Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What Causes The "Red Ring Of Death" On The Xbox 360?

There is one sight that is guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of any Xbox 360 owner. What is it? The "Red Ring Of Death" of course! When certain sectors of the light ring on the front of the Xbox 360 console flash red then the console is all but useless as it is experiencing a general hardware failure. According to some sources, 1/3 of all 360 consoles will experience a general hardware failure at some point in time. The "Red Ring Of Death" has become a major issue in the gaming world and is easily the biggest issue facing the Xbox 360 and its future.

Before we can examine the causes of the "Red Ring Of Ring Of Death" it is important to note that different flashing lights on the console mean different things. Upon closer inspection it is possible to see the light ring on the front panel of the console is divided into four sectors. If only the second quadrant is flashing then the console is merely overheating. Simply power it down, unplug and wait for half an hour or so before resuming game-play. It would also be wise to move the console to an area where it receives more airflow. If all four sectors of the light ring are glowing red then the AV cable has not been inserted into the console correctly or has fallen out somehow. Just plug it back in until a clicking noise is heard and it should be "business as usual"

The real problems start when either sector three, or all sectors but number one are glowing red. This indicates a general hardware failure of an unspecified type - basically, something's not right inside the console. One of the biggest problems with a general hardware failure is that it is often very difficult to determine what is causing the issue. A common cause of the "Red Ring Of Death" is the failure of the Nyko Intercooler inside the console. It has also been suggested that hardware failures can be caused by the fracturing of the solder used inside the console due to excessive heat and the wrong type of solder being used during construction.

So what can be done if a general hardware failure is experienced? If the console is still under warranty then it should be replaced by wherever you purchased it from for free (when buying a new Xbox 360 console it would be wise to get an extended warranty so if the "Red Ring Of Death" is experienced the problem can be solved quickly) For those unlucky enough to have no warranty cover then there are only a few options left. Number one is to fork out the hundreds needed to buy a new console that may wind up experiencing the same problem as the original one so is probably not the best solution. Number two is to ring up the Xbox 360 technical helpline (1-800-4MY-XBOX for American gamers, 425-635-7180 for international gamers) between 6am to 10pm Pacific time. After explaining the issue down the phone a box will then be shipped out.

When it is received remove ALL cables and controllers, discs from the drive and the hard drive itself and then place the console inside the box and ship it back to the address provided (make sure that you read all the instructions provided) Although Microsoft should be able to fix the problem, there is still a time delay of up to 3 months that can be one of the most frustrating parts of the entire process. There have even been cases of gamers waiting for weeks to receive a repaired console, only to find that it soon experiences the same old problem again!

In my opinion, the best option for the "Red Ring Of Death" victim who wants to get back to playing their Xbox 360 as soon as possible is to fix the problem yourself. Now some of you may be thinking that this is a sure fire way to ruin your console forever. However, there are step by step instructional videos and guides that can be found on the internet that provide all the information required to fix an Xbox 360 from home. After having read many of these instructional guides I can safely say that most of them require no special technical skill or tools and should provide an easy enough way to fix the "Red Ring Of Death" for good.

About the Author

James Philipson has been a keen gamer for over 15 years and has also worked in the electronics industry as a technician and product developer. If you would like to read about an Xbox 360 home repair guide that he personally recommends please click here

No comments: