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

  • EveofLight

    I’ve seen someone with a hacked/boosted gamerscore and he got his score reset and all his achievements erased. Now his second account quickly rose up again to 100k and I’m not sure if he learned his lesson the first time :\. I don’t have him on my friends list anymore though. I don’t know why people do that when its nothing but a number and its more satisfying when you see the achievement pop up after you busted your ass getting it. The saying goes because of one (or a few) everyone suffers.

  • Hurlamania

    I don’t see how this can Include the datel products, as they are sold on a retail level to the public. I think this must refer to Homemade HDD’s.
    Also it states move your profiles and game saves it says nothing of your video’s or themes or pics ect?
    I thought 3rd parties like datel had a right to make products for 360, I have not seen anything where Microsoft has tried to stop there sales or warned people not to buy them. You would think they would attempt to clear this up, I would assume if it does stop the datel units them there would be a legal battle ensue. I would have to say I wouldn’t be on the Microsoft side on this one.
    For the record I think that people that make there own HDD’s are not doing anything wrong. They do not modify the game system they just save some money.
    The only thing on my xmas list is the datel memcard.

    I think it is focused on people not making 250gb hdd’s.

  • Zeebot

    @EveofLight I’m sure this kind of hacking / gamerscore boosting goes on, but as has been mentioned before this is as easily done with an official memory unit as it is with the Datel Max Memory cards. As this is the case then the only reason I can see for the course of action MS are taking is greed, it also shows a complete lack of regard for us as consumers of their products.
    Obviously this has hit a nerve with a lot of us (over 400 comments and rising!), and I imagine they didn’t expect this kind of backlash, but to me it looks like they have dropped the bomb then ran and hid. The complete lack of any further information on this matter from MS is pathetic. I don’t expect a u-turn, that’s not microsoft’s way, but a real explanation as to why they are doing this is in order.

  • Demolition Doc

    Hi, need some help, is there a way to know if a 120hd is a home made,

    last week I order a new 1 because the HD, because the 1 I’m using is not loading up all the time, some times I need to reset the xbox 2-3 times to get it going.

    the new HD came today, did not come with any packaging, so I think its a home made HD. the IDs on the HD are x812647-001 and 0521014375929

    not going to say witch seller but hear is the like

    if you can help my email is [email protected]


  • Demolition Doc

    think I need to reread my posts before submitting them LOL.

  • DarkEquitus

    Only a small number of 360 owners a represented on this site. However, apart from on butt kisser on this thread (no names mentioned) everyone else has gone ape-sh*t. Imaging if this got out to the wider community. Cleverly, micro$haft have taken a leaf out of the politicians book an made the announcement on Friday. Slimey.

  • Cottonjaws
  • DarkEquitus

    @ Demolition Doc. The 1st number on my suspected fake HDD id 812646-001. I don’t know if this is the product ID though

  • Blaz0

    Have to keep tightening the noose huh? Why is it that we don’t have more options over time? We should have everything capable of storing things compatible for use. In the end, being more user friendly and not so controlling would sell more consoles. Between this and the rumor I heard of XBox Live price increase, maybe more people will go back to PC gaming. If we can’t have unauthorized save devices, at least give us some sort of program to back up our hard drive info(Game saves) on some sort of device other than the Xbox. I guess if our Xbox get’s stolen or burned up, we are on our own to replay everything.

  • Zacabeb

    Microsoft, what a good idea to punish your own consumers for unlicensed third parties eating into your cake. That’s a brilliant. Especially as you created this problem to begin with, because never before has the difference in pricing been so enormous between licensed and unlicensed peripherals.

    Even those of us who would never touch an unlicensed product with a 20 foot pole are reacting to this. That’s food for thought. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/think)

    Now here’s a better solution:

    1.) Lower the prices of the official memory cards to a reasonable level that third parties will find hard to undercut by much.

    2.) Release a bigger official memory card already.

    Maybe the bean counters at Microsoft need to watch Barney & Friends to learn some fundamental logic.

  • Brit anime fan

    @ Demolition Doc
    There is a simple test to see if you have bought a counterfeit prouct:
    If the price you paid is so cheap that it’s too good to be true, then it usually is.

