Follow this guide to replace a broken upper case, or just to remove your existing case for modding or painting.
Step 1 Upper Case
To open your Xbox, you're going to have to cut or peel up this tamper-evident tape. This will probably void your warranty. Have fun!
Use a plastic opening tool to pry up and remove the plastic vent that surrounds the side USB port.
The vent is fairly flexible, and held in place with weak plastic clips—start prying from the back and peel it out.
There is a small plastic tab that reinforces the front corner of the Xbox.
Slide the tab straight back and remove it.
Insert the flat end of a spudger between the upper and lower case where they meet at the rear of the side vent opening.
There is a strong plastic clip connecting the two case halves (the first of many), so you'll need to use quite a bit of force.
Leave the spudger in place until you open the case completely. The clips are very springy and may cause the case to snap shut while you're working.
The interface between the upper and lower cases is secured by several clips along the rear and remaining side of the Xbox.
Insert a plastic opening tool between the upper and lower case to separate the clip over the rear vent.
Keep moving along the rear of the Xbox, prying up clips.
Make sure the spudger stays in its blocking position—even if the case opens up enough for the spudger to fall out, the remaining clips are springy and may pull the case completely shut. Keep the spudger in the gap to protect your progress.
Keep popping clips. It may help to slide the plastic opening tool across the clips.
By the time you get to the far edge of the rear case, the top case should be ready to come off. If not, run your plastic opening tool around the corner and pop the clips along the side without the USB port.
Starting with the spudger you left in the crack, pry the upper case up to free the last few clips.
Use a plastic opening tool to pop any straggler clips that weren't freed.
Do not try to remove the upper case yet, as it is still connected by the front panel button cable.
Lift the upper case slightly and shift it to give access to the front panel board.
The front button cable has a unique ZIF connector—pay attention to the next few steps to safely disconnect it.
Use tweezers to lift the plastic retaining loop over the connector on the board.
Use the tip of a spudger to push the connector's locking tab toward the cable to unlatch it.
Use tweezers to pull the cable straight out of the connector on the board.
Remove the upper case.
Step 11 Reassembly Instructions
The next 4 steps are directions for reassembly. Skip them to continue with disassembly.
Use the flat end of a spudger to free the clips securing the front panel to the upper case.
Remove the front panel from the rest of the upper case.
Replace the top part of the upper case.
Line up the clips and press firmly to re-seat them around the perimeter.
Support the front panel near the front of the Xbox.
Use tweezers to replace the front button cable in its ZIF socket.
Use the flat end of a spudger to push the ZIF lock to the left to secure the cable.
The lower edge of the front panel has plastic hooks that interlock with plastic hooks on the front edge of the lower case.
With the front panel at a 45 degree angle, interlock its plastic hooks with those in the lower case.
Push the top of the front panel into the Xbox, like closing a mailbox. Press firmly so that the clips securing the front panel to the upper case lock securely.
Andrew Optimus Goldberg
Member since: 10/17/2009
723 Guides authored