Just last week I was talking about how I was frustrated that Microsoft doesn’t let you use your own hard drive in the Xbox 360. They still don’t officially let you do that, but it turns out that the connector for the new hard drive on the Xbox 360 slim model is a standard SATA data and power port. I feel like this has to be at least somewhat intentional, although maybe Microsoft was just that desperate to save space in the new model.
What this means is that if you get a hold of an old Xbox 360 hard drive, you can actually take the hard drive out of its enclosure and connect it to the new Xbox 360 slim. The fact that you can do this and it works is shown in this YouTube video. The take away from this unfortunately way too long video is that the old hardrive both fits in and works with the Xbox 360 slim without any modifications. Assuming, of course, that this isn’t a hoax, and I don’t believe it is.
The disadvantage of this solution is that the slot for the hard drive on the slim is designed for the hard drive to be in the proprietary Microsoft enclosure, so the drive isn’t properly secured physically. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if some Chinese company started manufacturing $10 plastic enclosures that you can put your old drive into.
The reason that I think this may have been intentional on Microsoft’s part is that it is a perfect solution for someone who’s Xbox 360 “red-rings” out of warranty. The Red Ring of Death error is normally an overheating issue with the console and does not impact the hard drive. In this situation, someone could purchase an Xbox 360 Arcade for $200 and put their old hard drive in there. Maybe I’m giving Microsoft too much credit. I will say that I wish they officially supported this and that they sold their own piece of plastic for us to put the old hard drive in. Ideally, they would just include the enclosure with the Xbox 360 Arcade.
Whatever Microsoft’s intent was, this hack appears to work. I can say that if my Xbox 360 red-rings on me and Microsoft won’t fix it for free, I will be seriously contemplating purchasing the new Xbox 360 Arcade and putting my old hard drive in the new console. I even have a Torx screwdriver set, so that step is already taken care of.