How to replace an Xbox One Hard Drive

How to replace an Xbox One Hard Drive

The easy way to replace your Xbox One hard drive

In this article
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    You switch on your Xbox and are met with… nothing. Then after what seems an eternity the dashboard pops up System Error E106.  This can seem a daunting experience, but fear not, we at are here to help. In this article, we show you how to replace an xbox one hard drive.

    Over the years games have expanded and expanded, meaning all those lovely rendered graphics needs a home. It was only 20 years ago when all game data cold be stored on a single game cartridge of a few KB, but gaming as we know has moved on.. thankfully! 

    How to replace Xbox one hard drive

    The standard now is to have at least 1GB of storage with your Xbox or PlayStation and this trend seems to continue with the new Xbox One X Series and Xbox One S Series consoles.

    But what if that storage corrupts, wears out and generally fails? Well, there is a fix for that.  Let TweakTips show you how.    

    Disclaimer: Thanks for visiting our website – We hope you love the products we recommend!  Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page through an affiliate program. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!

    How to replace an Xbox One hard drive

    Things you need to know

    System Error Codes on the Xbox come in various sizes, each of them individually identifying an internal issue with your Xbox. 

    How to replace Xbox one hard drive

    For example, E106 means there is a mismatch between the version of firmware installed in your Xbox memory (the NAND) and the version stored on your hard drive.  Replacing the hard drive in your Xbox One might not fix all System Errors, but it will certainly rule out the very common issue of bad sectors on your hard drive.

    Both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X come with a SATA hard drive interface.  There is much debate on if installing a SSD (Solid State Drive) will improve the performance of an Xbox One.  The simple answer is yes it will, however, do not expect the same performance boost you would see on your PC or Laptop.  You see, although the SATA interface in an Xbox One X is SATA III for example, the actual data throughput from the SATA header to the Xbox Southbridge chip is throttled to improve stability.  So you will never be able to achieve 6.0 Gb/s from the hard drive.

    Getting ready to swap your Xbox One hard drive

    There is some good news.  Since the launch of Xbox Operating System (OSU) version 10.0.19041.4172 you no longer need to manually partition the hard drive with the Xbox One “special partitions”.   However, you do need to make sure that all partitions and volumes are removed from the new drive before you begin. 

    If your Xbox One has an older OSU version installed, you will still need to manually create the partitions – the good news is we covered this in a video earlier this year.  Have a watch of the video below and you can read this article here on how to do this.

    Preparing your new hard drive

    If you do not have a brand new hard drive to install, you will need to check that all the partitions and volumes on the drive have been deleted. 

    1. Insert your hard drive into your SATA to USB caddy and connect to your PC or laptop.
    2. Once your PC or laptop has detected your hard drive, click Start and type the word “create and format” and select the “Create and format hard disk partitions” windows app (also known as Disk Management
    3. Once Disk Management is loaded, find your newly inserted hard drive. Usually this will be the last disk listed.  Depending on your system, it will probably be labelled either “Disk 1” or “Disk 2” and have a drive letter assigned as either D: or E:
    4. You will see maybe on or two volumes (also known as partitions) on the drive and these need to be removed.  Obviously this needs to be completed carefully and you do so at your own risk – so make sure you have selected the correct drive before proceeding.
    5. Right click each partition and select “Delete Volume” 
    6. Once complete, you will have a hard drive free of any volumes/partitions.

    Tools for the job

    If you already have a hard drive that you want to use as a replacement in your Xbox, you will need a SATA to USB cable or caddy.  To install your replacement hard drive you will also need a Torx screw driver.  The options below are our recommendations.

    Time to open your Xbox One

    Now you have your clean hard drive without any partitions, it is time to install it into your Xbox One.

    The process differs from Xbox One S to Xbox One X from a installation point of view however the overall process is the same.

    Please remember that opening your Xbox One will invalidate any warranty you have – having said that, if you are following this guide, your warranty has probably expired! 

    Xbox One S Installation

    1. Disconnect all cables and turn your Xbox one S over and pry off the black bottom case – start in the same corner as the warranty label and gently pry off the back case. 
    2. With the bottom case off, you will see a number of green and silver screws.  They are the Torx type screw heads and you will need a T8 bit to remove the screw.  Remove all the green and silver screws (do not remove the four black screws).
    3. Carefully turn the Xbox One S back over, and remove the top white casing – start by pulling the back up. Then remove the metal cover which is under the white casing.  You will now see the internal components of your Xbox, including the hard drive.
    4. Lift out the hard drive and carefully unplug the cables from the motherboard.
    5. The hard drive is connected to a caddy.  Turn the hard drive and caddy over and remove the 4 screws (one in each corner).
    6. You can now remove the hard drive from the caddy.  Unplug the cable from the hard drive and plug in your replacement hard drive that you have prepared earlier.
    7. Re-attach the caddy and tighten the 4 screws.
    8. Place the hard drive back into the Xbox One S and replace the top metal case
    9. Re-insert the silver screws and flip the Xbox back over and replace the top case.  Turn the Xbox over once again and re-insert the green screws.
    10. Finally, push the bottom black plastic case back on to the bottom of the Xbox.

    Although this video shows how to repair another fault, it shows you how to remove the casing on an Xbox One S

    Xbox One X Installation

    1. Disconnect all cables and turn your Xbox One X around so you can access the rear of the Xbox.  There are two screws which hold the top case on, one of which might be under a warranty label.  You will need a Torx screwdriver to remove the screws – a T8 bit will fit.
    2. Remove both screws and slide the top case to the front, it will move and you will be able to lift it off.
    3. Turn the Xbox around so it is in the correct orientation (front panel facing you).  On the right hand side you will see a ribbon cable coming from the bottom which is connected to the top of the console with two screws. Remove both screws and carefully lift up the plate and connected ribbon cable. 
    4. On the front of the Xbox One X you will see the power board and three yellow/gold screws holding it in place. Remove these screws and carefully detach the ribbon cable. You can now remove the power board.
    5. On the top of the Xbox you will see several silver screws – remove all screws (do not remove the black screws).
    6. Turn the Xbox over and you will be able to lift off the bottom plastic casing. 
    7. You will see two other screws on the top of the case (one to the right and one to the left). Remove both of these screws and lift off the metal top cover. 
    8. You will now see the internal components of your Xbox One X.  Gently lift up the optical drive and you will see the hard drive.  Unplug the cables which connect the hard drive to the motherboard and remove the hard drive and caddy.
    9. Turn the hard drive over and remove the 4 screws (one in each corner) to remove the caddy. Unplug the cable from the hard drive and re-connect your replacement hard drive.
    10. Turn the hard drive and caddy back over and re-install the 4 screws. Place the hard drive back into the Xbox and connect the cables back to the motherboard.
    11. Pop back on the metal top casing and reattach the two screws you removed earlier. Place the bottom plastic casing back on.
    12. Turn the Xbox One X back over and re-insert all the screws again. Turn the Xbox back over once more and reconnect the power board and the side ribbon cable attaching all screws again.  Finally, pop back on the top case and re-insert the two screws from the rear.

    Installing Xbox One Software/Firmware (OSU1)

    Now the hard bit is out of the way, the next part is simple.   You will need a USB memory stick with at least 8GB capacity.

    First of all we will need the latest Operating System / Firmware files from Microsoft, this is also known as the OSU1 file.  Click he button below to download directly from Microsoft (this link automatically updates to the latest version)

    While the file is downloading (it is around 4GB!) we can start preparing the USB memory stick.  The following process will delete ALL data on your memory stick, so make sure there is no data on there that you need.

    1. Insert the memory stick into your PC or Laptop.  From This PC, right click the memory stick and select format.
    2. From the format options, select NTFS as a file format, then check “quick format” and click OK.
    3. Once the OSU1 file has finished downloading, double click it and open up the file.
    4. Inside the file you will see a folder called $SystemUpdate – copy this entire folder to your newly formatted USB memory stick.  Make sure you copy the folder itself, not just the contents of the folder – you should end up with one folder on your USB memory stick called $SystemUpdate
    5. You can not eject and remove the USB memory stick from your PC or Laptop.
    6. Now on your Xbox (this process is the same for an Xbox One S and Xbox One X), insert the memory stick and connect your cables.
    7. Switch on the Xbox and after a few seconds you will see a System Error code or an Error that the Xbox cannot start – this is perfectly normal.
    8. Turn on or connect your controller and select “Trouble Shooting” then select “Offline Update”
    9. Your Xbox will start to load the files from the USB memory stick to your Xbox firmware and new hard drive.  It will re-boot several times.
    10. Once complete, your Xbox will return to your dashboard.

    Congratulations, you have just replaced the hard drive on your Xbox One!

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