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Recovering Locked HDD Without Password

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tEChniiQue Suspended due non-functional email address
How To Recover A Locked Hard Drive Without Password (From a Dead Motherboard)

The smart thing to do, is to always have a backed up copy of your Xbox’s EEPROM. It is good practice to make backing up important data part of the modding process, specifically, your XBOX's EEPROM information(done with Configmagic) and a backup of your C: drive(done with Evox). These 2 things ensure that, in the event of an Xbox disaster, such as a dead motherboard, that information can be transferred to a new Xbox and things will be as they were.
However, such disasters are not typically expected and can be an even greater loss for those who are unprepared.
In the event that you find that your (locked) 80 gig hard rive filled to the brim with over a year of history cannot be transferred to a new XBOX; you may begin to feel your ulcer acting up.
There is a solution to this problem. It is not necessarily pretty or very inviting to the uninitiated, but it is a solution nonetheless.

** FOR THIS TO WORK, YOU MUST HAVE THE MOTHERBOARD THAT THE HARD DRIVE CAME WITH OR WAS ORIGINALLY LOCKED WITH**

What needs to be done, is to recover the old hard drive information from the Xbox EEPROM. Since your Xbox is dead you can no longer access this information by normal means, but it is most certainly still there. To recover this information the EEPROM will first have to be identified and located.

It is just a tiny little bug-sized chip, between the TSOP and Pick. In short, you need to decoder this chip from your dead Xbox and solder it into your current Xbox. The most dangerous part of this operation is the removal of the EEPROM, as breaking a leg (pin) can render it pretty much useless or make for a very difficult repair.

**BEFORE DOING ANY OF THIS BE SURE TO BACK UP (1.EEPROM INFO 2.C DRIVE 3. GAME SAVES AND APPS) FROM YOUR CURRENT HARD DRIVE AND UNLOCK IT, AS YOU WILL BE REMOVING YOUR CURRENT Xbox’s EEPROM.**

Removal of EEPROM:
You will need the following things:

1. Fine Tipped Soldering Iron
2. Fine Disordering Braid
3. Magnifying Lenses/Microscope (Preferable, but not needed by pros)
4. Solder
5. Flux
6. Fine Tipped Tweezers

STEP 1: Decoder EPROM’s from both source and destination Xboxes

a. Once you locate the EEPROM be sure to make note of the circle shaped indent in one of its corners.
This marking is to identify which way the chip should be placed over the pads (you don't want to put it in backwards later on).

b. Set up your magnifying lenses or microscope over your Xbox motherboard.

c. Use the disordering braid to remove as much solder as possible from each of the pads under the chip's legs. Beforehand, it's wise to apply a bit of flux to the pads to aid in solder flow. If you can adjust the heat on your soldering iron, try using a higher heat of around 800, since the higher heat will make it easier for the braid to absorb the solder more quickly. Using tweezers hold the disordering braid over the desired pad and press (not too hard) on the braid with the soldering iron.
Once you have removed as much solder as possible from the legs and pads and things look as clean as can be, it's time to remove the legs from the pads, one by one. Place the tip of your fine tipped tweezers (or a suitably small piece of metal) in the space between the leg and the chip. Using the tweezers as a lever, lightly nudge the leg off while heating the pad with the soldering iron.
You don't want to bend the legs very much, so be sure to be gentle when removing them from the pads.
Try to nudge them just enough to see or feel a slight movement, indicating that the leg is no longer connected to the pad. Continue this process with each pin until all 6 are removed from the pads.

STEP 2: Solder EEPROM onto Motherboard

Now that you have your EEPROM removed; it's time to solder it onto your motherboard. The first thing you need to do is prepare each pad with a little bit of solder and flux. Only use a small amount of solder on each pad, trying to keep it relatively flat and level (not all blobby). Using tweezers, position your EEPROM over the pads, making note that the circular indentation mentioned earlier is in the correct place. Once correctly positioned, use the soldering iron to apply some heat to each of the opposite corner legs, one at a time. This will hold the chip in place while you solder the rest of the legs. Once the chip is held in place, you can solder the rest of the pins on, adding solder and flux to each one for a good connection. To finish things up, you can add some solder and flux to the two corner pins.

That's all. You can now recover those memories, once thought lost, from your locked hard drive. Remember, when booting your XBOX only the locked hard drive you were trying to recover will boot. Any other hard drive will need to be unlocked to boot up.

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