How to upgrade the Xbox One hard drive

My Xbox One came with a 500GB hard drive. It’s not that fast, so I used a USB3 SSD for games instead. Recently though, I’ve started to notice how loud the hard drive is (it’s the loudest thing in my entertainment system), so I decided I wanted to replace it with an SSD.

I tried following some instructions and running a script from a github repo, but that method didn’t work for me. I was looking around the web and the only place I found another method mentioned was a youtube comment on a tutorial video that used the method from github. 100% of the credit for this method goes to Skyliinez92 on youtube. I just felt that a more easily linkable, more permanent place for this information would be nice.

I would recommend having a disk larger than the one currently in your xbox for the upgrade. It’s possible to go down in size, but doing that safely is more difficult.

I’m not gonna explain how to open your xbox one, there are plenty of guides out there. The best one is probably on ifixit here.

When you have the hard drive out, you can proceed.
There are 2 tools to use, both are free. Clonezilla and GParted.

First up is Clonezilla. Download the live cd and burn it (or use unetbootin and put the image on a thumbdrive). Boot to the live CD with your original xbox one hard disk and the new hard disk attached. I recommend disconnecting all other hard drives to avoid any risk of data loss.

Start clonezilla. Choose device-to-device.

2016-11-08 12.01.02.jpg

expert mode:

2016-11-08 12.01.11.jpg

disk to local disk:

2016-11-08 12.01.16.jpg

choose the correct source disk, then the correct target disk. Make sure you get this right, since you really don’t want to erase your xbox one drive at this point.

skip fs checking:2016-11-08 12.10.09.jpg

use the partition table from the source disk:

2016-11-08 12.10.13.jpg

At this point you should get a lot of confirmations making sure you’re not overwriting stuff you care about. Then you should get a progress dialog. My 500GB drive took with a little data on it took less than 2 hours. It shouldn’t take very long.

If you’re just replacing your drive with one of the same size, your drive is done, scroll down to the “Testing your drive” section.

If you replaced your drive with a larger one, you now need to boot into gparted. I would disconnect your xbox one hard drive now, just to leave it alone. Put it in a safe place and don’t lose it. There’s always a small chance an update could break the xbox with an upgraded drive, so hanging on to your original is the best way to not end up with a brick.


Boot into the gparted live cd. go through all the keymap stuff, you probably want all the default options. once the UI is loaded, launch gparted. In the upper right, select the new xbox one hard drive. There should be 5 partitions, it should look a lot like this (though note I modified this one to be smaller than the original 500GB disk):2016-11-08 12.13.56.jpg

you need to move the 3 System partitions to the end of the disk, 1 at a time. Click the last partition, resize / move to the end of the free space, then do the same with the middle system partition, then the first one. You might get a warning like this, that’s ok:2016-11-08 12.14.11.jpg

at this point your disk should look similar to this:

2016-11-08 12.14.35.jpg

Now resize / move the User Content partition, and resize it to fill all the available space. Now you can click apply, and these operations will be performed. It might take another hour or two, once that’s done, shut down gparted and put the drive back into your xbox.

Testing your drive

Now that your drive is prepared, I’d recommend testing it in your xbox before putting everything back together. I put the drive back in and connected it, but didn’t screw it back together. I hooked up the wireless card and the antenna (though the latter isn’t absolutely necessary). The top case with the power button is difficult to put back on, I wouldn’t for testing. Since the power button is capacitive, you can just touch the right spot on the connector and the xbox will power on. Check out a video of this here.

Give it a few minutes to boot, hopefully you’re all set. Good luck!

    • onterrio eason
    • November 18th, 2016

    received failed to create a partition table on this disk using clonezilla what should i do? its a 500gb hard drive im cloning to another 500gb hard drive

    • not sure, I didn’t have that error. Is the new disk writable? Does it work in another OS?

        • onterrio eason
        • November 19th, 2016

        It is a standard laptop hard drive that I formatted for Xbox one

    • I would try formatting the drive to NTFS, FAT, or Mac OS Extended (HFS+), then try clonezilla again.

    • Yusuf Keskin
    • December 4th, 2016

    I’ll ask you something else. If I use smaller one, lik e Sandisk 480 GB ssd, will i do like same 500 GB hdd’s or bigger ones? I mean sould i jump to the testing drive section or use gparted ?

    • You can use a smaller drive I think (I didn’t test it). It’s a bit more complicated and risky of a process, so I didn’t cover it here.

    • Yusuf Keskin
    • December 4th, 2016

    Thank you for your reply. If i try, i will write here to inform you about what’s happenning.

