How To Connect Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive To Your PC

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xbox0   How To Connect Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive To Your PCDid you ever need to connect your Xbox 360 hard drive to your PC? Whether you wanted to make a back-up of your files or decided to use the storage, it probably didn’t prove as easy as you thought.

Microsoft uses a special connector to attach the hard drive to the Xbox 360, and you won’t be able to connect it to your PC. At least not right away, because inside that shiny plastic and metal shell, there’s a small hard drive like any other.

Today we’re going to show you how to open up your Xbox 360 hard drive and connect it to your PC, in this step by step, illustrated guide.

Opening Up Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive

To pull this off, you’re going to need

  • an Xbox 360 with hard drive (obviously)
  • a Windows-enabled PC with at least one S-ATA port
  • two special screwdrivers; a TORX T-6 and TORX T-10. These are somewhat different from your usual Philips screwdriver, so you might have to head to the hardware store for them. Without them, you’ll have a hard time reaching the hard drive and might even damage it beyond repair. Caution is strongly advised.

Since you’re working with sensitive electronics, you might want to wear an anti-static wrist strap or surface. Otherwise, by carrying over static electricity, you might short some of the components.

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torx   How To Connect Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive To Your PC


First thing we’ll need to do is open up the protective shell that envelops your Xbox 360 hard drive. Pull it out of your Xbox by pressing the button at the bottom. Turn it upside down, and remove the Microsoft seal.

Be aware that this voids all and any warranty that you have left on your Xbox 360’s hard drive. If it breaks after the procedure, you’ll have to buy a new one.

Don’t worry too much though, the warranty on your Xbox 360 system will remain intact nonetheless.

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You’ll notice that there are four visible screws at the bottom, one of which was hidden under the seal. You can remove these with the TORX T-6 screwdriver. After that, the top side should part pretty easily. Don’t pull too hard, just start at the rounded side and pull it open slowly. The square part should give away too, in the end.

xbox3   How To Connect Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive To Your PC

To your great horror, you’ll discover four more TORX screws. You can use the T-10 this time. After you’ve removed them, pull away the thin metal cover. Abracadabra. Below you’ll find a 2.5″ hard drive.

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After you unplug the cable and try to take it out of its shell, you’ll notice that it only slides until it hits a little plastic button at the far side. To get it out, gently lift up the metal casing, and keep it high while you slide out your hard drive. If you can’t unplug the cable, start sliding the hard drive out first, and gently push the cable out of its socket once you’ve got enough room.

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Voila, there you have it. Did you ever imagine your Xbox 360 hard drive would be so… ordinary?

Connecting Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive to Your PC

The Xbox 360 hard drive is a simple 2.5″ S-ATA hard drive, so you would connect it like you would a regular one. Most computers open pretty easily, and you can take the side away with only two screws. You’ll need to attach both a S-ATA cable from your computer’s motherboard to your hard drive, as well as a S-ATA power cable from your computer’s power supply. Both are depicted below.

sata   How To Connect Your Xbox 360 Hard Drive To Your PC

Alternatively, you can find S-ATA to USB adapters online for ten to twenty bucks. It’ll spare you a lot of trouble, and is safer if you don’t like opening up your computer.

To view the files on your disk, or to make a full back-up, you’ll need to download Xplorer360. It’s an entirely free and easy to use tool. With Xplorer360, you can read and write to Xbox 360 hard drives. By going to Drive -> Backup Image, you can already make a full back-up. Have fun!

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I hope you’ve learned something from this tutorial. If you’ve got any other questions, don’t be afraid to ask, there’s a comments section below!

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19 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

John L

Ummm… Is there something more advantageous about voiding your warranty to do this rather than ordering the free hard drive transfer kit from Microsoft? (http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/support/systemuse/xbox360/console/datamigration.htm and click on the “How to get your Free Data Transfer Kit” link on the left.)

It’s certainly possible that the MS transfer kit is crippled in some way that I don’t know about, but it seems silly to rip your 360’s hard drive out if you don’t have to.

Reply

John L

Oh… and if you’re not in Europe (and can’t get it free), you can buy the transfer cable for less than $20 online.

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Iambeaker

Is it possible to put a bigger (500g) hard drive in place of the 20 g hard drive? Would love to see a tutorial of this!

John L

As far as I know, the only upgrade you can hack yourself is to a 120GB drive. Even that has to be a very specific model hard drive, though. From what I understand, it’s not a difficult process, though, assuming you have that model drive.

Simon Slangen

It’s possible, but not as straightforward as you might think. Your hard drive needs to be specifically formatted to work with an Xbox 360
Request noted ;-)

Simon Slangen

Sorry, John L is right. Perhaps in the future using a 500 GB hard drive will be possible.

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Bill

Can you figure a way that I can put my songs on Xbox instead rip them one CD after another??? And videos!!!

Reply

eSPy

a better solution without the need to rip open your hard drive would be to buy a proper xbox hard drive to usb cable. DealExtreme sells a few different ones as well as upgradeable hard drives.

here is one of them http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.26392

Reply

LM

Why buy an XBox and pull it apart to plug the bleeding hard drive into you PC. Why? WTF is that?

DM

Perfect reason for you LM. I have to return my XBOX 360 to Costco because it has some problems and they have a lifetime warranty on the ones they sell. I have to save the data before I return it so it will not be lost, the only problem is that I do not want to void said warranty so this will not work. Great ideal on transferring though!

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Chris dickinson

Thats great if i want to transfer music files and stuff, and when the warranty in it runs our (in about 2 months) i may try this. After using my data migration kit to back everything up, of course.

Reply

HS

Is there any way to use an old laptop hard drive as an 360 hard drive? thanks!

PD

Hi HS

Did you ever find out if you can use an old laptop hard drive as a 360 hard drive? And if yes, can you please share how to do it with me.
Many thanks
PD

Reply

tommy

just looking for a bit of help, i know you can link the hard drive to the comp via the data transfer cable that you can get with the 120gb hard drives and ive got Xplorer360 its just my computer dosent recognise it and i cant figure out how to get it to work if u can help my email is ttmonks3@hotmail.co.uk

Reply

killer

lol dumb asses use a heat gun on the sticker so u don’t break the seal open it an do whatever the hell u want to it put it back together an slap the lame sticker back on

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