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Xbox 360 Exposed

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This section will describe how to crack the case of the Xbox and get inside. Use this or check out the 5-minute video.

  1. First, place the Xbox upside down on your lap, insert your index and middle finger into the memory slot holes, place your thumbs on the bottom of the Xbox (for leverage), and pull the face plate off with a steady force. It should just snap right off.

  2. Next, break the Microsoft seal (you will void your warranty at this point) as highlighted in Figure 1.

  3. Figure 1

    Figure 1 A look under the face plate

  4. Now, flip the Xbox on its side and take a close look at the holes located on the top and bottom of each side. If you look closely, you can see that some of the holes are filled in. Why would this be? Well, it is because the filled-in holes are keeping the grey plastic pieces on the top and bottom of the Xbox snuggly in place.

  5. To remove the top and bottom grey pieces, you will need a small pointed object, as illustrated in Figure 2.

  6. Figure 2

    Figure 2 Levering tab on grey panel

  7. Locate a grey plastic tab by peering into the holes, then use the probe to carefully push down and lever out the grey top/bottom cover, as in Figure 3. Both pieces have three tabs/clips per side, with a total of six per piece. To remove the top grey piece, you will have to remove the rubber pad. This is the only rubber pad you will have to remove.

  8. Figure 3

    Figure 3 Removing the top/bottom grey pieces

  9. With the grey pieces removed, take a close look at the back side of the Xbox. On the right and left side there are small notches that will require closer inspection. You again will need a small screw driver or narrow probe.

  10. Using the probe, start on the left side (near power plug socket) and push the catch a bit into the Xbox until it clicks, then use a screw driver to keep the two sides apart (as highlighted in Figure 4. Once the left side is done, start on the right side and do the same thing to the rest of the catches. This is probably the trickiest part of the whole process, so take your time.

  11. Figure 4

    Figure 4 Taking the back apart on the Xbox 360

  12. Once they are all separated, the bottom of the Xbox will lift away. At this point slide it around to the front side and undo the four catches, keeping the case together (as highlighted in Figure 1).

  13. At this point you will need to grab your Torx driver set. I used a T10 and T8 for this part of the disassembly process. Other sites have suggested a range of torx drivers, but this worked for me. You DO NOT NEED a T12.

  14. Unscrew the six T10 black screws (red circles in Figure 5), then use the T10 to unscrew all the silver screws (blue circles in Figure 5). Finally, unscrew the black screws with your T8 driver (green circles in Figure 5).

    If you are just looking to remove the top shelf to gain access to the DVD drive, you only need to remove the silver screws (blue circles in Figure 5).

  15. Figure 5

    Figure 5 Removing screws from bottom of Xbox 360

  16. Carefully flip the Xbox back over.

  17. Remove the DVD button arm assembly to keep it out of your way. You just need to pry it off the black plastic guide.

  18. Next, remove the top cover, watching the DVD button latch!

  19. Disconnect the SATA connector and power connector from the DVD drive and lift it out of the case.

  20. To remove the white plastic air guide, locate the notch on the top outward side (Figure 6), insert your probe/small screw driver, and leverage the air guide out. It should lift straight out very smoothly.

    Figure 6

    Figure 6 Removing screws from bottom of Xbox 360

    Next, disconnect the power for the cooling fans. Now, use your probe/screw driver to pry the fan catches out from the metal guard, as illustrated in Figure 7. This will allow you to remove the fan device from the Xbox case.

    Figure 7

    Figure 7 Removing the fan

    Next, look at the front of the Xbox on the RF module, and remove the white plastic power button (Figure 8). It is held in place by a clip on the top and bottom.

  21. Figure 8

    Figure 8 White button on RF module

  22. Now, remove the three screws from the front circuit board (RF module).

  23. Once the screws are removed, you will be able to slide the front circuit board off the Xbox with a slight pull. Notice that it is connected on the lower left side. You should now be able to pull the entire circuit board right out of the case with relative ease. Be careful not to touch any exposed circuits.

  24. The next step is to carefully lift the motherboard out of the Xbox case. Figure 9 provides a very detailed look at the motherboard with heat sinks still installed.

  25. With the motherboard removed, flip it over and locate the two X connectors on the bottom. These are what hold the heat sinks on the processor. You can remove this; just be careful. It takes a little bit of force, which could destroy your Xbox if not applied properly. However, they do come off as Figure 10 and Figure 11 illustrate.

Figure 9

Figure 9 Detailed look at motherboard

Figure 10

Figure 10 Removing X connectors

Figure 11

Figure 11 Detailed look at GPU/CPU

Figure 12

Figure 12 Detailed look at bottom of motherboard

This ends the disassembly write up. The following pages will provide some specs on key processors, the reassembly write up and finally, a look inside the wireless controller.

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