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The slim edition of the classic Xbox 360 with a 250GB HDD and built-in Wi-Fi. Repair requires intricate prying and special tools.

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Replace optical drive AND retain original motherboard (from optical)?

I've recently acquired a free Xbox 360 S from a yard sale, yay! Powers on and everything just fine.

However, apparently the previous owner had a baby, and the baby knocked it off the shelf while the DVD drive was open. As a result, this thing's missing the DVD tray!

I think the previous owner managed to completely (and cleanly) remove the DVD tray without any left over mechanical stuff hanging out. He also never opened the Xbox, so that's maybe a plus. However, I think if I were just to order a DVD tray alone online, I would still be missing out on the mechanical bits that push and pull the tray.

I was thinking that maybe I should replace the whole optical drive. I do know that the optical drive is "married" to the mainboard, but I do intend to resell this Xbox and keep it legitimate for play on Xbox Live and read discs.

I was thinking: can I just order an identical model optical drive, and is it possible to swap out the motherboards inside the optical drives so I'm still using the original board? Or are there some complications involving parts soldered into the mechanical stuff? Has something like this been done before?

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Update (08/4/2016)

Just an update to all the readers of the thread: I'm currently waiting for a special metal spudger to come in the mail so I can properly open the Xbox 360 S without breaking it, and then a replacement optical drive once I get the model number.

I'm sure the Xbox 360 S was subject to several internal hardware revisions while it was still being actively sold, so I currently have no other option than to be patient.

I appreciate all the input below. I'll update once I get the replacement drive and let you all know if it works or not.

Update (08/11/2016)

Another update! I know I'm slow, but I suppose this all might help someone in a similar situation.

I've managed to get my spudger in the mail and got the Xbox all opened up. Turns out it uses a Philips/Lite-On DG-16D4S optical drive. I've partially disassembled the drive and found the motherboard. It seems to be the only board, so I figure that's where the optical drive's "identity" is stored.

Looks like a soldering iron is needed for this task, as there are some wire leads between the board and motor. Figures.

I'll report back once I get the replacement drive in the mail!

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Update (09/08/2016)

Hi! Whoever happens upon this thread. I'm a terrible updater, but my parts have finally arrived and I've performed the motherboard swap between the original drive and the replacement drive.

It works! Problem solved. I can now properly play games and connect to Xbox Live like normal.

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@internets since the previous owner removed the tray but not the drive, all you would have to do is to replace the drive. Remove the PCB board from the old dvd drive and install it on the new one. Make sure that you get the same model drive. that would ensure the the optical drive still gets read as the original drive and there will be no issues with XBox live etc.

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Replace the mechanical parts of the drive only, retain the original board and swap it to the new drive.

Most times it will work. Depending on models, the wires could be all flex cables that are connected to the connectors, or some drives will have a few wires that require soldering.

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Or get a tray and rebuild the drive that is already in there you may get lucky and the laser and ribbons are all fine maybe worth opening up first if you go down this route.

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Internets sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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