[How To] Install a Larger Hard Drive in Softmodded Xbox


5-8-09:  Added XBpartitioner download link.
4-3-11: Cleaned up some items at the end.

1-27-12: Fixed link for XBpartioner.

WTF! I wrote a post and when I posted it, the article was entirely blank. Talk about a good 30 mins wasted, so here is my brief version.

I have an Xbox, and last night I installed a new larger hard drive in it. So far it works, which is a Hitachi 250GB hard drive. The default hard drive is 8GB. Below is a great tutorial that I am just going to quote and give credit to, and after the tutorial see my quick comments on my experience.

This is a follow-up article to my original Modding the Xbox in 10 Minutes. This guide will teach you how to install a larger hard-drive into your modded Xbox. A lot of people will ask for a legitimate reason for installing a hard-drive larger than the stock 8gb one. Here’s a reason, games ripped to your Xbox load faster. Booting Halo 2 through the CD takes about twenty seconds to load; booting Halo 2 from the hard-drive takes about five seconds to load. There isn’t this night and day difference in all games, but there are plenty of other legitimate uses to using a larger hard-drive in a modded Xbox.

Remember, it’s only legal to rip games that you own to your hard-drive.

Before you begin, you’re going to need the following:

  • Torx 10 and 20 Screwdrivers (available at your local Sears)
  • xboxhdm_v1.9.zip (available on Xbins in the directory: /XBOX/Operating Systems/linux/distributions/xboxhdm/)
  • FTP Access to your Modded Xbox
  • Blank Hard-Drive
  • Blank CD-R/RW

Once you have all of the above, extract the xboxhdm_v1.9.zip to its own directory. Connect to your Xbox via FTP and navigate to E:\backup\MS. If you used my first article, there should be a file called eeprom.bin in there. Transfer that file to your local \xboxhdm\linux\eeprom folder. If you did not use my guide, you will first need to backup your EEProm through your dashboard.

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Navigate back to the root of your Xbox hard-drive and transfer the contents of your C:\ and E:\ folders from your Xbox to your local \xboxhdm\linux folder. The local folders should be empty prior to transfer.

Depending how much stuff you have on your Xbox, this transfer might take a bit of time. Once you have transferred the eeprom.bin and c:\ and e:\ folders, navigate to your local \xboxhdm\ folder and double click the make-iso-win file. This will launch the command prompt and will make a linux.iso file.

Use Nero, FireBurner, your burning application of choice to burn this .iso file to a blank CD-R.

Once the CD has burned, turn off your system and disconnect your current hard-drives. Set the jumper on the hard-drive you intend to use in the Xbox to Single Master. Connect this hard-drive. Go into your BIOS and make sure the boot order sets to boot from the CD drive before the hard-drive. Reboot your computer (if necessary), insert the burned CD into your CD drive and it should boot into the Xbox Maker and Recovery Tool program.

It makes no sense to write the following steps in a paragraph format because you just have to hit a number, type a word or answer yes/no. So here is how you navigate the program: (picture guide is located below)

  • Press 1 (Boot VGA Console with Xbox-Drive Utilities (default)) and hit enter.
  • Type xboxhd and hit enter
  • Type yes (do not type y, you must spell out yes) and hit enter
  • Press 1 (Build a New Xbox HD from Scratch) and hit enter
  • Type yes and hit enter
  • Type yes and hit enter (Continue Copying Files from /xboxhdm/C)
  • Type yes and hit enter (Continue Copying Files from /xboxhdm/E)
  • Reboot once it has finished copying (this might take awhile)
  • Press 3 (Boot Linux with Locking/Unlocking Utilities)
  • Type lockhd -a
  • Turn off your computer

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If you want to use your stock 8gb Xbox hard-drive in your PC, turn on your Xbox, if you installed Evolution X using my previous guide, go to System Configuration -> Unlock Harddisk. Turn off your Xbox.

Disconnect the hard-drive from your computer and unscrew the Xbox’s six torx screws. Unscrew the Xbox hard-drive’s two torx screws; unplug its molex connector and IDE cable. Plug in your new Xbox hard-drive and turn it on. Congratulations on your new hard-drive.


Tutorial source: http://www.techfreaks.org/articles/modxbox2.shtml


I spent a good four hours last night and figured out my PC was the problem. Here are some useful tips:

  • New hard drive to be master on primary IDE channel. Optical drive of PC to be master on secondary IDE channel. Do not try other variations, it will not work! I.E: Primary hard drive, slave optical drive.
  • When you lock your hard drive, you may see this error: “Drive on primary master is frozen cannot change the security status of a frozen drive! Try to disable ‘automatic detection’ on the primary IDE channnel in your PC BIOS and reboot.”

