Print 88 comment(s) - last by kilkennycat.. on Jul 5 at 9:23 PM

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Micromart, which used to repair the Xbox 360, recently posted a notice on its website that it “has now withdrawn from offering a repair service for the dreaded 3 Red Lights fault.”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 kilkennycat on 7/5/2007 9:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
And Microsoft is extending the warranty worldwide to 3 years. They also will ensure sufficient number of return-cartons for the dead units.

Not surprising... since they still have not fixed the fundamental thermal design flaws that I pointed out in a reply-posting to Anand's original "Xbox360 dissection" article, November 18, 2005.

Recap of the flaws as follows:-

1. Dual-fan Forced air cooling through the CPU and GPU high-density heat-sinks with no filtering and no user-access for cleaning-out the crud that will inevitably accumulate and block up the heat-sinks -- as those of us with experience in PC servicing with affirm. The heatsinks in a PC in a typical domestic environment need to be thoroughly cleaned every six months. The Xbox360 internal heat-sinks cannot be accessed for cleaning without special tools AND breaking the warranty-seal. Presumably M$$ paranoia about user-mods.

2. And compounding the problem cited above, the two offending heat-sinks are jammed right up against the case of the DVD-drive, thus overheating this critical electro-mechanical component.

A electronics-packaging design executed by amateurs without a clue about reliability engineering. Failures due to the above design-faults are only likely to show up after a long period of use. The joke addition of an extra GPU heat-sink in the Xbox360 is the icing on the cake. That heat-sink will receive no air once the other two heat-sinks fill up with crud.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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