How to Format an XBox Hard Drive Using a PC

Microsoft limits the types of hard drives that work for the Xbox 360. If the hard drive is not designed from within to work with the console, the Xbox 360 will not recognize the hard drive. While the Xbox 360 hard drives are for console use, they still function as standard, laptop size hard drives. A special cable connects the hard drive to a computer, and Windows Disk Management can format the hard drive for general use.

Step

Connect the Xbox 360 hard drive to the computer using the Xbox 360 data transfer cable. (The cable connects to the PC via USB and to the Xbox 360 hard drive via a proprietary connection.)

Step

Open the Start Menu, right-click “Computer” or “My Computer,” then click “Manage” to open “Computer Management.” Select “Disk Management” under the “Storage” heading, then wait for the middle section of the window to load. Check the list of disks in the lower part of the window for an “Unknown” or “Not Initialized” disk. The Xbox 360 hard drive does not show up under “Volume.”

Step

Right-click the left, square area of the “Unknown” disk listing, then click “Initialize Disk.” Select “MBR,” then click “OK.” After a moment, "Disk Management" labels the hard drive "Unallocated."

Step

Right-click the right, rectangular area of the Xbox 360 hard drive listing, then click “New Partition” or “New Simple Volume.” Follow the “Wizard” to format the hard drive to desired specifications.