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XBox360 and the "Red Circle of Death" (aka: "three red lights")

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#1 of 28 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted July 12 2007 - 03:02 AM

Now that Microsoft has admitted that there is an issue ("Redmond: We have a Problem") with 360s by extending the warranty on units with this issue to a full 3 years (meaning every 360 ever made to this point) I'm just curious how many of you have seen this crop up on your machines? The fact that MS is taking an over One billion (like in "Gigabucks!") hit on this means that it's a serious concern.

I actually had a 360 working flawlessly until about a month ago. It's a "Day One" model purchased the first day the 360 came out in November, 2005. I use it extensively (like an average of 3 hours a day, sometimes more) and have attached all the usual goodies to it (HD-DVD player, 120G HDD upgrade, etc.) It's in my equipment rack and the power brick is not buried under a lot of other equipment. In other words - it's not overheating.

Like I said, about a month ago my 360 began to freeze on certain games, then on a lot of different games (both disc based and XBox Arcade). Finally, one morning the dreaded three flashing red lights appeared for the first time and then went away upon re-booting. The second time it appeared (also at a cold start-up) I took out the manual and it informed me to contact Microsoft (I have the extended warranty) since three red lights indicates that something's wrong internally (in other words, not user repairable.) After talking to a tech person for about a half hour, he told me that since the 3 red lights weren't appearing "all the time" at this point that I should wait until it becomes a chronic problem before sending in the unit for repair/replacement (all at MS's cost under warranty).

I really should have been more insistent of resolving the matter immediately because I continued using my machine. Then something happened that really has me irritated (to use a family friendly word). I'm a major Bejeweled 2 Endless player. I was #20 globally (like in "world-wide") on the XBox Live Leaderboard with a score of over 90,000,000 which represents over 25 days - that's 24 hours a day cumulative!! - of time invested. (I told you my 360 got a lot of use Posted Image ). Bejeweled 2 Endless is one of those non-pressurized (read: "Old Dude Friendly") situations that you can go back to time and time again to unwind. One evening all of a sudden my 360 froze and when I tried to sign on to Bejeweled 2 Endless my score had reset to 0! The leaderboard showed the 90 million + score but the file on my HDD had somehow become corrupted by the erratic 360. Since the XBox doesn't let you back up scores (at least not with Bejeweled 2) to any other device - including their own Memory Module (I own a 512Meg one) I was screwed. That's another issue that I have with MS and one that needs to be addressed in a separate thread which I will start. There are third party solutions out there (I've got an Xport on order but that's something that's a bit late for me this time around.) And while my score still appears on the leaderboard the way it works is that you can only advance your score if your 360 resets when you have achieved a score higher than the currently posted score. That's another freakin' 500+ hours of play and not acceptable. I'm working on finding out if Xbox Live will implement downloadable leaderboard scores to the machine they came from in such an event. Another topic for another thread. A friend suggested that Bill Gates was at #19 on the Bejeweled 2 Endless Leaderboard and put the word out to stop HTRAF (my gamer tag).

Posted Image Posted Image

For the purposes of this thread and its discussion, what have been your experiences with the 3 red circles error message? How many of you have experienced this? My unit finally bit the dust and MS sent an empty box for repair/replacement. The unit is on its way to MS (actually to Texas) and I hope to have it back within a couple of weeks.

What's your story?


Thanks.

RAF
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#2 of 28 OFFLINE   Matt^Brown

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Posted July 12 2007 - 05:32 AM

Raf, I have talked about this a couple times in this forum. I love my 360 but they have some serious problems with them. I purchased my 360 on Dec. 23, 2005 and from past experience with a PS2 I knew to buy the extended warranty. I have since sent my 360 off 3 different times and I take very good care of my equipment. Once they even sent my 360 back in worse shape then the way that I sent it to them. My most recent ordeal lasted about 7 weeks so I am glad I had a Wii to play. The question I want to know is what about all of us with extended warranties? Does my warranty now last until Dec. 2010? Currently it goes until Dec. 2008 so that seems logical to me.
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#3 of 28 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted July 12 2007 - 06:54 AM

Good question, Matt. I also took the extended warranty (mine goes to March 2008 after a couple of extensions on my Day One unit) and looked into the situation. According to MS, the new three year warranty on all 360s specifically covers the Red Ring Of Death (actually the three red lights) problem. I also assumed that with a 2 year extension on the regular 3 year warranty my "warranty" would be running out in November 2010 (five years after I purchased the unit). But MS seems to think (or at least the person I talked to on the phone) that since everything else besides RROD is covered by the extended warranty then the extended warranty still lasts for the regular amount of time.

