Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

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crosscrunchy10
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Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by crosscrunchy10 » Sun May 31, 2015 2:50 am

Hello everyone,

This is my first post to the forum, but I have been dabbling with soft-modding and dashboards since ~09.

My goal is to create a 2TB slimbox, but I am having some trouble when it comes to the DVD drive. I've been doing my research, and I stumbled upon this thread (Archived Link): https://web.archive.org/web/20150531014 ... f=36&t=589

It claims that you can replace the DVD drive with another hard drive by bridging some of the power pins and using a molex splitter (the HDD would then be mounted to D:/). Would this even be possible?

If that is not possible, what is the next easiest option for booting without the drive? I have considered stripping down the drive to just the bare PCB, but I have a feeling that this will still result in errors. If a modchip is my only option, what would you recommend? The only one I can seem to reliably find would be the Xecuter 2.6 CE, and I have absolutely no experience with chips.

I know there are plenty of slim-boxers out there, what's your take on this?

EDIT: I know, I'm pretty naive about this stuff, but would TSOPing be able to accomplish this? I need to check my console version, but I feel like it would be a cheaper and easier alternative from what little I know about it.

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by scroeffie » Sun May 31, 2015 9:03 am

http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php? ... d-project/ see link for some idea's
with chip or tsop i cannot help you i tried my self to do a tsop on 2 xboxes i failed and also modchip good luck

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by xman » Sun May 31, 2015 11:03 am

Well good luck on the DVD cable hack, I could never get it to work. Would have been nice but really, all it would have saved me was not needing to mod a bios to run without a DVDrive. When I did my 1st 1TB slim, I found the non DVDrives bioses don't work anyway resulting in very weird problems revolving around XBMC's filemanager and bootup problems. Neither of these problems show up when the 1 or 2TB Xbox has a DVDrive in place so it was definitely a problem caused by the non DVDrive bios.
You may find this post interesting I wrote when I was building this 1st 1TB slim...
http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... f=13&t=373

Have a read there and it may help you with some of your questions and problems.

This is how I fit a Thomson DVDrive board in a slim....
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by Rocky5 » Sun May 31, 2015 12:31 pm

Have a look here, the DVD Simulator (as Trusty named it) won't work without a compatible bios, ie, a no dvd hack bios.
http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... =20#p21162

All this does is allow XBMC function 100% without a dvd drive present. Sometimes (quite a lot actually) XBMC will slow to a crawl if you enter anything that tries to check the dvd drive. ie, file manager, source eg.... or if you enter system info, it becomes juddery if music is playing.

Doing the above on a Softmodded system, will reward you with an Error 11.

So the only full proof way is to use a DVD PCB board.

Just seen your edit.
Yes a flashed TSOP, with a No DVD Hack (I use Ind-Bios 5004) & bridging Pin 5/6 to ground & Pin 7 to 3.3v will give you what you want.

You could also use a 10kΩ resistor to drop the 5v to 3.3v on Pin 10 & a 20kΩ resistors on Pin 3 that way it's an all in 1 solution.

+5v (Pin 10) -- 10kΩ -- + (Pin 7) + -- 20kΩ -- GND (Pin 3)

The above is what Google says to do, to drop 5v to 3.3v.
Last edited by Rocky5 on Sun May 31, 2015 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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crosscrunchy10
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by crosscrunchy10 » Sun May 31, 2015 4:14 pm

Alright cool, I decided to try the DVD PCB extraction and it works flawlessly! The drive is a Samsung SDG-605. For anyone who reads this in the future, this is what you must do:

1. Unplug all ribbon cables and wires from the main DVD drive PCB.
2. Remove the board by pushing the release tabs/unscrewing it from the frame (Will vary by model, mine only had tabs).
3. Remove the DVD Tray by pushing the white eject tab in the front of the drive, then pulling the tray until it stops, and finally pushing the two release tabs located on the sides of the tray near the back.
4. Carefully disassemble the ejection mechanism, until you are able to remove the small PCB that reports whether the disc drive is closed or not. (Mine has a small motor attached to it)
5. Connect the Xbox's IDE and power cables to the main PCB, and then connect the smaller PCB to the main one.
6. On the small PCB, there should be one or two small buttons. Use electrical tape to secure them both into the 'pressed' position.
7. Plug in your power and AV cords and test the console!

