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XBox Red Ring 'O' Death

Posted by jntragesser on 2/2/2009 11:54:11 PM

Nicholas's Xbox 360 starting acting up in the past week or so before finally giving up the ghost this weekend. For those of you that don't know, the Xbox 360 is plagued with a problem that shows up as various quadrants of the circle around the power button, 1 quadrant is a minor error, 2 is somewhat more serious, possibly overheating, and 3 is the infamous "Ring of Death" indicating a serious hardware failure.

Nothing to be done except to exercise your warranty if it's still in effect. Microsoft initially extended their warranty from 90 days to one full year when this issue started showing up in large numbers. Unfortunately for Nicholas, this Xbox just passed its year warranty leaving us on the hook for the repairs. Nicholas loves his Xbox and has a circle of friends that are wondering where he's gone. He just renewed his Xbox live subscription, and this leaves him sitting on the sidelines unable to play until this issue is resolved.

This has to be heat related, the Xbox 360 is a noisy box and has fans not only on the console unit, but the in-line power supply as well. I'd say that it's a fair guess to to say that the Xbox 360 emits more fan noise than any other console, any other desktop computer for that matter.

Interestingly enough, Best Buy has a product coverage plan for the Xbox that covers nearly everything that could go wrong...except the red ring of death. Now..why would you pay for maintenance plan that doesn't even cover the most likely and serious of errors?

Nicholas is bummed, I try to cheer him up...every now and then I'd go by his room and go, "Hey, ya hear that?" "What's that Dad?" "That's the sound of your Xbox live subscription dwindling away to nothing without you even being able to access it!!! HAHAHAHAHHA!" He doesn't even think it's funny.

UPDATE!!

Nicholas' friend Mark in Florida have been long time Xbox Live players and guess what just happened to his unit?

That's right, yet another victim of the Red Ring O Death. My brother suggests that M$ might be remotely killing all these boxes just before Christmas to drive up sales.

I found many videos on fixing the Xbox 360 which apparently has to do with shrinkage of the rubber washers on the screws holding the heat sinks to the processor chips in the Xbox. This is a rather cheap way to mount a heat sink and nothing like quality tension devices used to secure heat sinks on CPU's on regular computer motherboards. The fix involves disassembling the Xbox 360, removing the heat sinks, reapplying the thermal grease, and then reassemble using replacement screws and washers that you can purchase at www.fixyourownxbox.com.

This involves disassembly of the Xbox 360 case, which is a chore in and of itself. I can attest to the difficulty of disassembly of the Xbox 360 because I've already tried that with Nicholas' Xbox to blow out the dust in an attempt to cure this Red Ring O Death. Simply blowing out the innards didn't work, but I was able to get it apart using instructions I found here. This site sells some sort of "Xbox" tool that isn't required if you've got a full set of small screw drivers and such. You do have to be careful not break the plastic case during the process. Pay attention to the warning creaks of impending snapped off plastic parts during this process.

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2009