With all the new content for download and the ability to copy games to the hard drive, 20GB just would not cut it. So I decided to invest in an upgrade. I like to do a lot of research into things before I just jump in, especially expensive purchases.

A retail 120GB hard drive for the Xbox 360 cost around 130$. That seems somewhat expensive to me since I can get a 1TB hard drive for that much. I did some searching and finally found an answer I could live with.

A "do it yourself" 120GB Xbox 360 hard drive upgrade for $50!! NO MOD CHIP IS REQUIRED!

DISCLAIMER: Do this mod at your own risk! You could damage your Xbox or your computer. You could lose your data, get banned from Xbox Live, void your warranty, the authorities take you to prison, Steve Balmer will hold you down while Bill Gates spits in your eye, yada, yada... Don't blame me if any of this happens!

Seriously, I did not have much on my hard drive that I would mind losing. This will void the warranty on the hard drive. I just paid for another 13 months of Xbox Live, so I was a little nervous... but I have not been kicked yet!

Some games have content and save games that are media locked. This means that it will not work if it has been moved to another media (new hard drive, memory card, etc.). I have not experienced it yet, but I have heard reports of it from others.

Step 1: Hardware, tools, and software needed

Tools needed:
- A PC or laptop with SATA. You cannot use a USB-SATA converter with Hddhackr!
- A floppy disk. If you don't have a drive, you can use an external USB floppy disk drive.
- A USB-to-SATA adapter. You can use this for the Xplorer 360 software.
- Precision tools with Torx bits. I used a T6 and T10 bit.
- Your mitts

Hardware needed:
- Western Digital Scorpio WD1200BEVS 120GB SATA hard drive - Don't try to go with another drive! This one has been reported successful with hundreds of DIY 360 hard drive upgrades all over the net. You can <NO LONGER> buy it from Newegg, but you can get it from PCConnection.com. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM PCCONNECTION.COM