    • jay
    • March 22nd, 2017

    I attempted this method and am receiving an error in clonezilla that the source disk is scheduled for a check. any suggestions?

    • was the xbox the disk was taken from shut down properly? If not, try that first.

      also, make sure you selected the option to skip fs checking. You could try checking the fs, but you risk making it unusable in the xbox one (at least, without fixing it with another working drive)

  1. I assume I can also use Windows-based cloning tools to make a sector-by-sector copy of the Xbox One HDD and expect it to work?

    • no idea. I wouldn’t risk windows mounting (and potentially corrupting) the xbox drive without having a backup first.

  2. Hi adcurtin –

    Your blog finally gave me the courage I needed to make my Xbox upgrade a reality. Thank you for consolidating all the good facts in one easy to read and follow place. Here are some lessons learned and some things I did not see in your guide that may be helpful.

    1. There is an advanced extra parameters screen before your “skip fs checking” screenshot that offers to do things like install grub on the primary partition, I just unchecked everything. I think there were four things checked by default. Afterwards, I continued (maybe this is only in a newer version of Clonezilla?) and reached your “skip fs checking”

    2. There is an annoying dialog box popup that notices all the free space on your new storage drive. It offers you buttons to Fix or Ignore. Just ignore the dialog box. It will reappear even if you initially close it. If you press the Ignore button while Clonezilla is moving the partitions, you’ll get errors and have to restart the moving process.

    3. When I opened Gparted, I got an annoying yellow caution alert with (and only with) my first partition sda1. (sda2 through 5 were fine). After I moved my partitions, it went away. My xbox booted beautifully too upon completion of the project.

    4. Make sure you stick with the correct screwdrivers when reassembling your Xbox. If the screw will not go all the way in, it is most likely because you’re using the wrong screwdriver. It took me about 7 hours to do this whole project. I used three screwdrivers, including a standard phillips head to open my laptop to clone the hard drives. Towards the end of the project I was tired and I could not get the hard drive screws to go all the way in. It was because I was using my standard Phillips head screwdriver and not the T9 or T10 torx screwdrivers used to unscrew the Xbox.

    I hope my lessons explained here might help someone. I now have 1.7TB of space on my Xbox with a Firecuda 2TB (model number ST2000DX002).

    Thanks again for this guide

  3. I meant to say I installed a ST2000LX001. I entered the wrong model number in my original post. Please do not buy the ST2000DX002 – it is 3.5 inches and not usable in the Xbox One.

    • Chelsea
    • August 20th, 2017

    Skylink no longer has that video up so thank you for posting this. A couple of really dumb questions. 1) I’ve never used Linux before and most of the other sites have it mandatory. With the Clonezilla, it mentions just making it a bootable USB. Doesn’t it require an OS or is it a handy-dandy all in one deal?

    Do you have to use a PC? I can boot into an ext. drive/usb easily enough on my Mac, but again, other sites are requiring a PC.

    Thanks again, for the post. I’m going to swap for the Seagate 500GB Firecuda ST500LX025 for my loud/overheating 500GB HHD.

      • Chelsea
      • August 20th, 2017

      NVM. I’m an idiot. I can read.

    • Chaven
    • February 12th, 2018

    I have been doing a lot of reading to understand the intricacies of replacing the hard drive in the XBox one. Its clear that MS has put in tamper controls into their consoles. It is not difficult considering that each harddrive has unique GUIDs including the various partitions. So each time you power on the console or connect to Xbox live there is a verification process against the original harddrive and content. After cloning and replacement have you connected to your account and did any updates?

    • >So each time you power on the console or connect to Xbox live there is a verification process against the original harddrive and content.

      I would say that’s speculation. microsoft seems to care much less about hard drive security in the xbox one than in the xbox 360. this process is much easier and doesn’t require any xbox specific tools.

      All that said, I performed this mod before I posted this how-to, and have used my xbox often since then, always up to date (actually in the preview program, so ahead of most people). Not a single problem.

      As mentioned in the article, keep your old disk around and unmodified just in case there are any problems, but I think that’s pretty unlikely.

    • FST
    • March 2nd, 2019

    For me, it was not working until I selected in the first boot menu to Load Clonezilla Live into RAM… I was getting “Unknown partition table format” errors, maybe because it was loading onto the disk I was trying to use as my source. Also formatted the destination blank drive with NTFS first.

      • FST
      • March 2nd, 2019

      Also, in GParted, I had expanded the window to fill the screen. It looked like it was stuck “Moving partition to the right” saying it was calibrating the device/drive… but actually an error message had popped up behind the window that was waiting for Fix or Ignore…

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