**NOTICE: This guide is intended to help technicians and other tech-savvy people to successfully install a replacement logic board set for the Xbox Series X (XSX) or Xbox Series S (XSS) Video Game Console–purchased from GamersRepair™. It is NOT intended for people who do not understand the concepts of handling electronics OR do not have the necessary tools to perform this procedure.
In this process you will need to migrate the original SSD from the old logic board set into the replacement logic board set. The Original SSD contains a specific Primary Partition which is formatted to a proprietary “Xbox File System” (XBFS) and is exactly 1024 MB in size. The file system is not recognizable on any Windows or Linux machine.
This partition contains specific ‘KEYS’ which tie the SSD to the logic board set. When the XSX/XSS console powers on, it checks for these keys. If they are not present OR if they do not match, it will instantly power back off.
Summary of Installation
- Remove SSD from the Original/Old Main logic board.
- Restore/Copy image from installation USB onto the SSD using Macrium Reflect.
- Install SSD into replacement Main Logic Board.
- Assemble XSX/XSS with replacement board set just enough to power on and install System Software via Offline Update using installation USB.
- Basic hand tools to disassemble the XSX/XSS (T8 Torx driver, etc..)
- A computer with an extra M.2 slot OR USB 3.x Type-C port OR PCI-E to USB 3.x Expansion Card
- An external M.2 to USB 3.x Type-C Enclosure (If no M.2 slot on computer)
- Partitioning Program Macrium Reflect – FREE Edition
- Installation USB Drive (Sold with Logic Board Set)
Logic Board Set Installation
This guide assumes you have already disassembled your XSX/XSS console and are ready to install the replacements.
Step 1: SSD Preparation
Before you can install the replacement Logic board set into your XSX/XSS, you must first transfer the XBFS Partition which houses the “key” that “marries” the SSD to the Main Logic Board. To do this, you’ll need a computer and a way to communicate to the M.2 SSD (see Tools Needed section).
First plug the Installation USB into your computer. On the USB you will see a folder named ‘KEY.’ This contains an image of the XBFS Partition which key matches the Replacement Logic Board Set. In order to transfer or clone it onto the SSD, you’ll need to download and install Macrium Reflect – Free Version which is a partitioning/backup software (see Tools Needed section). Once you have Macrium installed, connect the SSD to your computer and open Macrium Reflect.
Once Macrium has opened, select the ‘Existing Backups’ towards the top (make sure you have the Installation USB plugged into your computer).
You will see the image file (.mrimg file extension) on the USB drive. Select to highlight it, and then click the “Restore” button.
Next a small window will pop up with the details of the partition table(s). The ‘Source’ is the image on the USB drive, and the ‘Destination’ should be your XSX/XSS SSD. Click the “Copy Partitions” button inside the “Destination” section.
The two partitions will be highlighted with a green outline. Click ‘Next’ to go to the summary screen, and then click ‘Finish’ to start the restore.
Step 2: Physical Installation
Once you have the matching key partition transferred to your SSD, you can begin installing the logic board set. Install your SSD into the Replacement Main Logic Board, and proceed with re-assembling your XSX/XSS. Once you have your console re-assembled, you will need to re-initialize the system with the replacement parts. To do this, proceed with the next step.
Step 3: System Initialization
Once you have your XSX/XSS reassembled, you are now ready to power it on. Plug the HDMI and power cables into the back of the console, and also plug in the Installation USB to one of the USB ports. When you first power your console on, it should boot to the System Error/Recovery screen and look similar to this:
Connect your controller and select “Troubleshoot.” Next you’ll see the Troubleshooting screen with four options.
If the Installation USB drive is plugged into the console, the “Offline System Update” option should be selectable. Select it to start initializing the system.
Once the console has finished, it should boot normally again.
POST Installation Notes
IMPORTANT notes you should be aware of AFTER successful installation.
Once the SSD is initialized with the system, the key inside the XBFS Partition is reassigned. Therefore, it becomes the “official” SSD of the console. You can no longer use the partition clone/image (on the USB drive) as it is not invalid. Ex. You clone/image the initial partition to two different SSDs. The first one installs and updates/initializes with the system. After installing the second SSD, the system does not recognize it and will not power on due to the first SSD becoming the “officially assigned SSD.”
IT is highly recommended you make a backup image (using Macrium Reflect) of the NEW XBFS Partition so you have it in case of future problems. There are internet rumors of SSDs failing which completely is unrecoverable since you must access the SSD to recover the XBFS partition.
IF you use a different SSD, you must clone/image the Freshly-installed XBFS Partition onto it prior to physical installation. Also remember, once you successfully initialize a different SSD, the KEY has now changed and it becomes the “official” SSD of the system. ALL PRIOR PARTITION IMAGES/CLONES BECOME INVALID.