    This is doubly so if you buy from China or Hong Kong.

  • FacchiniBR

    Nice shoot on foot.
    People that live on US and other countries, really don’t know what overpriced really means.
    Look at this, the price of a xbox360 on brazil:

    R$1950.. convert it to dollars: USD: 1.136. 1.100+ Dollars to buy a 60GB xbox.

    Now, think the price of the 120GB HDD :)
    A game here, costs ~R$230 (USD135). A mu? What is this? Never saw one before :P

    Whats the next? Only MS thumbdrives, HDMI cables, Microsoft Television?
    Look at the iPhone, a lot of people do the jailbreak to use 3rd party things, because the apple monopoly is ridiculous, and btw, microsoft is starting to do the samething to the 360.

  • Demolition Doc

    Contacted the seller he say it from a new elite. And I see the product description is been updated to to say that, fun thing there was only in stock then I ordered, now there 4. description then I ordered was a new 120hdd

    I’m singed up for live update preview, so I’ll test it when I get the update, and hope that My old 1 holds out

    thanks for the replays

  • GavT

    For those here who have accidently deleted their profile in the 360 dashboard when they meant to just delete so they could re-claim it onto another device via LIVE, try doing the following (no promises but might work):
    Back up your memory card to an UNCOMPRESSED image using the Datel Memory Card Manager software. Search for and download “FatX Undelete”. Use FatX Undelete software to undelete your profile. Put the image back onto your memory card. Hopefully your profile should be back ready for you to delete it again!!!

  • GS HaXoR

    GS HaXoR is here & does not approve of this move.

    Max Memory Unit is great for backing up saves – that’s the main reason i have mine :-/

  • Agent Klutz

    The price per gig is about 12.5 cents when you buy a hard drive. When you buy an xbox hard drive you are paying 80 cents per gig!!!

  • DJ Slam

    This is a disgusting….

  • TROGDOR 007

    If Microsoft didn’t want anyone to use 3rd party storage devices, they could have either contacted the manufacturer or the consumers WHEN IT WAS RELEASED. This has to be their way of thinking:

    “If we let people buy 3rd party storage devices at first, they will be more inclined to buy downloadable content, thus having more of a need for storage. But after they have had time to download more games, have more saves, etc, we will not allow people to use “Unauthorized” Storage Devices. This will cause them to panic, and if they want to keep their saves, games, etc, they will then have to purchase our overpriced HD’s and MU’s. Now not only did we get peoples money from DLC by letting them use 3rd party MU’s, but we also get money from the people who wouldn’t at first buy our overpriced MU’s, but now will have to.”

    Nobody wanted to buy their overpriced MU’s or HD’s and they either settled to not download content, or to use a cheaper 3rd party solution. They realized this needed to give people motivation to buy theirs. And nothing is more motivating then being threatened to lose all your content you paid/worked for.

    Absolutely genius. And it will work too, most consumers are in fact either stupid or willing to take it up the ass like “Nod Nolan”.

    And btw: this is not going to stop hacking at all. Maybe a temporary stall, but anyone who thinks differently is just deluding themselves into thinking that Microsoft has a reason to do this beyond making a profit.

  • TROGDOR 007

    @TROGDOR 007: Oops! Edit:
    “They realized this AND needed to give…”

  • DarkEquitus

    @TROGDOR 007

    Like in one of my previous comment, I did want to mention the ‘rimming artist’ on this thread. Thanks for doing it for me.

    You are right thought! Why wait years to drop this bomb on people. it is not like datel started selling this stuff last week.

    I just feel sorry for the people who will turn on their 360 one day totally unaware connect to live, get the update and loose everything.

    IS Micro$haft going get out of the console business or something; shaft consumers as much as they can now? The way they are acting now, they are killing themselves before the 3rd round even starts.

  • Dr3x318

    Only Memory units, or also the HHD?


    I just paid $40 for a Datel unit last weekend and now I find out that it will soon stop working? MS, would you like to reimburse me for the cost of that card, or should I just take it back to the retailer and let them hash it out with you. Is that all you do, drive other smaller companies out of business so everyone buys your product? Can we say “Netscape”? How about Monopoly?

