Whether you’ve stopped using your Xbox 360 or you need to backup data, there’s a good chance you’ve considered connecting the Xbox hard drive to your PC.
But is the Xbox 360 disk drive compatible with a PC? How can you connect it and view the files? And would you really want to?
Here’s how to connect your Xbox 360 hard drive to a Windows PC.
Why Connect Your Xbox 360 HDD to a PC?
It’s not immediately obvious, but the Xbox 360 hard disk drive (HDD) is a standard 2.5-inch SATA storage device. You’ll find a similar drive in your PC or laptop. As such, it can be connected to any PC either using an adapter cable or via a HDD docking station.
But why go to the trouble of connecting your Xbox HDD to a computer?
You need to back up your Xbox 360 HDD (e.g., the HDD is about to die) You want to read the Xbox 360 files on your PC You want to reuse the disk drive for data storage
Reading the Xbox 360 disk drive isn’t simple, however.
The Reality of Reading an Xbox 360 HDD on Your PC
With some work, the HDD from any Xbox 360 can be connected to a Windows computer. But connecting an Xbox 360 disk drive to your PC might not have the results you’re expecting.
The problem comes with reading the device.
If you’re looking for a way to view Xbox 360 files on your PC, things get tricky without a dedicated utility. Incredibly, Windows cannot read an Xbox 360 disk drive. Instead, you’ll be prompted to format the device upon connection without Windows giving you a suitable option to read it.
Currently, the best tool for reading your Xbox 360 drive is FATXplorer.
This utility is available for Windows Vista SP2 and later. It can be downloaded in 32-bit and 64-bit versions but costs $25. Fortunately, it also has a seven-day trial.
Download: FATXplorer ($25)
Note that some antivirus software displays FATXplorer as malware. However, this is a false positive, so you can install the utility safely.
Once installed and running, FATXplorer will let you view files on your Xbox 360 (and Xbox original) hard disk drive. You just need a way to connect your Xbox 360 HDD to your PC.
Can You Use an Xbox 360 HDD Transfer Cable?
Before spending time hacking your old Xbox 360 HDD case, consider the Xbox 360 Hard Drive transfer cable.
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It is designed for copying the contents of one HDD to another and it also works with a PC. So, connect the Xbox 360 hard disk case to the transfer cable and plug the USB cable into your PC. FATXplorer should then detect the device to read the Xbox 360 files on Windows.
If you don’t want to use the official transfer cable (or similar devices) you can try a DIY solution. However, you need to remove the hard drive from your Xbox 360 first.
Removing the Xbox 360 Hard Drive
Before connecting the hard drive to a PC you must remove it from your Xbox 360. Three models of Xbox 360 were released:
Original Xbox 360 (2005) Xbox 360 S (2010) Xbox 360 E (2013)
Each requires a different set of steps for removing the hard disk drive
Before proceeding, ensure that the Xbox 360 console is shut down and the device disconnected from the mains.
Remove the HDD from an Xbox 360 Original
To remove the HDD from the original model of the Xbox 360, you’re going to need two TORX screwdrivers. Specifically, TORX T-6 and T-10. If you don’t already own these, they can be easily picked up on Amazon.
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You should also consider buying an anti-static wrist strap. Learn about the risks of static electricity to find out more.
On the original Xbox 360, the HDD connects to the side (or top if you stand your console upright). It’s housed in a sealed case, designed to match the shape of the Xbox 360 in profile.
To proceed, eject the case by pressing the release button.
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