The "My games are suddenly trial games" and Indie Game solution Mini-FAQ
I've been seeing a lot of topics pop up lately about this issue. This is intended to help those who have this common problem. If I miss anything, please feel free to mention it below. Hopefully, this can be stickied or something.
First, some general info:
Whenever you purchase ANY content on the Live Marketplace(DLC, Arcade games, etc) it is not only tied to your Gamertag Account but also your 360's SERIAL number. This is essentially to prevent you from letting friends download content for free.
I received my 360 back from repair and I redownloaded my Arcade games and DLC but they're all "Trials", What do I do?
You'll have to do a LICENSE TRANSFER/MIGRATION. Microsoft put this in place a while ago due to the frequency of sending 360's back to people that have a different serial number(that means the 360 you sent OUT was irreparable and Microsoft sent you a different 360). This forced people to be signed into Live so they could play full versions of the games they purchased.
Technically, you can play the full versions of the games so long as you're connected to Live at all times. Microsoft also should have transferred all of your licenses to the console they sent back to you. In some cases, simply redownloading all of the content is a fix. Otherwise, do the transfer.
Follow this link to do the License Transfer:
Keep in mind you can only do a Transfer once every 12 months. If you plan to upgrade your 360 or buy a new Special Bundle, like the Final Fantasy XIII or Modern Warfare 2 bundles, you might want to consider holding off on migrating licenses.
I bought a new Hard Drive, do I need to migrate licenses?
No, just recover your Gamertag and because your 360 still has the same serial number, a transfer is not necessary. You'll just need to redownload everything.
Where can I find my download history to redownload stuff?
From your Dashboard:
My XBox --> Click on your Profile/Gamertag -->Manage Account --> Download History
Why can I only play Indie Games I purchased when I'm connected to Live?
Indie Games are not rated by the ESRB so you have to be signed into Live as the disclaimer says your experience and game content will vary when playing online.
I don't have Internet right now, is it ok to take my hard drive and download arcade games on my friend's 360?
No, your arcade game will be tied to HIS 360's serial number despite you downloading it to YOUR Hard Drive.
Well, I took my hard drive to my friend's house anyway and used his/her 360 to download games/dlc/etc but they're trials on my 360...
Again, license migration will fix this.
If you HAVE to download anything at someones place, it's best to bring your 360 and the hard drive so whatever you download will be tied to it and you can play offline.
Are there any other common questions/issues I may have forgotten?