We'll file the hacksaw under "last resort."
March 19, 2012 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Is there a trick to opening one of the new Xbox 360 hard drives without damaging the actual HDD?

I recently bought a 320GB hard drive, of the type that only works with a new, slim console, despite having the old-style white system. I figured that since I'm a reasonably handy person and the actual drives are the same for the two systems, just with different enclosures, I could open up the black plastic box housing the drive and pop it into the enclosure for my old 60-gig HDD. Opening the old drive is simple – all you need is the right screwdriver, and there are abundant tutorials on the Internet. But the black box is proving tougher to crack. There are no screws to undo, just a single thin seam that runs along the perimeter of the box, held closed with plastic tabs that live on the inside of the enclosure, making them basically invisible to me.

A tutorial video on Youtube shows someone undoing the tabs with his fingernails, but that's a knock-off enclosure, not the first-party product, and the original doesn't respond to that mode of attack. My next strategy would be to try and use a small flathead screwdriver, but I'm afraid that applying the necessary force will lead to a drive-gouging accident. Is there a simple, or at least less dangerous to the hardware, way to make the transplant that you know of and I don't? Maybe a map of the tabs so I know where to push?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish to Technology (4 answers total)
Is this the one?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:29 PM on March 19, 2012

Johnny: that is the instruction for installing a current-model hard drive in a current-model 360, that guide won't work with the older-model 360 that HZSF has.

HZSF: My recollection is that the software on the 360 will only accept drive sizes that were sold for that form factor. A 320GB drive was never released for the older models of 360 and might not work.
posted by TimeDoctor at 6:41 PM on March 19, 2012

TimeDoctor: As far as I'm aware the console doesn't know what model it is for purposes of interacting with the hard drive. There are detailed, reputable guides to hacking a third-party drive into an XBox-compatible file structure that work with 320-gig drives and purport to be as valid with the original model as the Slim. It'd be strange if a faked-up security sector worked with the old model but the genuine article did not.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:47 PM on March 19, 2012

Update: It's aliiiiiiive! For anyone else who's considering this transplant, it's simpler than it looks. The cable in the old hard drive's enclosure has just enough give in it that, if you leave the top off, you can just rest the new drive on top of your 360 and plug it in. Just make sure to seat it firmly, because the enclosure won't lock into place without the lid.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2012

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