Disassembling the Xbox 360 HDD unit

The Xbox 360's HDD unit only currently comes if you purchase the $399 Xbox 360 system. For those who purchase the core system, no hard drive is included. However, if you are interested in finding out just exactly what Microsoft has offered in terms of storage, the following are instructions on how to disassemble the Xbox 360's HDD module.

Start off by first removing the HDD unit from the Xbox 360 main console and lay it flat with the connector side facing upwards. You will see 3 screws. The 4th screw is located underneath the silver "Microsoft" sticker -- removing this sticker instantly voids your HDD unit's warranty.

Once you have removed all 4 screws, lift up the plastic cover while being careful that it is latched onto the button-release end of the unit. You'll want to be careful as not to pop the spring loaded button and lose the tiny spring.

Once open, you will see the 2.5" Serial ATA notebook hard drive encased in a metal shell. Lift off the cover of the protective shell by first removing the four black screws holding it down. To proceed further you will need to have a thin knife. The metal casing is attached to the plastic shell by a very strong adhesive, and to remove the actual hard drive from the housing, you must first pry off the plastic shell from the metallic HD casing. Simply insert a thin knife and slowly "saw" away at the adhesive. Shortly after you will be left with the following:

Once this is done, you can simply remove the attached Serial ATA data cable from the HD and slide out the drive.

Microsoft previously used a regular 3.5 inch desktop drive in the old Xbox but this time has chosen a smaller unit that is separate from the main console. We're quite certain that this move allows them to offer upgrades for those who want to add more storage capacity to their systems as upgrades become available. Currently, the HDD that ships with the Xbox 360 Premium package is a 20GB drive running at 5400RPM. The drive is manufactured by Samsung although it isn't listed on their website as it is an OEM drive for the Xbox 360. The drive itself uses a standard Serial ATA connector (both data cable and power cable) so attaching other drives or the Xbox 360 drive to a computer for data transfer is very possible.

Disassembling the Internals of the Xbox 360 Removing the Heatsinks from the Motherboard


View All Comments

  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, November 20, 2005 - link

    CPU "die" is called that because the CPU is cut from silicon in a specific term called "dicing". "Dice" is in fact the correct word.

    Just because I had nothing better to do this weekend besides beat Kameo in 10 hours, I put together an etymology of all words related to "Die". I'll put that on a website sometime in the near future.

  • yacoub - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    That makes little sense. You dice food but you don't call the resulting piece(s) "die" or "dice". However, a processor is made from a die (remember die-cast metal cars when you were a kid?), and if you have more than one of that type of die, you have dies. Even the Google search comparison between "dies" and "dice" confirms that to be true. Reply
  • akugami - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Anandtech with a comic from www.gucomics.com about their xbox 360 article. Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    As with the last article here that did this, you want "dies" not "dice".

    simply pull the heatsinks off to reveal the GPUs (two dice on the chip)
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link


    332 million transistor GPU is split into two separate dice,

    "Dice" are only in gambling. You want "dies".
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    pl. dies A device used for cutting out, forming, or stamping material, especially:
    An engraved metal piece used for impressing a design onto a softer metal, as in coining money.
    One of several component pieces that are fitted into a diestock to cut threads on screws or bolts.
    A part on a machine that punches shaped holes in, cuts, or forms sheet metal, cardboard, or other stock.
    A metal block containing small conical holes through which plastic, metal, or other ductile material is extruded or drawn.

    pl. dies Architecture. The dado of a pedestal, especially when cube-shaped.

    pl. dice
    A small cube marked on each side with from one to six dots, usually used in pairs in gambling and in various other games.
    dice (used with a sing. verb) A game of chance using dice.

    tr.v. died, die·ing, dies
    To cut, form, or stamp with or as if with a die.
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link


    On a smaller manufacturing process, the dice could be unified,

    DIES. DIES DIES DIES. Yarrr...
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    The worst part is people reading the article who've never heard it used like that before (because it's wrong) are going to think you've got it right and will start saying it. Reply
  • xbdestroya - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Seriously, is grammar commentary the extent of your thoughts on the article? Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Considering they were corrected by someone else in a previous article about "dies/dice" and are still making the same mistake, it's important to make sure they fix it this time before it becomes a permanent fixture of this site.

    And yes, that's really all I thought was worthy of mentioning. The review is pretty cool.

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