Software needed:
- Hddhackr 0.91
- Xplorer360 xtreme 2
- Xplorer360 BETA 6 - Might not be needed. Some people reported success with Xplorer360 xtreme 2. I only used the xtreme 2 version.
- hddss.bin file from a retail 360 120GB hdd - This file contains copyrighted code, so I don't think I can post a link. Use your Google finger to find it.
- Hex Workshop - I recommend you purchase this program, but you can just use the trial for now.
- WinHex - If you have the full version of this, you can skip Hex Workshop. The trial version of WinHex does not allow you to write to hard drives.
- Boot disk image - I used a Windows 98 SE OEM disk image.
<p>or you can do a direct clone of the old HDD without all this hassle with everything still on it...rookies...</p>
any chance of an ible to help us rookies out? can't be too hard for a guru like u!
<p>or you can do a direct clone of the old HDD without all this hassle with everything still on it...rookies...</p>
Whether you have a Mac or PC, right now on your computer there is information that is both personal and private. And you probably want it to stay that way. These traces of your private data are easily accessible by anyone with the right software. Even if you have deleted these files, the traces of them still exist and they can be restored and used by anyone. This information includes your credit card #'s, emails, contact info, passwords and usernames, and even tax returns. Identity thieves love to find old, discarded computers and hard drives because they know that can get enough information out of the average hard drive to steal someone's identity and get all kinds of information about them. You know your hard drive will end up somewhere someday when you upgrade your computer so make sure you digitally shred these personal files permanently.
Your reply has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
so i got a drive off Craigslist and the person who modded it forgot to put the bc partition on do you have any suggestions on how to fix this
This is an excellent idea! Nicely explained too. However my problem at the moment is my xbox has suffered from the RROD 3 lights :/ I might buy a new slim 360 though and try this hack/mod. I'll just hunt for a 2TB <a href="http://cheapestharddrives.com/">cheap hard drive</a>.
i realy want to drop a 1tb drive in to my xbox... i would never run out of space
it is very easy to create a bootable flash drive( I used a 4GB kingston) I used a program called boot manager to create it. I then unzip Hddss.zip and the firmware update to the flash drive as well as hddhackr.zip.<br>Most computers have a key either F11 or F12 to enter the boot menu from which you can select the drive you want to boot from(much simpler than going into BIOS), just check on the start up screen to see which key takes you to the boot menu
ummm... you can buy a xbox 250g HDD all day long for $40 on ebay
&bull; I finally decided to read one of these articles in an internet newsgroup describing how to make $50,000.00 in only one month from a $5.00 investment. <br> <br>Of course I thought this was ridiculous ,or some type of pyramid. I talked it over with my family, an attorney, and my friends, and they all agreed it was some sort of scam. I hate scams because usually someone gets burned, and I didn't want it to be me! I blew it off for a few weeks then saw another one in a newsgroup I go to a lot and thought, &quot;Maybe this is legitimate!&quot;. Besides, what's $5.00 <br> <br>Well, two weeks later, I began receiving money in the mail! I couldn't believe it! Not just a little , I mean big bucks! At first only a few hundred dollars, then a week later, a couple of thousand , then BOOM . By the end of the fourth week , I had received nearly $47,000.00. It came from all over the world. And every bit of it perfectly legal and on the up and up. I've been able to pay off all my bills and still had enough left over for a nice vacation for me and my family. <br> <br>Not only does it work for me, it works for other folks as well. Markus Valppu says he made $57,883 in four weeks. Dave Manning claims he made $53,664 in the same amount of time. Dan Shepstone says it was only $17,000 for him. Do I know these folks? No, but when I read how they say they did it, it made sense to me. Enough sense that I'm taking a similar chance with $5 of my own money. <br>Not a big chance, I admit--but one with incredible potential, because $5 is all anyone ever invests in this system. Period. That's all Markus, Dave, or Dan invested, yet their $5 netted them tens of thousands <br>of dollars each, in a safe, legal, completely legitimate way. Here's how it works in 3 easy steps: <br> <br>STEP 1. <br> <br>Invest your $5 by writing your name and address on five separate pieces of paper along with the words: <br>&quot;PLEASE ADD ME TO YOUR MAILING LIST.