Introduction: XBox 360 Memory Unit USB Connector

In this tutorial you will be told how to add a USB connector to your XBox 360's Memory Unit (MU). You should have some experience in soldering and you need some piece of wire, a USB connector of your choice, a 3.3V low drop voltage regulator.

By forcing Windows Vista to use some default drivers, you can access the unit's memory like a USB memory stick. You just need a software tool to read out the XTAF-file system of the unit.

Step 1: Open the Unit

As the manufacturer of your device doesn't want you to open it, the MU is melt/glued so you cannot easily take the case apart. Carefully use a knife/blade or a little screw driver to open the device. Pay attention to the parts inside! They are very sensitive and near the borders of the circuit board.

Step 2: Solder USB Connector to PCB

Now you need your USB connector. Prepare it by stripping the cables inside and cutting off the cable shield. Add solder to the ends of the four wires and cut them a bit so you can precisely solder them to the PCB.

Then connect the black, green and white wire to the pins according to the picture:

The two left leads are shield and ground, the 3rd lead from the left is the +3.3V power pin which will be fed by our voltage regulator from step 3. The next two pins are D- (white) and D+ (green) from USB. The 2nd from the right is GND again (black from USB). The last pin is shield again (as you can see).

Note: Think forward and carefully adjust the cable length to your USB port to fit the case length and inner height! The parts have nearly no space to the top (I needed to modify the case).

Step 3: Add the Voltage Regulator

Now we insert the 3.3V positive voltage regulator. You can get this little thing from your local electronics shop or over the Internet (which might be waste of money as this part shouldn't cost you more than one buck).

It is highly recommended to use a SMD (surface mounted device) part, as there is rarely any space in this freaky small piece of plastic...

Warning! Your part might look exactly the same as mine but you really need to check the pinout using a datasheet you get from your part vendor! The regulator must have a GND or - pin (black in my picture as connected to GND), a Vin or +in pin that goes to the red wire of the USB pin (the 5V from the PC) and a Vout or +out pin that connects to the +3.3V pin of the PCB (blue in my picture).

Note: You do not need to connect the tab of the regulator, it won't warm up seriously and you don't have to glue the part as the case will gently press it down.

Step 4: Close the Case and Enjoy

Now that you have your parts inside, you can put the case back together. You might need to apply some modifications to one or both of the case halfs as you have added the new parts.

I had to remove some area of the bottom half for the connector.

Finally tape the thing so it won't fall into parts again (I used normal transparent tape). You can also glue it but you should take into account that you will void the possibility of servicing the unit again and that you might damage the PCB with the glue.

This tutorial ends here. Have fun and enjoy accessing the holy world of xbox's XTAF file system. I think I will make another instructable about using the unit with a PC (drivers, tools and stuff).

Remember: This will void your guarantee, but it will guarantee you much interesting insight in your game console system and enables you to share savegames and stuff ;)

Comments

author
jessylove1 (author)2015-11-11

I wonder what's this useful for?

author
sushinoms (author)2010-11-22

Now that is pretty interesting. I've heard of people doing this before and have always been curious about doing it myself. Looks like I can now.

author
BLACKaCH33Ze (author)2010-06-23

Exactly how did you connect the wires to the pins? Did you just put the wire inside the color wire of the usb cord under them?

author
Pafo (author)2009-10-02

can you use this to increase the memory??

author
arcane2rox (author)2009-09-19

If you don't want to use a regulator, but you feel safe modding your pc, YOu can Make a seperate usb Port that runs 3.3V from the Power supply. a Power supply's Orange wire is 3.3V, you can just splice another wire to one of them for your usb 360 FDD, Don't use a compaq or dell Power suplly sometimes they Make there PSUs proprietery.

author
testfriend (author)2009-08-23

hey i when i compleated the process it worked fine on my pc but when i hooked it up with my console it didnt recognise...........can u tell me wht the problem is

author

Possiblie reasons: 1) You disconnected or destroyed some pin of the socket going into the box. 2) You changed something in the MU's file system / raw data any the box invalidates the data as some signatures are wrong or something. 3) The MU Security Method IC got crushed. A PC will still show up the hub and the memory but the box also needs the security method device to check if it is an original unit or just a faked usb device that it would ignore.

