The Complete Guide to Producing, Extracting, and Burning XBOX ISO Image Files v0.07
“An ongoing guide to producing, extracting, and burning XBOX ISO Images files… a constant work in progress. The GUIDE is a compilation of personal research & experimentation, posts and replies, and should be considered a constant work in progress.” - HSDEMONZ
Revision 0.07 (01/04/03) Added New GDF Gui Info
Revision: 0.06 (12/12/02) Down-sampling section added
Revision: 0.05 (12/11/02) Beta Mod-chip Patch section added
Revision: 0.04 (12/10/02) Firmware section added
Revision: 0.03 (12/06/02) Added Bad Burns and Troubleshooting sections
Revision: 0.02 (12/01/02) Added 1:1 Backup your Backup section
Revision: 0.01 (11/21/02) Original Guide
The author, and/or the Web Sites which Host this document in no way indorse or condone any type of software piracy or copyright infringement whatsoever. The guide was produced as an exercise of thought… and is only to be considered for educational purposes only. No warranty or guarantee is given or implied. The following is a consensus of thoughts and experiences by a group of individuals, who shall remain nameless. The purpose of this document is to help legitimate owners of XBOX games to back-up their investments.
This document, will detail with step-by-step instructions how to perform the following actions:
1) Produce a perfect working XBOX ISO Back-Up Image
1.1) Produce a perfect working XBOX ISO backup of a Burned ISO Backup 1:1
2) Produce a perfect working Burned Copy of the XBOX ISO Back-Up Image (All Media: CDR, CDRW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW
2.1) Exception #1 over-sized Games.
3) Explains How to Extract the Files and Directory Structure from an acquired XBOX ISO Back-Up Image.
4) BURN to CDR! Misconceptions Dispelled!
5) UDF Burning. (Pros and Cons!)
6) “BAD BURNS” They do happen!
7) Trouble Shooting
8) Firmware for DVD-Burners (hacked or otherwise
9) Beta Mod-chip Patch
For the sake of Argument, this Entire Guide is PC Based. For Win2000 / Win XP users. Linux Rocks! Just not in this Guide! :)
Hardware and Software Tools Required for this Guide:
-XBOX – Modded and Functional. Modchips can be found at the following Online Retailers: Easybuy2000, Genomods (author doesn’t endorse any of these sites.. and only makes the pointers available as an option.) and Developers / Manufacturers: Xodus-chip, X-Ecuter (Team X-Ecuter Rocks!)
-ISO Image Mounting Software. Daemon Tools, or most any program that will mount ISO Image formats.
-XBOX ISO Image Builder Software. GDFIMAGE and/or ISOMAKER 1.21 or Higher. These are the recommended tools. No direct pointer will be given, as GDFIMAGE is a proprietary Microsoft XBOX Iso Premastering tool, included in the XBOX SDK/XDK. ISOMAKER, is actually a Front-End + GDFIMAGE. You can find both on IRC and in the Newsgroups. IsoMaker’s Author can be contacted at CDRSKULL / X-FORUMS
-XBOX ISO Image Extraction Software. XDFSExtract v0.5a or newer (Recommended) Developed and/or released by IPS/Team PS2Ownz. No pointer given.
-XBOX Replacement Dashboards. EVOLUTION X dashboard is the most useful, stable and feature complete replacement for the stock MS Dashboard. It is actually a requirement for many steps in this Guide. Evolution X Dashboard (EVOX Dash) was produced with SDK/XDK by Team EVOX. No Pointers given.
- Some XBOX Specific Programs: XBCOPY, BOXplorer.
*XISO 0.71 – 1.10 and newer and XBOX Iso Toolkit Release 1.1 and newer will be mentioned, and briefly detailed. However, NEITHER of these tools are recommended, as both are Buggy, and may produce Bad Images, or Bad File Extractions. (Update: XISO is less buggy now than in the past.. but some OLD issues are still present… and therefore.. this tool is still NOT recommended! The author with version 1.00 has added MODE1 2048 bytes/sector burning to the program, instead of fixing bugs! Use at your own risk!)
ISO – What is it? ISO is an file extension, used to denote a single Binary file primarily used to backup the entire contents of a Floppy Disk, HD, CD or DVD disk. Name after the Industry Standards Organization who was/is responsible for produce and maintaining specs on standards for industry. I will use it throughout to denote both proper and improper XBOX Image backup.
Section 1: Producing a perfect working XBOX ISO Back-Up Image.
Assuming you have acquired all of the tools necessary, producing a perfect working back-up image of almost any XBOX Game is easy. (Only exception is BURNING an Image that is over 4.7 GB, which will be covered later) However, you will need to do a little work upfront. You will need a copy of EVOLUTION X Dashboard Installed on the XBOX Hard Drive before we can continue. I won’t waste space here boring you with the install setup, especially when a perfectly good guide written by Xantium of Xbox-Scene can be found here: Evolution X DashBoard Setup. Basic networking is also needed… follow this guide to Connect the XBOX with your PC: Basic Networking Using EvolutionX if you are having problems. Getting Evolution X onto the XBOX assumes you have had at least some success using some method of burning to get a copy on a disk that would boot the XBOX. If you have a copy of Evolution X in ISO form, but don’t know how to burn it yet, jump ahead to BURNING! Then hope back here.!
