Recovering Your Xbox 360 Downloaded Content After Console Repair/Refurbishment

I have personally experienced the Red Ring of Death too many times to count. Not once, not twice, not a paltry three times but instead somewhere in the vicinity of four or five separate nightmarish episodes. You know once you have lost count of how many times your Xbox 360 has died, it simply isn’t good. Over the numerous deaths of my consoles I have lost various purchased downloaded content. A handful of my Arcade games are only accessible when I am signed into Live and others I lost full access to and instead only have the trial versions now. My story is not a new one. Chances are the same thing has either happened to you or someone you know.

red ring

On a recent trip of scouring Xbox.com’s support issues (what else did you think I did in my spare time?), I came across a new page. Reading the title, Important Information About Your Downloaded Content After Console Repair/Refurbishment, was enough to make my heart skip a beat. Was I finally going to get back the Arcade games that I lost? While I had made a few calls when I initially realized I lost the content, dealing with the frustration of their phone support made me write the Arcade games off as a loss rather than continuing to deal with them. When I saw they were now offering a solution that didn’t involve needing to speak with someone that had no idea what they were talking about, I was quite overjoyed.


I took my laptop downstairs so I could read the instructions and do them step by step. From Xbox.com :

Notice to customers who have had their Xbox 360 consoles serviced by Microsoft: If you previously downloaded content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace prior to your console service, you need to connect to Xbox LIVE to restore the licenses for that content on this console. If you don’t, you’ll only be able to use that content when signed in to Xbox LIVE with the profile that originally downloaded the content.

To restore your licenses:

1. Attach your hard drive or memory unit.
2. Turn on the console.
3. Sign in to Xbox LIVE with the gamer profile that originally downloaded the content.
4. Go to Xbox LIVE Marketplace and select Account Management, Download History.
5. Select an item and then select Download Again.
6. Repeat step 5 for each item in your download history.

After you download your content again, anyone on this console can use it, whether you’re signed in to Xbox LIVE or not.

License restoration will only work on the console as returned to you by Microsoft’s service center.

First I located all of the Arcade titles in my download history that I couldn’t access offline. Much to my amazement, I successfully redownloaded them and everything seemed to be in working fashion. Next up were the Arcade games I had purchased but had somehow gotten downgraded to trial versions during the repair process. To my surprise they were nowhere to be found. No download history of them whatsoever. Despite the fact that I have only had one gamertag since the Xbox 360 was released, despite the fact that all my downloaded content is centrally located on a single hard drive, and despite the fact that I have achievements unlocked for all of those games reflected in my gamerscore, the download history for them is noticeably absent. Yes, I am disappointed. Yes, I am bitter all over again. No, I will not be calling support. It wasn’t worth the time and frustration last time I had to deal with them concerning this issue, and it certainly isn’t worth the time and frustration now either.

If you lost downloaded content after getting your Xbox 360 repaired, give their instructions a try. Perhaps you will see more success than I did. You can hope, right?

42 Responses to Recovering Your Xbox 360 Downloaded Content After Console Repair/Refurbishment

  1. soulofaqua says:

    Interesting that you did not know this yet…

  2. dronkmunk says:

    Yeah I tried redownloading all my arcade games too, didn’t work. But they are still supposed to be working on this.

  3. Kato says:

    Have you tried just going to those items in the Marketplace even though it doesn’t list them in your download history? As long as the Marketplace shows that you’ve downloaded/bought something before, you should be able to redownload for free.

  4. snorkle256 says:

    I agree with Kato that the marketpalce should still show it as bought, though the problem might be remembering all the games you should have.

    • gena mcfadden says:

      wait let’s say my xbox with gold membership blows up and i wait 3 days to get a new one can some guy who’s xbox live gold ran out can he recover my gamertag and i will have to start a new one from scrath?

  5. bs angel says:

    I have done that, yes. It shows as not purchased there as well. It could be because it was about three broken consoles back, I just don’t know.

  6. Danh says:

    What about the saves on the game? Do they get overwritten?

  7. bs angel says:

    I can’t tell you for sure but I can relay my personal experience with it. I redownloaded Zuma as that was one of the games I lost offline access to. After doing that, I immediately loaded it up to play a game. I still had all my progress saved so I was able to pick up at the same level that I last played.

