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My Xbox 360 Died Part II

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Posted 03-15-2008 at 05:13 PM by Joe Siegler
Updated 03-15-2008 at 11:34 PM by Joe Siegler

As you might remember, back in February of 2007, I had a problem where my original Xbox 360 died. My original Xbox 360 was bought on January 1, 2006, and lasted until February 3, 2007. At that time, I had been just out of warranty, so when it died, I was going to have to pay $129 (plus tax and shipping) to repair the thing. I've been through this story already, if you read the link above, you can check out my original nightmare.

So, OK - fast forward to today. It's March 8, 2008. My second Xbox 360 has been going fine, although I've noticed as of the last week or so that when I turn it off, it was making an odd grinding sound. Nothing that really caused panic, but it was a sound that wasn't there before. So today I'm playing some MLB 2k8. Having fun, and then the wife and daughter went out for awhile. I got on the net for a bit, and came back to play some more. And guess what I saw? Well, given the blog entry's title, it can't be too hard to guess. In fact, I took a picture of it. It's shown to the right. This isn't a red ring picture glommed off the net, I just took this myself.

I have all the major consoles from "this generation". I have an Xbox 360, a Nintendo Wii, and a Sony Playstation 3. Of the three, I've had the 360 the longest (although not obviously the same actual unit). It's got the most polished interface, the biggest library, and a host of other things Microsoft will tell you about their console. It also has a horrendously godawful hardware failure rate due to what a lot of folks are suspecting is an overall design failure. For the longest time we didn't hear much about it, but not too long ago, there was a story saying that the overall failure rate for the console is 16.5%! Good Lord, that's insane. Most hardware failure rates are a couple of percent. You kind of expect that. It's inevitable. Things break. I get it. But 16/17 percent of all units? No wonder Microsoft had to extend the warranty.

That's the rub with me and my original Xbox 360 unit. That one was manufactured at some point pre-launch of the console in the fall of 2005. I forget the manufacture date of my original unit. This second unit was manufactured in August of 2006. That was right around the time that Microsoft started coming up with some ways to properly combat the problems the units were having, but I didn't get an upgraded unit for the second one. It was one from the original hardware design, before they started upgrading things to deal with the original design problems. In July of 2007, they extended the warranty for all units to three years with the red rings problem, and refunded repair money to those who had paid it. My first one died in the window between the original one year warranty, and when they extended it to three years. So I could have gotten away with it, but I was so mad at the time.. oh well.

Anyway, this new unit has died now too. At first I tried all the junk they have you try when they die (which I've read about enough, and went through once before with my first unit). Unplug the box AND the power supply from the wall. Let them power cycle (the light on the power brick goes out). Plug back in. It actually worked again. However, I knew it was likely temporary, so I turned off the box, and tried again. Three red rings. It's a gonner.

So I first tried the repair stuff on xbox.com - and got an error about my box being not registered, and then when I tried, I got another error on their website. Great. I was really hoping to avoid talking to someone on the line again, as it's generally guys who sound like English is their third language. So it was with some trepidation that I called 1-800-MYXBOX. I got another guy who sounded like I was talking with someone in India again. But this guy wasn't uber hyper, and was talking in a register I could understand. Without going through all of our phone call, I got a repair order put in.

Technically my box is out of warranty, but the three year repair thing covers this, so I don't have to pay anything. As has been documented elsewhere what happens now is that you get an empty box from Microsoft with UPS postage paid on it. You put your 360 console in there, and ship it off. A few weeks after that, you get it back repaired. I've read online that in a lot of cases it's not the same unit. I am hoping that due to the manufacture age of this unit, they don't just repair it, they replace it with one of the newer ones. The newer ones have quieter DVD drives, additional heat sinks, chips that use less power, and generate less heat. That kind of stuff. Hopefully that's what I get.

So now I wait - the empty box should arrive around Wed or Thursday this week or so they said. I now have to wait about three weeks or so to get an Xbox 360 back. I guess this means more time with my Nintendo Wii and my Playstation 3. Despite all the tech problems the 360 has (one of which is the extremely LOUD DVD drive the thing has - the Wii & PS3 are whisper quiet), I enjoy it more than the Wii & the PS3. That's not to say I don't enjoy games on the others - or I wouldn't have them. But the overall experience I think is the best on the 360. When it works.

