How to Softmod Your Xbox Using XboxHDM (Ndure)


VIP Member
VIP Member
Dec 27, 2005
Reaction score
How to Softmod Your Xbox Using XboxHDM (Ndure)
This tutorial was written by Textbook and uses tools that Textbook did not make. He takes no credit for any of these, and gives full credit to the authors. All Textbook did was re-write the method involved in softmodding the Xbox using certain tools. This method would not be possible if we didn’t have many dedicated people in the Xbox-Scene. Although there are many people who helped this method become possible, the big names stand out and I feel they need to be credited. A huge thanks is given to ldots, kingroach, DaddyJ, eh/ndure protagonist, Cio, Krayzie, angerwound, pedros pad, devz3ro, and any other softmod people I missed. Without them, this would not be possible.

First of all, it is HIGHLY recommended that you read the following threads:

The Art of Hotswapping (DaddyJ)

XboxHDM For Dummies (Kingroach)

**NOTE – The creator of this tutorial, Textbook, nor or any of its members are responsible for any damage that may be caused while attempting anything in this tutorial. If you attempt in doing this, you do so at your own risk. If something gets broken, it’s only your own fault and you should not blame anybody. Please notice that according to ANSI standards, hotswapping is not considered safe and is therefore only recommended if you can’t find another way to modify your Xbox. For more information on the technical details and safety of hotswapping, please DaddyJ's FAQ titled "The Art of Hotswapping" **

Alright, let's get started...

Note: It is recommended to update your dashboard to MS Dash version 5960. While this may not be necessary for everybody, this tutorial will not work for people who have the 4034 dash. To avoid any and all problems, upgrading the dash to 5960 is highly recommended because nobody should have problems if they are running that dashboard. This softmod works perfectly with the 5960 dashboard version.

To update your dashboard, you can use any newer (post-Halo 2) retail Xbox LIVE game. You don't have to have Xbox LIVE, you don't have to have an internet connection, and you don't even have to have a network cable plugged into the Xbox. Just load up Halo 2 or any game made after that, select Xbox LIVE, and it will proceed to upgrade your Xbox dashboard.

Kernel/Dashboard Version

The first thing you need to do is find your current retail Xbox's Kernel and Dashboard version. To do this, boot up to the MS Dashboard, go to Settings, and the System Info. After the scrolling text, you should see this at the bottom.


XXXX is the Xbox kernel version and YYYY is the Xbox dashboard version.

In this example, my kernel is 4034 and my dashboard is 5960
Write your numbers down and remember these two numbers, you will need them later.


Desktop PC
CD Recorder in your PC
Blank CD-R
ISO Recorder v2 (Right click, save target as/save link as)
XboxHDM v1.9 (Right click, save target as/save link as)
Kingroach's NDURE 3.0 (Right click, save target as/save link as)
Torx 20 Screwdriver for opening the xbox
Whatever is needed to open up your computer case
Some intelligence and patience

Download the necessary files from above. Install ISO Recorder and WinRAR. After WinRAR is installed, use it to extract xboxhdm.

Edit Timeout Value To 10 Minutes (This step is completely optional, it changes your hotswap "window" from 5 minutes to 10 minutes)

Next, we will increase the amount of time that XboxHDM will stay at its menu. By default, it is only set to stay at the menu for 5 minutes before defaultly entering into VGA Mode. We will increase this time to 10 minutes. To do this, locate the following file:

- xboxhdm/linux/isolinux/isolinux.cfg

Right-click on this and choose to Open with... and choose wordpad. Change the timeout value from 300 to 600 like the picture below.


Now it is time to set up NDURE. When you downloaded NDURE from Xbins, it should have been a RAR archive titled “NDURE-3.0”. Use WinRAR to extract this archive. When extracted, there should be 4 files ( Ndure 3.0.exe , Ndure Installer 3.nfo, Ndure Installer 3.txt, and a Readme.pdf ). I highly suggest reading the Readme, as most of this tutorial is based off of Kingroach’s provided information in that Readme.

Double-click on the Ndure 3.0 with the Xbox 360 logo to run the program, and hit Next. You should see this screen.

Now, here is where you can customize your install and choose the installation that is right for you. There are different features that can be enabled/disabled, but I’ll run you through the install I performed, which should work out good for most people. Again, this is my personal preference, so you can change some stuff around if you know what you’re doing. If you have no idea what each thing does, just do it my way.

