The Xbox video game console is subject to a number of technical problems and failures that can render it unusable.
However, many of the issues can be identified by a series of glowing red lights flashing on the face of the console; the three flashing red lights nicknamed the " Red Ring of Death " or the " RRoD "   being the most infamous.
There are also other issues that arise with the console, such as discs becoming scratched in the drive and " bricking " of consoles due to dashboard updates. Since its release on November 22, , many articles have appeared in the media portraying the Xbox 's failure rates ,    with the latest estimate by warranty provider SquareTrade to be There has been legal action taken attempting to hold Microsoft responsible for the Xbox 's failure rate and provide compensation for those affected.
Three flashing red lights around the Xbox power button instead of the one to four green lights indicating normal operation represent an internal problem that requires service. Warning signs may include freeze-ups, graphical problems in the middle of gameplay, such as checkerboard or pinstripe patterns on the screen, and sound errors; mostly consisting of extremely loud noises that can be affected by the volume control, the console only responding when the power button is pressed to turn it off.
If the console freezes occasionally, the error will not necessarily follow. The technical problems seem to affect some generations of consoles more than others, e. Xenon or Zephyr. Those problems may also cause some freezing screens. This error code is usually caused by failure of one or more hardware components, although it can indicate that the console is not receiving enough power from the power supply, which can either be due to a faulty power supply or if the power supply cable is not fully inserted into the console.
The 3 flashing lights can also be caused by power surges; if the console is connected to an outlet that receives a power surge, it may have a failure and the 3 lights will appear as long as the console is plugged into the outlet. Turning off the console, unplugging all power cables and plugging them back in, and restarting the console may fix this issue in some cases. Distinct from the General Hardware Failure is a similar-looking, but much less serious, error warning where four red lights appear, in which case the console does not detect an AV cable is plugged in; however, this error code is not generated on models equipped with an HDMI output.
While the main cause is the AV cable, in rare cases, the 4 lights can mean a serious problem with the console. When the 4 lights indicate the serious issue, it is followed by a 2 digit error code, similar to what you would get with the 1 ring.
Two red lights appear when the system is overheated. On the Xbox S model, the power button utilizes a different design that does not incorporate the same style of lighting that past models used. A solid red light is similar to the one-light error if an "E XX" error message is displayed and a three-light error code if the error message is absent.
On July 5, , Peter Moore , the Vice President of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division published an open letter recognizing the console's problems, as well as announcing a three-year warranty from the original date of purchase for every Xbox console that experiences the "general hardware failure" indicated by three flashing red LEDs on the console.
The interviews suggest that Xbox units that fail early in their life do so because of problems in the system design, parts supply, material reliability, and manufacturing issues as well as a system not tolerant to faults. These issues were alleged to be the end results of the decisions of management in Microsoft's Xbox team and inadequate testing resources prior to the console's release.
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Years after leaving Microsoft, Moore recalled preparing to tell then CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer , of his planned response to the incident, "we've got to tell Steve, here's what we have to do: we need to FedEx an empty box to a customer who had a problem - they would call us up - with a FedEx return label to send your box, and then we would FedEx it back to them and fix it. It was sickening. I was doing a lot of interviews. We couldn't figure it out.
There was a theory. We had changed our solder, which is the way you put the GPU and the fans, to lead-free. We think it was somehow the heat coming off the GPU was drying out some of the solder, and it wasn't the normal stuff we'd used, because we had to meet European Standards and take the lead out.
He said, 'what's it going to cost? If we hadn't made that decision there and then, and tried to fudge over this problem, then the Xbox brand and Xbox One wouldn't exist today. On February 8, , during the Game Developers Conference , Microsoft announced that the "Failure rate has officially dropped", but without mentioning any specifics.
People who experience the problem will find that they have to send the Xbox away for repair or replacement and it may take up to 3 weeks to repair or replace. During the time of the Xbox being replaced, Microsoft and UPS will keep the client s updated with the current status of where the Xbox is and whether it is being repaired or replaced. In June Microsoft released a new "slimmer" Xbox These models indicate hardware failure differently from the original; The outer ring segments cannot turn red anymore.
Microsoft has said that henceforth errors will be displayed by the center of the power button changing from green to red. Microsoft has never officially released any information indicating the true cause of the problem. Therefore, any information available to the public has come only from third party analyses.
Xbox 360 Repair
Electronics industry newspaper EE Times reported that the problems may have started in the graphics chip. After multiple product failures, Microsoft went back to an ASIC vendor and had the chip redesigned so it would dissipate less heat.
German computer magazine c't blamed the problem primarily on the use of the wrong type of lead-free solder, a type that when exposed to elevated temperatures for extended periods of time becomes brittle and can develop hair-line cracks that are almost irreparable. Because of the nature of the problem, Micromart could only make temporary repairs, which led to many of the "repaired" systems failing again after a few weeks.
At that time Micromart was receiving 2, defective consoles per day from the U.
Some articles also suggest that the hardware condition may also be caused by using the new Xbox Kinect with the old Xenon generation Xbox. Almost at the same time the Xbox was released in late , customers began reporting circumferential scratches found on discs used in their Xbox consoles. Almost two years later, in February , the web site "The Llamma's Adventures" investigated the matter and concluded that some Xbox disc drives lack a mechanism to secure the disc solidly in place.
However, the Xbox S and Xbox E shipped with a sticker informing users that moving the console while powered on poses risks, effectively removing responsibility from Microsoft. Other publishers can be contacted directly for a disc exchange, but it is unclear whether they will replace discs at no cost.
