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External Hdd Via Usb Adapter


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#1 fallenangle

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:55 PM

I have a USB adapter cable for my XBox and hopefully I'm going to be getting a 256MB memory stick which the seller says definitely works on the Xbox without any hassle.

I know there are some lists of USB memory sticks that work with the XBox you can find online but the I know from other people that the working list's veracity is questionable. It does seem a bit of a lottery.

Question is: what about a similar list of portable external hard-drives via USB on the Xbox? Are there any recommended ones known to work without issues? If so what, where and how much?

Some of the ads for USB Xbox cables mention Iomega drives but the info I've found on these wasn't that helpful. They also mention formatting is required. Does this apply to all external USB HDD used on the Xbox or are there any that will work right out of the box ie, plug in and use?

#2 steveo1978

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:03 PM

Unless something has changed and i missed it anything that is plugged into the controller port like that will just be a big memory card. Nothing could run from the memory card and even if it could it would be extremely slow because an xbox uses USB 1.0 protocal or something like that

#3 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 01:45 AM

It's USB 1.1, which is pretty much the same thing in terms of speed.

Still, the limit is 4gb. Anything larger and the console won't detect it. No, you can't get around that by dividing the drive up into multiple 4gb partitions - the total drive capacity has to be 4gb or less.

If you want to use an external drive, use a NAS.

#4 fallenangle

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE(steveo1978 @ Jan 22 2010, 08:03 PM) View Post

Unless something has changed and i missed it anything that is plugged into the controller port like that will just be a big memory card. Nothing could run from the memory card and even if it could it would be extremely slow because an xbox uses USB 1.0 protocal or something like that


Yes, I know but I'll eventually have other uses for the external HDD so I thought if I'm going to get one why not get one that is compatible with the XBox even if it is only usable as a giant memory card.

Does a NAS definitely work with the XBox? No (pre or re) formatting or other issues? Where to buy?

#5 lordvader129

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:27 PM

QUOTE(fallenangle @ Jan 23 2010, 06:56 AM) View Post

Yes, I know but I'll eventually have other uses for the external HDD so I thought if I'm going to get one why not get one that is compatible with the XBox even if it is only usable as a giant memory card.

Does a NAS definitely work with the XBox? No (pre or re) formatting or other issues? Where to buy?

NAS means network attached storage, the xbox would access it like a shared folder on a windows PC

#6 fallenangle

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:34 PM

QUOTE(lordvader129 @ Jan 23 2010, 07:27 PM) View Post

NAS means network attached storage, the xbox would access it like a shared folder on a windows PC


Thanks for the info. Doesn't help though because I don't really understand what it means in relation to the question I asked. Is NAS a particular type of external HDD and if so how does it differ?

I guess that unless somebody here is using or has used an external HDD via USB on a XBox I'm not going to get any specific or informed advice about what works and what doesn't.

I have come across the Datel 4GB mini USB HDD in my searches. Designed for the XB360 and hugely expensive for its capacity I was wondering if this would work on the original XBox too. Might be worth it if it works on both.

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:41 AM

You seem to be missing the salient points of the good advice you are being given. The biggest USB disk the Xbox will support is 4Gbytes, and it only runs at USB1 speeds. You can't run games from a USB attached device, and you'd be lucky to get 5 movies on there. It simply isn't worth the effort, and that's why you won't get the answer you seem to want - it's just not a sensible way to add storage to your Xbox.

If you want lots of storage for games, install a larger disk inside the Xbox. If you want storage for media files, buy a large disk for your PC and connect your Xbox to your PC over your local network. A NAS is simply a dedicated computer that stores files on your network and makes them available to network attached devices, like your Xbox, and it has the advantage that the files are available when your PC is turned off. You can buy small dedicated NAS units - a good example is the WD My Book World Edition. If you want to do some more background reading, try looking up NAS on Wikipedia.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a USB stick to use to softmod your Xbox, go to the list of compatible USB sticks and pick the cheapest you can find - 256 MB will be fine. Even with ones on the list of compatible devices there seems to be a degree of trial and error, presumably because the list is old and manufacturers have changed their specifications since it was written.

#8 fallenangle

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 03:37 PM

But that "salient advice" seems to based is based on a misunderstanding. The reasons I want something larger than the 8MB memory card storage space were too prosaic to explain so I didn't.

However I thought I had made it clear that I know full well that I wouldn't be able to play games or do much else from a USB HDD and that, in essence it would act like a glorified memory card.

I thought that there just might be less issues employing an external HDD rather than what seems to be the lottery of finding a memory stick that works for this purpose. That's why I asked if there were any lists of HDD that are compatible.

I was not aware of the XBox's 4GB limit so that information was helpful. It does narrow the field somewhat but there are 4GB ext.HDD like the Datel one I mentioned. Even though purpose made for the XB360 isn't that just a giant memory card too? There must be a call for this sort of device or they wouldn't make them.

As for putting in a new, larger HDD in the XBox that is something I might consider trying in the future. I'd also thought about adding an ext.HDD dock although some info does seem to be missing from the tutorial I found here.

Big problem with the other suggestions about networking with a PC or whatever strange as it might seem I don't have a PC. I use a STB with browsing and other media capabilities and includes a USB port for an ext.HDD/memory stick which, like the Xbox, can only be used for file storage. So, I thought, maybe I could kill two birds with one stone by getting a ext.HDD that works on both.

I didn't want to have to explain all this so I kept my OP simple.










#9 Darkangel754

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 04:29 PM

Why do you want to get a USB HDD? just get a cheap 4GB flash drive, all the ones I've used with my xbox have worked.

