The Xbox 360 hard drive (HDD) stores player information, saved games and files purchased over Xbox Live. The Xbox 360 HDD ranges in size between 20 GB to 250 GB depending on the version of the console. The hard drive is detachable for removal and replacement. It is also possible to transfer data between two hard drives using a hard drive transfer kit.
The Xbox 360 hard drive has come in 20 GB, 60 GB, 120 GB, and 250 GB sizes. The 20 GB hard drive originally shipped with the Xbox 360 Pro console. This was replaced by a 60 GB hard drive in 2008. The Xbox 360 Elite originally shipped with a 120 GB hard drive. This was replaced by a 250 GB hard drive in 2009. The Xbox 360 S console comes with a 250 GB hard drive. You can also purchase a 250 GB Xbox 360 HDD as a separate accessory. The Xbox 360 Core and Xbox 360 Arcade consoles did not come with a hard drive.
The Xbox 360 hard drive is not required to run most games, but it serves an important function for all of them. Player profile data is saved onto the hard drive, including system settings and Xbox Live account information. Saved game information storing the player’s progress also goes onto the hard drive. Some games also have updates, add-on scenarios, or expansion packs that you must download onto the hard drive for use with the game. You can also store video and music files on the Xbox 360 HDD.
The majority of Xbox 360 hard drives are interchangeable between consoles. The Xbox 360 Arcade, Core, Pro, and Elite consoles have the same size hard drive slot. The Xbox 360 S hard drive and console are a different design. You cannot swap the S console and hard drive with any other hard drive or console other than another S model.
Pressing the tab on the hard drive will unlock it from the console. This allows the hard drive to swing free from the console. You can then plug a new hard drive into the slot. The Xbox 360 HDD automatically locks into place when inserted.
It is possible to transfer the contents of an Xbox 360 hard drive using a hard drive transfer kit. This kit consists of a disc and transfer cable. You can use this to upgrade to a larger hard drive. You plug the cable into the console and the hard drive the data will be transferred to and insert the disk into the console. This disk transfers all of the data on the old hard drive to the new one. The hard drive transfer kit can transfer data from an older version of the Xbox 369 HDD to the S model HDD.