Recovering Data from an Xbox Hard Drive

After getting the Xbox HD connected to my Windows 7 PC it was now time to get any game saves and content from it.

Before I started the recovery from my dying hard drive I needed somewhere to put it. All I had available at the time was a 16GB USB Memory Stick which I formatted on the Xbox as an Xbox Storage Device.

Windows 7 doesn’t understand the FATX filesystem on the hard drive so I needed to use a separate piece of software to recover the data. The first one I tried is the awesomely titled Party Buffalo Drive Explorer (PBDE). Connect your Xbox drive and start the software. You might need to run it as an Administrative user to be able to get access to the drive. Now open the connected Xbox drive by going to ‘File > Open > Device Selector’. If you have an image of your Xbox HD instead you can open this instead by choosing ‘File’. Select your drive and press ‘OK’

Select your Xbox HD

Select your Xbox HD

Once it’s spent a few moments reading your drive you should get a list of folders appear in the left pane:

The list of folders on the Xbox HD

The list of folders on the Xbox HD

The core files for each game or application are located in the ‘Data\Content\0000000000000000\’ folder. Here you will find all the installation files and any downloaded content. I chose to ignore my game installation files as I could always recreate these by installing the games from disk onto a new HD. The folders starting with ‘E’ in this list contain the user specific files. Here would be your settings, avatar items and game saves. There are two users on my Xbox so there are two folders. Continue reading