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Posts with tag ring of 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

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.

BBC slams 360 defects, MS responds

The BBC television program, Watchdog, caused a stir yesterday after airing a segment decrying faulty Xbox 360s. Specifically, the hosts noted that Watchdog has receive 248 separate complaints about the Xbox 360, with the number increasing as Xbox 360s are no longer covered by warranty. In other words, it was as though 360s seemed to break just after warranty expired. The episode showcases victims of the Ring of Death® and tells their tragic tales.

Today, Microsoft responded to the allegations, saying that the majority of Xbox 360 owners have an "outstanding" experience. MS also notes that their is no systemic fault in Xbox 360 hardware and that each failure is investigated on a case-by-case basis. Finally, while Microsoft admits isolated cases of unexpected performance, they also note that the failure rate is "significantly less" than the industry standard of 3-5%.

While the majority of our 360 owning bloggers have been problem free, there have been some "isolated reports" of hardware failure around here as well. Our own Dustin Burg is on his third. We're certainly not here to open up the complaint bin, but we would be curious to see the real failure statistics, something Microsoft has yet to reveal.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

360 problems? Throw in the towel

Coming from Mike at the Xbox Domain is a new method for dealing with the Red Ring of Death®. It's called the "Towel Trick." According to several readers, all you have to do is wrap your 360 in a towel (completely), turn on your 360 for a few minutes (up to an hour), turn off the console, remove the towel and let the 360 cool for a while, turn it back on, and voila, a revitalized 360. Keep in mind that your 360 will be hotter than bakery fresh cinnamon rolls when you remove the towel, so be careful if you try this. For that matter, if you do decide to try this, know that 360 Fanboy is not responsible for any evils this trick may bring you (setting your fabulous drapes on fire, for instance).

Our resident 360 is (knock on wood) still working fine, so we've been unable to determine if high quality Egyptian cotton will yield better results than garden variety water soppers. Again, try at your own risk, but let us know if it works.

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]

Update brick your 360? Speak up [update 1]

Since yesterday's update, there are numerous reports about 360s being bricked. Some people suspect that this is being done by Microsoft intentionally to stop modders and hackers. Xbox Scene thinks it has more to do with certain combinations of hardware and firmware. That would explain why some people are reporting problems even with new, unmodded 360s. Other readers have informed X360F that they are unable to even complete the update download itself. Since the update can't complete, the 360 won't even allow users to play offline games for "security" reasons. It's worth noting that Microsoft is definitely aware of these issues.

Having heard about these problems, we tested our own 2005 360 with a few levels of Lego Star Wars II -- purely for research, of course. So far, we haven't encountered any problems since the update. How about the rest of you? Any bricked or otherwise nonfunctional 360s out there since yesterday? Leave a comment here and let your voice be heard.

Update: Microsoft has released a new version of the update that should behave with all console configurations now. If you've been afraid to update, it should be safe now. Those whose consoles have already been wrecked are advised to call customer support. Click here for more details.

Chromehounds and the Ring of Death

Unfortunate reader Tim has an update on his Chromehounds problem (read part one of his sad tale here):

I recently told you guys about chromehounds killing my box. After reading the comments and your reaction, I blew it off as a coincedence. It recently started working again for no reason. As I had already paid for the repair and was awaiting a box to send MS my shiny broken 360, I decided to try and put chromehounds in again. I got through about 30 seconds of the opening cinematic and BLAM! the screen turned into a strange grid and there was a blaring beep. I turned off my xbox, and when I started it again, Lo and behold: the accursed "ring of death" was back.

Double coincidence?

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