    • If you get this, do not bother going into your BIOS and disabling “automatic detection” as other websites say because most likely there is no such thing as an option. I was using an Emachine with an Intel processor, and that was the problem because I couldn’t lock my hard drive.
      • If you are lucky, use a different PC and cross your fingers. Apparently, using AMD based machines work great when trying to lock your hard drive. I had a spare AMD machine, and I was able to lock the hard drive without any errors.
    • See if your hard drive is lockable at this link: http://xboxdrives.x-pec.com/?p=list

XBPartitioner Link

By popular demand, I give you a link to the XBpartitioner program!  To traditionally get this, you must login to IRC and find it, but now I save you the hassle. Enjoy!

XBpartitioner Download

There you have it. If you have problems, let me know and I will see what I can do as I am living proof that this tutorial works.

Posted on March 27, 2008, in Xbox and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 108 Comments.

  1. leisuresuitlarry

    yep, did that too. i’ve tried just about everything i could think of that’s why i’m asking you cause i’m stumped.

  2. Did you put in the eeprom and C drive from from the original xbox? Also did you include the E folder. Did you put them in the right folders? Did you make E and F besides from C drive? Most importantly did you lock the HDD?

    I hope the Hard-drive was IDE and you didnt use a SATA drive with a SATA to IDE converter! Try Putting in the old HDD and check if that works. Let us know how it goes.

  3. leisuresuitlarry

    I did all of that, I put in the eeprom, e and c folders then i locked the hdd and made sure it was locked and yes the hdd is an ide and it is on the xbox hdd compatibility chart. I put in my old hdd and it worked fine then i backed it up and did the same thing over again and I got the same error.

    • This is really bugging me. Error code 6 says it has to deal with a hard drive from another xbox, and not your own. I’m not sure exactly why this error is coming up. Did you format the hard drive with the xbox utility?

  4. leisuresuitlarry

    yea I know it’s really bugging me too and yea I formatted it. Is there another program I can use besides xboxhdm?

  5. Tell me something. Have you modded any xboxs before? I once was pulling my hair just like this and realized in the end that i was using the wrong xbox eprom.

  6. leisuresuitlarry

    What do you mean the the wrong eeprom? How many eeproms are there? I could only find one. I’ve modded a few xbox’s but I’ve never tried installing a larger hdd. It might be something really simple but I just can’t figure it out. The only thing I can think of is what you said about the eeprom because I tried to open my eeprom using LiveInfo Beta 3 and it wouldn’t open it. I tried 2 other xbox’s still nothing. Is it possible that certain SID’s can affect the eeprom? Thanks for all your help I really appreciate it.

  7. Nah. I meant that You could have possible used the eeprom of another xbox. I’ve made that mistake before. There is only one eeprom in xbox as far as I know – it is in the Backup folder.

    You have also said that you have used more than 1 cd to make the HD. So I guess the problem cant be with a scratchy disc not putting all data into xbox?

    I can’t think of anything else. If you are able to use the older HDD, then the problem has to be with when you are making the hard drive. I doubt it but I think it is possible the problem could be with the hard drive itself.

  8. :O So mush Info :O ?THis Is he MOst AMAzing SIte DUDe?:D

  9. trying to install larger hd. did everything and hooked the new hd in the xbox and a error code popped up. so now i’m trying to unlock the drive but its not wanting to unlock. any suggestions.

    • 1) google your error code and understand what the deal is.
      2) To unlock the drive, try a different PC. I had tried to use a celeron PC, and it would not lock my drive. I used a PC that uses an AMD chip and everything worked great.

  10. i get this error PCI: cache line size of 64 is not supported by device 0000:00:02.2 every time i put the cd and start installing the hard new drive any help??

  11. well i got it fixed it was my computer but now i have a new problem. after i build the hard drive and restart, and i press option 3 it starts to load and then is freezes.

  12. hi…. i cant ftp my xbox bcoz i dnt hav the requirements and besides what i did is opened my xbox unpluuged my xbox hdd n connected to my pc. the hdd got installed but it dint show the drive. so I went to Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management and changed xbox drive as a basic disk and formatted it with ntfs file system WITHOUT TAKING ANY BACKUPS!!! now i need the basic c drive files. i tried every program i can but no luk. plz help me!!!!