    Give me a break. There are legitimate people out there who purchase this stuff NOT for hacking or modding. I just wanted a bigger memory card. Lets face it, there are tons of ways to mod this machine, and no amount of updates will stop people from finding a way to do so.

    Wake up Microsoft! Quit destroying small companies and peoples lives to make a buck, and let us just enjoy our Xbox experience!

  • TROGDOR 007

    @Dr3x318: Supposedly only Memory Units, but the fact that nobody from Microsoft or Xbox has come out and given information is unsettling.

    @VGMNSTR: I’ve contacted Datel and a few other companies. When I hear from them I’ll let you know whats going on.

  • The Dukenator

    @Dr3x318: Just memory units that re affected, but although it may extend to hard drives as well. Major Nelson or Microsoft needs to clarify this.

  • DJ ZibbyMan

    Everybody just Chill for a Min.. DAMn!!!
    1. if you are worried about your game saves, dump them to your PC harddrive for now and copy them over to an authorized memory card as you need them. Hopefully ,Microsoft will come out with some big memory cards as I was also thinking of getting a second xbox for the convenience of moving between consoles.

    2. Microsoft has the power to easily lock down their dashboard environment with some secure coding. No ban on memory cards or anything else would be needed. I think its just a question of do they really give a fuck if people hack gamerscore or mod games. Perhaps this update will be doing other stuff behind the scenes that will secure things. I personally dont see any reason to hack gamerscore or mod games as it kind of negates the point of what achievements are supposed to be about.

    3. Nobody said anything about harddrives being affected. and if they are in the future, we would be given advance notice just like the notice Major gave us on this. Eveyrbody is jumping to conclusions here about the harddrives and running scared. I say wait till the update or hear from the people signed up for the preview before making crazy assumptions about whats going to happen.

    4. To the people bitching about microsoft’s high priced wifi adapter, I have to laugh. Why would you ever consider buying one when any standard wireless access point, bridge or game adapter will work? hahahha I use an old netgear wireless game adapter that I bought for the orginal xbox. as long as you can plug a network cable into the xbox360 and plug the other end into the wirleless device and then of course have your wireless device connect to your wireless router, it will work like a charm. The even funnier thing is the 360 thinks im using a wired connection. I know that the point made was to illustrate entry costs of someone buying for the first time but still you dont always have to buy every official accessory from the maker.

    5. I agree with people about the dashboard updates. It seems like every major update lately has been about how much more money can Microsoft squeeze out of us. I thought avatars were stupid when they came out but I said fuck it, I’ll play along. Then I see the reason that they brought them out: Avatar marketplace.. Its apallings that during a recession, this update comes out with over priced avatar anything, overpriced games on demand as well as some other crap I dont care for. A very dumb move, but I guess they are forward thinking to when the ecnonomy gets better. Even then, you wont find me buying any clothes or props for my avatar.

    6. What concerns me about Hardrive’s is not space but if microsoft’s dashboard is capable of keeping fragmentation from occuring. When you are constantly deleting stuff of your harddrive and then putting new stuff on there, your drive can become fragmented. The more fragmented it becomes, the more likely data loss can occur. Thats why all of microsofts operating systems use a defrag tool to fix and detect those issues before they happen. So I think Micrsoft ought to implement a defrag tool for their dashboard. I think a 60GB would do me fine. why would you want to load tons of the games on the hardrive? its makes sense to maybe do the 3 you are currently working on or playing. But yeah thats why America is great: freedom of choice right?
    Once Im done with a game, I unistall it off the hdd. I delete any games saves unless Im going to need them to play with friends. Once im done with an arcade game, its deleted. I dont keep any music on there and I delete any extra content I no longer need. I DEFINITELY Agree with everyone on the HDD’s being overpriced and think that a price drop is in order.

    For all they do wrong, Microsoft still has the best Online gaming network period.
    The automatic party chat re-connect is a great feature as it saves so much time. so I was really pleased to see that added with the last update. Also I bought a 3rd party headset that came with a dvd remote. I took it back cuz their headset was so crappy compared to the microsoft one. Im not a MS fanboy but I will give props where it is due.

