How To Back Up Xbox 360 Games
As video game prices rise, you may be more and more tempted to learn how to back up Xbox 360 games in order to protect your investment. The problem is that backups of games you've purchased inhabit a realm of questionable legality. Depending on which side you are on, whether it be a publisher or a consumer, the gray area is going to look different. On the one hand, as a publisher, backing up copies of games is tantamount to piracy. On the consumer side, it seems perfectly legal to make backups of things you own for archival or data protection purposes. Microsoft wouldn't entirely agree, however.
- Void your warranty. This is an unavoidable issue. Microsoft's policy is that any modifications to your Xbox 360 console are illegal and will not only void your warranty but get you banned from Xbox Live if detected. While this seems draconian and heavy-handed, there is no way to convince them otherwise. In order to play your backed-up Xbox 360 games, you will need to modify the firmware of your Xbox 360's DVD drive. The only way to do this is taking apart your system, which voids the warranty. There are other guides elsewhere that can go into more in-depth descriptions of how to do this, but be aware that it is very much in that legal gray area, according to Microsoft.
- Get with the program. While a DVD burning/ripping program like IMGburn is generally enough to rip and burn Xbox 360 games, some games will have strict copy protection. Go to a reputable site like Download.com and find a free game-ripping program that will circumvent that in order to legally back up your Xbox 360 game. One option is the Xbox Backup Creator in tandem with IMGburn.
- Rip and tear. Using your program of choice, put the original Xbox 360 game into your computer's DVD drive and follow the onscreen directions of your software. You will want to rip the game and save it as an ISO file, as that will be what you need to burn.
- Burn, baby, burn. After the game is ripped, depending on what program you are using, the next step can be a bit trickier. The Xbox Backup Creator will automate almost all of the tasks you need to do in order to burn the game. Using only IMGburn, you will have to manually set things like layer break in order to make a working game and not a coaster. Now, all you need to do is put your blank DVD+R dual layer disc into your burner, set the burning program at its lowest speed (this is necessary in order to minimize the chance of burn errors) and wait a half an hour to an hour. If everything works exactly as it should, voila! You now have a working backup of your expensive Xbox 360 game disc! This should work with almost any Xbox game, but depending on the type of drive and firmware mod that you've used, you may also have to burn an activation disc in order to play newer titles. These are also available online and are burnt exactly the same way as an Xbox 360 game would be backed up. Enjoy!