Xbox 360:Files and Directories
This page describes the file systems used by the Xbox 360 as well as what each directory is on the hard drive. Most custom dashboards have built in file browsers and provide an FTP service for connecting to the Xbox 360 from another device. There is also dedicated file browsing software on the Xbox 360 console, like Xex Menu.
The Xbox 360 uses various file systems for storing games, user content, and more.
- FATX (File Allocation Table for Xbox) is the storage file system used on hard drives, memory units, USB devices, and xlaunch.fdf files.
- GDFX (Game Disc Format for Xbox) / XSF is the file system used on Xbox 360 CD/DVD Media.
- STFS (Secure Transacted File System) is used for game saves, profiles, arcade games, downloadable content and more. STFS is also referred to as CON/LIVE/PIRS files, as they are all STFS files, just signed with a different header.
- SFCX (Secure File Cache for Xbox) is used for cache storage for games.
- NAND File System is used to store the bootloaders, kernel, keyvault and other files on the NAND. CPU key is required to browse its contents.
Different file browsers for the Xbox 360 will list different directories in root, but generally follow the name convention below. Some file browsers won't show all directories, this changes between implementations.
- DVD: Contents of current CD/DVD in the disc drive.
- Game: Shortcut for the currently loaded applications directory. This is directory where currently loaded .xex exists.
- Hdd1: Internal hard disk main partition (partition 3).
- HddX: Original Xbox backwards compatibility partition (partition 2). This might not be present if it is not installed.
- SysExt: System extended partition.
- System: Contents of the NAND chip.
- Usb0: Contents of first plugged in USB drive.
- Usb1: Contents of second plugged in USB drive.
Hdd1 is where all console-created and downloaded content is stored. From here can be found for example profiles, save games, DLC, Game on Demand games, title updates. Custom dashboard software is also usually installed here and is where the dashboard tries to find the launch.ini file.
Cache (partition 0) Content 0000000000000000 (public directory) 4D5307DC (example title) 4D5307EA (example title) ...other titles E00015BF00008BD2 (example profile) 4D53880C (example title) FFFE07D1 (profile GPD) 00010000 (profile data) ... other titles E0004EC40000CBC7 (example profile) 5655002A (example title) FFFE07D1 (profile GPD) 00010000 (profile data) ... other titles ...other profiles FreeStyle Aurora launch.ini name.txt
- The 0000000000000000 directory is a common public or "download" directory for all profiles in system. Everything downloaded from the Xbox Marketplace and files installed system-wide (for example DLC and game extra files) are stored here. Files in here are usually "PIR" and "LIVE", meaning that they are signed with Microsoft's private key and verified by consoles public key.
- The FFFE07D1 directory contains a profile's Game Profile Data in the 0001000 directory which includes the profile's achievements, name, and profile settings.
- Other directories inside Content are profile directories. The name of a directory is a profile's ID. Under here are files that are specific to a profile, such as game saves. Files under here are usually type of "CON" meaning that they're signed by consoles private key.
- Files inside of both the public and profile-specific directories are directories identified by Title ID. Each game or app has its own unique Title ID, which can be looked up here. Each Title ID directory contains directories that are identified by type of data they hold inside them as listed below. Files inside these directories are usually packages with STFS and can be opened with a tool such as Velocity.
000D0000 Arcade Title 00009000 Avatar Item 00040000 Cache File 02000000 Community Game 00080000 Game Demo 00020000 Gamer Picture 000A0000 Game Title 000C0000 Game Trailer 00400000 Game Video 00004000 Installed Game 000B0000 Installer 00002000 IPTV Pause Buffer 000F0000 License Store 00000002 Marketplace Content 00100000 Movie 0x300000 Music Video 0x500000 Podcast Video 00010000 Profile 00000003 Publisher 00000001 Saved Game 00050000 Storage Download 00030000 Theme 00200000 TV 00900000 Video 00600000 Viral Video 00070000 Xbox Download 00005000 Xbox Original Game 00060000 Xbox Saved Game 00001000 Xbox 360 Title 00005000 Xbox Title 000E0000 XNA
HddX is the original Xbox backwards compatibility partition. It is used when playing original Xbox games on the Xbox 360. If partition is not visible it might not be installed.
The SystemExtended partition introduced in the 2.0.12611.0 (Kinect-Dashboard) update was created to hold Kinect and Avatar related system files. Most likely the reason for this partition to exist is that Microsoft needed place for new system files and there was not enough space in the NAND chip to hold everything. SysExt contains important system files and it is dangerous to change anything if you don't know what you're doing. Broken SysExt can lead to a bricked console!
The System partition contains the contents of your Xbox 360 NAND chip. The NAND contains important system files and it is dangerous to change anything if you don't know what you're doing. Broken NAND can lead to a bricked console!
Compatibility Partition Cache
The Xbox 360's Xbox emulator uses a location near the beginning of the HDD as a cache. 640 bytes at HDD offset 0x800-0xA80 are filled with cached data once an original Xbox game is launched. Clearing this block of the hard drive is one of the functions that "Clear System Cache" from the Xbox 360 original dashboard's system settings does. In particular, if this block of HDD is cleared between modded Halo mappack launches, the original process of clearing system cache before launching each mappack is no longer required.
Switching between the old and new format for external USB flash drives
Before Dashboard version 2.0.17349.0, a 32GB limitation was set for external flash drives (connected via USB), but since Dashboard version 17349 and up, it's possible to switch from the old format (which is enabled by default) to the new format that clears that limitation, this allows the following benefits:
- No need to use Horizon or any other special software to access the filesystem
- Xbox 360 machines provided without an internal drive which rely on external flash drives can now utilize their entire capacity (potentially up to 2TB).
- External drives can now function almost the same as internal drives via USB.
Enabling the new format on a new, clean external flash drive
Enabling the new format is surprisingly easy:
- Plug in the external drive into the Xbox 360, within the original dash, format the external drive like you would normally (it will still limit itself to 32GB at first).
- Unplug the external drive and plug it into a PC, access it and make sure you can view hidden folders
- Delete the hidden 'Xbox 360' folder
- Create a new folder, name it "Content" and set it to be hidden (via folder's properties).
You've now switched into the new format, you can now treat it as if it was an internal drive, so whatever goes into the "Content" folder in an internal drive now go into the same folder in the external drive.
Switching to the new format on an existing external flash drive
|Removing the Xbox360 folder will remove existing profiles/saves/games/dlc!!!|
- Backup the hidden "Xbox360" folder (in case something went wrong with the switch)
- Extract everything from your existing external drive using some FATX filesystem browser, like Horizon, FATXplorer, etc...
- ONLY AFTER you've backed everything up, delete the hidden "Xbox360" folder and create a hidden "Content" folder
- Copy back your backed up profiles/saves/games etc.
- Check that your old profiles/saves/games work!
Switching back to the old format
The "Xbox360" folder precedes the "Content" folder, so if it exists and there's data in it, you will switch to the old format, so you've a few options:
- If you've a backup of the old "Xbox360" folder you can restore it.
- Copy all your profiles/saves/games over, re-format the drive and re-inject the profiles/saves/games with some FATX browser (Horizon, FATXplorer, etc...).
- Aurora identifies the external USB flash drive correctly and so denies the ability to apply "Cache Title Updates", in order to bypass that you will need to:
- Download the cache title update manually and extract it. Create a "Cache" folder in your external flash drive. Copy the extracted title update into the "Cache" folder. Scan for Title Updates (via Aurora's settings). Enable the title update.