    Really, we just want to get online, play games with our friends and chat and not be hassled.
    So lets just hope that MS listens to their customer base and really thinks about their next moves with us in mind and everyone will be happier in the long run.

  • AN1MAL75

    Wow and M$ wonders why there console sales have slipped in the last 4 months I think it may be time to listen to the consumer.

  • mchiefvs360

    The reason that the sales haave probably dropped is because of the PS3 price drop, which was long overdue (not that I intend to buy one anytime soon).

  • mchiefvs360

    The reason that the sales haave probably dropped is because of the PS3 price drop, which was long overdue (not that I intend to buy one anytime soon).

  • Zeebot

    @DJ ZibbyMan Damn, that was some long comment after reading i’m still not sure of your point, however you do contradict yourself on a couple of points.
    Firstly not everybody reads Majors blog, so there are many people out there that are unaware of what will happen to their ‘unauthorized’ memory card when this update rolls out and will loose all of their hard earned game saves on that day. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! What you do with your game saves, arcade games, music and storage in general is irrelevent, that’s you.
    Let me quote you – “you dont always have to buy every official accessory from the maker”. Err this is the whole point of this discussion!! Microsoft DO want you to only buy official accessories – this is why they are going to make ‘unauthorised’ memory units not work after the update!! If they get away with this, then in the future who knows what else they will decide to disable from working in the future… Hard Drives, Headsets etc. etc.
    Another quote – “But yeah thats why America is great: freedom of choice right?” This is what Microsoft is taking away with this update!!
    Not all 3rd party accessories are ‘crappy’, Major for example gives away turtle beach headsets that are supposed to be excellent, but once again even these are ‘unauthorised’ and could possibly be made useless with an update.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love my 360 (I have 3 of them!), and Microsoft get a lot of things right (ie Live), but this move is completely wrong and will loose them a lot of loyal consumers. If we don’t voice our concerns and opinions then we just become corporate butt kissers and don’t deserve any better.

  • Judau X

    @BryceS, capiotti, and DarkEquitus: You guys are jumping to ridiculous conclusions. First of all, Major Nelson Tweeted about USB keyboards because he knows that not everyone has or wants to buy a Chatpad, so he’s letting people know that you don’t have to buy one to be able to type messages, Tweets, etc. on your 360. Secondly, why would Major Nelson be giving away unauthorized third-party headsets? He’s obviously giving them away because Microsoft DOES authorize them. And anyways, this isn’t even about third-party products being banned, its about UNAUTHORIZED products being banned. Huge difference.

  • ArkhamsFinest80

    OK I got a 120 GB HDD in from ebay yesterday that has a big ass “MADE IN CHINA” sticker on it. It didn’t mention this in the auction but it turns out it’s a 3rd party HDD from OEM (a Microsoft OEM *original equipment manufacturer*? I don’t know.) But when I put the HDD on my 360 & go into the memory tab there is a bold MICROSOFT on the HDD column.

    Anyways I would like to get some specific info on whether my HDD is gonna go down the crapper or not because the only specifics any article has pointed to is the 2GB memory cards.

    And I would like to know before my return period is up!!! Guess all I can hope for is that the update comes before the return period expires

  • DarkEquitus

    @Judau X

    As Microsoft have stated, authorized means the accessory an a big dirty MS seal on it, the point Major Nelson emphasized on the link. No seal = not authorized.

    Where does it say except keyboards or Turtle beach headsets and other devices? These other devices are not on the ban hit list, but as things are they could be. You may think I am takening Major Nelson ‘s statement too litereal, but there is no other way to take it.

    Either a 3rd party product is authorized or not. If it is not, then it is fair game at any time. Without any clarification – Microsoft are very silent at the moment – they could change their mind at anytime.

    P.S. There are no licensed logo on turtle beach as MS demand to be authorized. If I am wrong, I stand corrected

  • DarkEquitus

    P.S. what eve Major Nelson says is very different to what these who wear their silk ties so tight they starve their brans of oxygen thing or implement. Their stance would be from a legal perspective rather than a practical one.