With the Networking properly set up on Both the XBOX Evolution X Dashboard, and the PC, you are now ready to start backup-up! With Evolution X Pre-Installed on the XBOX HD already, boot (turn on) the XBOX with no DISC. Once you see the familiar EvoX Dashboard, place a RETAIL XBOX GAME or Previously Burned Backup in the drive. Wait for EvoX Dash to report “GAME”. (Default EvoX installs will show this… customized Skins may not)
Start your copy of FLASH FXP. For the sake of this Guide FLASH FXP will be the FTP Program of choice, however, almost any will do. You’ll need to either setup a SITE, or use the Quick Connection Options, to connect to the XBOX.
Click on SITES, then SITE MANAGER (F4).
From here, you can create a new SITE using the New Site Button at the bottom left. Enter MY XBOX or whatever you like…
…enter the IP of the XBOX (you should know this from EvoX Dashboard setup), and setup the User Name: XBOX and Password: XBOX (assuming you haven’t changed either). Port 21 should be set (default). Click Apply. Next click the OPTIONS Tab, and ensure that “USE PASSIVE MODE” is left UNCHECKED.
All other settings can be left at defaults, although changing them will have no adverse effects. Now click APPLY and CONNECT.
In FlashFxp, you will see 7 folders in the right panel. Marked C D E F X Y Z. The DVD Drive of the XBOX is Drive D.
Double-Click on the D Folder. You will now see a Directory listing of the Game Title in that drive. The number of Files and Folders doesn’t matter.
Some games have all of the files (sometimes hundreds) in the ROOT of the Disc, while others have a hierarchal organization using folders. Regardless, you will want set up a DIR on your PC to receive these files. I’d recommend x:\XBOXGAME, where “x” is a Hard drive on your PC. We’ll use C:\XBOXGAME as an example. In the left panel, select the C Drive…
Right-Click, and choose MAKE FOLDER.
Name it XBOXGAME. Double-Click on the new folder called XBOXGAME.
It will appear empty. Now select “DRAG” all of the files and folders from the XBOX “D” Folder to the PC “c:\XBOXGAME” Folder. This is the DIRECT RIP FTP METHOD#1.
This may take 1-10 minutes depending on the speed of your PC Network card, and other issues like current load on the PC, other Network activities, etc. It isn’t uncommon to see speeds of 5000+ KBps or higher on larger files. When it is complete, you will have a complete FILE for FILE backup of all GAME FILES from the XBOX Game disc. (Note: FILE for FILE is currently the only working method of copying XBOX Game Discs, as the Original Retail Disks are only partially readable in the PC. If interested, check here on the XBOX DVD format, and current findings.)
Optionally, you can verify the contents of c:\XBOXGAME against the original manually, file for file. I prefer to do 2 more RIP methods, and compare the contents from all three. You can however skip this, and jump to CLOSE FLASHFXP.
CLOSE FLASHFXP. Now that we have a known GOOD Rip of the game (you verified right?) we can now proceed to the production of the Perfect ISO for burning. (note: Don’t call it XISO’S… it causes confusion, simply call it ISO, or GDF’ed ISO, or XDFS ISO)
You will now need to open a DOS BOX or COMMAND LINE PROMPT.
For Windows 9x users… click on START, and type COMMAND.COM.
For Windows 2000 / XP users… click on START, and type CMD.EXE.
Run your copy of GDFIMAGE, execute it from the command line. You’ll see the following:
To produce the Proper XDFS ISO, what I call a GDF’ed ISO, we’ll use the following syntax:
GDFimage c:\XBOXGAME c:\XBOXGDF.ISO
Alternatively, and preferably, you can use a popular Front-End for GDFimage call ISOMAKER 1.1 / 1.21 or newer. It uses a nice simple Windows GUI to point to the “sourceroot” and “targetfile” options. It will help prevent mistakes.
Click on ISOMAKER.EXE. In the Window that opens, choose the “First” Window, and point it to the location of your RIPPED files… c:\XBOXGAME. In the “Second” Window, select where you want the GDF’ed ISO to go. In our case “C”.
In the blank at the bottom, enter in the name you want to call it. Type XBOXGDF.ISO and click MAKE. It will then launch the Command Line Utility GDFimage, and you will see it building the folder and file structure. When it “disappears” it is done!
This will produce a file, called XBOXGDF.ISO, in the root of your PC’s “C” Drive. This will take from 2-10 minutes. When finished, you will now be the Proud Owner of a perfect working GDF’ed ISO for Burning to CDRW, and all the DVD Types of blanks. CDR Covered later
Available January 4, 2003.. a new GUI Front-End for Microsoft XBOX Game Disk Premastering Utility program called GAME DISK FORMAT Image GUI v1.0 by cryogen1.interfree.it. This program has all of the same functionality of XBOX ISO IMAGE MAKER / ISOMAKER 1.21, with one exception, it can produce GDF’d .ISO files with LONGER filenames. ISOMAKER is limited to 8.3 format. (Edit: ISOMAKER… even at version 2.0.. is STILL limited to 8.3 naming convention.)
