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Friday, December 12, 2008

XBox 360 60 GB Upgrade Installation & Impression

I bought my Xbox 360 approximately 20 months after it launched, as I didn't want to rush in again (I had the original NES and Xbox on the day they came out). Outside of 3 ring of death events (all recoverable; the last one occuring more than a year ago) & some sporadic disc read issues, I have not had any many complaints about the system. I am very please with my choice.

Recently, I had run into a HDD space issue, espcially in light of new features such as copying the game locally. The original 20 GB HDD just isn't enough. I had tried, unsuccessfully, to ghost my existing drive onto a bigger harddrive. Unfortunately, the system's copy protection involves hardware locks & OS pre-installs. The price of an Xbox 120 GB HDD, even used, is way above the current GB/$ street value. This is one of features I envy of the PS3; the ability to upgrade the HDD easily (the other is the BluRay capabilty). Recently Microsoft released a 60 GB upgrade. Buying it from Amazon's surplus depot & a defect in the packaging, drops the price to under $80.

I also head previously read about Microsoft's USB Transfer Kit, which I procured for just this event. It allows for a one time copy/cloning of one HDD to another. I crack open the packaging :

Inside the package you will find :
  1. 60 GB HDD
  2. Instruction manual
  3. 3 month XBox Live gift card
  4. Headset
  5. Cat5/6 ethernet cord
The next step is to follow the USB transfer instructions :

So connect the new HDD drive (replacement) to the appropriate side of the transfer cable (it's the large end) and then connect the other end to a USB port on the back of the XBox (the instructions implicitly warn NOT to connect the USB to the front ports). Like so :

And this:

You then just follow the on-screen instructions :




90 minutes later :

After a restart. Fin:

The results are great. I have Fallout 3 & GTA IV already installed locally, to boost performance and keep the system running quiet. Netflix works pretty well too, though I cannot tell which videos will be HD ahead of time or from the online queue/library. If you need some space and are looking for a relatively cheap solution or are upgrading your system from the arcade or core system, this is an option you should consider.


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