As I noted earlier in the morning on Twitter, we’re doing an in-town office move Monday. So, I’m up late preparing for a smooth transition tomorrow. Anyways, on to the post…
Sunday’s are becoming more of a day of rest for me. As a
recovering workaholic, I don’t really have that balance down quite yet. So, I’m going to work… to take more of a break on Sundays.
And, I figured I’d kick this trend off right by hacking my Xbox 360 hard drives. I picked up one of the last good deals from Circuit City. Basically, the deal was a refurb combo, leftover from one of their (failed) Xbox 360 bundles. Essentially, it was an Xbox 360 wireless controller and 20 GB hard drive for only $36. As commenters noted at the time, it was an okay deal, made less hot because Microsoft reserves 7 GB per drive.
And, as I’ve blogged quite a bit in the past, I think it’s pure antitrust that Microsoft will ban you from Xbox Live, if you put your own SATA hard drive into the Xbox 360. Sony, on the other hand, welcomes you upgrading your own hard drive.
Thankfully, a well-known trick works around this. Buy buying just the right Western Digital 120 GB 2.5-inch hard drive (WDC WD1200BEVS), you can flash the drive with Xbox firmware. Then, Microsoft sees the blasted drive as an Xbox drive, and you don’t get banned from Xbox Live.
Sure, this is an old hack at this point, but what can I say? I haven’t actually taken the time to play an Xbox 360 game in weeks. Okay, months. When you see what I’ve been up to, I’m sure you’ll understand.
As the staff has warned me, it’s easy to wreck the latches in the process. But, even PC Word whipped up a photo gallery (even though they made a typo on the drive model)… so I doubt it will take very long to do.
Update: Upgrade was a breeze. About the hardest part (and I’m not joking) was putting the hard drive back onto the Xbox 360. When you have an HD DVD drive on top, clearing everything off to pop it back in is a pain.
Seriously though, there were no real hassles, aside from having to unplug everything SATA from my PC. The hddhackr tool didn’t play well with my PC until I had unhooked all other devices (many DOS tools don’t like simply turning the ports off in the BIOS).
I’ve already installed all of my games to the hard drive, and queued up all the downloads. Even with all of that, I only managed to fill about half the drive. Like many, I found a T6 and T10 torx screwdrivers to be the right tools.
Oh, and I do encourage every Xbox 360 owner to undertake this hack, even if you have the 60 GB hard drive. Even if you have to hunt down a tech-savvy friend to do it for you.