It’s been a while since I’ve put up a tutorial regarding anything dealing with XBox360. There is a reason for that… Quite simply, God of War III came out on the PS3 as well as Gran Turismo 5 so I had no choice but to ditch the 360 and get a PS3. In my opinion it was a good move. I don’t want to make this post about comparing the 360 to the PS3, so with that in mind, I would like to post up a quick tutorial on how to burn Xbox 360 backups using a new app I developed called isoBurn. isoBurn, simply put is an app that burns ISO’s and DMG’s for the Mac. It is the only app that I am aware of that can correctly burn backups of 360 games using native Mac OS X API’s, better yet, I have tested this app on OS X 10.7 (Lion) the next release of Apple’s operating system and it works flawlessly.

Tools you will need for a successful Burn:

  • isoBurn 1.0 (Available at the Mac App Store – Link) NOTE: As of 10/4/2011, Version 1.2 has been submitted to the Mac App Store with support for XGD3
  • abgx360 for Mac (Available on the abgx website – Mirror 1)
  • Blank Dual Layer Verbatim Media (All the others suck in my opinion and will not constantly burn a working game)
  • A Mac running at least OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • A good DVD burner. The ones that come with the Mac’s are not the best and you would be better off with a good external burner.
  • A backup of a 360 game that you would like to burn
  • A modded Xbox360 running firmware iXtreme LT + for best compatibility

Ok, so now that you’ve got everything you need, fire up abgx360. We use abgx360 to verify the ISO and make sure that everything is properly patched and to generate a .dvd file if there isn’t one already. At the end of the tutorial I will cover briefly how you can use isoBurn to verify your disc to ensure that it has been burned properly. This is a good way to check some discs that you may have burned previously that don’t work, at least you will be able to know why they don’t work.

Verify your ISO with abgx360:

Open abgx360 and then open up your ISO file of the game by clicking on the blue folder icon to the right of the text input field. You should have something similar to the below illustration.

Now click on the AutoFix tab and copy the settings below.

When you have everything set correctly you can click on the blue Launch button at the very bottom it should turn green when you hover over it with your mouse.

After clicking on the Launch button, a Terminal window should open and you should start seeing a bunch of text similar to the below. DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS. Let it do its thing.

Notice the lines in Red, the game I am working with has a blank DMI, a blank PFI and my Stealth check has failed. These are all bad things and fortunately are all things that abgx360 will fix for us.

You will notice that towards the bottom you’ll see some nice green lines of text. PFI, DMI, Video and Stealth have all been fixed, now it just needs to verify the CRC of the ISO. Let it finish, be patient this could take a few minutes. Finally we know that the program has finished when we see the line AutoFix was successful!

You can now close the Terminal and abx360. We can now move on to burn our game using isoBurn… Do me favor, when you get a chance, please rate isoBurn on the Mac App Store.


Burn your ISO with isoBurn:

Go ahead and open up isoBurn, if you haven’t downloaded it yet you can get it here from the Mac App Store. The interface of isoBurn is pretty simplistic which makes it a very easy tool to work with.

Opening isoBurn should present you with an interface as shown below:

Let’s quickly go over the interface. The big square on the top left is where you drag your ISO or DVD file into. Tip: If you drag your DVD file into the square, isoBurn will automatically set the correct layer break for you. If you drag in the ISO you have to set the layer break manually. To the right of the square you have File Name, File Type and File Size, these should all be obvious.

The Drive drop down will allow you to choose which burner you want to use if you have more then one. The speed allows you to select your burn speed, which should be 2x. isoBurn displays some general information about your chosen burner below the drive selection and speed pop ups. There is also a button that allows you to eject your disc if you need to.

The last section of the Burn interface is Burn Settings, this is where you would manually set your layer break if you used the ISO instead of the DVD file. From here you have the option of selecting to eject the disc or mount the disc after burn. Last but not least, we have the Burn button, when you’re ready to burn, click it. Now for the tutorial with a few screen shots.

With isoBurn opened, drag your DVD or ISO onto the big square on the left hand side, you will know that it worked when isoBurn shows you the File Name, File Type and File size of your image. See the screenshot below for an example:

If you used the DVD file you should have noticed that the layer break was automatically set for you, please reference the screen shot above.

If you used the ISO file you will need to enter the layer break manually, the proper layer break is 1913760. You should enter this into the layer break text field under Burn Settings.

Select your burner if you have more then one.

Select the Burn speed, IMPORTANT: Do not burn faster then 2x, it does not produce consistent results and may very well leave you with coasters.

Click the burn button. Wait about 45 minutes and your game should be ready.


Verify your burned disc with isoBurn:

isoBurn, is not just an ISO / DMG image burner but is also a tool that can provide you with useful information about any of your discs. One thing I’ve noticed with coasters is that for the most part, either the layer break was incorrect or the session was not properly closed. isoBurn can verify this for you, with the Media Info tab.

With isoBurn opened, go ahead and click on the Media Info Tab and put a burned 360 game in your burner. isoBurn will immediately analyze the disc and give you a few important pieces of information. See screen shots below for a game that has been correctly burned and one that will never play in a 360.

Screen Shot A

Screen Shot B

If you’ll notice on screen shot A, the key pieces of information are the layer break, Sessions and Appendable. A correct layer break should be 1913760 and there should be 1 session and Appendable should be No.

Now if you’ll look at screen shot B, you’ll notice that the Appendable is set to yes and that there is no session. This is an example of a disc that will never play on a 360.

This feature adds a valuable troubleshooting ability to your tool set. This will allow you to rule out if there is anything wrong with the burn itself or if there is another issue. How many times have you asked yourself after a burn and finding out that it doesn’t play if its because of a bad burn or because of outdated firmware that doesn’t support Wave ‘X’

Well with this tool at least you will know that the layer break is correct and that the session is closed and if abgx360 verified before you burned then there must be an issue with your 360 or the firmware you are using.

Please don’t forget to rate isoBurn on the Mac App Store, it only takes a minute, do it while your waiting for a burn to finish :)

Tutorial Disclaimer: This tutorial or the software isoBurn does not claim that it is able to produce working backups of Xbox360 games. This tutorial is only based from my own experiences and does not guarantee results. Use this tutorial and isoBurn at your own risk.

Legal Disclaimer: Copying or downloading games that you have not legally purchased or own is illegal in all countries. This violates not only laws in your own country, but international copyright laws as well. The purpose of this turoial is for making backup copies of games that you legally own. Software piracy is illegal carries a huge penalty if convicted, is ethically wrong, and hurts the game companies. Support the game developers by purchasing the games you play. You wouldn’t work for free would you? I am offering a SERVICE to those who cannot make backups of the games they legally own. Chris Fletcher is not affiliated with ANY of the companies, Microsoft, Xbox 360 or any others.