New tool allows you to make your own 120GB Xbox 360 Hard Drive

When Microsoft pulled the wraps off its Xbox 360 Elite console last month, the company also announced that a long-rumored hard drive upgrade would also be available for existing owners. The 120GB hard drive offers a substantial increase in capacity over the original HDD but it also comes with a $179 price tag.

Many owners of the original Xbox 360 have balked at the relatively high price considering that external USB 2.0 120GB 5400RPM SATA 2.5" hard drives can be had for under $100. Microsoft on the other hand seems justified in placing the $179 price tag on its hard drive.

"I know it sounds expensive to a lot of consumers but we are comparable to those types of drives and also we have to go through a lot more testing and security," said Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg earlier this month. "When we buy from suppliers we require a lot more spec reports and tests because that drive has to be able to perform at specific speeds all the time in order to support our environment and our gameplay experiences. Those are not the same specs that they are able to deliver to with off-the-shelf drives."

It looks like Xbox 360 owners have another way to get 120GB of storage on their consoles -- with some caveats of course. Those wishing to perform the mod must purchase a Western Digital SATA BEVS-LAT hard drive (no other hard drives will work). Using the Hddhacker v0.90 tool provided by TheSpecialist, you only need to dump your hddss.bin firmware file from your 20GB hard drive onto a floppy and then flash your new 120GB hard drive with the firmware.

All the while, Sony PlayStation 3 owners are probably looking at all of this trickery and scratching their heads. Sony has made its PlayStation 3 and open platform and users can add any 2.5” hard drive they like to their console without the fear of voiding the console’s warranty.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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