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Gerbil Elite
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Posts: 768
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:08 pm

StarTech USB3 to IDE dongle

Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:15 pm

I've been thinking about modding an original XBOX, and would lile to load games off the HDD, since the DVD drive on those models tend to go tits up quick (had 3 OG xboxs die that way).

Obviously, the Xbox uses IDE connections to the console. Could the startech dongle allow me to copy ISOs off my comp via USB3 to write to an IDE drive? And does anybody know the size limit MS imposed on IDE HDDs for the console?

I'd love to soft-mod, but if anyone knows of an easy to install modchip, that'll perform better, please let me know.


My Xbox1, GC, DCm, and PS2 were stolen, along with all the games I owned. I never got to beat the majority of them, so this is my chance at a second hurrah (since NOBODY has an XBOX1 emulator out for the PC.)
Gerbil In Training
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:14 pm

Re: StarTech USB3 to IDE dongle

Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:46 pm

Mods, I'm a long-time TR reader but first-time poster and intermittent forum browser. If this reply isn't compliant, I won't take it personally.

It's been a very long while since I've delved into modding, so I can't help you with detailing the alternatives. But I can say that the soft-mod is all that is necessary to do what you want. I'm not sure of the technical details, but it involves selecting the proper BIOS rom and configuring it to boot an alternative dashboard before you overwrite the original BIOS. But onto your other question...

Keep in mind that the Xbox's file system, FATX, is a completely different from NTFS or the FAT variants. This means that, without some dev tools or otherwise to specifically recognize FATX, your stock OS will likely not recognize a formatted Xbox drive, even if it's hooked up through a dongle to account for IDE. This also goes for utilities used to read the game discs, which are also burned in FATX (I think), so reading images through your PC's standard optical drive might be a non-starter.

That being said, most alternative OSes for the Xbox support copying straight from the drive. This includes my favorite, XBMC for Xbox, which allows you to copy files through its integrated file manager. Then, after you do that, you can also FTP files - including disc images - back and forth through your home network. Even though the hardware and XBMC for Xbox are over a decade old, the combo is still versatile enough to serve as a nice, yet relatively power-hungry media player.

Hope this helps!

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