back to article Console modders attempt to bypass Xbox Live ban

Xbox 360 owners banned from Xbox Live for allegedly modifying their consoles have begun fighting back against Microsoft, releasing a step-by-step guide to side-stepping the software giant’s ban. The unblocking process is a mixture of software and hardware trickery, and also requires you to have a spare “unbanned” Xbox 360 …


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  1. Rob Beard

    Except for most it's useless...

    According to what I have read, for most it is all but useless. You need to be able to boot a homebrew app to extract some keys from the console, but the homebrew was blocked with the Summer 09 update, so unless you happened to get your keys before doing this update then you're screwed.

    Plus it means the donor console can't be used online again.

    Too much trouble if you ask me. Might as well go out and buy a new console and the games.

    Personally I'm happy playing some of the older releases which have been out a while and been reduced in price. I dare say I'll be trying MW2 when the next XBOX is released :-)

    Rob (who hasn't modded his XBOX 360, but doesn't play on Live either).

  2. Hermes Conran
    Gates Horns

    Also requires......

    Hemlock, eye of newt and the hand of a hanged man.

  3. Daniel 31
    Gates Horns


    This is old news. You also need your CPU Key for the banned console inorder to decypt the NAND, if you got banned lately your using the lastest dashboard which has been patched so you can't extract the key from (yet).

    If you did get your CPU Key when you could then you prob already know this info.

    If your banned and your looking for hope then your out of luck.

    It's a shame that the mod for the console is detectable when using backups, but the writers are working on that problem :)

  4. JJS

    Copying flash from another xbox

    Doesn't the requirement for a non-banned Xbox completely defeat the point of the workaround? Why wouldn't I just mod the unbanned console and use that?

  5. Dirk Vandenheuvel


    They will just get banned again in the future. Just use a real 360 on Live instead damn cheaters/pirates.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Unhack is an old hat...

    This has been around for months i think almost a year, bad news is you cant do it on xbox's thats dashboard is above a certain version which would mean you havent been online which would mean you haven't been banned...

    You wouldnt be able to do it again and again, effectively your just get the new CPU key banned then thats 2 xboxes banned rather then just the one.

    what im liking is the hoax at the moment about a magic DVD to unban your xbox

  7. C Yates

    "a spare “unbanned” Xbox 360 handy"

    ROFL, this shouldn't be a problem for most 360 users - almost EVERYONE I know has at least two dead Xboxes lying about as the result of one problem or another (red ring... dead drive etc etc). It's a great console, but I've never seen anything break down so damn much!

    not that I'm slightly bitter or anything =P

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The point is?

    Unless the spare Xbox is faulty, why not just switch to using it instead of going through the hassle of this?

  9. Craig 12

    This is stupid

    Without RTFA, I assume it's something to do with swapping console identifiers, which I believe is how Live bans machines (it doesn't ban actual accounts, cos then MS would lose 'real' revenue).

    But... if you have an unbanned console... just USE THAT CONSOLE. Sheesh, are pirates getting that stupid?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So if you've got two functional 360s and one isn't banned why wouldn't you just play the unbanned one?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    Glad they banned them - as a developer that gets paid to write software (when not reading the register), why should developers work their arses off only for people to play for free? I think £32 for COD6 is a bargain, the software we write here costs thousands per user and probably gets less use than a game would.

  12. RobE


    I can't believe it has taken microsoft *this* long to take this step, and yet it has only taken about 1 week for a workaround to appear.

    I have an xbox, but don't own MW2/have Xbox live/modded box, however I do feel their games are a bit pricey so can perfectly understand why people do it.

    I do have aspirations to be a software developer and feel it isn't necessarily easy to protect ones intellectual property, however, it is easy to make money out of ones work if you are already established. There are variety of different business models such as advertisement (in game adverts as per football games, shootem ups, driving games - proven to work well), affiliation, selling different versions of software (as in the case of operating systems), etc.

  13. Scott 19


    If your not going to play MW2 on-line i wouldn't bother, the games meh, the on-line play is very good indeed (except for party chat not being enabled on most play lists but there is a work around.)

    And if your going to go rip your console apart just so you can have every game under the sun for free and then this happens, meh again.

  14. Alex 32
    Thumb Down

    So basically..

    ..for the cost of a few full priced games, you are back in business.. until they do something else.

