Print 21 comment(s) - last by WonderingAimle.. on May 1 at 9:41 AM

My Xbox 360 captured at its TOD
Two Xbox 360 consoles dead in two weeks

There must be some sort of epidemic spreading through DailyTech, crippling our Xbox 360 consoles one by one. Two weeks ago, Brandon’s Xbox 360 was struck by the notorious Red Ring of Death. Like Brandon, I too was naive about the fragility of my Xbox 360, as I was sure that I wouldn’t have any problems since I kept my console very well ventilated and in an abnormally cold environment (I’m Canadian, and yes, I live in an igloo).

As much as I love games and reporting on them, I really don’t have much time to play. For the hardcore gamer, my Xbox 360 is largely underused, which is why I was in disbelief that my console could be afflicted by a Red Ring of Death. But it happened, and it did so slowly and with telling symptoms – I was just in denial.

It all started weeks ago, while starting up a co-op game of Marvel Ultimate Alliance over Xbox Live, when I noticed some screen corruption. It wasn’t the rainbow checkerboard pattern that Brandon saw, but it was something else. I restarted my console and everything was fine again, and so continued my adventures as a comic hero.

Days after, the console hummed (or screamed, if you have the noisier Hitachi drive) along, providing problem-free sessions of Gears of War and TMNT co-op. The graphical corruption was nearly forgotten, when at a later session of co-op Marvel Ultimate Alliance, the game hard locked. I reset the Xbox 360 and, to my complete horror, the dreaded Red Ring of Death flashed at me. So I turned the machine off and on again, and it loaded the main menu with the Ring of Light green again. By that time, my co-op partner decided to call it a night and so the console went to rest.

The next day, I was curious to see if my Xbox 360 would wake up, and it did. I decided to give it a bit of warm up by playing some game trailers that I downloaded, but it hard locked again at the very end of a video, which I figured was just a software glitch. Yes, I was still in denial, but my confidence in my Xbox 360 was dropping quickly. I then popped in my NIN HD DVD into the add-on since I was writing a story on it, but it didn’t even make it past the main menu before locking up again.

Maybe it’s a video problem, I thought, so I started up the Def Jam Icon demo and made it through half of a fight before the screen blanked out into a series of grey squares. I attempted to power cycle the console once more, but it had enough. Red Ring of Death, it showed me again, this time more convincingly than ever.

Well played Red Ring, well played. So I dialled 1-800-MY-XBOX and jumped through the automated system and smirked when I heard that “three flashing red lights” was actually a troubleshooting option. I actually muttered “Red Ring of Death” to see if the system would understand it, but sadly it wouldn’t. After jumping through a few hoops to disconnect and reconnect various things to and from my Xbox 360, an agent took down my information, gave me a reference number, and apologized for the inconvenience.

I asked the agent if he knew what the odds were of me getting my original console back, as I didn’t want a refurbished one, and actually pointed him to the news of the recent changes to the warranty. He wasn’t aware of any recent changes to the policy, but as soon as he confirmed that Microsoft would be covering shipping costs, then I knew that the new warranty terms were in effect, whether or not he was aware of them.

So here I sit, waiting for my Xbox 360 coffin to arrive so that I can send my console to Texas for repairs. This all had to happen just before the start of a holiday weekend, adding additional wait time and insult to injury.

If it weren’t for Microsoft extended the Xbox 360 warranty from an embarrassing 90 days to one year, I’d be SOL. I’d also be paying shipping costs had Microsoft not made further revisions. I’m satisfied with the ease of getting my RMA process started, though the jury will still be out on that one until my Xbox 360 returns to me.

No matter what Microsoft does to improve its warranty, I will not applaud the company for that. The improvements in customer service are something they are being pressured to do in midst of Xbox 360 consoles dropping like flies.

The real issue here is that the Xbox 360 hardware is terribly, horribly and utterly unreliable. Microsoft beefing up its customer care to better help customers is a clear testament to the fragility of its the hardware.

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Quarantine Protocols
By Sahrin on 4/7/2007 8:57:01 AM , Rating: 5
Alright, we've got to isolate the infection before it spreads. First; cautery. All RRoD 360's must be led off into the forest and burned. Second; sterilize. Clean all affected areas. Third; Quaranty. Isolate all areas affected by the illness for three weeks. Fourth; Replace. Get new 360's, following the cleaning protocols you will have the likeliest chance of eliminating the epidemic.

If all 360's avoid public places; airports, churches, LAN parties we can halt the disease's spread. Do NOT try to be a hero - stay where you are. No handshaking, no coughing. If you must go out in public, wear a surgical mask and a legend of zelda t-shirt. Or hoodie.

If we take these measures, we can save countless Xbox 360's lives. If we do not. We could be facing the extinction of the Xbox 360 race.

RE: Quarantine Protocols
By ahkey on 4/7/2007 11:43:23 AM , Rating: 2
Let them die.

RE: Quarantine Protocols
By UNCjigga on 4/9/2007 10:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
What is a "Quaranty"? Is that some hip portmanteau derived from Quarantine and Warranty? Are you suggesting that Microsoft update the warranty for Xbox 360 to guarantee that no returned consoles will be sent back to customers?

By Anh Huynh on 4/7/2007 11:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
Now the question is, who's 360 is going to die next, mine our Kristopher's? It's like a game of Russian Roulette, except in the end, all our 360's will die!

RE: lame
By KristopherKubicki on 4/7/2007 2:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
Mine actually red-ringed about 6 months ago. You and Michael are next!

