I bought a used XBox 360 drive with a broken DVD-drive. When I try to play any game, it says "Play DVD" on the launchboard. When I hit A, it gives me a white error screen (pics to come).

The Internet tells me this could happen if the DVD-drive motor is dying, but also if the DVD-drive firmware was previously hacked incorrectly.

Information on the 'net about replacing the DVD-drive is confusing and conflicting:

  • Some places say you can just take any old drive from another XBox 360, but that didn't work - I still get the same error.
  • Some places say you need to have the exact same manufacturer and model DVD drive, and it should work. I have reason to suspect this is not the original drive (see below), and there is no place which can tell me what model DVD-drive my model XBox should have come with.
  • Some places say you can use any drive from another XBox, but you need to hack it to match the motherboard's "DVD-drive key," a unique key matching every motherboard to the DVD-drive it came with. They say there is no way to get the key from the motherboard (without ridiculous hardware hacks), but you can get it from the original DVD-drive, by hooking it up to a computer and using software which is also used by pirates. I followed all the steps, got the key, uploaded it to the new drive, but it still doesn't work. I suspect the drive it came with is not the original, or the original key was previously overwritten during a botching attempt to hack the drive.

I don't want to pirate games, I just want to have a working DVD-drive. There must be a way to replace a broken DVD-drive, right (how do the XBox repair shops do it)?

Is there any way to fix this freakin' Xbox!?

  • I have seen this, but the question was never answered. Nov 30, 2011 at 23:31
  • 1
    It sounds like you got a lemon, man :( They make this whole thing extra complicated on purpose to thwart the Bad Guys. I'm sure the repair centers have special tools and all the magic codes to fix this sort of issue, but they keep it out of the public view on purpose. Good news is, Xboxes are pretty cheap this time of year.
    – agent86
    Nov 30, 2011 at 23:43

6 Answers 6


The Xbox 360 has whats called a "DVD key" paired to each motherboard and DVD drive combo. The DVD key on the motherboard must match the DVD key on the drive or the console will not boot games. If you already tried dumping the DVD key from the drive that came with the Xbox and flashing it to your replacement drive (using the correct firmware for the replacement drive as well) and the console still does not boot games (displays "Play DVD" when a game is inserted), you don't have the correct DVD key and the console will never boot a game.

There are ways to retrieve DVD keys from the motherboard however they fall under "ridiculous hardware hacks" as you called them and will probably be more effort than it's really worth. However, if it's a route you're interested in following, there are currently two methods for dumping the NAND (Where the DVD key is stored) of an Xbox.

One method is the JTAG hack (tutorial) you would only need to follow this tutorial up to the point where you dump your NAND then you can use another program to read the DVD key from the NAND. However know that the JTAG method only works for Xbox consoles running kernel version 7371 or lower. (You can check what kernel your Xbox is running under the system info.)

If your kernel is above 7371 though you'll need to do the Reset Glitch Hack or (RGH for short, tutorial). I don't know much about this hack because it's fairly new and I myself have been out of the Xbox modding scene for a while now. It's going to follow a similar style to the JTAG hack though you'll have to solder connections to various points boot Xellous and dump the NAND.

Those, unfortunately, are the only two ways to dump a DVD key from a motherboard, so if you don't feel like going through the effort of the methods posted above, your Xbox will not boot anything besides DVD movies.

While we're on the subject of DVD drive flashing and replacement I'll clarify some things for you for future reference.

Some places say you can just take any old drive from another Xbox 360, but that didn't work - I still get the same error.

You can indeed use any model of DVD drive found in the Xbox 360's as long as the DVD key on the drive matches the DVD key on the motherboard; if the keys don't match, your console won't boot games. However, if you intend to use this console on Xbox Live, you must replace the drive with the same model drive that was originally in the Xbox — if you don't, you will be console-banned from Xbox Live. (Meaning that console will no longer be allowed on Live.)

Some places say you need to have the exact same manufacturer and model DVD drive, and it should work. I have reason to suspect this is not the original drive (see below), and there is no place which can tell me what model DVD-drive my model Xbox should have come with.

