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


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  • Face27 - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Is it my connection or is anandtech being really slow, its not loading any of the pictures which is what I wanna look at. I'm guessing this is quite a popular article. Reply
  • zech - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    The article was slashdotted:

    Anandtech's servers aren't handling this /. very well. But this is one of the first Xbox360 interal reviews (in a PC-hardware sort of fashion), so I'm sure every Xbox360 forum out there is posting links to it.
  • ItsOnlyMonday - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Yes, these pictures are on multiple forums, somee even lack proper credits.. :-\ Reply
  • gamigin - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    game developers shouldn't run into capacity limitations on Xbox 360 discs anytime soon

    Prominent game developers disagree

    From "http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=56...">http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=56.... Note that this interview was before the next gen console debate in 2004.
    The danger is currently the storage medium (DVD), and one we thing we’re all praying for in the next round of hardware is that they don’t just go, ‘It’s DVD again’. We’ve done some clever stuff with compressing it, but we were virtually full on the disc with Vice City – this time we’re overfilling the disc to the max.”
  • quanta - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    If the developers worry about that much on not enough space to store sound samples, they should have invested on text to speech technology a long time ago, instead of relying on prerecorded sample. Unlike the cheesy Macintalk TTS in the 1980s, modern TTS can accurately simulate human speeches, even the emotional tones. Hey, Ananova uses it, does it not? That way the developers don't even have to worry about rehiring dead/retired/on-strike workers doing voices for games based on century-old movies! Reply
  • gamigin - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Voice synthesis is great but it's really not at the point of replacing voice actors for dramatic games. Can you imagine watching a movie with the voices of your favorite actor dubbed in by a computer? Not quite the same.

    Also, it's more than just voice overs; a lot of space is used for graphics, models, textures, landscapes, animation data, sound effects, and music.

    Most current games don't need more capacity than standard DVD at the moment but some definitely do and others could at least take advantage of it.
  • quanta - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Actually, the emotionalal aspect of TTS is already been done by http://www.computing.dundee.ac.uk/staff/irmurray/s...">various people. In fact, many commercial grade TTS software that supports http://www.w3.org/TR/speech-synthesis/">SSML already able generate emotionally sounding voices. It's not Microsoft's fault that game developers don't try to use/refine the existing TTS engines to make them usable for voice acting applications. Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Ywah, sure, but can you get a computer to do a dead-on Ray Liotta? I think not my friends, I think not! Reply
  • quanta - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    Why don't you try it first before commenting? You can find some demos on http://www.nuance.com/realspeak/rvoice/english.asp">Nuance rVoice's site. Depending on the title, the TTS voices sound better than the real live voices in some games. Reply
  • Questar - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    " We roughly estimated the power of the Xbox 360 GPU to be similar to that of a 24-pipeline ATI R420 GPU."

    What do you base this on?

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