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Your Guide to Replacement Disc Drives for Your Xbox 360 Console

The disc drive is an essential aspect of an Xbox 360 console. It plays DVDs and reads data from game discs fast enough to keep up with 3D game engines. If you’re experiencing problems with your drive or it has stopped working altogether, then these replacement units may be the solution you need.

What are Microsoft Xbox 360 disc drives?

The Xbox 360 is a video game console manufactured and supported by Microsoft. Its disc drive is an HD DVD player that can play game discs. In addition to gaming, the Xbox is also a home entertainment system that can play HD DVDs, DVDs, music CDs, and some video discs. This drive is essentially the same as those used in PCs, so if it falters or fails, it can be removed and replaced.

Are these drives branded for Xbox and licensed by Microsoft?

No. Microsoft didn’t sell a retail replacement disc drive for the Xbox 360, so there are no licensing or branding concerns. Microsoft used a number of different OEM brands and models over the years and even different models for the same game console versions. Therefore, there are likely multiple models from various manufacturers that are suitable for your Xbox 360 console. These include:

  • LG
  • BenQ
  • Philips
  • Hitachi
  • Lite-On
Do all Xbox 360 drives fit all Xbox 360 consoles?

No. Microsoft manufactured a number of different Xbox game consoles as well as different Xbox generations. Disc drives for the original Xbox and the Xbox One are certainly not compatible, and there are also compatibility issues within the 360 gaming series itself. Be sure to match the optical drive to your specific model, such as the:

  • Elite
  • Arcade
  • S Series
  • E Series
Do these drives require flashing and how is it done?

Yes. Due to copy protection methods employed by Microsoft, your disc drive must be married to the controller board in the console. Without that marriage, video and other media discs may play but game DVDs usually will not. Xbox 360 disc drives generally can’t be sold pre-flashed since you need information from the original drive. An exception to this is when purchasing a drive already paired with a controller board and you're replacing that board at the same time you replace the optical disc drive.

How do you install the optical disc drive?

The optical disc drive doesn’t have a compartment in the manner that the hard drive does. This means that you need to open the game console. Once open, the optical disc drive is sitting on top of that assembly. It has a handful of screws to remove. Then, you can detach the SATA cable. Attach the SATA cable to the new drive. Position it, and put the screws back in. Close the case to finish the replacement.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Microsoft.
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