Work on the base UI for FATXplorer 3.0 has recently finished for the upcoming beta and should closely resemble what will eventually be released as the final product. The UI has been completely redone to give FATXplorer a more modern look and to work well with high resolution displays, while also offering modern features, such as a dark mode and scalable SVG icons.
Note that everything seen here is subject to change as development progresses, and based on feedback.
When you run FATXplorer, the first thing you will see is the new main window:
Let’s start at the top. You’ll notice a few buttons on the title bar at the top right.
The first one is the mode toggle. This lets you toggle between light and dark mode, and there is also an option to use the Windows setting. For Windows 10 1607 (Anniversary Update) and newer, FATXplorer will toggle light and dark mode automatically based on your Windows default app mode setting. Changes take effect in real-time, too! FATXplorer has been designed to work great with both modes and dark mode should be great for your late-night sessions. Here’s what it looks like:
The second button is the palette selector. You have 7 different color palettes to choose from that will change some FATXplorer UI elements to match that color. The default is a shade of green to reflect Xbox colors.
The last button is minimize to tray. This is already in 2.5 and works exactly the same. This is useful after mounting a device so you can remove FATXplorer from view to maximize screen real estate and to avoid the possibility of accidentally closing it and unmounting your device(s).
Now for the main menu. The old FATXplorer has used a ribbon throughout the 2.x series of releases. It has been replaced with bold, wide tiles to highlight key functions:
The devices tile menu, when clicked, shows all devices connected to your computer that have Xbox storage. You have all the familiar functions from 2.5 and some new ones:
Show Log – FATXplorer 2.5 technically features this, but it’s a hidden feature, and only outputs to a file. In 3.0, you can instantly see the complete device detection log. This is very valuable when your device isn’t showing up. It should give you some insight into any problems.
Load Special – This is for advanced cases and some recovery scenarios. It will let you configure the offset and length of the partition you are looking for, and it will override the default device scanning parameters to look for this specific partition on all devices being scanned. This feature is not done yet and will be implemented later.
Format a device to FATX specifications (both original Xbox and Xbox 360). This feature is not done yet and will be implemented later – will function similar to 2.5 formatting tools, but with the inclusion of original Xbox support + homebrew partition table.
Configure your settings. There aren’t really any settings at the moment, so this is a placeholder and a settings window will be implemented later.
A drop-down that contains a few shortcuts and options. When sending in a support request, you’ll want to create a support package to help support narrow down problems you are running into.
Mounting a device works pretty much the same way as it does in 2.5, but the UI for doing so is completely new:
If you want to prevent any sort of write operation from happening, you can toggle Read-Only. In 2.5, there was a common question of “what are all these partitions for / what is in them?” Partitions are now listed with descriptions to help answer these questions.
The new Toolkit, Content, and Recovery views are not ready yet. Advanced Information is an option for HDDs that will obtain the output of smartmontools (a popular HDD SMART utility) and display it. This can be very useful if you suspect your HDD is dying and want a quick and easy way to check SMART values.
Finally, at the bottom of FATXplorer you’ll see the driver status. If the driver is not installed, you can click it to install it. It’ll also flash blue when there’s an update available for it. If you don’t click to install here, it’ll ask you right before you mount a device. There is also Show Log, which is a toggleable log window that’ll show you technical details about what is going on behind the scenes.
When can I try it?
Not much longer now! Work will now shift to getting drive mounting in a functional state. The next post on this site should be the beta announcement.😉
In the meantime, please feel free to share any feedback on the new UI in the comments below!
Hi everyone, it’s been a while since the last update, so I wanted to provide an update on where things are.
Original Xbox Support
The hype around this feature is real and it’s really cool how the OG Xbox scene has come back to life. It’s important to me that original Xbox support is as complete as possible because so many people have expressed interest in it. The partition layout was easy to figure out. The complexity came from the beginning sectors of the disk. There is a wealth of data: refurb information, manufacturing information, cache databases, XBL profile/machine information, and network configuration. After poking around quite a bit, I have mapped out basically 99% of it. It’s relatively undocumented data and I’ve found some things that may not have been discovered before. The plan is to provide some kind of viewer so everyone will be able to see this data. Some of you may find it quite interesting!
Partitions: Aside from being able to look at all of that disk data, 3.0 will have full support for all official Microsoft stock partitions, and also customizations by the homebrew community (the partition table, larger disks with F drive). You’ll also be able to format/customize your partitions.
Disk Unlocking: I have researched the possibility of adding a disk locker/unlocker and came to the conclusion that some IDE/SATA -> USB adapters do not support the ATA commands needed to carry out these operations. FATXplorer will not be able to unlock your disk if it is locked.
Driver: The current version of FATXplorer uses an older file system driver. It still works just fine, but doesn’t take full advantage of Windows 8 & 10 features. The new driver in 3.0 will have full compatibility with Windows 10, so if you’ve experienced any strange behavior with the current version, 3.0 should work better for you.
Requirements: 3.0 has a minimum requirement of Windows 7 SP1. It was originally going to be Windows 8, but Windows 7 is still quite popular, so some small concessions were made to make it work on Windows 7. XP and Vista support will not be available.
Licensing: 3.0 is a free upgrade to current license holders. You’ll still be able to use it on all PCs that you own. I am floating the possibility of creating a new licensing option: a “day pass” that will grant you full access to FATXplorer, for 1 day, at a low price. This may be useful to people who just need to use FATXplorer for something, like a disk content transfer, and don’t plan to use it again. This is just an idea for now, but if this is something you or a friend may like, please leave a comment voicing your support!
AF/4K Disks: 3.0 will have support for AF disks (AF means Advanced Format, not the expletive you may be thinking of😛). If you have an AF disk, you may see better read/write speeds compared to the current version of FATXplorer. Please note that Microsoft OEM disks are not AF, but if you’ve purchased a drive within the past few years, it probably is. (FATXplorer will tell you if your disk is AF.)
Old Code: Some of FATXplorer’s code is, believe it or not, 10 years old now! The reason the 3.0 update is taking longer than usual is because the project has essentially been restarted. This is not a bad thing – it will help make FATXplorer work well for the next 10 years! It comes at a good time with the developments Microsoft has done with .NET Core, particularly with integrating Windows UI frameworks into it.
New Recovery Features
These will come a bit later, but there will be a new feature to help find “lost” files, such as old game builds that are still on-disk, but separated from the directory tree. If you’re a preservationist and have some disks that may have interesting files on them, please reach out so I can add you to a list to try out new recovery features when they’re ready.
The website has been slow and, by 2019 standards, looks dated. A new website is coming. The plan is to keep all existing posts and comments. This may happen before 3.0 releases.
Thank you to those who continue to voice their support for FATXplorer and original Xbox support. I know the wait has been painful, but I think you will be pleased with what is coming.🙂
It’s now 2018, and around 8 years since this website launched. It’s pretty amazing that every day, there are hundreds of people from all over the world visiting the site and downloading FATXplorer. Even though the Xbox 360 has basically been fully superseded by the Xbox One, interest in FATXplorer remains high. Even more interesting is the huge demand for original Xbox support.
This is just a quick post to clarify that FATXplorer is not dead. There haven’t been many updates recently simply because no significant issues have been reported. The current version is rock solid.
Original Xbox support is still coming. There is no set date, but there will be a beta. A lot of people are already on the list to be notified about it. If you want to be added, feel free to leave a comment below.
There is also a site refresh and server move in the works to bring it up to modern standards. A lot of elements on this site are very old and need to be refreshed. After that, it’ll basically be full speed ahead with FATXplorer v3 development. It’s taken longer than it should have, mostly due to real-life obligations, but I look forward to delivering another quality release. If you want to help out, send some original Xbox HDD dumps my way: https://fatxplorer.eaton-works.com/contact/
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates!
Hello everyone, a quick update for you: The site has just been updated to include full HTTPS support. It was previously only used on select pages, such as the contact form, but as the world continues to push towards a more secure Internet, it was time for FATXplorer to join in completely.
It will take a little while to go through all links and images to fully get rid of mixed content warnings, so some pages may not display the green lock, yet. If any pages on the site look broken because of this change, please report them in the comments below. Update: Mixed content warnings should be gone on all pages now.
Hello everyone, if you are reading this, you are viewing the website on the new server! It’s not actually a server though, FATXplorer now runs in a cluster environment (also known as “cloud hosting”). The same technology powering Microsoft’s Azure now powers FATXplorer. This is important for several reasons:
- Downtime should be nonexistent. You may have noticed a lot of downtime over the past few months. This was not the fault of FATXplorer, but the declining quality in the previous host’s servers.
- All of the latest technologies are available for development. The previous host wasn’t really keeping things up to date.
- It costs less overall.
Just so you know, the initial downtime this past week was not caused by the server migration. Something happened on the previous host’s server and every time the host fixed the problem, a new one would appear. Things weren’t getting better, so the migration, initially scheduled for early summer, was executed immediately. Downtime wasn’t planned, but unfortunately, the unstable server on the previous host didn’t make things easy.
With the website now stable, work will soon resume on the FATXplorer v3.0 beta. Customers (and those who have shown interest) will be sent an email about the beta when it’s ready. It’ll be a major improvement over v2.5 and planning is underway for a website redesign to go with the v3.0 launch.
Thank you for reading. There may be sporadic downtime over the next few days while work is being done on parts of the site, but major downtime should be a thing of the past.
If you notice anything broken or something that looks off, please leave a comment on this post.
Lastly, Arvixe web hosting is no longer recommended.
Hello everyone, it’s been quiet lately so here’s an update! There’s several topics to cover:
1. Windows 10
You probably see the post below this warning about possible risks when using Windows Integration on Windows 10. There are now plenty of customers using FATXplorer on Windows 10, and no issues have been reported. You might run into small Explorer glitches, which will be fixed in the upcoming driver update, but it’s perfectly safe to use otherwise.
2. Web Host
Over the past few months there has been a noticeable increase in site slowness and errors. Recent investigation uncovered the hosting company that hosts this website was bought out by a rather evil corporation, and the quality of service has dropped dramatically. FATXplorer will be moving to a more reliable host in the beginning of 2016.
