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Xbox Debug Kit: Dead HDD?


Active member
Original poster
Jun 4, 2019
I acquired an original Xbox debug kit through an auction and when I received it, it would not boot past the startup animation. I swapped in a different HDD and ran the recovery tool and it's now working fine, but I'm still curious what is on the original HDD it came with.

The drive does not spin up or make any noises when in the Xbox. Connecting it to a PC does not yield any different results. I tried swapping the controller board from a different hard drive (one with a very similar model number - but not identical) and that resulted in the drive spinning up but clicking (same sound as the "click of death").

Any suggestions? Should I continue trying to track down a donor hard drive with an *identical* model number? Would that even matter?


Jun 8, 2019
Certainly it'd be nice to see what's on the drive as it sits., Only way to get there is get to the dashboard and pull it off using the xbox network neighbor app. Should work as long the PC and Xbox are on the same segement of the network. Maybe refresher disc / clearing cache will get it to the XDK Dash. Or at least pop in a orginal game and see what occurs? Slayer's or EvoX Cd w/ FTP? I'm not sure how a donor hard drive unit will help, the data your wanting is inside the devkit folder of the orginal drive. Just pop it back in and see what happens after booting off a disc w/ FTP running in the background. Wouldn't expect a PC to read it nor anything. But maybe you can make a backup of it with xboxhdm to another disc.


Nov 25, 2019
Don't think it's possible to get that drive to be read by the XBox frankly. One thing I have seen work for dead drives is putting it in a Ziplock air-tight bag, then in the freezer, and try to get it into the system before it warms up too much.

Another thing you could do is just take it to a data recovery service, have them clone it onto another drive, if you believe it may have something good on it. There's a mom-and-pop HDD recovery service that does all work in-house around me that will only charge if they can get what you want off the drive, see if you can find something like that around you. If not, feel free to ship it to me and I can have them take a crack at it, they did a full recovery on a 8TB RAID 0 system with 2x drives (one of which was dead and the other dying) and got back all the info on it.