    Kudos for the guys who found out a way - that's dedication for you

    But surely, if you have a donner console that then wouldn't be able to play online afterwards, why not just use the donner console for the online games, and the hacked console for whatever.. [Yes, I'm guessing I'm missing a point quite big here.]

    Meh, I'll stick to buying the games and supporting the good game developers that are welcome to my money in exchange for my enjoyment.

  15. CitizenErazed

    Piracy justification

    "however I do feel their games are a bit pricey"

    Then don't buy them, it's a luxury item for a reason.

    Think they're too expensive? Don't buy them. Don't like what the developer's done with the game? Don't buy it. Don't like the DRM? Don't buy the game.

    There is no justification for piracy, saying 'I really want to play the game but I've got no money, oh well, I'll steal it' is the same as saying 'I really want to drive an Aston Martin but I can't afford it, I'll steal one'.

  16. Ben Holmes


    "I do have aspirations to be a software developer and feel it isn't necessarily easy to protect ones intellectual property"

    I guarantee you will feel differently about this once you start work in the sector.

  17. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson

    Arent you missing the point?

    LOL all the comments about just using the legit console are missing the point of why they mod their console in the first place. Its so they can play their pirated software online of course.

    p.s. My xbox is entirely legit and has only been replaced once under warranty. It came back with the same fault but much louder oddly.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ban

    Presumably as these modded box owners think theft is OK they won't have any moral dilema about going and burgling their neighbours for unmodded one?

  19. Richard 31

    banned too?

    Would this not just mean that as some point in the near future the CPU key from the unmodded xbox would also be banned? Meaning that you now have two consoles that no longer work on Xbox Live?

  20. Anonymous Coward


    >>>however I do feel their games are a bit pricey so can perfectly understand why people do it.

    I feel that Aston Martins are a bit pricey - so I can perfectly understand why people steal them.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @ C Yates

    I assume your friends are not aware that MS repair RRODs (and many other faults, if you ask) for free. I have had a 360 since launch, and still have the original one. It has been repaired twice, for free, by MS, which is pretty good customer service given its age. It isn't modded and I don't play pirated games (People pay me for what I do, I reward this behaviour by paying other people for what they do, such as writing, selling or producing games).

  22. Tom 15


    Piracy is not the same crime as theft. Don't get me wrong both are illegal and should be, but to claim they're the same thing only weakens the argument for not pirating things as it makes those saying it look like idiots.

    To be theft, there must be the removal of the original; for example, if somebody stole my PC/car/game I would be right to be pretty pissed off. On the other hand, if somebody came round, looked inside my car's bonnet and then built their own identical car then I wouldn't really be that annoyed; it would be Ford that would be angry!

    The above example is where the idea of "how would you feel if your neighbour broke into your house" comes into play. Let's start getting our facts right and try and actually make a coherent argument otherwise we'll never get anywhere.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ CitizenErazed

    "saying 'I really want to play the game but I've got no money, oh well, I'll steal it' is the same as saying 'I really want to drive an Aston Martin but I can't afford it, I'll steal one'."

    Tell that to the dealer who's down one car.

    Who exactly has lost what when someone pirates a game?

    I'm not condoning piracy, but copyright infringement is NOT the same as theft.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @ Tw@

    "I have an xbox, but don't own MW2/have Xbox live/modded box, however I do feel their games are a bit pricey so can perfectly understand why people do it."

    I paid £26 for WM2. Pricey?

    It's not as good as one's lead to believe, but if it gives me as much play time as the first game I bet the greatest cost-per-hour of play is the electricity used to power the console, not the cost of the game. Perhaps these people should consider rigging their electricity meters too?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was about to made a comment, but then I thought about my rather large MAME collection. I'll shut up now.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    My Xbox 360 got banned

    I'm a bit pissed off about it really, as it disables being able to install and play games from the hard drive. Why are Microsoft disabling this functionality when they're supposedly just protecting the other people playing online? I don't actually play online anway, I only used Live to buy XBLA games.

    Before I'm accused of being a dirty pirate, I buy all the games, I just like to download and start playing them while I wait for and the postal service to get their act in gear. If Microsoft's Games on Demand service actually had up to date releases I wouldn't have even modded it. Yeah I've been impatient and I've broken the rules so it's my own fault, but did they have to take away my hard drive installs?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    so what happens to protecting my investment?

    First: I buy all my games. I like them, and have no problem forking over my hard earned cash for good games.

