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Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Kit hands-on

Ryan Block, @ryan
04.26.07
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Here's that Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Kit that Microsoft so generously bundled with our Elite (don't expect to get one with yours, it doesn't come in the box). The documentation they sent with this thing was pretty substantial for an adapter and a CD you plug into your Xbox, but we think they want us to make sure we don't screw anything up and lose all our precious, precious data. Here's what you need to know (and some observations, to boot):
  • You don't just transfer data to your 20GB drive externally -- you have to plug your 20GB drive into your Elite, and use the 120GB drive externally. (Yeah, we photographed the unit attached to our 20GB drive though.)
  • You can only transfer content ONCE. This isn't a backup or duplication tool, it's one-time use per drive.
  • Even after turning off the console our externally adapted drive kept spinning because it was powered by USB. Weird.
  • Despite the on-screen diagram, our instructions say to use the BACK USB port. Woops, we didn't. Pray it doesn't kill our data.
  • Apparently Microsoft wants you to dispose of your transfer cable after use. Um, ok?
  • XBLA and Marketplace content (i.e. downloaded games and shows) require online authorization. In other words, some licenses can't transfer, and you won't necessarily be able to watch all your transferred media without logging on. Whatev.
  • Movie rentals cannot transfer drives. "Watch them first!" because they're not going to make the trip, period. Double whatev.
  • If your 20GB drive is maxed out like ours, it could take a while. The system transfer will tell you how long it estimates the transfer to take: moving our 17.5GB of data was estimated at 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • You can restart or stop the transfer at any time during the move, but you'll have to start all over again next time. But you won't lose any data. Supposedly.
  • "Microsoft is not liable for any loss of data resulting from the transfer process." That's the third and final whatev!
We'll let you know the final time it took to transfer our drive's contents.

P.S. -Our bestest buds at Joystiq got the same document and scanned it in for us, check it out in the gallery.

Update: All done! It took under an hour to move all 20GB over, not the hour+ the guide estimated. Best to keep expectations low, right? Still not super fast, but we'll live. Stick close for more details about the device, pricing, availability. (Anything else you want to know? Ask it in comments while we've got Microsoft's ear.)

Gallery: Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Kit hands-on | 13 Photos

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