October 16th 2009 10:36 pm PT

Don’t use unauthorized Xbox 360 Storage Devices


When Preview Program members start receiving the Xbox 360 system update next week, one of the changes is that unauthorized Memory Units will no longer work with the Xbox 360. If you’ve moved your profile or saved games onto one to “back it up,” you’d better move it back onto an authorized Xbox 360 storage device prior to taking the update. If you continue to use an unauthorized Memory Unit after the update, you will not be able to access your stored profile or saved games.

If you need help identifying officially licensed Xbox 360 storage devices or accessories you can read more about the licensed accessories program on Xbox.com



Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • aDrAngedOstRich

    I agree with M$ on this one its a good business practice to not allow third parties to illegally copy your technology I am sure Datel did not receive permission from M$. To all the people who are pissed blame Datel not M$ Datel could have easily applied for and obtained properly licensing from Microsoft for this and its not like Microsoft is banning you or anything.

    @CCanfield maybe Datel should offer a trade in program M$ didn’t sell you the card Datel did.

    to conclude Microsoft did not do anything wrong other than selling overpriced hardware this action was needed to stop unauthorized third parties from selling non licensed goods.

  • MartyPG13

    “To conclude Microsoft did not do anything wrong other than selling overpriced hardware this action was needed to stop unauthorized third parties from selling non licensed goods”
    Do you think as a consumer of Microsoft products that this in anyway is good thing? You even acknowledge that the official products are overpriced – I can’t fathom the logic there.
    If you support Microsoft on this action, then you’ll continue to have to pay for overpriced hardware because there will be no alternative at all.

  • aDrAngedOstRich

    @MartyPG13 What I am saying is Microsoft’s action was justified, They are stopping people who do not have a Microsoft license they are not stopping a third party like MadKatz or Datel from obtaining a license and then selling the same product cheaper. What your saying is that if you don’t like the price of something and someone else steals the item or remakes it without permission than that is ok and its not. As a consumer high prices are bad however Datel should have obtained permission from Microsoft instead of copying what they did without permission from the manufacturer.

    As far as your overpriced question I have not bought a replacement drive i still have and use my 20GB i got with my console. I have not purchased any accessory that was out of my price range. Microsoft will lower the price when people stop buying it. So to stick it to them we should not purchase the expensive drives and eventually they will lower it. The consumer is the power in this situation look at the PS3 people did not buy it for years then sony realized that they could sell more if they dropped the price which worked. PS3 Beat out Nintendo and Xbox in this months NPD numbers.

  • MartyPG13

    How can you possibly argue with skewed logic like that? :)


    Hey MS. Try this! Sell us HD’s that aren’t %200 above cost!!!!
    Are you trying REALLY hard to make the PS3 the system of chioce?????
    As far as nailing people for using aftermarket memory cards it’s assinine.

    Everyone knows the Xbox 360 COULD be a powerhouse if you didn’t try to restrict the life out of it and nickel everyone to death.

    Maybe they were right about Mr.Gates.


    PS3 PS3 PS3

    It won’t be a hard call if MS keeps it up.

  • PCX Jack Burton

    Just gonna post this a couple a times more so people who have a problem with Microsoft can do something about it.

    You can sign this petition and let Microsoft know that this is completely disrespectful to the customers that did buy it for legitimate reasons. And the “piracy” and “game save swapping” can all be done without these soon to be blocked devices. I go into more detail on the petition please read it I did spend a long time reading over 700 comments on here and Joystiq as well as IRC chats finding out the truth to what would be affected, only Microsoft’s bottom line and the negative impact on consumers. Please if you do decide to sign it let other people know, change your bio to include the petition and tell people read it on xbox.com for the link. If you don’t sign maybe you should still let people know, the main issue is that there is no large scale alert about this.


  • PCX Jack Burton

    And also thanks for the kind words Zeebot


    Yep, Bad press gave us the 3 year warranty and something else i forgot.

    MS stop being tyrants! Love your gamer and they will love and protect your MONEY.
    Greedy jerks…

    And yes you can still protect your data from evil hackers.
    Heck why dont you hire em.
    They do the job better than you many times.

