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Xbox 360 HD DVD built into HTPC

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I did it. Quite a task, no standard mounting, no standard connectors.

Ripped it into pieces and connected it directly to internal USB. IDE won't work eazy as the port is custom made and incl. 12V power, which is non-standard for 50pin mini IDE. On top of that you would not have an Eject Button anymore which is a NO-NO for me (I am not an Apple freak).

AND Windows XP install did accept it right from the start, yes w/o the driver (mobo Asus p3b-e). Used Asus EN 6700GT w/ HDMI. Did replace all stock fans by Zalman though ;-).

Now waiting for a software player

sandra
post #2 of 43
This Thread is worthless without pictures!!!!

- Josh
post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

This Thread is worthless without pictures!!!!

- Josh

Josh,
this thread will get pictures if somebody is interested.. didn't wanna waste time and space in something nobody's interested in...

AND this is my 5'th post, I was not even allowed to put a URL link.

sandra
post #4 of 43
Yeah do post the pics, sounds interesting.
post #5 of 43
Compliments for your work..
it sound very interesting..
I am interested too for the pictures.
post #6 of 43
Do you still get the Memory Errors with your drive setup internally? I am also interested in some pics.

Thanks,

Dave in Ottawa, Canada
post #7 of 43
we WANT pictures!
post #8 of 43
ya, it's just a rumor w/o pictures.....
post #9 of 43
Yeah, need pics to see how ghetto or non-ghetto this is.
post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 
Hi,
ok folks here ya go:

0) Introductional disclaimer (every story starts with a disclaimer, at least in the US ;-):

a) I PROMISE, I WILL POST ALL PICS
b) I may not have chosen THE optimum components, depends on cost and availability
c) I am not related with any hardware producer or seller
d) You consider rebuild, go for it BUT be aware it may require some drilling, wiring, ability to take frustation
e) Finish ALL drilling and clean carefully prior you slip ANY electronic in place!!! brake sharp edges from drilling
f) I am not perfect!

1) Hardware used:

Box Case:
- Thermaltake Mozart SX, customized (ThermaltakeUSA, sourced via mwave)
- the customization involved drilling 1408(!) 4mm holes, don't know how one can design a HTPC case with two small noisy 80mm fans, so, I added a 120mm thermal controlled fan which required 'some' add'l holes AND I did want to have a better ventilated case, so I closed (taped) front holes and left side and top open which creates an airflow for CPU and graphic card, make the new 120mm fan an exhaust fan
- to make drilling eazy, I first drilled a masking model; mount a piece of aluminium sheet on the top case cover and drill it (616 holes), this will give you an execellent mask for the real drilling and all holes are perfectly aligned
- rip of the original CD ROM cage, we are going to custom mount the non-standard X-BOX drive, the aluminium knivets can be drilled out
- rip of the original harddisk cage, we are going to add some silicon washers here, again some semi optimal design workaround

HD Drive:
- brand new XBox HD addon (Microcenter sourced, I was to late for the coupon :-(
- remove plastic cover, it needs some force, don't use sharp material, your, or dads finger will do, you need to get rid of the side plastic cover pull hard, starting on one end towards the other
- brake the warranty sign :-)))
- you need size two special screw driver, hex form, don't know the name
- slide the top cover back, don't lift or you brake the plastic noses
- ok, rip everything out, incl. the USB board, leave the fan, we don't need a noisy 40mm in our case
- hint: carefully remove all cable connectors then dismantle
- (double)-tape the USB/Power board underneath the drive, non-label side, reconnect everything
- knife the USB cable, get rid of the big USB plug and solder a 4 pin header plug on the remaining cable (the small USB plug + cable), RED-WHITE-GREEN-BLACK+SHIELD, don't forget the shield (wire mesh) I know this is tricky BUT required
- assemble, with the old CD Drive cage removed you have space to mount it inside the case, use long screws to hold the drive in the right height so that it not interfers with the front/side, carefully avoid the drive connecting to any metal case structure as it will result in vibration transfer, use silicon washer to decouple
- solder a 2 pin header plug parallel to the drive eject, where the small button is mounted on the small PCB, we are going to connect this to the RESET switch of the case as we do not need a RESET function, nice Eject Function

