Introduction: Replacing an XBOX DVD Drive

Picture of Replacing an XBOX DVD Drive

My XBOX DVD drive was slowly going bad, so I decided to replace it. Figured it would give me something to do while I search for a 360.

Step 1: Open the Case

Picture of Open the Case

There are 6 #20 Torx screws on the bottom of the case. Each is hidden under stickers or the padded feet on the case.

Step 2: Take Out the Old Drive

Picture of Take Out the Old Drive

To remove the old drive, simply remove 2 #10 Torx screws from the plastic bracket attached to the DVD drive. Then, push in the plastic tab (noted above) and gently pull up on the drive.

The drive is connected to the XBOX with an IDE cable and a power cable. Disconnect both.

Step 3: Remove Old Drive Faceplate and Place on New Drive

Picture of Remove Old Drive Faceplate and Place on New Drive

The XBOX DVD drives have a plastic faceplate. You will need to remove the faceplate from the old drive by pulling out slightly then up.

The process for adding the faceplate to the new drive is the reverse. Slide the faceplate down from the top of the drive door.

Step 4: Place New Drive in the Case

Picture of Place New Drive in the Case

Adding the new drive is the same as removing the old drive... but in reverse. Attach the IDE and power cables securely, then slip the drive into place. You should hear a click when the bracket snaps into place.

Reattach the 2 #10 Torx screws to secure the drive.

Step 5: Close the Case

Picture of Close the Case

Reattach all 6 screws in the case and the rubber feet and you're done!


bcline2 (author)2013-11-30

I need to know where to get one and what are the best drive replacement(s) options?!

hbarker1 (author)2011-10-19

ok im totally new to this tech stuff but as of today discovered im not as thick as i thought i was lol ive stripped it down cleaned it all out including lense and mirror and everything else however my xbox is old and still have dirty disc/ damaged disc problems however i have a spare PC tower can anyone tell me if i swap the dvd drives will the one from the PC work in my original xbox please help

Ankoku92 (author)2010-11-21

as long as i flash the bios (if needed) the limit to using another disc drive is endless correct? im not trying to make mine SUPER thin, but ive been piecing together a project by swapping out componants (HDD, ports, adding wireless adapter, etc.) but wanting a little more than a case mod im working on slimming up the unit-why im asking is i want to put in a slot load disc drive instead of the tray load one in it already

fitzovia (author)2009-01-26

I want to replace my xbox lens with a normal dvd lens to see if it will work. But before I do that I want to know if someone has done it before and the risk.

daiatlus79 (author)fitzovia2010-03-31

well..the issue would be the sheer harward compatiblity,.. you CAN get away with a PC dvd drive in an xbox.. but now replacing with a regular dvd lens inside the stock xbox drive may be rollnig the dice... i would look for a hardware compatibilty list.. you can buy replacement lasers for dirt cheap on amazon..

andrewl10 (author)fitzovia2009-02-07

If you did replace it and it didn't work, it shouldn't hurt your xbox. I wouldn't worry about that aspect. The only real problem is the power source for it, because an xbox uses a different type of power cord for their DVD drives than normal computer ones do. You could build your own if you wanted to though!

PTK502 (author)2006-04-19

Actualy it doesnt need to be a Xbox Drive, You can use a common power splitter to take power from the Hard Drive. Now, there are some issues with this!!! 1: The Standard PC DVD will not fit with the case on. 2: The Yellow cable are not used. 3: You cannot use the Xbox Eject button. But other wise you can use a PC DVD drive. But for the same money you can just get a XBox DVD drive....

daiatlus79 (author)PTK5022009-07-21

sometimes you will have BIOS issues

engrmurad (author)2007-04-21

<a rel="nofollow" href="">engineering</a>If anyone compare the price of any new one xbox dvd .........then he can easily got need to follow this engineering....oh for new one can try .<br/>

daiatlus79 (author)engrmurad2009-07-21

umm hard time telling what you are saying there... but if you are referring to the 360 at all it does not apply here as this is a tutorial discussing the XBox (sometimes referred to as XBox 1 or Classic).

sMoRTy71 (author)engrmurad2007-04-21


humoogous (author)2008-09-21

The original came with 8 gb, later models appeared with 10gb and there were reports of 20gb models (but artifically capped to 8gb) as well.

daiatlus79 (author)humoogous2009-07-21

and it is usually a Coppermine based Celeron Processor, not Pentium III.

nate stangle (author)2009-02-05

is it just a regulau dvd drive???

daiatlus79 (author)nate stangle2009-07-21

no it is a replacement drive (might be replacing a Thomson which were noted for failing a lot)

gimili2 (author)2009-02-11

Could I buy any normal DVD-ROM IDE Drive and get it to work?

daiatlus79 (author)gimili22009-07-21

if it is soft or hard modded and the bios is altered.. but it is only certain drives (i believe some Samsung and LG brand ones can)

drumagon (author)2009-04-08

That doesn't really look difficult at all. What is the cost for the xbox specific drive? I was looking at buying a functioning console to play around with, but some people practically give away broken ones. When an original xbox console goes bad, how often is it the disc drive? What else can go wrong, and how often?

