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Recover deleted xbox 360 saves files

Posted on 2009-05-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
My son has an xbox 360. He has (had!) a lot of saves valuable to him on his hard drive. He inserted a memory card and deleted his gamer profile on the card and chose the option to delete profile and items. It apparently also deleted his profile and saves on the hard drive.
At this time I have told him to not do anything more on the unit as it may be able to recover the deleted files before they are overwritten.
My question is:
Is it possible to recover the files? Can I swap the HD it into a PC and use an undelete program? Or does Xbox 360 use a unique file format? Is there a "trash" or anything similar hidden in the xbox? How to do any of this?

Most sources I found online say you cannot recover it, but most search results I found also  turn up gamer sites with mostly kids with attitudes about being stupid to delete stuff in the first place, so I doubt they are reliable sources of information.

Thanks for any help.
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Question by:Restorator
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 24349498
Does he also save his games using Xbox Live! ?
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by:Restorator
ID: 24349629
According to what he tells me, his profile and "achievements" are stored on xbox live but the actual game save files are not. They are stored locally on the HD (or memory card).

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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 24349798
No he's quite right - I just wanted to be sure what needed recovering.

Not good news here, although you could undelete the files on the drive the same way you would on a PC (by opening the case, hooking the drive up to a PC, using software to read the drive etc etc. the indexing for them has also been reset which means the files themselves are useless. I'm assuming he never successfully made a backup onto the memory card?

He'll get credit for his achievements so far in his gamer profile but it means starting from the begininng again for the games :(

I guess it's a lesson in backing up.
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by:naptor
ID: 24349859
Try to connect the HD of the Xbox and run Getdataback on that drive.
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by:ctpmn1
ID: 24414615
I believe that the 360 uses NTFS, at the very least you can try to get a raw image of the drive then try to recover from there. This may have some useful information. http://beta.ivancover.com/wiki/index.php/Xbox_360_Hard_Drive_Upgrade
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by:Restorator
ID: 24422488
Current Status:

So far we have tried multiple recovery programs and can see some files but you cant simply "recover" them, as none of these programs work easily with this filesystem. It is not NTFS (that would be too easy) and not FAT or FAT32 but apparently from what I read FATX or a variation of FATX made only for the Xbox.

So at this time once we can see some of the data we don't know what to do with it to make it "recovered" or live to the system again. I have read about using a hex editor but that only helps if I knew what to change it to.

He is pretty well resigned to writing it off as a loss, but I would still like to know if this is impossible or not. With all the confirmations we go through today with Vista you would think Microsoft would have added a few "are you sure" messages to confirm exactly what was going to happen considering all the kids using these things!

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by:Spaz_IT
ID: 24540161
You are correct its FATX.
There are several tools to view the file system such as HDDHackr, Xbox Dumper, Xplorer360, and wxHdd.
Assuming the information is still on the drive try using those to view it.
I use Recover My FIles program for recovering data, this might work, but I'll be honest with you i have never tried to recover files from a 360 HDD.
I'm thinking thought that the profile is gone but the information is still there on the HDD.
Here you might find all the necessary tools http://www.xbox-scene.com/tools-xbox360.php
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Curt0 earned 500 total points
ID: 24616997
Even if you could recover the saves they would be useless, they are all signed to your profile, and once you recover them it would remove the sign, due to the fact the save will think it has been tampered with.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Restorator
ID: 31579944
This appears to be the answer. Even if we can recover the actual or partial files they are apparently now useless anyway.

 I would guess that Microsoft does this to stop people from copying/selling game saves etc.

Thanks to all that tried to help.
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Expert Comment

by:Jasin18
ID: 25826996
I have the same problem but i still have my profile, if i can somehow save the file, the save will still be in use. I have File Scavenger which can read the HDD for the 360  but it only will pick up .wav files and img files
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