Ndure Options

First, I will briefly explain what each option does.

Basic Files - These are the basic files and are required for the softmod to function.

Retail Files - These are the files necessary so that you can have MS Dash access. Most people should leave this checkmarked, the only people who would not need this are people who do not have Xbox LIVE and have no need for the memory and music functions of the MS Dash. You don’t gain anything by leaving this box unmarked, so you might as well include it.

Shadow C - Recommended for all users, because it prevents your Xbox from dash updates overwriting the softmod.

NKPatcher Options

NKP .67 - Use this if you have a hard drive over 200 gb, this will create a G partition.

NKP RGB - Use this if you are going to use the Xbox primarily with VGA output on a computer monitor (Only works with Focus video encoders)

NKP Progressive - This forces 480p for anything that attempts to run in 480i.

Kernel Specific Fonts - These fonts are designed to work exclusively with a certain kernel version. It is recommended to use a kernel specific font, as it should prevent any problems and provide an incredible level of stability.

Default boot xonlinedashconsole - Enabling this option will set up the dualboot feature. When the Xbox is powered on by using the eject button, and the softmod detects an open disc tray, it will boot to the Xbox LIVE Online Dash. In this screen, you can manage all of your network settings, as well as manage Xbox LIVE accounts.

UDDAE - This is a “backdoor” rescue dash that is based off of the Easter Egg Exploit, the uberdash, and an audio exploit. The thing about UDDAE is it allows you to completely turn off your softmod, going to a retail, unmodded state. Now, once your softmod is deactivated, how are you going to activate it? In order to switch it back on, we need to change some files around on the Xbox, and we can't mess with the files in an unmodded state. Basically, the problem lies in we need to have it modded in order to 'turn on' the mod. Which really makes no sense. This is where UDDAE comes to the rescue. Even with the softmod deactivated, we have a way to run homebrew code through a set of actions in the MS Dashboard. While this is a great feature for advanced users, it will not be used by the average user, but it doesn’t hurt anybody by installing it. If you are interested in this, you can read up on SCEEE HERE and UDDAE HERE.

Ndure Toolset - This is a set of tools designed by kingroach to help with your EEPROM backups and other maintenance. It is basically a simple menu that helps you to protect your softmod and keep it running smooth and provides you with the information needed to save your Xbox if anything goes wrong. Just another way kingroach looks out for his users and wants to make them feel safe. While I have never personally used this, I would recommend installing this.
Last edited by a moderator:
Create XBOXHDM Installer – Obviously, we want this enabled, as this entire tutorial is for installing NDURE with XboxHDM.

My Preferences

My Setup goes like this: (X equals a checkmark)

X Basic Files
X Retail Files
X Add ShadowC
+ Kernel Specific Fonts
X 4034 (You would choose the number of your kernel that you found using System Info at the beginning of this tutorial – I told you to write it down)
X Default boot xonlinedash console (because I have Xbox LIVE)
+ Select Kernel Specific ST.DB
X 4034 (You would choose the number of your kernel that you found using System Info at the beginning of this tutorial – I told you to write it down)
X Add NDURE Toolset
X Create XBOXHDM Installer



Under “Kernel Specific Fonts” and “UDDAE’s Select Kernel Specific ST.DB” , I chose 4034 because that was my kernel version when I looked it up in the Xbox System Info. Please select your own Kernel versions for these options, because picking the wrong version will result in a nonworking Xbox.

After selecting all the options correctly, hit Next and you will be asked where to save your NDURE folder.

You will want to save it to /xboxhdm/linux/ , which is wherever you extracted your Xboxhdm ZIP archive you downloaded earlier. Hit Install and wait for it to finish. When it is finished, the last line will say “Completed” and you can hit Next, then Finish to close out of Ndure.

Now, just to make sure, browse to where you extracted Xboxhdm. Enter the Linux folder and there should now be a folder inside there titled ndure. If so, then you’re ready to make your ISO and burn it to a CD-R.

Installing Updated Backup Script

First, you must download the updated script. Right-click HERE and save as. Left-clicking will just bring up a weird page. You have to right-click and save as.

