Report: Xbox One hard drive becomes full at 362 GB

When Microsoft launched the Xbox One in November, it did so without a way for their owners to find out how much free space was left on their 500 GB hard drive. At the time, Microsoft told Neowin and other sites that storage management was "automatic", adding, "By being smart about how storage is managed, Xbox One keeps everyone playing, watching, and sharing their entertainment content rather than worry about limitations."

Well, as it turns out it is possible to max out the available storage on an Xbox One if you install enough games and apps on its hard drive. IGN posted up a video (no embed options; sorry) that shows the maximum amount of available space on the drive for users is about 362 GB or so.

That limit was reached after installing 20 of the Xbox One's 23 launch titles. In a statement sent to IGN, Microsoft said the rest of the 500 GB space is used for the OS and the first party apps that are already available on the console.

While most people won't be buying and installing all of the Xbox One's launch games, the hard drive space issue will become a problem down the road as more and more games for the console are released. Microsoft has promised that it will update the console to accept external hard drives but so far there's no word on when that will be released.

Source: IGN | Image via Microsoft

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Was it really so hard for Microsoft to make the internal hard drive removable via an access door? This would make it so much easier for the masses to upgrade to any HD they want. Why be so stubborn in limiting the internal to 500GB and then use USB? Give us options MS. Bring them to XBone Rev. 1.5

Actually, according to the Ifixit teardown update (http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfro.../igi/3QXmsqjFSwFgEduA.large - for the image in question), this will become even more of an issue as patches are released. Each patch seems to add a new partition to the disc, with sizes that have been thus far significant in size. One could expect future tweaks to be relatively small in size, but there will invariably be a significant interface overhaul years down the line, like the NXE update and beyond.

Edit - I may have misinterpreted things, considering the two partitions labelled System Update 1 and System Update 2 both have a significant amount of free space available, meaning they could just be generic spaces for updates to different parts of the OS.

After buying premium for Battlefield 4 I was curious as to how much space each of the DLC map packs was taking up, this is not good news. I really wish they would have shipped with a 1TB minimum.

This is technically a non-issue, since it auto trims old games down that you haven't played, or removes them totally, And all of your saves are in cloud storage, even for non-gold members. So if you don't play a game for a month, it might get removed if you've installed 3 other games on top of it that you are playing. God forbid you have to wait a few minutes while it reinstalls, after a month of not playing it... It's actually kind of nice not having to worry about storage and how much space do I have free, and manually removing data files for games I haven't played in months.

First: saves take up hardly any space.
Second: a few minutes to download a game? Don't make me laugh. Maybe if the game is 100mb and you have a decent internet connection. Games are easily +10gb.
Third: Guaranteed you'd be annoyed when you finally want to play that game you haven't played in a month, just to be greeted with a screen that you have to re-download it and wait... hours... depending on the game. You won't even want to play the game by then.
I hope for Xbox players that they release the patch to use external hard drives for storage soon. Kinda silly they didn't at launch, but that's Microsoft. Launch now, patch later.

The upcoming games are supposed to allow you to start playing very quickly by downloading just the components you need and then getting the rest as you play. I can't imagine being so impatient with nothing else to do even if I did have to wait for a download.

Why on earth would they put a NON user-replaceable hdd in the first place? Everybody knows that HDDs are the no.1 failed component in computers (other than a cheapo PSU). Xbox360 HDD was a very smart move, you could change it, break it, replace it, no harm done, no warranty voided. Going out of space is the lesser of the problems here. A failed HDD on an Xbox One in >1 year would either lead to buy a new Xbox One (if you have the money to buy a new one), or disassemble the xbox one to replace the HDD (and get in the temptation to do other 'operations'), or send it to Microsoft Service?!?

I'm pretty sure it was just to keep the price down as it's already the most expensive console on the market. End user replaceable requires a relatively foolproof mechanism which costs money.

I would suggest people do a little housekeeping instead of having 23 installed games. God forbid you may have to re download or re install the odd game,

One annoying thing about the apps on the platform is that they take up so much space. You don't need 100 MB for something like a Netflix or YouTube app.

What is so next generation about this next generation console anyways? At the very least, not having a user replaceable hard drive on a system designed around downloadable content is idiotic and makes zero sense. Oh, but you can add an external...eventually. That is exactly what we want more boxes, wires, plugs, power strips, and energy usage.

It doesn't matter, it's still another cable and another box. It still doesn't answer why they decided to make the internal drive permanent. Don't say anything about technical savvy either because a monkey could swap a 360 hard drive. So what happens in 13 months when the internal dies?

The 360 was a custom made and proprietary drive enclosure. It was also a big pain if you had to migrate your old drive. Is that what you'd really want? You'll also have to pay more for the console to get it?

Spicoli said,
The 360 was a custom made and proprietary drive enclosure. It was also a big pain if you had to migrate your old drive. Is that what you'd really want? You'll also have to pay more for the console to get it?

I used the transfer cable before, piece of cake. My 95 year old grandpa could have done it. And paying more for the console? As opposed to paying for a external drive? You're missing the point. The point is the drive they stuck in there will fill up within a year and you cannot replace it with a larger one. Hard drives won't last forever and this "One" will definitely not last 10 years.

techbeck said,
I'd imagine there will be revisions with added storage space/different form factor much like what happened with the 360.

Yes!! And there will be an achievement too!! The Day One20 Edition achievement

Hopefully they enable external storage or something. Removing the ability to upgrade the internal storage was, in my opinion, a bad call. 500 GB will last no time; especially now that both of the current-gen consoles use BluRay discs and developers won't be motivated to keep install size small to avoid spanning multiple DVDs.

>>In a statement sent to IGN, Microsoft said the rest of the 500 GB space is used for the OS and the first party apps that are already available on the console.

