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Posts with tag RedRingOfDeath

Red Ring of Death T-shirt

Anyone who has witnessed the dreaded Red Ring of Death can tell you, seeing it first hand is a chilling sight. At first you smirk and chuckle with disbelief. "Just a hiccup," you say to yourself, "I'll power it off and on and it'll be fine." Once you see the wretched thing for a second time, it all sinks in. Well, guess what? Now you can commemorate that memory with the Red Ring of Death T-shirt from SplitReason. Taking a cue from 2001, the shirt features a particularly malicious (and smooth-voiced) Ring of Death. It's made of 100% cotton and it's pre-shrunk, so it should keep you from overheating (ba dum bum).

A word to the wise, if you're considering getting this for a friend who received the Ring, you might want to wait until after they get their 360 back.

[Via Joystiq]

Red Ring Chronicles Pt 3: The Return

It looks like the Red Ring Chronicles have come to an end. After languishing unnecessarily in a Texas warehouse for several days, my 360 was picked up by UPS. I knew this because the tracking number I'd gotten over a week ago from Microsoft was finally recognized by the UPS website. The next day was a feverish wait for the UPS truck, a wait that did not end until well past 6:00 PM. Twilight Princess and hard liquor were all that stood between me and a state of feral insanity. And then, there he was: the UPS guy. I had discovered a while ago that I would be receiving a refurbished Xbox 360 -- I saw that my serial had magically changed on, you see -- which is unfortunate. Still, it was all in one piece, no weird rattling or anything like that. The package came with a note and a free 1 month Xbox Live subscription. So, that's nice. But, as any 360 enthusiast knows, there is more to getting back your Xbox than simply plugging it in and making sure it works. Oh no, getting back into the swing of things is a process.

Continue reading Red Ring Chronicles Pt 3: The Return

Red Ring Chronicles Pt 2: the Coffin

And so, the Red Ring Chronicles continue with that fateful second step: the coffin. Having called Microsoft customer support last Wednesday (Aug. 1), the coffin was on my doorstep on Monday (Aug. 6), three business days after I called, which seems pretty standard. After hearing so much about 360 coffins, I had imagined a more specialized container (specifically, something that looked a little more like this). Instead, I got a cardboard box, some heavy duty packing foam, a plastic bag, and some instructions. After snickering at the morbidly funny picture on the plastic bag, I proceeded to package the once proud beast. If you've never returned an Xbox, you should know that all Microsoft wants is your Xbox. No hard drive, cables, or anything like that.

Continue reading Red Ring Chronicles Pt 2: the Coffin

Red Ring Chronicles Pt 1: Death

Well kiddies, it finally happened. No, I'm not going slightly mad; my Xbox 360 has officially decided to call it quits. the Red Ring of Death has arrived and refuses to leave. In the coming weeks -- perhaps months -- I will be chronicling its repair here on X3F.

The Red Ring of Death made its first visit about a week ago, after some extended sessions of Crackdown. It popped up on a few other occasions throughout the week, but would go away after a brief period of downtime. Finally, after a quick local session of Bomberman Live with my friends, the next power cycle produced a red ring that won't go away. For the record, my 360 was situated as you see it above. It was vertical, in completely open air, and placed at a diagonal angle behind my TV in a very feng shui kind of way. Considering that fateful game of Bomberman had been the first time my close friends and I had played the game since the Saturn Bomberman days of yore, I find the timing to be somewhat poetic. Or perhaps overtly cruel. Depends on how you look at it I guess.

Continue reading Red Ring Chronicles Pt 1: Death

Peter Moore chats about failures, new warranty

Speaking to Joystiq in a conference call, Peter Moore addressed some of the implications brought on by the recent Xbox 360 warranty extension. Among the topics discussed was Microsoft's speed at reacting to the situation. While it seems like complaints have been mounting for ages, Moore notes that time was needed to "gather data and weigh the financial implications" as well as identifying the hardware problems themselves. Before you ask, no, Moore did not reveal what those problems were, nor did he reveal Xbox 360 failure percentages. According to Moore, Microsoft has "no intention" of doing such a thing, as they see "no value" in doing so. Moore also discusses the apparent disappearance of Xbox 360 Elites and why the warranty extension applies only to the Red Ring of Death and not Xbox 360s with disc scratching problems. Head over to Joystiq for the full report.

