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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Original Xbox Repair: Part Deux!

Time to operate.
When we last met our hero, he was doing battle with 2 broken Xboxes at once! Now rested, and eager to complete the saga, he brings us the exciting conclusion to what would have been just any other Saturday!

As I stated last week, this thing was suffering from error code 16 which has something to do with the HDD no being locked to the main board I believe (correct me if I'm wrong). Since I had my old Xbox that I found near a dumpster and all I really needed was the power supply,I figured it was time to operate.

Dead Dumpster-Box on the left, Half-working Goodwill-Box on the right.
Now that the problem was identified three things had to happen.

  • Swap the Power Supplies
  • Swap the PCBs
  • Swap the DVD-ROM drives
Since each unit's Hard Drive is locked to that system's PCB and I didn't have the patience to unlock and re-lock either HDD to either unit, I ended up transferring all the innards between the two units (the exception being the PSU). Going in blind, I was a touch overwhelmed, but now it seems fairly intuitive. Following are photographs from the repair with captions explaining each one.

Both units disassembled and ready for their bits to get transferred.

Damned cheap power supply. All of this could have been avoided if Microsoft knew how to release a console without any recall-worthy problems right out the gate.
The space that the Dumpster Box's PCB formally occupied with the bum-power supply to the right. I think the staining is equal parts rust and roach shit, but I can't be certain.
With all the components nicely nestled into their new, rust-free home, the dumpster Xbox lives again! New case, new PSU, and a new lease on life. A true rags to riches story.

Well, that's the end of my story. Nothing too exciting, but a conclusion nonetheless. The disaster above was the end result of my labor, but honestly took less time to clean up than the image would have you believe.


  1. Neat project! I'm not too handy though and would've probably gone through a few more beers. :) One of these days I should pick up an original Xbox. I didn't play any Xbox games until I got a 360 and not all are backwards compatible.

  2. Same here! I was fairly embittered that entire generation with the death the Dreamcast and didn't even pick up a Gamecube until near the end of its life-cycle. And as you've read, I found my Xbox near a dumpster :D.

    I've found a surprising amount of original Xboxes in DC-area Goodwills over the past few weeks. They all sell between $15 and $30, and usually don't come with any cables whatsoever. If they're busted they'll even let you bring them back within 7 days. Not bad, but buying the cables and a controller bring the price up to a regular used console anyway. Better to just use Goodwill Xbox's with no cables for parts.