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How to Install the Xbox 360 Slim Hard Drive March 25, 2011

Posted by Maniac in How To, Site Videos.

Got a new Xbox 360 Slim and notice you can’t play Halo 3 ODST through online cooperative mode, or that it can’t play Xbox 1 games?  You probably have the 4GB model that doesn’t have a hard drive.

You can buy a hard drive for the new slim, but it’s not quite clear how to install it.

Maniac shows you how to open up the Hard Drive bay in a new Xbox 360 Slim, and how to install a new drive.  It’s REALLY hard to find if you don’t know where it is.



1. low351 - March 30, 2011

Do you have to do anything to move your stored game content upgrades and savegames to the new 250GB drive onces installed or does it handle that automatically?

Maniac - March 30, 2011

You shouldn’t have to. The slim’s internal storage would still be in there somewhere.

2. Mona Lisa - May 14, 2011

This was really helpful. I bought a 60GB harddrive off ebay for 30$ new, not auction. Its a generic brand is why, but words perfectly. Thanks.

Maniac - August 19, 2011

You may not be able to play Xbox 1 games on that drive. I was troubleshooting a poor guy who could not play Halo 2 on his slim no matter what he did, even though he had upgraded to a 250GB HD.

Turns out generic, homebrew and international drives are not properly formatted to Xbox 1 specifications. Xbox had a specifically partitioned hard drive which its games made use of. This was in lieu of having only 64MB of RAM, game developers created a pagefile in the hard drive to make up for it. Since the 360 is backwards compatable, all Microsoft made drives have this partition in place so Xbox 1 games can make use of it. If the drive is not properly partitioned and formatted the way an Xbox 1 game expects, the game will throw an error and refuse to load.

Kevin - May 8, 2012

Is there any way to partition a third party drive like this so that it will work with these older games?

Maniac - May 8, 2012

There’s just no point doing it when it’s much better (and safer to your hardware) alternative to return your drive as defective and get your money back.

3. Do NOT Use Third Party Hard Drives in an Xbox 360 « – Gaming News, Videos and Editorials! - August 19, 2011

[…] I got a comment on my Xbox 360 Slim Hard Drive installation video and I got a comment from an Xbox Slim user who could not play Halo 2 even though he had upgraded it […]

4. Alex - August 27, 2011

Thanks!, and what a beatiful blue eyes!

5. Joe - October 29, 2011

Great video – thank you for posting! Question: What band/song is that at the end of the video?

Maniac - October 29, 2011

Officially it’s “Children of the Elder Gods” by The Old Gods of Asgard. In reality it was done by Poets of the Fall. You can listen to it all you want on the old gods official site. You can find it with a google search.

6. annonyms - November 10, 2011

I found a 320gb hardrive just from walmart

7. MH - December 2, 2011

Thanks. This information was very helpful. To anyone else who was wondering the prices for a xbox 360 slim 250GB hard drive range anywhere from $81 – $120. There are cheaper alternatives such as 60GB or 120GB hard disk drives but they would most likely be much more difficult to install.

Maniac - December 3, 2011

I’ve had to deal with far too many people who were unfortunate enough to buy these drives and see all the incompatabilities they have caused with random games. Do not buy them.

8. Tyler - January 6, 2012

Hi, I purchased a 120 gb hard drive online and when i put it into my xbox 360 slim and turned the xbox on it wouldnt recognize that there was another storage device. Just wondering if maybe I need to do something else first? thanks.

Maniac - January 6, 2012

I’m sorry to inform you that you have likely been scammed. There are only two hard drive sizes made for the Xbox slim, 250gb and 320gb. Your drive was likely made by some hacker who didn’t partition it properly and sold it anyway. Return your defective drive as quickly as possible for a refund.

9. Josh - January 9, 2012

Shame on Microsoft for even thinking that 4gb would be enough. Thanks for the help.

10. James - March 30, 2012

I have taken apart the old hard drive and put it in and it still doesn’t appear on memory list what have i done wrong (its 20gb)

Maniac - March 30, 2012

Unfortunately what I think you did wrong was buy that drive. It sounds fraudulent. Return it and get your money back.

11. Ron H. - April 2, 2012

Your video was very helpful. I hard a hard time finding info. thank you very much!

12. Westin - April 6, 2012

Why does Slim suck so much?! I just wanna play Star Wars Battlefront 😦

13. quez - May 14, 2012

hello…when i put my hard drive in the system it keeps on cutting off and on…..whats wrong?

14. Don Randell - May 24, 2012

I just bought an xbox 360 4gb slim, Model# 1439, with kinect. I’m finding various information about installing my own hdd to increase space. Are there hdd brand limitations or can I for example use a 40GB SATA Toshiba HDD? Any straight forward instructions would be great for a beginner doing this. I can build PC’s from the ground up and repair any laptop but the XBOX hdd thing has me confused. Thanks in advance.

Maniac - May 24, 2012

DO NOT INSTALL anything but Microsoft Xbox 360 slim hard drives inside of the slim. People have discovered that generic 2.5 SATA drives are not properly formatted for the 360’s games and can cause random errors ranging from not being detected by the 360 at all to failure to load original Xbox games that are backwards compatible to E34 errors!

15. Ben - May 31, 2012

i have an old 120gb hard drive on my elite system that just got the ring of death. can i install this drive on the slim??

16. jkh231 - August 22, 2012

I bought a 250 gb hard drive from a third party for 50 bucks and its not even appearing in STORAGE. I know other people who have bought devices like this and it works just fine for them. Is the cause of my problem due to an unreliable supplier or because im doing something wrong? Im trying to install the dlc from dragon age origins ultimate edition.

17. Andrei Macabale - September 3, 2012

Thanks a lot. I thought it’s hard to install the internal hard drive but it’s really simple. Now its play time. 🙂

18. Maribel - November 5, 2012

After you installed the hardrive is there any system update need it??? I’m receiving the message: a required storage device has been removed. Your console will now restart.
Please advise and thanks in advance.

Maniac - November 5, 2012

No you won’t have to do anything. It sounds like you have a defective drive. Return for refund.

19. Alex - January 28, 2013

Still useful today. Thanks

20. Jas - May 2, 2013

Hey, Maniac. My bf is having some sort of installation issue… The new slim hard drive is in his Xbox360 right now, but the unit is not recognizing the slim hd. I have read through earlier comments, and I realize nothing should have to be done (ie. software update) once installing the hard drive to the Xbox. We got it from Gamestop, so I doubt it is a scammed product. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Maniac - May 2, 2013

Some users have connection issues if the drive isn’t fully inserted into the bay. If that isn’t the problem, it may not be a scam product but it sounds like you certainly have a broken hard drive. If you got it from gamestop just return it as defective with your receipt or power up rewards card you used at purchase. You should be able to get a refund or exchange.

ryan - November 18, 2013

hello maniac got 4gb slim xbox 360 and just got 120g hard drive sent its not a official microsoft one so should i format it straight away before saving anything on it if it automatically doesnt do it

Maniac - November 18, 2013

I would return your drive as defective and demand a refund. Then buy a working drive from a reputable seller.

21. Kaylin - December 27, 2013

Hey maniac, so i recently got a 250g hard drive (for the Xbox 360 slim). I’ve put it into the xbox and it says its there. But as soon as i put it in it slows my entire xbox down and every time i try to load a game it tells me the disc is not readable, and once i take the drive out everything works. Thoughts?

Maniac - December 29, 2013

Return your drive as defective and receive a refund.

22. Rodney Muehlfeld - January 18, 2015

Very helpful, thank you. The hard drive comes with absolutely zero instructions. Thanks for posting the video!

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