Download Source #1: http://cryogen1.interfree.it/DOWNLOAD/GDFGUI/GDFGUI.EXE
Download Source #2: http://downloads.xbox-scene.net/Templates/xbox/devtools/GDFImageGUI.rar
If you download from Source #1, you will have an Auto-Installer Window pop up that looks like the following:
You can select the default location, or you can click on the “BROWSE” button to select another director to place the new EXECUTABLE. Click INSTALL Button…
(If your downloaded from source #2, or anywhere else that may have RAR or ZIP compressed the file simply drag the files and folders onto your desktop or another suitable place.)
An executable ICON is produced called GDFImage GUI.exe is produced, and a holding folder for GDFIMAGE. Note: you must supply the GDFIMAGE.EXE tool yourself.
Now that it is installed, click on GDFImageGui.EXE…
Step 1/2: Browse your way to the directory that has the RIPPED files that comprise your XBOX Game Backup! In our earlier example, we used C:\XBOXGAME.
Step 2/2: Select a location for your new GDF’d ISO file. You can use the browse button to select a drive and folder if the DEFAULT is not wished!
Click on CONVERT to continue… this process will take from 10 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the speed of your system, size and speed of your PC Hard Drives, and other variables.
If you really can’t find GDFIMAGE or ISOMAKER, and want to use XISO to BUILD an ISO (not recommended) use this older guide XISO Build ISO Guide
It has been a common misconception that a PROPERLY BURNED ISO BACKUP could only be duplicated by placing the existing BACKUP in the XBOX, and using FTP to Draw the contents to the PC, and REBUILD using recommended methods. This is simply not so.
UDF Method has long held the advantage of being the only way to burn an XBOX Backup that will RE-READ in a PC. This is still TRUE… in UDF you have full READ access to the files, to do with as you wish (such as make a duplicate backup). We know better now!
It is possible to use only the PC, to read DVD and CD’s burned in GDF ISO, XISO ISO, and UDF (all flavours) using ONLY a PC. This would allow you to make a secondary backup from the first backup… (a copy from a copy) or to extract files from the disk for future manipulation.
In the past… MY COMPUTER would scream…
One of these ERROR MESSAGES…and that would be enough to keep us from duping our backups! Some assumed since we saw the same error messages with RETAIL XBOX Disks, the same Read Issues would apply to our backup!
It is actually a fairly EASY process to duplicate your existing backup without the use of your XBOX. The Process is essentially a 1:1 process. (1:1 RecordNowMax will Read in RAW Mode, and Write in Raw ISO Mode)
You will need RecordNow Max (others may work… untested for this feature)
Place the XBOX Burned Backup in the PC, in one or your DVD readers. Then open RecordNow Max (or earlier versions), and RIGHT-CLICK on the drive that contains the BACKUP DISK
And Select EXTRACT TRACKS… (ISO/WAV/MP3). In the next Window, you will see the drive properties open, and details about the backup! Click on 01 – ZONE. (for DVD) or 01 – Data track One (for CDR) Then Select a Path, as you will need to tell RecordNow Max where to put your new ISO file.(make sure the place you send the new ISO is big enough!)
Read Speed… well… set it to MAX. If you have problems… then by all means drop it. I’ve done plenty of Re-RIPs, using MAX speed setting, and have had No Problems. When you are ready… CLICK EXTRACT Button…
You will now see that the Bottom part of that window is showing the STATUS of the track EXTRACTION
This will take a few minutes! Enjoy a coffee! Do NOT be surprised if it doesn’t READ (RIP) at the full rated speed of your PC DVD drive. It’ll get faster toward the end of the disk, unless of course your have marred or scratched the disk!
When done... close RecordNow Max, remove the BACKUP DISK from the PC. You now have a Perfect copy of the Backup Disk!
This works for DVD-R, DVD-RW, CDR, CDRW. There is no reason it wouldn’t also work with DVD+R and DVD+RW. From here... you can simply re-burn with almost any ISO burning program! Or, you can play around with the Files, by using any number of file extractors... the best being XDFSExtractor!
Section 2. Produce a perfect working Burned Copy of the XBOX ISO Back-Up Image (All Media: CDRW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW)
So… now that you have a perfect working GDF’ed ISO, you want to Burn it to CDRW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW. This part is Pretty Easy, and chances are the software came with your burner.
Open RecordNow Max. Disable the Start-Up Wizard. We won’t use that method. Click on the IMAGE button.
Click on the ADD FILE button. In the Window that appears, Navigate to the location of your GDF’ed ISO…
in our example c:\ . In File Type, Scroll from Global-Image to Image [*.iso], and select your ISO file. Then click OPEN.
You are bounced back to the main Windows again. In the Drive Window Panel to the left, Double-Click on your Burner. This will place a RED arrow pointing to that drive indicating Burner Selected.
The Window on the right has some options… set copies for 1 (or more), Speed at 1x or higher for DVD types (preferably 1x to start). Set any speed for CDRW.
Click on the Options Button, the DISC IMAGE OPTIONS window will pop up.
Make sure the RECORDING TYPE is set to Disc at Once (DAO), Closed, and that MODE is set to CD MODE1 (Blocking 2048) – DVD. Optionally, place a check on the POST-GAP option. Click OK to return to main window. Click the RED Button to start Recording.