  • EveofLight

    My younger sister’s husband doesn’t go to Major Nelson site and doesn’t surf the internet much but luckily I do and I had the chance to tell them in time to transfer their stuff before their profiles and their children’s profiles got damaged.

  • WalkerTXRan9er

    so my 20GB HDD that came with my system broke, bc its a piece of crap and microsoft rushed everything with the 360. I bought a new 20GB HDD off of ebay, that im sure is probably not OEM. So now its not gonna work? WTF i wouldnt have had to replace the original if microsoft would have made a competent system. If my new Hard drive doesnt work im going straight to amazon to buy a PS3 and never ever buyin a microsoft gaming device. This is a joke.

  • GS HaXoR

    W00T – this made it to Yahoo news!

    There ya go MS – take some bad press =D – maybe now you’ll do the sensible thing & stop this update from ever going Live.

    This update is not about anything other than Money & Greed!

  • GS HaXoR

    News: Datel ‘disappointed’ with 360 memory lock-out


  • TechReconR6

    I sent Datel an email, this is the response.

    Unfortunately there is no way for us to know for sure how/if the Xbox 360 Fall Update will have an effect on the Max Memory Unit until it is released publicly. As a precaution, we are advising Max Memory owners to back their data from the Max Memory unit to another memory unit, hard drive, or the internal memory* of their Xbox 360 console.

    *NOTE: Internal memory is only available on newer Xbox 360 consoles.

  • IRB

    @DarkEquitus You need to remember that keyboards and headsets don’t store/handle game or profile data in any way so are never going to be an issue. Memory cards/hard drives do and therefore could be a potential source for modification etc.

    I will stand correct when we read the headline on here that unauthorized headsets are being banned!! :) but this just wont happen.

    They are trying to combat a serious problem (potential piracy) that has implications for every gamer, but sadly it will also directly impact innocent users who have bought these products without knowing they were not authorized, but that is the fault of the seller rather than MS.

  • PCX Jack Burton

    This keeps getting traction in more and more places lets keep it alive so maybe we can change it.

    Best news post about it yet

    Best personal post about it yet

    I’m working on a petition I wanna make it of decent professionalism. I will post it here and on twitter.com/cave but you don’t have to follow me I will also send Live messages when it’s done. Please sign it so we can prevent many people who don’t know about this change from being in a whole lotta trouble losing Gamertags and irrecoverable game saves. Plus I already paid for the darn thing I can’t get my money back.

  • MartyPG13

    There’s an awful lot of FUD being spouted in these comments (and no, FUD isn’t a naughty word).
    How exactly do you believe a memory card can be used to pirate Xbox360 software? In what way do you think the Datel memory card is able to circumvent the Xbox360’s copy protection? You can’t just plug the Datel unit in to a PC, transfer some files you’ve downloaded from the Internet to it and expect to execute Xbox360 software; content is digitally signed. The method of running dodgy software doesn’t involve a memory card at all, it can’t boot unsigned code and it can’t circumvent region protection. If you believe a memory card can even potentially be used to circumvent the Xbox360’s software protection, then you don’t understand how the challenge/response mechanism at boot works on the machine or what digital signing involves.
    A memory card CAN be used to transfer downloaded saved game files to acquire achievements you’ve not earned, so called “gamersaves”; a pretty sad practice, which has little if any impact on anyone else’s gaming, something that’s obvious looking at a person’s profile when it’s been done and from what I gather a rather minority practice. These aren’t tied to a specific device, which is why you can do it.
    As has already been pointed out, the official memory devices and HDD can be used in exactly the same way to achieve the same thing, as the Xbox360 file system was hacked wide open back in 2006 – the Datel Memory Max device has only been on the market since around May 2009. The official memory cards are effectively USB devices with Microsoft proprietary sockets, and all of them can be plugged in to a PC and the content browsed with the right lead and software.
    Also, the HDD in the Xbox360 is just that, a Hard Disk Drive – it is NOT a Solid State Device (or SSD) making it more expensive as some people here are claiming, it’s simply an overpriced 2.5″ laptop drive in a shiny case with a proprietary file system and connector to the Xbox360 – many of the 20GB drives were/are Seagate devices.
    “Potential Piracy” won’t wash as an excuse at all given the above reasoning that all memory cards, not just unauthorised third party devices, can be read on a PC so any could use the same exploit.
    This is a case of forcing consumers to use overpriced Microsoft storage and locking out the competition. The one very tiny marginal amount of truth maybe that 3rd party cards won’t behave exactly like the official devices as they were backwardly engineered, like perhaps access write/read timings could be different giving odd results in retail games – but it’s pretty weak sauce at best.
    I’ve supported the Xbox360 (and Xbox1) from launch, with retail games, XBLA games and plenty of DLC – IMO this (coupled with the cynical charging for the L4D DLC) is simply a move too far on Microsoft’s part, a move that could generate a lot of ill will towards the company.
    And before any any smart-alec looks at my profile, sees over 250 titles then acuses me of piracy, I invite you to go look at my collection all paid for bar a number I get for review for ConsoleMonster.com : http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/martypg/VideoGames#5395108089738913906 – taken about 30 minutes ago.
    ( The views in this comment are those of MartyPG13, not those of ConsoleMonster.com or any other organisation and is provided “as-is” without any express or implied warranty ).