daiatlus79 (author)drumagon2009-07-21

depends on brand and avaliablility. sometimes it is cheaper to just get a new laser and replace that as it is easier to get the replacement laser, than the whole drive. and if it is the Thompson brand drive it can be the usual problem (Thompson dvd drives are notorious for failing).

stephenniall (author)2009-04-24

Hmm may be able to get another old xbox for free do u think i could install Xbox linux on it put a Dvd rw and use it as a TIVO and use it for burning discs (Make a usb adapter too)

daiatlus79 (author)stephenniall2009-07-21

the problem with that is that it is hard to get a non standard (PC) drive to run in there.. its a short list... but the xbox is best used with XBMC (formerly XBox Media Center, as it is now avaliable on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers as well). but the problem is also that you would not have an easy time configuring signal inputs for the xbox to allow tv signals to input to the xbox. now you CAN network it to have sharing with your PC via a crossover cable and making your PC a host for it, and sharing folders and whole drives with the xbox (i have my external drive shared through my PC to my xbox to play videos, music, photos, and even roms). the process is not hard. i will have an Instructable up for it soon so keep watching. i have an instructable on how to softmod the xbox that makes it supereasy. click on my name and check it out.

arduinoe (author)2009-04-01

is the mods all hardware ? In other words , are any software changes needed

ezzadog (author)2009-01-23

Well this is the only xbox orginal dvd related guide, what i want to do is make my xbox dvd drive run on my pc, i have it runing but the power connector is only for the xbox motherboard is there any way to get a power spliiter to split it into lets say a molec or 4 pin adapter. if your wondering how i have it runing i have the xbox powered up o that gives out power and then the dvd drive to the computer only problem the xbox has a auto shutdow due to a failure because it has no dvd drive. anyone know how i can do this

maxpower49 (author)2008-08-18

was this just a regular computer dvd drive or was it one made for the xbox

rocksalt2342 (author)2008-03-03

how would this help?

Vater Araignee (author)2007-08-14

I would like to point out that if you decide to use a pc dvd drive to replace the xbox drive then you will have to: Split the power supply from the hard drive as previously mentioned, however unless you get a specific pc dvd player and a $40.00 mod unit you will have to leave the original dvd drive connected. Then open both drive trays place game/movie into the new drive and close the trays simultaneously. It is cheaper to get a new xbox drive.

if you are willing to do a little soldering and willing to open the new dvd drive... then there are MANY PC drives you can use with no "$40 mod unit" and no need to leave another drive hooked up(although i have never heard of that at all)

Now that is an instructable I would love to see. Between the wifes dvds and the kids gaming, I kill a drive in slightly under a year. has all the information you could ever need on that and many other subjects... :)

iCanshowyouhow (author)2007-03-13

Also, can you replace the CPU and RAM with ones that would fit in the sockets? i read that it just uses an overclocked P2 at 750Mhz and like 256MB of Ram.

legless (author)iCanshowyouhow2007-08-13

Actually it's a 733MHz Pentium III with 64MB of RAM. 256 bit video card and 8GB hard drive. Maxiumum resolution 1920 x 1080

iCanshowyouhow (author)2007-05-09

i just found out, you don't need a whole new xbox dvd drive (i will soon make an instructable about this). all you need to do is go on ebay and buy a new xbox laser. first, find out what type of dvd drive you have (hitachi, thomson, philips, you get the idea). Then find the laser that coincides with your brand. i won't say anymore on installation, otherwise i can't make an instructable out of this. instead of spending $40 or $50, you can get a laser for $12 to $14.

iCanshowyouhow (author)2007-04-25

how were you able to tell that your xbox drive was starting to going bad?

sMoRTy71 (author)iCanshowyouhow2007-04-25

The time to load games got to be really slow. Some times games wouldn't load and I would get the "dirty disc error." After Googling those symptoms, it appeared I had a bad drive. Once I changed it out, it worked perfectly again.

protazar (author)2006-04-23

I am not sure were to get a Xbox DVD drive and I need to replace mine.

sMoRTy71 (author)protazar2007-03-14

I got mine on eBay for under $30 shipped. Here is how to tell which kind of drive you have:

napalmgod (author)2006-03-16

It's not clear on if you can use any DVD drive, or if it has to be an xbox replacement drive.

sMoRTy71 (author)napalmgod2007-03-14

I used a replacement drive. Samsung, Philips and Thomson made versions of the DVD drive for the XBOX. Here are photos to show you how to tell which one you have.

Cyno01 (author)napalmgod2006-03-25

It has to be an xbox drive because it uses a non-standard power connector.

GhostlyKarliion (author)Cyno012006-10-30

well, unless the voltage is different (which I can't imagine why it would be... MS would NEVER make anything propertiery ) then you can simply cut the wires and use a voltage tester to wire them up to a Molex connector, my question would be about driver conflicts, will the XBOX accept an aftermarket DVD drive?

iCanshowyouhow (author)2007-03-13

Can you use any type of hard drive? i see that it looks like a standard Seagate, like a 40GB i had a while a go. or, does it need to be an xbox hard drive due to power connectors?

About This Instructable




Bio: Married father of 6; VP of Digital Product & Strategy at a large financial services co.; gluten-free; gadget nerd; concertgoer; t-shirt junkie
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