The post is currently being brought up to date along with some minor changes to structure, layout and text to make it as relevant & updated as possible. This will be happening over the course of the next few days.
This section will contain issues of importance regarding JTAGs.
It will be updated as required and it's point is to reduce topic spamming the board.
JTAG XBL Status:Online
JTAG vs RGH - Explained:
I am currently putting together a post to explain the core differences and similarities between a JTAG and an RGH'd Xbox 360 console, due to seeing it being asked quite often throughout the forums. It should be up soon, when done it will be linked here.
Added - 01/01/2013
If your console is on a dashboard version ABOVE 7379 it CANNOT be Jtagged without bricking it.
The exploit is patched with the 8498 update,so anything higher than that cannot be exploited. E.g. 12611/12625.
Anything below dashboard/kernel version 7379 MAY or MAY NOT be Jtaggable.
Not all consoles on 7371 can be Jtagged can be Jtagged without bricking the console,some can be,some cannot,simple as that.
The way to distinguish the difference is the CB version,which can be found by extracting the consoles Nand and checking it,some are patched which would mean not all console are Jtaggable,for more information on these have a look at the post I made in relation to them,
I am providing this information for educational purposes only.
What you use it for is your own responsibility and I take no liability for your actions.
I take no credit for any of the youtube videos in this post unless I clearly state otherwise,all credit for there creation goes to there respective uploaders.
All text was created by myself unless stated otherwise.
2. What is a Motherboard
3. Types of Motherboards
4. What Motherboard Does My Console Have
5. What is a "JTAG"
6. What the JTAG Modification is
7. Are JTAGGED Consoles illgeal
8. What is A KeyVault
9. What is Homebrew
10. Disabling Xbox Live
11. Hard Drive Disks
12. JTAG Uses
13. JTAG Lifespans
14. What JTAG Should I Purchase
17. Where to buy a JTAG
18. JTAG Repairs/Modifications
You will probably hear about JTAGs and a lot of different people calling them different things,like Xenon or Jasper.
They are referring to the motherboard of the console,so each type would be a different type of JTAG.
For anyone who is wondering what is the difference between a JTAG and an Xbox Development Kit.(XDK)
A motherboard is a circuit board which is in many computers and electronic items (such as an Xbox 360)
It holds many of the crucial components of the system,it also provides connectors for other peripherals such as the HDD on an Xbox 360.
They all can run the same programs and yes,they all will be able to host online when it is again available and can all host system link lobbies for Call of Duty games with the exclusion of Black Ops.
That said the different types do have many differences and some are better suited to offline use and some are better for online use.
I will go into detail on these differences now.
Uses both types of KV's. (Easier to unban)
Most prone to the Red Ring of Dead.(RROD)
IF hosting becomes public again,most useful.(online)
Does not have HDMI.
Not recommended for offline modding as it heats up quickly causing RROD.
Recommended for online lobby hosting.
Oldest type of JTAG (2005 motherboard).
Exact same as Xenon besides two changes.
Can only use KV type 2.
Second motherboard to be released (2007)
They are not very popular as they can only use one type of KV and suffer the same RROD problems as the Xenon.
Uses type 2 KV's.
Less prone to getting RROD.
Also good for hosting online.
Heats up slower than Xenon.
Not as old as xenon but not as new as Jasper (2007 Motherboard).
Exact same as a Falcon besides one change.
Does not have HDMI.
Released 2008,but still as reliable as a Falcon.
Little is known about them and are rare to be found JTAGGED.
Uses type 2 KV's.
Has internal memory of either 256mbs or 512mbs.
RROD is practically unknown.
Hardest to unban for online use.
Does not suffer heating up problems.
Highly recommended for offline modding.
Newest type of motherboard to be JTAGGED (2008 Motherboard)
Most expensive JTAG available.
First Slim motherboard (2010)
Also known as the "Vejle" or "Valhalla" motherboard.
Enjoys all the same perks as the Jasper.
Even lower chance of RROD than Jaspers.
This motherboard is exclusive to the Xbox 360 Slim.
This is the motherboard where the HANA Chip can be exploited via the RGH Exploit.
Currently the newest motherboard, and is exclusive to the Slim consoles.
The motherboard has been known to come in consonles produced on/after 17/08/2011, the most notable change is that the HANA chip is not there, and is suspected to have been merged with the Southbridge into one single chip, thwarting the Reset Glitch, although, it motherboard would have been in development before the release of the RGH, so it is more than likely it was not planned to counter the RGH but did do so.
What Motherboard Does My Console Have?