    Second: I have a dog. A dog who likes to eat shiny flat round things like disks.

    I like to make backups just in case my mangy fleabag manages to get at my disks. Last time I checked, making a personal backup was protected under fair use. So now I get banned for exercising my rights under fair use?

  28. asdf
    Thumb Up

    gut swap

    A much easier way to get rid of your banned xbox for a new unbanned one is to simply do a gut swap (google, gut swap xbox). There are plenty of tutorials on the internet how to do this. Morally it is unjustifiable but I do like to cause anarchy. M$ has only did this to inflate their sales number over the holidays by everyone once again having to replace their existing xbox (I said fug em and now only spend money on my ps3, xbox live is the only thing M$ makes money on in the xbox division but no longer from me). Nothing will hit the beast in the gut like people being scared to buy a new console because purchasers are not sure if has been banned already or not. Does suck for the legitimate purchasers but hey they should have bought a much better bargain PS3 in the first place.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    They get the level of support they pay for

    Why dont they setup and let all the little kiddies play there.

    oph wait they cant as that would need money to setup and run, money from the games that people demand for £0.00, gee.

    Seriously - they took there chances, they paid for it by not bing on xboxlive. Get over it, its your own fault.

    I not only fully support microsofts actions (I never thought I'd ever say that) but I would go as far as saying, why oh why didn't they do it earlier.

    Now any chance of just banning all the illegal copies of XP,vista etc - I personaly would love a world of less spam and you just know it comes from the same people mostly.

    Smiley as I'm happy seeing silly little wanabee's who steal getting it up the brown passageway.

    Anon as those that need to know already know.

  30. Simon 81

    'Backups' = Stolen software. Always. 100% of the time.

    Ah, the old justification of 'Backups' - my dog ate the disc (actually used in this thread) and 'My kids mistake DVD's for bread and spread Jam on them'.


    You are stealing games, and you know it, thats the ***ONLY*** reason you modded. I've never modded, and never pirated, and I wrecked one disc (Lego Star Wars) buy moving the console when it was playing - it buried the laser into the disc and completely destroyed it while making a really nasty sound.

    So I bought it again, and didn't do that again.

    Big fracking deal - one replaced disc out of dozens and dozens. I have kids, and if they scratch a disc beyond repair, or spread Jam on it, they pay for the replacement from their pocket money, or don't get to play that game again, and it teaches them the consequences of their actions with valuable items.

    Regarding pets, well, don't leave the discs lying around, they are really expensive to replace, so look after them. I remember the same bullshit rhetoric on the PS2 too.

    Backups my arse.

    *cue* whining and pleading justification for "backups" in 5... 4... 3...

  31. Anonymous Coward

    @Simon 81

    >they are really expensive to replace

    Not when you use backups!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @CitizenErazed - If it were possible to copy/ steal an Aston Martin and leave the original completely unharmed and intact, i think i'd do it...but that's just me :)

  33. Rob 9
    Thumb Down

    Cheater cheater cumpkin eater...

    @My Xbox 360 got banned #

    By Anonymous Coward

    If you were legit you'd know that you can install to the HDD with the latest dashboard. Sure, you have to still have the disk in the drive to start the game but the entire thing then runs from HDD. Don't be so fricken lazy and give game developers what you owe them.

  34. ContentsMayVary

    Pirates = Thieving Scum

    CitizenErazed said

    " Who exactly has lost what when someone pirates a game?

    I'm not condoning piracy, but copyright infringement is NOT the same as theft."

    If sales go down because of piracy, then one or both of two things normally happen:

    (1) The prices of the games go up to cover the lost revenues.

    (2) Less games are produced, especially from small outfits.

    Either way, it's us law-abiding citizens who suffer due to the THIEVING SCUM who steal the games. It doesn't matter how much people try to justify stealing stuff, they all know that they are thieving scum.

  35. CitizenErazed

    Who's losing out?

    "Tell that to the dealer who's down one car.

    Who exactly has lost what when someone pirates a game?

    I'm not condoning piracy, but copyright infringement is NOT the same as theft."

    Well, the developing company has lost one sale (and yes I know piracy doesn't neccessarily translate straight into lost sales, but let's say for the sake of argument with a game like MW2 it would do), which means the developers who worked on the game may lose bonuses, future payments or even work.