New 360 warranty: is it enough?

We asked just last week if the seemingly escalating Red Ring of Death issue was coming to a head. Now that Microsoft has changed the Xbox 360 warranty policy and even offered a public apology, it appears that the answer is a resounding yes. The timing for the announcement couldn't be better, as Microsoft would have undoubtedly been barraged with questions about the issue during next week's E3 media event. Such questions are likely still to be asked, but this act gives Microsoft some ammunition. Whether the act will be seen as an act of generosity or an outright admission of faulty hardware (or both) remains to be seen. Rather than put up a standard poll about the new policy, we're just going to open up the comment threads for discussion. What do you think of all this? For those of you that have shelled out for repairs, will refunds affect your opinion of Microsoft or the Xbox 360? If you've been sitting on the fence about an Xbox 360, will a three-year warranty convince you to buy with confidence? What else can MS do to improve the image of the Xbox?

Gamer replaces 11 360s, records audio proof

It's no secret that Microsoft at least appears to have serious hardware problems with the Xbox 360. Of course, Microsoft claims that failure rates are within acceptable limits. When pressed about the issue, Peter Moore tells 360 owners not to focus on the problem, but to focus on the level of service received in the wake of that problem. Oh, and they won't comment on things like new heatsinks in refurbished systems, which seems like the kind of thing you'd install to stop a recurring overheating problem. On top of all this is yet another web of flamewars (many of which occur right here on the comment threads of X3F). Every time a story is run about customers receiving multiple Rings of Death, two things happen. One, loads of commenters relate that they have had similar problems, and two, loads of different commenters don't believe them. Some even go so far as to suspect that those with problems are nothing more than Sony shills, paid to spread lies throughout the intertubes.

Enter Justin Lowe of Aggravated Gamers with his total of 11 replaced Xbox 360s. Yes, he's had 11 of the buggers replaced (he's on his twelfth) for disc read errors, the Red Ring of Death, and a few experience-ruining audio/visual problems. Knowing full well that no one would believe his outrageous claim, he decided to call Xbox customer service and record some evidence. Below you can hear Justin recount all 11 of his Xbox 360s with a customer service representative. 1UP carried Justin's story and received all the standard replies from MS regarding failure rates and new heatsinks (it's a vocal minority, we don't comment on hardware revisions, etc.). Amazingly, Lowe admits, "I still like Microsoft, as much as that may astound people."

With the failure stories seemingly escalating, we have to ask: is this issue coming to a head?

Lowe Recording:

MS responds to new heatsink in 360s

Microsoft has responded (in a manner of speaking) to yesterday's reports that the company has been installing new additional heatsinks when repairing Xbox 360s. Supposedly, these new heatsinks are appearing in refurbished Xbox 360s in the United Kingdom as a means to combat the Red Ring of Death. In response to a query from, a Microsoft spokesperson noted that "regularly updating console components is commonplace within the industry and is a standard aspect of the business for a variety of reasons including cost reduction, improved manufacturability and improved performance." So yeah, they dodged the question. Furthermore, the representative refused to directly confirm or deny the new heatsinks, saying that Microsoft does not provide information regarding hardware updates. Uh huh, and we're sure that Microsoft won't be trumpeting the new 65nm GPUs either. Sure ....

Our translation: there are new heatsinks in refurbished Xbox 360s, but admitting that would be tantamount to admitting that the 360 has a systemic flaw, something Microsoft is not keen to do.

MS installing new heatsinks in refurb 360s

The technophiles at Xbox-Scene have uncovered a tasty bit of Xbox 360 news that should serve as some relief to sufferers of the Red Ring of Death. It looks like Microsoft is employing new heat-combating measures when refurbishing broken units. Specifically, a new heatsink is being installed. The heatsink resides directly under the DVD drive, connected to one of the other heatsinks with copper tubing. Blessedly untouched by the Red Ring of Death thus far, we don't know how effective this new heatsink is, but we're hopeful that it will solve perpetually publicized 360 failures. Whether or not Microsoft is also installing the heatsink in new Xbox 360s is unknown. See video proof of the new heatsink after the break.