For example: My returned unit exhibits RROD 50% of the time and total freezes 75% of the time (which I feel has to be related). If it was only screen freezes then Microsoft would be charging me if it weren't for the extended warranty that I wisely purchased. Of course, if homey played that game there are probably ways to turn any other console problems into RROD issues (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Posted Image Posted Image

RAF
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#4 of 28 OFFLINE   Steve Y

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Posted July 13 2007 - 07:01 AM

This isn't my personal experience (I don't have a 360, and refuse to buy one until they reduce their failure rate)... I've known 15 people with an XBox360. 13 of them have experienced the "red ring of death", and over half of those people have returned their machine for a refurbished model, occasionally at their own expense. The problem is way more widespread than MS has been reporting, and it's refreshing to see them owning up to it.

#5 of 28 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted July 13 2007 - 10:07 AM

Mine died about a month and a half ago. I had recently moved for the summer to my parents' place for an internship (ack... I'm 39...) so it was jostled a little bit, but not enough, in my opinion, to cause any damage at all. I called and got more of a runaround than I expected, but fortunately, it was in the (then) extended one year warranty. I have it back, but I haven't used it much, since I bought a PS3. The UPS delivery person told my mother that she had seen a lot of the return boxes delivered to people, and by a lot, I mean a LOT. I got it back a bit slower than I wanted, too, but I guess they're getting backed up.
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#6 of 28 OFFLINE   TonyTone

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Posted July 16 2007 - 07:04 AM

RAF--I feel for you...they should have taken your X360 back the first time you called it in. Mine died earlier this year...or was it late last year? Doesn't matter--my point was I told the person that I did the usual suggestions (disconnect power cord for 30 minutes, etc.)...plus did the secret handshake in order to see what trouble code my X360 was spitting; after informing the CS rep of all that, she didn't hesitate to give me an auth code for shipping my unit back for replacement.

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   Jimi C

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Posted July 16 2007 - 05:06 PM

I sent mine in over a month ago and still have nothing. Getting a little irked.
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#8 of 28 OFFLINE   Patrick_S

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Posted July 16 2007 - 05:46 PM

I bought my original 360 in December of 05 and it developed the Red Circle the next September. I had purchased the Best Buy warranty so I simple replaced it for a new one. Unfortunately that I had to purchase another warranty since the BB warranty only allows for one replacement. Since the BB warranty gives you the option to either take a replacement or take the purchase price back if the current one fails I'll take the cash and apply it to the purchase of an Elite.

#9 of 28 OFFLINE   ChristopherG

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Posted July 17 2007 - 04:33 AM

Bought one for the boy (Posted Image) for this past Christmas (06). No issues at all so far, but it almost seems inevitable....?
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#10 of 28 OFFLINE   Steve Y

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Posted July 17 2007 - 07:39 AM

It is my understanding that the high running heat of the 360 "warps" the motherboard, thus unseating important chip(s). I could be wrong about that. Apparently they added stronger epoxy to the Elites, but they are still failing. (This I also heard from a second-hand source, so take it with much salt) I do NOT suggest trying this, but this reported "fix" may illuminate the basic problem - some users were able to "reseat" their chips by wrapping their 360 in towels and keeping the machine on for 20 minutes, then letting it cool. Apparently overheating the machine warps the motherboard, fuses the chip to the board, and then when the machine cools, the chip is "seated" back into place. I do NOT suggest trying this - it's just something I read about online. It sounds absolutely stupid and dangerous, not to mention it will probably void your warranty. You're better off sending it back for replacement.

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   ChristopherG

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Posted July 20 2007 - 02:02 AM

So for those of you who have had to deal with this, I am curious as to what happens to your XBOX Live account. I assume that you send in the entire unit along with the HDD...when they return your box does it come back with all the original data?
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#12 of 28 OFFLINE   Jimi C

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Posted July 21 2007 - 11:03 AM

You do not send the Hard drive. I got mine back yesterday. They send you back a refub unit. My old one had a build date of 11/05. My new one is 11/06. They also gave me a card for one month of free xbox live gold. But im already a subscriber so its pretty useless.
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#13 of 28 OFFLINE   TonyTone

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Posted July 30 2007 - 05:04 AM

