Preface: When Did All This Start?
What this means if you have not been on Live since July 2004 you can upgrade your HD now and get back on Live without worry.
It also means that if you have been using the same HD since July 2004 (IE you upgraded before that time) you are also safe from ban.
Chapter 1: What Is Marriage Theory?
Marriage Theory is simple, when you first log in to XBOX Live your Eeprom and Hard Drive serial number are "married" or linked together in whatever files MS has on their servers.
Chapter 2: OK, So What Does That Mean?
Well it means that instead of just banning the Eeprom, as in the past, you Hard Drive is also banned.
Additionally, it means that if either Eeprom or Hard Drive are changed without the other (IE: HD upgrade after using Live or Eeprom replacement after banning) you will get banned.
**UPDATE** It seems that while eeproms are married to HDs the Hard Drives can be polygamists, an unbanned (yet not "virgin") HD can be married to multiple Eeproms. So moving an unbanned Hard Drive to a new xbox will not result in a ban, even if the HD has been on Live with another Xbox.
Chapter 3: Whatever, Just Tell Me How Do I Get Around It?
Well, obvious solution, don't change HDs after using Live. However, if you must, you can do 1 of 2 things...
Option 1: Set up a switch to use your old Hard Drive on Live.
Option 2: Obtain and flash a new Eeprom at the same time you upgrade your Hard Drive.
And as always, never, EVER connect to Live with your modchip enabled.
Chapter 4: What If I Am Already Banned? What Do I Do Now?
As before you will need to obtain an unbanned Eeprom, however now you will also need to obtain an unbanned Hard Drive (you can still keep your old one if it is an upgraded HD using Option 1 from Chapter 3)
**UPDATE** See Chapter 5 below
Chapter 5: Flagged GamerTags
Guess I was wrong on this one folks, it seems MS is indeed flagging GamerTags, if you have been banned under a particular GamerTag it seems to be scrutinized more closely, and will get you banned again if you have any upgraded Hard Drive (even if you comply with Marriage Theory and have the chip off)
Obvious solution: get a new GamerTag.
However you can still use a flagged GamerTag provided you only sign on with a stock Hard Drive (see Chapter 3, Option 1)
I do not believe they are actually banning GamerTags, if you receive a messege saying your account has been suspended for 1-3 months this is not due to a modified Xbox, this is due to complaints and negative feedback from other players. This is generally a direct result of your actions during games, these negative actions include rudeness, swearing, racial and ethnic slurs, cheating, teamkilling and generally being a buttnugget. Take your suspension, do your time and when you come back just grow up.
Once again I would like to stress this is merely the working theory for whats going on with the recent bannings, I do not claim to know for certain what is going on at MS headquarters or in Billy G's head.
Edited by lordvader129, 02 June 2005 - 11:30 PM.