Microsoft XBOX HDD Activity LED

Quite a lot XBOX modchips have external adaptors, recently they include LED’s – one is usually an HDD LED, very useful if you install your games to the Hard Disk. Not everyone has a either a suitable chip with the LED, want to use the external switch bank, or maybe you’ve soft-modded your console, this guide will make the XBOX eject LED flash red when their is Hard Disk activity. I found this info on (which has since vanished).

Once you’ve taken your XBOX apart (using Torx 20 and Torx 10 screwdrivers), you’ll need to completely remove the motherboard from the case as you need to work with the underside of it, position the motherboard so that the Network and A/V sockets are furthest away from you. The following photo shows the locations of where you’ll be working, the white insulation tape to the left and right are covering the points where you’ll be working with a third piece in the middle securing the wire.

XBOX LED Finished

The only components you’ll need for this is a 10K resistor and some wire (much easier with Kynar wire because of the small point you need to solder onto it), prepare the resistor by bending and tin the both ends ready for soldering, strip the wire, tin it and solder it as shown.

XBOX LED Resistor

XBOX LED Resistor

Next you need to locate the IDE interface on the underside of the motherboard, it should be obvious where it is, we need to solder the bent end of the resistor to pin 39. Pin 39 is near the rear of the motherboard (to the right of the first photo on this page), stick some insulation tape down as shown, insulating and protecting the board and other pins. If necessary add some extra solder to pin 39 then solder the resistor into place.

XBOX LED Insulating

XBOX LED Resistor In Place

Once that’s complete, cover it in insulation tape to prevent it shorting out with the metal shielding of the case. Now you need to locate a tiny resistor near the connector the front switch panel, it is labelled R3V2, it is on the left of the photo at the top of this page. Using the photo’s below, identify the left hand side of resistor R3V2 and if needed add a bit more solder to it as you’ll be soldering the other end of the wire to it (make sure you have routed the wire so that it doesn’t interfere with any of the mounting holes).

XBOX LED Resistor r3v2

XBOX LED Resistor r3v2 Done

That’s it, make sure all the points you’ve soldered are insulated and tape the wire down, re-assemble your console.

Summary of Components Needed

1 x 10K resistor
Single length of fine wire (preferably Kynar)