While I never ended up with a red ring of death, my three year old Xbox became an overheating two-red-light mess last weekend. For the last year it sounded like a 747 getting ready for takeoff, so it wasn’t a surprise when it finally died, and its unfortunate demise seemed like a great reason to grab the new, quiet Xbox 360 Slim. My old Xbox had a 20GB hard drive in it, and not needing a 250GB one (nor wanting to pay for it), I decided to get a Xbox 360 Slim 4GB Arcade and swap my 20GB hard drive over. Without further ado, here’s how you do it:
Take apart the old hard drive case:
Why Microsoft decided to bury a 2.5” SATA drive inside of 4 inches of solid plastic I’ll never know, but they did, and you have to get it off before you can put it in your new Xbox slim. The plastic carriers are not even remotely compatible. There are three T7 screws on the bottom of the case that need to be removed. Once off, pry around the edges of the case to loosen it, then pull it apart from one side. If you have no further use for this case, then just give it a good yank and it will crack open.
Remove the old hard drive:
The 2.5” SATA drive is held in place by 4 T10 screws, and is connected by a standard SATA connector. Remove the screws and pull the drive out.
Open the Xbox slim 4GB and drop the hard drive in:
On the bottom of the Xbox slim is a removable plate. Push the tab in and pull it off. At the bottom of this port is a SATA connector. Line the hard drive up with the SATA tabs (make sure you have it facing the right direction, one connector is smaller than the other), then push it in until it clicks. Put the cover back on the Xbox slim, and you’re done!
This is completely worth it if you have an old, dead Xbox with a hard drive in it. The aftermarket Microsoft hard drives are the same drives, just with a plastic case around them so they slide in and out of the port easily.
Update October 20th, 2010: If you’re wondering about online co-op and firefight modes in Halo Reach, dropping an older style drive into a new Xbox slim will allow you to play those modes. For whatever reason, Reach doesn’t recognize the on-board flash memory as a legitimate hard drive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if future games have this same issue.
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I never told you how to do this, and if you do it wrong, it’s your own fault.