How to fix Game could not start Xbox error

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
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Playing games on Xbox is great, but sometimes certain errors can occur that prevent you from enjoying in your favorite games.

Users reported The game could not start Xbox error on their console, so today we’re going to show you how to fix this error.

“Game could not start” Xbox error, how to fix it?

Fix – Xbox error “Game could not start”

  1. Delete the latest system update
  2. Install the latest Xbox update
  3. Make sure that you’re using an official Xbox hard drive
  4. Replace your hard drive
  5. Try cleaning the game disc
  6. Check your hard drive
  7. Delete the game from your hard drive and reinstall it
  8. Format the hard drive
  9. Clear the cache
  10. Remove any USB flash drives

Solution 1 – Delete the latest system update

Users reported this error message while using Xbox Dashboard features, and this usually means that there’s a problem with the latest console software update.

To fix this problem, you need to delete the last update and download it again.

To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and select System Settings.
  2. Choose Storage.
  3. Now press the left bumper, right bumper, X. Repeat this step one more time.
  4. If you performed the previous step correctly, you’ll see Delete System Update message. Select Yes.
  5. Console will now remove the latest update and restart itself.
  6. After the console restarts, you need to download the latest update again.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to download the update immediately, but you won’t be able to sign in to Xbox Live until you do.

Solution 2 – Install the latest Xbox update

If you’re getting Game could not start error, you might want to try updating your Xbox. The easiest way to do that is to connect to Xbox Live.

This is a simple process and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press the Guide button on your controller.
  2. Choose Settings > System Settings.
  3. Select Wired Network or the name of your wireless network.
  4. Now choose Test Xbox Live Connection.
  5. If prompted to instal the update, select Yes.

If you can’t access Xbox Live for some reason, you can download the update on your PC and move it to a USB flash drive. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Download the latest Xbox update on your PC.
  2. The update will be stored in a .zip file, therefore you need to extract it first.
  3. After that, copy the contents of the .zip file to the root directory of your USB flash drive.
  4. Connect the USB flash drive to your console and restart it.
  5. After your console restarts the update installation process should start immediately.

If you decide to use a USB flash drive to install the update, keep in mind that you’ll need to use a USB flash drive with FAT32 file system.

If your USB flash drive isn’t FAT32, you’ll need to reformat it as a FAT32 device.

If you don’t have an extra USB flash drive, you can also download the update and burn it to a DVD or CD and install it that way.

The process is almost identical, except you have to use a CD/DVD burning software.

Solution 3 – Make sure that you’re using an official Xbox hard drive

If you try to play Xbox games on Xbox 360 you might get Game could not start error. To fix this error you need to be sure that you’re using an original Xbox 360 hard drive.

Most Xbox games will work on your Xbox 360 as long as you have the original hard drive.

If you get an error message while trying to run Xbox games on Xbox 360, it might be that the game just isn’t compatible with your console.

Solution 4 – Replace your hard drive

Sometimes this error can occur due to problems with the hard drive, and if that’s the case, you might want to try replacing the hard drive. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Position your console horizontally.
  3. Locate the hard drive cover and open it.
  4. Remove your hard drive.

After removing the hard drive, try replacing your hard drive with a different one. In these types of situations it might be the best that you borrow a hard drive from a friend and test it on your console.

If the problem doesn’t appear with a different hard drive, you’ll have to purchase a new hard drive for your Xbox.

Solution 5 – Try cleaning the game disc

Game could not start error can appear if your disc has scratches, and to fix this problem it’s recommended that you clean your game disc. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the disc by the edges without touching the top or bottom surface.
  2. Use a soft, clean, slightly damp cloth to clean your disc from center to edges.

You can also take your disc to a store that has a disc polishing machine and ask them to polish your disc.

If that doesn’t work you might want to ask your friend to borrow you his game disc and check if it works on your console.

If the other game disc works without problems, it means that your game disc is damaged and you might want to consider replacement.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page.

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