Introduction: Update Your Xbox 360's Firmware and Backwards Compatibility, Without Xbox Live

Picture of Update Your Xbox 360's Firmware and Backwards Compatibility, Without Xbox Live

Use a CD or USB thumb drive to be able to play more Xbox games on your Xbox 360




I'm a huge Splinter Cell fan, so I want to buy or rent Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory some day, as it's the only one I haven't played, aside from Pandora Tomorrow (which is crappy because it's made by Ubisoft Shanghai, not Ubisoft Montreal like Chaos Theory and the original Splinter Cell, which are the only good ones). I don't know if my Xbox 360 already supports backward compatibility (in the Xbox 360's case, the ability to play original Xbox games) for it, so I decided to update it. I don't have Xbox Live (which you would usually use), so I decided to update it by downloading the update from and putting it on a CD, and then putting that CD in my Xbox 360. I followed the instructions, so I didn't know why I got an "unreadable disc" error. After a lot of searching Google for a solution, I found one. Here is the page where I found out how to make it work.

NOTE: I only tried this using a thumb drive. If you have a writable CD and a thumb drive, use the thumb drive, because it's much easier.

Stuff you'll need:
+ Xbox 360
+ Computer
+ USB thumb drive (recommended) OR writable CD and CD writer
+ Zip file extractor, I use [ 7-Zip]

Step 1: Download the Update

First of all, you'll need the update file. Download it from here:

DO NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THAT PAGE! They do not work. If they did, I probably wouldn't have bothered to write this instructable. Just download the file, that's all you need to do there.

NOTE: Microsoft stopped updating their backwards compatibility for original Xbox games years ago. If your firmware is very old you can try updating it, but if it doesn't work after that, it never will. Also, if you have any way to connect your Xbox 360 to the internet like normal, DO THAT. You will automatically get the latest firmware.

Step 2: Organize Files, and Put on CD or Thumb Drive

Picture of Organize Files, and Put on CD or Thumb Drive

Now use your Zip file extractor to extract the contents of the Zip archive somewhere. Once you do that, make sure the file and folder have the proper names. On the CD or thumb drive you are using, the file MUST be named su20076000_00000000, with no extension, and it MUST be in a folder named $SystemUpdate. If they are not in the proper hierarchy, the Xbox will not recognize it and it won't work. These also must be the ONLY files on the CD or thumb drive. It doesn't matter what the name/label of the CD or thumb drive is though.

Step 3: Install on Xbox 360

Picture of Install on Xbox 360

Once you have burned your CD or copied the files to your thumb drive, make sure your Xbox 360 is turned off, then put the CD in the Xbox 360's disc tray, or put the thumb drive into a USB port on the console, then turn the 360 on. Select Yes, update now, and wait until the update is finished being installed. Your Xbox 360 will now restart, and the update will be installed.


kartikeyv (author)2015-12-14

xbox 360 model 2007 in download update failed. so i need firmware 2007.

ChrisH22 (author)2015-03-11

How do i burn the CD has????

bewarehead (author)2014-09-03

hey dudes i have problem with my xbox 360 arcade after i update it say play dvd and show symbol xbox 360 pliss help in new

delwood (author)2011-09-20

so this updated my dash but not backwards compatibility. which file do i use for that?

Aeshir (author)delwood2011-09-20

There's only one. If somehow this doesn't work, the only other way is updating via Xbox Live (try playing the game while online). You should just do that anyway if you can.

Double M (author)2010-08-15

i mean that do i need to update my xbox another time after a while

Aeshir (author)Double M2010-08-15

I guess, yeah, since other updates are gonna come out eventually. But as this Instructable clearly says at the top of the page, DO NOT USE IT. It's outdated. Also they have stopped updating the backwards compatibility for original Xbox games. If it doesn't work now, it never will.

