Saturday, November 22, 2008

Xbox 360 120 GB HDD Data Migration Experience

As previously mentioned, I love being able to install games to my Xbox 360's HDD with the New Xbox Experience. The Xbox 360 is quieter, generates a little less heat, and many games have seen increased performance with this feature, and the only major problem I've encountered is that most games are a little under 7 GB, which amounts to having only one game installed at a time on my 20 GB HDD. To overcome this, I caved and picked up the 120 GB HDD earlier this week, which happens to come with a Transfer Cable and Transfer Software Disc.

Traditionally, you could only transfer content from one HDD to another with a Memory Unit, or by re-downloading any content via the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, however with the Transfer Cable, you can efficiently do a one time transfer of all your content off your existing 20 GB HDD to your new 120 GB HDD.

The process is extremely simple. First, you turn on your Xbox 360 with your original 20 GB HDD still attached, and then you use the supplied Transfer Cable to connect the 120 GB HDD to the USB port at the back of your Xbox 360 console. Next, you pop in the Transfer Software Disc, and follow the on-screen instructions, which begin by asking you to format the 120 GB HDD in preparation for the transfer.

Sadly, this means any preloaded content is lost, however that's where the Transfer Software Disc comes in, as it appears to install a host of preloaded content back. Once the process was complete, I had four retail game Demos and several Xbox LIVE Arcade Demos, as well as several videos that I've never had before, and the only place they could have come from was the disc.

However I'm jumping ahead again. Once your 120 GB HDD is formatted, you can then confirm that you want to transfer all your content over from your original HDD. You can also cancel if you wish, and you can apparently cancel at any point during the transfer and all your content will remain on your original 20 GB HDD, though note that I did not test this nor did I interrupt the transfer. The time for your transfer will vary, depending on how full your HDD is. For me, it was an estimated time of 1 hour and 32 minutes simply because I had something along the lines of 80 MB left free, and while I didn't time the transfer itself, I'm pretty sure it took a little less than that.

Once complete, you get a splash screen telling you everything's done, and to eject the Transfer Software Disc to end the process. Note that on this splash screen will be a message saying some data from your original HDD was corrupt and could not be transferred, yet when I checked, everything appears to be there and thus far everything is working fine. After doing a little online research, it appears this message is standard in the splash screen and everyone seems to get it, and I can only assume it's Microsoft's way of covering themselves incase something really does go wrong (it does say in the manual that Microsoft is not liable for any lost data).

With the data transferred, your original 20 GB HDD is completely blank and makes for a lovely paperweight, and you now have a whole lot of room to install your retail Xbox 360 games! At present, I'm sitting with about 84.6 GB free on my HDD, and loving my noise-free gaming experience!


Anonymous said...

How can you consider it a "noise-free" gaming experience with those insane system fans going nuts all the time? It drives me crazy.

Juxtapose said...

My system fans don't go crazy nuts. Some Xbox 360 consoles have that noise issue, some don't.

For me, I'm lucky and I've never had a console that sounds like a jet engine.