When you hit Save As... it will ask you where you want to save the file and what do you want to name it. It may add a .txt or .htm file extension to it, so you will have to delete the file extension so it is just ndure Save this updated ndure script file to the /xboxhdm/linux/ndure/ folder. Since there is the old script already in there, it should ask if you want to overwrite. Say yes. If it doesn't ask you if you want to overwrite, please check the /xboxhdm/linux/ndure/ folder and make sure you named it just ndure and not ndure.htm.

Create the ISO and Burn It

Go back to the main xboxhdm folder and you will see a bat file titled “make-iso-win”. Run this, and wait for it to finish making the ISO. You should now have a new ISO file in the xboxhdm folder titled “linux”.

You should have already downloaded and installed ISO Recorder v2. If not, right-click HERE and save target as/save link as and install the program.

All you need to do is insert a blank CD into your CD Recorder and right-click the “linux” ISO File and hit “Copy Image to CD”. Just hit Next on the burning screens and wait for the recording to finish.

Force the PC BIOS to Boot From CD

Now that your CD is burned, it’s time to do the actual softmod. First thing you want to do is check to make sure your computer’s BIOS is set to boot from CD first. I believe it is set to boot from CD first on most models, but it’s always best to make sure. To check this, restart your computer. When it starts up, you will have to hit a key in order to enter the BIOS configuration screen. Usually it will say on screen to “Hit key to enter Setup”. Watch for this. If you can’t see it anywhere, I have listed the following BIOS config keys for some computers.

Acer: - Ctrl+Alt+Esc
ALR PC: (F2) or (Ctrl)(Alt)Esc)
AMI BIOS: (Del), (F1) or (F2)
AST, Advantage, Award, Tandon: - Ctrl + Alt + Esc
Award BIOS: (Del) or (Ctrl)(Alt)(Esc)
Compaq: (F10) (do this when the cursor is in the upper right corner of the screen blinking)
Dell: - F1 or Del.
Dell: - Some require pressing reset twice
Dell: - Ctrl + Alt + Enter
Gateway 2000: - F1
Hewlett Packard: - F1
• Older Models - In order to get into the configuration of the IBM setup screen (CMOS) screen you need to hold down both mouse buttons during bootup.
• Aptiva - Press F1
• IBM PS/2: (Ctrl)(Alt)(Ins) after (Ctrl)(Alt)(Del)
• IBM PS/2 with reference partition: - Press Ins during boot
• Some PS/2s, such as 75 and 90: - Ctrl Alt ?
• Some PS/2s when pointer at top right of screen: - Ctrl + Ins
NEC: - F2
Packard Bell: - F1 or F2
Phoenix BIOS: (F1), (F2), or (Ctrl)(Alt)(Esc)
Phoenix BIOS: - Ctrl Alt S
Phoenix BIOS: - Ctrl S
Phoenix BIOS: - Ctrl Alt Ins
Sharp Laptop 9020: - F2
Sony: (F3) while you are starting the PC, then (F2) or (F1)
Tandon computers: - Hold down the key after turning on power
Tandon: - Ctrl + Shift + Esc
Toshiba Laptops: - Toshiba Utility
Toshiba: - Press Esc during boot
Toshiba, Phoenix, late model PS/1 Value Point and 330s: - Press F1 during boot
Olivetti PC Pro: - Shift Ctrl Alt + Num Pad Del
Miscellaneous PC's: - Ctrl + Esc or Ctrl and Alt and +
Zenith: - Ctrl Alt Ins
Most PC BIOS Screens will look similar to this one:

You will need to make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the CD first. Usually this can be found in the BIOS BOOT menu, CMOS Menu, or Advanced Menu. Just make sure that CD-ROM is the top of the list, so that it will look for a bootable CD before booting any hard drives.

Xbox and PC Preparation

Now, since you are hotswapping, you will need to have your Xbox very close to your computer.

Method 1: You have both the Xbox and PC hooked up as normal. You will use the Xbox power supply to supply the power to the Xbox hard drive. In order to make up for the floating point ground, you will connect a wire with alligator clips from the PC metal case chassis to the metal Xbox chassis to short out any possible extra voltage and keep them equal.

Method 2: You have a 4-pin molex power cable in your PC long enough to reach the Xbox. So you hook up the power cord from the computer into the Xbox hard drive. So therefore, the computer’s power supply is supplying the power to the Xbox hard drive. This way, there is no floating point ground (because the hard drive is connected to the computer’s power supply) and you don’t need the chassis connecting wire.

