BLASTER CK3 - REVIEW
March 15th, 2010
What do you get for your money?
Neatly packaged and sealed as with all T-X products, you get everything required for installation (and initial use for 74850 LiteOns) except instructions – a link for which is given on the packaging. Can be found at HERE.
I have separated them into some different categories,
Tools Supplied for Fitting
- Xbox Case Unlock Tool
- Torx 10 Screwdriver
Items For Use with a 74850C LiteOn
- Blaster CK3 Probe
- USB Cable
- RS232 Serial Cable
Items that get Fitted to the 360
- SATA Cable L Shape Connector
- SATA Cable Straight Connector
- Blaster CK3 External Module
- SATA Exchange Unit Cable Connects to Blaster CK3 External Module
- Motherboard to DVD Cable
- SATA Exchange Unit
The Fitting Tools – Thoughtfully provided to assist with opening your Xbox360, Okay I admit to have my own tools to carry out this task, which I am more comfortable with (as I have used them many times) – But for review purposes I used the tools supplied! There isn’t much to say other than I opened my Xbox360 with them, no problems – they didn’t bend or break – quite sturdy actually!
The LiteOn 74850C Tools – A neat addition which allows purchasers of this kit, to dump their LiteOn 74850C without going to the expense of buying additional tools (i.e. a Probe), provided is all the parts you need! A mini probe (I mean mini! as you can see from the picture it’s about the same size as a USB plug) and your choice of serial connection RS232 or USB (whichever your PC has).
The Items you Fit to your 360 – Well what can be said? The items are all well made and seem robust (not that any of the internals will be required to be moved once installed) – The SATA Exchange unit itself (large grey part) replaces your HDD caddy on the 360 and at first seems a little thinner and more flexible than the part it replaces. However once fitted – it becomes solidly clicked into place and blends nicely into the look of the 360. The green lit up area that is visible when selected to PC settings is actually kind of pleasing to look at when lit!
FITTING THE BLASTER CK3
Well following the instructions on the website I had the items all fitted and ready to test inside 40 minutes! (Samsung drive not a 74850C). The LiteOn 74850C requires additional steps to dump it half way through installation (as you have to probe the PCB inside the drive) once dumped however, you can complete the installation and put your 360 back together – ready to flash the drive using the Blaster CK3 and your previously dumped file! As long as you retain your dumped firmware you need never open the Xbox360 again.
Once fitted, the instructions on the T-X website quickly allowed me to dump/write to my drive! It all works as advertised! Without problems (using Jungleflasher to do the actual reading and writing)
Now, down to the one thing that had concerned me for a long, long time......
Banning of your Xbox360 from Xbox Live
As it has been known for quite some time - powering your Xbox360 without the drive connected to motherboard produces an error which is logged by the Xbox360 and subsequently provides Microsoft with info that you have modified your Xbox360! (Which against the Xbox Lives code of conduct!) Possibly leading to a BAN!
My worry was that using the Blaster to flash your drive uses your Xbox360’s power to power the drive when it’s connected to your PC!
So, Does that produce the error on your Xbox360 ??????
Well.... I’m pleased to say NO!
If you disconnect your drive SATA cable and power on your Xbox360 – the green centre light flashes (like it does when ejecting) this signifies that the Xbox360 knows that you have no drive connected (The Error that is logged!)
Well whilst using the Blaster CK3 to read/write my firmware (i.e. connected drive to PC and the Xbox360 powered on) the green centre light remains on and steady! J
So my ONLY concern has been put to rest! The Blaster CK3 – DOES NOT produce that error!
I now have a very easy to modify Xbox360 drive!
In conclusion – The BLASTER CK3 does exactly what it said it would!
For those that don’t want the hassle of ripping out their drive every time they wish to upgrade its firmware
Those that want an easy way to create a temporary 0800 drive for those all important backups without buying an additional drive!
This Neat and Innovative Item IS FOR YOU!
I won’t be opening that Xbox360 case again! – Good Times J