Xbox Series X/S can use standard SSDs for external expansion, says modder

A member of the Chinese website BiliBili wrote a detailed post about how he managed to buy another external SSD and run it on the console as if it were the Seagate card.

The user says he discovered while watching a video of dismantling the console that it used two PCIe 4.0 x2 slots, one for internal NVMe SSD storage and one for Seagate expansion card.

The user points out that the expansion card was a CFExpress card, which also uses the NVMe protocol. He believes that as long as they can find the right PCIe 4.0 SSD, they could convert it to fit the expansion card port using an adapter.

The SSD used was a 1TB Western Digital SN530 m.2 2230, because, according to the user, this is the same internal SSD that is used in the Xbox Series X.

By connecting this SSD to a CFe to NVMe adapter, the user was able to connect the SSD to an Xbox Series S via the expansion card.

The console recognized it and listed it on storage as a “Storage Expansion Card”, giving the user 867GB of extra storage.

The user points out that they’ve only tested this with the same SSD used as the Xbox Series X/S’s internal storage and it’s not guaranteed that another SSD will also work.

If there are experts out there who can try out other NVMe PCIe 4.0 solid state drives, especially the 2280 length ones, which can be expanded to 4T or more, then the value of this discovery will be great.

User adds:

Someone tried to insert the camera card (CFexpress Type B, PCIe 3.0 x2, 2000 MB/s) into the Xbox and received an incompatibility warning.

Therefore, the hard drive needs to be PCIe 4.0 compliant. It is unclear whether there is a limit to the size of hard drive capacity and it is also unclear whether PCIe 4.0 x4 can be used. If you can, [teoricamente] the PM9A1 and a large number of hard drives can be used. I’m looking forward to the expert tests.

Would you risk taking the test on your console?