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A lot of people have experienced a RROD failure with their Xbox 360s, but has anyone experienced hard drive failure? The 20Gb drives included with day 1 launch models are now 5 years old, and eventually these hard disks will break down.

How likely is it that these drives will die, and are there any early warning signs or indicators? What can I do to protect my data against this possibility?

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Hard drives fail. You cannot predict the time (for a single drive), any answer would be meaningless for your situation. –  Mad Scientist Dec 29 '10 at 14:35
    
A company, google I think, did a study and they found in computers, hard drives tend to fail in the first year or last for years and years. –  Ray Britton Apr 4 '11 at 14:39
    
@ray, the principles of the bathtub failure curve have been known long before Google came around. –  Nick T Apr 4 '11 at 15:35
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4 Answers

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It is almost impossible to predict when a hard drive will go bad. I've had desktop hard drives that went bad after 9 months. I've also had some that are still working after 10 years (and I still have a Tandy even with a working hard drive!)

Sometimes when a hard drive begins to fail it will perform very poorly and/or exhibit the "click of death." When either of these things happen(especially the click) it is time to buy another one and stop using the hard drive until you are ready to back it up. Note, the few hard drives I've had that failed, failed suddenly without any slow downs. They just one day didn't work.

Other than that, to ensure a long hard drive life is not to bang it or other rough hard movements. Also, store it somewhere between 70-100 degrees Fahrenheit and run it in such a temperature range. Also, make sure it isn't in an overly dusty environment.

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It's highly unlikely that your hard drive will die, particularly given some other component in your 360 will likely fail first, rendering any concern about the hard drive moot.

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Why do you think other parts are more likely to fail first? A 5-year-old drive can certainly be suspect, especially if it's used a lot. –  Anna Lear Apr 4 '11 at 17:16
    
You must be new to this whole Xbox 360 thing. Look up the RRoD. –  migo Apr 4 '11 at 23:55
    
@migo I know what it is. I had one happen. It's not necessarily more likely than a harddrive failure, especially if it hasn't happened yet in 5 years. And if the OP is talking about a newer 360 with an older drive, the odds of an RROD go down even further. –  Anna Lear Apr 5 '11 at 0:06
    
The OP specifies day 1 launch models with a 20GB hard drive, they'll RRoD before the hard drive dies. –  migo Apr 5 '11 at 0:10
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@migo I interpreted the post as referring to day 1 launch models as just a way of dating the drives. I could be wrong. :) –  Anna Lear Apr 5 '11 at 2:34
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Provided you take good care of it you shouldn't see it fail for a very long time.

In around 2 years working at a games store the only time we ever saw a hard drive come back was because someone had been rough with it or pulled the power out at an awkward moment.

If you're concerned it might be useful to back up some save games to a memory card.

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Unless there are early signs (which are harder to see with a 360 vs. a desktop or laptop), the only real option is preemptive replacement. I haven't experienced this yet, as my 360 is only a year and a half old, but I suspect that many who would have have already upgraded their drives because of space issues.

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