My old Xbox 360 had recently been failing — I saw it coming but didn’t do anything about it until the console went completely dead. First the Red Ring of Death (which Microsoft repaired), then then a bad disc drive, and then the whole thing just went dead. After my girlfriend bought me a new Xbox 360 console (jealous?) I needed to figure out how to transfer my data from the old Xbox 360 hard drive.
I found brief mentions on the web of using a USB drive to transfer small amounts of data and saved games to a new Xbox. If I find more information about this process I will post it. Using a USB stick would be a good solution to this problem because it doesn’t require you to buy anything extra. But since my old Xbox was completley dead using a USB drive was not an option. How can I put my data onto a USB drive when the console won’t even turn on?
Move data with the Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Kit
The solution to my problem was the Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Kit. It consists of a cable that will connect your old hard drive to the new console via USB. It’s unfortunate that the Xbox doesn’t use any standard size/shape removable hard drive, necessitating paying what might be seen as a “data migration tax” in purchasing this cable. But since this was the only easy way to move my saved games, here is how I did it:
Note: Microsoft refers to your old system as the “source hard drive”, and the new system as the “destination hard drive”.
The following instructions describe the process of moving data from my old circa 2006 Xbox 360 to a new black Xbox 360 S console.
- Make sure your new Xbox 360 has the latest updates from Xbox Live.
- Pick up an Xbox 360 Data Transfer Cable.
- Remove the source hard drive from the old Xbox 360 and connect it to the data transfer cable.
- Plug the USB end of the data transfer cable into your new Xbox 360 (the destination hard drive).
- Turn on the new Xbox 360 and wait for the screen stating “Data transfer cable detected”. Select “Yes, transfer to console”.
- Select which content you want transferred to the new Xbox 360, then choose “Start”.
- Wait for the transfer to complete.
Things to Know
Here are some things I learned from researching and performing this transfer which would be helpful for you to know in advance:
- If the capacity of the destination hard drive is smaller than that of your old drive and does not meet the space requirements for all your data, you must either get a larger destination hard drive or deselect some content in step 6. The content you deselect will not be transferred.
- You can transfer your Gamer Profiles during the course of this process. It is not necessary to first recover your Gamer Tag to the new console.
- If you do make the mistake of unnecessarily recovering your Gamer Tag, then transfer your Gamer Profiles from the old hard drive, the Xbox will say that your Gamer Tag is invalid. You can fix this by recovering your Gamer Tag once more.
- Protected content licenses can be transferred to the new console through Xbox.com/drm.
- Rented movies will not be transferred to the new console.
- I read a lot of rumors claiming that the Data Transfer Cable could only be used once. According to Microsoft, this is not true. If you have a friend who did this, maybe you can save some money by borrowing their cable first.
- According to the Amazon.com product description, the cable cannot be used to transfer data from one Xbox 360 S console to another Xbox 360 S console.
The Xbox 360 Data Transfer Cable is available online at Amazon.