Use Slax 2
. This updated version by Probutus includes support for a much greater range of chipsets, including the VIA cards. It also supports SATA > USB adaptors. If you are using onboard SATA, make sure RAID is disabled in your BIOS. Slax 2 works much better than Slax 1, and it's faster! The Slax download is an ISO image file, you can burn it with any ISO Image burning software like Nero or IMGBurn. The Slax disc is a bootable Linux disc, that needs to be put in your PC drive, not the Xbox 360 Hitachi drive. With both the Xbox 360 and PC powered off, hook up both power and video cables to the Xbox 360, and ensure a ground between the Xbox 360 and your PC. Hook up the Hitachi drive via a SATA cable. Boot up your PC and boot from the Slax CD. As soon as you see the Slax cloverleaf, power on your Xbox 360. (hurry, it doesn't stay there long) Let Slax go. If you get "Spinning Up Disc.." then eject the Hitachi drive and it will continue. When you reach the login screen for Slax do the following.
To verify that your drive is in ModeB, one of the following must be happening:
1. The drive takes two presses of the eject button to open/close.
2. When closing the drive using the eject button, the drive tray will auto-eject back open a few seconds later.
Once you have verified the drive is in ModeB, restart your PC, eject the Slax disc, and let it boot. When it gets to the Windows loading bar, eject the Hitachi drive open and closed a few times so that Windows will recognize the drive. When you first get Windows loaded, check device manager (CD/DVD Drives) before anything else. If you see your drive in there, good.
1. Open 360 Firmware Toolbox v3.0
2. Tools > Direct Drive Dump (GDR Only)
3. Choose your DVD drive from the drop-down list (there should only be one)
4. Click the button labeled "RAW Dump Firmware As ..."
5. Save the original firmware as original.bin somewhere safe
6. It will tell you that the firmware has been dumped and ask if you want to open it, select "Yes"
7. Make sure everything looks pretty normal, nothing out of the ordinary
8. Go to Tools > Smart Hack Patcher
9. Read the warning and then accept it
10. On the line labelled "output file" click the box to the right with the ellipsis (three dots) and save your output file as hacked.bin
11. Make sure the rule set is for Hitachi v78 drives
12. Hit "Generate File"
13. Again, it will ask if you want to open the firmware, select "Yes"
14. Go to Tools > Direct Drive Flash (GDR Only)
15. Select Differential Flash (PATCH)
16. Select your Hitachi DVD drive from the drop-down list
17. Hit "Read Drive and Detect Differences"
18. Select "Start Flashing" and wait for it to finish (very fast)
19. Test it all out
20. Donate to Maximus if it worked
Don't forget to plug that small black sata cable back in so your Hitachi drive is actually connected to the Xbox 360 motherboard! Also, make sure you power-cycle the system twice after flashing. I'm not sure if this version has the "ModeB on Open Tray" but if it does, it means that you will have to power-cycle twice after flashing the first time. This is because you probably flashed the drive with it open, and when you powered it off the first time, the tray remained open. Then, when you power back up, it will be in ModeB because of the ModeB on Open Tray. So.. you have to power cycle again to go back to normal mode.
Slax 2 does work with SATA > USB adapters, and yes, you can use pretty much any generic no-name cheapo SATA > USB adapter. I got one off ebay for $17 shipped and I used it last week on my laptop to flash two Hitachi 47 drives. Works great with Slax 2 and was able to flash both drives just fine.