How to Let a PC Read an XBox Hard Drive

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An Xbox hard drive has been created so that it will only work with the video game console that it comes in, so connecting it to a PC will not do anything. To convert an Xbox hard drive so that it can be used with a computer requires that it no longer be "tied" to the Xbox through firmware built into the hard drive. The procedure is straightforward and requires only time and patience. Neither the Xbox, the Xbox hard drive or the computer will be damaged by doing this.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows-based computer
  • IDE hard drive internal connector cable
  • IDE hard drive internal power cable
  • Composite video cable
  • TV
  • Remove the power cord and any audio or video cables from the Xbox. Put the Xbox down on a clean work surface. Press on the release tab found at the front of the hard drive compartment. Pull the hard drive out with a single, smooth motion.

  • Take the hard drive over to your computer. Plug in the power cord to the Xbox. Attach a composite video cable from the Xbox to the TV.

  • Plug in the IDE hard drive internal power cable from the computer to the power connection on the Xbox hard drive. Plug in the IDE connector cable from the Xbox's hard drive compartment into the appropriate connection on the Xbox hard drive.

  • Turn on the computer and hold the "Pause" key down so that the computer stops the booting process. Turn on both your TV and Xbox. Wait as the XBox boots up to the Dashboard menu screen and transmits the unlock code to the Xbox hard drive.

  • Turn off the Xbox when the Dashboard menu screen appears. Remove the IDE cable from the Xbox that was connected to the Xbox hard drive. Turn off the TV.

  • Plug the IDE hard drive internal connector cable from the computer into the appropriate connection of the Xbox hard drive. Switch the Xbox hard drive pin set from Master to Slave. Put the Xbox hard drive into one of the computer's hard drive bays if possible.

  • Press a key on the computer's keyboard to continue the booting up process. Format the Xbox hard drive to work with the Windows-based computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't put the hard drive or Xbox console down on carpeting when you are working on it. This will help to avoid any static electricity that could damage the electronics.
  • Removing the hard drive from the Xbox can be considered a warranty violation by an authorized dealer or Microsoft. Make sure to replace the drive back into the Xbox before taking the console in for any warranty repair.

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