February 16th 2009 8:22 pm PT

Prepare for L&D and install GTA IV to your Hard Drive

If you want to get ready for The Lost and Damned available tomorrow, why not install GTA IV to your hard drive? I realize many of you are already using this feature with more recently relapsed games, but since GTA launched last year many months before we added this feature in NXE, I thought it would be worth mentioning.


If you have your hard drive attached, it’s pretty simple and will take you about 7-9 minutes and will result in your console running pretty quiet while you are running amok in Liberty City.


Assuming you already have NXE, here is how you do it: Insert your GTA disc and scroll up to MY XBOX. Press Y (game details) on the first slot in MY XBOX. From here choose Install to Hard Drive. That’s it. After a few minutes, you’re done! Next time you insert your GTA disc, it will automatically run from the hard drive. 


Edit: to be clear, installing a game to the hard drive is entirely optional.

Gaming By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • DeathsKamikaze

    Any idea how big the download will be, im goner take a guess that its a large download!

  • JoE 15

    By the way, the game loads quite a bit quicker too, and it runs a tad smoother when speeding through the city. And the fact that it quiets my jet engine aka Xbox 360, is awesome.

  • Rasy2kG

    Has the expansion pack been pushed to Tues. the 18th?

  • Ceroc

    Grand Theft Auto IV (6.7 GB) — decreases initial load time from 46.5 to 33 seconds

  • Willeth

    It’s Tuesday 17th, Rasy :P

  • Frayteez

    @Rasy2kG it always was coming out on Tuesday. Tuesday is the 17th not the 18th.

    Im actually excited for Street Fighter 4 which is coming out tomorrow as well

  • shane86

    Not enough room, stuck with my crappy 20gb HDD and the rock band DLC takes up most of it.

  • mAsTeRCHEIF1234

    Dude, Rasy2kG, Tuesday is the 17th not the 18th, and it was originally scheduled for Tuesday, February 17th, not earlier not later. Where are all the people getting their info lol?

  • DanMW

    I’ve read that the download is 1.8GB

  • KBeat

    Unfortunately running GTAIV from the hard drive, while certainly quieter and quicker to load initially, causes a very noticeable increase in “pop in” as you drive about the city. You can be speeding down what seems to be an empty street only to suddenly have a bunch of traffic appear right in front of you. A number of other users have described similar experiences and the consensus seems to be that like Halo 3, the game was optimized to stream from the DVD since it was released prior to the NXE and isn’t efficient running from the hard drive. Has this been changed with a patch? Also, do you have to install the game in order to play “The Lost and the Damned”?

  • Kipp Poe

    any idea how big the download tmw will be

  • LordWill0722

    I wonder what time it’ll be released – I heard 12am EST. Anyone Confirm? Looking Fwd To Rest Of The Night To This!!

  • A Dud Napalm

    What time is it now in EST? Whats with all the teasing about this. STOP IT It’s killing me as it is in waiting!

  • Warrengonline

    @Frayteez [SFIV]
    SFIV Release Date is Feb 18, 2009. Ship date is Feb 17, 2009. If you wanted it early, play-asia.com @ http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-dw-77-a-49-en-15-%22Street+Fighter+IV%22-70-39j9.html

    You’re a bit late, a friend has some guy on his friend list who has it already. I’ve played it and it rocks!! Even WITH a default Xbox360 Controller with the crappy D-Pad this game plays SO WELL!! El Fuerte is on crack, seriously. But he is going to a ‘new Fei Long’, only funnier with devastating moves. Oh, listen to the announcer while you fight. Capcom has truly outdid themselves this time! “I’m sorry for doubting you. Thank you.”

  • shane86

    12am pacific time.

  • Bucket of Truth

    *Edit: to be clear, installing a game to the hard drive is entirely optional.*

    Than WTF is the point of this post? Can’t you see how this could be confusing for some even with the lame “edit” at the end? Just delete the damn post, no one wil care.

  • CryptoElite

    KBeat, There’s been a lot of discussion that the 120GB HDDs also improve LOD (‘pop-in’) when GTA4 is installed. I’ve heard people with 20GB HDDs say what you said though. Don’t know about the 60GB ones. Noone really technical has checked this out yet, but it’s definitely improved all around on a 120GB.

    I know it’s better on mine. Good tip for those who don’t know Major.

  • LordWill0722

    yeh same here cryptoelite – i had it on the 20, bad for pop-in, got the 120, WAY better, wonder if there different drives in the hdd (speed/rpm), figured 12PAC would be right, i’m on atlantic so it’s like 4am for me :(

  • Rasy2kG

    sorry fellas, I misread my calendar plus I am eager to play L & D, that’s all

    please excuse me

  • Joergen8

    I think GTAIV was the first game I installed to my HDD to check if it helps with the popup and respawn time in multiplayer. And it did help a little. When racing fast bikes or cars on “Dont look down” there are cones and concrete bags on the road that dont show up when using the disc with any vehicle but do when using the hdd.

    Plus its just so much more immersive and nice to play without a Hoover blowing in your face.