  • Sheepeh

    My girlfriend bought me a 512MB memory card for my birthday last year because she knew that my launch 20GB drive was full, and I couldn’t afford to upgrade to anything better. Knowing she doesn’t have much money either, I imagine it was from eBay. Indeed, when I first put it in it wanted to format it, which seemed strange. But since then, it’s been fine. It came in official looking packaging and has a hologram.

    We’re both Xbox 360 fans, and we’ve both spent a lot of money on this platform, as well as suffering multiple RRoDs.

    I’ve never done this before, due to weighing up the best console of the generation and dismissing any brand loyalty, but I swear to the almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster if that present gets disabled because of what I can only see to be Microsoft’s greed, I’m selling the 360.

    It’s your move.

  • DarkEquitus

    @Sheepeh, If the Xbox asked you to format the MU when you plugged it in, it is fake I am afraid.

  • MKVyper

    Don’t miss a great deal… just to the left of this screen, I’m looking at an ad that says “Xbox 360 256Mb memory, only $13.95″… WHAT A DEAL!
    I think everything’s already been said, so you’ll find nothing new in this post, except another disappointed MS customer.
    I’ve got (as everyone else) few storage options from MS, and at insanely high prices. I can’t be sure that in the near future, they block some other piece of hardware from my 360, just because they want to -even the ones Major Nelson gives away-. OH WAIT! Maybe my 360 RRODd twice on purpose…maybe it wasn’t “authorized hardware” and that’s why it happened.

    I love my 360, and I was going to buy a second one, but all this made my decision easier. I got myself a PS3. Almost the same games, unlimited storage, wifi included, and a company that has learnt from their mistakes (and hence, makes NEW mistakes, but rarely the same ones, as MS seems to do very often).
    Even if MS now lowers the price of their “authorized” accessories, it’s already too late for many of us. Damage has already been done to your fan base, even if they have never used “unauthorized” stuff.

  • Gilorian

    Let’s see:
    1 Xbox Pro System.
    ~30 games.
    1 official MS memory card.
    2 official XBOX controllers.
    1 official MS cordless microphone.
    2 years of Xbox Live
    All items bought brand spanking new, no second hand “pre-played” crap here.

    Haven’t I paid you enough MS? Why do you have to steal from me?
    If they had a real case to make here they’d sue Datel – but they’re just being jerks disabling my hardware.
    And for the record I’ve never had a problem with my Datel card, I use it to play my rock band dlc with friends, those albums are fricking huge!

  • doctor bee

    I use all M$ memory and have to pay a lot for it. But I don’t like this move. Obviously M$ doesn’t like the competition. Instead of lowering their prices on memory, they just get rid of cheaper third party devices by disabling them.

  • Judau X

    I still don’t get why a lot of you guys are thinking that they’ll disable third-party memory units. They’ll be disabling unauthorized memory units, not necessarily the third-party ones. Then again, the only third-party memory unit I know of is that Datel one and I only know about it because of this blog post.

  • TechReconR6

    @Judau X.
    If it is not on this list then it will be disabled. I see no 3rd party MU on the safe list.

  • DarkEquitus

    @Judau X.
    There are no authorized 3rd party memory solutions, period. All MU whether flash or HDD are from Microsoft and Microsoft alone. Therefore, if it is not one of theirs, it is getting bricked.

  • PlayingMantis37

    I’m sure Microsoft has been aware of the Max Memory since it came out.

    If MS had a problem with this product, they should have immediately issued a press release, letting the public at large know that this product was not authorized, and that they would be actively working to lock out the Max Memory card.

    There have been at least two dashboard updates since the launch of the Max Memory. Neither of these attempted to lock out unauthorized memory cards.

    MS neglected to diligently protect their closed system. These are being sold in store and online by major retailers, including Best Buy and Gamestop. Surely MS’s Xbox vendors have seen them on store shelves during their visits.

    Till now, MS has said nothing about the Max Memory, which has been out for about 6 months. In their silence, MS has let people purchase the Max Memory cards, many not knowing that they weren’t licensed.

    I eagerly await news about the class-action lawsuit, should MS proceed as planned.