Aeshir (author)Aeshir2010-08-15 Okay, I updated the instructable with a link to the latest update. Also, if you have any way to connect your Xbox 360 to the internet like normal, DO THAT. You will automatically get the latest firmware.

fmehdad (author)Aeshir2011-09-08

This link does not work, can u give me a newer link.. im in grave danger, i cannot play any of my burnt games...

arshiah93 (author)Aeshir2010-08-17

Is It For Me ?

storres (author)2011-03-16

Does anybody know how to fix an xbox 360 that has been banned???

boycey1979 (author)storres2011-08-01

try downloading hotspot shield oon a laptop then stick it on a usb stick thats all i can think of yooull get that from

Aeshir (author)storres2011-03-16

Not possible. The network adapter has been banned from Xbox Live.

hemsk (author)2011-04-25

i have moded xbox 360, i want to update the dashboard of xbox without connecting to xbox live, can u pls help me with latesh update available,

is it any risk to update the dashboard ?

bbowling1 (author)hemsk2011-07-08

i just got a xbox 360 and i was updating it and i dont know alot about tht stuff and it restarted its self and it was updating and i thought it was repeting so i canceled an now nothing works not even xbox live

quadcore64 (author)hemsk2011-06-08

Hi Hemsk! did u get it sorted? i have the same issue mate! whenever i burn a game on a Dual Layer disc none of them work? ive updated the console and still nothing? i get this messages EVERY time? "this original xbox game is not supported on your xbox 360 console" can u suggest anything pls?

obatra (author)2011-04-28

I wanna noe if xbox cd are compatible in xbox 360!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nphillips4 (author)obatra2011-06-20

ya me to!!

2hot2hack (author)2011-04-25

can anybody tell me how to copy movies to my xbox360 plz.

storres (author)2011-03-16

I have a question?
I did everything that you said and its alright.
but the problem is whe I restar my console then, it has to start the update automaticlly, but it doesn't!
can you help me PLEASE!?

knowlsie (author)2011-01-18

i instaled shivering isles disc dlc for oblivion and cleared the system cach oops can i get the instalation update for it i havent got the disc anymore or got internet on xbox

volderjort (author)2010-11-23

Will it work through internet if i have a banned console??

Aeshir (author)volderjort2010-11-23


LordJustice (author)2010-09-08

i have many files in the system update folder. what now?

Aeshir (author)LordJustice2010-09-09

Follow the rest of the instructable.

LordJustice (author)Aeshir2010-09-22

oh thanks. it updated but i cant play the rest of my old games. boohoo :((

Moosa lub hunk (author)2010-09-05

hey i need to know somthing .........that is it the update for playing latest games or is this the dashboard update only ? PLEASE HELP !! thanks

Aeshir (author)Moosa lub hunk2010-09-05

It is both. A system update contains both.

Moosa lub hunk (author)Aeshir2010-09-06

hey tanx for de info.. but can u guide me the way to do it plzzz ........ can u add me at (

Double M (author)2010-08-16

i did every step and succeeded but the last step is not working i put the cd in the xbox 360 and then turn it on but no update is displayed

Aeshir (author)Double M2010-08-16

Then you already have it installed. Or you're doing it wrong.

arshiah93 (author)2010-08-09

Can I Play The Copy Game ? Im In Iran And I Can't Find The Original Game And I Should Play The Copy Game . Can I Play ?

Aeshir (author)arshiah932010-08-11

YOU CAN'T. Also it is illegal, and pirating games hurts the industry, and kills developers of the games you play. If you don't buy games, they WON'T EXIST.

arshiah93 (author)Aeshir2010-08-15

Do You understand what i said ?!!! I said i couldn't found original games . original games aren't in iran and we can't find original games , original games are not available in iran and we cant do anything , i know its illegal but what can i do ?!?!?! If u can please send me some original game but u can't , i know . ok ?

