Repairing a corrupted Xbox 360 save file

Discussion in 'Xbox 360 - Games & Content' started by FinalSentinel, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. FinalSentinel

    FinalSentinel Newbie

    Oct 4, 2018
    United States
    Recently I got hit with a wave of nostalgia and decided to pick up a old game that I had played forever ago: Ace Combat 6, and decided to finally 100% the game.

    However, in my attempt to 100%, my save file became corrupted. Of course, being that I had played it forever ago, I didn't think to back it up (classic mistake).

    I am hoping that someone on this thread has some experience uncorrupting xbox 360 saves and would be up to sharing their knowledge. I found some hints that it is possible from this thread (had to edit out the hyperlink, but it's a similar thread to this one on the neogaf forum, titled: Is their a LEGAL way to "uncorrupt" a xbox 360 save file?). In particular I followed a modified workflow from Lima's post (modified workflow included below) . However, this was unsuccessful, and I was unable to figure out how Neora performed his wizardry in the same thread.

    Thanks in advance for the help! I'd appreciate any advice you all could send my way. Still feeling the pain of losing that save file, luckily it wasn't a RPG.

    <Modified Workflow>
    I modified Lima's workflow first by not using usbxfatgui, as the save files can now be extracted directly from a backup USB drive without the need for decryption. I then used the Xbox360HashBlockCalculator and Package Yiffer as suggested. Finally, I used Horizon instead of Modio for the rehash and resign process, as Modio no longer exists. This did not work for me, but maybe it will work for someone else who wanders along this thread. Let me know if anyone would like me to upload the tools I used.​
    Last edited by FinalSentinel, Oct 4, 2018
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    How did it get corrupt?

    There are three ways it ever really happens

    1) Your USB/HDD/NAND/whatever died but you managed to get it back before it did. This includes you lost power halfway through a save or something.
    2) You were messing with save editors or similar and hosed something up.
    3) The game itself messed something up and now can't be played.

    There are not so many backups on the 360 that won't automatically be loaded so that is out for the most part (some games on some systems will alternate saves you can load an earlier version, probably still lose progress but not all of it).

    If you messed up with a save editor then it will depend what was done.
    Other times it is the same as other things -- try to load the save in save editor if one exists and copy any relevant data you like across to a new save you made. Normally around here (not in the 360 section mind you) we see it with pokemon so people mainly just want their pokemon back and don't much care about their inventory, game progress... It has been a while since I have done Ace Combat so not sure what it entails for this one.
    If no save editor exists you can try to figure out the save format, or try mashing together parts of the save (after fiddling with the profile stuff -- 360 saves are more than plain save files like we commonly see on simpler systems and instead pack things into a known format and do all the things horizon/modio deals with -- usbxtafgui is for grabbing things off a USB drive formatted to work for 360 profiles and saves, otherwise you will need a hard drive reader/to disassemble the drive to put it into a normal computer or modded 360 system) such that it might be loaded by the game and get you something.
    If you are not already familiar with save hacking then it will be a fairly steep learning curve (assuming there is no save editor), if you are it is probably still going to be a long winded affair and if it is just for your game you will be better off just playing it again (assuming 100% is not a 9 hours per character affair to get all the tricks and upgrades and whatnot).

    Some might mess things up when trying to reassign saves to different profiles. This looks like what the thread you reference is heading towards.

    The thing about the stuff for 1) is random really means random. You might get lucky and it will have hit somewhere you don't care about or is in part of the save container you can regenerate, or it could be spread across the file in some manner.

    I should also note MS takes a very dim view of save modification and will ban you if they catch on, no matter if you are just trying to recover a save.
  3. FinalSentinel

    FinalSentinel Newbie

    Oct 4, 2018
    United States
    Thanks so much for the detailed reply FAST!

    This seems like an option #3 scenario to me. The save file worked before playing the final level, then after finishing the final level when I went to save it returned "corrupted". No obvious power failure there.

    As for save editors, there are a few that I've seen, but mostly they just seem geared at changing credits. I'll have to dive in and see if they do anything more substantial. I assume I'll need a save editor explicitly built for Ace Combat 6, and not a generic save editor like with rpgmaker games?

    If no save editor like that exists, you suggested either:
    1) figuring out the save format
    2) Mashing together parts of the save (after fiddling with profile stuff -would I do this with Horizon?)
    I have some programming experience, but as for save hacking my experience is limited to flipping switches in rpgmaker games, so I am an novice in this area. If indeed none of the save editors work, I'm guessing option #2 would be the easiest path, as I could imagine finding a fully 100% save around online and cross-comparing them, but I could be mistaken. The save file I'm trying to rescue has about 50 hours on it, so not anything ridiculous, but not super quick to make up either (could probably do it in 20 hours now though). Also, fun note, now Xbox 360 save files stored on a formatted USB can be read directly from a computer, usbxfatgui no longer required (this is why they discontinued updating it to my knowledge).

    Interesting note about the thread I referenced, thanks for pointing that out. It seems like their are two solutions on that thread, one done through pm's and in the background that worked, and one that was suggested on the thread whose methodology I followed. Do you believe the latter that I tried is heading towards messing things up when trying to reassign saves to different profiles? I had assumed the process was meant to repair an improper hash/checksum and then resign the save to make it work. I tried to contact the person that fixed the save all those years ago, but turns out that NeoGAF is extremely restrictive with new accounts.

    As for your point on 1), would this apply to 3) as well, or might I get lucky and have all the damage contained to a single part or a checksum?

    And thanks for the warning about MS, as I don't play online and the Xbox 360 is such an old system I am less concerned about this, but definitely cognizant of the risks. It's a shame that they don't give any official options for save repair, but this is the console world we live in I suppose. I'd like to continue looking into repair options for now, but if the combined effort and risk become too great I may have to reconsider.

    Once again, Thanks so much for your help and sharing some of your knowledge on the topic. New world for me, but figured this forum would have people that have messed around with this stuff a lot.
    Last edited by FinalSentinel, Oct 5, 2018
  4. protivakid

    protivakid Advanced Member

    May 6, 2014
    United States
    I would love if you could share the files, especially Yiffer since I can't seem to find that