Install Xbox One OS on new hard drive - 2022 Guide

Disclaimer – As an Amazon Associate might earn from qualifying purchases including getting commissions for purchases made through links on this website. Thank you if you use our links.

The Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles have been with us for over 10 years now, so it is not surprising that their internal hard drives need some TCL and maintenance.   With new operating system (OS) releases almost monthly from Microsoft, it is always good practice to have the latest version installed – but what if you have a faulty hard drive and need to install the latest OS release from Microsoft?

In this guide, we walk you through the process of installing the latest OSU1 file from Microsoft on to your new super fast, fresh hard drive.

Install Xbox One OS on new hard drive
In this guide
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    How to install Xbox One OS on new hard drive - the basics

    Let’s start with a couple of important points – when installing a new hard drive into an Xbox One S or Xbox One X, the maximum capacity the Xbox will recognise is 2TB – any larger than that, you are simply wasting your hard earned money.

    Second point is form factor – only a 2.5 inch hard drive will fit into the Xbox One S and Xbox One X.

    Now that is out of the way, to install Xbox One OS on new hard drive you will need a USB memory stick (Flash drive) which is at least 8 GB in capacity (the latest version of the Microsoft OSU1 file is 5.2GB!).  It is always best to use a blank USB memory stick rather than one which has all your family photos on as we will need to make sure it is formatted a certain way.

    Getting everything ready

    To Install Xbox One OS on new hard drive, we need to download to files – the OSU1 file (the actual operating system) and the Boot Animation files.

    The “boot animation files” are the files which show the green Xbox boot logo when you switch on your Xbox.  Do not know where to find them?  Do not worry, we are here for you.. they can be downloaded by simply clicking the link below.

    Next you will need the actual OSU1 files – these files are the actual Xbox operating system files and you should only use the latest version from Microsoft.  To save you searching the Microsoft website, we have added a direct link below – this link downloads the latest OSU1 files directly from Microsoft and will be the latest version available. 

    Tip – If the download fails to start, right click the button below and select “Save Link As”

    Getting your new hard drive ready

    Now, you have your nice new hard drive, but it must be totally blank – nothing on it at all. Most brand new hard drives will already be blank.  So, if you have “borrowed” a hard drive from an old laptop (we have all been there) then you will need to connect the hard drive to a PC or Laptop and run Windows Disk Management to delete all data from the hard drive.

    To connect the hard drive to your PC you will require a USB Hard Drive Caddy like this option here – 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0 Tool-Free External Hard Drive Enclosure 

    Place the hard drive into your USB Hard Drive Caddy and connect to your PC.  After a few moments, your PC will recognise the hard drive.   Now run Windows Disk Manager,  Once in Windows Disk Management, simply find the hard drive you have just connected, and delete ALL partitions on the hard drive.

    Copy the files to USB

    Hopefully by now the OSU1 files will have finished downloading.  Now it is time to copy them to your USB memory stick.  

    First things first we need to prepare the USB memory stick so insert your USB memory stick into your PC or Laptop and format it to NTFS (it must be NTFS to work).

    Open up the file which you have downloaded and copy the $SystemUpdate folder to the USB memory stick – copy the entire $SystemUpdate folder. 

    The only folder you should now have on your USB memory stick is the $SystemUpdate folder.

    Installing the OS to your Xbox

    Now, back to the Xbox.  Install your new (blank) hard drive and switch on your Xbox.

    You will see a System Error E106 (or similar) error message appear – that is good news! 

    Insert the USB memory stick you have prepared with the $SystemUpdate folder and select “Trouble Shooting” and then “Offline Update”

    After a few seconds, you will see a progress bar as the XBox installs the new OSU1 file to your hard drive and motherboard firmware.

    Depending on the speed of the hard drive you installed, this whole process takes around 10 minutes.

    Once complete, the Xbox will reboot and take you back to the dash board – congratulations – you have replaced your hard drive and installed the latest version of the Xbox OS.

    What? No boot up animation?

    Earlier on, we downloaded the boot animation files.   This is because most of the time when installing the updated OS to a new hard drive, the Xbox does not automatically copy the files needed to show the boot animation when you switch on your XBox – this is the green “Xbox Logo” screen that shows when you first switch on your Xbox.

    So how can we return the boot animation screen back to life?  Simple..

    Remove the hard drive from your Xbox (remember we said earlier, do NOT install it fully just yet) and connect it back to your PC or laptop.

    Open Windows Disk Management again, and you will see your Xbox hard drive with multiple partitions installed.  The partition we are most interested in is the “System Update” partition. 

    If no windows drive letter is assigned to the “System Update” partition, simply right click it in Disk Management and select “Assign Drive Letter” then click next to accept the default drive letter windows assigns – take a note of the drive letter than windows assigns to the partition.

    Open up the file that you downloaded earlier and you will see two folders – one called “Xbox One S and Phat” and one called “Xbox One X” – depending on what console you are working on, extract the bootanim file to both the “A” folder and “B” folder on the drive that windows created earlier.

    Still confused?

    Have  you seen our YouTube channel?  Here is a video showing you the whole process, and a few other video suggestions we think might help you..

    Here is a video from our friends over at showing your the best way to dismantle an Xbox One S

    Console Therapy provide fast, efficient games console repairs. We believe we are the fastest and most transparent games console repair service in the UK and EU.

    Let us prove it to you.  Get your instant repair quote now.

    Further Reading

    Looking to repair your console yourself?  Our most recent support guides are below to help you

    PS5 LAN Cable Keeps Disconnecting

    PS5 LAN Cable Keeps Disconnecting? Here’s What To Do

    PS5 LAN Cable Keeps Disconnecting? Here’s What To Do The PlayStation 5 (PS5) is one of the most popular gaming consoles on the market today.
    Read More →
    Best Tools for PlayStation and Xbox Repair

    Best Tools for PlayStation and Xbox Repair

    Best Tools for PlayStation and Xbox Repair Here is a run down of the best tools for PlayStation and Xbox Repair that we use at
    Read More →
    xbox one running slow

    Is Your Xbox One Running Slow ?

    Is your Xbox One running slow? Have you ever been knocked off your gaming stride because of a slow Xbox One? There is nothing worse
    Read More →
    how to make Xbox one run smoother

    How to make Xbox One run smoother

    How to make Xbox One run smoother – speed up your gaming Disclaimer – As an Amazon Associate we might earn from qualifying purchases including
    Read More →
    Scroll to Top