Installing a new Hard Drive in an XBox

A while back, I wrote a short post linking to a wiki article about “How to Go from Xbox to Xbox Media Center in 30 Minutes”.  That was 4 years ago.  Since that time, I’ve gone through a couple different consoles and media center apps.  However, I still go back to my XBox and use XBMC quite a bit.

XBMC is still one of the most amazing media center apps that I’ve ever used.  I was a little disappointed when the XBMC team decided to discontinue support for the old XBox.  However, it didn’t take long for the XBMC 4 XBox movement to start.  In the last month, version 3.0.1 stable was released.

However, I run into a bit of an issue.  I had never installed a new Hard Drive in my XBox and I knew it was getting quite old.  So, it was time to figure out how to do this.  Luckily, it’s very simple.

To start, watch these 2 videos: How To Put A New Hard Drive In Xbox Without a Mod Chip
Pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2S_0lQ4MDA
Pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvnO89lRdC0&NR=1

The creator does a good job showing how easy it is to make a copy of your current HD onto an ISO using XBoxHDM and then creating a new XBox Hard Drive from a burned CD made from the ISO.  I created step-by-step instructions below to complement the video:

1.) Create an xboxhdm folder with xboxhdm in it
2.) Connect to XBox via FTP and download: cbackupeeprom.bin and put it in xboxhdm/linux/eeprom
3.) in xboxhdm/linux download C, E, and F drives from Xbox to those folders on your PC
4.) Remove the games from the Xbox folders that were copied to keep the ISO file size to a minimum (to put on a single CD).
5.) Run xboxhdm/makeiso-win –> Will create the ISO
6.) Burn the ISO to a CD – Use Lowest possible Burn speed
7.) Boot ISO on PC and make sure only the HD you want to copy to is connected to PC (disconnect other drives) –> Primary, Master Port
8.) Option 3
9.) Type: unlockhd -a     –> May say drive is already unlocked, no big deal, move along
10.) Type: reboot
11.) On next boot up, back at menu screen, just press enter
12.) Type: xboxhd
11:) Type: yes
12.) 1   –> Build a new XBox HD from scratch
–> If you have an HD over 8 GB, it will ask you if you want to create an F FATX partition (3 yes answers).
13.) yes
14.) yes
15.) yes
16.) Option 6: generate hdkeys   –> Write down hard drive key and locking password
17.) Press enter
18.) Type: 8
19.) Type: reboot
20.) Type: 3
21.) Type: lockhd -a
22.) Type: y
23.) Verifty and write down master password
24.) Shutdown PC and put the new hard drive into the Xbox and it should work

I ran into 2 issues during this process:
1.) I had an error when trying to unlock the HD stating “cannot change security status of a frozen drive”.  The fix is to have the HD plugged into the IDE at boot, but keep the power cord to the HD unplugged.  Once you boot into the first XBoxHDM menu screen, plug in the power.  Do this everytime you have to reboot.  (Forum post)
2.) I needed to rerun the softmod after installing the new HD to get back to a point where I could FTP into the XBox.  Otherwise, I was stuck with the regular XBox Dashboard and couldn’t switch to UnleashX, Evolution X, or XBMC.  To get this working:

  • Exploit the XBox again (same as what has to be done to softmod it)
  • Remove the softmod, then restart
  • Exploit again
  • Install the softmod, restart
  • Boot into evolution x and ftp XBMC files over, then restart.

I’m extremely happy with XBMC4XBOX version 3, and I’m glad this project is still moving forward after all this time.  That shows you how incredible the XBox console is and how awesome this homebrew open source application is and has evolved to overtime.

 

1 thought on “Installing a new Hard Drive in an XBox

  1. I would very strongly suggest that no one follow the following suggestion:

    “1.) I had an error when trying to unlock the HD stating “cannot change security status of a frozen drive”. The fix is to have the HD plugged into the IDE at boot, but keep the power cord to the HD unplugged. Once you boot into the first XBoxHDM menu screen, plug in the power. Do this everytime you have to reboot. (Forum post)”

    While this may work for some systems, it will fry the hard drive on many others. IDE HDDs are not set up for plugging in devices while power is flowing. This shorted out the logic board on my HDD and disc is now worthless. Not a chance worth taking imo.

    Like

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