  • DJ ZibbyMan

    Yes my post was probably too long. When people dont’t follow all the replies, they don’t get the whole story. It was pointed out by a person on here who got an email response from Microsoft stating that it was only about memory units. Even in the official announcement, harddrives are never mentioned. I dont agree with Microsoft doing anything that is monopolistic and I think the whole memory unit thing is a dirty move on their part. Unfortunately, there may be no legal recourse because there is competition that customers can choose from as someone has already pointed out.

    MartyPG13: Yes you are correct about the digital signing, but apparently profiles and game saves are not or people wouldn’t be able to edit them with software foreign to the xbox 360.
    What’s surprising to me is that MS did not secure the file system any better than the original xbox. They chose to focus on signing of the hardware so no exploits could be done like the first gen system.

  • AngelAzrael1977

    470 comments, and counting… This time Microsoft should listen to their customers. In my country, a 120 HDD for Xbox 360 is 4x the price of a 120 HDD for PC. That’s really too expensive!. If Microsoft would lower the price of their devices, people will stop looking for cheaper alternatives…

  • DarianBlood

    I think this must be fought, simple because if Microsoft gets away with disabling memory cards without a massive consumer backlash they WILL go after the HDD next time.

  • Judau X

    @ TechReconR6: I don’t see the 64 MB memory unit, the 256 MB memory unit, or the 20 GB HDD on that list, but I doubt that MS counts those as “unauthorized” memory units.

    @ DarkEquitus: Okay, so now the complaints make a lot more sense. Its a really strange move on Microsoft’s part, especially seeing as how Datel (the only third-party I know of who makes memory units for the 360) have been selling their memory units through major retailers.

  • cowpie210

    I love the 360… but I hate Microsoft.

  • Laterali

    I pretty much all but abandoned the 360. I went out and bought a PS3, and a 500gb hard drive for about 50 dollars.

    Just think if Microsoft made a 500gb HDD for the 360, it’d cost you 700 dollars.

    I only use it for the exclusives now. Multiplatform games I’ll be getting on the PS3. It’s a better quality, and they don’t rob you blind in the process.

  • TechReconR6

    @Judau X. MS discontinued the 64MB and 20GB harddrive. The 256MB was only bundled with arcade consoles. But now arcades come with onboard memory. So far as MS is concerned those are the only current authorized off the shelf memory solutions. So the Major’s list is correct. Since Datel is on the shelves now but not on the list, this is directed at them.

    @Laterali That sounds like a great idea. A PS3 with at 500GB drive is nice. I think I am going to do the same. Most of the games I like are multiplatform anyway

    We need to stop buying MS over priced memory.

    “Accessory pricing is certainly something we’ve heard a lot about from consumers,” Dennis said in regards to their higher prices. “That said, we go to great lengths to ensure the accessories we’re selling are high quality. A lot of the price comparisons you hear have to do with the hard drive, but your average off-the-shelf PC hard drive isn’t as exhaustively tested or run through the same quality and safety compliance checklists we employ.” That is a bunch of crap. The 360 drive is an off the shelf 2.5 laptop drive. Most PC Drives are expected to run 24/7 for years. We run servers where I work. “High quality”, those headsets break all the time. Battery packs are crap. MS makes you pay $12 for two standard rechargeable batteries in that pack. I have taken mines apart. The electronics in them die before the batteries do. I use a standard charger now for the batteries that where in the packs I took apart. To me over priced junk!

  • Lord Vardel

    I know it has been said, but I agree that Microsoft charges WAY to much for memory. Microsoft wants to push digital sales via XBL Marketplace and to really push digital sales they need to give us reasonably priced memory storage options. I won’t say anything stupid like I am jumping ship to Sony. But I will say that when the next generation of consoles comes out, I won’t even consider whatever it is that Microsoft offers. I am truly tired of buying products from a company that constantly rips its very own customers.

  • aDrAngedOstRich

    I think what Microsoft and Sony needs to learn is Loyal customers should not be thrown out if you are new to xbox Microsoft has a deal for you 120GB Elite for $299 and same goes for sony. Both companies really rip off their loyal customers in this case M$ more than Sony.

  • DarkEquitus

    The update is out! Let see what happens to one of my fake HDD and I think fake official MS MU.

  • Khyron

    I sent an email to Datel about their memory max card. Got the same reply as others that they won’t know how it will affect their memory max card until MS releases the update.

