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

  • Huggy_Bear - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    I cannot believe nobody has talked about this yet!?
    Blu-ray drive anyone?
    Is the DVD drive plain old SATA/standard form factor? In which case one could theoretically replace it w/ an off-the-shelf SATA blu-ray drive?? Now, OS support and blu-ray playback might be the main issue here...
  • tipoo - Sunday, June 20, 2010 - link

    You answered your own question there, even if it uses standard connecters the OS probably would not recognize the new drive. Reply
  • Gamerguy1020 - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Does anyone know if this new 360 has gigabit ethernet, as opposed to the 10/100 on older xboxes? Reply
  • Finally - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    If Valhalla is the place where Vikings get to when they die,
    does that mean that this new XBOX will die once it gets to you?
  • Finally - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Or does it mean that this new XBOX represents Valhalla and YOU have to die to get one? Reply
  • Finally - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    As it seems, all of the above is inccorect as only certain body parts of yours have to die in order for Valhalla to enter your house:

    Needless to say, I wasn’t terribly happy about purchasing a sixth Xbox 360

    If I had to imagine a picture that shows over-exaggerated self pity plus stupidity all at once I would make a video with some fat nerd uttering this statement. Seriously...
  • Ninjahedge - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    It is nice to have a smaller form factor, but being one of those people that actually has the money for a stereo w/surround and optical input attached to my HDTV, it would be nice if they considered ME in their form factor.

    I HAVE an AV cabinet! I would LIKE a box to be a nicely sized component I can stack in there, complete with internal BR and PS. It could even be slightly LARGER than that original (the horizontal footprint would have to be) so long as I had something that would look like a wicked system component capable of/posessing:

    Gaming (duh)
    Internet Access (limited) and Video
    Net/Internet Streaming and Custom Codec installation
    Blue Ray/DVD playback
    Unlimited USB connectivity
    Limited video RECORDING (C'mahn! TiVo should not be the only one!)
    Front LED display

    I would like a combo Gamer/Vid/Media center. They could get away with charging slightly more for something that would only cost $400 but take the place of an UNLICENSED HTPC + Proprietary gaming system.

    But no. We all know adults do not play games.
  • jeremyshaw - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Just a note, it's also likely MS used Global Foundries (since they bought off Chartered, the IBM Xenon CPU fab location MS chose), if the CPU and GPU have indeed been unified into a monolithic IC. Reply
  • ajlueke - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    With what is shown here, I would consider getting one of these to replace the Xenon based 360 I purchased in December of '05. Yes, I purchased and original run 360 and it has not to this day RRoD on me.
    However, it still has only the 20Gb HDD and a lack of HDMI, as well as the external 802.11g wireless adapter a purchased years ago. Not to mention over twice the power consumption of the new model. May be time to upgrade.
  • Krakn3Dfx - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    "some exciting titles due out later this year and next"

    Besides Halo Reach, Gears 3, and an unnamed Crytek exclusive, their E3 showing seemed to be a lot of Kinect casual stuff. If I didn't know better, I would say Microsoft is dialing down on hardcore exclusive titles in favor of multiplat titles and banking a lot of their money on Kinect's ability to take a significant portion of the Wii's marketshare.

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