The Xbox 360 has a hard drive which it uses to store game and video data, and when it breaks, you’re more or less faced with simply replacing the hard drive or playing without it. Of course, broken components are no fun on a game console, and even less so when they provide a vital function that stops your game console from working. Here’s a guide for what to do if your Xbox 360 hard drive breaks completely.
Know the Symptoms – First of all, make sure that it’s actually the hard drive of your Xbox 360 which is broken and not another component. Error codes like E67, E68, and E69 indicate hard drive failure, and in some cases you’ll hear a clicking or extreme whirring sound coming from the hard drive of an Xbox 360 that is broken. Sudden freezes in games can indicate a hard drive that’s beginning to fail, but in some cases there are no warning signs before the hard drive simply goes out on you. You can check easily by trying a friend’s hard drive in your Xbox 360 or by simply removing the hard drive to see if it works. If it does, then you’ve got a hard drive issue.
Warranty Repair – If your warranty with Microsoft is still valid, you can contact Microsoft to send your hard drive in for a replacement. Be sure to have any error codes written down to tell Microsoft support. Generally speaking, Microsoft is very fast at warranty assistance (and they may only require the hard drive to be sent in, so you’ll still have your Xbox 360 to play, though you won’t be able to save anything), but they can’t actually repair a hard drive–hard drives are made to be extremely accurate devices, and when they break down, they’re much cheaper to replace than to repair. You’ll get a new hard drive sent to you, and unfortunately you’ll lose your game data. If you’re the most hardcore gamer ever known to man you can contact a data recovery company to get your save games back, but that’s spending about $1000 for the recovery–man, you are hardcore!
Pricing a Hard Drive – If you’re out of warranty or for some other reason want to replace the hard drive yourself, search online for a good price and don’t buy any second-hand hard drives. Expect to spend about $40-80 depending on the size of the hard drive that you want. Once you buy the drive, it’s easy to install the new one; pop out the old one, and pop the new one in. Voila!
Do you have any other tips for when a hard drive breaks on an Xbox 360? Post in our comments section below.