How to extract your XBOX 360 hard drive and connect it to your PC.

Discussion in 'XBOX 360 Tutorials' started by TutorialBot, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. TutorialBot

    TutorialBot Senior Member

    How to extract your XBOX 360 hard drive and connect it to your PC.
    By iceandfire

    DISCLAMER: Following these instructions WILL void your hard drives warranty. Any use of this information is at YOUR OWN RISK.

    With that out of the way, here is how you do it.

    I'm splitting this tutorial in steps. Each step will have the tools, accessories and devices needed in order to accomplish our little mission.
    There is 2 different ways (That I Know) of connecting your XBOX 360's Hard Drive to your PC, and I will be describing both of them.

    STEP 1: Taking the XBOX 360's Hard Drive (HDD) out of its protective case.

    Tools needed:
    1) T-6 TORX screw driver.
    2) T-10 TORX screw driver.
    3) A thin and pointy blade (to take the "MS" sticker off)

    First of all, GROUND yourself properly by touching the screws on a light switch cover, or a metal door frame. Do not forget you're working with sensitive electronics here. If you have an anti-static mat, you might want to use it.

    After grounding yourself, take off your XBOX 360 hard drive, and place it flat on a table, with the screws facing up.

    Your xbox360 hard drive (HDD) has 4 T-6 TORX screws in the exterior. You will only see 3 of them. To find the forth one, you will have to remove the
    "MS" silver sticker, or just go through it with your screw driver, voiding your warranty instantaneously either way you decide to go.
    Note: Warming the sticker with a hair dryer makes the sticker come off easier, but it will still void your warranty.

    After you have removed the 4 T-6 TORX screws, the part with the chromed trim should come off pretty easy. I didn't have to pry it out to hard, but the end with the button might give you a little trouble. Just pull it off slowly, and be careful not to lose the metal spring that pushes the button out.

    As you can see, inside we have 4 more screws, this time, you'll need to use the T-10 TORX screw driver to get them out. And once you removed the screws, the thin metal cover will come off rather easy, start lifting it up from the end the button.

    Take a look at the picture above. The thin metal cover is off, and you can see your 2.5"? SATA HDD. You can see as well, that it would easily slide out if it wasn't for the plastic stopper at the opposite end of the button.
    Because of that, I've seen around the web that somebody with a knife, saw off the really strong glue that attaches the metal casing to the plastic base that connects to your XBOX 360. I've tried that, but it is a real pain. So I decided to take a different approach and it worked like a charm.

    Put your fingers on each side of the HDD, between the metal casing and the plastic bottom part and very slowly, start pushing your fingers in between and upwards, so it will give you enough angle to slide the Hard Drive out.
    Here's another picture from a different angle.

    Note how the base of the metal casing raises over the plastic stopper. That is what we want to accomplish.

    Once that is done, and if you have the HDD in the same position as in the picture above, VERY slowly, start pushing the hard drive from the upper left corner, above the connector.
    The cables will try and push the HDD back in, so by holding it with your index finger you can avoid that.

    When you slowly push the HDD out, the SATA connector will normally come lose from one of its ends like in the picture above. If it doesn't come off, grab a flat head screw driver, and carefully pry it out. Although, it shouldn't be necessary.
    Once one of the connector ends came lose, push the other end of it with your finger, so it will come off completely, like in the picture below.

    Now, you can slowly slide the 2.5"? SATA HDD out of the metal casing.
    Note in the picture above, that I removed the button with its metal spring in order not to lose it.

    My hard drive is a Hitachi, but I've seen some Samsung SATA HDD's as well. Needless to say, that the brand won't make a difference in the way you extract it out of its metal casing.

    STEP 2: Connecting your XBOX 360 HDD to your Computer through SATA Port.

    NOTE: If your computer has external SATA connections, the only thing you have to worry about is of how to give the hard drive power. Mine doesn't have external connections, so I had to open it up.
    Also, if your Mother Board doesn't have any SATA port, or if they're all being used, you will have to think in buying a "PCI to SATA" expansion card for your computer, for which you will need to have an available PCI slot in your motherboard.

    Tools and accessories needed:

    1) A Phillips screw driver (You may or may not need this, depending on your PC case design)
    2) A SATA Cable.
    3) A SATA Power cable.
    4) A "PCI to SATA" Expansion card ( ONLY IF your Mother Board has no SATA ports available)

    Turn OFF your computer, and start by taking the side panel off your PC. Normally, most PC's will have 3 Phillips screws holding the side panel, and when you remove them, you can slide the metal cover out.
    Of course, there are a million different designs for computer cases, so I'll just show you what mine looks like with the panel taken off, in the picture below. And please, do not laugh at my cable routing dis-abilities.

    Inside your computer, you will see your motherboard.
    We are looking for a specific connection called SATA Port.

    To connect your XBOX 360 HDD to your PC's SATA port, you'll need two things:

    A Serial ATA (SATA) cable:

    And a SATA Power Cable:

    You have to connect your SATA Cable in your Mother Board's SATA Port, and the SATA power cable as well.

    Now we connect both SATA Cable and SATA power cable to your XBOX 360 Hard Drive, like in the picture below:

    It will only fit one way, so if it doesn't go in, you probably have to flip it the other way.

    Mission accomplished for STEP 2. Now let's look at the next option:

    STEP 3: Connecting your XBOX 360 HDD through SATA to USB Adapter.

    This is by far, the easiest and faster way of connecting your XBOX 360 SATA HDD to your PC.

    I bought my SATA to USB Adapter from, and it worked like a charm.
    I have to say though, that in forums, members have found similar products much cheaper, that worked as well.

    The only "Cons" of connecting with a SATA to USB adapter, is that it will decrease your transfer speeds greatly.
    For example, with a direct connection to my Mother Board's SATA port, my XBOX 360's hard drive backup took about 35 minutes, and with the SATA to USB adapter, it took about 7 hours... Yeah! I know !.

    UPDATE: My apologies. Aparently the statement before was my own fault. I was connecting the USB to SATA adapter to USB1 ports instead of USB2. So, last night, when I re-did my backup, this time with the USB 2.0 ports in my PC, and instead of the 7 Hrs. it took 45 to 50 minutes to complete the whole HDD backup. Just a "Heads Up" for people with USB 1 capabilities only.

    The steps for connecting your XBOX 360 HDD with your SATA to USB adapter are very easy.

    For the adapter I bought, you will need to have TWO (2) USB ports available to connect the two USB plugs in.
    The red plug will give your HDD power, and the black plug will be DATA flow/transfer.

    STEP 4: Accessing your XBOX 360 Hard Disk Drive with Xplorer360.

    It is as easy as it gets, and you only require 3 steps:

    1) Download Xplorer360 from Board Message
    2) Extract the file Xplorer360.exe from the .rar file.
    3) Run Xplorer360.exe.

    The first thing you should absolutely do, is a backup of your XBOX 360 Hard Drive with the "Backup Image" option in the "Drive" menu, before you even attempt to do anything else.

    That is all folks, I hope it helps clear your minds of any doubts you had. And feel free to ask any questions regarding this tutorial.


    - iceandfire
    1 person likes this.
  2. loreto.z

    loreto.z Active Member

    First of all thanks for the info.The transfer cable I was able to find had only one usb and on the other end a gizmo that looks like you can plug the xbox hard disc to. Here is the link to the Ebay page, if it´s the right cable please let me know.

    Thanks again for sharing the know how.

  3. Ghost ic0n

    Ghost ic0n Helpful Member*

    Yep, that's accurate cable.

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