Method 3: You don’t have a wire with alligator clips to short out the extra voltage and you don’t have a PC power cable long enough to reach the Xbox hard drive. Although not recommended, you can still try the hotswap. You can try it by hooking up the Xbox and PC as normal and not using a ground wire. According to ANSI standards, it won’t be as safe as method 1 or 2, but I have never had a problem with it. Use at your own risk.

The important part comes in your IDE configuration of your drives. You will want your CD/DVD drive anywhere but the primary master. Some people have said they have problems with their CD drive hooked up to to primary slave. I personally use mine hooked up to secondary master and it works fine. Leave the primary master vacant, as this will be the connector used during the hotswap to connect the Xbox hard drive to your computer.


Ok, we are almost ready. Please run down this checklist and make sure everything is perfect. If just one thing is incorrect, you will run into problems, your setup has to be exactly like this.

--My PC BIOS is set to boot from CD-ROM before anything else.
--I have a safe way to connect the Xbox hard drive to the PC
--My IDE cable that will be used for hotswapping is connected to the primary IDE channel
--My CD/DVD drive is connected to anywhere but the primary IDE connection
--My primary master IDE connection is vacant, as this is the one I will hotswap the Xbox drive to

Only if all that is correct can you proceed. It is very important that you can answer “yes” to every statement. Skipping a step will only lead to more problems later.

Softmod Time!

Make sure your XboxHDM disc is inside your CD/DVD drive. Boot up your Xbox and PC at the same time.

Your Xbox should go to the MS Dashboard.

Click For A Picture If You Need It

Your PC should go to the XboxHDM main menu.

For a hotswap to be successful the Xbox hard drive needs to be unlocked. So determining when the Xbox hard drive is unlocked is of great interest. The answer to this question can be found in daddyj’s hotswapping FAQ:

The Xbox is unlocked inside the MS Dashboard and during gameplay. So if you have an error-free Xbox, hotswap during gameplay or while sitting at the MS Dash. An extra tip was to do the following:

- put an audio cd in the xbox
- copy one track to the hd
- play the track from the HD, let play for a few seconds
- pause the song
- you HDD is now ready for hotswap!

This helps unlock hard drives on 1.5/1.6 Xboxes that may not unlock by themselves in the MS Dash. Of course, anybody with any version Xbox can follow the process above just to make sure their Xbox hard drive is unlocked before hotswapping.

What about error codes?

The Xbox HD DOES NOT unlock when your xbox boots into an error 6 or 7. The drive is usually unlocked for a short period on Xbox Errors 11, 12, 13, 16, & error 21, but Errors 11 & 12 are the preferable errors to do the hotswap.
Because you changed the timeout value from 300 to 600, you have ten minutes to make the swap. Please make sure the drive is unlocked when you make the swap. Many people who encounter problems with this particular mod are trying to hotswap into a locked drive, it just doesn’t work.

After making the swap, type 1 on the keyboard to enter the VGA console. (1 and 2 are basically the same thing) After the scrolling text, you should eventually end up at a screen like this.

type xbrowser and you should see a screen that looks like this

You don't have permission to view the code content. Log in or register now.

Enter the ndure folder and you should see this screen:

Hit enter on the *ndure script and you will be presented with the NDURE Installer Menu.
(still need to get a screenshot of the installer menu, should get it soon)

First, you will want to backup your C drive. This is very important. So choose Option 4 to backup your C drive to E:/backup. It may take awhile, but let it finish. When it's done, it should go back to the installer menu. Now, we're ready to install Ndure. Select option 1 to install ndure. It will proceed through the 3 parts. Be patient, this process takes a long time (around 15 minutes or more). Part 2 takes the longest. Even if you think it might have frozen, let it go. There have been many times where I was wondering if it had froze, and then just see it finish up. After all 3 parts, it should give you a message saying “Done, now exiting.” At this point, you can turn off your computer and turn off your Xbox. Connect the hard drive back into your Xbox, and if everything went well, you now have a softmodded Xbox running Kingroach’s NDURE 3.0. And the best part about all of this is it was free!
Very good tut but why would you wanna hotswap when you can use ConfigMagic to get the eeprom from your hardrive and just build a fully locked hardrive I'M JUST CURIOUS THATS ALL.