questionsis there a cheap(er) alternative for a xbox s…

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I have never heard of anyone being banned for using a different hard drive. There are so many things on the internet about it, I can't imagine it is a problem. I am sure it is just officially not allowed by Microsoft so they can sell more of their own hard drives and so they won't have people complaining when they broke their hard drive trying to mod it, etc. Also, they don't want to provide support for modified hard drives.

Also, my understanding is any size memory is fine. I hear a lot of people doign 20 GB or 120 GB from old Xbox phat drives and putting them in slim cases.

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There is this:
http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/5f29b062-bd71-4d29-9325-2d1974bfd149/xbox-360-hard-drive-120gb-gs-refurb#19
I assume a refurb HDD would be just as good as a modded one in the xbox. This is only 120 GB but if you search here there are deals for 250 GB for under $100. M$ seems to have gotten pretty good about detecting hacked xbox's

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You can pick up one of the original 360 HD's for next to nothing now and use them in the S. You just need to get a case for it which runs maybe $6 shipped.
I know people will tell you you don't need the special case, but i know a couple of people who lost their HD's because of not using a case for it. They fell out will being used in the system. Corrupted the entire drive.

You can get banned for using a third party HD. Xbox considers it a mod and will ban the system from Live.

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The part that is really against the TOS is the actual "hardware change." Even if they are both MS HDD you can get banned, even though they are official MS Xbox HDDs. It is considered "system tampering." This being said, I think the best way to go is to get one of those old refurb HDDs from Gamestop, the ones that keep popping up for around $25 and then buy a case to fit the new S style xbox. The swap is super easy, and the case I bought from Amazon was a snap together, which made it even easier. The hardest part is taking the old xbox HDD apart, but even that is a joke, you just have to have the correct torx screwdriver. I made the jump from the 4GB console to a 120GB for $30 total (HDD and case). Because it is an official xbox hard drive they are "probably" not going to ban you like they would if you were buying 3rd party or screwing with the software.

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@the18thtee84: They won't ban you for that if you don't tell them about it.
My friend has been using my old 120GB HD in his arcade S since it's launch. Not one problem.
I upgraded to a 250GB on my Elite thanks to Woot! and their sweet deal last year.

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Thanks for the insight all.

@the18thtee84: It's that "probably" that scares me :)

I've seen on official XBL forums moderators specifically say that taking a HDD out of an older case is "against TOS" and "is not tolerated"... :-\

DLCs aren't that much fun anyways... are they? lol

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@joeradose: "DLCs aren't that much fun anyways... are they?"
Some DLC is worth it. GTA, Gears 3, BF3, Dead Space 2. All must have DLC IMO. I don't play Fallout but I hear their DLC is sweet too.

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I've been using a DIY hard drive upgrade on my xbox for 2 years now, and haven't had any issue. I