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Come on Microsoft, you have GOT to be kidding me!

I've had it up to here! That's all I can stands and I can't stands no more! My Xbox 360 is dead once again. The Xbox 360, which has been sitting upright, rather close to a vent which is blowing out cold air from the central air conditioning system, will have to go back to Microsoft... AGAIN!

I wrote in late March in my blog when my Xbox 360 died the first time. At that time, my Xbox 360 died after some gaming sessions in GRAW 2 and streaming music as a Media Center Extender. Microsoft "repaired" my console and sent it back to me good as new.

Today, my Xbox 360 showed signs of failure while downloading the Forza Motorsport 2 demo. Not long after I posted my blog earlier today about the demo, my Xbox 360 locked up while downloading the game. I restarted the Xbox 360 to see it get the dreaded RRoD. The first thing I thought isn't printable here, but you can probably imagine what came out of my mouth.

I rebooted the machine and all was well for a while. I set the option in the Dashboard to put the Xbox 360 in "low-power mode" while downloading and proceeded to start the download again. I then "turned off" the Xbox 360 and the power light began flashing to signify that it had gone into low-power mode. I came back about two hours later to see that the Xbox 360 had turned off. I assumed that the download had finished and started the machine back up. The demo was nowhere to be found, so I went to view the active downloads and the demo was pegged at 0%.

At that moment, the console froze again. So I decided to try rebooting it again and managed to get back into the Dashboard. I restarted the download and all appeared to be well. Once the download finished, I went to play the game. I performed a single race using the 993 911 Turbo and performed another race using the E36 M3. Having satisfied my fix for that moment, I decided to turn the machine off for a while.

I come back a few hours later and turn the Xbox 360 on. RRoD. I turn it off and back on again. RRoD. I unplugged the unit, waited 5 minutes and plugged it back in again. RRoD. I removed the 20GB HDD. RRoD.

Thanks Microsoft, thanks A LOT!

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By Brandon Hill on 5/10/2007 6:38:30 PM , Rating: 5
Well, the CSR was very kind and polite and understood my frustration. They're sending out an empty box via UPS and are including a free 1 month subscription card to Xbox Live.

RE: Reps
By Alpha4 on 5/10/2007 6:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
Thats good to hear. What do you plan on doing when you get the replacement?

RE: Reps
By Brandon Hill on 5/10/2007 6:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
Probably will fire up Forza Motorsport 2 again. Either that, or contemplate selling it.

After it died the first time, I haven't had much of an urge to play as much anymore (either out of fear of it croaking again at any moment or just out of sheer boredom of the system and the games).

I just haven't had the drive to play games any more. Hell, I haven't even finished GoW (just got boring to me... run gun, duck repeat). I have gotten pretty far into GRAW 2 though.

RE: Reps
By Alpha4 on 5/10/2007 7:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
Heh. I can't say I blame ya man. Its a phase I've seen several people go through, in some cases with gaming computers. They'd spend over a thousand $ pimping out their rig and hours upon hours tweaking their OS & Hardware, only to have to endure a 5 week RMA for some vital component after the sh*t hits the fan. I found it sobers them up and they find themselves content to enjoy some of their machine's more simple functions.

RE: Reps
By bplewis24 on 5/11/2007 4:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
How many times do you think you'll go through this before you just give up?


RE: Reps
By Brandon Hill on 5/11/2007 5:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is my last time. When it comes back, it's getting sold along with all of my games and accessories.

RE: Reps
By bplewis24 on 5/12/2007 1:12:11 AM , Rating: 3
It's unfortunate that you have to go through this. Of course Microsoft has done a good job (so far) of extending warranties, giving speedy returns, etc, but when a product is seemingly this defective, more proactive measures should be taken. If not by them, then a third party.

I posted this in another blog:

This probably doesn't have anything to do with the Spring Update, but I went into BestBuy today and as I glanced past the PS3 and XBox360 kiosks I had to do a double-take as I noticed the RRoD on the Xbox360 in the kiosk.

I looked around to see if anybody else noticed, but nobody had a clue, and the TV just flashed a "no input" signal. I pressed the reset button on the kiosk and the RRoD would go away for a split second and come right back on.


