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So a few days ago my Xbox 360 finally conked out completely. It's a 2006 model that I had already sent in for repairs (from an RRoD) a few years ago, so there's no more warranty on it today.

Symptoms look fairly fatal to me: after crashing during an MTG2012 session, it rebooted into a red screen. Now every time I turn it on, I see visual artifacts. Sometimes it starts playing the boot animation, just to crash after 2 or 3 seconds. That means I cannot even boot into the dashboard anymore.

Question is: what about my game data? I only really care about saved games to be honest. I don't have a lot of games, but the few ones I play are RPGs, some of them (Oblivion, Fallout, etc.) I spent a hundred hours or more on a single character. Is there any way to recover the game save data? I know the hard drive is detachable, but the new Xbox Slim does not support these (oh yeah, I bought the Slim today).

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You need to get a Hard Drive Transfer cable which will copy everything, including your save games, onto the 360 slim (assuming there is enough room on it). You don't need the bricked 360, just it's hard drive and the new slim xbox. You can also do this with just a USB drive, but will take longer depending on how much you've got to transfer.

If you've purchased a new Xbox 360 console, you can transfer everything (games, videos, music, saved games, gamertags, and even your hard-won achievements) to your new console!

There are two options available for moving your precious information. You can either use the Xbox 360 Hard Drive Transfer Kit to move everything to your new console, or connect a USB thumb drive if you only have a small amount of content such as your gamertag and saved games.

As you'll only use it once, my advice would be to buy one off ebay where you can then sell it again after you've used it for near enough what you paid for it.

As for the xbox itself, it sounds like it's overheated and the graphics card has started to warp and come off the motherboard. This problem can usually be fixed by clamping the card back down via a bit of DIY and a few bolts. If you don't fancy doing it, there's usually a few people on ebay that do this themselves and would be willing to offer you some cash for it ;)

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Considering the fact that the old Xbox 360 is inoperable, take a look at this community-written repair manual for the Xbox 360 on iFixit. Much of the site is inspired by Stack Overflow, so it may look familiar to you; see this Stack Exchange Blog post for more information on iFixit. –  DragonLord Jul 18 '11 at 21:11
    
Thanks for all the info! –  Matthias Jul 19 '11 at 7:21
    
Transfer cables are great just for storing those extra games you downloaded on the old HDD. good to use when moving saves or full games from console to console. There's a transfer option(move all registered games and DLC to the new console or you can just say no to the transfer and use it like a USB. Can't run the games off it though. –  Brok3n Jun 22 at 4:08

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