Installing Old Games

I've read that it's better to install games because it saves the disc drive wear and tear and that the hard drive is much more durable.  Is that true?  I'm not sure because someone said that the hard drive is the one that will die first.

Also I know that Halo 3 is better to play off the disc, does it make sense to install old games on your hard drive, like the original Gears of War?  Is there a way to know which ones to install and which ones to play from the disc?

Just hoping for some clarification, thanks.


Discussion Info

Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 3 Applies to:

It's safe to install any game to the HDD, including Halo 3. You can avoid the disk thrashing of the Halo series by installing them to USB flash drives. This allows the game to cache to the HDD while streaming from the USB flash drive install.

i install my games to avoid overheating problems rather than drive wear and tear,as soon as i am done playing it i delete the install and get the hard drive space back.

Installing games will in fact make ur system last longer.  I know because ive seen it first hand.

HDDs are designed to be used. Disk thrashing won't kill them. If it did, Microsoft would have never created SuperFetch. I addressed the Halo series by stating if you install them to a USB Memory Unit they won't thrash the HDD.


HDDs have a limited service life, but they're at greatest risk for failure during spin up or spin down (assuming you're not bouncing them around like baskeballs). Even so, they'll last several years under normal usage. The 360 doesn't subject them to "normal" usage, not like a laptop running Windows would. HDDs see light duty in a console.


Optical drives aren't designed to be run at high rates of speed for extended periods of time. While some games are kinder to the ODD, many ramp it up and leave it spinning while the game plays. That's far worse than running the game from HDD.


Anyone who says a Memory Card can't hold all their save games either plays waay too many games or is still using a 64MB memory unit. Original Memory Units don't physically fit on a 360 S console (and USB to MU adapters appear to have stopped working on Trinity consoles). USB Memory Units are up to 16GB in size, larger than the available user capacity on an original 20GB 360 HDD. They'll hold all your save games and then some.


If you just bought a console, put an Extended Warranty on it. You can FINALLY do this online from the service site. $50 covers the whole console kit for an additional two years.

I like Ice's advice on installing the Halo series. That's a cool workaround and should also reduce loading times.


Never would have occurred to me.


Cheers, dude. :)

Read the beginning of the article.


That combined with the next quote is why I began to wonder that if for some old games it was better not to install them


Bryan D on mesage boards:

In general, you will get faster loading times reading from the hard drive than the disc. However, this is not always the case, especially with some of the older games.

"One example is Halo 3. Don't install Halo 3 to your hard drive. It will actually perform worse than if it read off the disc (because the game was already made with caching from disc to hard drive). The reason for this behavior is because Halo 3 was released before installing games to the hard drive feature existed and therefore they programmed their own caching to the hard drive as a part of the game."


And this quote, although I don't know if it's accurate, by Ryan Hayes on the same website made me ask if it really was better to install everything on my hard drive:


"Playing on the 'con' side of things, remember that while playing from the hard drive will reduce the wear and tear on your Xbox Disk, it will increase the wear and tear on your hard drive. If you play all your games from the hard drive, this will absolutely reduce the life span of it. If you have your game saves on your hard drive, then imagine what would happen if your hard drive crashed. Yea, start over on everything not saved in the cloud by Xbox Live. A way around this is to keep game saves on a memory card, but that's not a lot of room.

So, not necessarily a deal-breaker, but definitely something to keep in mind. Your hard drive will likely die long before your optical disk/drive will."


Sorry for the long post I just bought a Gears of War Limited Edition Xbox that cost a good portion of my income and I want to treat it right.

Thanks for your help guys, Cheers :)

I always install my games old or new, reduces loading screen times, general loading and disk wear and tear, assuming you have enough space on your HDD i would recommend installing what you can

[quote user="IceStorm III"]

It's safe to install any game to the HDD, including Halo 3. You can avoid the disk thrashing of the Halo series by installing them to USB flash drives. This allows the game to cache to the HDD while streaming from the USB flash drive install.


Its important to insure the flash drive offers high read speeds (or at least that matches 5400 RPM HDD).