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Xbox 360 Slim Hard drive issues?

The family XBOX 360 Slim is no longer detecting the built in 250GB Hard Drive. When booted the console asks for an update and when we attempt to apply the update the console responds with a message saying "You don't have enough storage space to take this update. Please connect an Xbox 360 storage device with at least 190 MB fee space."  The hard disc is not full as no profiles are detecting and when the storage tab under settings is viewed the XBOX shows a non-configured hard drive which I am loath to re-format in the case of losing everything.
Does anyone know a way to retrieve the data successfully and without permanent damage to the XBOX?
We have already tried disconnecting and reconnecting the hard disc physically with a powered down unplugged XBOX.

Vyger3 years ago
First, you need to get an extra drive. Pull the one that is in the unit and find out what its specks are. IDE, SATA that sort of thing. Then buy a replacement. Drives that small are pretty cheap now so its not a big investment. Replace the drive and see if it works. If the unit works then its the drive that is the problem. If it doesn't work right then its the XBOX that is going bad. Next plug the original drive into a USB external adapter and plug it into a PC and run the disk tests on it. You should be able to access the SMART and see if it is having issues. If the drive is going bad you may be able to clone it to the replacement, it all depends on how far gone it is.
Sounds like the HDD is going bad. Chances are your files are not going to be retrievable. Not much else you can do.