Xbox 360 – Warning Signs of the Red Ring of Death

Is your Xbox 360 behaving oddly? If so this may be the precursor to the red ring of death which is a general hardware failure. It can either be caused by a power supply problem or from damage caused by excessive heat.

Here are the typical warning signs:

1.) When starting up you get a message stating that the disc isn’t readable.

2.) The console freezes up.

3.) The sound freezes or you hear static sounds.

4.) There are problems with the graphics. You see strange effects such as pin stripes, checker patterns, or anything that’s obviously not part of the game.

5.) The only thing that works is the off button.

These problems may appear randomly as occasional occurrences. They may or may not occur with increasing frequency with over time.

If after experiencing any of these problems, your console flashes three red lights after restarting it, then you’ve got the red ring of death. A common human reaction to this is to go into denial. This can happen if the machine seems to work fine the next day and it’s tempting to think that the problem fixed itself. The truth of the matter is that you’ve got an intermittent problem that comes and goes. Each time you get the ring of death, your Xbox suffers more heat damage. Eventually it simply won’t work at all.

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The best way to deal with this is to first rule out the simple causes. One of these is that your Xbox isn’t getting adequate power. Another is that the console is overheating because it’s unable to keep itself cool. Is your Xbox getting adequate ventilation? Have you been playing games for hours in a hot environment? Is there a buildup of dust or grit in the vents?

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If these simple fixes don’t work then it’s time to get your console repaired. If your warranty is intact and you’re willing to wait a few weeks you can send it back to Microsoft. If your warranty is void, Microsoft will still repair it for a fee ($140-$150 or so). There are some individuals who make a business out of fixing the three red light error. This can also be expensive.

The cheapest way to go is to fix it yourself. This is doable for many people but you need to get good instructions. If you’re serious about this then you’ll purchase a reliable guide ($20-$30) that has a money back guarantee. If you’ve used basic tools and can carefully follow directions, this is certainly the quickest and most cost effective solution.


by Marc Sandford