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Xbox 360 Slim 250GB Hard Drive is mysteriously Unformatted.

  • Level   1

The Symptoms and steps taken by me:

-360 takes a significant amount of time between the startup screen and the Dashboard appearing on screen - Over 40 Seconds

-Instead of the Dashboard loading, I am presented with the 'Create New Profile', 'Recover Profile' Screen.

-I instead select 'Skip Sign-In' and proceed to 'System Settings' and then 'Storage'.

-360 can apparently detect the installed 250GB Hard Drive. However it is reading as Unformatted.

-Using a Sandisk Xbox 360 16GB USB Drive, I am able to recover my Gamer Profile.

-Upon selecting 'Storage' within 'System Settings' once more whilst in my Gamer Profile, the Xbox 360 Freezes until I hold down the Guide Button on the Xbox 360 Controller and the 'Turn Off Console' option appears. Cancelling this option, the 'Storage' Screen loads and the USB Drive is detected by the Xbox 360 but the 250GB Hard Drive remains 'Unformatted'

-Now, I did purchase a replacement 250GB Hard Drive and that seems to be working fine. The issue however is with the data that should still be on the Faulty 'Unformatted' Hard Drive. In particular, Save Game Data for the 'Mass Effect' Series. With Mass Effect 3 so close to release now, I'd hate to have lost my Commander Shepard that I've been using since the series began over 4 years ago.

-One thing I have noticed is that the two 250GB Hard Drives both seem to have a different design in regards to their connectors, an picture of which I have provided a link to: - The Drive on top is the Faulty Hard Drive whilst the Bottom Drive is the newly purchased one. Please excuse the quality of the image.

Could the Fault have something to do with this old connector design? (God I hope so).

Anyways, all help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in Advance.

All Replies
    • Level   1

    I am going to assume that your faulty drive is the one that came with your Xbox.

    What is the last thing that you did before your Xbox started telling you that your drive was unformatted?

    What is the firmware version of your Xbox?

    • Level   1

    Yes the faulty Drive did come with my Xbox. As for what I was doing, nothing out of the ordinary that sticks out in my mind. Just playing games, checking out Xbox Live Marketplace. Never switched off the console whilst games were saving or updates were being downloaded.

    As for the firmware, whereabouts on the console would I find this?

    • Level   S
    • Suggested Answer

    Hey there Grissom! Have you tried the "faulty" drive in another console to see if it registers the files? If the consoles will not recognize the files on it, there is most likely no way to recover the files there. Sorry for the frustration this must cause. Please let me know if you have any other questions, thanks.

    • Level   1

    this happend to me this morning just then so i reformatted it and the recover time is fast as hell no more waiting 5 mins before you can save password and sign in

    i was most worried about my gears 3 meadals but i still have them without a save i think it will be a day of downloading all my stuff aing from my download history :/

    • Level   1

    Hey I'm having the exact same problem as the top post, I hav a 250gb hard drive, xbox was working fine yesterday but when I turned it on today it took ages to start up and then asked me to create or download profile, when I click download it rells me I need to uldate my 360 slim I then select ok and it tells me I need to hav at least 160 mb of free space, which I know I do as I only used 60of the 250gb? can anybody please help? I can't recover my profile for playing anythin! last thing I did was dwnload GTA IV through marketplace which was playing fine yday!!! cheers

    • Level   S

    Hey there Spuderson! Can you try removing this HDD while the console is off and use a different storage device. Do you see any of these same issues? Also, are you using a Microsoft brand HDD that was intended for your specific console type? Let me know, thanks!

    • Level   1

    hey gwyther! ya its the stock 250gb hard drive I got with the 360 bak in december, and when you mean different storage device would any old usb key do? cheers!!!!

    • Level   S

    Yes, most USB devices will work. For more info and how to set one up, check out this guide ( Thanks!

    • Level   1

    Hey, ya I was able to use a usb key and download my gamer profile so happy days, had to formatt my hdd tho so didn end all well! gotta dwnload everything again map packs etc and lost all my game saves for red dead la noire etc, total balls!! dunno why it happened either didn nothin at all and it just got messed up! I'm blamin de new updat anyway!!

