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Xbox Modding (Part 1) - What You Need to Know

By: Julian Shapiro | Editorials in Gaming | Posted: Jan 13, 2004 5:00 am

Hardware Installation


The supplier of our mod chip cleanly provides both a luring and tantalizing package. After their professional pre-installation work is done, they kindly re-pack the entire product and complimenting accessories. Included in the box we received were all default retail components, spiced with a single-disk-dual-game DVD boasting two separate games: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Tetris Worlds.



We've been talking a lot about the mod chip itself, including its benefits and features but we have yet to cover the actual hardware hands on. For purposes of backing up games and installing separate operating systems, we shall be replacing the Xbox's default 5GB, 5,400RPM EIDE Seagate / Western Digital hard drive. Taking its place is a 40GB Seagate hard drive, running at 7,200RPM. As previously mentioned, this upgrade provides greater storage, but also natively speeds up the Xbox by providing faster spin rates. Thus making game load times and even customized software significantly quicker. provides a very handy video demonstrating how to completely disassemble your Xbox. Fortunately, we do not have to go this far as we are only going to be replacing the Xbox's hard drive for this article (the mod chip has been pre-installed by Taking apart your Xbox is actually one of the most straight-forward and fool-proof disassemblies we have ever gone through.



Eight removed screws later, we have successfully removed the Xbox's top and located both the hard drive and DVD ROM. Note the similarities between the insides of an Xbox and your home computer:


Further Xbox component upgrades include: DVD ROM exchanging (to achieve greater readability with various DVD formats) and RAM upgrades (for the absolute extremists willing to completely compromise the working condition of their Xbox). After replacing the hard drive, we were ready to continue with BIOS and operating system installation.


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