Xbox BIOS Tips for Mac

For those working on a Mac doing Xbox modifications, here’s a tip for handling BIOS files. Some Xboxes, such as the “version 1.0,” require a 1 MB sized file, but not all are distributed this way. On the Windows side of things, there are a number of tools available for dealing with Xbox BIOSes, however there’s nothing specifically made for Mac. With a little bit of command-line work, you can combine files without any special tools except the operating system. To join files, the general syntax is:

cat bios512.bin bios512.bin > bios1MB.bin, where bios512.bin is a 512 KB size BIOS.

You’re simply doubling over the file to obtain the 1 MB sized one the Xbox needs. It can be repeated four times for a 256 KB BIOS. Or, if your Xbox is wired with a switch into multiple banks, you could combine two separate files using cat and the redirection operator > to build a custom BIOS, and switch between them as needed.

While I haven’t tried, I’m sure the Unix ‘split’ utlity can slice a file and do the reverse of the above (something along the lines of split -b 512k bios1MB.bin). Just be careful, as not all BIOSes are designed to be sliced into smaller pieces. Hopefully these two built-in tools should get you through any Xbox BIOS issues on the Mac.

Xbox BIOS Tips for Mac

2 thoughts on “Xbox BIOS Tips for Mac

  1. […] The absolute easiest way to flash the BIOS over the network is using a simple wired home router, which assigns IP addresses to any attached device. Connect your Xbox to the router using a length of straight-through Ethernet cable, and choose Enable Network Flashing from the FlashBIOS menu onscreen. FlashBIOS will bring up its network functions and provide you with an IP address, to which you direct your web browser. From the page that loads, you can choose a BIOS file to upload, which will then be flashed. In my case, I chose the X2 5035 “.bin” file and uploaded it to the Xbox. It’s worth noting my much earlier post about slicing and combining BIOS files on the Mac — the Xecuter 2.6 has two 1 MB banks, so you may need to double-over the BIOS to completely fill the bank adjacent to FlashBIOS. After FlashBIOS has written the file to the chip, flick the Bank Select switch on the front panel board, and reboot from the new BIOS. If it worked, you’ll be greeted with “Xecuter Rox My Box” under the Xbox logo. Your Xbox will appear to boot up like normal, or so it seems… […]


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