Because I get really bored and am always looking for new projects or little hacks to do, I found myself looking into how to JTAG or RGH my Xbox. At first, I didn't really understand either hacks, but after doing a little research I figured it out. I knew that I would be able to store games and applications right on the hard drive and play them from there without the need to burn a DVD as with LT+ or DVD drive based hacks.
First let's define what each hack is and how it works.
What the online gaming community has come to know as a "JTAG" is an Xbox that utilizes the SMC exploit. This exploit causes a re-boot into the 4532 kernel. This kernel was made famous by the KK exploit (King Kong), where a bug in the hypervisor was utilized to run unsigned code. The SMC exploit is a faster version of the KK exploit (as in, it boots faster), and allows for the running of unsigned code. The SMC exploit is limited to consoles running kernels prior to the summer 09 update (7371). It is also true that there are several patched CBs, which prevent the exploit. Due to the need for a console which has not been updated, they are naturally scarce and once demanded a high price. Credits go to robinsod, tmbinc, SeventhSon, Martin_sw, and Tiros.
The Reset Glitch Hack is a new type of method which allows the running of unsigned code. Explained by free60: "We found that by sending a tiny reset pulse to the processor while it is slowed down does not reset it but instead changes the way the code runs, it seems it's very efficient at making bootloaders memcmp functions always return "no differences". memcmp is often used to check the next bootloader SHA hash against a stored one, allowing it to run if they are the same. So we can put a bootloader that would fail hash check in NAND, glitch the previous one and that bootloader will run, allowing almost any code to run." This hack requires a "glitch chip", which will send the signal. These range from the original Coolrunner-II made by Digilent, the Matrix by Infinity Mod, Team-Xecuter Coolrunner, X360Glitch Chip by SoulHaven, and the Stinger by Maximus. These chips have an Xilink chip which is capable of sending the signal fast enough for the glitch to properly function. The benefits of the RGH is that it doesn't require a non-updated dashboard to run unsigned code, meaning you could run 2 or more NANDs, which allows you to run it as a retail with one, and run unsigned code with the other. It is also able to work on the Trinity motherboard (original slim motherboard), which the SMC exploit is not. Since this hack runs on almost any Xbox (some have CB_Bs, which don't allow the hack to run, and others have unglitchable CBs: 5772 and 6752; for now), which means that the only limiting factor is the number of Xboxs produced by Microsoft. Credits go to GliGli, Tiros, cOz, Razkar, tuxuser, and Ced2911
Ultimately, since they have the same outcome, they are theoretically the same value. However, I value the Reset Glitch higher than the SMC exploit, because of the ability to still run a retail dash on Xbox Live, without consequently causing the glitch to fail.
The process of completing the soldering and updating the NAND and such took all of about 4 hours for me. People who know what they're doing can probably do this all within under an hour. It took me a bit longer because I haven't done much with soldering. The software tools provided worked well and were quite easy to use.
Once I had the unit RGH'd I got Xexmenu installed via downloading and burning an ISO to a CD. This allowed me to get the next piece of software, Dashlaunch and Freestyle installed. FreeStyle is a dashboard replacement for the default dashboard provided by Microsoft. It has a built-in FTP server which really helps with transferring files between your computer and Xbox.
Now, I can have all my games stored right on my hard drive -- which by the way, I have a 750GB SATA II 2.5" drive installed. Using these methods, allow you to by-pass the drive size restrictions (currently Microsoft only has a 320GB drive) and you can use up to a 2TB drive.
Freestyle dash is really nice, it works mostly just like the default Microsoft dashboard. You can download and customize the skin - I didn't do anything off the top, just altered a few of the colors and images. You can download cover art work for your games, there's even a really slick looking coverflow display mode you can choose, although I opted for a basic display of the games. The dashboard replacement also includes a tool that allows you to copy your games onto your Xbox so they can be played without a disk. A basic file manager also exists so you can copy, paste and move around files within your hard drive(s) or USB flash keys.
Overall, this hack has definitely paid for itself. The Team-Xecuter Ultimate R-JTAG kit cost about $60 including shipping and 3-4 hours of my time. I also spent about $15 on some flux and rosin core solder at my local Radio Shack. I no longer need to burn games. I can simply copy my purchased games to my Xbox hard drive and play them right from there. This is a really great hack for any Xbox owner and really for me, it extended the life of my Xbox 360 at least another 3-5 years.
- [JTAG/RGH] Xbox 360 Ultimate Exploit Guide
- TX R-JTAG V1.0 - ULTIMATE KIT
- Xecuter R-JTAG Installation & Setup Guide
- Tutorial How To RGH Any Phat Xbox 360 On Current Dash Reset Glitch Hack May 2013
- How To Solder and Use Quick Solder Boards For Xbox 360 Reset Glitch Hack & Nandx Tips