I am not entirely certain of the legality of this situation, and just smack me if it's not, but I have had a problem with my xbox 360's disk drive. After reading a number of guides and such I have come to find a few things.

  1. It's possible to replace a drive in the 360.
  2. In order to have the replacement drive work correctly (read: work at all), it must have the same lock code.
  3. In order to have the disk drives share the same lock codes, one method of doing this is to swap one of the internal boards from the broken drive to a new, replacement drive.
  4. There is another method involving getting the lock code itself out of the broken drive and putting it in the working drive. This, by contrast, is done by connecting the drives to a PC and doing something to each of them to transfer the code.

Now, in this whole process, I have already gone so far as to order the replacement drive and rip it apart to try to transfer the board. Much to my surprise, the board in this particular bad drive was non-separate-able from the board. The boards were physically soldered to each end of a wire. I opened the good drive to confirm, and it too was soldered together.

So I was left with #4 up there. After more research, I found that you need SATA cables and a PC that can handle it, plus some software. I haven't really found anything too much more specific than that. However... I did find that the same method to transfer the lock code is also potentially used to make the xbox read burned media... Just, instead of putting in your broken drive's lock code, you put in some pre-prepared file or some such stuff.

I want to make it clear at this point that I do not want the drive to read burned media. What I do want is for the drive to work and play my legitimately purchased games again.

Now, after all that information, my questions are as follows:

  1. Is this method legal?
  2. Second, if it is legal, how would I accomplish this?

Edit: After some talk of this issue the other day, my brother decided that he's just gonna go buy a new one since he doesn't want to wait for me to get mine fixed. So, as if this wasn't a low enough priority already, it's even lower now. I'd still like to get it working if only to have done it once.

  • Why not just send off the box to MS for repair? Is it too expensive?
    – Adam Lear
    Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 2:07
  • 1
    It started out as a learning experience. I'd like to have it fixed, but it's not that big a deal to me. So, I chose to try and learn a little bit along the way.
    – Aeo
    Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 15:04

5 Answers 5


To answer the first question: Yes, it is legal, but you'll also void your warranty.


It is quick and easy to replace the drive, and it is legal as you own it and the drive and you do not intend to play backup games of any sort on the console. The easiest way to do so is to take out the broken drive and use a 360 Connectivity Kit V3 to connect it to the pc. Once it’s in, extract the codes from the broken drive then discard it for now. Take your new drive and plug it into the kit. Open it up and dump them into the new drive untouched and unedited. After you install the codes and its working fine, put the drive in the xbox 360 and power on the xbox like normal. It will read the code in the drive and accept it.

That is basically what they do when you take it to a repair shop as it is a lot easier and cheaper than ripping out an old board to put in a new board. As long as you don’t change the codes in any way, then it will not play copies and it will be fine for xbox live as it’s just like getting it done in a repair shop. You are not modding it in any way.

  • This looks to be exactly what would be needed... However, I already sent it off to be repaired... so can't quite test it. Thanks, nonetheless.
    – Aeo
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 0:44

You can replace it with another 360 disk drive. Although, you have to have the program to change the address of the drive. All xbox 360 have a code and these codes only work with the console they are assigned to. So to answer your question, yes but it would be easier to pay them to fix it or get another xbox.


You'd probably have to follow a guide for modding a box to read burned games and just skip the parts about replacing stock firmware with the hacked one. I'm also not 100% sure on the legality of it, but I'd imagine the worst you'd do is break your warranty if you still have it (and if your console is under warranty, why are you ripping it apart to fix it?! :)).

You could also try picking up the same model of the drive that's in your Xbox and see if you could just swap them without having to mess with lock codes, but I've no idea if that'd actually work.

  • Warranty is long gone on this console. I've been fiddling on and off with this system trying to repair it for several months now. I've swapped these drives in and out and can safely say that they do not work without this lock code. Also, I have searched for guides to do the code swapping and the only ones I've found are either extremely vague or video guides that you can't tell what's going on. I have found none yet that list the necessary software to do this, either.
    – Aeo
    Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 13:49

Try Phoning Microsoft or take your xbox into any good independent gaming store, they should either fix it for you or tell you where you can get it fixed. Hope this helps!

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