    What is disappointing is that Datel released a note to the press (as others here pointed out) that said Datel was disappointed on MS for this move. Also on Datel’s website I didn’t see anything in their FAQ talking about it. Plus they still say on their website that the Memory Max card is 100% compatible with the xbox 360. I guess it still is, but a shame they don’t at least warn their customers

    So I am very disappointed in both MS and Datel right now.

    We haven’t heard from Major Nelson on this in awhile. Any updates on this?

  • TechReconR6

    Just got update. I can confirm that the Datel Memory card is not working.

  • aigochamaloh

    ^Bummer, this is not going to bode well.

    Any word on 120gb hard drive users?


    MMM MMM MMM Xbox or PS3 mmm mmm mmm how about the one who don’t use me…

    Lets all jump ship….

    The Ps3 is a great system too…

    Are you listening BillySoft????

  • DarkEquitus

    I have updated my HDD that was a HK knockoff (NO xbox1 emulation etc) from an amazon affiliate. It works

  • MartyPG13

    So you didn’t listen to the huge numbers of people telling you how derisory they think this is and you’ve gone ahead an included it in the update anyway, without any reasonable or credible explanation as to why, particularly given you can hook up the Xbox360 HDD to a PC using YOUR transfer cable and the right bit of software.
    It’s a repugnant move Microsoft, such that from now on I’ll be carefully considering which platform I’ll be purchasing multi-format releases on. I see no reason to continue to support a company at the level I have been when it treats its customer with such disrespect.
    This has begun with Operation Flashpoint, Tropico III, and Left4Dead 2 which I’ve ordered on PC and Borderlands which is a PS3 purchase. If you care to look at my user account on your database, you’ll also discover the massive amount of extra game content I fork out for, now nearing 50 GB odd and at substantial cost. I’d imagine all four of those titles listed above will have DLC at some point, so not only are you losing out on the initial purchase, but you’re also missing out on further money I’m liking to spend for extending those games.
    Well done at Redmond – give yourself a one handed round of applause.
    Oh, the Turtle Beach headsets – I emailed Turtle Beach Tech Support to clarify if they are indeed authorized 3rd party peripherals, this is the response I received from Rowan there:
    QUOTE “Our products are not officially licensed by Microsoft for use on the Xbox 360. However, they are specifically designed and tested to work on the Xbox 360, and are very popular among Xbox 360 gamers — including pro’s!”
    So not only are you poking loyal customers in the eye by banning “unauthorized” 3rd party memory cards, you’re also being a bunch of hypocrites for allowing the Xbox360 to continue to support the Turtle Beach products.

  • Count Macphisto

    I have signed the petition: http://bit.ly/2pVtXq

    In fact all FIVE gamers in my house have signed the petition. As we were taking turns to signing, I realized that not only will Microsoft loose me as a customer, but they are going to loose me and my kids for the next generation as well. Up until now, my kids barely knew anything about the PS3. Well, now they will be getting one for Christmas. I just bought a PS3 Slim for $199 (discounted because I was purchasing a Bravia TV as well) Based on our experience with the XBOX 360 (two systems failed for RROD and now this), my kids will be raised to know the difference between a company that hates their customers and one that doesn’t.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love my xbox (games). In fact we loved it so much we purchased two systems because everyone wanted to play at the same time. The second one was an Arcade system. We keep all of our profiles and games saves on g DATEL MAX memory units so we can move back and forth between the two consoles. However, it is obvious that Microsoft is not interested in my business anymore. At least I won’t have to pay for online gaming anymore (5 x $40 per year).

  • WraithTDK

    I am FURIOUS about this. I’m not one of those people that spells MS with a dollar sign, but this has me really ticked off. I love my Datel 4GB memory card. The reason people are paying good money for them is because they fill a hole microsoft refuses to. Microsoft’s prices are RIDICULOUS for memory. $30 for 512MB? These days I can get a thumb drive with four times that much space. With my Datel card, I can save my profile, Avatar items, theme, and all of my game saves on my memory, so that when I go to a friend’s house, all I have to do is plug it in and I’ve got virtualy everything I need to play my game. You think this is going to stop pirates? Don’t make me laugh! They’ll have a work around for this within a week. The only people who are going to suffer are the legitimate customers, many of whom, in this case, are willing to PAY for more storage, but are relying on third party equipment because MS won’t make their own. You think I wouldn’t prefer a 1st part card? Of course I would, but if Microsoft won’t make one, I should be able to go with someone else. In fact, even if Microsoft DOES make one, I should be able to go with someone else. This whole “unauthorized” devices thing is ridiculous. I paid three hundred bucks for my console. It’s mine. Wy do I need someone else’s authorization to use a peripheral? The whole thing makes me sick.

