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Upgrading to a 120gb 360 hard drive - DIY style


davejm
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We'd discussed this in the 'new dashboard' thread, but I thought I'd start a new discussion on this as otherwise the relevant info might get lost. It'll also be potentially handy for anyone else that hasn't been following the discussion there.

Anyway, tonight I'm going to try and replace my 20gb 360 hard drive with one of this:-

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/110273

I'll be using this guide:-

http://www.pcworld.com/article/150970/upgr..._the_cheap.html

I realise the saving isn't massive these days, especially since you can trade in your 20gb drive for £20 apparently (which you won't be able to do if you go down this road), but being the techy type I figured I'd give it a go anyway. I recieved my new drive this morning, and although my 360 is currently away for repair, I'm hoping to borrow my brother's machine tonight so I can get cracking on this.

I'll post up details of how it goes, and any challenges I find on the way. I'll post up some piccies as well if that's useful.

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Ah I forgot to mention... there's a program called Explorer360 that will transfer everything over. You plug the old drive into your PC, backup all the data, and then transfer it over to the new one. I don't have a link to the app at work unfortunately.

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How much are the official 120gb ones going for these days? Someone mentioned they were £60 instore at Comet, although that might have been a special offer.

Annoyingly, those Western Digital drives have gone up from £32... to £37... and now to £39 over the past couple of days.

I think Amazon are selling them for £35 inc delivery though.

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I ordered two 120Gb BEVS from Dabs.com yesterday, to do the exact same thing...

I've got the hddss.bin and everything else I need now. Just waiting for the drives to arrive. Was £35 (inc VAT and delivery) for the upgrade discs (each)

By all accounts you need a modified version of xplorer360 to browse your old 20Gb disk and copy the saves and content acroos to the new one. Its called "extreme2 edition"

I found a good simplified guide here (with file links):

http://titaniumfish.com/2008/10/21/xbox-36...ade-wd1200bevs/

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I've done it, it's not that hard, I used a memory card to swap my saves over and then just redownloaded all my content. It cost me around £32 as I bought the drive last month. It's definitely worth doing, even after installing all my updates, downloading a load of demos and add-ons and videos I still have over 80GB free. It's faster as well, my Arcade games appear straight away. The only bit I found tricky from the procedure was getting the SATA drive to be recognised outside of Windows, but that's because I was unfortunate enough to have one of the motherboards on the list that doesn't support it. I fixed it by editing the program (as it says in the guide).

I'm looking forward to installing games to hard drive.

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I ordered two 120Gb BEVS from Dabs.com yesterday, to do the exact same thing...

I've got the hddss.bin and everything else I need now. Just waiting for the drives to arrive. Was £35 (inc VAT and delivery) for the upgrade discs (each)

By all accounts you need a modified version of xplorer360 to browse your old 20Gb disk and copy the saves and content acroos to the new one. Its called "extreme2 edition"

I found a good simplified guide here (with file links):

http://titaniumfish.com/2008/10/21/xbox-36...ade-wd1200bevs/

woohoo! (the other drive is for me :))

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My Dabs BEVS disks turned up today - both RST revisions, which is perfect. Flashed them both in about 30 seconds worth of effort... all seems fine - the flashing app reports they're now both 360 compatible

Will crack open my 20Gb discs caddy and install it in my 360 when I get home tonight :) Looks like I've saved a ton of cash!

Then it's just the tedious data transfer of my save games etc to do...

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I managed to flash the new drive OK, and it's now formatted for the 360 and works in the console.

I'm having trouble with the data transfer though. I used the xplorer360 application to try and back up the data on the 20gb disk, but it was still reporting that it was copying files when I got up this morning (so it was running all night) which seemed odd - so I cancelled the backup. Not sure what the problem is. Anyone know how long this should take? It seemed to be transfering thousands of little files in the $systemdata folder, but there's only about 2gb worth of data on the disk.

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yeah they got a used 120gb at local gamestation for 65 quid but I'm still probably gonna go the bev route. Seems easy enough although might just get a transfer cable to borrow using the forum thread. It's annoying the price jumped up recently though .

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The 120gb drives that MS use are Fujitsu drives, so the .bin file just overwrites the info on the WD drive to fool the 360 into thinking it's an official one.

That's all it does, and it unrelated to the file system of the drive. If the drive is working in the 360 at all, you don't need to reflash it.

There's a partition on the drive that handles backwards compatibility. As part of the process for upgrading to these 120gb drives, you export this partition from the 20gb one (using the explore360 extreme2 software, and the drive connected to your PC) and then import this saved partition to the new drive.

I have this partition already on my PC. It's a 262mb file. Want me to upload it for you to my webspace so you can download it? You'll then need to connect up the drive to your PC (using a SATA connector) and transfer it over using the software. Should be fine after that.

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The 120gb drives that MS use are Fujitsu drives, so the .bin file just overwrites the info on the WD drive to fool the 360 into thinking it's an official one.

That's all it does, and it unrelated to the file system of the drive. If the drive is working in the 360 at all, you don't need to reflash it.