RE: Reps
By Sharky974 on 5/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: Reps
By Marcus Yam on 5/10/2007 6:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
I hope that my console doesn't follow in your footsteps this time. I'd better go check on my Forza 2 download.

RE: Reps
By deeznuts on 5/10/2007 7:00:53 PM , Rating: 3
So they gave you the equivalent of $4.17? That's what I'm understanding? Pfft, keep the crack money (actually not even enough for crack) and get me a console that works ... On second thought with Peter Moore's comments the other day that won't work.

Brandon, you need to focus on how you were treated during this process, and not dwell on the actual failure of your console!

RE: Reps
By Sharky974 on 5/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Reps
By mmichii on 5/11/2007 3:13:11 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry to hear your troubles I'm on my second 360. You should read these articles, if you haven't already.

Basically no matter how many times you return your console it will end up failing in the end. Come on how could such dinky heatsinks with a fan barely moving any air cool the unit sufficiently. Then there are the x-clamps, crap thermal compound, cheap pcb material, and the fact that the board is not secured properly. Would you ever treat your PC this bad and expect it to keep on working?

If you want to run the 360 in the default config i would say your chances aren't good. You're probably best off selling the thing. i'm giving mine one more chance. I didn't start playing it until I made all my mods with a spare cage, and stuff from home depot and fry's. I run the case open with an extra fan and fans at 12v. Also the board is new so I know its not already fubar. I've done everything reasonably in my power short of phase change cooling and that costs more than this piece of s..t is worth.

If it fails now I give up. I think you should buy a PS3 with the replacement plan from Best Buy. I am whether my 360 lives or dies.

Oh ya if you do decide to take measures, spare metal cage, ronsonol, razor blade, and wax paper. You'll figure it out :)

RE: Reps
By Hemipower on 5/11/2007 11:25:06 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry man but its what I have been saying for such a long time. Everybody called me a Sony fanboy, but now you have your own experience. I am on my fourth 360, my brother on his third and every single one of my friends (that have a 360) except one have had to replace theirs as well at least once. Oh yea, I rather pay the 50 dollars and get the bestbuy replacement plan, rather then wait for the shipping. If you buy your ps3, definitely get the PR warranty.

Here are some of my receipt pics.

RE: Reps
By Sharky974 on 5/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: Reps
By thebrown13 on 5/13/2007 2:50:20 PM , Rating: 1
Because there's no other system out there. Period.

Don't leave electronics near AC vents
By Flunk on 5/11/2007 12:21:27 AM , Rating: 3
Not that I think this actually matters in this particular case but you shouldn't leave electronics right next to AC vents because the air that they push out is colder than the air inside the device (especially a hot one) and cause condensation (which = short).

This is a very unlikely circumstance but it did actually happen to a friend of mine who had his computer right next to the AC vent.

RE: Don't leave electronics near AC vents
By Rampage on 5/11/2007 12:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I was going to say the same thing.. thats just not a good idea and I'm guessing the author is at fault here.. possibly every time hes had a problem, it was just unknowingly..

Just set the 360 in a regular spot.. not near an AC vent, a passing circus, or a hook it to a flux capacitor. Just use it regular and it might work regular, like mine..

By AkumaX on 5/14/2007 2:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
really? hmmm.. i hooked mine up to my flux capacitor, and the only thing that shorted in my delorean was mr. fusion *shrugs*

By DingieM on 5/11/2007 4:51:10 AM , Rating: 2
Reportedly, harddisk drives are very sensitive to air conditioning outlets.
This should apply to all electronics devices.

By Spyvie on 5/11/2007 5:56:45 PM , Rating: 3
Condensation forms on surfaces that are cooler than the surrounding warm, moist air. Things that are cooler than the dew point of the air around them get wet.

AC lowers the dew point.

Dry air is more favorable to static charge though…

By Hyperlite on 5/10/2007 6:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
wow, you have ridiculously bad luck.

RE: ...
By OxBow on 5/11/2007 1:23:09 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, he's about on par with most of my friends.

Everyone I know with a 360 has sent theirs in for service at least once, one is on his fourth. I just got mine back, along with an extra months Live. Wohoo, $4.17 here I come, that'll almost cover my lunch today, as long as I stick with a happy meal. I did get the extended service plan for the 360, which covers it until July '09. I think MS is going to find that little warantee will end up costing them some.

There are something like 9 million 360's out in the wild right now (just guesing, but that's got to be close). If they have to issue a recall on these, it's going to hurt MS a lot. I don't know if the Elite is any better for this than the others, but if I worked for MS, I'd be really looking at a whole case redesign. It would be painfully expensive right now, but probably save them a bunch down the road. 65nm isn't going to solve all the problems, they need a new motherboard layout, cooling system and case design.

Conversly, my PS3 has been running constantly all week (folding, downloading, games, movies) and hasn't been turned off since last Saturday. Not only is it running smooth and quiet, it's also quite cool to the touch. When the 360 is running, even with the intercooler and internal fans cranked up like turbine, I can still feel the heat coming off it from 12" away. Both units sit on the same shelf, same air supply, same ventilation, space, etc.

RE: ...
By Sharky974 on 5/12/2007 4:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
Intercooler is shit and voids your warranty. If your 360 breaks you deserve it for using that piece of shit. It's been proven to be very detrimental to Xboxs. It sucks off the 360 power supply too also causing damage.

RE: ...
By OxBow on 5/14/2007 4:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your response. I hadn't seen that article. It's something I'll need to think about. The issue of extra power drag probably only affects systems on circuits that can brown out, which won't be a problem for me (dedicated line, line conditioner, etc.) but it is something that I do need to look into furthur.

Hm... Random hypotheses
By noirsoft on 5/10/2007 10:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe some of these preventative mesaures people are taking are actually making the problem worse? If your AC system is dirty, you could be blowing more dust into your 360.

I know that I once had a laptop set up nest to an air purifier that had a stupid, useless ionic mode (just need HEPA thank you) -- The laptop crashed with corrupted graphics less than 2 hours after having it near the purifier. I should have realized that ions + flowing electrons don't mix, but still, many people may be doing things to protect their 360s that only hurt them.

FWIW, I also have a launch 360 that has behaved perfectly. Maybe the launch ones are better made and its the new fabs that are having problems...

RE: Hm... Random hypotheses
By Scabies on 5/11/2007 12:08:09 AM , Rating: 2
More importantly, is there a chance of the cold air causing condensation within the 360 case? Has each console died in the exact same spot in the room (with similar environmental settings)?

My brother and I went halvsies on an elite last week, I hope we dont ring-out! Good luck with your future hardware!

RE: Hm... Random hypotheses
By Spyvie on 5/11/2007 5:38:40 PM , Rating: 3
Air that is coming out of an AC vent has been de-humidified, and the inside of the console is much warmer than the de-humidified air.

There is no conceivable way placing the 360 near an AC duct would cause condensation to form inside the 360

Upgrade to an Elite or get a PS3
By irev210 on 5/10/2007 11:04:55 PM , Rating: 3
I upgraded to an elite out of fear since the Elites have a slightly different layout.

Using my trusty P3 kill-o-watt, I noticed that the Elite sucks roughly 50W of power than my regular xbox premium.

Whatever they did, combined with the new PCB layout... hopefully it will last.

People trash on the PS3 a lot, but you can tell just by looking that the industrial quality PCB used that they should last longer. Sony actually uses REALLY REALLY high end parts on their PCB. Im still thinking about making the switch. Free online gameplay + reliable console sounds good to me.

Its just a matter of time before microsoft gets themselves caught in a class action lawsuit. Someone is going to leak the failure rate at some point.

By irev210 on 5/10/2007 11:21:21 PM , Rating: 3
duh, sorry, testing one console during game and the other in the xbox screen doesnt really count.

i tested both playing game and they both pull ~190W from the wall


This is why I got myself a PS3...
By vze4z7nx on 5/10/2007 7:14:06 PM , Rating: 3
I got my PS3 in late February, it's almost the middle of March, and not even a single problem!

Brandon, go sell your xBox 360, and go get a PS3. I guess the xBox 360 just doesn't like you. ;)

RE: This is why I got myself a PS3...
By vitul on 5/11/2007 2:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
probably the best idea. I can say i bought a xbox360 last july. no problems so far (knock on wood). But to be honest i dont even want to play it because fear that i will get rrod. I have put my xbox360 on craigslist to sell. the ps3 and the xbox360 for the most part will have the same games. the one game the 360 will have that might seem really appealing will be halo3. but then again how fun will it be when yer 8th xbox is at ms.

the Popeye point...
By codeThug on 5/11/2007 1:08:15 PM , Rating: 5
That's all I can stands and I can't stands no more!

