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We just got Skyrim for Xbox 360. We tried to install the game to the hard drive, but when it reaches 58% a window pops up saying that the disk may be dirty or scratched. We also had a problem with it freezing on the loading screen when you begin a new game, but it started to work.

Why is this happening, and how can I fix the problem? All our other games work fine.

Update: well it freezes during the game and after we turned it off and put it back in to try again, the system said disk unknown. I think we will be taking it back, im guessing there is something wrong with the disk.

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  • Is the game used? If so it may have very fine scratches. Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 0:10
  • I would try these methods to clean the disc: wikihow.com/Fix-a-Scratched-CD#Disc_Cleaning_Method
    – Halfwarr
    Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 1:51
  • Its a brand new game Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 2:53
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    Yeah, bring it back. Defective discs happen on occasion. Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 18:04
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    Skyrim ate my xbox's hard drive. Something about the disc drive the disc or the way the game loaded onto my system... All I know is it bricked my nice new 250 gig hard drive. @enigma seemed to be onto something about the way the discs are made, as I never had any issues with other games.
    – Bob
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 5:30

2 Answers 2

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You either have a disc with a manufacturing defect (which does happen on occasion), or the "brand new" game that you were sold was actually a pre-owned game. In either case, the solution is to return the disc for refund or replacement.

(The latter is highly likely since most physical-disc retailers really, really want to sell their stock of pre-owned games. This leads to some location managers to require their employees to use scummy tactics at the point of sale to quickly "inform" the customer that the game is pre-owned without actually making it obvious that they're not getting a brand-new disc.)

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  • Gamestop makes a habit of opening ALL of their new games then shrink wrapping them or simply selling them without it. This means you have no way of telling if what you recieved was a new game or a used game. They have even gone as far to removed a promotional offer that was offered to anyone else who bought the game. They aplogized after Gamestop monkey started to throw stuff into the fan. This promotional offer was for a streaming service, Gamestop just happen weeks before this release, purchased/annouced a competing service.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:42
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One of the many reasons a game will not install is because the laser-head inside the Xbox is getting worn, or is slightly off-focus. The laser is designed to hit a very precise spot, and if that spot is somehow skewed, it will result in fail.

As Enigma pointed out, this is largely a problem with newer released games, where the density of the data on the disc is greater. This results in a smaller margin of error for the laser to read. I had the same problem with Halo 4, which would not install, but it would start. However, it would not get further than the intro video. I tried changing the game, no change. With a second Xbox, however, the game installed and ran just fine.

There are a few adjustments you could try, for example trying to tilt the Xbox slightly while trying to install the game (no, I'm not kidding here, worked for me), but this is not recommended on a permanent basis. This might forcefully skew the laser in a way it's not meant to. You could also take out and reinsert the game, hoping for a millimeter of difference is disc placement.

Hope you get your game to work.

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