&quot; <br>(In this way, you're not just sending a dollar to someone; you're paying for a legitimate service.) Fold a $1 bill, inside a paper, and mail them by standard U. S. Mail to the following five addresses: <br> <br>1)- Matthew Kulbacki 1025 12th street Golden, CO, USA 80401 <br> <br>2)- Nikki Robinson 2324 Frederick Place Valdosta, GA 31602 <br> <br>3)- Ross O'Brien 1040 pine lane lafayette, CA 94549 <br> <br>4)- Zahria Radford 2211 Laurel Oak Missouri City, Texas 77489 <br> <br>5)- Heidi Enger 238 Village Run West Encinitas, CA 92024 <br>STEP 2. <br>0 <br>Now remove the top name from the list, and move the other names up. This way, #5 becomes #4 and so on. Put your name in as the fifth one on the list. <br> <br>STEP 3. <br> <br>Post the article to at least 200 newsgroups. There are at least 17000 newsgroups at any given moment in time. Try posting to as many newsgroups as you can. Remember the more groups you post to, the more people will see your article and send you cash! <br> <br>STEP 4. <br> <br>You are now in business for yourself, and should start seeing returns within 7 to 14 days! Remember, the internet is new and huge. There is no way you can lose. <br> <br>Now here is how and why this system works: <br> <br>Out of every block of 200 posts I made, I got back 5 responses. Yes, that's right, only 5. You make $5.00 in cash, not checks or money orders, but real cash with your name at #5. <br> <br>Each additional person who sent you $1.00 now also makes 200 additional postings with your name at #4, 1000 postings. On average then, 50 people will send you $1.00 with your name at #4,....$50.00 in your pocket! <br> <br>Now these 50 new people will make 200 postings each with your name at #3 or 10,000 postings. Average return, 500 people= $500. They make 200 postings each with your name at #2= 100,000 postings=5000 returns at $1.00 each=$5,000.00 in cash! <br> <br>Finally, 5,000 people make 200 postings each with your name at #1 and you get a return of $50,000 before your name drops off the list. And that's only if everyone down the line makes only 200 postings each! Your total income for this one cycle is $55,000. <br> <br>From time to time when you see your name is no longer on the list, you take the latest posting you can find and start all over again. <br> <br>The end result depends on you. You must follow through and re-post this article everywhere you can think of. The more postings you make, the more cash ends up in your mailbox. It's too easy and too cheap to pass up!!! <br> <br>So that's it. Pretty simple sounding stuff, huh? But believe me, it works. <br>If you're really not sure or still think this can't be for real, then don't do it. But please print this article and pass it along to someone you know who really needs the money, and see what happens. <br>
WHen I am in my BIOS there is no floppy option or USB option...only &quot;removable&quot; is that what I need? What is it?
Yes you are looking for removable. My BIOS is set up like that as well. Removable is USB.
probably every computer's bios is different
It would be good to have an alternative to using a few specific kinds of drives not even shipped with xbox. Not everyone has those types of western digital drives.
when i downloaded xplorer xtreme 2 and extracted the rar norton found a trojan horse virus! dont download these programs from here. best to search google for them
if you were t save a game on this drive after you flashed it could you run the game w/o the disk?
can i use my laptop 250GB and use it in the Xbox 360 slim trying to save. i dont want to get band off xbox live.
as long as its western digital brand you can
what about a 1tb caviar green western digital sata HDD?
this is also how u fix backwards compatibility. not much point now though cuz they disabled xbox 1 live!!! :(
Incredible tutorial!!! I started with an arcade, ordered the hard drive and a case from hong kong. Within a half an hour of getting both, I downloaded everything, I made a bootable flashdrive (using an earlier link), hacked the hard drive, and put in in the kase. I had a new 120gb hard drive for 40 dollars in 30 minutes. Great. I would recommend using a bootable flash drive instead of a floppy. You can also use 250gb hard drives.
Can you use a sata express card in a laptop?<br /> <br /> http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16839200006<br /> <br /> I'm talking about to flash the hard drive, not to simply transfer files.<br />
here is a link that helped me make a usb boot stick without a floppy drive.&nbsp; BobMan is right on one count, most of the methods linked to are not terribly helpful, considering I&nbsp;would not be making a usb stick to boot from if I&nbsp;had a floppy drive. &nbsp;<a href="http://www.biosflash.com/e/bios-boot-usb-stick.htm" rel="nofollow">www.biosflash.com/e/bios-boot-usb-stick.htm</a><br />
Has Anyone tried all this with a 250 gb hard drive?<br />
Now that Microsoft has released a 250 gb drive, you can find the proper hddss.bin file with a quick google search.&nbsp; It should work fine as long as you buy the right hard drive.<br />
Im stil thinking of doing this mod, have any one get banned after upgrading his HDD with this method?<br />
