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3.5" Hdd Motherboard Modification Tutorial


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#1 FrostyTheSnowman

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 06:55 AM

First off, this tutorial is meant to be short and sweet, so it will be mostly pictures. happy.gif

NOTE: These pictures were taken with a BlackBerry, sorry about the quality/size...

NOTE: 3.5" HDDs are only supported by Freeboot and XBReboot at the moment, retail kernels will not detect them.

Anyway, as we all know the 360 is designed only to be used with a 2.5" laptop sized hard drive and as such only supports 5v, which means that we are unable to connect full sized 3.5" hard drives to the motherboard without some type of external power supply...

This tutorial will show you how to solder a 12v/5v SATA power connector and standard SATA data cable straight to the motherboard and allow you to use any SATA hdd of your choice (2.5" and 3.5").

Step 1: Disassemble your 360 all the way down to the motherboard (not covered in this tutorial, search for it)

Step 2: Solder your SATA data cable as shown below: (make sure you do not forget to wire the ground wires otherwise your SATA cable will be subject to interference and may not detect your HDD)

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Step 3: Run your SATA data cable along the bottom of your motherboard as shown below:

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Step 4: Put your motherboard back inside the metal cage, and let your SATA data cable feed out in front of the fans as shown below:

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Step 5: Solder your SATA power cable as shown below:

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Step 6: Drill a hole in your case, and install a grommet as shown below: (1" size is ideal for feeding the SATA data/power cables through)

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Step 7: Reassemble your 360, with the SATA data/power cables coming out of the top of the case as shown below:

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Step 8: Connect them to your 3.5" HDD, start up your 360, format your new HDD with Freeboot or XBReboot, and you are good to go!

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Edited by FrostyTheSnowman, 13 December 2009 - 06:50 AM.


#2 danked

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 07:34 AM

thanks a lot

#3 dharrison

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 09:02 AM

Great tutorial! Can't wait to try this out. How does this affect Microsoft HDDs? If both HDDs are plugged in at the same time will there be any conflicts?

#4 under420dog

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:06 AM

you are the man as usual smile.gif
pop.gif

#5 farmboynick

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:24 AM

QUOTE(dharrison @ Dec 13 2009, 07:02 PM)  

Great tutorial! Can't wait to try this out. How does this affect Microsoft HDDs? If both HDDs are plugged in at the same time will there be any conflicts?

you cant have both plugged in at the same time it will make them both not work and the console will not boot

#6 Bandit5317

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 08:12 PM

Wow, I didn't know that that homebrew 360s supported HDDs larger than stock sizes. Time to buy Xbox 360 number 3... Thanks for the tut.

#7 dstruktiv

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 08:13 PM

Hi mate could you please show another picture pointing out which point on the motherboard sata solder points are ground and which ones are data?

Judging from your pic, 1 and 2 are data, 6 and 7 are data, and the ones in between are ground?

I'm asking because I've split open my sata cables and found 4 white covered wires, and 3 exposed bare wires, the white ones are obviously data and the exposed are ground but it's difficult exactly to tell exactly which pins correlate to the ground wires as my ground wires aren't in any particular order within the cable.

#8 FrostyTheSnowman

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 12:27 AM

QUOTE(dstruktiv @ Dec 13 2009, 01:13 PM)  

Hi mate could you please show another picture pointing out which point on the motherboard sata solder points are ground and which ones are data?

Judging from your pic, 1 and 2 are data, 6 and 7 are data, and the ones in between are ground?

I'm asking because I've split open my sata cables and found 4 white covered wires, and 3 exposed bare wires, the white ones are obviously data and the exposed are ground but it's difficult exactly to tell exactly which pins correlate to the ground wires as my ground wires aren't in any particular order within the cable.


You are correct in thinking that the white-jacketed wires are the data lines, but they are pins 2, 3, 5 and 6.

The bare wires are pins 1, 4 and 7, and they are the ground lines. (these NEED to be wired to a ground point or interference will mess with your SATA signal)

NOTE: Pins 1, 4 and 7 can be connected together and soldered to any ground point on the motherboard.

Here's the pinout for the SATA cable:

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Edited by FrostyTheSnowman, 14 December 2009 - 12:31 AM.


#9 danked

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:42 AM

having trouble, I soldered it all up, but both the 3.5 Hard Drives I tried, don't show up in xexloader, I tested a xbox 20 GB drive and it worked fine, all wires appear to be fine but nothing in xexloader?

second question how do you format the drive in XBReboot?

Edited by danked, 14 December 2009 - 02:42 AM.


#10 FrostyTheSnowman

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 03:05 AM

QUOTE(danked @ Dec 13 2009, 07:42 PM)  

having trouble, I soldered it all up, but both the 3.5 Hard Drives I tried, don't show up in xexloader, I tested a xbox 20 GB drive and it worked fine, all wires appear to be fine but nothing in xexloader?

second question how do you format the drive in XBReboot?


Your 3.5" HDD needs to be formatted by the 360 first before it will be seen in XexLoader, FAT32/NTFS partitions do not work.

Follow these directions on your 360 to format the 3.5" HDD:

1. System Settings

2. Memory

3. Select HDD (it will show as 'unformatted' most likely)

4. Enter Serial Number

5. Drive is Formatted

Edited by FrostyTheSnowman, 14 December 2009 - 03:05 AM.


#11 danked

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 03:19 AM

yeah I thought that mite be how to format.

used an external power source and the HD worked, guess I have to recheck the wires

thanks again.

#12 littlestevie360

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 04:46 AM

i did something similar, but i didnt pull voltage off the mosfets like that, it does have inherent dangers, for me 12V is pulled direct from the power connector and 5V from the short protected 5V rail in front of the CPU

#13 FrostyTheSnowman

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 05:37 AM

QUOTE(littlestevie360 @ Dec 13 2009, 09:46 PM)  

i did something similar, but i didnt pull voltage off the mosfets like that, it does have inherent dangers, for me 12V is pulled direct from the power connector and 5V from the short protected 5V rail in front of the CPU


Actually the 5v point leads directly to the 5v line from the motherboard's HDD connector, and the 12v goes directly to the main 12v rail of the PSU.

That 12v point can be traced directly back to the PSU plug, and the trace/voltage have both been verified via multimeter.

So, AFAIK, the 12v and 5v points should be perfectly safe to use.

I've been using this setup for 3 days myself and I have been playing some serious 3.5" HDD-loaded COD4 MWF2 on system-link with no trouble. happy.gif

#14 DuggyUK

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:55 PM

for those worried about soldering (for 12V/5V points), you could always use an powered external 3.5" caddy. You'll still have to do the SATA part of course...

Edited by DuggyUK, 14 December 2009 - 03:51 PM.


#15 DuggyUK

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 04:02 PM

QUOTE(DuggyUK @ Dec 14 2009, 01:55 PM)  

for those worried about soldering (for 12V/5V points), you could always use an powered external 3.5" caddy. You'll still have to do the SATA part of course...


thinking about it, you could even use bits off a pc esata bracket and make it a VERY neat (pluggable) install if you removed the ports from the blanking plate and screwed into the 360 metal case (perhaps even on the OTHER side rather than the normal HDD side)

Back plate to pull ports from like this one. CHeap on ebay too

Edited by DuggyUK, 14 December 2009 - 04:03 PM.





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