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Recovering Data from Xbox 360 USB Memory Stick

January 1, 2011

With out first purchase of an Xbox 360S to replace one of the original Xbox 360s, I could no longer use the original Xbox 360 Memory Unit to move my GamerTag and saved games between the multiple Xbox 360s in our house (the 360S does not support the old Memory Unit). So I purchased an HP v100w 4 GB USB Flash Drive to use for that purpose. Unfortunately after a day of use the Xbox no longer recognized the drive, putting our three little girls’ Kinectimals in jeopardy. Even after adjusting the Windows 7 Explorer to show  hidden files and folders, USB stock showed only a single zero byte .tmp file, although the properties of the USB stick showed 3,7GB being used.

An internet search led me to discover that I was not alone in having this problem.

I talked to Xbox support, and after about 45 minutes was told there was nothing they could do—indeed I was told multiple times that it was “impossible” that I was having this problem.

The story has a happy ending, however. Using the Easeus Data Recovery Wizard application $60 with a money back guaranty, I was able to restore the raw files from the USB stick to my PC hard drive. I then reformatted the USB stick using the Xbox 360, deleted the six files in the hidden Xbox 360 directory on the USB drive and copied over the six recovered files of the same name from my PC hard drive. I was thus able to recover all the information on the USB drive.

I note that several times in the process of trying to reformat the USB stick that the Xbox 360 indicated it had failed a data integrity test. Needless to say, I received no such indication when first formatting the USB stock for use with the 360.

I have since replaced the HP USB stick with one from Sandisk, which appears to be working ok after several hours of use. I also have done a backup (by copying the hidden files in the Xbox 360 directory to a PC hard drive) in case this problem arises again.

I can understand why Microsoft doesn’t like backups of game saves and profiles on USB sticks, but they are sufficiently unreliable that users should really be able to keep game saves in the cloud via Xbox Live.


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  1. UnabashedModern permalink

    Any special settings you used for this? I tried the complete recovery, but it only gave me the .PNG files for the avatars.

  2. okay i have a hp flash drive. it configured fine and i used it for two days {its 4gig.) now my xbox shows that i have no gamer tags or anything and it say my stoage on usb is 2.9. okay here is where i realized my whole xbox was on the usb. well now the xbox dosnt recognize the usb and wants me to configure it again. theres no way im gonna do that cuz i have 100 hours of skyrim on it. is this the same problem u had??

    • I just stumbled upon this while searching for a solution for the exact same problem with my whole gamer history on a usb drive that my xbox just won’t recognize. Did you find anything by now?

  3. Sounds similar

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