Xbox Live outage temporarily disconnecting cloud storage for some users (update: restored, free month of XBL)

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Microsoft added a cloud storage feature to the Xbox 360 in its fall 2011 dashboard update, but today an outage has taken it offline for the last several hours and counting. As noted by Joystiq, trying to access your cloud saves is resulting in a 0x807b0198 error for many, although other parts of XBL like streaming video services and multiplayer gaming profiles are unaffected. For the moment, we were able to copy/move some of our saves from the cloud cache on our hard drive (Settings --> storage --> cloud storage) to the normal hard drive section, and access them from there. Your mileage may vary, but otherwise you'll just need to keep an eye out the XBL dashboard status page to see when things are back to normal. There's no word yet on when it will be fully restored, but a message there says engineers are working on a fix. We're not missing the old "gamertag recovery" feature the cloud system replaced and upgraded, but any significant outage is certainly enough to make us think about keeping our saves backed up on a memory card in a safe place -- just in case.

Update: We noticed our cloud saves were back online early Sunday although the status page indicated work was continuing, and now (3AM ET~ Monday) Major Nelson and Xbox Support have tweeted that the issues are resolved. Additionally, General Manager of Xbox Live Alex Garden said in a post on MN's blog that the reason it took so long to restore was to ensure the integrity of all game saves. The small silver lining for those affected? A free month of Xbox Live Gold will be automatically added to their subscriptions.

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