April 15, 2011, 10:40 a.m.
posted by ostin
Sign Your Custom Maps
Bungie signed each Halo 2 map with a data integrity signature. Without this signing process, a Halo 2 map will not load on the Xbox. A modder named Iron_Forge (from The Fantastic Six modding group) figured out how to create the signature and now all Halo 2 hackers can run modded Halo 2 maps on their modded Xbox consoles.
Without this ability, Halo 2 modding would not be possible. Although some people refer to this as a "security signature," Iron_Forge believes that the intention of the signing is to verify that the file was copied properly to the Xbox hard drive (i.e., it effectively serves as an integrity checksum).
Whenever a hacker makes a change to a map, he must resign it (see Figure).
The same signing code is also built into ADI [Hack #50] (Checksum Recalculator, shown in Figure), Ch2r [Hack #51] (Re-Sign Map, shown in Figure), and DotHalo [Hack #52] (Fix Encryption, shown in Figure). You can use any of these apps to sign your modded maps.
The Encryptomatic Signature tool
ADI map signature
Ch2r built-in map signing
DotHalo map signing
If you make a change to a Halo 2 map and do not sign the map, you will see the error "You failed to load the map" when you try to use your modded map.
After you've signed a map, it's time to FTP it over to your Xbox ([Hack #54] shows this being done with CuteFTP, but you should be able to use your favorite FTP client).