Xbox 360 Hard Drive upgrade to 250GB

In early 2006 I bought a Xbox 360 with the 20GB hard drive.  While the original box died and I’ve since replaced it, the hard drive has continued to run strong.  I finally decided that I must have more space for installed games, demos, etc.  So I bought a 250GB Western Digital hard drive from Amazon with for $40 the intent on replacing the 20GB.

The 250GB BEVT works great, with the full capacity showing in the Xbox settings.  To perform the upgrade, I followed this guide, which was very useful.  Nearly everything went just as described in the guide when I followed the directions, except for migrating my data over to the new drive.  I first tried using a WinPE 3.0 USB flash drive to boot and run hddhackr.  That was fail.  Finally I created a regular DOS boot flash drive, attached the drive to a SATA port (running in Legacy mode in the BIOS) and the flash of the 250GB drive went smoothly.

Once that was complete, I attached the old drive and booted into Windows, and followed the instructions for backing up the Xbox compatibility files (for original Xbox games) as well as backing up my data (save games, DLC, etc.).  Everything seemed to backup without issue.  Then I reattached the new drive, restored the compat stuff, and then the data.  Finally I put the new drive back in the case, attached it to the Xbox, and turned it on.  The Xbox started up fine, went to the system settings and it showed the correct amount of space.  Went to look at the content, and nothing was there.  Whoops.

Rather than going through the whole process again, I formatted the 250GB drive in the Xbox system settings area, which wiped all the content out.  Then I put the old drive in the case, grabbed an 8GB USB flash drive and transferred all of my content from the old drive to flash.  There are only a few things that wouldn’t transfer to the flash drive, but no biggie.  I put the new drive back in the case, transferred all of the content from the flash drive to the new drive.  Now everything seems to work great.  Played some Forza last night, and all the save data and DLC was there.  If anyone does this upgrade, I’d just use flash to transfer your saves and DLC if you can.  Seems like it is faster, easier, and more reliable.  After that, I just had to redownload a few things, like Kinect and some of the app updates, as well as the MPEG-4 update.

The process is well worth it, saving about $80 overall and having plenty of space for game installs and such.  The Xbox is so much quieter when the optical drive doesn’t have to spin all of the time.  Thanks to InsaneNutter for the guide and info!

One thought on “Xbox 360 Hard Drive upgrade to 250GB”

  1. First of all, as an owner of all the big 3 gaming systems this generation and last, the Xbox and Xbox 360 get my vote for “Best Video Game Consoles of the Last Decade” in terms of the over-the-top FUN, game-playing ease (on & offline), killer-graphics & sound, and the highest quality and variety of exclusive games.

    If you’ve never owned an Xbox, now is the time to jump in! For around $300, you get practically everything you need for two players to have infinite fun! In addition, Amazon.com has great deals on Xbox 360 games from $10 to $20 on factory-sealed games that are only a year or two old.

    Pros of the Xbox 360 Slim:

    * It really is whisper quiet.
    * Better heat ventillation system. Safeguard mechanism to shut down before overheating.
    * Semi-Internal 250 GB Hard Drive (different from the past 360 models)
    * Built-in Wireless Modem
    * Built-in Kinect Port for controller-less gaming coming this Nov. 2010
    * Sleek, sexy, glossy-black finish on console that is smaller than its predicessors.

    Cons of 360 Slim:

    * Although it has the brand new Valhalla chip, the proven Jasper chip in the Elite bundles runs cooler (such as in the Limited Modern Warefare 2, Resident Evil 5, Splinter Cell:Conviction, and the Final Fantasy XIII Bundles). All have gigantic 250 GB hard drives with seemingly endless memory for storing games, videos, and music.

    Here’s my take, the latest Jasper-chipped 360 Elites were finally perfected, ran very cool & quiet, had the lowest incidents of Red Ring of Death from overheating, and an awesome 3-year warranty. The new Slims have taken one step backwards in that the game discs get much hotter. So, if you are looking for an Xbox 360 Elite for a your first Xbox 360 or just as a backup, I would highly recommend getting The Final Fantasy XIII Bundle with the free $50 FFXII facelate (my personal recommendation at $299) while you can because they have discontinued production of everything, but the Xbox 360 Slims.

    My bottom line suggestion is to get the proven Jasper Elite while you still can, but you certainly won’t be disappointed by the Xbox Slim. I just wish Xbox would have given us the choice of the new Slim design or the slightly larger Jasper Elites. Whatever you decide, HAPPY GAMING, you won’t regreat buying an Xbox 360 as your primary gaming system! Nintendo Wii and PS3 aren’t bad machines, just less fun than the Xbox 360 in my opinion from a veteran gamer who remembers when pinball machines and pong games ruled the arcades.

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