Copied and pasted, so I cannot vouch as to the complete accuracy of the stuff below... The specific type of hardware failure can be determined by a "hidden" error code * Turn the xbox 360 on, and wait till the 3 red lights are flashing. * Press and hold the sync up button (the small white one), while holding that button press the eject button. * The LEDs will now blink the first number in the code (as described below). * Release the eject button and press it again. * The LEDs will now blink the second number of the code. * Release the eject button and press it again. * The LEDs will now blink the third number of the code. * Release the eject button and press it again. * The LEDs will now blink the forth number of the code. * Release the eject button and press it again. * The LEDs will go back to the 3 red flashing lights. You should be able to determine the difference between the 3 flashing lights and the error code lights by the rate in which they flash. Here is how you interpret the LEDs to get the code number: * All four lights flashing - 0 * One light flashing - 1 * Two Lights flashing - 2 * Three lights flashing - 3 0001 power supply problem 0002 Network Interface problem 0003 Power problem could be the PSU could be the GPU/CPU, somehow the console isn't getting clean power from the power supply. 0010 There is a problem with the Southbridge Chip usually dealing with how it connects to the mainboard (cold solder joint/bridged solder joints) 0011 over heating - If you are receiving this error after disassembling your console make sure to all 8 of the heatsync screws are tightened securely to the board/heatsink holes. 0012 over heating 0013 over heating 0020 (Not yet known, possibly overheating) 0021 This can be caused by two completely different things either: A. DVD Drive Time out - Can be caused by problems with a firmware flash. This is also speculated to sometime be caused by a problem with the southbridge chipset on the motherboard based on how it connects to the DVD drive. B. GPU error, generally caused by a poor connection to the mainboard (cold solder joints/bridged solder joints) See error 102 for more information 0022 CPU error, generally caused by a poor connection to the mainboard (cold solder joints/bridged solder joints) 0023 (not yet known) ... 0101 (not yet known) 0102 GPU Error, this is usually caused by a cold solder joint between the GPU and the mainboard. There are two theories to fixing this one deals with the "X" clamps that hold down the chips. The other involves re-Heating the chips. DO NOT attempt either of these if your console is still under warranty. If your console is still under warranty return it to the store where it was purchased or call MS to have it replaced.[/list]0103 GPU Error this is usually caused by bridged solder points where the GPU connects to the mainboard. see error 0102 for more detailed information 0110 GPU Error this is usually caused by cold solder joints where the GPU connects to the mainboard. see error 0102 for more detailed information ... 0200 (not yet known) ... 1000 (not yet known) 1001 (not yet known) 1002 (not yet known) 1003 Hard Drive Error... It could be a problem with the Hard Drive itself or a problem with the internal connection to the hard drive, Try removing the hard drive and playing without it 1010 Hard Drive Error, Can be caused buy a corrupt or missing eProm. See also E68 above 1011 (not yet known) 1012 (not yet known) 1013 (not yet known) possibly a dashboard update error 1020 (not yet known) 1021 (not yet known) 1022 There is a 90% chance it's a scaler chip problem (the "ANA" or "HANA" chip near the AV cable connection) it can also be caused by a faulty AV cable so check that first. In rare cases it is a problem with the GPU. 1023 DVD drive not connected, connect DVD drive to boot 1030 (not yet known) 1031 (not yet known) 1032 (not yet known) 1033 (not yet known) Not that you asked, but FYI: Clear All Installed Game Updates and Console Cache 1. Go to the "system" blade 2. Select "memory" 3. Press Y on the HD symbol 4. Press X,X, Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X,X 5. A message will appear saying: "Do you want to perform maintenance on your Xbox 360 storage devices?" 6. Select Yes Clear Any Failed system updates that cause the console to error. 1. With the console off, press and hold the sync up button (the small white one) 2. While holding the sync button press the power button to turn on the console 3. Continue to hold the sync button until the Console has booted up completely. 4. During the boot process the console should clear any failed updates, allowing you to use it normally.

#14 of 28 OFFLINE   RichardK

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Posted August 01 2007 - 09:53 AM

I got the 3RoD back in March, it took 4 weeks to return, got my unit back repaired not a refurb. Been working better than ever since that date.

#15 of 28 OFFLINE   ChristopherG

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Posted August 02 2007 - 02:16 AM

TonyTone, Thanks for the info, here's hoping I won't need it. Chris
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#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Marshall W. Carter

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Posted August 12 2007 - 08:15 PM

Add me to the list. Luckily I still had a couple of months on my warranty when it failed (this was prior to the 3 year extension), so I sent it in and got my replacement. Make sure to test out your downloaded content, as all of mine was basically unregistered thanks to them sending a replacement unit instead of just repairing my original one. I could access the full versions as long as I was connected to Live, but if any other profile was loaded or I took the console over to a friend's place, I was basically out of luck. I had to contact Microsoft and basically they made some changes to the registration and I had to download them all over again. This might not be an issue for some, but I have 34 Live games downloaded, so it irked me just a tad.

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   Patrick_S

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Posted August 14 2007 - 02:49 AM

Marshall is there a phone number you called to correct the problem with the downloaded content? I have the same problem with the DLCs that I purchased prior to my first 360s failure. Thanks

#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Wyz_sub10

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Posted August 15 2007 - 05:49 AM

Well, I haven't yet had my 360 for a year, so we'll see what happens. I only know one person who has had to send his box in, but between him and his brother, they play that thing 4-6 hours per day. My box is in the basement, very cool, and used on average for maybe 6-12 hours a week. I don't expect the same problems, but one never knows.

#19 of 28 OFFLINE   ScottJH

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Posted August 17 2007 - 04:40 PM

Mine bit the dust 2 weeks ago. Purchased 4/2/06, used about 5-7 hrs/week. Froze up, then the 3 red rings once, then more freeze ups. I had the Best Buy replacement plan on mine, received my gift card/voucher yesterday. With the 3 year warranty now from Microsoft adding the Best Buy plan on the new one is probably not needed?

#20 of 28 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted August 19 2007 - 09:13 AM

Aren't you supposed to keep the HDD so that this isn't a problem?





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