  • Joergen8

    KBeat: sounds like a badly fragmented hdd. GTAIV does use hdd caching in the retail version when using the dvd. Just check the youtube videos of gtaiv running on an arcade and then WITH a hdd. I noticed it myself while testing GTAIV on my friends arcade, and flying with a chopper gave ridiculous popin, but when I slapped my own 60GB on it and played from the dvd, the popin was much less.

    Yes the 360 hdds have various RPM, the 20GB being the slowest. Add to this data the much higher data density (at higher rpm) of a 120GB hdd and you will have improved load and access times within the constraints of other bottlenecks (like texture decompression).

    I can just imagine how fragmented an ’05 20GB HDD is that has had almost all demos downloaded to it and deleted, plus gazillions of videos and gamer pictures. We need a defrag tool MS!

  • CosMick

    Already have it installed ready and waiting.

    Although pop-in is slightly increased, I would rather hear the game than the bloody fans :p

    This DLC is gonna be EPIC!

  • BrarStar

    So is it true that with unlocked achievements we are going to get some biker cloths for our avatars.

  • deathtrap3000

    more recently relapsed games?

    Do you mean released?

  • DeathsKamikaze

    3am EST accrdong to rockatr website
    think that 7 or 8 am GMT for us brits!

  • metallicorphan

    er..is this the suprise you talked about on Twitter,Major?

    and yeah i already have my GTA4 on the HDD

  • DeathsKamikaze

    3am EST according to rockstar website
    Think 7 or 8 am GMT for us brits

    Sorry for bad spelling above!


  • KP ScuzzyBunny

    FYI…Street Fighter IV SHIPS tomorrow, but I know my Gamestop has already called and said someone is picking their shipment up in person for our whole area, so we can pick our copies up, in store, tomorrow afternoon. I’d definitely say to call around tomorrow, as there really weren’t any major incentives to get a reserved copy from any one store over another (unless you wanted that headband).


    @ DeathsKamikaze: On the back of the Lost & Damned code card I bought last week, it says “2 GB to download”.

  • Anonymous

    I just got the Addon (and a Street Fighter IV Ryu FightPad :D) a few minutes ago. Playing around with it I went to the dashboard and noticed that I can’t find the Redeem Code option anymore.

    Anybody know where that is now?

    Also, how can I change my sign in name to match my current Gamertag and display it here? This one is way old and I can’t find how to change it :(


    @ C4tchY0urBr34th: Press the Guide button on your controller and then go to the Marketplace blade on the far left, and you’ll find the Redeem Code option there. And as far as getting your sign-in name to match your current gamertag, unfortunately I think you’ll need to re-register to do that.

  • MattSniper360

    5pm for us west aussies :D

  • Anonymous

    @ MACPH1ST0
    Thanks for the info. Out of all obvious places I didn’t think to check there lol. And about the Gamertag info, I found out how to do it from one of the FAQs on the left :D


    I would be more than willing to put the game on the HDD if they start making the price for larger HDDs more reasonable. Seriously, they are overpriced !!

  • Tehis

    For me it’s works better when playing from disc.

  • ImaginedBug

    @KRENZFAM: the 60GB HDD isn’t as badly overpriced as the 120GB one is. At least the 60GB one comes with 3 months XBL Gold and a new headset (always good to have), which drops the cost of the drive quite a bit. It was definitely worth getting one for me anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Downloading now, 1.78GB

  • Anonymous

    Error 8015000a over here! Come on! I stayed up all night (4:34am here now, EST) so I can queue this to download while I get some sleep! :(

  • zeDuffMan

    @Tehis: ditto. I think it’s because GTA IV uses the hard drive for caching a lot already, that the console physically can’t read from it any faster. The combination of hard drive cache + the disc works better than just the hard drive. Even so, I still install the game to preserve my disc. I can cope with the horrendous texture loading times.

  • Joergen8

    With games like GTAIV where the precache area of the 360 hdd is not big enough for all the world data and you cant predict which data will be needed next (almost completely random access), its the access/seek time of the DVD that comes into play not the burst rate.

    If you have texture loading problems from a 60GB or 120GB HDD then you most definitely have a fragmented hdd and the only option to defrag it is to reformat, or to use a 3rd party PC software to copy out and copy back in any large files in the user-accessible area (demos, installs, videos).


    The hidden cache clearing option on the memory blade only clears the game cache and patch area. It does NOT defragment the user’s data area, that would require physically reading and rewriting (moving) the data around and would take several minutes. But clearing the cache area will “defragment” at least a part of the hdd which should also help.

    MS have overlooked fragmentation on the 360 hdd user data area as it was was originally not designed for heavy use such as playing a full game off of, but merely small demos and videos that do not push the hdd and are not as seek sensitive. The US video marketplace can only make it worse compared to the rest of us.

  • Turtle502

    The 360 I got back recently from repair is the most quiet I’ve heard so far — I can barely hear the DVD drive spin-up. By contrast, the last console sounded like a dentist’s drill, which is what drove me to use this option…now I don’t find it so necessary. :\