PICTURE: will follow

Power supply:
- use a quite model with 120mm fan, 430/460 W, I used Thermaltake Silent power
- look for one with least external power cables, well you can cut them off, you can fit two underneath the HD Drive e.g. the 5/12V supply + the 6 pin PCI-E, be careful with the USB board you slid under the drive, have one connector sticking out at the side as you need the 12V line for the drive (that's btw. the main drawback to use a 50pin small IDE connector, Toshiba used a custom made header which brings 12V to the drive
- you can solder 12V directly parallel to the power socket of the drive, good accessability :-)

Motherboard:
- I used Asus P5B-E, nothing special, plenty of USB, SATA 3GB, neat board (Newegg sourced)
- it should fit w/o any hassle

CPU
- Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 (Newegg sourced)

CPU Cooler
- ZALMAN VF900 - CU 2 Ball VGA Cooler - Retail (Newegg), I like this stuff, construction is pure fun, NOT kidding
- the speed control goes to the back, above the main motherboard terminal, (double)- tape it in place the cooling holes where the knob goes thru need to be 'extended'

RAM
- A-DATA 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1908K - Retail (Newegg)

Graphic card
- put riser card in place, DON'T try to make the screw holes match, they don't, we don't need them badly
- card used: ASUS EN7600GT/HTDI/256M Geforce 7600GT GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail (Newegg)
- STOP, don't put it in, get rid of the ****** stock cooler and mount a ZALMAN CNPS 8000 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail (Newegg), again I like that stuff, the installation manual gives you the wrong holes to use, you need the outmost
- install, should work
- don't forget the SPDIF cable, WATCHOUT GND needs to go to GND on motherboard and Graphics card, be careful!!! on the Graphics card pin 1 is marked this is the SPDIF pin u need to flip the pins or rotate the whole plug on the motherboard if you direct the cable/pinheader outwards (they will interfere with the cooler in the other direction), if in doubt, use a multimeter, GND connects thru from motherboard to Graphic card, align them, don't know why Asus is not able to write ANY hint in the f@#*ing manual
- the GPU cooler speed control goes next to his his CPU brother, see hint above

Harddisc
- mount in cage than slide in place and connect via SATA port 1, I used a WD cool'n'quite (Newegg)
- ahh, frustation alert, you need to turn the harddisc to be able to connect, well, needs needs new mounting holes, as usual, this is the part I hated ...
- mount the cage using silicon washers
- use the straight SATA cable it fits better

Connect the rest
- USB, Firewire, HD Audio
- you can add the USB brake out adapter above the Graphics adapter, adds to USB ports

Remote Control
- MS MCE XP remote control (Newegg), directly internally connected to USB, via 4 pin cable, mounted behind the front plate

READY to test and XP install. YES XP will install using the XBox Drive!!!


to be continued... tomorrow, need to go now
post #11 of 43
Kudos to you, mein Freund! I was curious what type of internal connector it used. I'll probably build this into my next HTPC.
post #12 of 43
why spend all that time hacking/modding when you could have just used a mini atapi to IDE adapter?

like this:

- Josh
post #13 of 43
post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

why spend all that time hacking/modding when you could have just used a mini atapi to IDE adapter?

like this: (...)

- Josh

Josh,
what you'll find on the drive is anything but standard 50 pin mini atapi. The Toshiba custom plug brings 12V to the drive (this is NOT STANDARD, http://pinouts.ru/pin_HD.shtml) probably thru pins 45-50 these are the pins for customization. I ordered exactly this plug and wasted 10 bugs as:
- first, is does not fit, would require drilling away the hole elevations on the back of the drive, they interfere with the solder pins on the adapter PCB and may shortcut
- second, the custom pins, sure one can figure this out as well
- third, doing so results in the loss of the eject button, a NO-NO for me, I am not an Apple freak -no offending!

So, why in the hell I invest in something I do not need at all. The drive is being recognised by Win XP install straight from the beginning (no extra Floppy Disk needed) while connected thru USB.

@Davinleeds
the uneazy report is the most incomplete I ever saw in terms of details. The discussion following is overwhelmed by fighting standpoints regarding the better gaming platform PS3 against XBox. My question on this discussion regarding the adapter and if somebody really tried it out was ignored and let to the waste of my 10 bugs, because I WANTED TO KNOW (and now I and you know, nobody else so far).

sandra
post #15 of 43
I've seen USB external to USB internal before...just don't have the website on hand. Could you show pictures of how you mounted the device internally?
post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 
USB connector:


MCE Remote PCB (you cut away the metal shield of the IR Receiver and bend it 90deg parallel to PCB, no harm believe me, I am doing 30 years electronic now)


HD Drive closed, Front removed

see the two red cables to splice out the eject button, later connected to the Reset Button of the case
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post #17 of 43
Looks like a pretty nice install to me

What pc case is that?

(edit: I see it's a Mozart from the photos posted after my post)
post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 
HD Drive open, Front assembled


THE Box, top view


HD Drive, right hand side with 12V power connection, see the USB PCB (doubled) taped under neath the HD Drive, hold in place by one 3mm screw, mount it so, that you can access the solder pins of the power plug and you can eazy enough solder 12V onto it, sorry a bit blurry, yellow is 12V, black is GND (as usual), used a big drive power plug

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post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 
The Thermal controlled 120mm fan which replaces the two noisy 80mm stock fans of the case


Zalman CPU cooler

look at the upper end of the pic and you'll hardly see the temperature control of the fan (double)-taped to the rear of the case

WD SATA drive, as said you need to turn in the cage, which unfortunately requires drilling new mounting holes AND don't forget to set the whole thingy on silicon washers

LL
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post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
ThermaltakeUSA Mozart SX, customized by sandra :-)))


Rear view


all I need

LL
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post #21 of 43
OK, the mounting makes sense now... doesn't help my situation, as I need it to fit into a standard cage, using rails... I'll have to take mine apart and do some measuring and see if the square metal tabs would line up.

Can you keep the standard external USB plug and just use an adapter and external-internal cable, bundled up?
post #22 of 43
Thread Starter 
Just 792 add'l holes, I became fast and could drill a whole row in less than 30secs! BUT putting to much pressure result in rework of the edges, so just take your time
I did make a mask model from a piece of aluminium sheet
- align it, drill a hole, screw it to the case
- drill a second, screw it to the case
- now drill all 4 corners and a few more in between and screw it
than drill the rest
- forget it, you are not gonna succeed in drilling along a net of lines, you'll never get the holes aligned MAKE a mask model!!!


and finally the Graphics card side view, you see it is pretty packed, from left to right:
- HD audio connector,
- 1394,
- COM not connected,
- USB 7+8, the front connector is the HD Drive, remember pic 1, just behind on USB 8 is the USB IR MCE receiver
- USB 9+10, rear USB, above Graphic adapter

You can hardly see the big 60mm GPU fan (Zalman) and the blue RAM heatsinks, I removed the lower PCI cover to allow some more ventilation, with that the Asus Card becomes not hotter than 50degC in idle and goes to 70 with Futuremark 3D Bench, 3 times in a row stress test and low fan speed!!! Increased fan speed will give you a 5degC reserve, not much, max. allowed is 80degC BUT the card is thermal overheat protected

Do you see see the SPDIF connector on the graphic card, the small blue and black pin head. Take care and do not follow blindly. I did switch the pins in the mobo connector as this pin head interfers with the cooler the other way arround. You need to make sure black goes to ground on both sides the mobo and the graphics card. If not, well you may damage you graphic card or mobo or both. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

The neat HD Drive addon remote control works with Girder 4 using the MCEr plugin and allows to control everything I ever wanted


Software config will follow...

sandra
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post #23 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShagMan View Post

OK, the mounting makes sense now... doesn't help my situation, as I need it to fit into a standard cage, using rails... I'll have to take mine apart and do some measuring and see if the square metal tabs would line up.