    • Level   1

    Exact same thing happened to me on my XBox 360 last night. Switched it on and presented with a create or download xbox profile screen. On further investigation I discovered HDD (Original HDD) was showing unformatted. It took me over an hour with the use of a USB flash drive to download an update, which formatted the hard drive and enabled me to then reload all my lost apps. I lost everything stored on the hard drive as a consequence - not very happy.....

    • Level   4

    This just happened to me too, today. Xbox seemed to slow down after regular use, I turned it off assuming it was perhaps getting overheated. Turning it back on a few hours later, suffered identical issues to the original post. Is the only answer to reformat the drive and recover my gamer profile?

    Does indeed suck to lose those Commander Shepards doesn't it?

    Journalism is like a gun. You only get one bullet, but aim it just right and you can blow the kneecaps off the world.
    • Level   1

    Same thing happened to me before about 2 months ago and I read on some site it might just be dusty so I blew it out and it worked fine. But today it happended again and now it's doing the same thing as what others on here are describing. I tried my neighbors hard drive in my console and his works. Now I'm off to buy another one. This is BS as I've spent alot of money on downloads (game add ons, games, ect..). I'm sure this is on MS but they have yet to address the problem as from comments posted on here, this is not an isolated incident. My hard drive came with my xbox when purchased as well.

    • Level   1

    Same thing here... Original HDD. And I'm prety sure it has something to do with the latest updated. It took me many tries, but I finally got the update after a LOT of error messages.

    But as soon as I restarted the console, bam! Hdd problem.

    Fortunately I was able to recover some save files after I removed, cleaned and reinserted the HDD. But since then, I'm getting the unformatted HDD almost every time I try to download somehing from marketplace or even play HDD games (installed or arcade).

    Sad part is I can't seem to find an official reply from Xbox/Microsoft anywhere...

    I am not getting a new HDD just to get it screwed up again! Let's wait and see.

    We can only hope for a new update to fix this... or not.

    • Level   1

    The same problem for me just popped up this past week. My HDD is a 120 Gb version, generic purchased off ebay. Been using it fine for two months with no problems. I use my HDD to rip games onto to avoid significant wear to the disc reader during long periods of play.

    Fortunately, the first time I noticed the HDD said it needed to be formatted, I was able to do a successful restart to my xbox 360 and the HDD was recognized. First thing I did was move all my saved games to cloud storage. Gotta give MS props for adding that feature!

    I was able to get a successful restart that recognized my HDD on a second episode of the 360 saying I needed to format my HDD, but now that trick doesn't work anymore.

    If people with OEM MS HDDs are having this problem too, along with myself having a generic HDD, it might be a xboxLiVE update that messed something up. There seemed to at least a couple xboxLIVE updates this first week of March. Hopefully they get this resolved. I really do hope MS didn't attempt to put an update out there to disable HDDs that aren't offical OEM. Will probably go into Best Buy and see if they won't let me pop my HDD into one of their sales floor 360s, to see if the formatting problem arises on a different console.

    • Level   1

    Ok, had the the exact same problem -- UNFORMATTED HD -- and I'm freaking out because I have about 100 hours of Skyrim saved and haven't played Mass Effect 3 yet (with saved Shepard profile).  So I tried rebooting a few times and also removed and reconnected the hard drive.  None of that worked.  So I decided to disconnect all the cables from the console, remove the hard drive again, and blow out all the dust as best I could.  When you pull out the HD, you can use the recepticle to blow out/shake out the dust.  I also blew out the dust from the HD unit itself.  I also vigorously shook the console a bit, removing some more dust.  I put everything back and it worked!

    Although my XBOX 360 Slim had the same ailment as the rest of the folks, I'm not sure if the cure will work for everyone.  But it's definitely worth a try, rather than have to recover all the lost hours of gaming (which may not be so bad ;-).