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yes it would tell you if live had expired ! did you buy the xbox new or used ?? if used it is possible it has been banned from live access ?? if it has been banned buying a new harddrive wont get it back on ! if you bought it new & have never had a live account before then take the free month trial befor you use the 3 month u got ! just go thru the process of signing up to 'silver' membership ! what eva it asks (as it does a few times) refuse 'Gold' membership ! and select 'Silver' !! if it hasnt already had the free 1 month trial it will say at the end of signing for silver.....to try gold for a month to see what ur missing ! :-) after the month is up...use the 3 month you got !
You will not have any problems using the Hard drive on your new console. The only catch is any Live Arcade downloads will not work offline until you do the DRM transfer. Even though you are using the same Hard Drive the DRM is married to the original console. They have made it easy to transfer now. All you need is to be logged into XBOX Live and a computer that is on the internet. Just turn on your console, log it into XBOX Live, and use the computer to go to www.xbox.com/drm That will solve all of your problems.