The easiest way to figure out what motherboard your Xbox 360 (Normal/JTAG) is running on is to check the power supply.
Take out your power supply cable from your Xbox 360 and look at the hole in which it fits into on the console.
There are specific differences in them and they are separated like this.
Here is a picture showing you the differences:
If your thinking I forgot about the Valhalla,I did not.
All Xbox 360 Slims come with only the Valhalla motherboard.
What is a "JTAG"?
A JTAG is the name given to an Xbox 360 console,which has had it's hardware modified so that it can run un-signed code.
This is also known as homebrew,which is explained a little further into the guide.
A JTAGGED console should cost more than a normal Xbox 360,but this can change depending on the situation and condition/motherboard.
What the JTAG Modification is:
This being for beginners,This will not tell you how to JTAG your console.
It is a hardware mod.
That means that you have to open up your Xbox 360 console which voids the warranty.
You cannot use software alone or a USB to Jtag your Xbox 360 Console.
The reason for JTAGGING an Xbox 360 is so you can run homebrew on your console.
Wondering what homebrew is? I will get to that a little later in the guide.
Only some consoles can be JTAGGED.
For them to be JTAGABLE or "taggable" as some people say,they need to be Kernel 2.0.7371.0 or below.
However,the Circuit Board version (CB Version) also has to be exploitable for the console to be exploitable.
If you have updated your console after June 2009,you will not be able to have it JTAG it.
Please note: You cannot downgrade your dashboard,or your Kernel unless you have the original NAND.
JTAGs can do a lot more than normal Xbox 360's,at the moment,connecting to XBL is not one of them.
Are JTAGGED Consoles Illegal?
Due to many people asking this question I have decided to add it to the guide to clear this up once and for all since some people say they are,while others say they are.
That being said I am not a lawyer and may make a mistake,so anyone with any legal knowledge,feel free to correct any mistakes I may have made.
To answer the question,a JTAGGED Xbox 360 consoles ARE NOT illegal,however,you can use them to conduct illegal activities,such as Piracy. (if you don't know what it is look it up on Wikipedia)
It is not against the law to modify an Xbox 360 console you own,but take these things in mind before you do:
Opening your Xbox 360 Consoles will void any existing warranty on the console. (There is a sticker,once torn,your warranty is gone)
If a JTAG breaks down,it won't have a warranty,and since it is modified,do not send it to Microsoft to be repaired,you will receive a letter saying that they found the console was modified etc,and you will not get it back.
Just because the console is not against the law to own or modify,does not mean everything you use it for/do with it is legal and lawful.
If you decide to download pirated content from the internet,such as Xbox Live Arcade Games or full Xbox 360 Titles,and play them on your Jtag you are playing pirated content and it is illegal. This is a prosecutable offence and is treated very seriously all across the globe due to copyright laws. However,some countries do have more lenient laws regarding copyrights and copyright infringement and it may not be illegal.
In the United States and most parts of Europe,it is illegal and you are prosecutable.
Backing up content in-which you already own is completely legal.
What I mean by this is installing a game,in-which you have already purchased,onto your HDD or JTAG is legal as you have paid for it and are legally allowed to create a backup copy,but it is illegal to distribute the content,and you may suffer worse charges for distributing copyrighted content.
Backing up a game that belongs to someone else and you have not paid for,is illegal as it is piracy. Obviously if the person is a family member this does not apply as it would be stupid.
Now this is where I may need clarification,Homebrew.
Homebrew is technically illegal as it is not signed nor allowed to be run on a console.
I think (clarification needed) it is illegal to have homebrew running on your console as it is not signed content and not intended to be used but as I said,I need this to be confirmed.
Now that's the legal side to it,now heres the real side to it,you will more than likely not get caught.
There are two reasons for this,
1 - The law enforcers rarely target the people who download the material,they usually target those who supply the copyrighted material for free.
E.g. Sony sued GeoHot,not the people who downloaded his files,even though they found their locations and could easily have found them,but that is in a small quantity of people.
2 - Far too many people across many types of digital information.
E.g. Xbox Games,Playstation Games,PC games,Music,E-Books,Software,Movies,the list is endless.
With so many things to police,they cannot go after the millions of people who download the content,but rather the one person who uploads it for free.
With that being said...
I do not in anyway condone piracy or copyright infringement.
I am providing this information for educational purposes only and what you use it for is your own responsibility and I take no liability for your actions.
That applies for everything in this thread.
What Is A KeyVault?
Due to a lot of people asking me what they are lately,I have decided to add this new section to explain it.
