External hard disk for Xbox 360

An extension of the storage space with an external hard disk or USB stick to store game files or to play music and movies is also possible on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 – with restrictions.

Expansion Options

Microsoft has some limitations in expanding the built-in memory of the Xbox 360. It is possible to use an external hard disk or a USB stick on the existing USB slots, however, the Xbox 360 only allows the use of a maximum of 32 gigabytes, even if more storage space would be available.

For more storage space, Microsoft offers its own hard disks with up to 350 gigabytes. For the Xbox 360 S (Slim) the maximum size is 250 gigabytes. The Xbox 360 does not accept own hard disks at the connection of the Microsoft hard disks mentioned. Furthermore, Microsoft offers a 512 megabyte memory module for the original Xbox 360, for example to store memory states there.

Ssage restrictions

Between Microsoft’s own hard drives, the USB drives and the memory modules (Memory Unit) there are different possibilities of use.

The following storage options are supported on the Microsoft hard disk:

  • Xbox game files
  • Themes, icons, avatars, game content (DLCs), demos and trailers
    arcade title
  • Facebook and Twitter pages
  • Xbox 360 Games on Demand
  • motion pictures
  • music
  • Original Xbox Games

USB drives do not allow you to store original Xbox games or music files. The memory unit does not support movies in addition to USB limitations.

Preparing the external hard disk / USB stick

The Xbox 360 supports only the file format “FAT32”. This can be done on Windows using native programs. How to format a drive in “FAT32” is explained in our article: Format external hard disk in FAT32

Formatting with the Xbox 360

The console also has its own function for formatting the external hard disk. To do this, connect the drive to the Xbox and proceed as follows

  1. Use the “Guide” button to select “Settings” and then “System settings”.
  2. Next, select the “Memory” item.
  3. Now select the desired storage medium and press “Y”.
  4. If you select “Format”, a message will appear indicating whether you really want to continue. All data on the device is deleted. Confirm this dialog with “Yes”.
  5. Finally, you are asked for the serial number of the device. This is located at the front of the controller connections or on the label on the back of the device.

Once formatting is complete, the external storage medium is ready for use and can be filled with its own content.