My three-year-old Xbox 360 is having video issues. The cost of a repair is high enough that I'm tempted to just buy a new console and save myself the aggravation.

I already have a 120GB drive in my current Xbox, so I'm tempted to buy the smallest Xbox and swap the drives, rather than paying extra for a 250GB drive I don't need.

Will this work? Is the hardware I get with a 4GB Xbox different from the 250GB in other unadvertised ways?

5 Answers 5


First, realize that, among other things, your old drive will not work in the new 360 Slim, so you would need to find one of the old models in order to keep your harddrive. If you do happen upon the old design, the second thing you should realize is that a lot of the downloaded content on your harddrive is keyed to your current console. There are ways around it, but it isn't as straight forward as plugging your old harddrive into your new console. Note that this method should also work with the new slim models.

As for the differences between the 4GB and 250GB models, the 4GB model is pretty analogous to the old Arcade models. It comes with an empty harddrive bay, which accepts the same style harddrive as the 250GB model. Some games may not allow all of the features for the 4GB consoles, although this may have been fixed. As far as I know, the rest of the hardware is the same. You could just buy the harddrive to put in a 4GB console, but that's paying an unnecessary premium. Personally, I would get the 250GB slim model if I were forced to replace my console at my cost.

  • 3
    I put my hdd from my xbox elite (older model) into the new 4gb slim and it works just fine... Commented Dec 9, 2010 at 22:45
  • Yes, it is possible, but it's a warrantee voiding operation.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 0:46
  • You are incorrect, you can use Microsofts License transfer (support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-live/marketplace-and-purchasing/…) where your downloadable content rekeys for new console, so the drive can be swapped without problem.
    – Mavrik
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 17:45
  • @Mavrik: That's partly what the link describes. It isn't as straight forward as plugging your old drive into the new console, you have to do some extra work.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 17:51

According to the Wikipedia article, it appears the 4GB model and the 250GB model contain the same hardware. However, there was a cosmetic difference - the 250GB model had a glossy finish whereas the 4GB model has a matte finish. They both now have a matte finish (starting in August 2011). Also, the 250GB model comes bundled with a wired headset.

  • However, as I don't own an Xbox, I'm not sure if you could transfer a hard drive to the 4GB model, considering there's no hard drive in it (just onboard memory).
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented Dec 9, 2010 at 15:20
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360#Xbox_360_4_GB You can add a harddrive, but not the type used in the original design.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Dec 9, 2010 at 16:26

The 4GB version has onboard 4GB flash drive while the 250 does't. For example: if you put the same hard drive in both consoles, say the 250GB hard drive, then the 4GB version would have 259GB as the 4GB is onboard and will allow the 250GB hard drive. The 250GB version has no onboard flash drive so it remains at 250GB


The hardware difference is that there is a 4gb harddrive in the 4gb model and a 250gb harddrive in the 250gb model. The cost of replacing the former's drive with a 250gb drive is $130 which makes it not worthwhile if you currently have the extra $100. However, if you are like me and want an Xbox NOW and are willing to spend $30 extra several months in the future...


Also, The 250GB had a glossy finish (phased out starting August 2011) as the 4GB one is matte. That was probably the next biggest hardware difference after the hdd. :D

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