RE: lame
By Chillin1248 on 4/7/2007 5:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
You guys want to make a pot?

I put down $20. Who's next?


xbox 360 ring of death
By ps44 on 4/8/2007 12:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
a have i xbox 360 core
no hard drive,no wireless controller,and the new dvd drive the third one they made from nov 06 & on
is it the pro xbox 360 with all problems
no problems

RE: xbox 360 ring of death
By cheetah2k on 4/10/2007 11:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
They are all affected.. Yours too could suffer a red ring death soon.

By teainthesahara on 4/10/2007 6:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have never had any issues with my 360 and it is kept running almost 24/7.However I am worried that I may be next for the Red Rings Of Death.So many people are having issues with the console and it is very unsettling.Thankfully I have the extended warranty.Microsoft really have to get their act together over the woeful reliability of the console.The PS3 has a hotter running processor but doesnt seem to have these problems(so far anyway).Strangely enough it seems that everyone has their 360 upright which I think is a bit silly. I wonder whether the console has more problems dissapating heat when upright.Also the risk of destroying your DVD drive and game disc are drastically increased in the upright position. Maybe others should try having their console horizontal.Its working for me so far but lets see if it lasts!!

By slash196 on 4/17/2007 12:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone I know that owns a 360 has sent theirs in at least once. They need to get their act together. Maybe the elite will have a lower failure rate; I doubt it though.

I'm on console #6...
By Smallies on 4/10/2007 3:05:39 AM , Rating: 3
I myself am currently on console #6!!!!!

3 of those being brand new and broken, and 2 of them refurbs and broken... Waiting for console #6 to arrive right now from microsoft, it's supposedly a brand new sealed unit. Very unlikely I assume...

Microsoft's service, warranty, and hardware are all one big joke... I have two playstation 3's I've purchased, one for myself and one for my 10yr old cousin, and both work like champs.

*Shakes Head*
By Ratwar on 4/8/2007 2:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
You'd think that Microsoft would have made the 360 to a slightly higher standard. I mean, after the faults of the original x-box (the first generation x-boxes had a 50% mortality rate among my friends within 3 years), I would have made sure that I used higher quality parts...

By irev210 on 4/9/2007 12:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
It is unbelievable that SO many xbox 360's are having issues. I honestly dont know anyone that hasnt had a problem with their xbox 360.

The interesting part is the lack of press on the matter. If this happened to Sony, this would be front page news.

Either way, I am afraid of losing a 400 dollar system do to failure, so I plan to sell mine before it breaks. I already picked up a PS3, and am hoping that it is more durable.

By the looks of the industrial grade PCB and high quality components and construction used by Sony, I am guessing that the PS3 will be much more durable.

By deeznuts on 4/9/2007 3:22:52 AM , Rating: 2
Remember the MS interview (can't remember which executive it was though) where they asked the MS executive what they thought about Sony pulling off Home?

He replied that he wasn't certain they would, because Sony was a hardware company, and MS was the software company in this battle. Can't say Marcus disagrees with him now.

By GreenyMP on 4/9/2007 9:47:29 AM , Rating: 2
I would be interested in seeing statistics on the actual number of returns. I wonder if this issue is getting enough attention that it makes the number of affected systems seem greater. On the other hand, two of the three XBox 360s that I know well have been to Texas more than I have.

By OxBow on 4/9/2007 11:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
I've been trying to two weeks to get through to technical support without any luck, all I get are busy signals.

The DVD drive on my 360 is making terrible grinding noises and not loading any disks. The rest of the console is working ok, right now, but if you can't load a game, what's the point?

I feel your pain
By JAH on 4/9/2007 1:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going through exact same situation right now. My console got the Red Ring of Death 13 days after the warranty has expired (this was way back in February). I called up MS and they said it was going to cost me $140 to get it repair plus pay for the shipping, and back then you only get 3 months of additional warranty for the repaired console.

I said forget it, there was no way I was paying $140 for a repaired console that will only have 3 months of warranty, and decided to gave up on the 360 altogether.

A couple months passed and I was actually missing having the 360 around, and then MS announced their new policy of free shipping and one year warranty for the repaired console. So I gave in and call them back last week and pay the repair cost.

I've own every consoles made in the last 10 years and this is the first one that actually died on me.

PS3 rules
By rupaniii on 4/10/2007 10:29:53 AM , Rating: 2
I have some 20+ people i know who have PS3, running Folding and other things all day long, playing resistance and other things. None of those have failed.
Microsoft needs to reengineer now.

By WonderingAimlessly on 5/1/2007 9:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
I have had my 360 console for over 1.5 years. Last year, a week after GoW was released (grabbed it that week) my conosle gave me the red light of death. I did the same nonsense of calling support, walking through the helpless session. Then I am told at that time my box is out of warranty. But at that time I had already heard rumors that MS has extended if for one year. I was covered for about another month in mind. I fought MS for about a 2 weeks before giving up. I will not pay another $150 to get a 1 yr old console fixed. So I bought the cooling fan built for the 360. Best damn investment ever. I have only had the red lights of death once since then. MS can eat my ass because I recall they explicitly asked about the aftermarket fan when I called support (at that time I didn't even know it existed.) They indicated it will void the warranty. HA. They have lost my trust.

By jadeskye on 4/8/07, Rating: 0
Microsoft's hardware engineers suck
By xuimod on 4/8/07, Rating: -1
"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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