A modder has managed to convert and install an internal SSD into the Xbox Series X/S expansion card slot. This gives us hope that Microst’s consoles aren’t limited to using the proprietary expansion cards available on the market. When I say “available” I also mean restricted to only one manufacture almost a year after release.
A member of the Chinese website BiliBili managed to teardown a CFExpress card and covert it into a device that supports other standard PCIe 4.0 x2 SSDs. The contraption might look a bit bulky but the SSD works and the Xbox Series X/S detects the card and formats it for expanded storage use.
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The Xbox Series X/S makes use of a CFExpress card as expandable storage. The Seagate card that is available on the market is a customized version of this storage device. CFExpress cards are mainly used for cameras and high-speed, high bandwidth video equipment.
The user took the CFEexpress card and converted it into a functional adaptor for a 1 TB Western Digital SN530 m.2 2230. This Western Digital SSD is the same card that is used internally on the Xbox Series X/S. The adaptor then connected into the storage expansion slot on the Xbox and the console recognised it. In addition, it prompted a format option and showed 867GB after set-up.
The modder claims that he only tested this method using an extra version of the same SSD that comes inside the console. He can’t guarantee that other models and brands will work.
“If there are experts out there who can try other NVMe PCIe 4.0 solid state drives, especially the 2280 length, which can be expanded to 4T or more, then the value of this discovery will be great. I hope someone can give feedback if they test it. S
o the hard drive needs to support PCIe 4.0. It’s not clear whether there is a limit to the size of the hard drive capacity, and it’s also not clear whether PCIe 4.0 x4 can be used. If it can, [theoretically] PM9A1 and a large number of hard drives can be used. I’m looking forward the experts’ tests.”
So far in the past, users have tried to insert other CFEexpress SSD cards into the Xbox Series X/S and it never worked. While this method sounds a bit over-the-top on paper, it actually opens up new doors to expand your Xbox Series X/S storage without being locked into the proprietary solution on the market. In addition, it means that users might get away with installing up to 4TB of extra storage on their console instead of being limited to the 1TB Seagate card.
It goes without saying that you should not attempt to mod an SSD just yet. This is still a very early approach to the method and once users are able to confirm it works without issues, then perhaps we can start looking at it.