How would one go about digitizing/backing up original xbox ...
I believe there are speciffic apps and such you can download for most of the original xbox games (I believe some had special disks) nero, alchohol110% ,imgburn,and daemon tools come to mind...search for the console name iso ripper ( International Standards Organisation)
for the newer consoles ie 360 I understand you need to either buy a special drive or possibly attach your satadisk drive from your console to your pc(not sure if this works) most speciffically liteon and certain samsung models I have heard work.
as commented by others it is far easier to download the backups and as long as you have a reliable connection and source you dont have to worry about read errors from a scratched disk...despite many peoples thoughts it is not illegal to download a digital copy aka backup of software you own legal rights to as you are not breaking any copyright laws. PIRACY IS A CRIME as any idiot who has read the disclaimer at the start of a dvd knows,and cannot be supported. I have heard claims that if you are transfering the data through a torrent it is openly seeded and you become responsible for the fact that you may be illegally distributing software to others and hence is advised against. The sites hosting the content typically being open to distribute to anyone without question do run substantial risk of facing legal repercussions for the content they host. some content also may fall under the category of abandoned work products and copyrights do expire as microsoft no longer manufactures nor sells original xbox content and you cannot turn to them to demand a replacement disk and the condition of your own are unknown.This does not perclude you from facing searches by cops,if a warrant were issued and to defend against these events I would strongly advise you never dispose of your physical copy,if nothing else is viable at a minimum I would keep a binder filled with your cover art from the outside of the case to prove original ownership; BUT NEVER DOWNLOAD WHAT YOU DONT OWN THE RIGHTS TO.
There are contentions to the application of the law but blacks law dictionary which every us court accepts for refferance defines the word own to include the mere act of holding,hence this may be part of the reason many games are locked up in stores as they are more expensive than movies traditionally. But the letter of the law on copyright infringement requires you to illegaly make copies or distribute...as a legal owner of rights to a digital backup of software you have legally purchased the state would be required to prove you did not own the content.