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2,862 Tutorials

How to boost your PC for gaming

10 PC projects: pimp your PC for games

Making your PC more suitable for playing games doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. PC Advisor shows you how to use a games controller on your Windows PC, and boost the capacity of your Microsoft Xbox 360.

How to add capacity to a 20GB Xbox 360

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Time: 1 hr 30 mins

If you bought a 20GB Xbox 360 console and want to expand its capacity, you may have considered Microsoft's own 120GB Xbox 360 hard drive. You can pick this up for £99 - but that's more than twice the price of buying an unbranded 120GB SATA drive.

You'll need a DOS installation on a writable flash drive for this hack. The utility doesn't work under Windows, and you'll also be disconnecting your PC's hard drive. First, grab a spare flash drive and copy the HP Drive Key Boot Utility to it. You should also download and mount a DOS image file from allbootdisks.com.

In Vista, right-click the HP utility and run it as an administrator. Select the flash drive, choose the FAT structure, tick the ‘Create a DOS startup disk' box and pick the DOS files when prompted.

Then download HDDHackr and copy it to the root level of the flash drive.

This hack is designed to work with the £42 120GB Western Digital Scorpio. You'll be replacing the drive's native firmware with Xbox-recognised firmware. Track down the firmware by doing a search for "hddss.bin 120 Xbox 360" (no quotes). Place the hddss.bin file in the root of your DOS flash drive.

With your PC turned off, unplug any other SATA devices and connect the Scorpio drive to one of the SATA cables and to a power lead. Afterwards, boot from your DOS thumb drive. At the DOS command line, type run hddhackr -f and press Enter. You'll be prompted to make a backup of the original drive firmware; do so.

Continue with the process to flash the firmware on the new hard drive. After a few seconds, you'll be prompted to restart the PC. Once you have done so, run the ‘hddhackr -f' command again, and it should report that the hard drive has been formatted for the Xbox 360.

Use Torx screwdrivers to remove the 20GB hard drive from your Xbox and remove the drive from its case. Swap the formatted Scorpio drive into the case, put it back together and start the console. Finally, follow the prompt under System, Memory to format the new drive.

Xbox 360 review

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