I modded my Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 was my third console (first the SNES, second the Xbox classic). I purchased it in 2009 after a long period of consideration.

I was still a student and was happy when I could clear my head with video games.

Little by little, my game collection took on a large size. I bought a lot of used games on “eBay Kleinanzeigen”. That was cheap.

But little by little, the console gathered dust under my TV. I no longer paid any attention to it. However, I didn’t want to part with it either. There were still a lot of games that I had great experiences with: I still like to tell the story to a friend about how we unboxed the first “Read Dead Redemption” back then and played it with enthusiastic eyes for months. I haven’t experienced something that compelling in a long time. There are a number of games I’d like to finish or revisit to bring back old memories. There are also a few games I want to play through again.

So I decided to breathe new life into the Xbox and archive my collection on it and make it easily accessible to me. Through conversations with a friend I came across the RGH mod and decided to try it myself. I ordered the mod chip, programmer and a 1 TB hard drive. What you need depends strongly on the Xbox revision. After 1 month everything was there and I could start.

I followed the instructions of WeekendModder: His instructions are very detailed and in the videos you can pause at the prominent places.

Open console with mod-chip without the DVD drive

I highly recommend buying the flux and fiberglass scraper. It saves a lot of frustration. Also, the soldering iron should always be hot enough (I recommend > 350 °C).

Doing all the wiring and soldering took a lot more time than I first thought: It took me a good 4.5 hours. Especially because the solder joints are very tiny and first I had to search and double check that they are correct. Reading the keys and installing the new firmware was easier: The GUI is quite well thought out.

I can say that this was the most complicated thing I have ever soldered.

Now I can archive all my original games on the hard drive. I can easily have a gaming session on the sofa.

But first I noticed that the DVD drive have problems to read the discs :(

After several attempts to find out the reason for this on the internet, it turned out that it was probably the laser that was broken. So I ordered a new one (~5 €). A further week later, I was able to install the new one after opening up the console again and taking the drive apart.

the open DVD drive

And wonder of wonders, there are no more problems reading the discs.