Congratulations Brandon, you've just reached your "Popeye point".

Now open that can of spinach and come out swingin'.

Time to...
By cochy on 5/10/2007 6:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
trade in for a PS3 ;)

RE: Time to...
By bigbrent88 on 5/10/2007 9:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, when is Sony going to realise that they need to sell high quality over HD right now, make jokes that mock RRoD events and such like a mac ad. They need a politician to run their PR department. Until games come something needs to happen!

Sure MS could do a price drop soon, when you use those parts that fall to the floor in PS3 assembly you're bound to have stability issues :)

M$ are diabolical!!
By teainthesahara on 5/10/2007 8:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well I feel for you Brandon...UPS are coming tomorrow to take away my 4 month old 360 since my TSST DVD drive is scratching my discs badly and making a horrible grinding noise. I am pretty disappointed with that to be honest. I don't even think M$ will replace my scratched discs for free.

By the way I want to bring it to the Daily Tech team's attention that the 360 definitely has a DVD scratching problem with Toshiba Samsung drives. Dutch TV program Kassa proved this is their experiment with a few 360s. Check it out by Googling Kassa and TSST drive. Is it possible for you guys to check this out. By the way you guys are press. Why don't you try and pressurize M$ to get their act together over reliability?? But I can imagine M$ would sue for libel wouldnt they....

I better be getting a Hitachi LG drive or BenQ drive or I will be furious with Microsoft. I can't believe both you and Marcus Yam have had dud 360's. And now my drive's died. Only a matter of time before we ALL get Red Rings Of Death :(

RE: M$ are diabolical!!
By OxBow on 5/11/2007 1:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
I had the exact same trouble 6 weeks ago. I got my 360 back about 2 weeks ago, and it's working fine, but that grinding noise was terrible.

Went to radio shack (only place around here for this kind of stuff) to get a DiskDr. It worked fine and fixed my copies of VivaPinata and Oblivion. I should send that $30 bill off to MS to cover my pain and suffering.

By AntiV6 on 5/10/2007 8:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
I know your console was by an A.C. vent, but do you have an add on cooler?

They are like $25 bucks and keep the console noticeably cooler.

RE: Cooling?
By rdeegvainl on 5/11/2007 8:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
I was looking at those the other day, thinking if i got a 360 i should probably get one of those. I just wish that measure like that didn't need to be taken. This whole rrod issue is what has kept me from getting a 360, instead i will just wait till the 360 gets a completely new setup, or the ps3 is cheaper and has more games, or get a wii when supply increases for my wife, all situations are likely about a year away.

Please go easy...
By Alpha4 on 5/10/2007 6:34:56 PM , Rating: 3
Don't be too harsh on the agent you speak with please. I've many friends who still work for 360 support and I can tell you they completely agree that your situation sucks balls and that the console has major issues, but they're not allowed to say it.

Anyway, according to policy @ xbox360 support u'll hafta speak to a "supervisor" and they'll, I guess, drill you on more "in-depth" trouble-shooting and then issue another repair order after professing their oh-so sincere empathy for your dilemma and promise a successful repair.

If I were you I'd request a wireless gamepad for your troubles as their lineup of Games for compensation sucks.

MS + hardware = bad
By Screwballl on 5/12/2007 2:15:47 PM , Rating: 3
As I have posted elsewhere... MS as a software company is less than reasonable with all their bugs and scheme of shafting millions of people daily. They refused to fix XP with a SP3 even after Vista has now been released and is even more buggy than XP was originally. How can this same company be said to have a good product in the hardware/console line? It can't. The same programmers are using the "we make money off people to fix their bugs for Windows on top of what they paid for the initial OS" are continuing this same perspective for the consoles. Make people dependent on you rather then give them a feature-rich bug free item and you will make more money than the competition. What can be expected once the warranty runs out and the RRoD returns? Millions more in profit for a simple fix that they charge out the yang for the customer. Since when was it ok for a "fix" to break the product?
Show your feelings and digust with your wallet and stay away from MS if at all possible (which is very possible with the consoles).
Sony (and Linux), here we come.