If you are curious about what happened, this summarizes the event nicely.
3. FATXplorer Update
Unfortunately there are some tech/workstation issues at the office right now, and work on the next update is temporarily suspended. The issues are still being worked out to ensure a quality update can be produced, and you can probably still expect it to come out early next year.
Special thanks to all the people who have requested to help with original Xbox drive support! You will be contacted when something is ready.
Merry Christmas to all!
FATXplorer has not been tested on Windows 10 yet. If you are running Windows 10, use FATXplorer’s Windows Integration at your own risk. There is a risk of it not working properly. Every other feature should work perfectly fine, however.
A driver update is in development to bring full Windows 10 compatibility for Windows Integration. It will be bundled with a new version of FATXplorer when it is ready.
In the meantime, research will soon begin on original Xbox HDD support. The goal is to release basic support with the Windows 10 version of FATXplorer.
If you are looking forward to original Xbox HDD support, feel free to ask to be a tester.
Stay tuned for more updates!
There has been a sudden influx of people reporting an issue with the latest Minecraft update. It appears to be deleting a lot of peoples’ saved games and worlds.
Are you having this problem? This post will help you recover that lost save file.
First things first, report the problem to the Minecraft developers so they can fix their botched update.
Second, download FATXplorer. Open your storage device in the Recovery View.
Third, browse to this folder: Content Partition:\\Content\\[E folder]\\584111F7\\00000001, where “E folder” represents the profile that owns the now-deleted saved game/world.
Fourth, find the deleted file and recover it to your PC.
Fifth, close the Recovery View and open the Content View. Select “Add Content” and then select the recovered file.
Last, load up the game and try to load your save/world. If it doesn’t say it is corrupt, you’re good to go! If it says it IS corrupt, sorry, but it’s lost forever. Click here for more information.
If you need further assistance or the above instructions don’t make sense to you, leave a comment below. Please only post a comment on this post so other people having this problem will be able to view any additional steps.
Hello everyone, today I bring you a small update to v2.5.3 that was published not so long ago. The update is live at the time of this post. The purpose of this update is to fix a few more bugs and to address the latest Xbox 360 system update.
In case you haven’t noticed, v2.5.3 was released back in March with a lot more changes. If you aren’t upgrading from v2.5.3, please see the v2.5.3 release notes here to see what else you can expect when you upgrade.
New USB Format
Basic support/detection has been added. It really is basic – Integrate into Windows has been replaced with “Open Folder”. Open Folder will make sure your Content folder is not hidden and open Explorer right to your content for easy browsing.
The Toolkit, Content, and Recovery views are not supported. The new USB format is not FATX, which is what these views were designed for.
The Content View may be supported in a future update.
- Fixed a relatively rare bug that would cause FATXplorer to silently crash on startup. Additionally, a new check has been added to verify the existence of essential components to help explain why FATXplorer may not start up properly. With this in place, FATXplorer should rarely crash on startup, and in the rare event of it doing so, will give more information about what went wrong and how to fix it.
- Added handling for an extremely rare Windows issue where setting taskbar progress could cause a strange error message.
- v2.5.3 fixed a bug where the Content View would fail to add items with the Read-Only attribute set. This fix didn’t work for games on demand and other package types that use data files. The fix is now working for all package types.
- Fixed a caching bug in Windows Integration – renaming a file or folder would update the file system metadata, but not the information stored in the cache. This could lead to very strange behavior in the integration session. <= Important fix!
- Added a Security Sector archiving feature. FATXplorer now automatically saves a backup of the Security Sector of every HDD you open to a folder named Archived Security Sectors. They are saved here in case something goes wrong with one of your HDDs and you need to restore the original Security Sector to fix it. Security Sectors are an important part of Xbox 360 HDDs and having a backup is recommended. For more information about Security Sectors, click here.
- The Reporting ribbon group has been replaced with a new “Support” group to make it easier to get help. This group features the following options:
- Create Support Package: If you need to contact FATXplorer support regarding a technical problem, you can use this option to create a package that will be able to assist FATXplorer support.
- Contact Support: Open the web support form where you can contact FATXplorer support.
- License Information: The serial number, name, and organization you entered during product registration.
The USB features in FATXplorer are now unnecessary. They are being removed to avoid possible confusion.
- USB Formatter – USBs no longer require any special formatting.
- Console USB Patcher – 2 TB sizes are now supported on the console by default, patching is now unnecessary.
Thank you to the 482 people who took the time to vote. It’s great to see that there is still a lot of interest in FATXplorer!
Based on these results, here’s what is going to happen:
- Original Xbox device support will be added in the next major update. (Release date: TBD)
- The defragmenter will still be done, but there is no estimate when it will be available as it is a very complex feature and if it’s not designed properly, data loss could occur. We don’t want that (-:
- There appears to be little to no interest in a Mac/Linux version. Support for these systems is currently not planned as a result.
It’s disappointing that USB features had to be removed so soon after a major revamp, but it’s good to see Microsoft finally allowing more flexible storage options for their customers. FATXplorer customers had the ability to use 2 TB storage years before anyone else could!
The next update is already planned! Get the latest news here.