OG Xbox F & G Drive Help

If you believe FATXplorer is showing an incorrect size for your original Xbox HDD’s F drive, or your G drive is missing, this post will help clarify the situation.

Original Xbox HDDs, without a partition table, can have both F and G drives. If there is extra space after the stock/retail partitions, it can be used for an F drive, and sometimes a G drive. The F drive can be up to 120 GB. That is the limit because that is the maximum size the stock/retail Xbox BIOS can support. Without a partition table, FATXplorer will not recognize an F drive larger than 120 GB. If the Xbox has LBA48-compatible BIOS installed, the F drive maximum size remains 120 GB, but all the space after that can be used by a G drive. If FATXplorer finds a G drive, it will use all the space from the very start of the partition through the very end of the disk.

Original Xbox HDDs, with a partition table, have all the partition size values in the partition table, which FATXplorer will read and utilize. This is the only way an F drive can be set to a size larger than 120 GB.

There are a few cases where FATXplorer may not get the size of the F drive right. These are not considered bugs, and need to be corrected by the user. If you suspect a problem with your F drive (the size is smaller than expected or there are no files), it is very important that you limit interaction with it (do not mount it, copy files to it, etc) to avoid corrupting data.

  • Unused partition table. Users who formatted disks with a partition table and later use the disk with an Xbox BIOS that doesn’t support partition tables have run into various problems because FATXplorer will use the partition table and the Xbox will not. FATXplorer will always give priority to the partition table over the stock/retail partition layout. If the Xbox isn’t using the partition table that exists on the disk, that is not something FATXplorer is able to safely assume. The solution is to delete the partition table from the disk. It can be done via hex editor (zero out the first 512 bytes of the disk), or by using a tool in FATXplorer (coming soon).
  • Deleted partition table. This typically happens when users accidentally initialize or format the disk in Windows. With the partition table gone, FATXplorer will use the stock/retail partition layout, which will result in a smaller than expected F drive with missing files. This can be fixed by restoring the partition table. If you need help with that, contact support. FATXplorer may be able to restore the partition table in a future update.
  • X3 BIOS. If you are using, or want to use, X3 BIOS then avoid formatting a disk using its menus. This is because this BIOS will not write a partition table to the disk, which will result in FATXplorer interpreting the sizes of the F or G drives incorrectly. What you need to do is enable “Use Saved Partition Table” in the X3 BIOS menu, and then format the disk using other means, such as XBPartitioner or FATXplorer (formatting tools coming soon). If you already have a lot of data you don’t want to lose, this can be fixed by setting the above-mentioned X3 BIOS menu option, and then manually adding a partition table. If you need help with that, contact support. FATXplorer may be able to add a partition table in a future update.

If you are having trouble with your F and/or G drives and need extra help, don’t be afraid to leave a comment below!

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