  • Krap Nuclear

    Seriously, can Microsoft stop with the douchebaggery for even a minute?

  • PCX Jack Burton

    OK petition is up, took a while cause I was seeing red while writing it


  • TechReconR6

    These memory units do not effect piracy. That was going on before these cards and will continue after. Pirating games is from a DVD drive hack. Even MS latest attempt was already cracked.

    This is only going to hurt legit users looking for cheeper way to store their games saves and marketplace content.

  • DarkEquitus


    Well Said :-)

  • MartyPG13

    Oh – buffer overruns – as I’m sure someone might bring that up as a way of exploiting game saves to run unsigned code on the Xbox360 (as was used on the Nintendo Wii via the Zelda game save to open the homebrew channel, now closed via updates AFAIK) – yes potentially one could turn up, but I’ll mention again that all memory cards can be read on a PC and since the file system was hacked in 2006, that’s been three years or more in which to find such an exploit – so I’m pretty certain this is well locked down, besides it would be closed in a matter of days.

  • Zeebot

    Some great posts on here today especially from PCX Jack Burton and MartyPG13, both read with great interest.

    The thing that is really annoying me though is the complete lack of reply for Major Nelson or anyone from the ‘accessories team’, it really seems cowardly in both how they broke this information and in how it has been handled since. I used to be a fan of Major’s blog, but it’s really starting to leave a bitter taste since this announcement.

  • thagunslinga

    I think if this does include Datel, then MS is really killing the consumers who do stay faithful to them. I use my 60gbs very sparingly considering I have 16GB sd chip in my datel, but this would totally suck so much that it would be insane to even support MS as a whole because you already kwnow you’ll end up getting Windows Me’d in the end.

  • WalkerTXRan9er

    complete joke…if my hard drive doesnt work i will immediately buy a ps3 and never buy an xbox product…i was already thinkin about buyin a ps3, but if this holds true i will definetly be in the market, and officiall out of the xbox market…3 RROD and mine was out of warranty so had to buy a new box, a broken 20GB hard drive from original xbox, 1 broken wired controller (no idea how this happened), and 2 scratched games later…and now this crap…i also respect my xbox and equipment like gold so there is no way it should break…PURE CRAP PRODUCT…microsoft and xbox can regain my trust by doing away with this

  • CCanfield

    I have to feel that the players are being punished here for business reasons that have nothing to do with them. They’re not Pirating memory cards, after all, they went to a store and bought them.

    I do hope that MS will make this process as painless as possible for them. Some way that post-update it will still be possible to move data from an old memory card to a licensed one. This still imposes the burden on the player of paying extra money for something they already have, but at least they won’t lose all of their data in the process.

    Still, even with that I’m still sensing a PR nightmare. The best move might be to accept that this generation of memory cards is a loss, and build this protection into the next system. Or do the “right” thing and offer a trade-in program.

    Oh, and thanks for letting us know, Major Nelson. I know this is the kind of call that gets made by other people. Thanks for reading our feedback, and bringing it up with appropriate people.