Slim DVD Drive SATA Cable Mod - Tutorial + detail photos

djnixtre

VIP Member
Dec 27, 2010
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Canada
Hey guys,


The "Why":

So I had my Slim in pieces to confirm which DVD drive I have (Its a 0225 BTW). Since the firmware isn't available yet, and even if it was, I wasn't looking forward to re-opening the case for future flashes (it was a little bit tricky, but I managed to not break a single clip this first time!).

In an effort to avoid doing this again, I thought I'd try to install a 2 cable connection between the DVD drive and the Mainboard, with the center connection located outside the case. This way I can disconnect the DVD drive from the Mainboard and connect it to my PC whenever I want, without ever opening the case again, and just use the XBOX 360's power supply to power the drive!

WARNING/DISCLAIMER:
By implementing this method of XBOX 360 DVD Drive connection to your PC for flashing its firmware, you are using the XBOX 360's internal power connection to power the drive while the DVD Drive's SATA cable is disconnected from the Mainboard. THIS WILL RESULT IN A "NO DVD DRIVE" FLAG being "permanently" recorded on your XBOX 360. This by no means has been proven to result in an XBOX Live ban, but there are theories that suggest that this flag could be used for banning in the future. I personally believe the risk is low/non-existant and plan to test this theory. Proceed at your own risk - as usual!

***X360USB Pro connection variation note:
The cables noted in this tutorial can be substituted with ones that allow connection to a X360USB Pro flashing tool instead of directly to a PC's SATA port. As far as I can tell, it looks like if you use a regular internal SATA cable to plug into the DVD drive and run to outside of the case (but ideally as short as possible which = 12 inches since your extension to the PC would now be a USB cable from the X360USB Pro), and then a regular SATA cable extention (1 end is male, 1 end is female, again - as short as possible = 12 inches) to run back in to the Mainboard. No matter which connection type you install, there is always the option of using various connection adapters to accomodate swapping connection types between either PC or X360USB Pro connection requirements WITHOUT RE-OPENING THE CASE!.
*It would be great if someone could confirm 100% that the X360USB Pro will have a "regular" internal male SATA connection for connecting directly to the DVD drive. If so, the above noted variation could be considered valid. MOD Edit - Confirmed, standard sata cable to x360usb - Oggy

Thanks to Oggy for confirming the above!:D

Now the fun stuff:

Photos 1-7: "Off Topic" Opportunistic Slim Tour
Photos 8-19: "On Topic" SATA Cable Mod

1) Here's my Slim after disassembly. There are already a few disassembly tutorials around, so I'm skipping that bit.






2) My DVD Drive label - close up (for model/FW version reference):


 
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djnixtre

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Dec 27, 2010
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Canada
3) This is what the LiteOn DG-16D4S (0225) tray looks like:




4) And here's a shot of the DVD drive's 12 pin power connector and SATA port:




5) A look at the Slims Mainboard layout with the DVD drive removed:




6) A close look at the Slim's HDD connector...




7) Explains itself:

 
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djnixtre

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Dec 27, 2010
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8) You'll need 2 of the cables on the left (unless you already have 1 in your PC because 1 gets connected to the XBOX 360's Mainboard, and 1 needs to be installed in your PC with supported SATA controller). You only need 1 of the cables on the right - this is the 1 that connects directly to the DVD drive's SATA port. I already have one for my PC, so I only needed the two cables - the one on the left was $8.99 CAD, and the one on the right was $15.99 CAD for a total of about $25 plus tax - not too bad!




9) Do this to only 1 of these cables:
(This will be the cable that connects directly to the 360's Mainboard)




10) ...and continue with that same cable and do this to it (I just bent each one back and forth until they broke off):




11) The modified cable connects to the new DVD drives SATA cable, effectively creating one long "regular" SATA cable, but with an optional eSATA access point in the middle (note that this middle connection is with the male and female "eSATA" plug ends).The new 3 foot DVD SATA cable has plenty of slack for flashing via PC.

 
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djnixtre

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Dec 27, 2010
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Canada
12) This is how these particular cables needed to be organized in order to fit nicely:




13) Once the DVD drive is back in (don't forget to reconnect the power!), this is how I routed the cables. Sandwiched flat together and pre-bent for the corners, these cables route around the back right corner of the DVD drive, then along the left side of the outside of the HDD bay housing, and out the left side of the HDD bay opening. Upon close inspection, this installation does not appear to impede airflow in any considerable way. The Mainboard SATA cable is just long enough to clear the case (12 inches).




14) I secured the cables with small "zip-ties" in 4 places, the 3 in this photo:
(the tie on the far right runs through a slot that is in the center of the HDD bay's housing wall)




15) ...and this 1:




16) And here obviously the case is re-assembled with the new eSATA connection access exposed! I just zip-tied the long cable into a roll as shown, and added the "insurance" tie to the connectors themselves (just in case!):




17) I don't have an HDD yet, so for now the cables hide away nicely in the bay. When I get one, the cables will just have to sit outside the case (oh well!:rolleyes:).




18) See - gone!




19) Badge of Honour - I heard somewhere this makes the warranty more valid -> :p




Now I just have to cut a couple zip-ties, roll out the eSATA connection and flash away! (0225 - no probe, no cutting, no soldering)

The End.

By djnixtre.


PS: I suppose I should note that it still fires up and loads discs just fine.
 
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djnixtre

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Dec 27, 2010
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No pics here sorry about post in middle,

K, well they are uploaded to a pulic album on this forum and I have used their URLs referenced in that album to post them here - I can see them fine, and someone else has confirmed they are working fine for them. I don't know what to tell you...
 
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GonyX

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Dec 25, 2009
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Sweden
i sell all the pics!

good thing you got there!
 

bandit123

VIP Member
Jul 4, 2010
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(UK)
ok so i went onto ur profile and the pics are there so i had a look and they are there some good pics there well done :D

so you have done this mod so you dont have to keep opening the 360 slim to flash?

i dont understand the point in extending the sata lead only.You will still have to open the slim to provide power UNLESS your not bothered about getting flagged for not having the drive connected when the xbox is powered up

would be nice to see the power extended so you can plug in a ck3 and stop the flag from activating
 

djnixtre

VIP Member
Dec 27, 2010
398
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Canada
ok so i went onto ur profile and the pics are there so i had a look and they are there some good pics there well done :D

so you have done this mod so you dont have to keep opening the 360 slim to flash?

i dont understand the point in extending the sata lead only.You will still have to open the slim to provide power UNLESS your not bothered about getting flagged for not having the drive connected when the xbox is powered up

would be nice to see the power extended so you can plug in a ck3 and stop the flag from activating
You got it - I'm not bothered by the "No DVD" flag. I have heard a few people say they know they have the flag and have been playing on XBL for years now, and nobody can confirm that it causes a ban. I don't think it will ever be used for a ban, but I guess we'll find out for sure!

It's wierd the pics are working for some and not others...
 

marshamods

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Mar 7, 2010
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ohio
they can confirm it is logged, though can not confirm if it will ever be used on any future ban waves.
 

djnixtre

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Dec 27, 2010
398
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Canada
Hi djnixtre very nice makes it easier to flash when FW is ready to go no need to open case again thanks for the pics.
No Problem! I was trying to find something similar myself, and when I couldn't, I decided to make this so others could have a plan before they opened the box. Mine sat in pieces for over a week while I figured out what I was going to do!:cool: