Saturday, October 24, 2009

Death of a Hard Drive

Two weeks ago, my XBox 360 HDD decided to fail. I was playing ODST and got a "disk read error". I reset and played some more, only to have it freeze again.

Needless to say, this upset me quite a bit. I had heard about ODST disk read errors, but had not been bitten by one until then. I thought that's all it was -- an annoying pain for that game. So I tired off the console and didn't think much on it.

It wasn't until that night that I discovered how deep the trouble ran. My brother was coming over to play some ODST with me, so I fired up the XBox. A single red light appeared on the lower right of the ring.

"E68," said the XBox.

"Oh no. That can't be good," I said. 

The next 30-60 minutes found me searching for solutions online and repeatedly trying to resuscitate the dying HDD. But it was to no avail. It was dead, Jim.

My brother and I still had fun playing ODST Firefight, but we couldn't play with friends online and none of the medals went to my profile.

The unexpected loss of the hard drive left me grieving. Some research revealed that recovering my saved games would not be very likely. The most painful losses would be my Castle Crashers save and my RockBand 2 save.

I considered my options, all of them stupidly expensive.

  • I could forget about hard drives and get a memory card instead. Then I could play online, but wouldn't have all my RockBand downloads. The memory cards are cheaper than a new hard drive, but still cost way more than they should.
  • I could shell out the coin for a new HDD. This seemed like the best solution, but I was daunted by the expense.
  • I could splurge to get a new XBox Elite from Best Buy. I could then get their awesome replacement plan in case things went South. But then I'd have an extra console and a hole in my wallet.

Before making a decision, one of my best friends helped me test and then disassemble the old hard drive in the hopes of recovering some data. No dice. The failure was complete -- the drive is just a brick now. I very much appreciate my friend's help though. 

Finally last night I made a decision and bought a new hard drive. Unfortunately, Best Buy doesn't do their replacement plan on just the hard drives. Oh well.

So now I'm starting over. One nice thing about XBox Live is that it tracks what you've downloaded and let's you re-download those items anytime. Thus I'm back in business. I'm sure I'll miss my save data, but them's the breaks.

And so goes the tale of woe which is the Death of a Hard Drive.