RecordNow gives an optional 5 second count-down gives you time to abort if necessary. Time to burn is determined by the X speed of the Blanks and the Burner, plus the current load while burning. Try to let DVD burning run dedicated.
When Finished, Close STOMP’s RecordNow Max, and Enjoy your XBOX Backup in the XBOX.
If you got this far, but didn’t use a GDF’ed ISO image as source, but instead used an XISO or XBOXIsoTool produced ISO, or a downloaded ISO from the Internet / IRC / Newsgroups, you may still have a successful burn. However, RecordNow Max is more or less burning the image blind, and will report a successful burn regardless. You may only find out about potential image problems once you start playing. Worst case scenario... you discover problems the day when you need to make another backup from the backup.
If you Don’t have RecordNow Max, and must use NERO, follow Xantium’s Guide to Burning Iso's with NERO until I get around to including burning methods for NERO 126.96.36.199 and higher.
Section 2.1 Exception #1 over-sized Games.
Some XBOX Games can NOT be backed up as is to a single disk. Games that exceed 4.7Gb (DVD-R) size will not fit on a single disk. You have a few options though.
1) You can take the files, and spread them across 2 disks! The games will usually not be playable using this method, but you will be able to use XBCOPY to read both Disks to the XBOX HD, where you can rebuild the directory tree, and play the title just fine! (As of this writing, SHENMU2 and Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance fall into this category. The 2 disks can be burned using GDF’ed ISO format, or UDF. It doesn’t matter cause in the end this is only an archive... and not an executable (playable) set of disks.
2) You can Max Compress the Source Image, in which case it will be USUALLY small enough to fit on a single DVD blank. This works, but you will need a PC to decompress the Archive, and then FTP back to the XBOX.. UDF may be preferred for this situation.
3) Tearing out files (commonly called RIPPING or RAPING) like DEMOES, Down-sampling Movies and Audio, and removing XBOX Online Directory. What you will be left with is hopefully playable from the burned disk. This method will likely require Trial and Error to get a working copy. UDF / GDF both are both acceptable methods.
Release groups have release a functioning backup of Genma Onimusha that has had 2 movies either downsampled or removed altogether, allowing it to FIT a DVD-R and still be fully playable.
Shenmu 2 is playable currently only from the Hard drive of the XBOX. However… a release group may release full RIP that have something removed or downsampled.
Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance... appears to be simply too big to fit. Best bet is to split the files onto 2 DVD-R disks... then later XBCOPY or BOXplorer them back to the XBOX where they can be played an enjoyed.
I’m sure we’ll see many more titles soon that will exceed the size of current DVD-R.
Section 3. Explains How to Extract the Files and Directory Structure from an acquired XBOX ISO Back-Up Image
So… someone has given you an ISO. Or you felt adventurous, and found out how to find XBOX games on the Internet / IRC / Newsgroups. So you have this ISO (likely it was RAR compressed) For a Quick Primer on Newsgroup based XBOX Backup, read Lumbrax’ Post HERE. We’ll call our example iso NOTGDF.ISO.
Well… here is your first problem... you have no idea what the other guy used to produce the ISO files. He could have used XISO, XBOXIsoTool, WinRar, Adaptec Creator, WinIso, IsoBuster, etc. They all produce ISO files. Some better than others... but NONE of them do so in the same manner as GDFImage or Isomaker (or newer GDFIMAGEGUI)! What you will need to do, is use XDFS Extractor v0.5a or newer, to pull the Files and Directories out of the acquired ISO.
I’ll steal some instructions now from IPS/Team PS2Ownz who developed XDFSExtract.
Usage: XDFSExtract <iso file> [extract path]
So… we’ll make a folder/Directory to dump it to. C:\OPENISO
We’ll need to open a Command Prompt, so we can use XDFSExtractor. Click START, Run, and type CMD (win2000/XP) or COMMAND (Most others) Our command, to properly extract the downloaded NOTGDF.ISO to C:\OPENISO would be…
XDFSExtract NOTGDF.ISO c:\OPENISO
After a few minutes, you will have the best possible version of extracted files from this source ISO. However, because of what Tool may have been used to produce this acquired ISO, you won’t know it it’ll ever be 100% reliable.
By using XDFSExtractor, you have done your best in a bad situation.
If you find that XDFSExtractor cannot pull files out... and gives an Error… you will be left with no choice but to use one of the other Tools like <gulp> XISO, XBOXIsoTool, WinRar, Adaptec Creator, WinIso, IsoBuster, etc.
An Extraction error can also occur, if you are using Fat32 or older fats. This is more of a problem with BUILDING ISO than with EXTRACTING from and ISO.
If you are unable to find XDFSExtractor, and must use XISO (not recommended) use the Xantium's XISO Extraction Guide.
Section 4. Burning to CDR: Misconceptions Dispelled!
