What a Racket!

So I have been in the market for a larger hard drive for my Xbox 360, really the only gaming I do these days, even at that it’s spent playing FIFA. First person shooters have lost luster with the time I spent on Urban Terror. That is not to say there are not good FPS games out there, but something that is revolutionary and new, sorry don’t think so. My son and I stop by GameStop yesterday and I notice they have refurbished 120GB hard drives, so I inquiry about them. Hearing nothing negative I decide to spend $99 as opposed to the retail price of $149.99 for the same product new. Of course there is a kicker. The refurbished hard drive did not come with a transfer kit that includes a USB type cable to transfer your data. The other kicker, no retail stores locally carry the transfer kit. You can always spend $49.99 and let the Geek Squad do it at Best Buy. Talk about a racket!

So I am not sure what I will be doing. I know for a fact I won’t pay someone to do it for me. I thought about buying a new 120GB hard drive, using the software and transfer cable and then returning the hardware to the store. The last option is to buy one off any number of Internet stores. But $20 to get me a cable for something I will only use once. Not sure I like this idea either.

One would figure there would be a way to transfer saved game data to a temporary drive, like a flash drive and manually move it from one hard drive to another. The more I read, the less likely this sounds. But here is a nugget from the transfer kit manual, “Dispose of the cable in accordance with the Disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment guidelines in your Xbox 360 Warranty manual (Volume 2).” So let me get this straight, I am supposed to throw away this cable AFTER I transfer my data. MS also doesn’t consider this an Xbox “accessory.” Whatever!

Hopefully a friend of mine who purchased an ‘Elite’ ordered their free cable/software from MS and transferred their data over from an older, smaller hard drive. If not, I am back to square one on what direction to go. This seems rather ridiculous to go through, especially these days with technology being what it is and the fact that the 360 is USB 2.0 compliant. I guess this is MS being the proprietary little bitch. Not as if this is anything new. I won’t get started in all the other accessory (WiFi, anyone?) that is overpriced for what it does. What about the fact the 360 only came with 1 USB port on the back of the unit? Guess I was supposed to shell out $50 to get their USB hub, so I could add media content on my one 500GB hard drive.

Okay, enough bitching from me. All of this is to be expected because it IS Microsoft we are talking about here. The same company who still can’t fix my damn Xbox 360 from the “red ring of death” from occurring. I give it under 6 months and I will be filling out the paperwork and shipping my Xbox off to Texas again to be fixed. Maybe I should send it COD to Bill Gates and tell him to fix his shit before selling it to the public. Then if that were the case their operating systems would have never gotten off the ground and we would all be hailing Steve Jobs and Apple.

Installed. Connected. Online.

It’s been an uphill battle for a bit more than 2 months, but I finally have all three of my computers up and running. And yes, beleieve it or not I have finally upgraded from Windows 2000 to Windows XP Pro. I was going to go for the Linux distro, Ubuntu on my server, but since the hardware is a few years out of date (Asus CUV4X-D, dual P3-1000Mhz) the ISO I burned could not distinguish the hardware, thus popped up recurring error messages. So my attempt at Linux failed…for now.

At first, I lost my game rig due to, what I could not diagnose at the time, but later found out that both hard drives were bad. You never like to heard those drives grinding, but the noise was horrible! I was hoping to salvage some of my old Urban Terror data, unfortunately I was not able to recover anything due to the drives. So, I dropped in on of my 80GB Seagate drives from my server and installed XP Pro and have spent the better part of three days getting the system setup and updated, with any luck I could be on an Urban Terror server by tonight!

As for the server, I am somewhat limited to the number of drives I can use. Originally I had 4-80GB drives in a RAID 0+1 array, connected to a PCI RAID card. Since I am not going to run RAID any longer I have two IDE slots to use, since the other two are connected to a CD-R/RW and DVD-ROM. So I will run one 80GB as the C: and the 250GB as the D: (primary slave) with all my data.

I have purchased a 200GB external hard drive in order to back up all my information this time. I was able to recover all the data, including pictures, music and old shoutcasts, which is what I was hoping I could do. All this has been transferred to the external for safe keeping.

For now, it’s just a matter of getting all the updates loaded and reinstalling all the software I had prior to my, “Crash of 2006” as I am calling it. So far, I have installed Firefox and Thunderbird from Mozilla and NN Script (mIRC). I should be able to get my webcam, weather station and some of my shoutcasting componants installed and configured later today.

Now, what is the next problem that will occur, that I have not planned for? Anyone?