finally got around to doing this, updated everything, and it still works smoothly.&nbsp; All updates applied, no banhammers issued.&nbsp; Its a 3-5 beer job, depending on whether or not you have a floppy drive, usb drives take an extra step or two.<br />
verry soon you will be able to plug in up to 16 gb of usb hard drive into bother of the usb drives. Not 120 gb :( but easy way for 32 gb if ur like me. I have 20 gb hard drive so 32 sounds like plenty<br />
So, has anybody done this recently?&nbsp;&nbsp;I&nbsp;finally got a 360 and was wondering if the joy of not giving Microsoft my money&nbsp; (the system itself was a gift...) has been taken away by the ban hammer.<br />
This can't ban you. You aren't hotswapping, softmodding or installing modchips. To the Xbox it looks like you bought an official drive upgrade.<br />
Thanks.&nbsp; That's what I&nbsp;figured, but I wanted to double check before I&nbsp;did it, after I&nbsp;paid for the year subscription to Live.<br />
No problem. Enjoy your new HDD!<br /> <br />
Could you clear up how to boot from a USB drive?<br /> <br /> The site is not very user friendly, and assumes you already understand a LOT that I doubt the average make user does. And, I personally didn't really want to shell out an extra $10 for a usb drive when I'm trying to do a money-saving mod.<br />
I'm waiting for my drive to arrive in the mail, so I&nbsp;can't answer too many questions yet, except this one...<br /> <br /> You boot from a usb drive changing your computers boot setting in the BIOS&nbsp;menu.&nbsp; When you start up your computer, it should say something along the lines of &quot;F2 to enter startup&quot;&nbsp;(actual key may vary).&nbsp; You press that key, and it will bring you to the BIOS&nbsp;setting screen, which has a key to instruct you on how to cycle through menus and change values.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Cycle through the menus until you find the option to change the order your computer checks the drives to boot from, it is probably currently set to check the optical drive, then hard disk. &nbsp;Instruct it to check the usb ports before the hard drive, and if you've properly configured the usb drive, it will boot from that.<br /> <br /> And if you don't want to buy a flash drive, you could just borrow one from somebody.&nbsp; <br />
&nbsp;Hey, Thx for the guide!<br /> <br /> I followed it and my 360 recognizes my new 120gb BEVT, however, it does not recognize the transferred files from my old HDD.<br /> <br /> Stuck it in the 360 to format it, all partitions show, says 107 GB free space. all good.<br /> <br /> After I transfer the files over, my 360 says nothing it on it, no savegames, no profiles, no nothing. yet says like 23 gb free of the 107gb...<br /> <br /> help? any ideas?<br />
&nbsp;nvm i got it. I was not using the &quot;extreme 2&quot; version of xplorer360. switched the extreme 2 and now the drive works beautifully!!
Would a solid state HDD work for this? Sitting in a group of programming friends this thought came up.
Can't see why not, looks the same to the Xbox<br />
do you think this hard drive would work?<br /> <br /> http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Western+Digital+-+Scorpio+Blue+250GB+Internal+Serial+ATA+Hard+Drive+for+Laptops/9024147.p?id=1218012522486&amp;skuId=9024147&amp;st=Western%20Digital%20Caviar%20Blue%20BEVT&amp;cp=1&amp;lp=10<br />
Yes, any laptop SATA hard drive should. <br />
will this work with an IDE drive for the original Xbox???&nbsp;
no, its sata only.<br />
So if you&nbsp;read my last comment and are having the same issue...Even though I could see partion 2, I&nbsp;still had to go in and edit the HEX code on the drive (I bought one on ebay preassembled). After that everything copied over great and now works fine.
Have you been able to play Xbox 1 titles on this new Drive? I have not been able to get it to work.
help me, my floppy drive isn't showing up anything when i put in any floppy disk, i need help to repair my 120gb hdd for my xbox, i tried modding my xbox and i need help, i will wait 3 weeks for my brother to fix it, but i want to try and fix it myself
I know, I'm commenting on this topic after everyone tried it and forgot about this instructable, but I was wondering if any of you have been hit by the banhammer after the latest Live update (8/11/09)
I thought this meant step 3 over all, not step 3 of step 6 :(
Sorry for the comment clutter, but I feel this should be on this step. I'm pretty sure just writing to the hard drive on your 360 will make these partitions if they're not visible. So just log in, and download a demo, or copy a game to the hard drive.

About This Instructable


126 favorites


Bio: I am very geeky. I love to do hardware stuff like electronics and robotics projects, as well as software (coding and such). I am a ... More »
More by jwilson27: Cheap and easy iPhone video camera mount Upgrading the Xbox 360 hard drive CHEAP! Duct Tape Pocket Notepad
Add instructable to: