Inside the 360

Tear Down - Xbox 360

Disclaimer: Attempting any of these techniques will void the warranty on your Xbox 360. I will not be responsible for your attempt to fix your Xbox yourself. All information on this site is to be used at your own risk. Also DO NOT fry bacon without a shirt on, it is very dangerous!


Basics - FAQ

  This is an amalgamation of several sites, noted in Reference Links, on how to take apart a Xbox 360 console. I have now used this procedure to perform 4 disassemblies and re-assemblies, and have it down to less than 10 minutes each way. At no time will it be necessary to apply brute force. While it may seem like the most gratifying option, patience and a light touch will prevail. I am notorious for breaking little bitty plastic tabs, but I was able to make it through without snapping any of the many, so can you!  


To open up the 360 case I have read several larger lists of tools required as well as a single tool for the sole purpose of opening the box, that can be purchased. I use 4 and a couple Torx bits.
Driver and Torx Bits T7 & T12 - I am always looking for these, I have one set that skips these sizes but luckily another that contained the right sizes... have them before you begin.
Small Flat Head Screw Driver - used to pry gently 8~) and to fit into the small slots on the back of the 360 to release several tabs.
5/64" Allen Wrench - to fit through tiny air holes to push little plastic tabs as you slowly pry up on the larger plastic shield really.

Remove the Face Plate

I have not read how to remove the face plate in the manual that came with the 360, probably should. I read elsewhere that you can slide your thumb in the door for the USBs and press the sides and it will pop out ...

I tried this for about half a minute then carefully pried it off with my screw driver until it popped off, nothing broken.

Remove Right Vent Shield

This is where you get to start using the Allen Wrech in the little air holes to release the tabs while prying upwards. It's actually pretty slick.
Stand the 360 up on the end where the Hard Drive was (you did remove it didn't you?). 3 tabs per side and easy to find. MS does kinda mark them for you by using filled holes, when it is off you can see it, sorta.
While gently lifting up at the front of the plastic vent, fish around until you have released both of the first set of tabs. Continue doing this to each set of tabs until the Shield releases.

Remove Left Vent Shield

Same basic procedure to remove the Left as the Right. Just a little more difficult as it is not flat, the locations of the tabs and where to press them is less apparent.
Stand the 360 up on the side that you just removed the Vent Shield from, and apply the same principals as the step before. I seem to recall using my screw driver to assist releasing the first set ... nothing broken.
You must remove the back foot in order to gain access to the fine tab (red circle).

Remove Bottom Case

My picture does not do this justice but I will walk you through it. This is where a little patience might be needed as getting everything released at the same time may take several attempts.
Turn the 360 so the front is facing you and set it on it's top (so you are looking down at the feet). Release the four plastic tabs at the front using the screw driver where/if necessary. Raise the case above the tabs.
Now, turn the 360 around, you will see several little rectangular openings along the seam between top and bottom. Insert your screw driver in these slots to release the tabs, when things are going right you will hear a distinct pop as you release them. Don't let the front of the case come down and re-engage the tabs there.
Once all the tabs are removed you should be able to lift the Bottom Case straight up to remove it.

Remove the Top Case

Here is where you get to put your driver and Torx bits to use. Wasn't the great thing about Torx screws, was that they were really hard to strip the head? I digress, but take it as a word of caution on the blacks.
Depending on your objective you may not need to remove all the screws. I removed them all but suspect only the 6 long silvers connect the Top Case. The blacks hold the CPU and GPU and can be left alone.
You will need to remove 15 silver T12 screws mainly along the outside edge of the 360 (yellow circles). 6 of these are long (big circles) and 9 are short (small circles). Then the 8 black T7 screws (red circles).
You can then flip the 360 back over and gently remove the Top Case. Watch for the DVD's eject button, hold it out using a finger as you lift the Case off.

Final Steps

At this point you are down to the Chassis, the DVD and the on board components. If you have removed all the silver screws you should have no problem lifting the final components out.
Simply slide your hand under the DVD and lift it up. It sits on raised pegs, one of which goes through the Ventillation Shroud. Watch for the green plastic arm that goes from the button on the DVD through the chassis. The DVD can rest on the side of the Chassis (it will run this way) or be disconnected.
There is a single tab holding the Ventillation Shroud on, right between the 2 fans. The Shroud can be removed with a combination of twisting and lifting.
I would not / did not remove either of the heat sinks for the CPU and GPU unless I was going to work on those Units and believe me, there is work that can be done there, including a TROD fix.

Inside the 360

The exposed guts of the 360. As you can see from mine, I would strongly suggest using a can of condensed air to clean the dust that will have built up. Your 360 should run a lot cooler after an air bath.
You would now be ready to attempt any of the sometimes bizzare DIY fixes, that are available here and on the web, for Xbox 360 repair. From the dreaded TROD to the elusive E74 there are cures out there.

To Put Back Together: Turn your monitor upside down and scroll up! 8~)

(C) Evolution Printing and Publishing House, 2007