In the scene, it is either widely accepted that XBOX cannot read CDR at all, or does so unreliably. Many make broad statements like “All Thompson Drives can’t Read CDR, and only a rare handful of Phillips can read CDR, but CDR is still a bad idea because it is likely too slow, or unstable and error-prone”
That is not my experience. 70% of all units I have come in contact with CAN and DO read CDR burns fine, regardless of DRIVE Installed. Is the XBOX DVD Drive picky? YUP! Will it Run all Media from all Manufacturers... NOPE! However, many units will read a Properly Burned CDR, they just need to be burned in a different method than that used for ALL other media. Do I guarantee that this will work? NOPE! But you have nothing to lose... except a a cheap CDR blank or two.
The following Method for Burning working CDR, is loosely based on the guide produced by Mark “gAm3 Fr3aQu3” of PrecisionMods.com. His Guide found here promises to work on all XBOX with Phillips Drives installed. I make no such promise. I’ll summarize his method, then show you mine! Both Work... but I prefer mine! Also, he makes the assumption that you have mastered burning to CDRW, and that you now want to burn CDRW to CDR. I assume you just want to burn straight to CDR.
Marks PRECISIONMODS Method: Load CDRW in in PC, use CDRWIN with specific settings, and it creates a BIN/CUE file combination. Load Fireburner, burn BIN/CUE using specific settings. Enjoy!
I’ll assume you’ve now mastered SECTION 1: Section 1: Producing a perfect working XBOX ISO Back-Up Image. Well… we will now take that image (one small enough to fit on an 74-99 Minute CDR) and produce a new CDR Burning Image. You will need to have already installed DAEMON-TOOLS, or another quality IMAGE Mounting tool. Mount your XBOXGDF.ISO image using Daemon.
(Do not be surprised if MY COMPUTER doesn’t show it mounted, or give you access to it, as long as DAEMON says it is loaded you are fine!)
Once it is Mounted with Daemon, you will need a recent version of CLONE CD, preferably v4.0 or higher.
With loaded CLONE CD, Click on the READ TO IMAGE FILE button. Select your CD Reader (in this case the DAEMON drive).
Click Next, then Click Data CD,
…then click Next.
Then, make sure you have Create “CUE-SHEET” checked.
Click OK or Next. Now sit and wait….
…while it produces the new CDR Image Files.
When complete, you will have 4 new files, XBOXGDF.CCD, XBOXGDF.SUB, XBOXGDF.IMG, and XBOXGDF.CUE.
Double-Click on XBOXGDF.CUE. If Fireburner is already installed, it will open, showing FIREBURNER – STATUS…
You will see that it is loaded as TRACK#1, MODE1/2352. Check the Total Time… as long as it shows a time here that will fit on the CDR you are using, you will have no problems.
Click on the Options Menu…
…Select your Burning Device by scrolling down.
Then select the Recording Options TAB. Under Recording Method, only have DISK-AT-ONCE 96 checked. (Disk-At-Once 16 untested for this purpose) Under Mutli-session, only have CLOSE CD checked. Under OTHER… make sure AUTOCORRECT SUB-CHANNEL and AUTOCORRECT EDC/ECC is checked. I recommend that you enable BurnProof if you have it! Click OK, and return to the main Fireburner Window.
Place a BLANK CDR in the Burner… wait for it to settle. Click the CREATE CD MENU, a confirmation box appear, click Yes. The Burn process has started. CDR burning will take from 3-45 minutes for a full CDR, depending on the Burner X rating. (On my Plextor 48x24x48xA… a 700MB CDR take less than 3 minutes) When Done, click OK, close FIREBURNER, and ENJOY your CDR BACKUP in your XBOX.
Section 5. UDF Burning. (Pros and Cons!)
UDF – What is it? A specification that describes the Universal Disk Format file system defined by OSTA. This specification, fully compliant with the ISO 13346 standard, is intended for developers who intend to implement UDF to enable file interchange among different operating systems. Specifications for this format are available here. For the Purpose of this Guide, UDF will be used to discuss an alternative to ISO burning.
UDF Burning can be an excellent method of Burning DVD media. The Disk that results from UDF Data Burning is Readable on almost all modern computers and OS’s, including PC’s, MACs, and Alternative OS’s like Linux. UDF is also a readable option for XBOX Burning, and a viable alternative. UDF however, has some pros and cons which should be considered before opting to burn with it.
Pros: It’s Simple! Easy! Quick! And almost all DVD burning software can Burn it. You can also take your XBOX UDF Burn, and do future 1:1 copies using only a PC equipped with a DVD Burner. This alone makes it valuable as an Archival Backup Format.
Cons: UDF has a number of drawbacks… most notably it is SOMETIMES slower to boot than a properly prepared GDF’ed ISO Burn. The Physical layout of files and directories differs enough that some games don’t just Boot slower, they has seek issues as well. Movies may have a tendency to skip and unexpectedly pixelate, the drive may thrash expecting files to be in one place, and having to look elsewhere. Best example is Game Titles released by SEGA, having far too many files in the root. SEGA title in UDF Burn exhibit some of the worst load times, especially when compared to properly prepared GDF’ed ISO Burns.
SCIENCE-FICTION: UDF XBOX Burns are as GOOD or BETTER than GDF ISO produced Burns.
SCIENCE-FACT: UDF XBOX Burns run… 90+ percent of the time fine... with plenty of slowdowns, thrashing, and other unexpected hiccups.
