Workaround for Grand Theft Auto V Xbox 360 "Play" disc install issue found

Rockstar Games has officially released Grand Theft Auto V in the U.S. and Europe and, as expected, the open world action game is getting near universal praise. However, as we reported on Monday, the people who buy the Xbox 360 version of the game have two discs in the package; the "Install" and "Play" discs. Rockstar has warned gamers not to install the content of the "Play" disc on the console's hard drive.

The issue is that when the content of both discs are put into the main storage area of the console, it can cause problems with streaming texture data in the game. Naturally, many Xbox 360 GTA V owners would like not to have a noisy disc moving in the console while they play the game.

Now the Digital Foundry group at Eurogamer have found what could be a workaround for this problem. Instead of installing the "Play" disc content on the Xbox 360 hard drive, the team installed it on a USB drive connected to the console. The site says, "Doing so appears to eradicate the performance issues found when both discs are installed to the Xbox 360 hard drive."

The video that accompanies this article does point out that not all USB flash drives are the same, so this trick may not work if your flash drive has lower performance. However, this is still good news for many Xbox 360 GTA V owners who want to do away with the "Play" disc completely while they explore the vast world of Los Santos.

Source: Eurogamer

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Can anyone help me?

I bought my brother this game (he has an xbox 360), when he gets to the second level the screen goes black and it freezes and goes back to the beginning. It then mentions something about not having enough storage space- but he has double checked this and he has more than enough storage.

Can anyone advise whether this has something to do with the 'Rockstar warns Xbox 360 players not to install both GTA V discs?'

If so is it even possible to play the game without installing both discs?

I'm also having trouble installing the "Play" Disc to a USB drive.
I've installed the installation disk to my Xbox 360 HDD and then running the game from the disk. It's very noisy and apparently the performance is much better if you install the "Play" disk to a USB Flash Drive - according to http://kotaku.com/how-to-insta...t-hurting-perfor-1327503438

I've just bought a compatible 8GB USB Flash drive and followed the instructions through http://www.xbox.com/storage. The Xbox 360 says it's compatible with no issues.

Where do I get the option to install the "Play" disk to the USB Flash Drive???

I've tried deleting everything off the HDD and installing again from scratch with no luck. Has anybody already done this and had any luck with it that they could share?

You need at least a 12 gig USB as the install of the Play disk is about 8 gigs and once you format that drive you got, your usable space is only like 6.5 gigs.

can anyone else not install the play disc to a usb drive ? as im only getting to option to install "play disc" to hard drive where its installed the "install disc" which is what R* says not to do

as soon as I saw the original issue I thought exactly it, its the same if your games in windows is installed on the same physical disk, trying to read/write to different sectors of the HDD at the same time would cause latency and an increase in seek times/throughput.

Best practise a physical disk for windows and a separate disk(s) on a different controller, stops all texture trashing in various PC games

Not rocket science when you stop n think about it.

Mando said,
as soon as I saw the original issue I thought exactly it, its the same if your games in windows is installed on the same physical disk, trying to read/write to different sectors of the HDD at the same time would cause latency and an increase in seek times/throughput.

Best practise a physical disk for windows and a separate disk(s) on a different controller, stops all texture trashing in various PC games

Not rocket science when you stop n think about it.


what if you have an SSD on your pc? So do I need 2 SSDs?

I have GTA, but I can go on Xbox live easily but when I load the game it signs out and I get an error code 80151015, anyone else?

I have had this issue before, it took me a while to work out what the hell was going on, I found this post a while back, Please follow it exactly, especially where it said clear your system cache 3 times.

When you clear it 3 times it seems to resolve the issue.

This is really the same issue as with any situation where you have high-use of many big files (e.g. video editing, photo editing).

The solution is from time immemorial and simply involves splitting the files over more than one quick-access media. With video and photo editing, you'd put the cache on a second HDD/SSD. Same principle here - the big frequently-used files are split over two discs and you install one.

It's essentially the limitation of the HDD that is the problem here - to load the many files in the short space of time that GTAV requires has simply exposed the shortcomings of HDD. This helps allieviate the problem.

"However, this is still good news for many Xbox 360 GTA V owners who want to do away with the "Play" disc completely"

How do you do away with the play disc? The disc is still required for DRM even if you install.

obviously, the disc still needs to be in the drive, it's just that it the DVD-ROM drive won't read anything from it while the game is playing as it will be loaded from the hard drive(s). like assuming we can copy install disc to the XBox360's SATA drive and then another disc to a external USB HDD.

It is the nature of the beast, disc one contains one set of data while disk 2 contains another. Both have been configured with the need to be accessed at the same time. Because of this, the random access data times are too slow to keep up when both discs are installed on a hard drive. Its hard drive 101 people.

I thought of this last night before even installing my copy. I did one to the hd, and one to the ram drive. Volia, full install.

Klownicle said,
It is the nature of the beast, disc one contains one set of data while disk 2 contains another. Both have been configured with the need to be accessed at the same time. Because of this, the random access data times are too slow to keep up when both discs are installed on a hard drive. Its hard drive 101 people.

I thought of this last night before even installing my copy. I did one to the hd, and one to the ram drive. Volia, full install.

I wonder if the hard drive is too slow for the game or if the game was just configured in a way that isn't ideal for running off a singular drive. I'm assuming the later. If so, I wonder if it would have been possible to set it not to read the data in a way that would make the hard drive thrash too much or if this is just how it has to be due to the limited amount of RAM in the consoles.

