How to recover from the Xbox 360 unformatted HDD Error

Has your Xbox 360 HDD suddenly appeared “Unformatted” on your Xbox 360 console? With the size of Xbox 360 HDDs being rather large, it is likely that you had years worth of game content stored on it – all inaccessible now.

If this has happened to you, you are in the right place! Keep reading to find out how you can recover your lost data and get back in the game.

What happened?

Basically, an important part of your HDD has failed and the console is unable to read the data it needs, so it signals the unformatted message to let you know that it detected a problem.

There is no definitive cause of the problem. A lot of people report that it happens during system updates, which probably triggers the final failure phase with the intense disk activity. However, in the end, it’s the sign of a failing disk, which means that your HDD has reached the end of its life, or just has a defect.

How can I fix the problem, can I reformat the HDD on the console?

It is currently not possible to fix the root cause of the problem. The issue is physical and FATXplorer, being a software application, can do nothing to actually fix the problem causing the unformatted message. Reformatting the HDD will not fix the problem. Make sure you do not attempt to format the HDD until after data has been completely recovered. A format, even if partially successful, almost always guarantees a complete loss of your data.

My unformatted HDD is 4 GB

Actually, it’s your internal flash MU that has gone bad. It’s not possible to recover any data from that. This service is not for you, sorry!

How do I know if this service is right for my situation?

1. If your HDD appears “Unformatted” on your Xbox 360 console.

2. You get a “Data error (cyclic redundancy check)” error when accessing the drive on your PC.

3. You get any type of IO/device error when accessing the drive on your PC.

This service CANNOT help you if your drive is damaged to the point where Windows does not load it. You will need to go here if you are having that problem.

What do I get when I purchase this service?

By purchasing this service, you will be entitled to the support needed to recover your data from your unformatted HDD. Every recovery case is unique and presents different challenges. Most of the time email correspondence is enough to walk you through the necessary recovery steps, but in more advanced cases, remote support (TeamViewer) may be required.

Please note that this service does not require you to ship the HDD.

Is there anything else I need to buy besides this service?

Two things:

1. A transfer device to connect the HDD to your computer.

2. A brand new Xbox 360 HDD. Your unformatted drive cannot be fixed, so we will need to copy your data to a new one.

Can I get my data off of the HDD and transfer it to a new one?


Effective June 30, 2014, a fee is now associated with this type of support. Each case is unique and often requires a lot of support. Please note that this fee is waived if you own a FATXplorer license, so if you think FATXplorer may be useful to you, perhaps consider purchasing a license!

Recovery is possible in most cases, but there are some where it is not. In the event that recovery is not possible, your order will be refunded, unless otherwise stated by you or FATXplorer support. If you have a question about the service before purchasing it or if you want to see if it is right for your situation, post in the comment section below and you will receive some information.

If you are a FATXplorer customer, click here to proceed, otherwise, click the button below to get the support you need.

Once you have completed your order, you will get a few emails, but look for one titled “Unformatted HDD Support – Step 2”. Inside will be instructions on how to proceed with recovering your data.

Go to Top