A recent users experience:
Mad_Catz Posted: Nov 21 2002, 03:28 AM (DVD/CD Burning)
This is an EXTREME case of UDF’s drawbacks. Others swear by it though!
Still want to Burn with UDF… Here is a simple Primer.
You will need an Extracted Image, preferably one extracted with XDFSExtractor. Open RecordNow Max, and Click on the DATA button at the top. Now Drag the files and folders from your Extraction Directory into the DATA Window of RecordNow Max.
Once that is completed click on the OPTIONS Button.
Set PRE-MASTERING CACHE and FILE DATA and TIME to whatever you like. Larger Cache wouldn’t hurt systems with more than 256MB of RAM. Larger RAM Cache may help your burner to avoid using it’s BurnProof or JustLink or other similar technologies.
For CDRW Burns set RECORDING TYPE to Disk at Once (DAO), Closed. Mode1, with FILE SYSTEM TYPE set to “UDF – Up to 128 in Filename Length, any char, plus 8+3 Bridge”
For DVD Blank Media types set RECORDING TYPE to Track at Once (TAO), Closed or Disk at Once(DAO) Closed Depending on Burner used. FILE SYSTEM TYPE set to “UDF – Up to 128 in Filename Length, any char, plus 8+3 Bridge”
That’s it… you can fill in other fields… with no adverse effects. Click OK to continue. I’d recommend setting Burn Speed to 1x, but if you have faster media… try it. Worse thing that can happen is you produce a shiny new coaster. Select a Recorder by Double-Clicking on a Device in the Left window. Then Click the RED Record Button, sit back and wait!
When finished... you have a brand new UDF Burned XBOX Backup. Now go play that puppy in your XBOX!
Your XBOX was designed to read and play only 2 types of media… RETAIL XBOX GAMES... and RETAIL CD AUDIO. The fact that it reads anything else is a bonus. As mentioned earlier... each XBOX is it’s own beast… with subtle differences.
To make matter even more interesting… a SUCCESSFUL BURN... that may not be readable in an XBOX... may in fact be an EXCELLENT BURN… and still be worth keeping around. With months of testing.. it is my conclusion that “DUDS” that people produce (assuming DEFAULT.XBE is in root of disk) are all “OK” and that XBOX is simply being finicky.
Many people have problems getting SOME
of their burns to read PROPERLY in the XBOX. They may burn dozens of disks, and
find a % of them simply don't read 100% fine in the XBOX.
After even more research.. both personal, and in forums on key XBOX Sites... I investigated further. I have found some interesting facts regarding the readability of apparent DUDS. I was fortunate that I throw out almost nothing!
As an afterthought to the RE-READ / DUPE of DUPE (section 1.1) just added... I found I had more questions. It turns out that MOST "NOT PERFECT" burns... ones that would work “kinda sorta sometimes” were burned JUST FINE. Problem is two fold... quality of blanks, and the tolerance levels of the various XBOX Readers. All of the DUDs I've ever produced, that were iffy but playable, and even some that wouldn't boot in XBOX at all... were all PERFECT Burns by PC standards.
They could all easily... and FLAWLESSLY... be read and REREAD perfectly using RECORDNOW MAX to produce a new WORKING ISO! (*NOTE: ISO produced in this manner by RNM will be BYTE Identical to the original, so if it was originally XISO produced, the new one is XISO'd, and if it was GDF'd, the new one is GDF'd!)
From there... the files can be extracted with listed methods, then safely FTP'd to an XBOX. All games and EVOX duds would play properly 100%.
So... next time you think you have burned a DUD / Coaster.. keep it. It may not be your IDEAL backup... but at least you will be able to send it to the XBOX via FTP and play there!
Worked with ALL Media Blanks! Multiple Brands, multiple original burn techniques!
Before you deem a disk is bad… consider some of the following…
Does the Disk Start Up at all? Many “duds” will not even start up. Reasons range from poor media…(sometimes burned too fast with cracked firmware) to using the wrong method or procedure. I have documented what appears to be the best.. and most reliable methods to burn an XBOX Backup in this guide. If you choose to use one of the other less successful or unadvised methods… then you may see a higher percentage of “DUDS”.
Some won’t start because they are custom compilations placing 2 or more titles on a disk, sometimes using one of many boot menu systems available. A single error, or a single omitted filename can cause an otherwise fine disk to not boot. If you forget to place a DEFAULT.XBE in the root directory or folder of a disk... it will of course NEVER boot (but the disk is fine otherwise) Missing files are responsible for so many dysfunctional burns. May forget to compare source disks with files on the PC… to determine if they have everything... and if the files are BYTE for BYTE comparable!
In the case of a wrongfully placed DEFAULT.XBE file… simply use a navigation tool like BOXplorer to navigate to the actual position of the DEFAULT.XBE file, and execute it from the position you find it. Usually... this will work fine! Of course... you will need Evolution X Dashboard / BOXplorer installed on the XBOX HD.
Other reasons for Disks not booting period are the differences in NTSC/PAL game differences. There are actually 3 systems used…
PAL – Europe, Australia, and a few Asian / African Countries.
NTSC / U is used in North America.
