I'd like to remove my Xbox LIVE account from being associated to my Xbox 360 so I can sell it. I assume I will need to format/clean the disk somehow, but I have gone through the settings and only see a "format" option without much of a description.

How do I go about formatting my Xbox 360's hard drive?

  • Can this hard drive be connected to a PC somehow? Is it? Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 2:34
  • It's an internal HD, so no.
    – erikvold
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 2:54
  • First result in google - support.microsoft.com/kb/906502 . Searched with keywords: format option x360 Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 6:15
  • I said I found the format option, but I don't know what it will do. Will that wipe the XBox OS?
    – erikvold
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 15:58

3 Answers 3


Quoted from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906502

Important When you format a storage device, all of the information saved on that device is erased and cannot be recovered. Make sure that you either do not want the information stored on that device or have backed up the information to another device before you continue.

To format a storage device

  • Start your Xbox 360 console without a disc in the tray.
  • Go to the Settings hub, and choose System.
  • Select Storage.
  • Highlight the storage device that you want to format, and then press the Y button on your controller.

In this case you want to select your Xbox Hard Drive

  • Select Format. You receive the following message: This will delete all content on this device. Do you want to continue?
  • Choose Yes to format the storage device.
  • If you are asked to enter your console serial number, enter your number, and then select Done. This step helps guard against accidental formatting.

The console serial number is located on the back of the console and behind the oval door on the front of your console.

What this won't delete

As mentioned above, this will clear the Hard Drive, but not your Xbox Live profile, which is stored on the Xbox Live servers. You will be able to use your profile on another Xbox if you sign in using your username & password.

What this will delete

All games, music, video, personalized settings and save games (unless they were previously transferred to another drive or the cloud.


There are several options available to format an Xbox 360 hard drive.

  1. Use the format option available from the 360's menu, detailed at this website. According to that article formatting in this way:

    When you format a storage device, all of the information saved on that device is erased and cannot be recovered

  2. An Xbox 360 hard drive is just that, a hard drive. This means that if you really wanted to be thorough you could dismantle the Xbox hard drive assembly and format the drive by connecting it to a computer.* This method would provide more options in terms of ways to format and the intensity of the format. *Technical Disclaimer: I have not done this and don't know how hard it would be to get a drive back to a state that an Xbox 360 would accept. Having said that, I do know that there are descriptions of how to do so other places on the Internet.

As to the issue of decoupling your account, Xbox Live accounts are not directly associated with one Xbox in particular. What this means is that if you delete a profile and it's associated data, as would happen in a complete reformat, the hard drive no longer contains any of that account's information.


You need to buy a transfer cable, hook it up between your hdd and your laptop, then use the laptop to delete all the content from the hdd (ctrl+a -> delete).


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