Can you keep the standard external USB plug and just use an adapter and external-internal cable, bundled up?

Shagman,
well good luck, you'll find some odd things inside, I did rip it into pieces as this was my original intent, I was close to give up, see my disclaimer at the beginning about frustation ... well you'll have to carve away these plastic mounting noses and then cut and dremel the metal sheet case to get rid of the, I don't know how to say, these metal convexities. Then the case itself is smaller than an usual 5.25" and you can mount it with silicon washers into a standard CD ROM drive cage. I was to lazy!
Be careful when you dismantle the drive itself, it almost fell into parts when I disassembled it, BUT it will be possible.

I hate adapters, I'd rather cut something and solder the right plug. It is straight forward RED-WHITE-GREEN-BLACK+Shield. Remember the lack of space. But foresure and adapter might work also.

sandra the box cruncher ;-)
post #24 of 43
I am looking to purchase a new card for my HTPC to work with the HD DVD Addon. Neither one of these cards list that they are HDCP compliant, but I was hoping that someone here may have used at least one of these cards.

XFX PVT73GUGD3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

ASUS EN7600GT/2DHT/256M GeForce 7600GT 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16
post #25 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis104 View Post

I am looking to purchase a new card for my HTPC to work with the HD DVD Addon. Neither one of these cards list that they are HDCP compliant, but I was hoping that someone here may have used at least one of these cards.

XFX PVT73GUGD3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

ASUS EN7600GT/2DHT/256M GeForce 7600GT 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

Curtis,
the ASUS EN7600GT/HTDI/256M Geforce 7600GT GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card definately is ($200). It has a HDMI and a DVI-I (A+D) and a Component break out cable. All I need. The stock cooler on this is sh1t. Do yourself a favor and replace by e.g. Zalman CNPS 8000 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink. DON'T go with a 7600 GS. The GS does not support Inverse Telecine as well as Bad Edit Correction. The GT series does. The 7950 gets to hot. So, the 7600GT is what I want.

http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo...t.html#geforce

sandra
post #26 of 43
Hey Sandra,

What front end do you use. I am interested to know that now you do not have a IDE drive but a USB drive will MCE 2005 pick up the HD-DVD drive when you hit play dvd in MCE or will it need a reg hack to change the settings in mce.

what is your pinouts for the USB connector. Where does the shielded cable go in relation to the other connectors?

Regards,

Dave in Canada
post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crankbearing View Post

Hey Sandra,
What front end do you use. I am interested to know that now you do not have a IDE drive but a USB drive will MCE 2005 pick up the HD-DVD drive when you hit play dvd in MCE or will it need a reg hack to change the settings in mce.

what is your pinouts for the USB connector. Where does the shielded cable go in relation to the other connectors?

Regards,

Dave in Canada

Dave,
I use Win XP Home SP2. Front End Firefox :-))) as I have a media server running oxylbox server (www.oxylbox.de). DVD playback is WMP 11. Why (see below)? Media playback Power DVD and/or VLC depends on codec.

Pinout is eazy:
1 - Red - +5V
2- White - Data -
3 - Green - Data +
4 - Black - GND her goes the shield (makes sence?)



SOFTWARE:
- Win XP Home SP2
- nVidia Forceware Driver 93.71 (still bit buggy, de-interlace not perfect), install Asus Driver first, this will enable an Asus addon for the Graphics Card incl. ClearVideo (advanced tweaking features and Smartdoctor temp. control) even if you use the nVidea ForeceWare driver later, remember this
- nVidia Purevideo MPEG, MPEG, WMV VC-1 & AVC hardware accelaration
- Girder 4
- CD Bremse (AnyDVD would do as well) for slow down drive

- WMP 11 for DVD (autoplay, WMP11 is perfect for DVD playback with the ForeceWare Driver + PureVideo!),
- WMP 11 for HD Video .m2t (HDV camcorder transport stream), the HD MPEG-2 transport streams produce 11%(!) CPU load with hardware accell. 25% without
- WMP11 for HD WMV use hardware accel. as well, 15% CPU load

- VLC 0.8.5, for the rest of the world like DIVx, XVid, god knows everything - changed to ffdshow + MPC 6.4.9.0 in the meantime (see walkthrough from 8:13 / JD)

- Power DVD v7.1 (HD) Deluxe, especially, exclusively for .m2ts this is my Sony AVC Camcorder transport stream which plays with hardware accelaration in PowerDVD (perfectly supported by the Forceware driver!), CPU load 50% with, 80% without hardware accel.