Like I said above, if you wish to just play games and not access Xbox Live, any DVD drive will work so long as the DVD keys match between the motherboard/drive. If you wish to access Xbox Live, your best bet of keeping your console from getting banned is to use the model of DVD drive that originally came with that console.

Here is the list of Xbox 360 motherboards. Generally the motherboard DVD drive pair goes something like this.

  • Xenon — Hitachi, Toshiba, or Philips model drive
  • Zephyr — Hitachi or Toshiba model drive
  • Falcon — Benq or Liton model drive

Every revision post-Falcon contains some variation of a Lite-on Drive for security and performance reasons.

  • I can't jtag it (it has too recent of a version of dashboard), and the only motherboard the reset glitch doesn't work on is the Xenon motherboard, which is what I have. This XBox is cursed :\ Dec 1, 2011 at 6:25
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    Sounds like it would just be easier to buy a new console, sorry man. I've had my fair share of un-repairable consoles as well, I know the feeling.
    – Tunderwood
    Dec 1, 2011 at 6:46
  • This image can help identify which drive you have (without opening up your 360).
    – idbrii
    Nov 24, 2013 at 0:46

The standard repair fee for the Xbox 360 at a Microsoft service center is $120.00 USD ($99 when I had mine serviced). You will probably have to have it sent in so that they can put the correct drive model, firmware and activation codes into the console to get it working. Although, more than likely they will just send you a new refurbished console and either strip that one for parts or fix it up to send out as a replacement unit.


Send it in to Microsoft to get a refurbished Xbox 360 for $99 USD.

  • Will they do a repair on a machine that's been opened like the OP has tried? Dec 1, 2011 at 5:28
  • Are you nuts? $100 is almost enough for a new console. Are you seriously suggesting that when your DVD-drive dies you have to essentially buy a whole new console? Dec 1, 2011 at 5:52
  • @DoozerBlake I'm not entirely sure.
    – CyberSkull
    Dec 1, 2011 at 16:20
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft I rather hate the fee, but that is the "official" way of doing it. If it weren't for all the ridiculousness of the control they expect to exert over the products they sell these repairs would be much simpler.
    – CyberSkull
    Dec 1, 2011 at 16:22

You can use the reset glitch hack to retreive the DVD key from a Xenon motherboard.

  • I'm having trouble understanding what you're trying to say. Could you please improve your grammar and wording to make it more clear?
    – Wipqozn
    Jul 4, 2012 at 14:24
  • you can use the reset glitch hack to retrieve the dvd key from a xenon motherboard Jul 4, 2012 at 14:36
  • Okay, great. Could you expand or provide a link to what the reset glitch is? I've never heard of it myself, but sounds useful.
    – Wipqozn
    Jul 4, 2012 at 14:42
  • Could you provide a source? Last I checked, the reset glitch worked on every motherboard except Xenon motherboards, which is what I have. Jul 4, 2012 at 14:45
  • 1
    ive used it on a xenon you have to remove a chip underneath though and need good soldering skills but it gets easier each time! i followed this team-xecuter.com/team-xecuters-xenon-reset-glitch-hack also youtu.be/JMk775cOFkg if you need any help just ask and good luck! Jul 4, 2012 at 14:58

Dude get the drive keys from the nand and flash a proper drive replacement it's simple and well worth the effort

  • 3
    How is this different than what the accepted answer says (save much less information)? Mar 25, 2012 at 18:29
  • From what I've read, this is not possible - the drive no longer contains its original key in memory (NAND), and as far as I can tell, there's no way to get the key from the motherboard without j-tagging it (which is not possible for once you've updated your dashboard past a certain point). All of this was mentioned in the question. Mar 25, 2012 at 20:19

Look for the kernel reset glitch kit on devineo. The kit they sell is 20 bucks and its the only one I've found compatible with jasper boards.

  • It works with all boards except the Xenon boards, which (as I mentioned above) is what I have. Apr 3, 2012 at 7:09

Simple swap the chip set for the exact same model drive situated inside your old drive (If you still have it) and place it in the new one it is only a matter of pulling out three ribbon cables . i had a lit-eon dg-16d4s that had broken and now have a fully functional DVD drive...Google is your Friend :-)

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