WARNING: Disassembling your XBox360 and/or installing unapproved accessories will void your hardware and support warranty and may even get you banned from XBox Live. If this concerns you, don't do it... just go buy the official MS add-on hard drive and sleep well. I am not responsible for any loss or damage as a result of following these instructions. Do so at your own risk.
Recently my XBox360 Elite decided to crap out on me. I guess I've been luckier than a lot of folks as this is only my second unit as it was a replacement for a Red-Ring-Of-Death'd original white model. But, it's from early 2007 and has decided to randomly lockup so (after some basic troubleshooting) I figured it was time to upgrade to one of the Slim models.
Since I already have a 120GB hard drive in the Elite (and that doesn't seem to be the source of my problems), I decided to purchase one of the "4GB" Slim combos rather than the 250GB kit. At the time I purchased, I could get the 4GB combo with controller, Kinect, and 2 games for the same price as the 250GB unit with only a controller.
Also, I don't use a lot of the hard drive storage anyway since I usually play only 1 or 2 games at a time and rarely download video. If you're a heavy media user that likes to keep a lot of games installed, the 250GB HD model is probably a better idea for you.
Before purchasing, I'd read from other sources online that this was possible and it seemed pretty straightforward so I figured I'd give it a shot. WARNING... AGAIN, this will void your warranty and from some things I've read can get you banned from XBoxLive. These instructions are for educational purposes only.
- Press the clip on the Elite Hard Drive module and remove it from the console.
- Using a T6 driver, remove the 4 silver screws on the bottom of the case that hold the case together. One of these screws is under a Microsoft hologram. Buh-bye (expired) warranty.
- Separate the two halves of the case being careful as the release button is now free to fall out.
- Using a T10 driver, remove the 4 black screws holding the silver cover. If you don't have a T10 (I didn't, you can use a flat screwdriver that fits; just be careful not to strip the head of the screw).
- Pull the top half of the silver cover away from the rest of the hard drive case.
- Slide the hard disk forward (bend down the front of the case that is in the way) and disconnect the SATA connectors.
Some folks had suggestions for wedging stuff into the opening on the Slim to keep the hard drive from moving around. I opted to buy an empty HD case from Amazon for < $4.00 so I wouldn't have to worry about the hard drive coming lose if the unit is bumped or moved.
- Place the hard drive into the bottom (larger) piece of the hard drive case; It will fit controller side down and the screw holes will align neatly onto the plastic posts inside the case.
- Snap the top of the hard drive case into the bottom.
- Disconnect the power from the XBox360 Slim.
- Press the latch on the right side of the Slim and release the hard drive access cover.
- Insert the hard drive into the Slim until it stops with a firm click.
- Replace the access cover.
- Reconnect the power to the XBox360 Slim.
- Power on the Slim
- Go to Settings > System > Storage and verify that your Hard Drive is recognized.
After doing this, I was prompted to delete my Cloud Storage Cache... and voila... 120GB XBox360 Slim with all my old profiles and saved games intact.