How to replace Xbox One hard drive - 2020 Guide

Over time, consoles have evolved and the hardware used as adapted to the modern day demands of gaming. Take for arguments sake the SNES, or SEGA MegaDrive; the hardware was fairly simple in comparison to today’s machines. And they most certainly did not have hard drives installed!

As time has gone on, hard drives have been introduced to consoles and these too have increased in size! The original Xbox only had a 10GB hard drive installed; a size that seems so minimal to today’s demands. Put this into context with the Xbox Ones hard drive of 500GB and all of a sudden it becomes a lot smaller.

How to replace Xbox one hard drive
In this guide
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    How to replace Xbox one hard drive - the basicis

    First things first, the spec of the hard drive you want to install must be 2.5 inch form factor with a SATA connector – no other hard drive will physically fit.

    There are a few rumors that installing a SDD (solid state drive) will make your games run faster, so let us put the rumors straight for you.   The SATA interface on an XBOX One S and XBOX One Original is a SATA II meaning it runs at a maximum speed of 3.0GBs.  All standard SATA drives run around 6.0GBs, so the drive is throttled by the interface on the Xbox motherboard, so installing an SDD (with an even faster interface speed) will not improve the performance of your XBox One or Xbox One Original. 

    However, the Xbox One X has a SATA III interface meaning its maximum throughput is 6.0GBs.   There is some debate if an SSD in a Xbox One X improves performance, getting the full potential 6GBs, and in our testing the answer is yes.  Boot and game render times improve by around 2 – 3 seconds. As a standard  if you install a SDD you will see a speed improvement – have a read of our article here where we performed some real time tests.

    Now we have cleared that up, lets talk about capacity.

    The maximum capacity a Xbox One (Original, S or X) can ‘see’ is 2TB.  There is no point trying to install a hard drive with a larger capacity drive as the Xbox will not recognise it.

    Why replace the hard drive in an Xbox One?

    Now, even with such a higher spec of hardware, there may come a time when you need to replace your Xbox One hard drive. It could be that you need more space to store and play your most favourite games; the latest Call of Duty requires approximately 160gb of storage space alone!

    Or, it could be that your Xbox One hard drive needs replacing because it has become faulty or has failed. A failed hard drive can cause so many errors for your console, such as a slow and painful system, no image displayed on your screen and can even lead to your system not booting at all.

    Now, the good news is that you can replace the Xbox One hard drive, but be warned, it can be fiddly to do so! If you are ever unsure or want your console to be taken care of by the professionals, then be sure to get in touch with us here us at – with years of experience we know exactly what it takes to replace your Xbox One hard drive.

    Getting inside the Xbox

    Now, the Xbox One Original, S and X all follow different opening processes, so here we will give a guide on the Xbox One S – however the process of setting up the drive is exactly the same for all three versions of the Xbox One.

    First of flip over the Xbox One S and remove the bottom black plastic base – start off by the rear serial number label (where the security seal is).  

    Once it is off, you will see several silver screws and six green screws.  Remove the six green screws and flip the Xbox One S back over to the correct way up.

    Put your hands towards the rear of the console, and pull the white plastic lid outwards and up.  This will remove the lid.  Next take off the sliver casing which was under the white case. 

    Hello hard drive – you can now see the Xbox One S hard drive.  There are three silver screws you need to remove to allow you to take out the hard drive.  

    Turn the Xbox One S back over and unscrew the three screws which are connected to the hard drive.  Be careful as the hard drive will full out. 

    You will see two cables connected to the hard drive. At the motherboard end of the cables, unplug the SATA and power connections for the drive – now it is time to get your replacement drive ready for installation.

    Here is a video from our friends over at showing your the best way to dismantle an Xbox One S

    Getting your new hard drive ready (XBox One Original, S and X)

    For this next step you will need a few files.  These are (click on the links to download):

    Latest Microsoft Xbox Operating System Files

    Hard Drive Prep Batch Files (Created by Xfix)

    Boot Animation Files (Hosted by

    Once you have all the files downloaded to your PC, you will need to connect your new replacement hard drive to your PC using a SATA to USB connector.  Then simply follow the instructions listed in the Hard Drive Batch Files download to prepare your hard drive.

    Installing your new hard drive into your Xbox One

    Now you have your nice shiny new hard drive prepared with the Xbox System files, it is time to re-install the drive back into your Xbox.

    Take the original hard drive (which you removed earlier) and turn it over.  You will see four black screws – undo these screws and the hard drive will detach from the hard drive caddy.

    Simply take your new hard drive, and connect it back onto the caddy.

    Now re-install the hard drive back into your Xbox One S – re-installation is simply the reversal of removal.

    Before you power on your Xbox One

    There is one more step you need to complete BEFORE you power on the Xbox.   Back on your PC, copy the Xbox One Operating System files to a USB stick and connect this to your Xbox.

    Connect the power and HDMI cable to your Xbox, and then hold power the Bind and Eject buttons on the front of the Xbox.  While still holding down the Bind and Eject buttons, tap the power button – keep holding down the Bind and Eject buttons.

    You will hear one beep and the screen will show in safe mode, keep holding down the Bind and Eject buttons and you will hear a further two beeps.

    Once you have heard THREE beeps, you can release the Bind and Eject buttons.

    Your Xbox One will start rebuild the BIOS (or NAND) on the motherboard and in no time at all, you will have a working Xbox One again!

    Console Therapy provide fast, efficient games console repairs. We believe we are the fastest and most transparent games console repair service in the UK and EU.

    Let us prove it to you.  Get your instant repair quote now.

    Further Reading

    Looking to repair your console yourself?  Our most recent support guides are below to help you

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