I will add images to this post in a little bit, but I wanted to report that I figured it out :)

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by GeekVarietyCustoms » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:16 pm

crosscrunchy10 wrote:Alright cool, I decided to try the DVD PCB extraction and it works flawlessly! The drive is a Samsung SDG-605. For anyone who reads this in the future, this is what you must do:

1. Unplug all ribbon cables and wires from the main DVD drive PCB.
2. Remove the board by pushing the release tabs/unscrewing it from the frame (Will vary by model, mine only had tabs).
3. Remove the DVD Tray by pushing the white eject tab in the front of the drive, then pulling the tray until it stops, and finally pushing the two release tabs located on the sides of the tray near the back.
4. Carefully disassemble the ejection mechanism, until you are able to remove the small PCB that reports whether the disc drive is closed or not. (Mine has a small motor attached to it)
5. Connect the Xbox's IDE and power cables to the main PCB, and then connect the smaller PCB to the main one.
6. On the small PCB, there should be one or two small buttons. Use electrical tape to secure them both into the 'pressed' position.
7. Plug in your power and AV cords and test the console!

I will add images to this post in a little bit, but I wanted to report that I figured it out :)
I would really appreciate you uploading pics of this. After getting an original XBOX again a few weeks back, I had a dream about this project last night and thought I just reinvented bread with the idea haha.
Come to find out there have been other folks who thought of this long before I ever did and thankfully they've addressed all the issues in making this possible which is saving me a ton of leg work.
So thanks in advance for posting the information you have and if you could post pics of how you did this, that would be awesome.
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by GeekVarietyCustoms » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:59 pm

xman wrote:Well good luck on the DVD cable hack, I could never get it to work. Would have been nice but really, all it would have saved me was not needing to mod a bios to run without a DVDrive. When I did my 1st 1TB slim, I found the non DVDrives bioses don't work anyway resulting in very weird problems revolving around XBMC's filemanager and bootup problems. Neither of these problems show up when the 1 or 2TB Xbox has a DVDrive in place so it was definitely a problem caused by the non DVDrive bios.
You may find this post interesting I wrote when I was building this 1st 1TB slim...
http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... f=13&t=373

Have a read there and it may help you with some of your questions and problems.

This is how I fit a Thomson DVDrive board in a slim....

So what you did here was simply removed the optical drive aside from the smaller board? Is that what I'm too understand about this? Can this be done without modifying the bios or was it in conjunction?
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by Rocky5 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:50 pm

GeekVarietyCustoms wrote:
xman wrote:Well good luck on the DVD cable hack, I could never get it to work. Would have been nice but really, all it would have saved me was not needing to mod a bios to run without a DVDrive. When I did my 1st 1TB slim, I found the non DVDrives bioses don't work anyway resulting in very weird problems revolving around XBMC's filemanager and bootup problems. Neither of these problems show up when the 1 or 2TB Xbox has a DVDrive in place so it was definitely a problem caused by the non DVDrive bios.
You may find this post interesting I wrote when I was building this 1st 1TB slim...
http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... f=13&t=373

Have a read there and it may help you with some of your questions and problems.

This is how I fit a Thomson DVDrive board in a slim....

So what you did here was simply removed the optical drive aside from the smaller board? Is that what I'm too understand about this? Can this be done without modifying the bios or was it in conjunction?
That's correct & no modification is required to the bios/softmod.

