How to Find Out the Xbox 360 DVD Drive Key

Updated February 21, 2017

The Xbox 360 uses a DVD drive that is similar to those found in computers. But unlike a computer, the Xbox 360 hard drive must be "unlocked" by a special command issued by the game console's operating system every time that it is booted up. Knowing what the Xbox 360's DVD drive key is will let you install a new DVD drive in place of the original one should it fail. This will save you the exorbitant charge for a DVD drive that a service centre would demand, and let you get back to using the DVD drive to play games rather than waiting weeks or months for the service centre to complete the repair.

Put a towel down on a table. Remove the power plug and other cords from the Xbox 360. Put the Xbox 360 face up on the towel. Stick two fingers of the left hand into the USB slot at the bottom of the Xbox 360's faceplate. Pull up with the left hand while squeezing the sides of the top of the faceplate with the other hand. Remove the faceplate and put it aside.

Push the right side of the Xbox 360 inward. Insert the long, thin stick inside of the right side and release the four clips at the top that are holding a grey piece of plastic. Repeat the procedure on the left side of the Xbox 360 after pressing the "Power" button on the front once.

Turn the Xbox 360 over and put it face down on the towel. Pull up on the bottom shelf to reveal the 14 screws. Remove the screws using the Torx screwdriver. Turn the Xbox 360 back face up and put it down on the towel. Remove the top of the Xbox 360's case from the bottom case and put it aside. Remove the two side panels and the back from the bottom case and put them aside.

Locate the DVD drive near the middle of the circuit board inside of the bottom case. Use the Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the four screws holding the DVD drive to the bottom case.

Lift the DVD drive up carefully and pull out the power plug going into the DVD drive's power connector. Squeeze both sides of the ribbon cable at the back of the DVD drive and pull it out. Remove the DVD drive from the bottom case.

Place the Xbox 360 DVD drive next to the computer. Remove the power plug from the computer. Remove the computer's case. Plug the power plug from inside one of the empty drive bays into the DVD drive's power connector. Attach the ribbon cable from inside of the empty drive bay into the ribbon cable connector on the DVD drive. Move the pins in the back of the DVD drive that are up against the "Master" text downward so that they reside next to the "Slave" text.

Plug the power cord into the computer and turn the computer on. Open the DVD tray of the DVD drive and put a DVD movie or a Xbox 360 game disc onto it. Close the DVD tray.

Download and install the "Firmware Toolbox" program to the desktop of the computer (see link in Resources below). Run the "Firmware Toolbox" program. Select "Tools", and then "Direct Drive Dump" from the drop-down menu. Select "Raw Dump" from the choices presented on the window that appears. Name the file you are about to save "original bin" in the empty space at the top of the window. Press the "Save" button to save the original firmware that is on the DVD drive to the computer's desktop.

Click on "Browse" and navigate to the desktop in the window that appears. Select the "original bin" file. Press "Open" at the bottom of the window to load the file into the "Firmware Toolbox" program and close the window.

Look at the "Key Information @" tab at the centre the "Firmware Toolbox" program. Record the Xbox 360's DVD key that is listed there. Turn off the computer, remove the DVD drive and reinstall it into the Xbox 360. Reassemble the Xbox 360 and return it to where it was originally placed. Plug in the power cord and reattach all of the cables.


Do not place the Xbox 360 on carpeting when opening it up as static electricity can transmit from the carpet to you and then to the internal components and damage them.


Opening up an Xbox 360 yourself voids Microsoft's warranty on parts and labour.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Table
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Torx screwdriver
  • Long, thin stick
  • Windows-based computer
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About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."