Been trying to figure this out for a while, and I figured I’d make a blog post about it, both as a resource for myself and as an answer to anyone with the same question.  So here’s the situation:

I have an old Falcon 360 with a classic JTAG hack.  It’s pretty amazing and does all sorts of stuff I love, like letting me control the fan speed (after 2 previous Red Ring boxes, I’m not having any of that) or use it as a devkit.  Some time ago it stopped running certain games freezing at specific points, and always at the same place.  In Batman: Arkham Origins, it stops as soon as the intro cinematic is over, before the game loads the actual engine and hands control over.  In Split/Second, it checks for DLC, then moves to a loading screen and stops there, never getting past it.

There are a number of others, but most of them have the same problem, freezing before the ‘game’ itself starts.  Some make it past the main menus (like Fist of North Star: Ken’s Rage), while some stop during the initial loading (like El Shaddai or the aforementioned Split/Second).  All of these games have worked in the past, both on disc and loaded onto the hard drive, but now they all consistently freeze in the exact same place every time, no matter what format I play them on (disc, internal, external, extracted, GOD, etc).  In all cases, when I press the Guide button on the 360 controller, I can *hear* the sound of the Guide opening, but it doesn’t show on the screen.

Meanwhile, the majority of my games work flawlessly, no issues at all.  Since they all *used* to work at some point, I’m fairly certain that I fucked something up somewhere along the way, possibly during a dashboard update to the JTAG at some point.

My NAND is clean (no bad blocks), and I’m running on Dash 16202 without any overt ‘errors’.  I’ve tried running both my original JTAG’d NAND and a recent ‘working’ backup through the latest version of xeBuild, and each time I’ve been given an E71 error on boot.  Getting pretty frustrating.

Originally I was having trouble flashing my ‘working’ NAND back to the XBox via XeLL-Reloaded.  Tried a bunch of USB sticks, a bunch of differently named NAND backups, bunch of different ports, and XeLL wasn’t having it.  Wouldn’t even see the drive, let alone the file.  That was both frustrating and scary.

Eventually found I needed to use a specific USB stick in a specific USB port (front top-most when the box is horizontal) for XeLL to find it, and I managed to recover back to ‘working’.  ‘Working’ meaning that it’s having the same problem with the same games, but the majority are still fine.

Eventually, I found that I had a plugin enabled on my Dashlaunch, a dev kit plugin.  I removed that, saved the dash.ini, and ended up using that file with xeBuild (2.096) to build it into the new NAND flash.  I also removed a weird $Titleupdate folder from the root of my 360’s hard drive, no idea what that was.  Went back in with Flash360, flashed the new image, and lo and behold, success!  I had updated to the newest dash.

Full of trepidation, I attempted to load one of the ‘problem’ games off my internal HDD… and it worked!  Yeeeeaaa~!  Tried a few more off disc and external, and again, they worked!  Solved the problem (although I’m not sure how, exactly), and got my games back!  Now to see if I can get the dev kit back, I was enjoying that.