  • Zeebot

    I’ve been logging on every day to see some kind of official reply, and still nothing. What a bunch of cowards you are at Microsoft. The sh*t is really going to hit the fan the day this update hits everyone, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I for one will also now be spending more time and money on my PS3 as I don’t feel any respect from the suits at Microsoft. At least Sony give you choice, where as Microsoft is all about greed. Shame on you!

  • Count Macphisto


    At $30 per 512MB, if Microsoft made a 4G Memory Unit, it would cost $240. If they decide to comete with Datel by making a larger MU, they definately need to rethink the price per GB that they charge.

  • Golovanov

    To Microsoft.

    This is not fair move, Microsoft.
    I planned to use such device to transfer my files to new HDD (no transfer cables are offered in russian Xbox support) and use my content on my other console, which don’t have access to network (located to far away in countryside).
    I planned to use this device as fair user.

    Blocking unauthorized MUs won’t solve any your problem.
    Look at eBay. Did you see, how much 120Gb Xbox chinese fake drives are there?
    Did you know how much of them are sold, or even hacked by users at home?
    Can you block them? Perhaps. You can read their unique identificators when they goes online, and because mostly they are clones you will see many duplicates.
    But will you do this? Of course, not. You will not dare.
    At same time you think, that it is OK to block MU users?
    Probably, you can block unauthorised memory units, but if users really want to copy large files or backup their saves, they can use 3rd-party MU adapters or chinese transfer cable for $7 (or even official transfer cable), which allows full access to storages.

    If you worry about cheating (like boosting gamerscore) then just punish such peoples when you notice cheating.
    Blocking non-MS devices only will anger your users, who own such memory units, and you will rob them for 30 british pounds (in Europe).
    Hackers and unfair players using other tools for their deeds, they don’t need to buy expensive 3rd-party memory units.
    You trying to punish normal users now.

    Your 512Mb memory unit is not enough already for long time, even if it’s cost less than unauthorised memory unit.
    Your 120Gb drives are not even a solution while they priced at $150.
    And do you know how much they are cost in Russia? I let you know – $200-250 (if you can find them).
    Do you really know, how much users are now own Arcade version of Xbox 360?
    It is enough for them to have 512Mb memory units?

    I’m feeling very uncomfortable, knowing, that I can’t make backups of my saves and content.
    Sony allow users to backup their saves to USB drives, and if saves can’t be copied, there is always possibility to make full system backup in PS3.
    What will happens if something goes wrong with MS devices?
    Yes, you will lose all your precious data, which you collected many years, and there is no solution, except 3rd-party products.
    And I already noticed, that some of my saves and DLC are gone from your 20GB drive (maybe, because of strong fragmentation, which occurs when you using such small drive for many years).

    My own save files (not other content) is not your property.
    Let us have possibility, at least, to backup them (maybe they must be encrypted to prevent access).
    Let us have possibility to transfer large files between devices.
    What if I want to transfer 1GB addon to my other console which have no access to network?
    Or, maybe, this is my last access to network ever, and there will be no possibility to download purchased content again? In this case I want to keep my purchased content somewhere.

    Microsoft, you should think about user’s convenience, and not how to restrict them everywhere.
    Don’t make such stupid move.
    Did you see, what resonance this news caused in community?

    I always preferred Xbox 360 games over PS3 – all my multiplatform games are for Xbox 360, PS3 is only for exclusives.
    And I’m paying twice each year for Gold status (for me and my brother).
    I really like your console, despite some drawbacks like noise, paid subscription, lack of official Live in our region and $80-90 price per game here.
    But looks like you still can find some more dirty tricks to make gamer’s life a little worse.
    You have time to change your mind. Don’t spoil your karma more than it is.

    Thanks for listening.