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HOW to read your XBOX's EEPROM and GET the HDD KEY
WITHOUT removing the chip Or Modding the XBOX


Posted on Llamma.com 05/09/06 This article was created by UNICRON an may not be reproduced without his permission.  Discuss this article in our Forums 

First my story.....

Hi all, first I would like to say thanks to everyone who helped me with information and suggestions on the forums and to Llamma for the posting of this HOW TO guide. I hope it helps a lot of people who have had the same head ach I have about getting to the secret key to unlock the XBOX's Hard drive.

My problem started when I purchased an XBOX off EBay for a cheap price, I knew in advance it was broken but the promise of fixing it myself was to be a challenge, and boy was it!Not that I couldn't do it after all I do have a paper that says I know how to fix electronics, even if I can't spell very well ;)

My package arrived and I tore into it, first thing taking the Xbox apart.Hum I thought didn't look like much, boy I thought it would be more like a computer motherboard, seeing how everyone says it's a computer basically.Well first thing I did was clean off the old paste on the CPU that cheap thermal paste, and replace it with high quality Arctic Silver paste. Then I checked the board out for any signs of burnt traces or other fixable problems and found none.

My next step was to check out the XBOX to see if she would power up.I plugged it in and with the push of the button it came on, with the flubber screen or whatever it is and booted up to a screen that said "XBOX LIVE UPDATE, Please do not turn off the power until update is finished."Great I thought I'll just plug it up to the network and let it do its thing, WOW this will be an easy fix.NOPE, it came up with a screen saying "XBOX LIVE cannot connect at this time Please try again later", so I click OK to go on, after all I don't need to update XBOX live I'm not going to be on it anyways.

I clicked OK and the screen went back to the XBOX LIVE UPDATER screen again, then it went to the cannot connect screen with the OK button.I click it and it just looped around again and again.Well I thought this is grim, So I called Micro... well you know who and they take four techs and 30 minutes to come up with the answer,throw it away and buy a XBOX 360!!! WHAT!!

Thatís your solution!! So I read around on the forums and find out there is some nice software (homebrew) that can clean the hard drive and restore it to "new", so I am all up for that.

The problem I get though is all of them expect you to have Modded your XBOX or at least have the Hard Drive KEY (PASSWORD) to use them!Well I am in a pickle now seeing how I can't MOD the XBOX cause it won't boot a CD and only goes to that UPDATER screen. Man what to do.Then I find out the XBOX hard drive password is stored in an EEPROM on the board.Thatís when the light went on!Hey if the EEPROM isn't locked and I can read the contents I can get the hard drive password from it myself.Then I find out that the password is encrypted. Crap I think... but wait!I find out that there is a program that will give me the Password if I have the EEPROM.BIN file, (the EEPROM.BIN file is just a dump of the contents of the EEPROM) - which is what I was going to do anyways so that brings me to building the EEPROM READER.

I built the reader and read the contents of my EEPROM in my XBOX and saved it as EEPROM.BIN, what else?Then I used the program I had found and made my first XBOX recover CD.After that I was able to easily unlock my hard drive, and use a file browser to look around on it and fix the corrupted files on the drive (apparently someone had installed a soft mod and then somehow screwed it up pretty good) but I was able to copy the original XBOX backup files to the C drive.Afterward I installed the drive back into the XBOX and powered it on and it came up all happy in the Micro... well Dash like a new XBOX!!†† THEN I found out the DVD drive didn't read...

So I borrowed my buddies XBOX that was modded and FTP into it and copied his C drive and some files off of E drive then REMAKE the XBOX restore CD and wiped my drive clean and restored it with HIS XBOX hard drive files and now I have a happily modded XBOX.... with a broken DVD drive :(†† but I am working on the laser fix, but thatís for another HOW TO....so now that your all sleeping pretty good now I guess I get to the steps to build and fix your XBOX, and the software that I used.



(Without de soldering it)

First you will have to build this simple EEPROM reader. The Original device was much more complicated so I cut out all the stuff not needed by us for this project.

The original device and software that goes with it can be gotten at http://www.lancos.com/prog.html...stop in and say thanks for the program and device!

Here is my easy to build design, it uses off the shelf parts from RADIO SHACK.