Anyway, if you want space and can't upgrade your HDD or network to a PC, then just buy some 8.5GB DVDs and burn stuff to them.

It's better than nothing.

#10 1hotjob

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:54 PM

Once the memory device is formatted by the Xbox, you can't connect it and use it for the PC.

There is an exception with Xplorer360, but for what you are trying to do, that isn't a practical application.

In other words, you can't put a mem card, HD or any other device in the Xbox, format it and load it with movies, music or pictures. Then take that same device and use it in the PC to play those same files. The Xbox has a different file system.

I think that is what you are wanting to do with the mem card or HD.

I could be wrong now, but I don't think so. Long Live MONK..

#11 fallenangle

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:41 PM

QUOTE(Darkangel754 @ Jan 24 2010, 03:29 PM) View Post

Why do you want to get a USB HDD? just get a cheap 4GB flash drive, all the ones I've used with my xbox have worked.

Anyway, if you want space and can't upgrade your HDD or network to a PC, then just buy some 8.5GB DVDs and burn stuff to them.

It's better than nothing.


Don't I need a PC to be able to burn a DVD?

Anyway, your suggestion of a 4GB flash drive is interesting. As I said I've been looking at all possibilities. But, as I hoped I'd also made clear, I started this thread because I'm looking for specific brand/source information. I'd like details about specific hardware that 1). is known (not guessed) to work with XBox and 2). doesn't require any pre-formating or have any other issues when used with a XBox. I don't want to buy something and then find its incompatible.

1hotjob

If you mean the same ext.HDD or other storage device isn't going to be useable for archiving say both JPEG attachments from e-mails sent via my STB and XBox game saves, as I suspected might be case, thanks for that confirmation. Just out of interest: if I had a PC would I be able to do this by partitioning the storage device?

Edited by fallenangle, 24 January 2010 - 11:47 PM.


#12 1hotjob

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:51 PM

QUOTE
if I had a PC would I be able to do this by partitioning the storage device?

I don't know. Bomb Bloke may have the answer to that.

I have never tried using a USB stick with the Xbox. I have a MS Mem card I use. I know there is a compatibility list somewhere. Maybe Darkangel754 can give you the name and size of the drives he uses.

I use a NAS system. It is a ZyXel with two 1tb drives in a RAID configuration. It was around $500 total. I like it since with the RAID, if one drive goes down I can put another in and rebuild it. I lost a lot of data with two WD MyBook NAS drives and will never buy another.

There are cheaper alternatives to a NAS system. There are ways to turn your Xbox into a NAS. If you were going to do that and had only the one Xbox, it would be better to put in the larger HD and just play everything from it.

Edited by 1hotjob, 24 January 2010 - 11:54 PM.


#13 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:05 AM

The "compatibility lottery" with USB flash drives also exists with USB hard drives. From the console's point of view, they're all memory cards. No compatibility list exists because the only time it'd be worth trying one would be if you already happened to have a 4gb or smaller HDD sitting around with a USB enclosure... In any other circumstance, it's easier to install a new internal drive. Even if you have to buy a PC specifically for the job.

Otherwise - NAS.

QUOTE(fallenangle @ Jan 25 2010, 06:41 AM) View Post
if I had a PC would I be able to do this by partitioning the storage device?

Create partitions for use with both an X-Box and a PC? No one's ever tried, but I suspect it's possible - with a lot of hoop jumping (by which I mean, you'll want a traditional PC, a fairly decent level of programming skill, a good amount of knowledge about how partitions "work", and a lot of spare time).

Even if you were to create a drive with FATX (for use with a X-Box) and FAT32/NTFS partitions (for use with a PC), you'd also need to be very careful when using the drive for everyday tasks. The MS dash, for example, will automatically destroy any non-FATX partitions it sees on sight - and without prompting - if you enter the memory management screens, for example. And the total drive capacity would still have to come in under 4gb, of course.

In short, if the goal is to "see if you can", go for it. If you have more practical aims in mind, forget about it.

On the other hand: XBMC can read data off a FAT/FAT32 formatted USB drive. Can't write to one, though. Still has all the other limitations of a FATX formatted drive, of course, and XBMC'll is the only app on the console that can do this.

Edited by Bomb Bloke, 25 January 2010 - 04:07 AM.


#14 fallenangle

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 01:29 PM

Thanks to both of you ^ ^^ for those posts - very informative.

Looks like as far as an external storage device goes via USB I should dump the idea of HDD. It was really just a thought as a possible alternative method for doing what I wanted.

What about using the external HDD bay mod I mentioned earlier? As I said the tutorial you can find for that that here seems to be missing some (key?) detail but it looks as if I may be up to the DIY and soldering skills required for what is shown.

http://www.xbox-scen...s/externhdd.php

Does any size limit apply or would I be able to use any ext. HDD? Is this hardware mod just another (better than USB) method of doing what we've already discussed and dismissed ie. 'simply' adding extra storage?

However I thought that just maybe being connected direct internally it might instead act in piggy-back, like having a bigger HDD. I doubt it does but I thought I'd ask, for curiosity's sake more than anything.

Edited by fallenangle, 25 January 2010 - 01:41 PM.


#15 1hotjob

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:46 PM

I think you are taking the hardest road possible.

It would be MUCH easier to get a larger hard drive installed in the Xbox. You could flash the TSOP and then use Slayer's to install the drive. You could use Chimps to clone the drive. All without the use of a conventional PC.

You could put in a mod chip easier than making that external adapter. They go for around $15 now. You don't need a fancy one.

Getting a 500gig IDE drive and putting it in will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. With the external drive you will still need a way to prep it and lock it.




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