Rescue That Dead Xbox With An External PSU

There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling as a computer or other device fails just after its warranty has expired. [Robotanv] had it with his Xbox Series S whose power supply failed, and was faced with either an online sourced PSU of uncertain provenance, or a hefty bill from Microsoft for a repair. He chose to do neither, opening up his console and replacing the broken PSU with a generic external model. See the video below the break.

The Xbox appears surprisingly well designed as a modular unit, so accessing and unplugging its PSU was quite easy. To his surprise he found that the connections were simply two wires, positive and negative lines for 12 V. The solution was to find a suitably beefy 12 V supply and wire it up, before continuing gaming.

Beyond that simple description lies a bit more. The original was a 160 W unit so he’s taken a gamble with a 120 W external brick. He’s monitoring its temperature carefully to make sure, but with his gaming it has not been a problem. Then there’s the board wiring, which he appears to have soldered to pads on the PCB. We might have tried to find something that fit the original spade connectors instead, but yet again it hasn’t caused him any problems. We’d be curious to see what has failed in the original PSU. Meanwhile we’re glad to see this Xbox ride again, it’s more than can be said for one belonging to a Hackaday colleague.

13 thoughts on “Rescue That Dead Xbox With An External PSU

  1. In college I got broken ps2 that wouldn’t power on so I rigged it to my 3d printer’s 12V supply to test if it was the internal supply or the mobo. It booted up and played just fine, the supply was toast though.

  2. You can use an Xbox360/XboxOne power supply, or a Dell DA2 power supply. Keep an eye on yard sales and sevond hand storea for those Xbox power bricks.

    I have a box full and they are sometimes useful. Planning to use one to power a Thunderbolt 3 external GPU made from an SSD enclosure and a cheap “mining” M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter.

    Not to mention nearly any old ATX PSU should be capable of 200w.

    Although I imagine the replacement PSU will be quite cheap in a couple years.

  3. I do this all the time for PS4s and Xbox Ones, sometimes PS3s too. I just use generic ATX power supplies as they’re good enough (“rated” for around 32A on the 12v rail, while a PS4 fat would use 240w ≈ 20A at most), and it’s a cheaper repair than a new power supply (fixing the power supply is usually out of the question for Xbox Ones as they are 110v models that were connected to 220v, or died due to the 220-110 transformer outputting a higher voltage pulse.)

    There are no new PS4/PS3/Xbox 360/One power supplies available in Argentina, so there’s few other options. Generic Xbox power supplies are horrible and I had a couple of them turn off my monitor while being a few meters away. the weight of them gives them away.

  4. I wonder what it’s voltage tolerance is… if it will take 13.8V, there are _lots_ in the form of amateur radio power supplies. The station here when at home runs off a Powertech MP3098 bought some years ago — 13.8V 20A constant / 22A peak (so > 200W).

    1. Would not recommend, seems to be transformer based, not sure if its adjustable to 12v. (I suppose the capacitors and buck converters on the Xbox motherboard are 16v rated, but I wouldn’t push it, the fan might run off 12v rail)

      As commenter said, use PC power supply, easily 30A, already designed for 12v, readily available and inexpensive.

  5. The Xbox Series S is less than 2 years old, a better question to be asking is why the power supply failed in the first place. There’s no reason for a sub 2 year old component to fail. If it’s something environmental, your replacement will fail too.

    Warranty is 1 year even, plus that can be extended if you bought it on some credit cards. Better to go through a warranty process than an external hack.

  6. In case you want to diagnose failure in the PSU:

    Also I am thinking you could manufacture a dummy PSU that presents a DC input jack instead of AC jack and merely passes that to the motherboard, then when ready to replace the PSU you will not have modified the console at all.

    Could easily mod the PSU, after all it is broken, nothing to lose.

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