Every Xbox 360 has a special key that is stored on the DVD drive, and the motherboard. This key is used to prevent modification to the console. In order to flash a custom drive firmware, use an ODE, or replace the DVD drive, you must first obtain the key from the original DVD drive. This is a guide on how to extract the Xbox 360 DVD firmware key using household items.
If you search Google for how to get the DVD key from an Xbox 360 you’ll find that most tutorials say that some sort of external device that you have to buy is required. Common hardware devices include the Team Xecuter X360USB, and Xecuter CK3i. Additionally some drives require special probes to be flashed.
Purchasing a drive flasher, and a probe, costs nearly $100. It turns out that you don’t actually need either of those things to get the key from your Xbox 360’s drive. I was able to extract the key from my drive using things that I already has laying around my house.
Jungle Flasher supported hardware
Those Team Xecuter devices use a program called Jungle Flasher. I ran across a forum thread with a list of motherboard chipsets that are compatible with the software. If you, or someone you know, has an old computer with a supported controller then you can use that computer to extract the key. You can find a list of confirmed working controllers on my Jungle Flasher page.
In my case I had an old Pentium 4 based computer with an Intel 865PE chipset, along with the compatible ICH4 IDE controller. Even if you don’t have a compatible motherboard, you can buy a VIA PCI expansion card with the 642X chipset. If your chipset isn’t on the list, there’s still a chance that it will work if you try it.
Once you have a compatible computer you are going to need to install Windows XP onto it. The Jungle Flasher software does work on newer operating systems, but it’s much easier to setup and use, and much more reliable with Windows XP.
Xbox 360 drive preparation
Now back to the hardware. Xbox 360’s come with different DVD drive models. Mine came with a LiteOn DG-16D2S-09C, with firmware 83850C. I found this out by opening up my Xbox 360 and looking at the label that is on top of the drive. You’ll want to remove any game from inside the drive before you get started taking apart the console.
This drive needs to be probed in order to be flashed. Probes can be purchased for around $15, but you can make your own. You just need to have the ability to connect and disconnect a power wire, and ground a pin on the drive’s board.
Above is an image of the wire that you will need to cut. Below is an image of how I reconnected the wire. I used jumper wires to save space. Using a physical switch is common, and probably easier to work with, but a jumper wire works. Alternatively it’s possible to just use exposed wires, and solder them back together once you’re done.
Below is an image of how I created a ground wire. I soldered another jumper cable to the chassis of the Xbox 360. I used a female connector, and connected it to a double sided male connector. Doing that lets me keep the ground cable connected to the console in case I need it again, but without having the risk of a loose ground wire shorting something out. If you don’t have any extra wires you could even use a paperclip and the ground solder blob on the drive’s board.
Below is a picture of where the point you need to probe with the ground wire is located on the drive. On my drive the glue around the chip extended to that pad, so I had to scrape away the glue carefully.
With the hardware setup as mentioned above, you should be ready to setup the software to extract the key from your drive.
Preparing Jungle Flasher
Within Windows XP you will need to install the .NET Framework 2.0, and download and extract Jungle Flasher. You can download it directly from Team Xecuter, or use my mirror. I used version 0.1.95, which is the newest version I could find. You will need to copy the libusb0.dll file from the libusb folder to the root of the folder that you extracted.
Below is a screenshot of the program running on Windows 10. It isn’t connected to a drive, but will give you an idea of what the interface looks like, and how to use it.
When the program opens go to the DVDKey 32 tab. Then you can follow these steps:
- Go through each of your I/O ports until you see the correct drive information appear under the Drive Properties section. The name should match the name that is printed on the drive’s label.
- Verify that all of the drive properties information is correct. If you couldn’t find your drive in any of the I/O ports then your computer might be incompatible.
- Click on the PhatKey button, this will extract the firmware and the key from the DVD drive.
Extracting the firmware and DVD key using Jungle Flasher
Once you have clicked on the PhatKey button there will be a series of on screen prompts. I had to run through the process several times before I got the hang of it. I’d recommend working with an extra set of hands to help. Here are the steps:
- It will ask to resend the command. You will need to power off the drive by unplugging the power wire, then connect the ground probe to that pin, then power back on the drive by reconnecting the power wire. Press yes on the computer to resend the command.
- After several seconds you will get a message saying that the extract is complete. You need to remove the probe, power off the drive, and then power it back on (using that wire from the first step). Once you have powered back on the drive you can click ok on the computer.
- The program will then prompt you to save a number of files. Save them, and that’s it. If it asks you to auto load a firmware you can click no.
If you take your time, and follow the on screen steps, it should be a fairly easy process. It may take multiple tries. You can find the DVD key under the Drive Key part of the Jungle Flasher program. It can also be reextracted from the saved firmware file using the Jungle Flasher’s Firmware Tool tab.
That’s where this guide ends. You should now have a dump of your Xbox 360’s DVD drive firmware, and the DVD key tied with your system. This key can be used for other mods. I’ll be using my firmware to use an xk3y X360Key ODE to play game backups from an external drive. You could use the key, and the Jungle Flasher system, to flash your DVD drive’s firmware to play burned game backup discs.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions.