What's in the Box, in the Box? (Taking it Apart)

Microsoft has shown the world that it's very swift when it comes to recovering from errors that it has made. With the original Xbox design, Microsoft was definitely testing new ground and thus had little experience when it came to protecting its intellectual property and hardware. The original Xbox was largely easy to open by most people with the most common of tools and was quickly adopted by the modding community as the ultimate "utility" console.

In an attempt to circumvent those with modified Xboxes, Microsoft added security and authentication features to its Xbox Live service that would detect whether an Xbox was in its original form or not. But the mod community did not sit idle and not long after, mod chips were introduced that were able to switch on and off between original BIOS mode and "modified" BIOS mode.

Microsoft has clearly announced to the public that it has designed the Xbox 360 from the ground up to thwart those who want to crack open the case -- even simply for a look inside. They have stated that the unit will be screwless (partially true) and be extremely difficult to disassemble -- unfortunately only partially true.

With a few simple tools we were able to disassemble the entire unit, removing every component from the system without any damage. If you plan to take apart your Xbox 360 -- and we must warn that doing so will void your warranty immediately -- the following tools are needed:

  • Three torx screw drivers in the following sizes: T6, T7 and T12
  • One small flat head screw driver or small and thin wedge
  • A 2 inch long and thin (roughly 1.5mm thick) metal stick
  • A 2 inch long and flat (less than 1mm thick) plastic or metal stick
  • A pair of thin pliers

With those tools in hand, we're ready to disassemble the Xbox 360.

Index Removing the Outer Shell
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Zebo - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    I've made this correction before as well but Anand's not listening..that's alright he's the man.
  • Googer - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    I am getting a 404 error when I click on the photographs.


    HTTP/1.1 404 Object Not Found
  • Googer - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Thanks Anand, Kris, and Tuan for taking it apart so we can see what is inside of it. Awesome article, keep up the good work.
  • MAME - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    article is way f'ed up guys
  • Kilim - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Don't worry, be happy, bucko. Sorry for being so damn right cheery right now, I had my therapist appointment last night, lol, and I feel good. haha

    Anyway, I pre-ordered a 360 for my godson at the local Gamestop, well the one I work at, on June 18th, and he will now be waiting for the second shipment! We are only getting 26! Only 26 "good ones" and two "core" units. Anyone know what exact part of the building process is holding up construction of the 360's.

    Is it the video card, cpu, what? Is it the HDD and that is why they created the core unit? Anyone know? Anand?
  • Imazalil - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    As far as I know, Microsoft is keeping the supply really limited to make sure that they have a 'sellout' launch. No real technical issues, just marketing.
  • Shlong - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Wow that power supply is a beast
  • possnfiffer - Thursday, December 30, 2010 - link

    Hey precioustone very general comment with a link i sense spam how bout a mod removes that one. anywayz nice pix got mine open
  • steveyoung123456789 - Friday, December 9, 2011 - link

    wow guys im learning so much and this is so fin thanks alot!! :).... jk your all fags go die
  • darckhart - Sunday, April 7, 2013 - link

    Update: Just in case anyone else browses here to use as a guide.
    I cracked open a Zephyr model yesterday using brand new torx key sets. The only required ones are T8 and T10. I posted a photo guide here: http://i.imgur.com/IQzr0k8.jpg

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now