Their Sight Free Country
By jlanders646 on 5/13/2007 1:08:06 AM , Rating: 3
@ the person that said quit posting these blogs.

I'm happy people post blogs about faulty equipment, just cause you're a lover doesn't mean that any of us have to be a lover/hater of a certain product. Grow up. I personaly have had no problems outta my 360. Doesn't mean I'm going to, BUT, if I do I know where to go to find out how others are treated and how to handle the situation. Its a blog, you know what its about b4 u read it. I honestly wonder if you just get off on posting meaningless posts all day long.

I personaly enjoy this sight, some people here love sony, some hate. Some love MS some hate. Personal opinions are what make the world go round. Hope you've enjoyed my two cents worth. BTW. I like this sight!

Not only the 360
By CoreGamer on 5/13/2007 2:38:42 PM , Rating: 1
I know its easy to say "Get a PS3" or "Get a Wii" but the 360 isn't the only console with this problem. Ive already had to have my Wii repaired once because it fried its video card. My first thought was "WTF? Well, I guess I should forgive Nintendo because they are usually good with quality and I probably just got a dud 1 out of a million console". But then I did a google search, and it turns out there are a lot of Wii's that are overheating and frying their video card. And to the guy who said he has a PS3 thats "Cool to the touch" is he being sarcastic? ANYBODY can go to a store and touch the plastic casing of a demo PS3 and feel how hot those things get. This isn't a 360-Unique problem

RE: Not only the 360
By bplewis24 on 5/14/2007 2:39:27 AM , Rating: 2
I have a PS3. It's an original launch unit. I've only left it on overnight once for F@H, and it was indeed cool to the touch on the top surface, front and back, and the left side. The only part that gets warm (not hot, warm) is the bottom portion of the right side of the console where the heat is dissipated.

The plastic casing which houses a demo PS3 is under completely different circumstances, and I don't think it takes a genius to understand why.


omfg x.x
By fk49 on 5/10/2007 5:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
We, the readers of Dailytech, all feel your pain.
Actually, it makes me glad I decided to hold back on the Xbox 360. =X

Haven't had a problem yet...
By Rulother on 5/10/2007 6:21:41 PM , Rating: 1
I understand the problems and all, hell im just saying I've had mine since the start and still no problems here.

RE: Haven't had a problem yet...
By Rulother on 5/10/2007 6:22:46 PM , Rating: 1
Actually I think I was going for that this was a pointless post made, random pointless ranting that no one cares about.

By Mitch101 on 5/11/2007 10:49:34 AM , Rating: 2
Brandon thanks for keep us up to date on this. I am convinced now that I will definately not be considering an X-Box 360 until the 65nm units arrive without complaints.

I take your word much higher than others out there as I assumed most of the problems were stemming from the technically challenged people who have ten cats and thier 360 living in a cardboard box. Being as I own several Original X-Boxes I bought second hand I know how poorly people can keep thier systems and know why thier original systems failed. For this to happen to you means technical knowledgable people are having serious issues and that is going to keep me away from the console until this is rectified.

Im also sure Bill/Ballmer might need to step in to isolate where manufacturing/management is going wrong and have a serious talk about costs and quality of manufacturing. The companies that manufacture these defective boxes are surely hurting Microsoft X-Box 360's reputation as a gaming company.

If I were them I would want heads rolling at this point. Its bad enough to lose money on each console its more annoying to have Microsoft pay even more further increasing the loss on each console and annoying its gaming community and clients with this. To do it twice to a client is rediculous.

Here is to hoping the third one is a charm.

A better solution than an AC vent?
By GZeus on 5/13/2007 6:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
When I first got mine, after hearing all the horror stories, I was worried about the heat. I ended up getting a laptop cooler that uses the USB port for power and laid the 360 flat on that for extra cooling. No problems so far (knock). Anyone else do the same?

By kitchme on 5/14/2007 11:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
You're so pathetic. Getting worked up because someone's writing about problems with 360. Chill out...I'm glad there are articles about it, maybe MS will fix the problem.

The Xbox360 is bad hardware
By IntelGirl on 5/15/2007 9:07:08 AM , Rating: 1
It's cheap hardware made with cheap components. It's no surprise it has so many failures. No console has ever been as unstable as the Xbox360 has been.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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