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How To Disassemble A Phat Xbox 360

Updated on June 23, 2013
Tools needed to open an Xbox 360
Tools needed to open an Xbox 360

Gather Your Tools

To disassemble a phat Xbox 360 you'll need a few simple tools.

1. T10 screwdriver

2. T8 screwdriver

3. Very small flathead screwdriver

4. Xbox 360 case opening tool (option but extremely helpful)

No cables plugged in
No cables plugged in

Unplug Your Console

Absolutely necessary, unplug all cables and attachments from your console.

No AV/HDMI cables.

No power cables.

No flash drives.

No wireless adapters.

No wired controllers.

No memory cards.

No Kinect sensors.

Get the point? Everything has to be unplugged.

Faceplate still installed
Faceplate still installed
Faceplate removed
Faceplate removed

Remove The Faceplate

Open the USB door next to the power button and get a good grip on the far right section. Firmly pull directly away from the console and the faceplate should pop off. It may be stuck on fairly well and require some muscle to get it off, but be careful because it can crack and break.

Filled holes denote tabs
Filled holes denote tabs
Removing the side vent
Removing the side vent
Rubber foot hides a tab
Rubber foot hides a tab
Side vents removed
Side vents removed

Removing The Side Vents

Start with the non-hard drive side vent. If you look closely at the sides of the console, you'll notice that within all the little holes, a few are filled in. Those filled in holes denote tabs inside that are holding the side vents in place. Gently pull up on the side vent and use your small flathead screwdriver to poke the tabs. When the tabs are poked, they should release. There are 3 tabs on each side.

Moving on to the hard drive side you're going to do the same thing. The problem comes with getting it started because the side by the face plate does not have holes to pop the first tab on each side loose. With a little muscle and a little wiggling they should come loose. All the rest of the tabs work like the ones on the opposite side except for the bottom rear tab. The holes to release that tab is hidden under the little rubber foot. Your little flathead screwdriver can pry the foot off easy and the adhesive should still be strong enough for you to simply stick the foot back in place after you pop the tab off.

Tab holes
Tab holes
Tab holes
Tab holes

Separating The Case - Part 1

Removing the bottom of the case is probably the most difficult part of this process if you don't have an Xbox 360 opening tool. There is a link at the bottom of this article if you'd like to purchase one.

Take note of the pictures. The spots circled in green are the tabs that need to be popped to separate the rear half of the case.

Separating The Case - Part 2

If you have an Xbox 360 opening tool, start on the side with 5 tabs. Line the tool up with the tab holes and firmly press the tool in. The tabs should make a popping noise if they released. At the same time, pull the sides of the case apart and they should separate (it sounds complicated but it can be done with one hand). Keep holding the case apart.

Line up the tool with the 2 tabs on the opposite side. While pulling the case apart, firmly press the tool into the tabs and the case should separate.

If you do not have an Xbox 360 opening tool, get your small flathead screwdriver. Start on the side with 2 tabs. Pull on both sides of the case (not hard, you don't want to break it) and use your flathead screwdriver to pop each tab, starting with the one closest to the end and working all the way to the other side. It may take a few tries on each tab to get them to pop, just keep at it and change angles.

Separating The Case - Part 3

Moving on to the front side of the case, you'll find 4 tabs. Simply slide your flathead screwdriver under each tab and lift up while pulling the case apart. Remember to start on one end and work to the other, I prefer to start the on eject button side.

Once all 4 tabs are released you can pull the bottom half the the case away.

Remove The Eject Button

Before we take the top of the case off, the eject button needs to come off. Use your flathead screwdriver and slide it under the eject button where it meets the disc drive. Carefully pry the button off.

Removing The Top Of The Case

The top of the case is screwed into place with 6 screws. Refer to the picture at the right.

Screws circled in green hold the top of the case on

Screws circled in red hold the motherboard in place

Screw circled in blue hold the xclamps/heat sinks in place.

Remove the screws circled in green then flip the Xbox 360 over then simply pull the top of the case off.

*Please note: The pictured console has an xclamp mod so it has to screws in the bottom of the case. Some of the case screws are also missing. Please reinstall ALL of your case screws.*

Remove The Disc Drive

Lift the disc drive up (it is not secured down by anything at this point) and turn it so that you can see the two cables in the rear. Simply unplug both cables and set the disc drive aside. Be gentle with it, the disc drives have enough issues without being thrown around.

Remove The Fan Shroud

The fan shroud has a single tab that attaches to the fans. Use your flathead screwdriver to release the tab as you pull up on the fan shroud. Once the tab is released, the fan shroud will slide right out revealing the fans.

Remove The Fans

Using one had carefully pull up on the metal casing that covers the fans. Don't pull too hard, you don't want to bend it out of place. While pulling up on the metal casing, push the fans toward the heat sinks. Once they clear the metal casing, you can stop pulling up on it. The fans should slide out at this point. If not, a little wiggling may be needed.

Don't pull the fans too far away though, there is a connector directly next to them that needs to be unplugged. Grab the white connector and pull straight up. If you pull at an angle you may bend or break the pins inside the connector.

Remove The Ring Of Light

Start by removing the white plastic cover. Simply grab the top or bottom and pull it away from the ring of light board.

With the cover removed you'll see 3 screws. Grab your T8 screwdriver and remove all 3 screws.

Now just pull the ring of light board away from the case and it should slide right out. Try not to wiggle it much, it does have a connector on the back side.

Remove The Motherboard

Refer to the picture at the right for information on the screws. Remember:

Green = case screws T10

Red = motherboard screws T10

Blue = heat sink screws T8

Remove the motherboard and heat sink screws.

Grab the CPU heat sink (the taller one) and carefully lift the motherboard out of the case.

And there you have it. That is how you disassemble a phat Xbox 360! Assembly is just these instructions in reverse order.


-Keep all your screws in a small dish so you don't lose any

-Try to work in an area where pets, children, etc won't step on your Xbox.

-If you're not good at soldering, be careful when working with the motherboard.

-Be patient, sometimes parts get a little stuck together and too much force can break things.


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