Xbox “Problems”

Happy Turkey Day! I hope ya’ll are having a good Thanksgiving with your families, etc. I’m at home (Champaign) playing with my new toys I got yesterday. Since Colleen is working tonight (double pay, so she’s excited), I decided against going home.

So yesterday I got both the wireless xbox adapter and my pronto remote. Since I didn’t have the laptop, Colleen took it to work, I decided to screw around with the xbox first. The pronto really needs to be setup with a program on the PC, so that’s the need for the laptop. And I wasn’t about to run up and down the stairs whenever I wanted to test something (eventhough that’s how things turned out in the end).

So, before I really started messing around with the adapter (I had already tried it and set it up just to be sure it worked), I wanted to try and put in a ATA100 IDE cable in the xbox instead of the ATA33 one it had. As I’m sure you can all sense, bad things were to ensue…So I open it up, and for whatever unholy reason, I decided to touch and giggle one of the solder points of the mod chip. This of course was the one that made the original mod difficult. Well, I put it all together and the xbox frags (on, off, on, off, on, flashing red and green) so I can’t use it. At about this point was the starting of the madness. This happened right after Colleen left, so around 7:30-8ish. So I open it back up and take a better look at it. Sure enough, when I had stripped the wire the first time, I had cut a little too deep and there was probably one strand of the wire that was still making contact. However, if I moved the wire the correct way, it would make contact and all was good. So, being the genius that I am, try to tape it in one of these correct orientations. Needless to say, once the tape was down, it didn’t work. So, in the process of removing the tape, I totally ripped the wire right off the solder point. ARG. Now, I have to drive back to work in order to get my solder/flux and soldering iron.

Before I begin with the rest of this, I should preface it a little…
The wire used is either 22 or 24 gauge (think as small as possible)
Let’s just say the original soldering of it didn’t go too smoothly and the trace is actually exposed (the wire in the trace is sticking up and the hole it was originally supposed to go in is, well, gone)
So, I’m already starting with barely anything, but I don’t have any wire sitting around to bypass this point (the d0 point) and either go straight to the chip the trace goes to or connect to the alternate d0 point on the back of the xbox motherboard. So, I sit down with it, and with my surprise, after only a few seconds of solder (not including tinning the soldering iron tip, since it’s brand new) I’m able to boot the xbox without it fragging. The mod chip is enabled, and I can easily get into the xbox. However, when the mod chip is disabled, it still frags (ARRRRG!!!). After searching the forums over at for awhile, I come to the conclusion that it’s still the d0 point. However, when I simply push on the solder job with a metal object it boots, so I’m really confused. What I didn’t notice (because the TV wasn’t on this whole time, just the receiver) was that when I pushed on it, it boots into the mod chip still, even with it disabled. This is when I started getting REALLY confused. However, since I’ve only played with the d0 point, it had to be that. Well, after a little more solder-play, I finally got it to boot both when the mod chip is on and off. Needless to say, I put electrical tape over the connection. The good news is when I stripped the wire this time, my knife was so dull, it barely got through the plastic, so the same problem shouldn’t occur again.

Oh, and you think the night’s over now, don’t you?! HA! Now that I got the xbox working properly (around 10ish), I wanted to actually start playing with it like I had originally planned. Well, xbox xlink works. I didn’t actually join any games, though, because there were so few people on it. Also, because they were all playing games I didn’t have (minus Halo, but all the games were filled). However, now that the xbox was connected, I wanted to get working what I had originally purchased and modded it to do, stream mp3’s off my server upstairs to my receiver and speakers. With Xbox Media Player (xbmp), you can “easily” stream music, movies, pictures, etc, off of typical windows shares (samba, or smb, shares), by simply connecting to them. There’s a howto in the xbmp guide. Well, needless to say, it wasn’t simple for my setup (of course). The machine that has all the mp3’s is a Windows 2003 server. I didn’t have a problem, when I shared out the files from my XP machine. Knowing darn well, the config file for xbmp was correct, I installed Ethereal, packet sniffing software, on my server to see what was going on. It kept saying that access was denied whenever the xbox tried to connect to the share (and it was hitting the correct share). Well, I decided to visit the xbmp forums. Sure enough, I’m not the only one having problems with xbmp connecting to Windows 2003 shares. After much scouring the forums, I found that because of win2k3’s advanced security features, by default it only accepts encrypted passwords. Of course, xbmp sends the passwords in plaintext instead of encrypted. So I have to disable it. Well, there’s a registry entry to disable it (I won’t give it here for reasons told later…), so of course I go and disable it. Since it’s a registry entry, it takes a restart to apply. So, reluctantly, I restart my server. When it boots back up, I head down stairs, get into xbmp, look at the network share, and HOLY COW!!! it works. I start streaming audio, it works great, so I start navigating through the various directories, when all the sudden I get the blank screen, no more directories (what happens when it can’t connect to a share). So, I head back upstairs and look at the registry entry. WHAT THE HELL?!?!!? I reverted back to the previous setting. I try it again, but again it reverts itself. Odd…something must be overwriting the setting after awhile. The only thing I can think of that doesn’t apply immediately until everything’s loaded is a group policy setting (GPO). Needless to say, in order to actually do this correctly, you need to modify in both the Domain Controller Security Policy and Domain Security Policy, the “Microsoft Network Server: Digitally Sign Communication (always) policy to be disabled. This entry can be found in Local Policies, Security Options. I tried manually changing the setting on my servers local policy, but I quickly found out that the GPO overrode the setting. This brings us up to 1:30am, doh!

Well, needless to say, I FINALLY got the xbox working like I want. I’m currently sitting on the floor with the laptop, getting ready to play with the pronto while listening to mp3’s from the xbox. I’m just glad that it works now. I’ll probably submit this to the xbmp website to incorporate in their guide from now on, because there was no nice and easy place to go to find this info…

Oh, and again, have a happy turkey day 🙂