XBoxes and Virtual Boxes

This post will interest almost no one. However, it serves for me to remember how to do this in the future, as I’ve spent four hours trying to figure out what was going wrong.

Modding an original Xbox by hot swapping the hard drive using a modern PC, a USB to IDE cable, and Virtual Box on Windows.

If this is of any interest, click more.

To mod an XBox the hot swapped drive must be offline and have the read only flag cleared, then the virtualbox raw vmdk must be created, using administrator privileges and virtualbox must be run as administrator.

Re: VM on RAW disk on Windows 7 host

Postby Korkman » 16. Feb 2011, 02:34

In summary:
To gain full hard drive access in a VBox guest on Win7 host
0. close all open programs or documents on any partition on the disk to pass-through
1. run DISKPART (command line utility)*
2. select hard drive carefully using SELECT DISK. disk numbering starts at zero. you can roughly verify your selection with LIST PARTITION if you know what your partitions should look like or LIST DISK to see disk sizes.
3. offline the disk using OFFLINE DISK. all volumes will disappear from windows explorer.
5. verify with ATTRIBUTES DISK
6. create VMDK file as shown in several howtos on the web
7. enjoy

Now we are ready to create a Raw Virtual Machine Disk that will link to our USB stick.

Simply open a terminal on linux or a command-line tool on Windows (Win+R cmd) and change directory to your VirtualBox folder.

cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"

Then we run the VBoxManage command with the following options to link the USB Drive to a vmdk file (Virtual Machine Disk):

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename output_usb.vmdk -rawdisk path_to_usb

You need to change the two red color highlighted parts to YOUR settings.

For example on Linux if I want to save in /home/thomas/.VirtualBox/usb.vmdk a virtual machine disk that links to my USB in /dev/sdb, I type the following line:

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename /home/thomas/.VirtualBox/usb.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sdb

On Windows, if I want to save the virtual machine disk in C:\Users\Thomas\.VirtualBox\usb.vmdk that links to my USB in in Disk 1 (according to the previous Disk Management), I type the following line:

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\Users\Thomas\usb.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive1

Replace the 1 in \\.\PhysicalDrive1 by YOUR device number os the USB drive (for example \\.\PhysicalDrive2).

Note: As noticed by Carlet, if any path contains spaces, write it between quotation marks (“) to make it work.
Example: VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename "C:\Documents and Settings\Carletdesiles\.VirtualBox\usb.vmdk" -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive1
Note: As noticed by Alex and skydvr, on Windows Vista/7, you need to start the command prompt as administrator (right click -> run as administrator) in order to access to the USB drive/stick.
If anyone comes across this and needs further help, leave a comment.