Basically take the PCB out of the DVD drive & plug it in like you would the DVD drive.
(As far as the Xbox is concerned the dvd drive is present, even though it's not, well it is but only the PCB part)
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by GeekVarietyCustoms » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:27 am

Rocky5 wrote:
GeekVarietyCustoms wrote:
xman wrote:Well good luck on the DVD cable hack, I could never get it to work. Would have been nice but really, all it would have saved me was not needing to mod a bios to run without a DVDrive. When I did my 1st 1TB slim, I found the non DVDrives bioses don't work anyway resulting in very weird problems revolving around XBMC's filemanager and bootup problems. Neither of these problems show up when the 1 or 2TB Xbox has a DVDrive in place so it was definitely a problem caused by the non DVDrive bios.
You may find this post interesting I wrote when I was building this 1st 1TB slim...
http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... f=13&t=373

Have a read there and it may help you with some of your questions and problems.

This is how I fit a Thomson DVDrive board in a slim....

So what you did here was simply removed the optical drive aside from the smaller board? Is that what I'm too understand about this? Can this be done without modifying the bios or was it in conjunction?
That's correct & no modification is required to the bios/softmod.

Basically take the PCB out of the DVD drive & plug it in like you would the DVD drive.
(As far as the Xbox is concerned the dvd drive is present, even though it's not, well it is but only the PCB part)

Fantastic! Thanks for the heads up on that. I really appreciate the information. I haven't done the teardown but I would image that using a 1tb laptop drive would give me enough room to put the pcb and the hdd on the left side where the optical drive formerly was. Excellent news thanks again.
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by xman » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:22 am

GeekVarietyCustoms wrote:
Fantastic! Thanks for the heads up on that. I really appreciate the information. I haven't done the teardown but I would image that using a 1tb laptop drive would give me enough room to put the pcb and the hdd on the left side where the optical drive formerly was. Excellent news thanks again.
The way I do these type of machines is exactly like the picture I took. The DVDrive is removed and makes room for the full sized sata HDD in the DVDrive caddy. The DVDrive board is relocated where the HDD used to be using the HDD caddy. The other change is the IDE cable. The connector that used to go to the DVD now plugs into the HDD. The original HDD connector now plugs into the DVD board. The IDE cable doesn't require cutting or modding at all, it just needs to be straightened out and re-bent to suit the new locations of the components.

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by GeekVarietyCustoms » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:40 am

xman wrote:
GeekVarietyCustoms wrote:
Fantastic! Thanks for the heads up on that. I really appreciate the information. I haven't done the teardown but I would image that using a 1tb laptop drive would give me enough room to put the pcb and the hdd on the left side where the optical drive formerly was. Excellent news thanks again.
The way I do these type of machines is exactly like the picture I took. The DVDrive is removed and makes room for the full sized sata HDD in the DVDrive caddy. The DVDrive board is relocated where the HDD used to be using the HDD caddy. The other change is the IDE cable. The connector that used to go to the DVD now plugs into the HDD. The original HDD connector now plugs into the DVD board. The IDE cable doesn't require cutting or modding at all, it just needs to be straightened out and re-bent to suit the new locations of the components.

Cool thanks for the heads up on that. I'm still a little ways out from actually doing all this stuff, I'm collecting parts right now, but thanks for the information, I really appreciate the help a ton.

I do have one question however, why plug the dvd ide cable into the new hdd and vice versa? Do you have to do this or is it optional? Is it just a matter of the dvd ide being the master and the hdd ide being the slave connection or something along those lines or just a simple boot sequence issue?
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by xman » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:58 am

