Repairing the XBox One S

Living room sofa; Partly cloudy, 43.2 F, 0607

I am not a huge fan of video games. I would rather get my kicks in real life, but then I am told that I am an odd person. Regardless of all that, my son has an XBox One S that he likes to play on. In this time of COVID-19, I suppose it is better to play video games than do other less productive things.

About a month ago or so, I complained to me that it was locked up and would not reboot. The dreaded System Error: E105.

Xbox One S System Error: E105
Malfunctioning Xbox One S

XBox (Microsoft) has a somewhat helpful troubleshooting guide on line; restart the machine, reset the machine, factory reset the machine, do an offline update, send the unit back. We got through to “do an offline update,” which fixed the problem.

Last week, it happened again. This time, the offline update failed, which left the last option of “send it back.” Microsoft wants $179.00 to fix these things, more if the hard drive needs to be replaced. That got me thinking, what if it is just the hard drive has failed. I can replace a hard drive no problem. Of course, there is a Youtube video on how to do just that. However, sometimes it is easier to read instructions off of a screen than watch a video. Thus, here are step by step instruction on how to replace the hard drive.

You will need the following items:

  • Basic prying tools to get the case apart
  • #10 Torx (AKA T-10) head screwdriver
  • A downloaded copy of the XBox operating system OSU1
  • A USB thumb drive of at least 6GB formated the NTFS
  • A replacement hard drive (I recommend a 1TB SSD like Crucial MX 500 (CT1000MX500SSD1)) (purchased from Amazon for $114.99)

The first thing you want to do is get the bottom off of the XBox One case. This is likely the most difficult part of the repair. Start at the corners of the unit. It is a little bit difficult to get the first catch to unhook. Once you get it started, work your way around until the bottom cover comes off.

Taking apart Xbox One S to replace HDD
Removing screws that hold the cover on

Once the bottom is off, you will see several screws. In my XBox unit, the long screws that hold the top on are green. Use the #10 Torx driver to remove these screws. There are six of them.

Next, carefully remove the Xbox top cover. Keep in mind, the back cover plate is separate from the top cover and stays with the inside parts of the XBox.

Once the top cover is off, you will see the fan and the hard drive. The hard drive is in a caddy which is attached to the bottom of the unit with three short screws. You should be able to figure out which three they are and remove them with a #10 Torx driver.

Installing new Crucial MX500 1TB drive in Xbox One S
Installing new SSD

The drive caddy will lift up. On the bottom there are four more short #10 Torx screws holding the drive in the caddy. Remove those, remove the power/data connector.

Re-assemble the XBox One in reverse order.

Failed 1TB HDD from Xbox One S
Failed 1TB HDD from Xbox One S

Download the Offline System Update File from Unzip OSU1 and copy the $SystemUpdate file to the thumb drive.

Start XBox One console. Plug XBox One into available USB port, navigate to the offline system update button and start reloading operating system. When completed, you will need to sign in and download your games.

My son noted that with the new SSD, the Xbox was working much faster than before.

I figured that I saved at least the $179.00 repair fee, the shipping costs, plus any markup Microsoft would have charged for the new hard drive. The entire repair took about an hour and a half.