After researching why I was unable to successfully play Halo 2 on my Xbox 360, I found numerous articles that have brought me to the conclusion that I bought a counterfeit hard drive off of eBay a couple years ago. (source 1, source 2)

Sadly, it seems like I'm not going to be playing Halo 2 with this hard drive since it is missing the second partition that allows for reverse compatibility with original Xbox titles. According to the sources I've read, my only option is to get a new hard drive.

While I really don't want to have to buy a new Xbox hard drive, would it be possible for me to play original Xbox titles using an official Xbox 360 flash drive?

I saw one of this nifty 8GB storage flash drives, and I think that would work best for me if they work with the second partition that my Xbox seems to lack. It's the 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive by SanDisk that I'm looking at.

Hopefully I can get to play some original Xbox games with a flash drive!

3 Answers 3


No, you need a Microsoft Hard Drive for your Xbox 360.

The flash units that you can pop into the front of the Xbox only provide space for save games and do not come with the requisite software to support Xbox games. The ones that says certified by Microsoft or certified for Xbox, like that sandisk unit, only means they match the speed requirements the Xbox 360 places on these units.

So, your only option is to buy a new disk.

  • I ended up buying one months ago and found out for myself, and forgot to update the question – oops. But yes, it had to be a hard drive to work properly. The flash drive was not compatible.
    – J.W.F.
    Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 23:39

You CAN use a non-Microsoft hard drive. I had a non-Microsoft hard drive that was from EBay and it did not allow me to play Xbox originals. I was able to modify it to allow me to play originals. Here is how:

  1. Remove the hard drive from your Xbox if it isn't already.

  2. You can plug your hard drive into your computer via an Xbox transfer cable or by wiring it directly to the motherboard (Don't worry, you will not harm your computer if you follow the directions) if you have a transfer cable, you will not need to do this but for those who don't, here is how you can plug in your hard drive into your computer.

    a. Turn off your computer. b. Open the side panel of your computer by removing the screws. c. Locate your CD drive. d. Be sure to Mitigate any possibility of static discharge (keep one hand on the outer shell of the computer or use a special anti-static band). e. Unplug the two cables from the CD drive. f. Plug the two cables from the CD drive into your non-Microsoft hard drive.

  3. Once you have connected your hard drive, make sure you have Xplorer360, if you don't, get it from the description of the video link below.

  4. Also download the partition2 file from the description of the video.

  5. Open Xplorer360 and select Drive>Open>Harddrive or Memcard

  6. Your hard drive should now open and you should see a list of partitions. Click drive>Restore Partition2.

  7. Now navigate to the partition2 that you downloaded from the video (and extracted) and click Ok.

  8. The partition should start to restore and when it finishes, your hard drive will play Xbox Originals. Unplug your hard drive (Unplug your hard drive from the computer and plug the cables back into the CD drive if you used that method)

  9. Insert your hard drive into your Xbox 360 and play an original game.

Here is the link to the video for the files:

Consult the video for a visual representation.


From what I understand, there is a list of games that are backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. For a while it was only a small list but there was a patch released to open this to more games apparently. Unfortunately I cannot find the source for that at this time.

Here is a list of all games that are compatible, complete with system requirements, and possible glitches that may occur during gameplay.

To my knowledge, this is with an official Xbox 360 hard drive

  • Halo 2 is on the list for reverse compatible games, so a standard Xbox 360 with a Microsoft hard drive that hasn't been "flashed" would be able to play the game fine. However, I have recently discovered that my hard drive that I purchased was indeed NOT a authentic hard drive and it was counterfeit, leaving me the only option to pay more money for a new hard drive. The flash drive is my attempt to lower the cost of a new storage medium while still getting the ability to play my favorite original Xbox titles.
    – J.W.F.
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 3:26
  • Any external devices you use to gain extra storage must first go through a process to adapt it to the Xbox to be able to store Xbox data. How this will go with your current hard drive though, I am uncertain...
    – Ben
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 3:51
  • I'm not sure if the formatting process will create the second partition. According to the different articles I've read, the only option is to purchase a new hard drive.
    – J.W.F.
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 11:33
  • If I remember correctly... There was a list of Xbox games that will just play on the 360. Then there was a list of games that you could play. After having downloaded a patch type update... problem is. Halo and halo 2 were definitely on that first list.
    – Bob
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 11:20
  • You are missing the point here. To play Xbox (not Xbox 360) games on an Xbox 360, provided the game is at all supported, you need Xbox (again, not Xbox 360) software to be present on the console for the game to load. This software is located on a separate partition on official original Microsoft drives for the Xbox 360. A counterfeit drive does not have this partition, hence the console can't load the game. This has nothing to do with whether the game is supported or not, the console doesn't have the software needed to load it. A flash drive won't help either. Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 17:06

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