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
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 $179 price tag on its hard drive.
"I know it sounds expensive to a lot of consumers but
we are comparable to those types of drives and also we have to go through a lot
more testing and security," said Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg earlier this
month. "When we buy from suppliers we require a lot more spec reports and
tests because that drive has to be able to perform at specific speeds all the
time in order to support our environment and our gameplay experiences. Those
are not the same specs that they are able to deliver to with off-the-shelf
It looks like Xbox 360 owners have another way to get 120GB
of storage on their consoles -- with some caveats of course. Those wishing to
perform the mod must purchase a Western
Digital SATA BEVS-LAT hard drive (no other hard drives will work). Using
v0.90 tool provided by TheSpecialist,
you only need to dump your hddss.bin firmware file from your 20GB hard drive
onto a floppy and then flash your new 120GB hard drive with the firmware.
All the while, Sony PlayStation 3 owners are probably looking
at all of this trickery and scratching their heads. Sony has made its
PlayStation 3 and open platform and users can add any 2.5” hard drive they
like to their console without the fear of voiding the console’s warranty.
quote: ...Xbox 360 consoles dropping like flies...The real issue here is that the Xbox 360 hardware is terribly, horribly and utterly unreliable. Microsoft beefing up its customer care to better help customers is a clear testament to the fragility of its the hardware.
quote: I don't believe M$oft has come up with a solid fix for this problem yet.
quote: Xbox 360 owners have had issues with the red ring of death, including DailyTech staff, which is possibly due to the BGA packaging of the CPU and GPU. When things get too hot, the connection between the BGA part and the PCB can disconnect when the PCB warps. Microsoft has attempted to address this problem by surrounding the CPU and GPU with epoxy on the Xbox 360 Elite.
quote: we all had a good belly laugh here at the shop when we saw Microsoft's most creative measures to minimize the dreaded Xbox 360 3 flashing red lights "ring of death" error caused by poor BGA connections of the CPU and GPU. It seems that that the good ol' a dab will do ya methodology applies here. Take a look at the epoxy surrounding the CPU and GPU which is intended to prevent the BGA connection from popping as the board warps. This has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Will it do the job, we have our doubts, but it will remain to be seen. It certainly seems like taking the easy way out instead of fixing the real problem.
quote: For those of you who have an XBOX 360 manufactured after January 1, I give you my condolences.
quote: We've made the decision to comp repairs for consoles manufactured before January 1, 2006
quote: Microsoft extended the Xbox 360 warranty from an embarrassing 90 days to one year
quote: For in-warranty repairs, customers are given an additional 90 days of warranty or the remainder of their existing warranty (whichever is longer). Customers are still responsible for repair costs on consoles out of warranty. However, when Microsoft sends you back a repaired console it will come with a fresh one-year repair warranty.
quote: 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.
quote: "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."