View Full Version : Use a normal 3.5" SATA HDD with your RGH'd XBOX360

30-05-2012, 03:18 AM
@Tinks - remember I said I'm going to try using an external USB drive and connect it via a SATA cable to the RGH'd XBOX360? Well, it works!! ;p

@All - You don't really need to buy an expensive 2.5 laptop drive to use with the RGH'd XBOX. You can use a desktop 3.5" External SATA drives if you've got a spare. Well, that's what I did.

I had a spare DVD/HDD caddy and a 500Gb 3.5" SATA HDD. I hooked it up to the XBOX360 via a SATA Data Cable and I'm powering it via the caddy's power brick. So, instead of connecting the caddy via a USB 2.0 connection, I've connected it using a SATA cable - from the XBOX360 to the caddy!

An extremely simple mod... if you know how to open a HDD caddy and the XBOX360, your job's done!!

So, here's what you need:

XBOX slim/phat Opening tool + T8 Torx screwdriver - to open the XBOX360 up.

A normal 0.75m Sata Data cable - to connect the external USB drive to the XBOX360

A desktop external usb drive - we won't use the usb connection. Instead we'll use a SATA connection


Open the XBOX up. There's loads of tutorials on the net to do this - please look it up. Just open the XBOX up till you can see the motherboard. You don't need to take it completely apart... just till the top cover comes off and you have access to the motherboard. You should see the red SATA HDD DATA cable attached to the port shown in the attached picture. To its left you'll see the DVD drive SATA Data cable - ignore this cable, don't touch it.

Unplug the existing SATA cable and run the 0.75m Sata cable through the HDD bay, under the SATA data/power cable connection port and to the port on the motherboard. Effectively, you'll have one end of the long SATA cable connected to the motherboard and the other end will be dangling out via the HDD bay from the side.

Assemble the xbox up again without the HDD in the bay (the cable runs through the bay now!). You'll be able to fit the sides to the XBOX easily despite the SATA cable wedged on one side.

Connect the other end of the SATA cable to the external powered 3.5 USB drive.

Power up your RGH'd XBOX. Go to XBOX Settings where the Storage section is. You should see the HDD here as an unknown HDD. Just format it using the XBOX (you'll need the console serial number... make sure you write it down from the console info section earlier).

That's it... create whatever folder strucutre you're happy with and copy your backups into this section. You're done!


Laptop HDDs are expensive. Desktop HDDs are comparatively cheaper. For the price of a 2.5 HDD, you can get a 3.5 HDD almost twice the size... sometimes 3 times! Plus, you could get one which is either 7200rpm or even 10000 rpm... or just use the one that you've got spare (that's what I did).

You can run your games via USB too... but SATA is MUUUUUCCCCCHHHHH faster than USB 2.0 ;p... surely you know that.

Hope you have fun!

30-05-2012, 07:34 AM
Thats cool glad it worked :) Thought it would it was just a case of trying it and all my hard drives are full at the mo lol

04-06-2012, 11:59 PM
Oops ive just re read your description and im afraid this is different on a phat xbox. Its either taking the original hard drive case apart and modding it or soldering wires on the mobo and from what i can remember its a pain in the neck to do it that way.

05-06-2012, 12:44 AM
Sorry... I thought I'd mentioned that in the post... apparently not! My bad... thanks for pointing that out mate.

Request: Would one of the admin/mods be kind enough to make the appropriate changes to the topic/post on my behalf? Many thanks in advance and apologies for the inconvenience caused... :)

11-06-2012, 07:50 AM
I wa meesing about with a new slim which i got last weekend and now ive kind of turned it into a xbox shaped hard drive lol

I wanted to do something similiar to what you have done but i didnt want any external hard drive kicking around under the tv so i took the thing apart and had a think

I took the dvd rom out and extended the poer cable for the dvd drive and took out the caddy that holds the 2.5 hard drive that you normally find in the xbox so i can put a sata cable and the power cable under the flap which normally holds the hard drive. This is so i can have a dvd rom plugged in if i want :) You have to put a jumper on the power cable to stop the centre light blinking or alter the settings in dash launch so it doesnt boot into xell all the time. I just made a jumper so i can still use the eject button to power up into xell so best of both worlds :)

Then i made a hole at the back of the case for a molex connector to go to power the internal 2tb hard drive im going to fit in it just above the usb ports on the back of the xbox so its out of sight :) Nice and neet just the way i wanted it lol

Then i made a cradle for the hard drive out of a metal plate fixed the hard drive to it and then plugged in the sata cable , waited for my molex power supply to turn up plugged it in and hey presto i have a internal 2tb hard drive in my xbox without any visible mods from the front :)

When i get a camera i will post some pictures as it was fun to do :)

11-06-2012, 10:28 AM
Now we're talking!! Do post some pics mate... I love the idea and might have a go at it... seeing that I never use the DVD drive anyway.

11-06-2012, 04:36 PM
I will do when i get a camera sorted :) I just got a power supply off ebay for ?5 and job done and works brilliantly :) Just transfering all stuff across to it now