Dynatron Presents:
taking apart an XBOX

What you will need for this tutorial

for this tutorial, i cover the common discrepencies that you may come across. XBOXes have gone through 5 or 6 major design changes, and to add to the confusion, components such as the DVD-ROM drive can vary dramatically in quality and performance.

for a complete part list, and to learn more about the differences between xbox versions, click HERE

first, you will start with the complete xbox. it should look something like this...

lay down something soft (so you don't scratch the jewel), and flip the xbox upside down on your soft surface. locate the 6 case screws (picture below) and unscrew them using the T20 (Torx20, the biggest one) screwdriver bit.

now remove all the screws (set them aside in a container that you won't lose), and carefully flip the entire xbox over holding the lid on tight as you flip it. once it's flipped over, using even pressure all around, you can work the top cover (lid) off of the box like below...

pull the lid upward until it comes loose. an xbox in factory condition will have a sheet of EMF shielding under the top of the lid. this sheet of metal's main function is to shield EMF radiation that the xbox produces. the main reason it exists is for FCC compliance. most xbox technicians just remove it. i've thrown about 150 of them in my scrap metal pile.

the next step is to unhook the wiring to the hard disk drive (HD) and the removable media drive (DVD-ROM drive) which are now exposed by removing the lid. we'll start with the HD connections.
remove the IDE ribbon cable (40 small wires) by applying pressure directly away from the HD. you may have to wiggle it a little bit.
next, remove the female molex (4 thick wires) power connector from the HD using direct pressure away from the HD.

next, remove the HD's power dongle from the tray's cable groove along the side of the HD tray.

after you flop the ribbon cable out of your way, you will have to remove the screw under the ribbbon cable, shown below...

just tuck the wires to the side of the tray...
the tray now has a clear path for removal

pull directly up, away from the xbox, grabbing the tray from the corners. grab on the two spots i've painted in gold, then pull straight up.

after that, disconnect the cables from the back of the DVD drive. apply direct outward pressure, just like with the HD cables..

you will have to remove the two screws keeping the drive tray in place. they are shown in the picture below.

after this, pull the entire DVD drive tray up, and out of the xbox, you'll have full access to the top of the motherboard and the PSU (power supply unit).

...from the other side...

now that you've exposed the motherboard and PSU, you will be able to disconnect them and remove them.
start by removing the drive cables from the back corner of the motherboard.

it should look like this

now,remove the case fan power cable from the motherboard,shown below...

tuck it back out of the way, and turn to the other side of the motherboard...

above is what you will see in the earlier versions of the xbox. if you have a later model, then it will look something like the picture below.

the idea is the same

  1. the large connector is power from the PSU (Power Supply Unit).
    • there are 3 variations of this connector. to learn more about the differences, click HERE
  2. the yellow dongle is for your front lights and buttons.
  3. the small multi-colord one is for your controller ports.
    • there are two of these. one for each dual set of controller ports.

first, you will want to remove the PSU power connector.

for the AT connector, shown above, just tilt in the opposite direction as the clip, and gently wiggle as you pull away from the motherboard, grabbing it by the plastic connector. if you have the larger ATX connector with two rows, then just press down on the little clip and pull away from the board.

next, remove the yellow dongle by just pulling the connector out of the board like below...next, remove the yellow dongle by just pulling the connector out of the board like below...

if you have the first version of xbox (1.0), then you will have to watch out for this.

the controller ports are plugged into a "daughter board" rather than directly to the motherboard. before removing the yellow dongle, it would be a good idea to unplug the controller ports and disconnect the daughter board from the motherboard by carefully pulling it up, away from the motherboard. if you don't, then this could happen....

if you have a later version of the xbox, then disconnect your controller ports by pulling the connectors out, and away from the motherboard. once you have disconnected everything, make an attempt to tuck all of the dongles out of your way, like below.

now, all of your cables should be disconnected, and you can remove the motherboard. double check to make sure all the cables are out of your way.

start by removing the hackit/case* screws from your motherboard.
there will be one less screw on the version 1.6 motherboard behind the audio/video connector.

next start removing the board by liftng the front side of the

once you have lifted it clear, you can pull the board out of the case bottom.

set it down on a soft, static-free surface.

now that you've removed the motherboard, remove the two screws marked by the orange dots below.

this will allow you to slide the PSU forward, out of it's case tabs, shown below.

now you can safely unlock the tabs holding the system cooling fan in place.

you will notice two sets of tabs attaching the system fan to the case. don't touch the upper tabs (pink). you need to release the two bottom tabs (orange).

while applying upward pressure on the frame of the fan, unclip one of the lower tabs using a flat-head screwdriver or a butterknife.
while continuing to apply upward pressure, unclip the bottom tab on the opposite side of the fan.

the entire fan should now slip up just a bit and you will see the same thing as the picture. the tabs have been released, but they will still grab on the bottom of the fan.
just repeat the previous unclipping process, then slide upward until the upper tabs have a clear path to be pulled away from the case.

now, flip the case around and identify the four screws holding down the controller ports (2 screws on each of 2 sets, marked in orange).

remove the screws. lift up on the back end of the ports (shown below, in blue), then pull them out of the case. you may have to give them a bit of a wiggle.

To further disassemble the controller ports, click HERE
now you can remove the face-plate from the xbox. start by identifying the side clips that keep the face attached to the case. there are clips on both ends of the faceplate (example shown below)

as well as the end-clips on the face, you also have three clips that can be accessed from the along the inside of the case, shown below...

start by peeling back one end of the faceplate, while releasing the internal tab closest to that end of the face. it may take some brute force, so be careful not to break the plastic.

once you get one end unhooked, it takes very little pressure on the inside tabs to release the face. be carefull as you remove it. the connector of the yellow wire cluster attached to the face can easily get snagged.

To further disassemble the front plate, click HERE

the only thing left to do is remove the EMF cage from the case bottom.

the rubber insulation that protects the PSU from grounding on the EMF will prevent you from removing the cage.

pull it out from the side as shown by the blue arrows....

and the cage will be free to seperate from the bottom of the xbox.

you have now fully dis-assembled an xbox. congratulations.

for instructions on how to re-assemble the xbox, click HERE

I FUCKED UP! (what now?)

I am not responsible for any damage you do with these tutorials. read the instructions well, and do a little research before diving in. feel free to report errors, contribute ideas, and link to anthing on the website if not for profit.