NTSC / J is used primarily in Japan, and some other Asian Countries
(Some may support more than one system... but none to my knowledge)
Most new TV’s handles all 3 systems perfectly fine… with no timing or display issues whatsoever.
Some games may actually be booting fine on your XBOX... but you have a TV that does not support the particular method (NTSC/PAL) that the game uses. Variations on this problem include games that do start up... but appear to be B&W… or rolling images, or game-play and sound timing issues. All of these problems are related to the difference in the 2 (kinda 3) broadcast standards. Some Games will Boot fine... but one may simply play faster than the other. A quick fix that solves many of these NTSC / PAL problems (but not all) is the VIDEO MOD SELECTOR v2. This program is widely available in Newsgroups and in some IRC channels. With this tool... it sets the XBOX to run in the other countries mode. This fixes some problems... but not all. It is still a handy tool to acquire.
The dread “DIRTY DISK” error… so many reasons for this popping up on a backup… usually though... it is due to a poor burn, on a poor quality media. We all love to burn on the CHEAPEST stuff available… but if it gives you grief... you are not saving anything! Sometimes… you do get what you pay for!
There has been a lot of discussions about FIRMWARE. Firmware... is a small program residing physically in a device, in a memory chip (sometimes re-writable). It usually controls how your hardware will operate, and determines under what conditions it will function properly.
Many manufacturers can correct production and design flaws using this software, in the form of a firmware upgrade. Usually downloadable from the net… it can be run from a bootable floppy disk (sometimes in windows). Recent firmware upgrades officially released from DVD Burner manufacturers include features like increased reliability with CHEAPER media, increases in write speed, and bug fixes.
However… some of these FIXES can make Media that used to work for you just fine no longer burn properly. In these cases... you may actually need to downgrade to regain your former functionality.
You can also consider using what is called a cracked or hacked firmware. These are found on many WEB SITES… are simply the same firmware releases, altered in such a way to enable or disable key features wanted by the public.
Some Hacked Firmware allows for example all 1X media to be burned successfully at HIGHER speeds like 2x and up. Having used some of these myself… with incredible success… I recommend at least trying one out!
The following... are pointers to some official and cracked firmware sites. Some of these sites may have firmware for other devices you own too. Again... use at your own risk.
Simply one of the best forums on Firmware Discussions.
Since my original posts regarding FIRMWARE options... I've been doing a dedicated test of a particular firmware hack for the PIONEER DVR-A04 (A04/104).
The firmware used was...
v1.33 (RPC-1 + 2x for all) Enable any media to burn @ 2x on DVR-A04/104
Links to same... and other firmware... http://firmwares.co.uk/
Blanks used for testing...
unbrabded White-Top (100)
00 42 00 00 01 40 C1 FD 9E D8 50 00 02 98 0C 13 .B...@....P.....
76 78 80 00 03 50 52 49 4E 43 4F 00 04 00 01 00 VX...PRINCO.....
00 00 00 00 05 88 80 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 ................
Princo BULKPAQ GEN 1 (50)
00 42 00 00 01 40 C1 FD 9E D8 50 00 02 98 0C 13 .B...@....P.....
76 78 80 00 03 50 52 49 4E 43 4F 00 04 00 00 00 VX...PRINCO.....
00 00 00 00 05 88 80 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 ................
Princo DVD-R 4.7 GB (white branded top) (50)
00 42 00 00 01 40 C1 FD 9E D8 50 00 02 7A 0C 15 .B...@....P..Z..
77 78 90 00 03 54 44 4B 47 30 31 00 04 30 30 30 WX...TDKG01..000
30 64 39 00 05 CC C0 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 0D9.............
OPTODISC BLUE DISK RETAIL 1x (50)
00 42 00 00 01 40 C1 FD 9E D8 50 00 02 7A 0C 15 .B...@....P..Z..
77 78 90 00 03 4F 50 54 4F 44 49 00 04 53 43 00 WX...OPTODI..SC.
00 00 00 00 05 CC C0 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 ................
I've been burning exclusively XBOX Backups using the Firmware 1.33-2x4ALL for weeks now.
My burns have consisted of making GDF'd ISO (following techniques described in this guide, and burning them with RecordNow Max v4.50 by STOMP, INC/Veritas using Build/PxEngine 450b20b.358 and Ahead Nero v188.8.131.52. For the sake of shits and giggles about 10 percent of all of these burns were done in UDF Data mode.
RecordNow Max was used 70% of the time... as it is my FAV at the moment. New Nero is winning back some users.
I've been burning 2x speeds on all of the above 1x media, with 11 out of 250 duds! That's around a 4% failure rate. I attribute this failure to the fact that Princo are generally the bottom of the barrel... and expect some to fail regardless of attempted burning speed!
Burning them was only half the test. I then loaded and played them (of course not in their entirety). Once that worked... I moved onto my XBCOPY / BOXPLORER /FLASHFTP read techniques for complete verification of files. File comparisons were made.
I can say that now, after burning 250 DVD-R using the A04 and the 2x4all 1.33 firmware, I can safely say I'm hooked. DVD burning time cut in half!
What I did NOT test... was DVD Movie Burning. Yes.. I burn 6 or 7 DVD movies, and all worked fine in my set up players. But 6 or 7 burns is hardly conclusive. I also did NOT test DVD-RW re-write burns. I have no interest in DVD-RW at the moment!
Beta Enigma / Extender Mod Chip users… who do there own backups, may need to pre-patch some backups to get them to work properly with their particular chip. The problem is the way ENIGMAH’s deal with the Media Types Flag properly. Patching fixes these problems (most of the time)... allowing backups to be burned and fully playable.
There is a universal patch, by ADR.UK.COM ADR Xbox Beta Mod Patcher 1.21 Purpose : Fix RETAIL releases to work on Engimah-X / X-Tender 1.0 Beta Mods. Updated for new media checks. New improved file handling routines for games that contain a lot of files on root directory (2000+).
You can find some individual game patch on ADR.UK.COM here X-Box Individual Game Patches
If you feel adventurous.. you can try HEXEDITing your backup yourself… (thanks to Xeero of X-S)
Change byte offset 214-217 from 02 00 00 00 to FF FF FF FF
This Offset may have changed in newer titles... so it may no longer be considered a universal method of patching your backups!
Also... you may need the PPF program called PPF Version 3.0 Full Distribution
Update: (thanks IPS) betamodpatcher v0.2 is updated to search the xbe for the media types flag so its not a completely blind patch of the offset and will work for some of the newer xbe's where the offset changed.
Many of you would like to know how to downsample audio and video files included on some of your retail games, so that they can fit as either CDR sized backups, or possibly as multi-game DVD-R backups. I don’t have the expertise to instruct on this matter… but will included pointers to files used, common web references, and any instructions I run into.
.BIK BINK Video is a common video tool used today for both PC, and XBOX video game development. They were nice enough to give us everything we need to play with their .BIK format files. Download : BINK Video Rad Game Tools
.SFD files can also be manipulated using instructions found on InternetConvoy (thanks AussieHack)
.XMV files.. clearly a version of Windows Media Video 2 format… No direct editor currenly exists… however.. the format is well documented by
File Type : XMV
Duration : 73773 ms
Packet Size : 24576 byte
Stream Count : 2
Type : Audio
Format : ADPCM
Channel Count : 2
Samples Per Second: 44100
Bits Per Sample : 4
Type : Video
Format : WMV2
Size : 320 x 240
A tool from the XDK called XMVTOOL.EXE produces .XMV Files
Another huge quote from
-d <file name> - dumps the information about the file
-s - dump statistics about the resulting .XMV file
-p <size> - set the packet size in K, from 4-512 in multiples of 4
-t <time> - set the mimimum length of a packet in milliseconds
-i <file name> - add all streams from the input file to the .XMV
-ic <file name> - add and compress all streams from the input file
-v <file name> - add only the video stream from the file
-a <file name> - input only the first audio stream from the file
-ac <file name> - input and compress the first audio stream from the file
-o <file name> - name of the .xmv file to create
-d must be the only option on the command line. The difference between
-s and -d is that -s dumps the information about the .XMV file that would
be produced while -d shows information about the specific file.
Only one of -t or -p may be specified. Specifying neither defaults to a
minimum packet time of 100 ms.
-i, -v and -a can be used to build an XMV file out of multiple video and
audio files. Specifying more than one video stream will result in an
error. Multiple audio streams can be specified and they will be stored in
the XMV file in the same order that they appeared on the command line.
-ic and -ac will store compress the audio streams using ADPCM compression
and store it in the XMV file. These switches have no effect on the video
stream which will always be compressed.
Only one output file may be specified via -o. If the file is not defined
then the tool will display statistics about the file it would have created.
(i.e. no -o will automatically imply -s.)
This tool can import audio and video data from .XMV, .WMV, .WMA, .AVI and
.WAV files. Importing audio data from .WMV and .WMA files is currently
very slow and should be avoided if possible. The video can only be
imported from .WMV files created with the WMV8 video encoder.
Greets and Appreciation
There are a lot of people I’d like to thank, because without you guys we wouldn’t be here today enjoying the fruits of our collective labours.
Bunnie! Your MIT research opened the Door a crack.. just enough to let the light in.
Project X – Your Massive Flood took the scene by storm… hell.. without the original 50 PX releases…no one would have bother making the modchip in the first place.
And speaking of Modchips… ENIGMAH, XTender, Team X-ecutor. Without which none of this could happen.
EVOLUTION X Dashboard Team / Team X-ecutor: Dashboards.. BIOS cracks… Video Mode Selectors, Utils like In Game Reset. You guys ROCK!
XBOXHACKER, XBOX-SCENE, XBOXMOD08 and too many others who spread the word.
SiliconIce, Xantium, BenJeremy, NOObvin, CDRSkull and others too numerous to list here.
… and last but not least all of the un-named souls who tried the different methods of CDR, and provided Valuable feedback in the development of the CDR portion of this Guide.
Versions of this guide are available on leading XBOX web sites, either in GUIDE/TUTORIAL sections.. or directly in their forums!
It is my intention to make this guide available on a WEEKLY BASIS in ALT.BINARIES.CD.IMAGE.XBOX, and other relevant XBOX newsgroups.