How to Flash an XBox 360 DVD Drive Firmware

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to Flash an XBox 360 DVD Drive Firmware
Replacing an optical drive in the Xbox 360 is time-consuming. (dvd laser image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)

The Xbox 360 is designed so only the DVD drive that it ships with works in the game console. You can replace a defective DVD drive yourself with another DVD drive from a computer or electronics store, but to get it to work it must be "flashed" with specific Xbox 360 information. The process requires opening up the Xbox 360 and uses software created by other Xbox 360 users that runs on a PC. The procedure for flashing the replacement DVD drive is straightforward but time-consuming.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Bath towel
  • Flat-edged screwdriver
  • #10 Torx screwdriver
  • Phillips jeweller's screwdriver
  • Replacement DVD drive
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Optical drive cable
  • Metal coat hanger
  • PC
  • Internet access
  • Web browser
  • Blank recordable DVD disc

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put a bath towel down on a table.

  2. 2

    Remove all of the cables from the Xbox 360.

  3. 3

    Place the Xbox 360 on the bath towel with the hard drive compartment facing up.

  4. 4

    Squeeze the upper left side of the faceplate with your left hand. Pull up on the USB door at the lower right side with your right hand. Remove the faceplate.

  5. 5

    Put the Xbox 360 down on the bath towel horizontally, with the power button facing you. Insert the flat-edged screwdriver into the top left ventilation hole on the Xbox 360's right side. Wiggle the tip of the flat-edged screwdriver to release the plastic tab on the inside.

  6. 6

    Move the flat-edged screwdriver over to a ventilation hole in the middle and repeat the process to release a plastic tab inside. Move the flat-edged screwdriver to a ventilation hole at the top right and repeat the process to release a plastic tab inside. Repeat this process with the plastic tabs and the tip of the flat-edged screwdriver on the left side of the Xbox 360.

  7. 7

    Turn the Xbox 360 face down on the bath towel. Lift up on the bottom shelf. Remove the 14 screws that are now exposed using the Torx screwdriver. Turn the Xbox 360 right side up and place it on the bath towel with the power button facing you.

  8. 8

    Lift off the outer case of the Xbox 360 using your hands. Remove the screws from the back panel with the Torx screwdriver.

  9. 9

    Pull the plastic inserts on each side of the Xbox 360 up and off. Pull the back panel up and off.

  10. 10

    Remove the screws from around the DVD drive inside of the Xbox 360 with the Phillips jeweller's screwdriver. Lift the DVD drive up. Remove the optical drive cable and the power plug cable from the back of the DVD drive with your fingers. Discard the DVD drive.

  11. 11

    Put the replacement DVD drive into the Xbox 360. Attach the power plug to the power plug connector on the back of the DVD drive. Attach the screws around the DVD drive with the Phillips jeweller's screwdriver

  1. 1

    Download an Xbox hard drive firmware program to the PC's desktop. Double-click on the program's icon when it has fully downloaded. Follow the menu prompts to install the program onto the computers hard drive.

  2. 2

    Download an Xbox firmware update file to the PC's desktop. Double-click on the file's icon to decompress the file onto the computer's hard drive for use later inside of an Xbox hard drive firmware program.

  3. 3

    Download a DVD burning program to the PC's desktop. Double-click on the program's icon when it has fully downloaded. Follow the menu prompts to install the program onto the computer's hard drive. Restart the PC.

  4. 4

    Run the DVD burning program. Drag the Xbox firmware update file into the icon of the DVD burning program that is on the PC's desktop.

  5. 5

    Select the DVD drive in the "Devices" drop-down menu. Select "DVD" from the "Disc format" drop-down menu.

  6. 6

    Eject the disc tray of the DVD. Put the blank, recordable DVD disc onto the disc tray. Close the disc tray.

  7. 7

    Click on the "Start" or "Burn" button on the DVD burning program. Quit the program when the DVD has been burnt and the confirmation window appears.

