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Hack your old Xbox 360 hard drive into an Xbox 360 slim

Posted at 26 August 2010 00:00 CET by AdamT

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.

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There are 17 comments

Mr. Belvedere
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 26 Aug 10 10:53
    Why on earth would you do that? The slim comes with a 120GB drive, the earlier xbox 360 with less. Why not just transfer all data from the old to the new drive?
    Anthony1uk
    MyCE Senior Member
    Posted on: 26 Aug 10 15:59
      The slim does not come with a 120GB hard drive.

      The S model comes with 250GB hard drive.

      There is a Arcade replacement with 4GB of flash memory, and a matte finish to it (what many are wanting).

      The 4GB model will also be the only one for the time being being bundled with kinnect so many will be getting this model.

      I would say just use a 2.5" western digital 250GB hard drive and make it into a Xbox360 drive (apologise if that cannot be suggested).
      Mr. Belvedere
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 27 Aug 10 11:19
        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Anthony1uk
        The slim does not come with a 120GB hard drive.

        The S model comes with 250GB hard drive.
        My apologies. I stand corrected.

        Quote:
        There is a Arcade replacement with 4GB of flash memory, and a matte finish to it (what many are wanting).

        The 4GB model will also be the only one for the time being being bundled with kinnect so many will be getting this model.
        Aha, i understand. Now on those things it would be convenient if you can pop in your old xbox 360 disk.

        Quote:
        I would say just use a 2.5" western digital 250GB hard drive and make it into a Xbox360 drive (apologise if that cannot be suggested).
        But can it be done legally?
        Transmatrix
        MyCE Rookie
        Posted on: 27 Aug 10 14:52
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Mr. Belvedere
          But can it be done legally?
          The process to modifiy the WD Scorpio drives into Xbox 360 drives requires a valid signature file from another Xbox 360 drive. When people hack them, they usually download one of these signatures from a website. What that means is that probably about 80% of the people using hacked hard drives have the same signature. I was looking into this at one point but decided not to do it because I was afraid that Microsoft would be able to see this signature file and ban my Live account...

          http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox360-tools/HDDHackr.php
          lsf_21
          New Member
          Posted on: 19 Oct 10 21:01
            http://www.goldenbridge.hk/goods-4129.html

            I believe this would be a 10 dollar cheap case he was talking about to hold your hard drive in place.
            Transmatrix
            MyCE Rookie
            Posted on: 19 Oct 10 22:02
              @lsf_21 Awesome, thanks for sharing the link. Contemplating buying one just in case, it's not too expensive with airmail shipping.
              lsf_21
              New Member
              Posted on: 20 Oct 10 05:56
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Transmatrix
                @lsf_21 Awesome, thanks for sharing the link. Contemplating buying one just in case, it's not too expensive with airmail shipping.
                yea my xbox pooped out last night, so i need to replace.
                BkWdsDrftr
                New Member
                Posted on: 21 Dec 10 20:52
                  http://cgi.ebay.com/XBOX-360-SLIM-HARD-DRIVE-HDD-CASE-SHELL-/250744558882?pt=Video_Games_Accessories&hash=item3a618a5522 - this is an empty slim drive case, in the US for $10

                  From what I've read, the drive signature is just a size format, you wont get banned for using the format approach. But the extra effort to get it right might not be worth it when you can buy a 250 gig slim drive for $60 on ebay

                  This is just for those who already have an old 360 drive thats not too small. Getting a transfer cable is about $5 on ebay. And using xbox live to transfer between hard drives is easy & needs no cable, so a zero-hours drive is smarter
                  valdan1
                  MyCE Member
                  Posted on: 08 Jan 11 00:54
                    Hey everyone, I just picked up a 360 slim. For mine I just ordered a 250GB Hard Drive directly from Microsoft. $109.00 with free shipping. According to tech support from xbox.com, I just put the new drive in & if I want I can call & tech support will walk me through the "First Time" set up.
                    I did buy a few 360 Slim Hard Drive Case Enclosures just to sell here for people who want a Microsoft Xbox Case & use their own drive &/or I'll pick up a couple of Western Digital Scorpio 250GB Drives so they have an option of getting the Drive ready to put in.
                    I was under the impression that it is formatted with a FAT32. If someone knows about that please reply to my post. I can't see Microsoft doing anything other than installing Hard Drives into the Case & shipping them. So I guess I just need to know if it works with a Western Digital Drive out of the box & you just follow the on screen directions when you fire up the 360S for the first time. Thanks, Dan
                    ThaB
                    New Member
                    Posted on: 15 Feb 11 03:34
                      Hey, my old 360 took a dump on me last night so I went and bought a new slim with kinect bundle. I was disapointed when I realized my old drive wouldn't work with the slim. I took apart my old 360 drive and plugged it into the slim. It works perfectly. I used some electrical tape wrapped around my old drive as a spacer, so no $10 piece of plastic was required. Yay.
                      ThaB
                      New Member
                      Posted on: 15 Feb 11 03:39
                        By the way, this also solved my problem of transferring data from old to new since I don't have a spare 360 to plug my old drive into, or a transfer cable.
                        Mr. Belvedere
                        MyCE Resident
                        Posted on: 15 Feb 11 09:05
                          Quote:
                          Originally Posted by ThaB
                          so no $10 piece of plastic was required. Yay.
                          $7.80 with worldwide free shipping.
                          valdan1
                          MyCE Member
                          Posted on: 15 Feb 11 18:49
                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by Mr. Belvedere
                            $7.80 with worldwide free shipping.
                            I bought 5 of those hard drive cases. if you have to ship the console to Microsoft for warranty work I don't believe they will put a case on your hard drive. I would check to see. They might reject it because the hard drive is not in a case. That would be a bummer.

                            If you get a case, I was adding some glue to the case just to keep Microsoft out of it. The 3rd party cases only have the Microsoft logo on the outside.
                            WilHale
                            New Member
                            Posted on: 03 May 11 11:44
                              I purchased a 120 GB Xbox 360 hard drive like the one shown. I was able to remove it from it's casing and pop it into my 360 slim. Took about 5 minutes and a jewelers set of screwdrivers. There does need to be some support to keep the drive from slipping out. As suggested here, a piece of plastic will do the trick.
                              Mr. Belvedere
                              MyCE Resident
                              Posted on: 03 May 11 11:48
                                Yup. Tested this myself as well and works 100% perfectly. Even without a casing. Though i ordered a casing, since it's more stable that way.
                                Grace1234567
                                New Member
                                Posted on: 15 Jun 12 18:13
                                  Does this allow you to play old original Xbox games? Thanks
                                  Mr. Belvedere
                                  MyCE Resident
                                  Posted on: 15 Jun 12 19:04
                                    Quote:
                                    Originally Posted by Grace1234567
                                    Does this allow you to play old original Xbox games? Thanks
                                    Only some original Xbox 1 games have been made compatible with the Xbox 360. It has nothing to do with the hard drive whatsoever.

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