There's a partition on the drive that handles backwards compatibility. As part of the process for upgrading to these 120gb drives, you export this partition from the 20gb one (using the explore360 extreme2 software, and the drive connected to your PC) and then import this saved partition to the new drive.

I have this partition already on my PC. It's a 262mb file. Want me to upload it for you to my webspace so you can download it? You'll then need to connect up the drive to your PC (using a SATA connector) and transfer it over using the software. Should be fine after that.

Wont this partition be created when you format the 120 for the first time using the 360?

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I'm not sure if the explore360 software will work on a Mac... and even if it did, it's going to look for a SATA drive connected directly up to the machine. I'm not sure if it will be compatible with any other interface hardware/software.

Can you get access to your PC? Is it SATA? If not, can anyone you know help you?

There's nothing wrong with the drive btw, they've just not copied an image to the partition that's dedicated to backwards compatibility. When you hook up the hard drive to the PC, you just use the expore360 software to 'restore partition 2' using the image I've created from my old drive.

I'm not surprised they haven't done this btw. In order to get a drive formatted for the 360, you need to hook it up to the PC and flash it. You then need to screw it into the 360's harddrive enclosure, and format it using the 360. It'll then work fine in the 360, except for backwards compatibility. In order to get that working, you need to remove the hard drive from the 360 harddrive enclosure, hook it up to the PC again, copy the partition image over using expore360; and then screw it back into the 360 harddrive enclosure for use with the 360 again.

If you've bought an unofficial one, I'm not surprised they haven't done this last stage of the process. Explore360 has only just started working with the 120gb drives, so they may not have been able to do it - even if they wanted to.

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Wont this partition be created when you format the 120 for the first time using the 360?

I'm not sure if flashing the drive creates the partitions or if the 360 does it when you format... in any case, there's nothing in partition 2 after both of these processes. I'd guess that the official drives come with the partitions already created, and when you format the drive it only formats partition 3 (where your games, saves etc are stored) because the rest of the info is already present.

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Great news Elmlea! Glad I could help :)

If only I could back up partition 3 on my 20gb drive. It goes into an ever ending loop when it tries to copy (I had it running 12 hours+). It's the only thing stopping me from getting the saves from my old drive to the new one now.

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So I had issues doing my 120Gb drive over the weekend.

After flashing and inserting into the drive caddy the new drive works fine. Formatted OK, and happily accepted my Live profile restore and a bit of DLC download. So if I were a new user, job done, very happy! Lots of cash saved.

My issue (like the others) is with moving the data off my old 20Gb disc.

To start, I had the endless loop in copying that Davejm also had. I found it was a file in the 'cache' sub-folder that was buggering the copy process. It wasn't a zero byte file tho. I just copied all the 'content' instead and left that folder alone, figuring the cache stuff will update from Live or disc as I use the drive.

I then created a backup of partition 2 for the backwards compatibility stuff, despite probably never needing it.

My main issue then came from the fact that the new 120Gb disc, when viewed using Xplorer360_extreme2 only shows partition 1. No sign of partition 3 to copy my backed up files back to at all! Trying to restore partition 2 also just resulted in the xplorer app hanging and the partition not being created. So I'm a bit stuck.

Haven't yet worked out why I'm missing the 3rd "data" partition. It must be there surely, I downloaded some DLC to my new disc...

I spotted something else (mildly irritating!) while reading around. Some game saves (most notably Rock Band and Forza) are signed with the hard drive (not consoles) unique ID. And if moved will no longer work (this goes for official transfers using the MS drive and cable too). So some of my games saves will not be usable once moved.

Anyone got a solution to my "no partition 3" tho?

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I bought one of these BEVS drives a month or so ago in anticipation of NXE and have spent a frankly stupid amount of time setting it up today. I've got a self-modded TiVo, Xbox, PS2 etc, but this was by far the biggest ball ache and I'd actually say that in light of all that I now know, I'd rather have just spent the £99 on an official one!

Xplorer360 seems to be flakey at best, and to save some of you a huge amount of time... It doesn't work with Vista if UAC is turned on. It will appear to work, but the point where you try to drag the files you backed up from Partition 3 back on to the new 120GB drive you'll discover that Drag and Drop won't work and you get a no entry icon if you try. Then you'll probably realise that when you try and inject a folder using the context menus that won't work either. Hours I've fucking wasted. I hope this helps you.

Also, this tutorial is useful since most other ones seem to stop once you've got a 107GB Free formatted drive which is somewhat missing the point...

http://beta.ivancover.com/wiki/index.php/X...d_Drive_Upgrade

The only advantage to all this is that I've transferred my Halo2 save from my modded original Xbox. I'm about 95% through the single player and never got around to finishing. I tried to play it on a normal TV at the weekend and could barely make anything out through the scanlines. How easy it is to get used to HD :P

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You can't flash a 120gb drive with a HDDSS.BIN file from a 20gb one. So yeah, everyone will be using a downloaded .BIN file with the same 'id' as plenty of other people.

I'm taking the risk. I can understand them cracking down on pirates, but I don't think they'd ban people over this.

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