A KeyVault (KV) is basically a file that holds information about your Xbox and is what Microsoft uses to identify your Xbox when you attempt to connect to Xbox Live.
When Microsoft ban your Xbox they basically use the details of the KV and make it so a console with that KV in it is not allowed to connect to Xbox Live.
The method used in the past to ban your console was extracting a KV from an unbanned console and replacing the current KV in your banned console with the new one.
This made Microsoft think that it is a completely new Xbox and thus,it is not banned.
You can ONLY replace a KV in a JTAG and it cannot be done on a retail Xbox 360.
The KV of a console is stored on the console's NAND chip.
Please Note: You can ONLY extract a KV from a console which can run unsigned code. This would be a JTAG.
The purchase and sale of KV's used to be a big business for modders but now is practically dead due to Microsoft's new server checks for unsigned code.
A JTAG runs unsigned code and Microsoft's new checks instantly ban anyone trying to connect to Xbox Live with a console which is using unsigned code.
So it is no longer practical to unban your console as you cannot to connect to Xbox Live for even half a minute.
What is Homebrew?
Homebrew is another name for unsigned code.
Unsigned code allows you to run programs on an Xbox 360 that Microsoft did not intended you to be able to.
Some examples would be running game emulators,being able to save games to your HDD and not need the disk to run them,unlocking trial XBLA games to their full versions, modifying games,running custom dash boards that allow you to change the systems temperature and other features and much much more.
Homebrew means it's software that was made at home,by one person or a team,but not a developer or company.
Disabling Xbox Live:
I have seen a few people who have been unlucky enough to get a system update on their JTAG and then accidentally installed it.
This will blow the efuses in your JTAG,which in layman terms means,
It will not work and cannot be repaired end of discussion.
So here is how to make sure you will NEVER accidentally install an update or accidentally try to connect to Live and ban your console.
This is for dash version 12611
1. Turn on console and go to the "My Xbox" tab.
2. Go to the "Family Settings" part located second last.
3. Turn on "Console Safety"
4. Scroll to "Xbox Live Access" and choose "Blocked"
5. You may want to set a "Pass Code" to prevent it being altered.
This is if the above method does not work
If your console is different to this layout try looking in "System Settings" for "Family Settings"
Now you should have your JTAG safe from being bricked by an update or becoming banned.
Hard Drive Disks
When buying your JTAG you obviously will need a buy a suitable Hard Drive Disk (HDD) to store all your:
Emulators & Roms
A JTAG can use external HDD's that are not made by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox 360 and thats great as they are cheaper and have larger storage space.
However,a lot of people do not know,that you cannot save DLC,Profiles,Game saves and Title Updates (and more) on an External HDD and that you need either a Memory Card or a Microsoft HDD for your JTAG.
So it may be useful to purchase a 20GB or 60GB HDD for your JTAG if you choose to buy an External HDD for your JTAG.
A lot of people seem to think that JTAGs main use was to host online lobbies for Call of Duty,JTAGs were not made to be used online primarily,they have many many other uses and for those of you who do not know them,they are clearly listed below.
Run emulators - PS1,NES,SNES,GBA and more!
Run custom dashboards e.g. Freestyle Dash.
Get free Xbox Live Arcade Games!
Save games/movies to HDD and never need it's disk again.
Host online lobbies - At the moment it is not possible.
Mod your games as much as you want to.
Download Xbox/Xbox 360 game Iso's/DLC from the internet and be able to use them.
thetechgame.com is a great website to use to download game iso's for use on your Jtag.
You need to make an account.
From reading the above sections you should already have a pretty good idea what JTAGs are made for being used for long durations of time and what ones should be used for a few hours and then left to cool-down for at least a further hour,this section will go into more detail on the probably of overheating causing the RROD.
These motherboards are plagued by overheating which leads to the RROD.
These JTAGs are usually best used for short periods of time.
If you want to be safe,I would recommend using your JTAG for 2-3 hours tops before taking a break (turning it off) and letting it cool down.
Even following this,you will probably come into difficulty and get the RROD.
Luckily,there are modifications that can be done to the consoles to reduce the overheating problems.
Some of the modifications are as follows:
12v Fan Mod
Make all fans run at full speed to increase cooling.
Allows you to set the fan speeds to increase or decrease cooling.
Thermal pasting (Heat-sinking)
I think googling this may be the best idea.
Some of these modifications are available in some of the stickied shops below.
All of these methods,done correctly,will reduce the temperature of your console and increase cooling and/or decrease heat creation,thus allowing you to play your console longer without turning it off to cool.