  8. JS says:

    Did you download the trial game and then unlock full version. I recently had the rrod but I had the service plan from walmart. They gave me a new console. I am having the same problems. I cant play any of the games I dl’ed on my origional console. It shows they were purchased, but they are only the trials. Some games didn’t even show a history of being purchased. I finally figured out those games are the ones I upgraded from trial versions. The download history keep track of game purchases, not upgrades from trial versions.

  9. bs angel says:

    YES. That is exactly what is going on with me too. I have a download history of all the trial games being downloaded, but no history of the full purchase being made. It’s obvious I purchased them too as I have nearly all the achievements for them. Argh.

  10. Kato says:

    Did your Xbox get repaired each time, or did they give you a new/refurbished one at some point?

  11. bs angel says:

    I believe the majority of them have been a new/refurbished one but to be quite honest, I have been through it so many times all the details are fuzzy. I know at least one for sure was new/furbished though.

  12. agdTinMan says:

    Every single time I called, the techs told me to try this. Every single time I had to tell them that it didn’t work. I guess it does in some cases, but not all, and that’s where their customer support fails miserably.

    One phone number you can try is:
    866-506-3826, an escalated XBOX support number where the people actually speak english.

    MS doesn’t give this number out easily.

  13. ashame says:

    Awesome find! I wish I knew this a few weeks ago when I was out of town with NO internet connection :|

  14. Kato says:

    If the serial number has changed, that may be why those games don’t show up as being previously downloaded. Purchased content is tied to a specific user and xbox, so I wouldn’t be surprised. Not that I know how to fix it…

  15. Southernmade says:

    Heres what I did: My internet goes down frequently, for 5-10 mnts at a time(bad wiring in my house, to lazy to fix it) so i called microsoft to bitch about this very same thing. Well, about the fifth call i made, i demanded a supervisor and explaind how my internet goes down and i loose access. Finaly they decided to help me out, untill they looked at my content lol ( i own 50+ arcade games, plus other crap) Thats when they told me i had to go through an approval process, which takes about 30 days. So, after about 40 days, i call back seeing that i never herd from em.(i was approved, but they had the wrong contact info, how convenient for them) They were supose to add the points to a 2nd gamertag i made for this, so they could be resigned to my console, but the jackass on the phone added them to my main account, making it to where i couldn’t resign them. I said screw it and bought some new arcade games and alot of rockband tracks. Didn’t get anything resigned to any of my consoles, but i did get a shitload of free MS points, which i rathered. To make a long story short,Bitch enough and they’ll fix you up.

  16. Pingback: Recuperando conteúdo baixado [Live X360] « Portallos - Entrando em uma nova realidade!

  17. mrgreenjeans9 says:

    i’m having the same issue:
    downloaded content (vehicles for forza 2)
    console breaks
    refurb console returned
    license not working
    deleted downloaded content
    redownload the downloaded content
    license still not working
    xbox tech support has no solution.

    microsoft is the worst

  18. snakie101 says:

    i have the same propblem with forza 2. did everything i could but still have to be connected to the internet to play my content. this suck totally.

  19. Derek says:

    I’m missing over $70.00 worth of downloads for crackdown and oblivion. I’m reall pissed with Microsoft for the money they cheated out of me.

  20. Pingback: Xbox Live Arcade repair hell

  21. JM183 says:

    Have you guys tried this?

    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/licensemigration/

    It worked on me. I have a new console and used my old hard drive which has the downloaded content. Just follow the instructions from the website. Good luck.

  22. SIN4GENT says:

    I just tried that site and it worked for me too. Thanks JM183.

  23. Jim says:

    I’m having the same problem. I followed the instructions, no dice. I even erased Castle Crashers, re-downloaded the full game, no dice. What really makes me upset is I had a lot of progress in that game before the console died….

  24. bs angel says:

    I’m sorry to hear that.

    After contacting support and receiving a call back from them saying everything was fixed, I still can’t access the games I lost. I have officially given up. Again.

  25. KrYsT says:

    what does an email address and password have to do with signing into Xbox Live? that website is bullshit. if i pay for a game, and download it to my hard drive, i should be able to play it any time as long as my xbox is plugged in with the hard drive attached, regardless of being signed into xbox live. how are they gonna send me back a downgraded system? Microsoft is fucking me!

