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Xbox stripdown & cleanup

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On Xbox Live, I've had a few friends Xbox's stop reading games discs. This happend to me a while ago, and the steps below show what I did to fix the problem. Mostly the probs are due to a dirty DVD lens.

I don't know about the legality of the Xbox licensing for opening the Xbox, so don't try this at home!

I make no guarantee as to your success copying what I have done. Should you follow these steps, you are responsible for your Xbox and personal safety. If in any doubt, do not do this at home!.


Remove game disc and disconnect Xbox. Allow some time for the Xbox to cool and the hard drive to spin down. Sudden Xbox movements can damage the hard drive if it's spinning.

Step 1 Find a suitable surface for the job, min space is about 4 times the footprint of the Xbox.

Step 2 Tools needed, double sided sticking tape, scissors, small pliers, thin flat screwdriver, medium paper clip, size 10 & 20 torque/star bits and small crosshead screwdriver.

Step 3 One dusty Xbox in need of cleaning.

Step 4 Ensure the Xbox has nothing connected before removing the cover. 6 size 20 bolts to undo, one under each rubber foot, one under the silver lable & one under the serial number lable.
Undoing these bolts will void your warantee!

Step 5 The top cover can be removed.

Step 6 Be sure to dust out the vents along the side of the case.

Step 7 The hard drive is secured by the single size 10 screw indicated.

Step 8 Unhook the power leads from the clamps and unplug the drive power connector.

Step 9 I couldn't get enough grip to unplug the data cable, so I removed the hard drive from the frame by undoing the size 10 screws on the sides.

Step 10 The DVD drive is secured by 2 size 10 screws indicated. Disconnect the drive power and data cables.

Step 11 The DVD drive is held in the frame by 2 clips, shown to the right. The dvd drive cover can be removed by undoing the 4 crosshead screws... take note of the 'Warrantee void if removed' lable.

Step 12 The DVD drive tray can be manually opened by inserting a thin rod (paper clip) through the hole indicated. Pushing on the rod will release the tray latching mechanism and allow the tray to be pulled out.

Step 13 The DVD laser. To clean the laser, I use felt and an electrical solvent cleaner. A few gentle wipes across the lens with the solvent impregnated felt is usually enough to clean the lens well.

Step 14 With the drives out of the way, now is a good time to dust out the rest of the inards.

Step 15 The fan can be removed by releasing the 2 clips shown.

Step 16 Releasing the clips is not that easy, as the fan needs to be lifted squarely whilst the clips are being relased. Some patience may be required.

Step 17 Reasembling the Xbox is straight forward. Clip the fan back in. Clip the DVD drive back in the frame, and reinstall the DVD drive.

Step 18 Put the hard drive back in the frame.

Step 19 Re-thread the power cable and connect it the the drive.

Step 20 Re-connect the data cable and replace the screw.

Step 21 Replace the cover and bolts.

Step 22 Stick the feet back on with double sided tape.

Connect the Xbox up and have fun testing :)