. Make sure you're running the latest kernel. If you're using a softmod, make sure your dashboard and softmod files are installed correctly. It is recommended to use JCRocky5's Xbox Softmodding Tool as your softmod installer, if you're using something else currently. If you are receiving this error only when launching games, try deleting E:\Trainers, if it exists.
14 Dashboard failed to launch (generic error). Similar to Error Code 13. This can also result from changing names of files or messing with files on the HDD without knowing the repercussions. A common cause is from changing the boot orders or names of startup files on the HDD. It can also happen when you are rebuilding your HDD with a Slayer CD and the power was cut, or if your DVD drive is going bad when attempting to load a disc that uses PBL, such as Hexen.
16 Internal clock cannot be set. This happens when the Xbox tries to boot to the stock dashboard in order to have you set the current date/time. but fails to load the menu. This happens if you:
  • Just replaced the HDD and are missing your clock capacitor or left your Xbox unplugged for a few hours.
  • Erased the Microsoft dashboard files (which contain the clock setting) and are missing your clock capacitor or left your Xbox unplugged for a few hours.
  • Have a revision 1.6 Xbox and an old (before 2004) BIOS installed without a clock loop patch and are missing your clock capacitor.

To fix this, first try plugging in an Ethernet cable to connect your Xbox to your router. In some cases, the Xbox will update it's system clock via NTP. If that fails, try starting the Xbox with the Eject button instead of the power button in case it has a dual-boot configuration. If that fails and you have a modchip installed, boot into AID or Slayers and try installing the stock dashboard back on your HDD's C:\ partition. You can also hotswap your HDD with another Xbox to reinstall the Microsoft dashboard. After the Xbox boots up and is able to set the clock successfully, update your BIOS or softmod to a more recent version to avoid this in the future.

20 Dashboard failed to launch. It was a cold boot, and the dashboard didn't specify why it failed, but it needed to be noted that the DVD passed the challenge/response authentication during boot.
21 Unspecific/generic error. The Xbox was instructed (possibly by an XBE you launched) to reboot the Xbox and display this error. This occurs frequently when the Xbox is unable to boot due to dashboard changes being made (i.e. an XBE hasn't been signed correctly or parts of the stock dashboard are missing). Also, if you're using XbeShortcutMaker and seeing this error code then you might try regenerating the shortcut XBE file as it could be corrupted. If you are receiving this error only when launching games, try deleting E:\Trainers if it exists. If you are trying to softmod, it may be a bad USB device. In very rare cases, a failing clock capacitor on 1.0-1.5 Xboxes may cause this issue, so removing it would be a wise path to explore as it is also a great risk to the health of your Xbox.