This is actually by design and is not an 'issue' as such. The install/game disc approach is just taking advantage of all the available 'bandwidth' the 360 has to offer. The important stuff like textures etc are loaded off the hard drive and the less important stuff like audio is streamed off the disc.

If you install it all to the hard drive then I guess there seems to be problems with the drive not being able to keep up as the heads will be having to constantly move backwards and forwards to stream the content that the game expects to be on the hard drive as well as what's expected to be on disc.

The USB install is just a workaround to have the best of both worlds.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Hmm you'd think this would have been a very basic thing to test before letting the game out to the public.

As mentioned above, this is an Xbox issue, rather than a game issue. Plenty of other games come with similar warnings.

Majesticmerc said,

As mentioned above, this is an Xbox issue, rather than a game issue. Plenty of other games come with similar warnings.


It's more of a hard drive limitation than an Xbox one.

King Mustard said,

It's more of a hard drive limitation than an Xbox one.

Well it's an xbox issue then. MS could release some 15K RPM drives and it'd ease the burdon.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Hmm you'd think this would have been a very basic thing to test before letting the game out to the public.

It is really not an "issue" in the traditional meaning of the word. The game is designed to work this way. The game streams content from both the disc and the HDD at the same time increasing how much content is loaded at once.

There is no "issue." The only issue is that now you have the play disc spinning and on the 360 that can be pretty loud.

I don't think it is possible. It is hardware restrictions more than anything. If it was a faster hard drive or an SSD then you wouldn't have the issue.

I don't see a problem with installing to a separate flash drive to solve the issue. I'll be doing this tonight when i finally get to sit down with the game.

It's nothing to do with Rockstar. It's a 360 issue. Loads of other muti-disc games have this, like Rage and BF3.

This is why one disc is clearly marked as "play" and another as "install".

It's not a "360" issue, it's a hardware limitation of hard drives.

The whole point of having content installed on the disk is so that the console can read that content AND the content from the disk at the same time (and without swapping). Hard drives can only read one block at a time, so if you install both disks then the game will invariably try to load data from each at the same time, causing the hard drive to load up two separate blocks of data at the same time, slowing it down.

Or to put it another way, assuming a DVD can read data at say 12Mb/s on average and the hard drive can do 30Mb/s on average (rough guess, someone can give the exact figure for the 360 later), then by NOT installing the disk you're getting a total of 42Mb/s to load data. By installing the disk, you're just getting 30.

That's why this workaround works, because the USB drive can read data separately from the Hard Drive (and sometimes faster than the disk drive).

Kushan said,
It's not a "360" issue, it's a hardware limitation of hard drives.

.....

You just confirmed what i said. It's a 360 issue. It's ancient hardware cant cope - a 54000rpm HDD with SATA2 interface which just cant transfer enough data so Rockstar also have to stream data from the disc continuously. I'd bet the PS3 version will also need to do the same. You wouldn't have this issue on PC with SSD's/faster HDD's.

NoClipMode said,
I'd bet the PS3 version will also need to do the same.

From my research this issue does not exist on the PS3. Note as well that there's only 1 Blu-ray disc for the PS3 version vs 2 DVDs on the Xbox.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,

From my research this issue does not exist on the PS3. Note as well that there's only 1 Blu-ray disc for the PS3 version vs 2 DVDs on the Xbox.

I meant that the PS3 version will likely also have to stream data from both the HDD and disc, because it's HDD is also too slow to do all the work.

Kushan said,
Or to put it another way, assuming a DVD can read data at say 12Mb/s on average and the hard drive can do 30Mb/s on average (rough guess, someone can give the exact figure for the 360 later), then by NOT installing the disk you're getting a total of 42Mb/s to load data. By installing the disk, you're just getting 30.

You were on the right track until this.

If you're concurrently reading more than one file from a HDD the blocks are almost certain to be on different parts of the disk. In order for both to read the heads have to keep reading blocks from at least two different places in the HDD causing an even worse read speed than if it were just reading one file.

This limitation is due to HDD's relatively low IOPS compared to flash memory. DVDs also have low IOPS but by loading content from two places there's less contention within the devices for where the head/laser has to be.

Solution: pop in an SSD into your XBox (hey actually I have a spare 64GB one maybe I can use it as external storage To the test bed tonight!)

Thanks to all for explaining this but what about if you buy the digital copy on the 360? Or will they not provide this version? It will all be running from the HDD then...?

The 360 version doesn't have a digital version yet. I'm guessing for this very reason. Hopefully the digital version will be modified to act as "one".

I think a few people have said the PS3 DD version suffers from it too. The thing is, it isn't that noticeable, so if you don't know about it, chances are it won't bother you.

Fred 69 said,

You were on the right track until this.

If you're concurrently reading more than one file from a HDD the blocks are almost certain to be on different parts of the disk. In order for both to read the heads have to keep reading blocks from at least two different places in the HDD causing an even worse read speed than if it were just reading one file.

This limitation is due to HDD's relatively low IOPS compared to flash memory. DVDs also have low IOPS but by loading content from two places there's less contention within the devices for where the head/laser has to be.

Solution: pop in an SSD into your XBox (hey actually I have a spare 64GB one maybe I can use it as external storage To the test bed tonight!)

Popping in an SSD into what I assume you mean to be an external enclosure and then connecting it to the xbox through USB 2.0 won't solve your problem. The SSD will certainly be fast enough, but it will be limited by the USB 2.0 interface.