    The paying customer, meanwhile, has lost the trust from the developer. Because now we're treated to ever stricter levels of DRM and moralising adverts - none of which work, and all of which do nothing except to annoy paying customers.

    There is no justification for piracy. Don't agree with copyright law? Don't agree with DRM? Don't agree with EULAs? Fine. Don't use the product. But don't pretend that not agreeing with it still entitles you to use the product, just not to pay for it.

  36. Nikolai Kuzmin

    piracy vs stealing

    No need to blur the lines on this one.

    To steal is simply to take someones item without their permission, while the heinous crime of piracy is to exercise certain right, such as to plunder sea trade or to sell overpriced games/movies/etc without writ from the power in which this right is vested. Thus piracy was always punished much more severely than mere theft.

  37. rincewind

    @Simon 81

    Dear Simon 81

    I have a hard drive with backup image files of all the games i own on Pc and Wii.

    The old justification of "ITS BULL!!!!!one11 dirty pirateS!11on" just doesnt fly and makes yourself look ignorant.

    I used to have a game caled IL2: Sturnovich that had the notorious copy protection SecureROM on it. Shortly after installing i got a pop up saying that i need to put a disc into the drive, after investigation the securerom on the disc had the possibility of damaing the drive and it seemed like it had done it to mine. I could no longer play DVD's in it or laod any disc. Numerous emails to secureROM to get a reply ended in vain even with pictures i took and other information.

    To this date i have never used a disc in my drive longer than needed, and always mount the backups.

    However discs are very tough, my Battlefield 2 disc has sustained a good few years of abuse and still works fine, not that its needed anymore with the latest patch.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Ban the console?!?

    Words of advice to MS:

    1, If you know an account is being used to play illegally then block the account and prosecute the account holder!

    2, Don't ban the console - ones with working flash but other defects are ten a penny - so they can easily just be replaced.

    3, Get a grip - this is all common sense!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rob 9

    I've got the latest dashboard, in fact I was on the beta test for the dashboard update with Twitter, Facebook, etc when the machine was banned. When they ban the machine they disable hard drive installs forcing everything to run off the DVD from then on.

    If you re-read what I posted you'll see I do pay for my games. I've been modding my consoles since the days of the NES so I could play imports. In the case of the 360 I modded it so I could play some games early while waiting for delivery. I simply wish MS weren't disabling console features when supposedly their goal is to protect players on Live, especially when I've only ever had a Silver account and only go on Xbox Live to buy new XBLA games and DLC.

  40. Simon 81


    2... 1.... rincewind....

    You are moving the goalposts of the argument by talking about SecureROM on the PC, nothing to do with this thread, or consoles at all.

    You provide no justification for why you 'backup' your Wii games, and state yourself original discs are tough enough to last.

    You pirate console games. I would respect that more if you copped to it, what annoys me is the faux innocence, the palm up shrug of 'I just need to protect my investment' - its not true. I've bought lots of console games, ONE broke, it was a good game, so I re-bought it, for less cost than modding and burning lots of 'backup' DVD's, and the cost of my time to do this, even at minimum wage.

    The only economic case for such behaviour is if you never bought the original game you are 'backing up' - then it makes perfect sense, and we can have a *different* discussion about the rights, wrongs, motivations and morality of piracy.

    'Backups' is a nonsense argument, it doesn't hold up to inspection, modding is for piracy. Always.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    geek invasion

    "By CitizenErazed Posted Monday 16th November 2009 14:33 GMT

    "however I do feel their games are a bit pricey"

    Then don't buy them, it's a luxury item for a reason."

    lolololol.. computer game is luxury item hahaha..

  42. lyrrad

    xbox bann

    how many of you got you disk damaged in the 360 dvd drive there goes $100 will microsoft replace the disk no they tell ya its your prob,so modded xbox is the way to go only copy gets damaged after all you own original disk and have a legal right to copy it .To you people who say its great they banned them we may be your pc ipod or phone should get banned i make a good bet that on your hd or flash are bootleg software song ect.

    if there are 1 million xboxes banned maybe we should protest by not buying any new future xboxes and buy 1 million ps3 for 2009 xmas stocking

  43. Deadlock Victim


    "if there are 1 million xboxes banned maybe we should protest by not buying any new future xboxes and buy 1 million ps3 for 2009 xmas stocking"

    And eventually Sony will ban those from their live service when they are modded to play stolen games.

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