In December shortly after the Xbox 's release in the United States and Canada on November 22, and around its release in Europe and Asia in early December , reports of unidentifiable noises from the Xbox were appearing on Internet message boards. The Xbox scratched disc problem received little media coverage in ;  however, in February , the Dutch television program Kassa investigated several complaints from Dutch consumers about circular scratches made in their Xbox discs.
During the February investigation report, Kassa stated that either not all Xbox s without protective pads would spontaneously scratch discs, or that the complaints were from Xbox users who had moved their Xbox during use, or who used an unstable setup.
Step 1: Before We Begin...
Prompted by consumer reaction to its February report, Kassa performed several tests with Xbox units from consumers who claimed their Xbox had the problem. Kassa stabilized these consoles and positioned them at a location remote from contact by anyone. The results of the laboratory conditions test revealed that one of the nine tested Xbox units had spontaneously scratched a disc after five hours of gaming.
The consoles were also tested standing upright, and the test revealed that three of the nine tested Xbox s significantly scratched discs.
The video of the complete investigation, meticulously documenting the methodology, and all the relevant details of the tests, was made ready to be aired on April 14, They can also be found on Kassa's website  together with some press information about the case. The test setup details can be found online,  and the complete movie of the Kassa TV program meticulously documenting the methodology used for the test can be found online in Dutch  Weeks before it aired, however, Kassa solicited input from Microsoft Netherlands.
One day before the airing of the April 14, show, Kassa received a response from Microsoft Netherlands stating that "as a result of regular use it is possible that scratches on discs can arise",    and that Microsoft Netherlands "would seek a solution for the Dutch customers with this problem". While we are aware that discs can potentially be scratched through normal wear and tear, we have not received any widespread reports of the issue highlighted here.
Xbox 360 technical problems
That said, it is important to us that all of our customers have the best gaming experiences possible, and these claims are obviously very concerning to us. We encourage any Xbox customer who believes that their discs have been scratched in the same manner as identified by Kassa, to contact us.
We will examine the console and make appropriate repairs if necessary in order to restore the console to full working order, as well as provide customers with information on how to obtain replacement discs should they need them.
Microsoft Netherlands now accepts these complaints from users while within the warranty period , and offers to replace the Xbox free of charge. Whether Microsoft Netherlands will also replace scratched discs is still unclear.
After the official broadcast, in a continuation of the show which can be viewed on-line, about 28 minutes into the show a customer is shown calling the Microsoft help-desk, who is told Microsoft will replace his Xbox but is denied a promise to replace his scratched games. On June 1, , European Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kuneva , after talking with the producers of "Kassa" and other Dutch consumer organizations,  announced that the European Commission would investigate the Xbox scratching problems, and would ask Microsoft for an Xbox replacement program for the whole of Europe.
She expected Microsoft's answer within a week. A man has sued Microsoft claiming the Xbox scratches game discs, saying the consoles are "negligently designed and manufactured.
The lawsuit seeks class action status. The law firms have filed lawsuits in the United States District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle on behalf of a proposed nationwide class of customers who have suffered scratched game discs while using their Xbox On March 23, , the BBC 's consumer interest programme Watchdog performed an investigation into how the console scratches its own discs, after Microsoft found no issues with multiple reportedly defective consoles.
A sealed test, protected from any outside interference beyond accessing games, found no problems with either console. However, a further test which attempted to simulate normal household vibrations produced a disc scratch on the previously problematic console.
Xbox 360 Flashing Lights Solution
Currently, Microsoft still maintains that it is the user's fault when discs are damaged, because it "makes clear with multiple warnings not to move the console with the disc inside. However, the company did not comment on the lab tests. An update patch released on November 1, was reported to " brick " consoles, rendering them useless. Usually, error code E71 is shown during or directly after the booting animation.
In response to the November update error that "bricked" his console, a California man filed a class action lawsuit against Microsoft in Washington federal court in early December This is the second such lawsuit filed against Microsoft, the first having been filed in December , shortly after the 's launch. Following Microsoft's extension of the Xbox warranty to a full year, from the previous 90 days, the California man's attorney confirmed to the Seattle Post Intelligencer that the lawsuit had been resolved under confidential terms.
In mid , technology and gaming blogs began reporting about new problems with the Xbox losing video output. The Nyko Intercooler has been reported to have led to a general hardware failure in a number of consoles, as well as scorching of the power DC input. Nyko has recently released an updated Intercooler that uses its own power source.
Fix the Red Ring of Death! (Without Towels)
Nyko claims this problem no longer occurs with new versions of this cooler. However, Microsoft still considers it an unlicensed add-on and will void the warranty of machines showing signs of its use. There is no data available to indicate whether the Intercooler really does decrease the chance of hardware failure.
The Intercooler can also melt itself onto the , melt the powercord inside of itself, or make itself extremely hard to remove. This update provided streaming Netflix capability and avatars; however, some users have reported the update has caused their consoles to not properly read optical media.
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An E74 error is indicated when the lower-right quadrant of the ring indicator flashes red and displays an error message in multiple languages: "System Error. Contact Xbox Customer Support", with the code E74 at the bottom.
The error is caused by a solder joint under the GPU or Video output chip becoming damaged. The E74 error has sometimes been described by many as a "Green Screen of Death" and a "Black Screen of Death" because early versions of these errors had an almost jet-black background with a hue of dark green.
Later versions would show a completely jet-black background.
Xbox 360 Red lights FIX .pdf Download
Reports of impending Q4 red-light failure stem from users who report an abnormal display with poor, grainy video as well as black dots or artifacts appearing on the screen.
Vertical green or red strokes on the screen can also indicate an E Xbox consoles which have a hardware failure will display a secondary error code by blinking a sequence of LEDs when the correct button sequence is pushed.