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Adding an Extra Harddrive and Switch to Your Xbox (v0.1)

Tutorial written by : Hardwareman
Last edited: September 15, 2003

The Finished Product


Yes, this does work, you only have 1 Harddrive on at a time, so there is no problems with the IDE channel's 2 device limit. This can all be done for less than $15 If you screw anything up, don't blame me or the site you're reading this on, this is relatively simple, if you can solder d0, you can do this

This is stage 1 of 2. I plan on adding a 2.5" drive to the box underneath the DVD drive if possible, by eyeballing it, it looks like one would fit, the 3.5" is just a hair too big. Hopefully you'll get an update sometime about the status of that project.

Before we begin I'd like the thank The llamma for motivating me to write this down, and also project 411gb for helping me to figure out IDE cable crimping, which I've gotten a lot of practice at since then.

What you'll need:

Probably will need an extra harddrive

Power Connectors (Molex, I believe is the term)
* a. Two male for harddrives, available from: A salvaged PC Powersupply
* b. One for input, female from: a P4 power converter (Thanks, Intel, I knew those were good for something) Also available from pc fan adaptors.
* c. Wire, about 18-22ga is fine
* d. DPDT -Double Pole Double Throw- Switch available at: Radio Shack, don't need a big one, just one rated for 3 amps or so, really anything above 2amps should be good.

IDE Cable:
* Some 40pin IDE Ribbon Cable available at: I found some 3' IDE cables for like $3, I just chopped it up, but I'm sure you can buy the cable premade somewhere. My plans call for 2' But keep in mind that the connector must be free of holes, or this won't work (in other words dont buy a cable that has extra connectors and remove the connectors, we want to crimp virgin cable here)
* IDE Connectors x4: Steal from the cable, but again, I'm sure you can get them somewhere.

* Soldering Iron - 30watt a little less or more, but not too much more
* Wire Cutters
* Vise (you could probably use a display at a hardware store)
* What you need to get your box's lid off
* Electric tape
* Mutimeter to check connections


1. Creating the Power connector

* a. Heat up the Soldering Iron
* b. Strip your wire and connnectors
* c. See diagram for wiring process
* d. If you wish for a box that doesn't look like frankenstein's bride, you will probably solder one of the male connectors on outside of the box so you can close it, this goes the same with the IDE cable on the next step.
* e. Check continuity of all wires with a multimeter, and drench switch contatcts with liquid electric tape if you need to feel safe. Make sure no shorts!

The Finished Switch Setup

2. Creating the IDE Connector

*This one requires some finess with the screwdriver*

Before you put the ends on, you may want to cut a fin from your box on the back and run the cable through!

* a. Take your recently purchased IDE cable, which needs to be 24" in length.
* b. Remove Appropriate connectors (refer to next step before doing this)

Removing Connectors:
- I. Different Cables will be different!
- II. Turn the pins facing a table
- III. Take a *small* screwdriver and shove it down the holes on the left and right side of the connector, but not too hard, you need the pieces on the side to be intact so you can line up the cable when you crimp it! After this, they just pull off the wire.

Pre-crimp in vise

A crimped end

The finished Cable

Sorry, no pictures here, can't do this and shoot film, and its too late to call someone

* c. Figure out ways to make connectors the following distance apart: 5"-10.5"-9.5" (yes, I know that adds to 25", not 24") Feel free to improvise, but 5" is the shortest you'll be able to get away with when it comes to length between mobo and DVD drive
* d. This is REALLY important!!!!! READ THIS, the notch needs to be facing you on the cable with the red line on the right!!!! VERY IMPORTANT, do this or you'll emanciate your drive!
* e. To put the cable together, you've gotta have a vise. To do this, line up the connector and cable appropriately, and if you have both halves of the connector, just put them together around the cable, insert in vise, and squeeze them snugly.

3. Putting it together

Take off your lid
* a. Connect the connectors in the fashion you find most suitable (the red line facing the power connector on the hard drives, I hope!).
* b. Connect the female power connector to the xbox's power from the original hdd (if you lack this, just shove the wires in, or stip 'n solder)
* c. Double check jumpers, should both be cableselect on harddrives
* d. If you feel the need you can run the switch under the front of the Xbox with a little hassle, or out the back with no hassle.

4.Testing the box

* Be gentle with those IDE cables, remember, you don't want to recrimp
* Plug in the extra drive into the second port and see if box boots (I assume that you already prepared the drive)
* If it boots, unplug it and try it in the second port, make sure it has power through both switches
* Now, you're set, plug in your good drive, and give her hell

Tutorial written by : Hardwareman



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