  26. KrYsT says:

    my bad, after a whole bunch of shit, i got that to work. i shouldn’t have put a fake email address for windows live. sorry for the venting and offensive language. lol thanks JM183

  27. bs angel says:

    I’m just glad you recovered your content! I never did, but that’s a whole other story. :)

  28. KrazeeKarma says:

    I had the same problem with downloaded content after they sent me a new one instead of repairing my old 360. Went here: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/licensemigration/?WT.svl=nav
    The tool worked for me, my son can now play the games I paid for and downloaded for him. It took about 3 hours of very frustrating calls to people in India(?) though. Good luck all.

  29. brenden403 says:

    I got my console back and realized that all my downloaded content was gone. I looked at the instructions, did all the steps for everything, then I tried to play guitar hero 3 and I had no downloaded content. I have tried to fix this around 6 times now and I still don’t have anything back. Why?

  30. Brandy says:

    hey thanx to the guys who told us about the license migration on xbox.com- so far ive got about half o the games back bought- I hope to get the rest tomorrow. Im exhausted now, lol. Thanks again.

  31. Irishian88J says:

    Hey guys,
    Ok, i found that doing the License transfer DOES WORK! I just recently sent my Xbox to be repaired, and i had tons of stuff downloaded on it. I got my console back, and followed the instructions given to restore my DLC. I downloaded all my stuff. No such luck. Then i deleted all my DLC and redownloaded it. Sill no such luck. I went to

    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/licensemigration/

    And i followed the instructions (its wicked easy.) And i redownloaded my DLC, and everything works Online and off, and on different Profiles! Hope this helps! Good luck.

  32. Larry says:

    I redownloaded much of my content but I can only play it on my Gamertag and not on any other gamertag on my Xbox much to the discontempt of my brother and father they are only able to play demos as well as I as some of the mature content downloaded by my father is unplayable to us as well We can only rebuy each item over to get it fully back on each profile which seems to me as a waste of many seeing as if you buy a game once everyone should be able to play said game any ideas? Much Obliged

    • Andrew says:

      Exactly my problem, my wife now has to play using my profile.

  33. ampeggs says:

    I was told to clear my cache today so when I get back on XBL after deleting EVERYTHING i’ll re DL the 10 GB’s worth of stuff UGH!!!! i’ll be pissed off if still nothing…

  34. Hallcyone says:

    I, too, resorted to the license migration after Microsoft screwed up the license transfer. I’m on my FIFTH 360, and was able to transfer the licenses as described in the “what to do after recieving a repaired 360″ page before, but not this time. The License Migration worked perfectly, but in looking at it, I found out that while 115 licenses were on my previous console, 9 were still on the one before that! I suppose they botched that one, too.

    What’s really a shame, though, is that you can only use the tool once per year. I don’t know if my 360 will even last that long, if past experiences are anything to go by. Plus, I was planning on getting an Elite and transfering everything onto it this Christmas… but I guess not. Oh well. I suppose M$ has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they don’t even remotely value me as a customer.

    • bs angel says:

      I never recovered my games from a few consoles back either. I finally gave up as it was beyond frustrating spending so much time on it.

  35. Pablo says:

    Thank you very much to the people that have mentioned the License Migration Tool on xbox.com — after some very frustrating months of not being able to play my rightfully owned DLC I can finally play it again without the need of having to be logged in to XBL. Again, thank you very much, you have made me very happy!

  36. ibeme says:

    thanks much

  37. Matthew says:

    so pretty much im on my fifth 360. i know, what a POS. this all started on my last console after it broke. and they sent me a refurbished POS. all of the content was inaccessible. even though it was on the harddrive. showed up as corrupted. anyway i figured it was something stupid so i just formatted the 360 and gave it to my family. i bought the new jasper resident evil edition 360, because i wanted a system that wouldnt croak on me. so it turns out that all my old content does not work, downloads as a corupted file. microsoft tells me its a bad harddrive. so i told them then how was i able to purchase new content and it work just fine. duh. any way i call them 2 to 3 times a week. and they tell me everytime that it will get fixed but it doesnt. they keep channeling it up the chain of idiots with no progress in sight. i tried the license transfer tool. no dice. it was funny seeing the 5 or 6 consoles listed on there. all POS’s. this is where drm content fails. im hoping that in the end which hopefully only lasts a week more at most that it is resolved, a word of advice to you all running the old systems, get the new jasper chip systems. just google it. you should find everything you need to know. if youd like to know how this story ends, send me an email in a couple weeks and ill update you on it. talon_4_9@yahoo.com

  38. Stathis says:

    License transfer helped me out, too! Thanks for the info!!

  39. borky1046 says:

    can you download a profile back that was not on xbox live

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