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General Information

Hdd unscrew.jpg
The Xbox 360 harddisk with case, Downside

Hd open4.jpg
The HDD inside its case

Hd outL.jpg
The HDD outside of its metalcasing

  • The drive is manufactured by Samsung (Seagate Drives have been used in some systems. Unknown if contents are the same) and is required to play backward compatible Xbox games.

Samsung details:

  • Model: SAMSUNG HM020GI
  • Revision: YU100-06
  • Serial Number: S0A8J20YA44356 (of course this is different for every HD)
  • Capacity: 18.63 GB

Samsung HDD Front.jpg

Seagate details:

  • Model: ST920217AS
  • Revision: 3.01/LD25.1
  • Capacity: 20 GB

Hitachi details:

  • Model: HTS541020G9SA00 (Travelstar)
  • Revision: C60D
  • Capacity: 20 GB
  • Vendor Support URL: [1]

Confirmed Facts

  • The harddisk is not locked in any way. A completely zero drive will only be read by the Xbox 360 if the relevent headers are in place on the disk.
  • A FATX partition exists on the drive
  • For a drive to be considered valid it must have the 'Plain text HDD info' and MS logo PNG. If these elements do not exist then no HDD is detected. So there is no way for third parties to manufacture HDDs without a license or without infringing Microsoft's copyright. (The Gameboy used the same idea for cartridges). US courts have held (in at least four separate cases) that Copyright cannot be used to prevent interoperation.
  • The 360's serial number is required when formatting a HDD.
  • The drive's capacity is reported as 13GB by the 360 immediately after formatting (20Gb HDD only).


  • There is no information at this time that leads us to believe the HDD is encrypted, there are plenty of clear text entries that can be read.
  • The FATX partitions on the drive seem to be a Big Endian version of the 1st Generation Xbox's FATX filesystem. Work is underway to modify the Linux kernel driver to verify this. There is some initial support for this file system in [CVS].

Drive contents

The Xbox uses the FATX format for its partitions. The FATX page has more information about the partition locations and the FATX format itself.

Power connector

A large view pinout referencing the internal ata adapter to the external one
Pin #  Signal Name  On XBOX 360  Signal Description  
1  V33  Not connected  3.3V Power  
2  V33  Not connected  3.3V Power  
3  V33  Not connected  3.3V Power, Pre-charge, 2nd mate  
4  Ground  Connected  1st Mate, Pre-charge, 2nd mate  
5  Ground  Connected  2nd Mate  
6  Ground  Connected  3rd Mate  
7  V5  Connected  5V Power  
8  V5  Connected  5V Power  
9  V5  Connected  5V Power  
10  Ground  Connected  2nd Mate  
11  Reserved Not connected  -  
12  Ground  Connected  1st Mate  
13  12V  Not connected  1st Mate, Pre-charge, 2nd mate  
14  12V  Not connected  2nd Mate  
15  12V  Not connected  3rd Mate  

This (probably) explains why normal 3.5" sata drives won't even spin up (missing 12V). So if you want to use a 3.5" drive you need to connect your own 12V.

This table plus more info can be found in the electrical specification here. (Table 17, Page 117)

External Links