Getting Inside the new Xbox 360

To get into the Xbox 360 you’ll need pretty much the same tools you needed to get into the old one. A flat head screwdriver helps, preferably one with a long, thin stem (a tiny flathead is also useful in getting the heatsink clamp off if you want to go that far). You’ll need a torx driver with T8 bit. A phillips head screwdriver if you want to remove the fan on the heatsink and a selection of thin/flat tools to help you pry bits of the case apart.

The bad news is that the new Xbox 360 is not really any simpler to disassemble than the old one. I've included photos of the process here but for larger versions and even more than what I've included inline, check out the gallery below. As always, proceed at your own risk - we're not responsible for any damange to your console that happens as a result of following these instructions. Also know that proceeding with this will surely void your warranty from Microsoft.

To start you’ll want to first remove the hard drive. Next we have two plastic grates on the left and right of the system that pop right off. They are attached using clips along their edges so work one part out with your flat head driver and just pull the rest off.

The side without the hard drive is a bit more difficult. I crammed a plastic tool between the chrome casing and the plastic grate to pull it off and then wedged my fingers in there to get the entire piece off.

This next part is the first of two hard parts, and I’m not sure there’s a way around this. Removing the two plastic grates will reveal two more black plastic covers. You can wedge your flathead between the plastic cover and the rest of the system and pry it off.

The cover is attached to the system by several plastic stands that fit through little holes behind them. The stands are wider at their outer most edge than they are at the base, too wide to just fit through the hole. In fact, removing these plastic covers will break part of the stands off. It looks like Microsoft did this to make opening the new 360 something that could only be properly reversed at Microsoft itself. Thankfully doing so doesn’t fundamentally ruin the system.

Stick your screwdriver in one of the cutouts and pry away. You’ll see a lot of flexing and then hear a pop, once you hear one move to the next portion of the plastic cover. Do this around the edge until the entire cover is removed. Repeat for the other side of the 360.

Now you’ve got line of sight into the system itself. Great.

At this point you can also remove the 802.11n card which is held in place by a single screw. Remove the T8 screw and the card slides right out. It is just plugged into an internal USB port.

Now we have to remove the two chrome surrounds on either side of the system. These are attached via clips that can be tempted loose using that trusty flat head screwdriver. Wedge it between the clip and the rest of the chassis and push away from the chassis:

Some clips will give way easily, others will take some coercion. Some of the clips are only accessible via a very tiny, very long flat head. Start with the clips you know you can get off and then try to pry the tough ones later.

You’ve got 6 on one side and 5 on the other chrome lip, the shots below should help you.

With the two chrome surrounds removed we’re now at the second most difficult part of dissecting the new Xbox 360. Remember these little things:

Yep, they’re back, and even more of a pain.

Power Consumption: 50% of the Original Xbox 360, and Quieter Lifting The Covers


View All Comments

  • Rafterman - Saturday, September 25, 2010 - link

    Was looking at the new X-Box S. The guy in the shop said it outputs 720p/1080p. Afterwards I'm thinking how does it do this if it does not have a blu-ray dvd drive and it got me thinking, are x-box games not HD(blu-ray) alla PS3 games. I understand you can run DLC at HD(1080p ect) but how does it work with games bought in the shop on DVD. Reply
  • xboxer - Monday, November 1, 2010 - link

    Does anyone know if there is any speed difference in the CPU in the new slim versus the original? Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Its the same speed. Same architecture, same frequency, same buses. Just smaller. Reply
  • ordine - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Bring back the old Cartridge was nice and fast,wonder if it would work these days . Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, January 15, 2012 - link

    It would cost more per gigabyte. The PS Vita is sort of using them - if you count SD-like memory cards - but that can get away with less storage per game, most likely. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Sunday, October 9, 2011 - link

    It's uglier, why does everyone think it's prettier?
    Second, you could have done the x clamp fix to fix your old xboxes or just give them to me :P
  • VenomousTBag - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Absolutely awesome. XBOX360 + Strawberry milkshake = f**ked? NO - thanks to this guide, I have just fixed the unfixable :) Thank you sooooo much :):):):) Reply
  • justammad - Monday, December 16, 2013 - link

    So the best xbox 360 console is jasper? To enjoy longtime gaming? Reply
  • justammad - Monday, December 16, 2013 - link

    And whats about The gaming and problems experience of the 2013 xbox 360 e slim? Reply

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