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Installing a second hard drive

OK, so now we have a working Linux box, it's time to dump the DVD drive and stick something more useful in there - a big hard drive that is going to store all of our shared files.

Whip out the DVD drive (and the yellow cable that attaches it to the motherboard) and put it in a safe place so that when you break your kernel later, you still have something to boot with. If you need help with the DVD drive removal, see this part of the Xbox-Scene tutorial.

NOTE!Warning: We will be formatting the big hard drive with a Linux file system (ext3) so it should be fairly obvious that anything you have on the disk will be lost!

There is only one molex connector coming from the power supply, so you will need to buy or make a 'Y' splitter cable to enable you to run two devices from the one molex.

Unfortunately, the DVD drive is 5.25" and a 3.5 " hard drive won't fit in there nicely, so you need some way of stopping it rattling around inside the Xbox. I ended up drilling a couple of holes in the side of the black plastic DVD drive frame and screwing the hard drive in - not great, but it will do. As you can see from Figure 10, it took me a couple of attempts to get the position of the holes correct.

DVD drive frame modified with holes

Figure 10: DVD drive frame modified with holes
(click image to enlarge)

Now you can mount the drive to the modified frame (Figure 11), making sure your hard drive is set as slave.

3.5" drive mounted to DVD drive frame

Figure 11: 3.5" drive mounted to DVD drive frame
(click image to enlarge)

Finally, pop the drive in its frame into the Xbox, attach the IDE ribbon cable and molex power connector and you should be good to go. Hopefully, your Xbox should now look something like Figure 12.

The new drives in place and ready to go

Figure 12: The new drives in place and ready to go
(click image to enlarge)

That wraps it up for Part 1. Next time, we'll get the second hard drive prepared for use and install all the software bits that will complete the Xbox's transformation into a feature-rich NAS.

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