I have had my 360 scratch discs without me moving it at all. Both the horizontal position and the vertical position will do this. Also the 'chugging' problem on startup or whenever a lot of loading is required. Now that I can install a game to my HDD I have done so on the games that I play most.
I've noticed this problem in my Wii actually... it was set horizontally, and i noticed that when my sister lifted it up rather gently while a game was playing to get a magazine underneath it, it scratched my game rather badly. I was very disappointed, as I didn't think the console would be that sensitive to movement. Luckily the game still plays though.
According to another article I read this could have been fixed by 50 cent pads, but MS decided that was too expensive. Based on that I imagine this will come down to whether MS used common engineering practices in their drives. If this is a common problem in consoles I would think MS would be ok; if the damage is from cutting corners that most manufactures don't, they could have problems. We'll find out in a couple years I suppose.
when the optical disc is spinning very fast in a very tight space, it can easily damage the disc or the drive if you move it suddenly. Try this, holding a bicycle front wheel with both hands and have a friend spin the wheel. Try to change the wheel direction, you will have a good feel that there is an opposing force pushing in different direction then where you try to go.
Same here in the optical driver. It is simple clam by a small round disk to hold the game cd in place. If you move the console, the force will apply on the game cd and cause it to off balance and the laser reader will try to compensate by moving front or back or focusing closer to the CD, then it start to scratch the CD and the lens. I have seen some "laser reading head" doing the height adjustment when it is having problem to reading the disc. Also some laser head is simply floating in the glove position on the moving arm. This is the worst one.
Also bewared of CD quality that is too thin, it gets deforms easily. Or the head need to do more work to read.
$.50 multiplied by 22 million units sold is $11,000,000. That's a lot of money saved. Granted yes I would have rather they spend the $.50 to completely prevent the possibility of scratching the disc. Still common sense would suggest moving something electronic with moving parts while its on is at best unwise and at worse completely stupid.
kinda off topic, but my PS2 ruined my NFS Most Wanted Black Edition because the laser was out of alignment. I had sent it in several times before, until they refused to fix it for free anymore so I started fixing it myself. What would happen is the laser would try to focus by moving up and down. However, it was so far out of position that when it moved the laser closer to the disc, the lens scraped the disc, actually shredding plastic into the drive, which I found later when I opened it up to fix it again.
[citation][nom]and[/nom]... and i noticed that when my sister lifted it up rather gently while a game was playing to get a magazine underneath it, it scratched my game rather badly...[/citation]
Sounds like your problem is with your sister, not the XBox.
Here's a suggestion to all XBox owners, find a place you can put your XBox where it will be left alone, and DO SO! Stop moving the thing. Invest in some wireless controllers, stick the XBox on your entertainment center, and leave it alone. Why are you moving these things when they're on? The only time I've ever moved a console while it was on was because of the cords on the controllers. You jump up and yank the console, or someone trips over the cords and yanks the console. If you simply leave the XBox in a good spot, it NEVER has to move. If you are still getting scratched disks after that, THEN you have a case.
I'm going to go home, put a CD in my computer, and when the drive spins up, I'm going to shake the shit out of my computer case. Then when the disk gets scratched, I'm going to file a lawsuit against Lite-On or Samsung (or use 2 CDS and sue both), its the only reasonable thing to do.