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The X-Clamps on the Xbox 360 motherboard (Source: AnandTech)
Console service company Micromart will no longer repair Xbox 360 due to alleged design flaw

UK-based game console repair company Micromart has been fixing video game systems for over a decade. On its website it advertises that it will repair PlayStation 2, original Xbox, PSP and replace screens for other handheld systems.

Micromart, which used to repair the Xbox 360, recently posted a notice on its website that it “has now withdrawn from offering a repair service for the dreaded 3 Red Lights fault.”

The company states that, “This problem is endemic on the Xbox 360 console and the volume has made this repair non-viable.” Micromart will also no longer fix Xbox 360 consoles that display screen freezing problems. The company, however, will continue to support all other repairs to the consoles.

“We were seeing about 30 a week before we pulled the plug on the service,” said Micromart’s Jeff Croft to GamesIndustry. “We saw it over a period of several months and it was just getting worse. It began towards the end of last year. Once the twelve month warranty finished then we started to see more and more machines being sent in to be looked at.”

“The work we had done to the console lead us to believe that basically it was a fault with the motherboard and not something that could be resolved easily. And it wasn't going to go away,” continued Croft.

 “We're not taking that thing on board; we won't repair them. We originally did some work with it but it's labour intensive and it isn't really a feasible repair for us to undertake. We would probably end up charging GBP 100 [$202] for a repair and we still wouldn't be happy with the end result,” he added.

A recent investigation by DailyTech on Xbox 360 warranty returns revealed that up to a third of Microsoft’s latest console fail.

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By mdogs444 on 7/3/2007 9:20:02 AM , Rating: 2
basically it was a fault with the motherboard

Even though cooling is essential, perhaps lack of proper cooling in the 360 isn't technically the root of the problem.

A faulty motherboard could perhaps be overvolting or spiking power into the processor, shorting capacitors, etc, causing the chip to get too hot. A faulty mobo would also explain the screen freeze issue since the graphics chip is integrated onto the motherboard (not slot type).

So now the question comes down to....Who is the manufacturer of the motherboard, what is there Q/A department like, and will MS take action against them for their inability for quality control?

RE: Cooling
By alifbaa on 7/3/2007 9:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
My guess is that if the answer were that simple, the problem would have been fixed no later than after the initial batch shipped. To me, this feels like an inherent, deeply embedded, design flaw which can't be fixed without a major redesign. If M$ were to undertake such redesign, they would be opening themselves up to litigation to get every console they've shipped so far brought up to date.

Another thing I find interesting is the fact that it costs about $200 to get it not fixed completely. It makes me wonder what M$ is truly doing for the $140 it costs to send the console to them.

RE: Cooling
By GoatMonkey on 7/3/2007 1:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
For Microsoft it's probably cheaper to send out a new machine than to repair a broken one.

I think they need to add a monster set of heatsinks with heat pipes and an extra fan. That should get the job done until they can fix the actual problem.

RE: Cooling
By mdogs444 on 7/3/2007 1:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
They arent sending out new ones. They are sending back refurbished machines - and in most cases, the refurbed machine is not the one you sent them.

RE: Cooling
By Belard on 7/5/2007 3:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
Refurbished means you're getting a product that IS NOT yours. Repairs is when they fix your unit and give it back to you.

RE: Cooling
By TomZ on 7/3/07, Rating: 0
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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