So 138 GB of space is used for the OS and the first party apps. Doesn't Microsoft mean a 500 billion bytes hard drive as in 500,000,000,000 bytes instead of 500 GB?

>>About 10gb is used for the OS another ~35 is lossed the rest would be reserved. If you max out a hard drive it becomes a lot slower is one logical example.

I figured around 65 GB is used for the NTFS file system after formatting or about 13%.

>>Allowing external HDDs is all well and could but I'd rather they let us install our own drives. I'd chuck a 500GB SSD in there.

Agreed. I would install a 1TB or 2TB.

Edited by ReimondX, Dec 10 2013, 3:13am :

ReimondX said,
>>In a statement sent to IGN, Microsoft said the rest of the 500 GB space is used for the OS and the first party apps that are already available on the console.

So 138 GB of space is used for the OS and the first party apps. Doesn't Microsoft mean a 500 billion bytes hard drive as in 500,000,000,000 bytes instead of 500 GB?


Thanks for pointing that out. 500 GB HDD, are usually around 465 GB, meaning that around 103 GB were occupied by the OSes

Jose_49 said,

Thanks for pointing that out. 500 GB HDD, are usually around 465 GB, meaning that around 103 GB were occupied by the OSes

no, some will simply be reserved for cache and apps and they will not want the entire drive filling as this will kill performance, this is true of any hard drive, if its nearly full performance will drop to a terrible state.

Technically it includes 2 OSs, people seem to forget that. It has stripped down Win8 core and Xbox OS I believe. That is going to chew up abit of space.

Xerxes said,
Technically it includes 2 OSs, people seem to forget that. It has stripped down Win8 core and Xbox OS I believe. That is going to chew up abit of space.
I think they might have forgotten to strip down the Win8 part

Xerxes said,
Technically it includes 2 OSs, people seem to forget that. It has stripped down Win8 core and Xbox OS I believe. That is going to chew up abit of space.

Actually it's 3

I know space will probably be a big deal this generation, but if you think about it, most people are only going to be playing 2 or 3 "major" games at a time. If the console was really "smart", as you fill up your drive, it could delete the install of old games you haven't played in a while automatically, while retaining patches and dlc which you could manually delete if needed. All save files are in the cloud, so that's not a problem at all really.

You could have a "rotating" 120-150gb of space for installs and the rest for dlc, patches, and saves. I only wish the disc install time was a bit faster to really make this system work.

That's pretty much what happens. The Xbox One will delete lesser used games, first reducing them to a minimum playable state (basically what you get before a game does a full install). Everything is pulled down from their servers as needed. The problem is you can't prioritize and mark certain things as "never delete", or set download quotas due to restricted allowances by the ISP, because it is supposed to be invisible to the end user. Also, if you want to go back to an old favorite, you may be waiting for a large download. Hopefully in the future external drives will allow you to use them as a cache.

True, like with skullgirls. This is why we should be careful in buying digital-only games and why physical copies are still important. I don't think we're ready to go all digital at this point without at least the option to back up our games to physical media. This is somewhat possible, at least on PS3, but honestly the systems that get this mostly right are Nintendo's. They provide access to the filesystem on backup media, and you can selectively copy/move/backup your digital games. They are tied to the hardware though, and not the user account, so it's still not perfect. We have yet to see what backup options the PS4 and Xbox One will provide, if any.

oh ok, and thank you
actually, now that I think about it, I don't remember seeing the port on the ps4 to user replace the hard drive...
I'll have to go and look

I didn't know that, just went to take a look after you posted, thank you kindly,

Now back on topic, I'm sure as Microsoft is a big company they'll look into 'fixing' this, afterall, the 360's hard drives were upgradeable even though you had to buy that whole 'pod' type enclosure.
(personally I think they should be user replaceable, most pc's can, why not the xbox too?)

Allowing external HDDs is all well and could but I'd rather they let us install our own drives. I'd chuck a 500GB SSD in there.

Raa said,
You want to spend that much money on a SSD for a games console?

Would you see a benefit?


As sagum posted, it's not much of a benefit; definitely not worth the premium. SSDs/flash storage will likely be a major part of the next-gen consoles; it's a shame they didn't drop in price quick enough to be viable for the PS4 and Xbox One.

IIRC both PS4 and Xbox One only have a SATA II interface, so that's why moving to an SSD doesn't bring much extra performance.

gonchuki said,
IIRC both PS4 and Xbox One only have a SATA II interface, so that's why moving to an SSD doesn't bring much extra performance.

Yeah, that would explain the marginal benefit with the SSD. No reason for them to go SATA III when HDDs can't even max out SATA II.

About 10gb is used for the OS another ~35 is lossed the rest would be reserved. If you max out a hard drive it becomes a lot slower is one logical example.

Atomic Wanderer Chicken said,
What on earth would be taking up 138 GB of hard drive space?

Its not 138, its about 100.

A formatted 500GB drive is 465GB. So that means the X1 is reserving 100GB and the ps4 is reserving 60GB. It would be nice to see a breakdown of whats in it.

trooper11 said,

So that means the X1 is reserving 100GB and the ps4 is reserving 60GB. It would be nice to see a breakdown of whats in it.

I would think it is a factor of how they wanted pure digital in the future (temp files, system use for downloads, etc). That and with all the app switching and things they want to do, they were playing it safe for overall resources and space.

Major Nelson confirmed it:

The Xbox One will ship with the 500 GB hard drive, all of them have that," Hryb said. "The future plan is for definitely to support external storage much like we do on the Xbox 360. My understanding is that feature will not be there at launch, because the team is working on some other things, but it definitely is on the list.

Even though it's not enabled you DPyro, there isn't a massive need for it this close to release. But yes, they'll we certainly need the feature to be released as more games roll out into the market