  8. 8

    Right-click on the icon of the DVD that is now on the desktop. Select "Eject" from the pop-up menu. Eject the disc tray. Remove the DVD from the disc tray. Close the disc tray. Shut down the PC.

  9. 9

    Remove the power cord from the PC. Remove the screws from the side of the PC with the Phillips screwdriver. Remove the outer shell of the PC. Place the outer shell aside.

  10. 10

    Plug one end of the optical drive cable into the empty port socket that is on the extreme right side inside of the PC--the empty port socket is right next to another port socket which has a similar optical drive cable already in it.

  11. 11

    Plug the other end of the optical drive cable into the optical drive cable connector on the back of the Xbox 360 DVD drive.

  12. 12

    Stretch out the metal coat hanger with your fingers. Make a small hook at each end of the coat hanger. Attach one of the hooks to a ventilation hole on the PC. Attach the other hook of the metal coat hanger to a hole in the metal plate inside of the Xbox 360.

  1. 1

    Plug the power cord into the PC. Turn the PC on. Eject the disc tray of the DVD drive. Place the DVD that was just burnt onto the disc tray. Close the disc tray. Press any key on the keyboard when the onscreen text states "Spinning up disk..."

  2. 2

    Turn off the PC when the login menu appears on the screen. Eject the disc tray. Remove the DVD from the disc tray. Close the disc tray.

  3. 3

    Press the "Eject" button on the Xbox 360 to eject the DVD drive's disc tray. Put an Xbox 360 video game disc onto the disc tray. Press the "Eject" button again to close the disc tray.

  4. 4

    Turn the PC back on. Wait for the desktop to appear on the screen. Quit Windows Media Player when it automatically launches.

  5. 5

    Right-click on the desktop. Select "New folder" from the pop-up menu. Name the new folder "Xbox."

  6. 6

    Double-click on the icon of the Xbox hard drive firmware program that is on the desktop to launch it.

  7. 7

    Select "Direct Drive Dump" from the drop-down menu below "Tools." Click on the "Raw Dump Firmware As" button in the new window that appears.

  8. 8

    Navigate to the desktop in the new window that appears. Double-click on the "Xbox" folder on the desktop. Press the "Open" button on the window to close the window and return to the Xbox hard drive firmware program.

  9. 9

    Name the file that is to be saved "ROIG" in the "Name" column. Press the "Save" button to save the file into the "Xbox" folder on the desktop.

  10. 10

    Select "Smart Hack Patcher" from the "Tools" drop-down menu. Click on "OK" in the confirmation window that appears.

  11. 11

    Enter "hackedfw" in the "Name" column of the window that appears. Click the "Save" button. Click the "Generate file" button in the new window that appears. Click on "OK" in the confirmation window that appears.

  12. 12

    Select "Different file (PATCH)" from the "Direct Drive Flash" drop-down menu below "Tools." Click on the "Read Drive and Detect Differences" button in the window that appears

  13. 13

    Click on the "Start Flashing" button in the window that appears. Click on "OK" in the confirmation window that appears.

  14. 14

    Turn off the PC. Press the "Eject" button on the Xbox 360. Remove the Xbox video game disc from the ejected disc tray. Press the "Eject" button again to close the disc tray. Turn off the Xbox 360.

  15. 15

    Remove the optical drive cable from the Xbox 360's DVD drive. Plug the original optical cable back into the DVD drive.

  16. 16

    Remove the hook of the metal coat hanger from inside of the Xbox 360. Remove the hook of the metal coat hanger from inside of the PC.

  17. 17

    Reverse the disassembly process to reassemble the Xbox 360. Reattach the cables to the Xbox 360. Remove the optical drive cable from inside of the PC. Close the PC's side. Reattach the screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear an anti-static strap to protect the internal components of the PC and the Xbox 360 from static electricity.
  • Improper grounding of the PC to the Xbox 360 can cause an electrical short in the game console.
  • Opening the Xbox 360 voids the Microsoft warranty.

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