  13. Hi guys…i have managed to swap the 8gb hard drive with a Samsung 1645n 160gb 8MB cache drive using the method above and everything is ok except the fact that the new hdd is not softmoded 😦 it goes into Original XBOX dashboard but not XBMC or EvoX,if i swap the hdd`s and put the original back in,it works again… any suggestions?! i`m getting desperate! i waisted 2 days on this now… :((

    • Feel my pain. I spent like a week on this 3 years ago upgrading the hard drive. If you followed the guide above, it should have worked. Did you create an image of the 1st 8gb hard drive, then transferred that image to the new hard drive, and then locked that hard drive?

    • Just a visitor.

      If you have one of the games listed to softmod the original hdd & a the memory card with the exploit files, then that is all you need.. Just copy the files from the memory card to the hdd using the xbox dashboard. Put in the game and go through the exploit install again.

  14. i mean SAMSUNG SP1654N

  15. hi i have put in a new 80 gig hard drive in my xbox and all went well but for some reason when putting games to the hard disk they wont run ie freeze or just wont load but will run from the disk … any ideas

  16. as for you guys that upgraded to new drive then just shows ms dash? easy happens to me everytime i upgrade dont worry just run softmod again through say game exploit 007, splinter cell then install evox dash again then ftp in rewrite over dash files with a fresh copy of xbmc ta da done or sometimes go back into softmod installer and tell it to rollback dash or upgrade to diff version say 5890 or some crap it reboots then bam boots xbmc like it did on original drive or evo or unleash whatever you had on xboxhdm disk for a dash.

  17. Hi,

    I must say Thank You! for this HowTo.
    I have only one question: I have unlocked my xbox hdd and know the xbox does not start because it is only softmoded. can I relock the hdd on a easy way because I do not need any more space on my xbox.

  18. Hi;

    I have followed this tutorial, and many others like it, but I get stuck every time at the same spot, which is that when I start the PC with the xbox hdm cd, it does not open the hdm program. I get a DOS screen with a Dr.Dos/A:/ prompt (or something close to that)I am set to boot from CD, and cannot understand what the problem is. I am not getting very far here, and can really use some help. Thanks in advance!

  19. Well, that figures, about 10 minutes after I asked for help to figure this out, I made another attempt, and this time, I finally got it to work! But I’ll keep this forum in mind in case I run into any more snags! Thanks anyway!

  20. I found a site to download xbox hdm again, this time it came with dash files the tut said had to be copied into the linux folder. The first time I got the proggy, there were no dash file or even any mention of needing to put them in the linux folder. Plus, I burnt it to disc a different way, making sure not to burn it as a data disc. BUT, now I am having a different issue. Got an 80 GB drive in, had to re-mod it, but it is working. However, on my dashboard (I use UnleashX) it says that the C drive has 121.92 MB free, the the E drive has 4,688.98 MB free, and the F drive has 0.00 MB free. And if I go into the system settings, drives X, Y, and Z all have right around 750 MB each. So even tho it is running with an 80 GB drive, there has been what looks like no change in the drive size.I am stumped now. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me on this!

  21. Finally got it working! Seems some tutorials do not tell all you need to know, but I found a more complete one on xboxisozone. But can anyone tell me where to get the password for the format menu when I go to install a drive larger than 137 gig?

  22. hi there im having an issue with a large hdd 320 gb, i made the xboxhdm and al that stuff, i have rightnow running x unleash and evox, but is not ussing al the space on the hdd it get stuck with 8gb
    less than 500mb on C
    less than 5GB on E
    0 for the rest even if i enable the others partitions

  23. you fucked up my HD. Screw you. It says no data found on the E and C area so i cant install those. Wasted my time. Fuck you and im spreading word to people to stear clear of this shitty site!

    • I followed my own guide and all is fine. Is it my fault you did something wrong? After all, this guide was made after following the original source. I did nothing different. Go to xbox-hq.com and you will find similar games. I cannot explain why your drive has no data found on E and C. I have updated two original xbox with a larger hard drive, with no issue. Sorry.

  24. Many thanks for the guide! I followed it to the letter and it has worked for me. Don’t know what that last guy was on about…

    I’ve done all this a while back with a 40gb drive already, and installed a few games on it. I’ve got a 320gb drive collecting dust. I still have the CD I burnt when I did this the first time. If I make the drive, can the games be transferred somehow? Maybe ftp them to a computer before changing the drive? Is there a simple way to clone an xbox drive?

    Also, is the CD created unique to each xbox? I have 3 or 4 lying around in total (also collecting dust… =), would I be able to use the same disc for them?

  25. Added fixed link for XBpartioner now. Enjoy!

  26. It shows linux cd not found;-( help me

  27. It shows linux cd not found…:-(

  28. Hello I’ve got a hard moded xbox with duo x and games copied to the xbox for some reason it keeps freezing with scriggly lines could that be the graphics card is fried or the hd thanks

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