Tuesday, June 05, 2007

XBOX 360 120GB Hard Drive



- I picked one up from buy.com with a 10% off coupon bringing my final price to $157 shipped.
- I don't do any market place video downloads (I prefer Netflix). I mostly like downloading a lot of demos and free videos. I like to keep several on hand so I was always running out of space.
- Transferring data from the old 20gb to the new 120gb was a snap. You just hook the new 120gb hd to the included funky 360 sata connector -> usb adapter, and plug it into the BACK usb port on the 360. Drop in the disc and let it do it's thing. It took about 1.5 hrs to transfer a nearly full 20gb hd.
- After the transfer is done it will WIPE all data from your old 20gb HD (basically it looks like a format to me).
- Swap the drives and you are good. There were a few demos and Microsoft related videos already on the 120gb hd.

[RANT]
So I'm listening to the latest Game Theory. I like when Gary question's the MS guy on the hard drive price. The answer he gives is less than satisfactory. The point he makes about oem notebook sata HD's not comparable to the "premium" hard drives microsoft buys (including a usb cable and some software what like synctoy which is free???) is PURE BS!!!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149057
There you got a 5400 rpm sata 120gb for $75 shipped. Now the MS guy is saying they value add $105 b/c the hard drive is better spec'd, has a $2 usb cable, and some software which is similar to what they give away free in windows?

Here is the exact same model hard drive I got in my 120gb upgrade for only $93 shipped:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822116031
Now, if you take the exact same model # from the 120gb 360 upgrade hard drive, and see that it's $93 shipped from newegg. You know microsoft is getting it for less. So above the profits newegg already makes at the $93 price point Microsoft makes an addition $87 in profit minus the cost of the enclosure, transfer cable, and transfer cd. Lets say I'm really generous and say all that stuff is worth $20 (I'm sure Microsoft costs are a lot less than that). That still leaves them with $67 additional profit on top of whatever discount they get on the whole sale pricing I'm sure they get on the actual hard drive.

Everybody knows hard drives are practically a commodity item these days. Think about it. Say it with me. These are NOTEBOOK hard drives. You know the type built to be moved around, used in harsher environments, built with better specs to begin with. On the 360 it sits there on a shelf. MS is telling me they need a higher grade premium notebook hard drive to be used in a friendly environment? How STUPID does this MS GUY think we are??!!??? Sony lets you use off the shelf hard drives in their ps3. They don't seem to have a problem with this.
Pure utter grade A BS!!!

This is pure rape by MS and nothing more.

I swapped my 60gb ps3 hd with a 160gb (about $114 now) one and it was EASY. Their back up/transfer software worked perfectly (all my saves and downloaded games and demos) which btw was free and built right into the XMB.
[/RANT]

- Oh I know you can hack your own hard drive buy buying a specific model and write this so called security sector which is signed. I wouldn't do it though. It sounds very risky. First, you need your own unique 120gb security sector and to get that well you need to buy the official 120gb. I bet Microsoft can detect you using your own hard drive and who says they won't ban your console in the next dashboard update. Overall it's just too much risk IMO.

Backup
- Do the following at your OWN RISK!
- You can use the transfer cable to backup your 20gb hd before you transfer it to the 120gb. I do it just for peace of mind in case something goes horribly wrong.
- What is nice about the included transfer cable is it works just fine in windows xp. It's basically a sata (with ms funky connector) to usb 2.0 bridge cable. Just make sure you plug it into a usb port that comes directly off the motherboard. Front case ports are hit and miss depending on how well the wires are shielded that go from the motherboard to the front of the case. I have a few 2.5" hd enclosures and some will work from the front usb ports and others won't. To be safe just use a usb port directly on the motherboard. The 360 hd is usb powered too while using the transfer cable.
- The drives show up as standard usb mass storage device.
Here is the original 20gb (cost around $30 street for the same exact hard drive model):


And the 120gb:


- Since the hd is formated in fatx you need xplorer360. For some reason the latest official version wouldn't see the 120gb properly but this modified version worked great.
- You can backup the entire hard drive to your pc in a single image file (or backup specific partitions, #3 being the critical one).

Overall I'm enjoying the additional space but man the asking price is way too high. I think a price of $100-120 would be a more reasonable profit margin for Microsoft.

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