[Thanks, Josh W]

Continue reading MS installing new heatsinks in refurb 360s

Ring of death inspires Forza 2 artwork

Another Forza 2 customized paint job arrived in our inbox today and we thought its inspiration was noteworthy. Some of us (including me) have experienced the dreaded red lights and have had to deal with Microsoft's semi-helpful customer service to send off a broken 360. CoolNumber9 is having the same red ring of death problems and has been using the "towel trick" to keep it running long enough to make a ring of death inspired Forza 2 car. It may not be the most badass ride on the block, but anyone who has had to deal with the red lights will shudder when they see this beast in their rear view mirror. Long live die the ring of death!

And as always, send us your custom Forza 2 creations so we can add them to our lovely gallery below.

Gallery: Forza 2 Custom Cars

Motley Fool tells MS to get its act together

Adding himself to the ever-growing pool of Xbox 360 failure coverage, Seth Jayson of The Motley Fool is warning investors that the Xbox 360's failure rates could hurt its future growth. After receiving the dreaded Ring of Death himself (and some faulty Zunes), Jayson has some fighting words for Microsoft. Of particular note, is the statement that the actual failure rates aren't as important as the perceived failure rates. In other words, the stories of multiple failed Xbox 360s are much louder than Microsoft's claims that failure rates are within the acceptable standard. Jayson admits that, when functional, the Xbox 360 is a topnotch game player and an excellent media hub to boot, but if the public perceives it as faulty, then Microsoft stands the chance of "alienating potential customers and crimping future growth." In conclusion, Jayson notes that Microsoft must address these basic hardware issues before it can effectively execute its plans for new-gen dominance.

What do you think? Do you know anyone who was swayed from getting an Xbox 360 based on failure horror stories?

Microsoft is running out of 360 coffins?

If you recognize the cardboard box pictured above, then you are one of the unlucky souls to have witnessed the Red Ring of Death. While Microsoft continues to refuse requests to publish failure rates, the failure stories show no signs of stopping. We certainly can't cover them all, and Peter Moore has suggested that failures themselves aren't important at all, but rather the service received in the event of a failure. Thus, we bring you this failure story by way of Joystiq. The protagonist of our story is one Officer Craig Ravitch of the New York Police Department.

According to Ravitch, he has gone through three Xbox 360 consoles since launch. His third recently broke down on him, prompting yet another call to Xbox customer support (something he's familiar with at this point). Customer support informed him that his 360 coffin -- the box used to send the console back to Microsoft -- would arrive on Tuesday. Ravitch never received confirmation that his coffin had been shipped, so he called customer support again. The representative informed him "the service department is running very low on boxes, so it will take a little longer than expected to get that box." Ravitch is quick to say that he loves his Xbox 360 and that it is his "favorite system," but he is understandably upset by the whole situation, noting "I hate to badmouth the 360, its one of my favorite systems, but this burns me."

Is it possible that Microsoft has sent out so many Xbox 360 coffins that they are running low? We have to wonder how much longer it will be before MS stops tap dancing around this issue.

Save money, smack some sense into your 360

This one goes out to all those people who don't want to shell out $130 (plus shipping) to fix their 360 after receiving the dreaded Red Ring of Death®. This guy has a modified -- and not working -- 360. He turns it on and, sure enough, receives the red lights. What can he do? Call up tech support and try to bargain that $130 dollars down to an oh-so-attractive $115? Give up altogether? No, as the resourceful gamer knows only too well, if all else fails, smack it! Just beat the crap out of any malfunctioning piece of electronics, and there is a 50/50 chance it will be right as rain. So, before you send in that junked 360 for expensive repairs, be sure to give it a good beating first.

[Via Joystiq]

Broken 360 from 2005? Repair it for free

Several of our readers have tipped us to the possibility that Microsoft was going to expand the warranty on all 360s manufactured in 2005, and it looks like they were right. Both Engadget and Joystiq have officially confirmed that Microsoft has acknowledged hardware problems with the first batch of Xbox 360s. In order to rectify the situation, Microsoft has decided to repair all consoles manufactured in 2005 for free. In addition, refunds will be paid to a limited group of people who have already paid for repairs, though at the moment we don't have details on exactly who qualifies for a refund. In the meantime we'd suggest readers get on the phone with customer support for more information.

Any readers out there who start the quest for a free repair or a refund, let us know how it went. We'll be sure to stay on top of this at it develops. See Microsoft's statement after the break.

[Via Joystiq]

Continue reading Broken 360 from 2005? Repair it for free

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