As we have done over the past few weeks, today we're starting off the new week with another Product Review (all are available from Reviews.PS3News.com)- this time courtesy of both fattysc and http://www.************. X-Box 360 owners can check out the http://www.************/xbox360/xeno_top_gear.php as well as the http://www.************/installpics/xeno_top_gear/xeno_top_gear_manual.jpg... and of course what fattysc has to share with us about it below as follows:

The http://www.************/xbox360/xeno_top_gear.php, I was eagerly awaiting this bad boy. The entire contents of the Top Gear is as follows: (x2) Sata connections, (x1) X-Box 360 opening tool, (x1) SATA Power connections, (x1) Torx driver, and (x1) Allen head torx. To get a Samsung ms25 to show up in Windows so I could flash the firmware took a bit of trial and error. You will most likely have to do what I did to get the ms25 to show up in Windows XP as well:

1: Save the installer program that contains the VIA driver and platform manager software for your brand of PC some where on the PC for later use.

2: Uninstall any VIA drivers or platform manager software.

3: Shut down the PC.

4: Toggle the switch from PC to 360 on the Xeno Top Gear.

5: Get the enable0800 dvd+r dl disc you have burned (from earlier firmware upgrades).

6: Turn on the X-Box 360 and insert the enable0800 disc.

7: Wait about 10 - 20 seconds and eject the enable0800 disc.

8: Toggle the switch from 360 to PC on the http://www.************/xbox360/xeno_top_gear.php.

9: Now turn on the PC.

You should now see the Samsung ms25 drive in your computer and you are now ready to flash the ms25 with the desired firmware. Don't forget after you flash the ms25 you will need to reinstall the VIA drivers and or the VIA platform manager software to beable to properly use whatever hardware requires it. In order to flash the ms25 again you will need to repeat the steps above, but atleast you don't have to hack apart your 360 anymore.

NOTE: Even though I can get the ms25 recognized in XP, I can't find a program that is able to flash it. This doesn't mean that it isn't possible, it just means in Windows XP I doubt it is possible. You will have to revert back to the old method of flashing the ms25 in a DOS enviroment using mtkflash.

My main reason for wanting to review this piece of hardware was so I wouldn't have to multilate my X-Box 360 any more while upgrading the firmware. No more broken clips, no more scratches! Another reason to ponder getting the Top Gear is to back up game saves. Also I like to tinker around with files. Now I can! I definately plan on creating a few apps for the X-Box 360 now that I have access to the X-Box 360 files. If you have access to maps for games then I don't see why you couldn't inject the maps into the proper folders with the Top Gear. I will be investigating this very question with the new Halo 2 Maps coming out.

I was very pleased with the design of the http://www.************/xbox360/xeno_top_gear.php itself. The material used for the actual Top Gear is really nice. The installation was a snap, and a LOT safer than having to rip open the 360 every time you need to upgrade the firmware. The X-Box 360 opening kit made the total install time 15 minutes.

It doesn't come with software to back up game saves. You will need to download a seperate program for this. I recommend a program called Xplorer360, it backed up my entire X-Box 360 to a .bin file in about 20 minutes. The http://www.************/xbox360/xeno_top_gear.php opens up an entire world of possibilities now that you can obtain every single file on the hard drive.

There was one drawback though, you have to remove the metal shield that covers the DVD drive and motherboard. If you don't, you will surely cut into the SATA/Power connections. Albeit, you are not supposed to be turning the X-Box 360 while it is on or playing football with it so not a major issue. Related pictures are available in an animated image displayed above. Overall, I give this product a 7 out of 10.. mainly because you can't flash inside Windows XP and also taking the price tag into consideration.