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Backing Up Xbox 360 Save Game Data

It may be necessary to back up your save game data on your Xbox 360. In fact, it is probably best to just do it as a precautionary step. You never know when the console’s hard drive could fail and it will take down all the data stored on it. This means your entire save data – all those unlockables and that completion percentage could go down the drain.
There are two different ways to back up the save game data: in the cloud and to USB storage.
First, let’s look at the cloud. This means that your data is stored remotely online. The benefit to this is that you can access it from any console. If you go round your friends you can simply log into your Live account and use your save data. However, the drawback to this is that you need a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. This, as you are probably aware, is a paid feature. You also need to make sure that there is half a gigabyte of storage free on your drive. This acts as the local cache.
If you meet the requirements, cloud storage can be enabled by signing in, going to Settings, then System, then Storage. From here, select Cloud Saved Games and then Enable Cloud Saved Games. You will then be asked to select a storage device where the save games are stored (likely just listed as ‘hard drive’) and will then be allowed to copy or transfer save games to the cloud.
You can also use the cloud as your default storage, if you wish. When playing a game, select the cloud option instead of the hard drive when prompted. Save games are not sent to the cloud until you finish playing the game. Don’t worry, though, you can still turn the Xbox off straight away. The console will briefly enter a low power state while it transmits the data to the cloud. Once finished, it will then shut down completely.
Another method you can use to back up your save data is to use USB storage. However, there are a few caveats as the drive must meet specific requirements. It must be larger than 1GB, but smaller than 16GB, formatted with FAT32 and completely empty (if it isn’t, the Xbox will wipe it before use). These limitations are probably to point sales towards official Xbox 360 hard drives from Microsoft.
If you do have USB storage that will work, first sign in and put the drive into the USB port. Then go to Settings, then System and then Storage. Select the USB Storage Device option and then choose Configure Now (or, if you only want to use some of the drive, Customize”).
Once this completed, you will be taken back to the Storage settings screen. Here you should select your default storage drive, choose Games and Apps and then select which save games you want to back up. Then choose Copy and select your USB drive. It could be listed as a Memory Unit, but the symbol next to it will be of a flash drive.
That’s all there is to it! Whether you use the cloud or a USB drive, it is always good to back up your Xbox 360 save game data just in case your main drive crashes.


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