I install all my Xbox 360 games to the hard drive. Some say the loading time benefits aren’t that great but recently another advantage came to light.
We were sorting out configuring a 360 console at work and I was in the process of installing Super Street Fighter IV to the hard drive when the console was picked up to be moved (not by me!). A grinding sound ensued and my heart immediately sank as I could tell it was the sound of my game disc being scratched and scraped to hell. The game didn’t fully install and now doesn’t play properly on the work console… however, the game still plays mostly fine on my home console where the game was previously installed. As games installed on the hard drive only need to initially read the game disc to verify the legitamacy of the title (and not load in all the game data again) I’ve escaped major difficulties.
Worth bearing in mind if you can’t guarantee the safely of your digital media.