The hard drive is linked to the original console unless it's been re-formatted. The drive linked to the original console must be formated on that console. You can't re-format on another console until it's formated on the original. I found that out 1st hand today when I tried to format my old hard drive on a new console. That what told me they were linked. After formatting it can be used without fear of being banned. I've already heard from someone who was told by MS he was banned because he put his old HDD from a banned console on a new one.