Well the IDE connector that used to go to the DVDrive is near exactly where you want it for the HDD so no real changes there but the connector that needs to go over to the new location of the DVD board is in fact , to short. However, if you re- route the cable to come up between the two caddys, the HDD and the DVDrive caddys and you mount the DVD board so the connector to the middle of the machine, the cable is long enough. The other issue I forgot to mention was the yellow or brown DVD cable. This is to short because the DVD board is now on the other side of the machine. How I get around this was to join two DVD cables together making it twice as long. It can now reach easily. Don't use a NON DVD bios, it will definitely cause bootup issues if the sata HDD is larger that around 700GB. Funny, it works perfectly with a 600GB sata but 750GBs satas and larger cause major problems for some reason. If you set the DVD board tray limit switches, (can be soldered directly to the DVD board or on an external daughter board depending on what brand DVD board you choose), to be in the tray open position, this will give the sata HDD more time to boot up because it waits for the time for the DVD tray to eject even though it doesn't have one. It will give the HDD about 4 seconds longer and results in perfect sata HDD bootups every time. To work out what tray limit switch to hold in or open circuit can be determined by going into XBMC's filemanager and work the switches and you will see the D drive saying eject or close. You want it to say OPEN. This will also have the effect of adding about 4 seconds for the machine to shutdown because the machine believes the tray is in the open position and it will try to close it prior to shutting down. Not an issue with the machine not being able to close the other limit switch to tell it the tray is closed, there is a time out circuit in the DVD board's electronics, ( about 4 seconds).

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by LudviG » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:18 pm

Reply just to find this thread quickly again. Been thinking about a slim mod since I am on working dvd short anyway.
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by GoTeamScotch » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:11 pm

LudviG wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:18 pm
Reply just to find this thread quickly again. Been thinking about a slim mod since I am on working dvd short anyway.
Bumping a 3 year old thread instead of bookmarking? Hmm :roll:
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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by LudviG » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:59 am

GoTeamScotch wrote:
LudviG wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:18 pm
Reply just to find this thread quickly again. Been thinking about a slim mod since I am on working dvd short anyway.
Bumping a 3 year old thread instead of bookmarking? Hmm :roll:
May be a bad decision on my part. Guess there is somehow to bookmark in Tapatalk too... Time to research.

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by Redherring32 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:51 am

Hi i have a xbox 1.6 and i am putting a 120mm case fan where the jewel was,
but i need to make more room, and the only way to do that is remove the dvd drive all together ,
can i do anything to achieve this on a 1.6?

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by crosscrunchy10 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:48 am

You can strip the drive down to just the bare PCB + eject mechanism as I wrote above. Without a hard mod, that's the best you can do

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by Redherring32 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:49 pm

So if I leave the main drive pcb in the Xbox it will boot?
Because I'm pretty sure I figured out an even better way to do this,
while still having disc drive functionality.

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by Tosnic » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:46 pm

This is an interesting topic, as the trend goes towards HDD and away from using DVDs.
I tried crosscrunchy's method, removing the mechanical parts of the DVD drive and keeping only the PCB in the Xbox.
With only the PCB installed I noticed no noticeable boost in boot time, and the shutdown was delayed by ca. 5 seconds. But the flubber animation played correctly.
My usual config is using the EvoX noDVD Bios without the DVD drive at all. Here, the xbox seems to use a lot of CPU on boot and for a few seconds in UnleashX. In this config my IDE cable is very short, with its 3rd plug clipped off. Both configs used 80-wire IDE cables and an IDE to SATA converter.
I also tried using only the main PCB of the DVD drive, without the long PCB that holds the DVD presence "switch". Here, the xbox struggled for a long time when entering the UX settings or games list. Therefore, I do not recommend this last config at all.

A note, adding to crosscrunchy's instructions: I had to desolder two small wires (red and black) and the little motor he mentions from the PCB in order to remove the PCBs from the rest of the DVD drive. Easy solder work, but you probably need something to remove the solder from the motor "legs" that protude through the PCB.

All in all, I assume that it is probably best to keep the whole DVD drive in the xbox. The effort outweighs the gain in most cases. You still need both PCB parts for it to work properly and these are quite spacious.
Even when installing a large 120mm fan in the top (but inside) the case with the DVD drive installed, there should be enough room for an 2,5" HDD and the IDE to SATA converter. I am currently building this config.

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Re: Running Xbox Without DVD Drive

Post by Tom M. » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:02 pm

So, if this has to do with redesigning the whole Xbox case then I can understand but why would you want to remove the optical drive from a standard case? It is the part of the design!

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