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Has anyone found a way to modify an external drive to utilize more than the allotted 16GB for the Xbox 360? Answered

The question basically sums up what I'm looking for; however, because sometimes things get lost in translation, here we go:

Explanation of what I want:
I have a 1TB external drive. It is currently formatted in FAT32 for use with the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. For modified PS3s, the drive simply works with the FAT32 formatting. For modified Wiis, the result is the same. However, for Xbox 360, the result is slightly more annoying: I have an option to "edit" a partition to create 16GB worth of storage space or format the partition, which formats the drive and still only lets me have 16GB worth of storage space. I would like to be able to use more of the external drive for storage.

Suggestions to any that may decide to help:
I've noticed that the Xbox 360 is locked down in all kinds of ways if it isn't modified. I was thinking that it could be possible to take the special 250GB .bin file, create the 3 partitions for the Xbox 360 on the external drive (I would need instructions on this step, as I no longer have a SATA connection available to me to see the partition setup on my 20GB Xbox 360 drive), and finally create the final FAT32 drive for use with the other systems. Has anyone tried this? I figure it has to be possible because Microsoft is currently doing it somehow.

I thank you for your time in advance.



8 years ago

Alright. According to a post I found from Microsoft (which essentially renders this topic void), the latest update is supposed to allow a Xbox 360 user to format any external drive and use up to 320GB worth of space. It would still be cool to know if the initial question is possible though. ;-)


8 years ago

From what I know the layout of a drive is dependent on software and not hardware. That is why you can have so many different partition types. There is often a limit on hardware recognition of older hardware, what I mean by that is old bios cannot figure out what new drives are and often will just not recognize them. But the bios don't care what kind of partitions are there. They only care about being able to read the drive and report to the OS what it is.
Way back when drives started increasing in size and DOS could not go past a set partition size they went to using what are called drive overlays. This was special software that worked in between the actual drive and the OS that allowed it to be used to its full capacity in spite of the OS partition size limit. If there is a partition size limit in an X box and Microsoft has gotten around it then its probably using a type of drive overlay. The big problem with overlay's is that they have to be booted from to work. If you take a drive that has been set up as an overlay drive and try to read it on another computer it will not be recognizable because it depends on the overlay software to translate it. Its almost like a drive that is encrypted.
Anyway I don't know much about X Boxes but I would bet the limit is software and not hardware.


Answer 8 years ago

Thank you for your response, and I'm pretty sure it is some sort of software lock because the limit used to be 20GB, then later 60GB, 120GB, 250GB, and the latest (which is only currently available on the limited edition Gears of War Xbox 360) is now 320GB. In any event, I'm not trying to get around any of the current locks on the Xbox 360. I'm trying to see if there's a way to (for lack of a better term) "emulate" Microsoft's official Xbox 360 external drive. Basically, I would like to use the 250GB offered by the official drive without having to spend a hundred some-odd dollars on the real thing. There is a way to modify a Western Digital Scorpio Blue drive to effectively "emulate" the internal drive, but I don't own one and I'm about to get a new Xbox 360 that no longer supports the original drives. In any event, the internal drives have 3 partitions. The first is a system partition, which is normally untouchable. Windows can access this partition with a program that allows you to modify the drive. The second partition contains saves and other application data for original Xbox games and also the emulation data. The third partition is the save data and everything else for the Xbox 360 software. The modification mentioned above is a process that puts all 3 partitions onto the Western Digital Scorpio Blue drive along with a special .bin file, which unlocks the drive up to the amount set by that .bin file. I would like to try to replicate this process on the external drive mentioned in the original question, which would (in theory) effectively create an unofficial Xbox 360 external drive.

I apologize for the lengthly explanation, but I feel it was a bit more clear and concise than the original post.