The (mostly) finished system in all of its glory. submitted by
Long story short, about a month ago I decided to hook up my old Xbox after years of it sitting dormant in my closet. Of course, it didn't power on as a result of bad capacitors. Luckily it wasn't too difficult and I was able to get it sorted out after some trial and error. You can read a chronicle of that slightly annoying journey here
. I'll include the important specifications about replacement caps below.
Once the power issues were solved, I decided to upgrade it as much as I possibly could. After rebuilding the Xbox 1.6's LPC header, I installed an Aladdin modchip, a brand new 1TB hard drive and put the entire system in a brand new clear GhostCase. I even used Brasso to clear off the original paint on the Xbox jewel. I was planning to repaint the jewel with white text and a metallic blue backing color, but I'm starting to like the way it looks all clear. The only downside is that it leaves the down-facing LED ring fully exposed.
The rest is TLDR
except for those interested in performing these upgrades. I wanted to include some helpful tips and pointers, including some that would have helped me had I known about them during this process. INSTALLATION
: First of all, I wanted to address the capacitor issue. In a 1.6 Xbox,
the clock capacitor usually does not need replacing
. Microsoft used a higher quality clock cap in the last models and they are much less prone to leakage. If yours doesn't power on, it's more likely that a group of 5 caps near the power supply
have gone bad. You can see my original post
for pictures of the bad caps. It is very important that you replace them with caps with the same ratings; they must be ultra-low ESR caps
at 3300 micro-farads
with a maximum temperature rating of 105 Celsius
. I'll link all the parts I used including proper caps at the end of this post. I originally bought a set with the same impedance and voltage values, however they had a max temp rating of 85 degrees and were not ultra-low ESR. They seemed to work at first, but they would randomly fail under load causing the system to power-off unexpectedly. Replacing them is fairly straightforward and requires minimal soldering skills. Just make sure the positive and negative poles are oriented correctly and snip off the excess leads once they're soldered in place.
The Aladdin chip
is fairly straightforward to install. Once the header is soldered into the LPC port, the chip just plugs in. Rebuilding the LPC
in a 1.6
Xbox can seem intimidating as the solder points on the motherboard are quite small, but as long as you have at least some previous experience with soldering, it shouldn't be too difficult. You will need some 30 gauge wire
to bridge the points. I followed this guide by MrMario2011
and it was quite honestly a breeze.
If you buy a new hard drive
, it will almost definitely have a SATA
interface rather than IDE
. This means you will need a SATA to IDE adapter
board. I've read that some people have fried their drives with cheap adapters so I recommend doing some research and reading customer reviews before purchasing. Additionally, in order to gain the faster speeds of a new drive, you'll need to buy an 80 pin IDE cable
to replace the slower 40 pin cable that is included with the console.
As a small aside, my disk drive
was having trouble opening
, so I went ahead and replaced the drive belt
. This is a very easy installation process and it should fix most drives that won't open. GHOSTCASE
: The GhostCase looks very nice, however there's a few points about it that I wanted to address. First, the kit is NOT
a complete replacement
. It simply replaces the top
pieces of the original shell. You still need to use the original bottom half of the console. It makes sense as the bottom and back of the console are the least visible, but some people on Amazon were surprised.
Additionally, some Amazon reviews suggest that the plastic is brittle and prone to cracking. It does seem less substantial than the original Microsoft shell, however I didn't have any major issues during installation. Despite this, I would still recommend being gentle while snapping the front piece on and not over-tightening
the case screws just to make sure it gets installed without being damaged.
Lastly, you may have noticed that I didn't install the invisible disk drive portion
of the case. This is because those pieces are designed for Thompson drives ONLY
. I tried to snap the tabs off and try to install them on my Samsung drive, but the clearances were still wrong and my test disk was thrown about inside my console. That's why the top magnet is now exposed on my drive. I was hoping for an invisible top drive housing, but seeing the top magnet spin is good enough for me as long as it won't ruin my disks. SOFTWARE SETUP
: I'm almost done, I promise, but I wanted to address a couple more things about the bios and hard drive formatting.
First, you'll need to burn the HeXEn
suite to a CD
in order to perform the necessary setup.
Depending on where you ordered your Aladdin
chip, it could have one of many different BIOS
versions. I first recommend using HeXEn to flash the BIOS
to one you know will work with your system
and will allow you to use the full capacity of your hard drive
. I didn't do this at first and it took me forever to figure out why only ~130GB of my 1TB drive appeared available even after properly formatting.
Once you've done that, you can use XBPartitioner
to format and partition the drive to your liking. Usually the default settings will be what you want to use.
If you like the UnleashX dash, you're pretty much good to go at this point, however I installed XBMC4Gamers
to my Xbox over my network using FileZilla as per this tutorial
. From there, I set it as my default by using XBE Shortcut Maker
to create a modified evoxdash.xbe that I replaced with the original shortcut on the C: drive.
Alright! That's all I've got. To those that read this far, I hope I was able to provide some valuable information. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions. As promised, below is a list of the parts I used in this build: PARTS LIST