Steaming Hot Chips

Well, I took the plunge today and installed a modchip in my XBox console. Despite my trepidation towards waving a burning hot iron around amongst miniscule copper traces and very expensive silicone, I completed the task without massive amounts of death and destruction. I would however wish aforementioned death and destruction upon the people that attempted to write the installation instructions for the chip.

The instructions very kindly describe exactly how to solder four wires to various tiny places on the motherboard of the XBox. It was only through investigation prior to purchasing the chip that I was aware that I also needed to solder the 8 pins of the “LPC Header” to the motherboard also. Despite this, one vital piece of information was still missing: which way do you plug the fricken thing in?! Basically, the modchip plugs into a simple 8-pin plug which (as I mentioned) is soldered onto the motherboard, and this plug has no method of orientation.

Of course, Murphy had predetermined the fact that I would plug the chip in backwards, so there really was no point in fighting it. I plugged the chip in, reassembled the XBox (15-odd screws, and sundry fiddly connectors), fired it up, and got exactly the same result as if the modchip was simply some plastic simulacra. So the process became: disassemble the XBox; remove the modchip; accidentally break one of the wires from its delicate solder point (the infamous D0); remove the entire motherboard; solder D0 wire to alternate point on underside of motherboard; reassemble motherboard into case; insert modchip in correct orientation; reassemble remainder of XBox.

Bingo! Next up I burned the lovely Slayer’s EvoX Auto-Install disc to a CD-R, placed it lovingly in the disc tray, and BOOM! One happily modded XBox running all sorts of lovely software like EvolutionX and XBMC. I’m really quite stunned about how versatile the XBox with XBMC is, and am re-thinking my opinions about not upgrading the stock hard drive. Watch this space!

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