author

i think i messed up with the file system...........can u help me on this to restore back its original state

author

What exactly have you done? Did you try to format the unit with windows (FAT or similar)? Are you sure you have changed somethin? Could it still be the security method chip that is dead-soldered? Is the connector fine? If you are sure its the file system or nothin of the above can solve: Can you format you unit in the xbox (if yes do so) or doesn't it even show up in the System menu?

author
nightwing878 (author)2009-07-14

Hey i too got it working. Just trying to see how to set up the default USB drivers as you said to make it come up as a drive to be able to use Xplorer360

author
blzzrd (author)2009-07-10

hey i got it working but one problem. when it's plugged into my xbox it works fine but when it's plugged into my computer it comes up as a unknown device in add/remove hardware. i tried using xbox 360 file explorer to access the files but the memory card doesn't show up. it doesn't show up either under my computer

author
SharkyTheWhite (author)blzzrd2009-07-14

the problem is that the MU has no drivers for windows (as it is not intended to be readout or modified). If I remember it right, the easiest way is to use default class-compilant USB drivers by manually installing them. The device that shows up at first is a simple HUB that you can use if you manually set the default USB hub driver for it. After that you get access to the subdevices - a security thing and the memory itself. You can install a default USB-storage driver (like a "usb-stick") and the raw memory unit will show up as a drive. I started to program a software that is able to handle the FATX format of the new MU (i also got one for the old box FATX) - good enough to play around if you got some "haxing skillz" ;)

author
blzzrd (author)blzzrd2009-07-10

something else i just realized is when i restart my console it brings up the memory card as unformatted. it brings up another item that says unformatted but doesn't have a picture indicating what it is. when i format the memory card it comes back up and acts as it wasn't formatted

author
ac1D (author)2009-02-20

right what i was looking for, thanks! what happen if i dont use the regulator?

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ac1D (author)ac1D2009-02-20

Ahah, as stupid as I am I have let a drop of solder drop on my mc... im tired, I only removedd 1/2 of it in 5minutes Lol.

author
ac1D (author)ac1D2009-02-20

Ah im done and it work fine, without the regulator, lol thanks for the instructable, sorry for the spam!

author
dragon_m (author)ac1D2009-04-08

hey can u tell me where is the red wired go w/o the regulator. I connect the red wire from usb to where he got to blue wired on the pic. It read on my pc but wont work on my 360. thanks

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cyrozap (author)ac1D2009-02-21

How long have you been using it like that? Will it work for extended periods of time? I really don't want to add a 3.3V regulator (or find one, for that matter).

author
SharkyTheWhite (author)ac1D2009-02-21

Tanks for your feedback! I am not the total "trial 'n' error-guy" but perhaps this might work as well... As the controller IC is from Microsoft you will hardly get a datasheet telling you it this thing is 5V compatible. If you say it woks the thing seems to accept it, but it might overheat and self-burn itself if it is not - so be careful! Perhaps others can proof this is possible... for now I keep recommending the use of the regulator as it is the safest way

author
ac1D (author)SharkyTheWhite2009-02-21

actually, I broke my memory unit. but I believe it's becose i had still some solder badly on it. The usb worked fine and I dropped some save in it. when i plugged it to my xbox, it went fine, but when I accessed a saved game, it started to do some spark. the unit dont work anymore. im 100% sure it is not the fault of the lack of regulator, as i said eirlier i am really bad at soldering.. Btw, I had a hard time getting solder to stay on my iron, do you know why?(first time I solder, lol)

author
SharkyTheWhite (author)ac1D2009-02-22

sorry for that! hope you didn't loose important data... perhaps you were lucky and just shortened the power supply (you might be able to repair it then...) the soldering is a bit tricky, if you do not have enough experience. i'd recommend you some tutorial on instructables, and for the solder to stay on the tip of the iron: When using the tool the first time, you have to put some solder on it (just when it gets hot enough to melt it a bit) and let it melt around the tip a bit, then use a wet sponge to clean it again (repeat a few times). Now you should have the solder stay. Its also important that you use a little iron and (best case) thin solder (in my case I use a small 30W regulated solder at 350°C and (non lead-free :P) thin electonic solder (not those fat blocks of solder used to connect copper pipes ;)

author
ac1D (author)SharkyTheWhite2009-02-22

I lost my profile, as it was on my MU(i have a arcade system, bough the hd later so my save was on the hd) Fortually, xbox live have let me recover it :D

author
cyrozap (author)2009-02-21

This is pretty cool. I might try this if i get a memory unit. I don't really need one though: 360 Elite FTW!