You need the following:

1 PAK (5v Zenor Diodes comes 2 to a pack). Catalog #:†† 276-565
2 PAK(s) Four (4) K ohm resistors. Catalog #:271-1321 (I had to make them using 1K resistors in series took 8 to make two 4K's)
1 female 9 pin connector. Catalog #: 276-1428

Wire, I use the following for the jumpers from the EEPROM reader to the XBOX

Blue insulated wrapping wire (30 AWG) Catalog #. 278-503

Of course you need solder, solder iron (lo watt) so as NOT to burn off any traces!!

 Here is mine....   (Llamma 06/25/06 Here is one done by another guy based on this one )


 Here are the plans to build it.


And now that you have it built you need to know what to do with it.First, make sure you XBOX is UNPLUGGED!!!I donít want anyone to get FRIED or fry your XBOX!

Now there are two options, first if your XBOX is dead no power or it is a bad motherboard but you still want to use the drive or if you just want to copy the EEPROM to use on another XBOX then you will need to supply an EXTERNAL 3.3 Volts or 5 Volts to one of two places. Meaning choose one of the following the EEPROM or the LPC pads, shown below.

First you can connect your readers SCL and SDA and GND wires to the spots I list above or in the following pictures, and connect your power supply (3.3V or 5V) to pin 8 of the EEPROM or the spot listed on LPC picture above. (NOTICE: I DIDNíT use the LPC connections when I read mine but according to BUNNIEíS Book and my own observations it should be OK to use. Ė maybe better for those who arenít good solders cause the pins on the EEPROM are VERY small!)

Take a look at the two following pictures, Mind you that if your XBOX DOES have power and works DO NOT ADD A EXTERNAL POWER SUPPLY!!!!!!!!!!

Verson 1.6 XBOX

No matter what XBOX you have the EEPROM is the same design Pins 1,2,3,4 will always be GND and 5,6,7,8 will be 5 = SDA, 6 = SCL, 7 = WDC (We donít Care), 8 = 3.3V or 5V.

Now connect you reader to the points you have decided to use and then connect the reader to your computers serial port. (I am not sure if a USB to Serial port converter will work, I have a KEYSPAN it DOESNíT work, but my Laptopís Serial port works great!)

After making your connections, wait to apply power, we need to setup the reader software next!!

I used a program called PONYPROG (http://www.lancos.com/prog.html) to read my EEPROM with, it is easy to use and well written and the original EEPROM reader was what I cut down to make our EEPROM reader for this project.Install Ponyprog on your computer, I got the old and new 2000 versions, I like the old but the new one is easier to use so I used it in the following examples. Setup is easy just do what the pictures I have say and you should have it installed and ready to read in about 5 Min.



Now after that make sure to Calibrate!!!

Now you can apply power to your READER or XBOX, wait for an ERROR SCREEN to show up on the XBOX by disconnecting the Hard drive (on a working XBOX) if itís one that has no power or broken then apply your EXTERNAL power now.

Now try to do a readÖ. The Icon on the far left looks like a chip with an arrow pointing to a paper.


If you read your EEPROM it should look like this picture, notice that on the PURPLE TEXT line 4 down a bunch of numbers 449836153119 (These arenít real #ís!), this should be YOUR XBOX serial number on the bottom of your XBOX!!! If you had a GOOD read.If not try again and check ALL connections and power.

Now SAVEAS your file and save it as EEPROM.BIN Ŗ- MUST be this name.

Now disconnect external power- or turn off XBOX and UNPLUG. Disconnect all wires from XBOX LPC port or EEPROM.†† Make SURE you know where you saved the EEPROM.BIN file to before you exit Ponyprog program.

Now you can look at your XBOX HDD password with LIVEINFO BETA 3, Search Google just put it in the same folder as your EEPROM.BIN file and run it and click Load EEPROM and it should load up your EEPROM.BIN and give youíre a screen like thisÖ

RIGHT there!In the box that says Unique HDD Key is your Password to the Hard Drive.

Thanks goes out to Yoshihiro and group for this great Program.But WAIT!We arenít totally done yet.

Now you have your Key/Password what to do with it??†† Well now I am going to give you a Quick walk thru of how to make a Backup and Restore CD for working on your Xbox in the future when you want to wipe it clean and start all over again!(Some times we just have to wipe our drives because we put so much junk on them that we need to just clean it all out and start over again, and Iíll show you how!!!)




OK Hereís the




Now that you have your precious XBOX HDD KEY what are you really going to do with it??

You may want to do some of the following things with it and I will show you the easy way to do them!Read on Modders!


1.       Unlock you HDD

2.       Soft MOD your XBOX

3.       Be able to make a backup of your HDD NOW even if it is modded incaseÖÖ (Yeah better do this one folks!)

4.       Just poke around and see what all the fuss is about.


I really canít say how important it is to make a backup of your XBOX hard drive and software.Your sitting there Modding the crap out of your XBOX when all of a sudden XBOX LIVE pops up and wants to download an update,yeah really you did read my story at the top right?Next thing you know your XBOX is stuck in update limbo and youíre screwed!Man o man if only I had listened to UNICRONíS how to guide Iíd be like ok mother Ö!I got your update right here!Pop that CD in and in a few minutes your back up and running.


Really, would I write all this just to jerk you around???And whatís so cool is how easy it is to do!!


First off if your XBOX was NEVER modded to begin with youíre going to be hurtingÖ.Iím sorry but even with access to the HDD itís not easy to mod it, as far as I know at THIS time. So what do you need to do?If you have a buddy who HAS modded his/her XBOX thatís a great starting place for usÖ.


Your buddies XBOXÖ.†† Wow, your buddy has modded his/her XBOX and you want to do it too.

Start by FTP into his/her XBOX, I used a great program called WEBDRIVE on my XP system, it lets you set up ANY FTP site or HTTP site or other computer as a NETWORK drive on YOUR computer!!!It works GREAT with the XBOX, I just click on it as if it was X Drive on my system and open up whatever drive I want and copy software to the XBOX easy!!!†† It has a 30 day trail and then you have to buy it but hey, Itís a lot easier than using FTP software and you donít even think about it NOT being a Drive on your computer cause it works so great!(PS. Send advertising check to UNICRON at P.O. box 556ÖÖ.)LOL


So anyways, FTP into your buddies XBOX, go to C drive and copy the entire C drive contents (all files and folders)to your computer, copy it to a folder called XBOX-Cdrive.Now jump into the Xbox E drive.I used Evox Mod so this is what I did, others will be different so you will have to figure out what you need to get here, but for Evox here is what you need off of E drive.

On Xbox E drive copy the following folders with ALL files in them.


1.       TDATA

2.       UDATA

3.       DASHBOARD

4.       BIOSLD


Copy these folders to your computer in a folder called XBOX-Edrive

Now that is done you can move onto the next step in creating a Backup/Restore CD.


Now you need to download and unzip a program/ file called Xboxhdm_V1.9 this is an easy to use LINUX that has cool easy to use tools for working on your XBOX HDD.After it is unzipped you need to copy the contents (all files and folders) from the folder you made XBOX-Cdrive to a folder in Xboxhdm_V1.9/linux/C†† folder the C folder.


Now copy folders you copied to the folder you made called XBOX-Edrive (the 4 folders) to

Xboxhdm_V1.9/linux/E†† folder the E folder.


Now you need to copy your EEPROM.BIN file you made with the reader for YOUR XBOX to the Xboxhdm_V1.9/linux/EEPROM folder.


Now were cooking!!We now have everything to make a BACKUP/RESTORE CD-ROM Disc!!

(Notice Ė for you who can FTP into your OWN XBOX I would copy the C drive and E drive files I listed above to make your own BACKUP/RESTORE CD-ROM Disc,just copy the EEPROM.BIN file from your XBOX E drive Located in the DASHBOARD Ė BACKUP folder names of course EEPROM.BIN!!)


Now change to the main folder of Xboxhdm_V1.9 - you will see a file called MAKE-ISO-WIN. Bat

This file will create a bootable CD-ROM that we can use to work on our XBOX!

Run this file, afterward a file called LINUX.ISO will appear in this folder.†† Now using your favorite burning software (mine is NERO) load it up and burn you a DISC.

Now for the fun part!!††




You got the Disc with your XBOX BACKUP and HDD KEY/PASSWORD on it.Youíre ready to go! Now turn off your computer. Now unhook all drives except your CD-ROM/DVD drive you need this!!!


Now hook up your XBOX HDD.It needs to have some jumper changed first, look at the back of the drive, see the jumper between the power connector and IDE cable?

Hereís a picture for you who donít followÖ.



Notice the 6 pins between the Power connector on the right and the IDE connector on the left.




Here is a HDD jumper block.Place it on the 2 pins CLOSEST to the IDE Connector to set it as MASTER. See picture below.



Note also that THIS is not how all hard drives are set up with the jumper block. Most hard drives use the MASTER then SLAVE then CABLE SELECT or view CABLE SELECT when no jumpers are present!!Confusing, but when in doubt VIEW the HDD label for a diagram or go to the manufactures web site for the correct jumper settings.The above is just how the XBOX HDD is setup and as far as I know the CABLE SELECT maybe a slave setting when used in a normal computer, but this is what we are going with for now.


Now after setting the XBOX HDD to MASTER connect it to the Primary Master IDE cable and make sure your CD ROM is on itís own IDE cable and set as MASTER.


After that is all done, now boot your computer but hit DEL at boot up to get into BIOS screen, or F1 on some systems, get into the bios and set it to boot sequence CD-ROM - HDD- Floppy whatever as long as CDROM is first boot device.

Now SAVE setup, exit the BIOS so it reboots.

Now make sure the XBOXHDMV_1.9 Disc is in the CD-ROM drive, I will refer to it as the LINUX CD.You may need to reboot do a CNTL-ALT-DEL to reboot after putting the CD in.


The LINUX CD will boot up you'll see a bunch of stuff wait for the menu options.
Pick option 3 (boot LINUX with locking/unlock)
after that boots and your at a command prompt type

Unlock Ėa (hit enter)

this will unlock your XBOX hard drive using the EEPROM.BIN file you copied to the folder before burning the CD. It should say DONE and show the status of your hard drive now if that worked type.


Reboot (hit enter)

the computer reboots; now after that you will be at the LINUX menu again select option (1). Then after some stuff you'll be at the command prompt type this.


XBOXHDM (hit enter -this brings up the main menu)

Select option 1, this will Rebuild your hard drive back to ďOriginalĒ state but with the mod already installed!

It will Format the XBOX HDD then after that you'll be back at the main menu, select option 8 to quit this program. Now type


Reboot (hit enter)

After rebooting the computer select option 3 (boot LINUX with locking/unlocking)
When it gets to a command prompt type

Lock -a (hit enter)

this will lock your HDD so the XBOX wonít freak out!
At the command prompt type


Shutdown (hit enter)

Unhook you XBOX HDD - CHANGE the jumper to the CABLE SELECT position on the XBOX drive and plug it up to your XBOX (AC POWER UNPLUGGED!!!!!)
make sure all cables are hooked up, plug in AC power to XBOX and Bam! The XBOX should boot up like a happy camper!!!

You can then use that disc to make NEW HDD for your XBOX or a buddies (as long as you have HIS EEPROM.BIN file burned to the disc)
you can leave the C and E folder with the software in them the only file you need to change before burning your buddies is his EEPROM.BIN file in the right place.

(Only one EEPROM.BIN file can be in the EPROM folder on the CD)


Well I hope this helps out a lot of people out there!It was a testing time and I worked hard gathering all the info up in one place so if anyone benefits from this feel free to PM me at www.Llamma.com and let me know it helped!


Iíd like to thank my proof readers Janrocks (hugs) and G-man (What up) for helping out!!





That which does not serve me shall become a part of me.



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Microsoft, Xbox, and the Xbox logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp.  Llamma.com and Xbox-Repair.net are in no way affiliated with Microsoft.  All references to Modchips, Linux and any other forms of xbox modifications are done for the purpose of writing and testing interoperable software as allowed under Sect. 1201 (f) Reverse Engineering exception of the DMCA.  This site does not condone the illegal copying of games.  All advice/information is provided as is without warranty to accuracy. Do not consider any comments as legal advice, I am not a lawyer. All references to Mod chips should be taken as hypothetical in nature, actually installing a mod chip may be illegal. In simple terms don't sue me if you mess up on your own or with my help. Make your own decisions do the research determine what is legal and what is not, I take no responsibility for your actions.  
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