Please note,even with these modifications,you may still suffer from the RROD due to overheating.
The Falcon is less prone to getting the RROD due to overheating than the Xenon/Zephyr but still has a chance to get it and is likely to get it at some stage or another.
They can be used for long periods of times without overheating,I would recommend no longer than 6 hours gameplay before switching it off and letting it cool down.
If you wish,you may have some of the modifications installed,this will reduce the chances of your consoles getting the RROD.
Please note,even with these modifications,you may still suffer from the RROD due to overheating.
Jaspers very very rarely suffer from the RROD so play as long as you like,I highly doubt your console will overheat.
No modifications should be necessary for your Jasper JTAG.
What Jtag Should I Purchase?
Q. Can I host online lobbies?
A. At the moment,no JTAGs cannot get online.
Q. Can I system link?
Q. I saw someone hosting online,you can host online!?
A. Some people know how to get online,it is not public so only a select few can.
Q: Which JTAGs can host online lobbies and system link?
A: All JTAGs can host lobbies of each type.
Q. Do I need to flash my JTAGs drive to play backups?
A. Yes you do.
Please read the FAQ.
Lobby Hosting JTAGs:
Xenon (Best) Note: Should not be used for longer durations.
Zephyr/Falcon (Second best)
Xenons can use type 1 & 2 KV's so unbanning is easier for them.
Zephyrs/Falcons can both only use type 2 so are harder to unban.
At the moment,it's not very important,as JTAGs cannot connect to XBL.
Falcon (Second best)
The Jasper is better for offline use as it very rarely get the RROD and does not have heating up problems.
The Falcon is good for on/offline,but it suffers from the RROD,more than the Jasper,less than the Xenon.
However,it is a lot cheaper than a Jasper.
Q: Do I need to open up my Xbox to find out my kernel?
A: No you do not.
Q: How do I find what kernel version I have?
A: Dashboard -> System Settings -> Console Settings -> System Info.
Q: My Xbox has Kernel version 8498 (or higher) can I have it Jtagged?
A: No,only Kernel version 7371 and lower can be Jtagged.
Q: Can I downgrade my kernel so that it is JTAGGABLE?
A: No,it is impossible to downgrade your kernel version unless you have the original NAND.
Q: Will a system update kill the console?
A: Applying an Official System update will burn your efuse and Kill your Jtag console,be patient and wait for a new rebooter.
Q: What does RROD mean?
A: RROD = Red Ring of Death.
Q: I've got RROD and an error message! What does it mean?!
A: Google the error message and you will find the cause.
Q: I've been thinking of opening my console to....Will this effect my warranty?
A: It will completely void any existing warranty.
Q: Can I have my JTAGGABLE JTAGGED if it has a non-working disk drive?
A: Yes you can,however, some JTAG uses will be unusable.
Q: Can I use my HDD to JTAG my console?
A: No you cannot,it's not solely a softmod
Q: What is un-signed code for a JTAG?
A: Un-signed code is basically programs and files that were developed but not verified (signed) by Microsoft.
Q: How do I un-ban my Xbox 360
A: You change your keyvault.
Q: What is a Keyvault(KV)?
A: It is like a serial number for your Xbox 360,if you have a console ban,it is your KV that is banned and used to recognize you,you can change your KV so Microsoft think your someone else,thus unbanning yourself,but this is a complicated procedure.
Q: What is an emulator?
A: An emulator is an application that can imitate a device (game console) and run software for that device (console games).
Q: What consoles can a JTAG emulate?
A: It can emulate,PS1,GBA,GB,SNES,NES and MAME to my knowledge.
Q: What is freeBOOT?
A: Freeboot is a Xbox 360 re-booter. This will allow you to boot into the latest dashboard released by MS without the kernel on your 360 changing. Freeboot works on Xenon, Zephyr, Falcon, and Jasper consoles with 16mb flashes.
Q: What is XBReboot?
A: XBReboot is another rebooter just like freeBOOT. It has mainly the same features that freeBOOT has. But is able to be flashed straight onto your onboard NAND instead of on a second NAND. Only downside is XBReboot is not as stable as freeBOOT.
How to use JTAG Tool to update to 12625 Dash
Here is a step by step tutorial on how to update your JTAG to the latest dashboard version,which is the 12625 Kernel.
This DOES NOT UNBAN YOUR JTAG,and you CANNOT CONNECT TO XBL with it.
Once it is installed you will get this on your desktop.
Run as ADMINISTATOR For everything to work perfectly.
Make sure to get this correct or might not work correctly:
Enter your JTAG details and how you will transfer the nand across.