How to Clone an Xbox Hard Drive With Xboxhdm

Updated April 17, 2017

The Microsoft Xbox is a powerful gaming machine and the first console to offer an internal hard drive where data could be stored without the use of a memory card. The Xbox has an 8GB internal IDE drive that can store music, save games and connect to the Internet. With such a useful component, it might be a good idea to back up your Xbox hard drive by cloning it using a program called Xboxhdm. This will ensure that you don't lose any music or precious files in the event that your original hard drive fails.

Open your Xbox console by turning it upside down and removing the four Torx screws located underneath the rubber pads. Remove the Torx screw beneath the barcode sticker and the silver sticker as well.

Turn the Xbox right side up and grasp the sides of the top of the case. Pull outward while you pull up on the top of the case and separate the two pieces. Set the top aside; the bottom half contains the parts you need to work on.

Remove the three screws that hold the hard drive and DVD drive in place. Remove the hard drive by pulling it directly up. Unplug the IDE ribbon cable and power cable from the drive.

Download Xboxhdm and the Dash files (see link in References) and save them both to your desktop. Right-click on the Dash files and select "Copy." Open the Xboxhdm file and double-click on the "Linux" folder, then double-click the folder that says "C." Press and hold the "Control" key on your keyboard and press "V" to paste the Dash files inside the folder. Press the back button.

Double-click on the "E" folder. Right-click in the window and select "New," then click on "Folder." Name this folder "TDATA." Create a second folder and name it "UDATA." Press the back button.

Install the Linux ISO file by double-clicking on "Make-iso-win.bat." Wait while the DOS box runs the ISO installation file. Exit the Xboxhdm window once it has finished.

Insert a blank CD into your CD-RW drive. Burn the "Linux.iso" file to the CD by right-clicking the file, selecting "Send To" and clicking on "CD-RW Drive." Click on "Start" and select "My Computer." Double-click on "CD-RW Drive" and click on "Write these files to CD" on the left side.

Leave the CD in the drive and turn off your computer once it is finished burning the disc. Unplug it from the wall outlet. Open the case of your computer and disconnect your main hard drive, but leave the CD drive connected. Plug the new blank IDE hard drive that you want to clone your Xbox to into the secondary master IDE slot on your motherboard. Plug the Xbox hard drive into the primary master IDE slot on the motherboard. Plug the computer back into the wall outlet and power it on.

Press "1" when the screen appears that reds "Xbox HD Maker and Recovery Tool." Type "Xboxhd" on the next screen and hit "Enter." Press "3" to select "Clone existing Xbox HD."

Select the drive you want to clone from by typing in "hda" and pressing "Enter." Select the drive that you want to clone to by typing in "hdc" and pressing "Enter." Type "yes" when it asks for confirmation and press "Enter." Wait at least one hour for the process to complete; cloning to a larger drive will take even longer.


Taking the Xbox console apart voids any and all manufacturer warranties on the system.

Things You'll Need

  • Torx 20 screwdriver
  • Dash files
  • Windows computer
  • CD-RW drive
  • Blank CD-R
  • Blank IDE hard drive
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Dustin Thornton has been writing since 2003. He has served as a newspaper columnist for the "Troy Tropolitan" and a contributor to various websites. Thornton received a partial scholarship for an outstanding essay in 2003. He has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Troy University.