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

  • CityZ - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    I see a potential problem with the power plug waiting to happen. It appears as if the prongs on the power plug are symmetric, though one delivers +12V and the other +5V. The plastic on the case and the plug makes a D-shape that only allows the plug to go in one way. However, someone who's taken their case apart won't have this protection. They might plug it in the wrong way and zap their MB/PS. Reply
  • adam92682 - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    One of the many reasons you aren't supposed to open the system. Reply
  • casteve - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Only 17.6W difference between idle and load power for Valhalla? While the idle power is better w/ ea generation, it seems they dropped the ball on this gen. An i5 661 + HD5870 based PC only draws 67-70W AC at idle. Reply
  • logikil1 - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    I haven't been able to locate what revision of HDMI the new 360 uses. I believe the original used 1.2 and was curious if MS went to 1.3 or 1.4 with this system. Reply
  • aforty - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    I'd really loved to have seen some noise level comparisons between the new Slim and the first generation Xbox 360. I have a first-gen and the noise is pretty much why I now prefer my PS3. However I'm thinking about upgrading and would love to see how the new Slim stacks up against what I currently have in the noise department. The power consumption already looks really good compared to what this thing sucks down.

    Thanks for the breakdown!
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately my first gen 360 is now dead otherwise I could've provided more data :-P

    Take care,
  • Pirks - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Anand please tell us, I saw a youtube video ( ) where Xbox Slim does scratch DVD when you move it a little while PS3 doesn't. What's your personal take on that? Does Slim manual say something about danger of DVD scratching? Any warning labels on the Slim itself? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    There's a warning sticker on the DVD drive telling you not to move the console while a disc is in there. I meant to take a picture of it but forgot once I got into the teardown phase.

    As long as you're mindful of it it's a non-issue, however I have come very close to accidentally ruining a game or two when I wasn't paying attention. It is silly and MS could easily fix it, but the 360 isn't about high quality hardware, it's about profitability.

    Take care,
  • Pirks - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Fuck Ballmer. Reply
  • Rob100 - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Why oh why have they made it a nasty gloss black finish

    If it was available in a matt "no scratch, no finger print, no dust" black finish I'd buy one, but from the pics I've seen it just looks cheap and nasty

    I will be sticking with my Elite thanks which if you ask me looks 10 times better than this - what were they thinking...

    If I wanted a quieter 360 then I would of bought an "arcade" and stuck it in a Lian Li XB-01B

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