Games Tech

Xbox Modding Adventure

So I recently decided to hook up some of my older consoles including the Original Xbox. Unfortunately I found that the DVD drive on the console was unreliable, and would sometimes fail to read discs. I decided it might be a good idea to finally softmod the console so I could avoid having to use the DVD drive at all. I happened to have a 1TB hard drive laying around that is actually compatible. The Xbox hard drive is locked with a key, and not every drive supports this. Its possible to get around it, but it can cause some issues, particularly with Xbox Live. Since I wanted to be able to join the Xbox Live replacement service Insignia that wasn’t an option.

With the hard drive on hand, I only needed a few other things for the softmodding process:

I followed two guides on YouTube. The first one had instructions on softmodding the console. Its a really good tutorial in general, but I do recommend using FATXplorer instead of Xplorer360 for getting files on the Xbox formatted flash drive. Xplorer360 is old and is a pain to get running on a modern windows install due to outdated file dependencies. FATXplorer just works immediately.

The second guide shows how to upgrade the hard drive:

It was a little bit sketchy having everything hanging out there and hot swapping the DVD drive and new hard drive but it worked!

I also took the time to replace the stock fans with some Noctua fans. I had to get some 3d printed mounts for the fans, and then increase the speed a bit in the modded dashboard system settings, but they are cooling better and are quieter then the old stock fans I removed.

Lastly I had to deal with the infamous clock capacitor. As expected, mine had already started leaking so I removed it and cleaned up the area.

I considered replacing the thermal paste as well, but temperatures are good and everything is running fine. So I decided that’s future-me’s problem.