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 use a games controller on your PC

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 10 mins

If you've grown accustomed to your game console's controller, you may want to use it on your PC too. Microsoft provides a driver for using its Xbox 360 controller on a PC, but Sony and Nintendo don't do the same for theirs. Fortunately, there are a couple of utilities that can connect them to a computer.

For the PS3, download the Sixaxis driver. Install libusb-win32-filter-bin-0.1.10.1.exe, which is included in the Sixaxis download package. Connect the controller to a USB port with a mini-USB cable and run ps3sixaxis_en.exe.

If your PC doesn't recognise the device, push the PS button on the controller. You'll have to keep it plugged into your PC rather than using it wirelessly, but most games should recognise it. Enter the options menu within each game to map the controller buttons as necessary.

For the Wii Remote, you'll need a PC with Bluetooth. Open Windows' Bluetooth Control Panel, click Add and press the 1 and 2 buttons on the Wii Remote. Follow the prompts on your PC to search for a new device. Select the Wii Remote and choose not to use a passkey. Release the 1 and 2 buttons only after completing the connection.

Using GlovePie, select File, Open to launch a Wii Remote script, then click Run. These scripts translate the game-controller commands into PC actions, such as mouse movement.

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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

Get free games downloads. Visit PC Advisor's dedicated Games website to download hundreds of the latest titles, to read gaming news and reviews and to pick up tips and discuss your favourite games in the popular PC Advisor Games forum

Quick links:

Boost your PC with PC Advisor's 10 easy PC projects