Aeshir (author)arshiah932010-08-15

Unless you want to solder a modchip onto the motherboard of your Xbox, and download and burn the games on your own, then no, there is nothing you can do. Why did you buy a 360 if you know you can't even buy games for it in your country? Pirating games is hard for a reason.

arshiah93 (author)arshiah932010-08-11

What Can I Do To Play The Copy Game ? Do U Have A Way To Update My Firmware Of My Xbox 360 Then Play The Copy Game ? I Dont Know What Can I Do !!! Please Help Me

Aeshir (author)arshiah932010-08-10


Aeshir (author)2010-08-14
You'll have to rephrase that first question in English for me to answer it. And no, you need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play on Xbox Live. 








ahmadar.00 (author)2010-08-09

hi friends ,.,., i bought xbox before 2 days ago .,. now i am faceing a little problem i need to install game in my hard drive but there is not comming a any option like (install game to hard drive) there is comming just (install game) when i am install game in my xbox after that i want to play game without disk .,.,.,, and my xbox not able to play game without disk when i click on the game who i installed in my xbox there is comming some wrong like (insert disk in the tray).,.,.,. the game is already installed in my xbox,.,.

Aeshir (author)ahmadar.002010-08-09

"Install game" is the option you are looking for. And you do indeed have to still have the disk in the Xbox when you want to play it, otherwise, you could just rent or borrow games, install them, and take the disk back and still be able to play them. The install feature's purpose is to improve load times by putting the game's contents on the hard disk, which data can be loaded faster off of than the regular DVD.

zizo19 (author)2010-04-26

I gave my xbox for someone to do the update for it so I can play new games like mass effect2 .When i put the game it tells me play DVD even after the update is done .I mod my xbox 360 the mod that lets me play in xboxlive .I saw different stuff (new from the update like the avatar there is awards etc.). Please I need a solution.

Aeshir (author)zizo192010-04-26

Something is wrong with your machine. It shouldn't say "Play DVD." You're gonna have to get it repaired. And what do you mean by "I mod my xbox 360 the mod that lets me play in xboxlive?" That's not english. Learn to talk.

tobytobyish (author)2010-04-15

hey, im sort of having trouble with this.i installed the updateand the only difference it made was to gice some crap about facebook and twitter in the 'welcome' thing on the dashboard. at first wasnt sure if it was the right update, because none of my orig. xbox games seemed to work, even though theyr on the compatible list. halo 1 and 2 work though. any suggestions? the discs are all in perfect condition

Aeshir (author)tobytobyish2010-04-16

Do you have a hard drive for you 360? You need one to play original Xbox games.

The update I link to is outdated, so you either got a different one or did something else wrong. If you have a way to connect your Xbox to the internet, just update it that way. It's the best way to do it, by far.

RANDOMUS3R (author)2010-03-24

all u hav to do to get the new interface update is put in a newer game (october-... and an update will b required and u can ud it w/out xbl.

dariuse12 (author)2010-03-23

ok this might be a bit funny and sound a bit weird but i have got that exact same gamer picture on my 360 and it took me like 4 hours to complete that tiny as " Hero Klungo Saves Teh World" its soo annoying but i think its worth once you've finished. but well done anyway its a great sense of acheivement

cgc111 (author)2010-02-14

 does anybody if mark ecko's getting up contents under pressure will work or how i can get it to work?

srog545 (author)2010-01-30

ive also tried it step by step by step and it doesnt work for me either i tried the usb method and the cd and the dvd and none of them works for me. fkolbe had a good question do i need all those files or just that one.  thanks for any help you can give me

Aeshir (author)srog5452010-01-30

Just follow the instructions exactly. If it doesn't work, it's because you're doing it wrong, or the update is only available from Xbox Live. 

nicohtown713 (author)2010-01-25

Found problem to xbox 360 media update cant believe how happy i was when it worked.

Its Simple create another xbox account (should be a silver or the 1 month trial subscription). sign in then play any avi. movie in the video blade. the update should now automatically pop up install then powercycle your xbox (turn off then turn back on) Should Work Without Connecting To Xbox live.

Hope this solves everbodys media update problem!!!!

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