The DVD drive in the Xbox 360 is "unlocked" by the game console’s operating system every time it is turned on. Gamers who don’t want to wait on a Microsoft service centre can install a replacement drive themselves, providing it is a Hitachi DVD drive that has been "flashed" to work with the Xbox 360. The flashing process requires attaching the Hitachi DVD drive to a PC and running specially created software provided for free by other Xbox enthusiasts. If done correctly, the Hitachi DVD drive can be flashed and installed into the Xbox 360 within two to three hours and neither it, the PC or the Xbox 360 will be the worst for it having been done.
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Things you need
- Phillips screwdriver
- Blank recordable CD
- Hitachi DVD drive
- Long thin stick
- Torx screwdriver
Put a towel down on a table next to the computer. Disconnect all cables from the game console. Put the Xbox 360 onto the towel.
Grab the upper left corner of the faceplate in one hand and pull up on the USB port door with the other. Wiggle the faceplate free. Slide the faceplate off the Xbox case.
Insert the long thin stick into the vent hole on the right side of the Xbox 360’s case. Release the four tabs at the top of the plastic insert inside of the Xbox 360’s case. Press the power button. Repeat the process with the long thin stick on the left side of the Xbox 360’s case.
Put the Xbox 360 face down on the towel. Lift the bottom shelf and remove the screws using the Torx screwdriver. Turn the Xbox 360 back face up.
Lift up on the top case and remove it from the bottom shell. Use the Torx screwdriver to remove the back plate. Remove the two plastic inserts from each side.
Locate the DVD drive inside of the bottom case. Remove the screws from around the DVD drive using the Phillips jeweller’s screwdriver. Lift up on the DVD drive and use your fingers to remove the power cable and the ribbon cable from the back of the DVD drive.
Place the Hitachi DVD drive in position where the original DVD drive was. Attach the power cable to the connection on the back of the Hitachi DVD drive. Plug the power cord back into the Xbox 360.
urn on the PC. Download a Xbox 360 Toolbox to the desktop, for example the Maxiums F/W Toolbox (see the link in Resources). Double-click on the icon of the Maxiums F/W Toolbox. Follow the command prompts to install the program onto the computer’s hard drive.
Download a DVD operating system hack to the desktop, for example the Slax software (see the link in Resources). Double-click on the icon of the DVD operating system hack to decompress it to the desktop.
Download a DVD burning program to the desktop, for example the free ImgBurn DVD burning program (see the link in Resources). Double-click on the icon of the DVD burning program. Follow the command prompts to install the program onto the computer’s hard drive. Restart the PC.
Eject the disc tray of the DVD burner. Put a blank recordable CD onto the disc tray. Close the disc tray.
Run the DVD burning program. Select "CD" from the "Disc" drop-down menu. Select "Data" from the "Format" drop-down menu. Select the name of the DVD burner from the "Devices" drop-down menu.
Drag the DVD operating system hack file onto the DVD burning program’s main screen. Wait as the DVD loads the file into its memory. Click on the "Burn" button on the DVD burning program’s main screen. Wait as the CD is burnt with the DVD operating system hack file. Quit the DVD burning program when the burning is completed.
Turn off the PC. Open the case using the Phillips screwdriver. Remove the screws from around the DVD drive carrier using the Phillips jeweller’s screwdriver. Lift the drive carrier out slightly. Use your fingers to remove the power cable and the ribbon cable from the back of the DVD drive.Connect the ribbon connector to the connections the back of the Hitachi DVD drive. Turn on the Xbox 360. Turn on the PC.
Wait for the login screen to appear on the computer monitor. Press "enter" on the keyboard. Eject the CD from the disc tray. Turn the computer off.
Restart the PC. Press the"Eject" button on the DVD drive a few times as the PC boots up. Open the Hitachi DVD drive’s disc tray and put a Xbox 360 game disc on it. Close the disc tray.
Double-click on the Xbox 360 Toolbox icon to launch it. Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Direct Drive Dump" from the drop-down menu. Press the "RAW Dump Firmware As.: button on the window that appears. Navigate to the desktop in the window that appears and press "Open" to close the window.
Click on "YES" in the confirmation window that appears. Click on "YES" in the confirmation window that appears.
Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Smart Hack Patcher" from the drop-down menu. Click on "OK" in the confirmation window that appears. Name the file that will be made "final.bin" in the "Name" field. Check the "Rule" check box. Press the "Generate File" button. Click on "YES" in the confirmation window.
Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Direct Drive Flash" from the drop-down menu and then "Differential Flash Patch" from the secondary drop-down menu.
Select the "Hitachi" name from the list in the window that appears. Press the "Read Drive and Detect Differences" button. Press the "Start Flashing" button when it becomes illuminated. Quit the Xbox 360 Toolbox when the confirmation window appears on the screen. Turn off the computer.
Disconnect the ribbon cable from the Hitachi DVD drive. Close up the PC. Reassemble the Xbox 360.
Tips and warnings
- Wear an anti-static strap to avoid damaging the electronic components inside of the Xbox 360 or the PC.
- Not disconnecting the power supply to the Xbox 360 or the PC while touching wires inside of them could result in an electrical shock.
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