DO NOT install any add'l Intervideo, especially Elecard. I am really, really sorry I always liked these esp. Elecard but it currently disables the Purevideo use in WMP11 which is a NO-NO for me. I tried all setup possibilities but as soon as I install any Elecard Mpeg Player, AVC plugin the Purevideo Codec control icon disappears and hardware accel. goes as well... If ffdshow is installed the audio tab disapperas from the Purevideo codec control panel which takes away a convienient control for routing audio to SPDIF. Purevideo decodes DD and DTS as well as analog DS but ffdshow handles this with expertise! (added)

- (added) Powerstrip v3.74 to allow colorprofiles for WMP11 (DVD) / ffdshow (DivX) / PowerDVD (HD DVD). For some weird reasons -probable the nVidea driver- the color appearance changes between these apps. Had to calibrate them individually (follow walkthru in this forum) use GetGray or equivalent.

?WHY all this?
WMP11 plays perfect with Purevideo, incl. Hardware Accelaration, hardware de-interlace, etc. all the nice nVidea Purevideo Feature work, one MUST SEE this! Awesome... WMP a DVD player finally, I am still surprised, test it. Why not Power DVD for DVD playback, well WMP looks better and gives me better access to the codec control, unbelieveable isn't it.

The box is controlled by the HD DVD addon Remote Control + a MCE Remote Control USB IR Receiver via Girder 4, using a MS wireless keyboard/mouse for back up. I may add a Guru mouse, I know Gyros is the right term or was it Gyro, who cares :-)))

Use a slowdown soft like CD Bremse, AnyDVD not allowed in certain countries.

sandra
post #28 of 43
I really wish they would just sell us a 5 1/4" sized drive.....I don't need burning...just HD DVD ROM would do it for me.

Nice job putting the IR reciever in the case, I need to do the same with my USB-Uirt.
post #29 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naylia View Post

I really wish they would just sell us a 5 1/4" sized drive.....I don't need burning...just HD DVD ROM would do it for me.

Nice job putting the IR receiver in the case, I need to do the same with my USB-Uirt.

Hi,
well you would just need to cut a few mm (I guess it was ~2mm) thru the metal edges and the plastic mounting on each side (red lines on the pic), than mount a sheet of aluminium (blue rec) screw it from the inside (black screws) with mounting holes for the whole thing green rec.


It will fit this way, I measured this. I was just to lazy :-)))

sandra
LL
post #30 of 43
Well I got the drive installed in my MCE-601. It was a task, I did not want to drill any new holes in the base. So I had to hunt to find some 5.25 to 3.5 drive rails that would mount to the case base and then adjust the stand offs to fit the drive holes. I also decided to keep the USB connectors so I can plug them in directly to a modded Internal USB header. The neatest mod is the PWR switch, I took a contact switch and double taped it to the drive and then adjusted the drive to where it fits with the switch in between the drive and the eject button on the case, so it looks like an ordinary drive eject button now in the right location. I did not want to make the drive so that I could not install it back into the Xbox chassis later - So now I can.. I hope to have it up and running tonight.

Regards,

Dave In Canada


edit - I also forgot too mention, I tested this in my other rig, I disco'd the ide burners and hooked up just the xbox drive via USB and it works from within MCE for SD DVD it will not work for HD DVD drives so I included PDVD as a shortcut with in MCE for launching HD movies. Another interesting thing I found, PDVD overwrites Purevideo when installed OR assumes priority. I had to reinstall purevideo make it the primary decoder. I found this by trying to adjust some setting while playing back a DVD the other day.
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