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How to Perform Xbox 360 Hard Drive Format?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

If you are an Xbox 360 fan, odds are your console's drive is packed with some next-gen titles to the extent that you are struggling to keep them all and not delete any. If this is the case, adding an external storage device to your Xbox 360 might be a smart move to gain more free space, install, and load games quicker.

However, Microsoft limits the types of hard drives that are compatible with Xbox 360. Good thing, we have outlined the requirements, an easy guide, and everything that you will need in order to perform an Xbox 360 hard drive format.

Xbox 360 console


What Are the File Formats Applicable in Xbox 360 Hard Drive?

If you are considering buying an external hard drive for extra storage on your Xbox 360, you should know the requirements and the file format compatible with your Xbox console beforehand. You may or may not know that most game consoles, including Xbox 360, Xbox One, etc., support the exFAT file system instead of NTFS. In contrast, the external storage devices are pre-formatted to NTFS, making them unfit for Xbox consoles. That is why you have to format your external hard drive from NTFS to exFAT to match the Xbox 360 hard drive's file format.

Besides file format, there are some other necessary requirements for an external drive to work on an Xbox 360 console.

Why Does People Format Their Xbox 360 HHD?

Since Xbox 360 offers a limited internal storage capacity of 512 MB, and Xbox games are getting bigger and bigger, it quickly fills up. Therefore, most users look towards formatting their Xbox 360 hard drive to increase their console storage space. On the other hand, the huge game sizes and account restrictions in the modern game consoles make it challenging to bring a game over to a friend's place. But now, gamers perform an Xbox 360 hard drive format to store and play their favorite games anywhere.

How to Perform Xbox 360 Hard Drive Format?

Do you want to format a hard drive to use it on your Xbox 360 but don't know how to? We have got you covered. You can quickly learn how to format anXbox 360 slim hard drive in a few steps with our comprehensive guide below.

Note: Formatting a hard drive for use on Xbox 360 will erase all the data previously stored on it. Thus, we recommend you back up any critical data on a cloud or any safe place before starting this process.

Step 1 Plug the hard drive into your computer

First, connect the hard drive to your laptop or computer using the Xbox 360 data transfer cable.

Step 2 Launch Disk Management utility

To format Xbox 360 hard drive, we will use a free Windows utility called Disk Management. Open the start menu, right-click on My PC,and then select Manage. This will open a new window. Under the Computer Management tab, select storage and further choose Disk Management. After a few minutes, the main interface of Disk Management will be launched, displaying a list of drives (internal or external) connected to your computer.

Launch Disk Management

Step 3 Format the hard drive

Navigate the list of drives to find your Xbox 360 hard drive. If you are using the disk for the first time, your drive will be unrecognized with unallocated space within the tool.

Right-click unallocated drive

Right-click the left square area of the "Unknown" disk listing and select Formatfrom the drop-down menu.

Click Format

A pop-up will display with formatting options. From the File System,drop-down menu, select exFATand click OK. Then select Continue on the next screen. This will format your Xbox 360 storage drive.

format partition settings

Step 4 Reconnect the hard drive to Xbox 360

Now it is time to set it up to your game console. Reconnect the hard drive to your Xbox 360.

Step 5 Configure hard drive

On your Xbox 360, go to My Box and move ahead to System Settings.

Go to system settings

Under the systemsettings click on Configure USB device and then press Configure Now. A warning window will pop-up. Click Accept.

configure hard drive to Xbox 360

Step 6 Accept performance warning

After the formatting process is complete, a performance warning window will display. Click OK to accept.

Step 7 Move to Storage Devices

To confirm that your hard drive is completely formatted, go to Storage Devices. On this screen, a new option Memory Unit will display, which means the formatting was successful.

Format process completed

Your external storage device is all ready to copy, move, and install games on.

Accidentally formatted the wrong hard drive and lost all important data? If your answer is YES, don't worry, you can recover your data in 3 simple steps.

Recover Data from Xbox 360 Hard Drive

For easy data recovery from a formatted hard disk, follow the steps below.

1. Launch WondershareRecoverit data recovery program

To help us recover the deleted data, we will use the best data recovery program called Wondershare Recoverit. Download Recoverit from its official website and launch the program.

Launch Recoverit

2. Select and scan the hard drive

From the main screen of Recoverit, select the formatted hard drive you wish to recover data from. Then, click Start.

Scan the hard drive

3. Recover data

After clicking start, the program will scan the hard drive for the deleted data. This may take a few minutes, depending on the amount of data on your drive. Once the scan is completed, preview your files and select the items you want to recover. Finally, press Recover.

Recover the data

Bonus: How to Format A Laptop Hard Drive for Xbox 360?

Althoughthe external hard drive is a wise choice for upgrading your game console, it can also cost a great amount of money. Maybe you recently invested in a new game console and are tight on a budget;an external hard drive may not be the ideal option.

Instead, you will be surprised to know that you can use a laptop hard drive on your Xbox 360. Reusing an old laptop hard drive is a great way to save money while also getting more space to store more games. This guide will show how to format a laptop hard drive for Xbox 360.

Before you start, it is worth mentioning that this process will only work for Western Digital Drives, for Example, Scorpio Blue Drive. Things you will need are

Step 1 Create a Bootable USB drive

Connect the empty flash drive to your computer. To create a bootable USB drive, we will use a tool called Bootable USB Drive Creator Tool. After downloading this tool, unzip the file and right-click on it to run as administrator. This will launch a new window with Bootable USB Drive Creator Tool settings.

After these settings, hit start.

Create a bootable USB drive

Step 2 Download Security Sector and Utility Program

Next, you have to download a security sector based on your laptop's hard drive size. Also, download Hdd.Hackr utility program. Extract both the files to the USB drive you just made bootable.

If you are using a 250GB drive, rename the HDDSS_250GB.BIN to HDDSS.BIN or HDDSS320.bin to HDDSS.BIN in case of a 320GB drive.

Download security sector and utility program

Power off your PC now.

Step 3 Connect your Western Digital Drive to your computer

Again, power on and connect the Western Drive you wish to use on your Xbox 360 by replacing your main boot drive or use a USB to SATA Adapter. Also, make sure that the SATA mode in your BIOS is set to ATA and not AHCL. Some motherboards call this "Legacy" or "Enhanced" mode.

Step 4 Boot from USB flash drive

Press F11, then select the drive you wish to boot from. On the next screen, type hddhackr on the Dos prompt and press enter.

Boot from USB flash drive

Hddhackr will list all the drives on your system. Select your drive from the list. After selecting, press F to flash.

Select your drive

Now type in the name of the security sector you want to flash. In our case, it is HDDSS.BIN. On the next screen, click Yes.

The next window will ask to create a partition;again, click Yes.

Click yes to create a partition

Your laptop hard drive is now formatted to be installed and used on an Xbox 360. Follow the steps below to install the drive to your console drive enclosure.

Step 5 Install the drive to Xbox 360

Open your Xbox drive enclosure using a Torx T6 screwdriver and remove the top. Then use a Torx T10 screwdriver to open the metal case screws below. Now, unplug the power and SATA cable from the drive and gently pull it up. Finally, insert your laptop hard drive into the enclosure.

Open Xbox 360 console drive enclosure

And you are done.


We hope we have covered everything, and you will be able to easily format your Xbox 360 hard drive after reading this article. Formatting your drive is the best way to gain more free space on your console so you can store extra games, photos, music, and even videos.

As you read above, if you have a spare PC drive, it can still have a purpose. Use the free Windows utility to format laptop hard drive for Xbox 360 and save your money buying an expensive Xbox 360 hard drive.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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