Xbox 360 hard drive transfer guide

By Dom Sacco | April 20th, 2011

How to transfer data from one Xbox hard drive to another

Contrary to Microsoft’s advice, you don’t need an Xbox 360 transfer cable to copy data from your old hard drive to a new one.

Leet explains how to install a new Xbox hard drive and keep all the data from your old one.

One of the bonuses of transferring data to a new hard drive – other than the obvious benefit of extra space – is the fact that all Xbox 360 hardware such as controllers and headsets will continue to work as normal.

To transfer data from one Xbox 360 hard drive to another, you’ll need the following:

  • Xbox 360 console
  • Current hard drive (must be smaller than the new drive)
  • New hard drive (Leet recommends 120GB or 250GB)
  • USB pen drive (Leet recommends two 16GB devices) or Microsoft Xbox 360 data transfer kit

Follow these steps to transfer your data:

Using an  Xbox 360 data transfer cable

This is ideal for transferring data from an old hard drive to a new drive on an Xbox 360 Elite console.

1. Connect your old hard drive to your new Elite console.
2. Turn the Xbox on and connect the big end of the transfer cable to the bigger hard drive.
3. Plug in the USB end of the cable to a USB port on the Elite 360.
4. Insert the bundled disc into your Elite and follow the steps.
5. When the transfer is done (it may take up to an hour or so), disconnect the smaller hard drive, turn off your machine and plug in the new hard drive. Violà.

Transferring without an Xbox 360 transfer kit

We recommend this method for installing a new hard drive onto an old-style Xbox 360.

1. Switch on your Xbox 360 console and insert a USB pen drive.
2. Press the Xbox guide button on your controller and head to the far-right menu. Select ‘Memory’.
3. Select the pen drive and follow the steps to format it if you need to (make sure you transfer any important files to a computer before wiping it).
4. Press Y to transfer data, then select the data you want to transfer (make sure you choose your gamertag profile, system settings and any game saves you want to keep).
5. Once the data has been moved to the USB pen, remove the drive and turn off the Xbox 360, before unplugging it from the mains and removing any cables attached to the console.
6. Remove your old hard drive. Place your 360 vertically and push in the button to the left of the hard drive, then remove.
7. Insert your new hard drive. Ensure it clips in correctly.
8. Plug in your 360 again and switch it on.
9. Insert the USB pen drive with your data on it.
10. Go to ‘Memory’ and select the pen drive. Transfer all the data across to your new hard drive.
11. If you need to transfer more data from your old hard drive, turn off the machine again and plug in your old hard drive. Turn it on, transfer more data to the USB pen drive, and repeat steps 5 to 10.
12. You may need to transfer ownership rights of any downloaded content to your new hard drive. A prompt will flash up on screen if this is the case – follow the steps online to transfer rights to your new hard drive. Note: You can only do this once every 12 months.

More tips

  • Have a look on Ebay or in game stores for second-hand hard drives – you can save a lot of money over buying a new hard drive
  • If you already have USB pen drives, use them instead of paying for a data transfer kit
  • Be careful not to touch the connectors on the Xbox 360 hard drive and never remove it from the console when it is switched on

Was this guide helpful? Leave any advice you may have in the comments section below.

Leet recommends Xbox 360 products from Expansys

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11 comments ↓

#1 EJM on 05.18.11 at 5:50 pm

Instead of a pen drive could you just have a 2.5 harddrive hooked up on an external bay, transfer the data the same way as explained with the pen drive. Then just open the old xbox360 hard drive case, take that drive out and replace it with the larger one ?

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