How to Fix Bad Firmware Flash in Xbox 360

Written by leighton sawatzky
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How to Fix Bad Firmware Flash in Xbox 360
Bad Xbox 360 firmware is a serious problem, though it can be fixed. (controller image by Thommi from

The firmware of your Xbox 360 is a type of software that controls its most basic functions. It translates instructions from higher-level software, like the Dashboard and games, into commands the various components of your Xbox can follow. Updating the firmware of an Xbox is known as "flashing." If something goes wrong during a flash your Xbox can end up with faulty firmware. An Xbox with faulty firmware will either function poorly or not at all. Most of the time, it is possible to overwrite bad firmware using the System Update feature.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • TV
  • Xbox 360
  • Internet connection
  • Computer (optional)
  • CD or DVD Burner (optional)
  • USB memory stick (optional)

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  1. 1

    If your Xbox can boot to the Dashboard menu screen you can flash your firmware using the Xbox system controls. Go to the "My Xbox" tab and select "System Settings," then "Initial Setup" from near the bottom of the list. When asked, confirm that you want to run the Initial Setup program. The rest of the process should complete automatically and your Xbox will restart itself.

    Completing this process will reset your Xbox to its original factory settings. You may lose save game information, user settings, and other information saved on your Xbox.

  2. 2

    If your Xbox will not start up properly, you may be able to flash the firmware using a USB stick or CD. Download the Update Folder file from Microsoft. Save it as "$"

  3. 3

    Copy the contents of the Update Folder to the root folder of an empty USB flash drive. The root folder of a drive is the highest level of the file system hierarchy. It contains all the folders on the drive and can also contain files. It is the folder of the drive that you see when you double-click the drive.

    How to Fix Bad Firmware Flash in Xbox 360
    A USB flash drive. (usb flash drive image by Bosko Martinovic from
  4. 4

    Eject the USB drive from your computer and insert it into your Xbox. If your Xbox is on, restart it. If it is off, turn it on. The update program will start automatically when the Xbox begins to boot. When asked, select "Yes, update now." The process is complete when you see the Dashboard screen.

  5. 5

    If you do not have a USB flash drive, you can burn the Update Folder contents to a blank CD or DVD. To do this, insert a blank CD or DVD into your burner and double click on the icon of the drive the blank disc is in.

    How to Fix Bad Firmware Flash in Xbox 360
    The updated files can be written to a blank CD or DVD. (cd-r image by matteo NATALE from
  6. 6

    Open the Update Folder file and drag its contents into the root folder of the CD or DVD drive. Right-click on the CD or DVD drive and select "Write these files to CD." A CD wizard window will open containing instructions on how to finish writing the files to the disc.

  7. 7

    Place the CD or DVD into the Xbox 360 disc drive and turn on or restart the system.

  8. 8

    The update program should start automatically. Select "Yes, update now" from the dialogue box that pops up. The system will restart itself when the update is complete.

  9. 9

    If none of these steps fix your faulty firmware you may need to send your Xbox in to Microsoft for repairs.

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