When my wife suggested that I just buy a new one after my first failure, she did say that if the second one died, that she'd probably put her foot down and say I wasn't going to buy another one. This all has happened while she's out of the house with our daughter at one of my daughter's friends' birthday parties. I can't wait to see the rolling of the eyes (rightfully so) when she returns. At least this repair is free. What they tell you is that the repair work is not covered by the rest of the three year warranty, although if this happens a third time, I might be too mad to want another one.

The real tease of all this is that I have a development kit Xbox 360 on my desk at work. Those are nice, but the development kit boxes don't play retail games. Only development stuff. Darnit, otherwise I'd use that to play my games on. Sigh.

So in closing, I have this to say about my second Red ring of Death Xbox 360...

Posted in Game Stuff
Views 14663 Comments 19
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Total Comments 19


  1. Old Comment
    thefly's Avatar
    I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that ran some estimated numbers as to how much it has cost Microsoft in all these repairs. I can't remember the dollar amount, but it was pretty damn high.

    I spy a Ballpark in Arlington model down there. :)
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 07:33 PM by thefly thefly is offline
  2. Old Comment
    That sucks. This is one reason I'm getting a PS3
    I think Microsoft, like Dell, have there customer service line in India.
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 07:47 PM by evanazzo evanazzo is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Bludd's Avatar
    Haha, "stupid broken piece of shit." That made me laugh out loud. :)
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 07:48 PM by Bludd Bludd is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Llama Gibbz's Avatar
    I gave up on mine when my repaired unit started freezing again.
    I didn't renew my "live" subscription nor bought any games since last summer.

    My wii and PS3 keeps me plenty occupied.

    Only one last thing to do.
    [url=http://img230.imageshack.us/my.php?image=97587311mg3.jpg]Link incase image shack acts up again[/url] :mad:
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 09:37 PM by Llama Gibbz Llama Gibbz is offline
    Updated 03-15-2008 at 09:41 PM by Llama Gibbz
  5. Old Comment
    Joe Siegler's Avatar
    I'd give up on the 360 myself, but I have to admit, as I said, I have more "fun" there - when it works. Which to be honest - is most of the time. It's just when it has problems is rather irritating.

    Plus working in the industry, I kind of have to have one, know what I mean? I know it sounds like a joke, but a game designer without a 360 is kind of a stupid thing.

    I'm hoping the return unit is not just my unit repaired, but a newer model. That's likely as the one that just died was from the back end of the original hardware design spec before they started tinkering with new chips, heat sinks, etc, etc, etc...
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 11:30 PM by Joe Siegler Joe Siegler is offline
  6. Old Comment
    bobthefish's Avatar
    i never got a 360 cause of that crap. i love my ps3, and your wrong about it having very few good games. it has TONS.

    (i wil make a list if you would like)
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 11:36 PM by bobthefish bobthefish is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Joe Siegler's Avatar
    Let me be more clear. Very few good games *I* like. I have three games for my PS3. Two of them were downloaded from the Playstation Store.

    And the one "real" game I have just came out a week and a half ago. Mine came with Motorstorm. Sold it.
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 11:39 PM by Joe Siegler Joe Siegler is offline
  8. Old Comment
    London_Midge's Avatar
    Just shipped my second 360 back about 10 days ago. One thing that might work in your favor is mine went to Mesquite, TX, so maybe it won't take 3 weeks to get it back.

    Also, they changed my registered serial number on my 360 page, so I assume that means they're sending a different unit this time. I can't help but feel like I am back in high school buying a beater to drive around in with the full knowledge it's going to break down and leave me stranded somewhere sooner than later.
    Posted 03-15-2008 at 11:50 PM by London_Midge London_Midge is offline
    Updated 03-15-2008 at 11:52 PM by London_Midge
  9. Old Comment
    alexgk's Avatar
    Middle finger!!! CENSORED!
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 12:56 AM by alexgk alexgk is offline
  10. Old Comment
    ADM's Avatar
    I'm glad that my 360 is still going fine. This is my second one but my original I sold a couple of years ago for cash to my friend. It's still going strong 2 years later and he plays it every day.

    My current 360 I've only had since December 2007 so I'm not out of the woods yet with this one. If it does **** up I'll be very hesitant to buy another one straight away... though most likely that's what I'll end up doing anyway heh.
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 03:25 AM by ADM ADM is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Hyperactive Slob's Avatar
    That sucks. The shoddiness of the Xbox360 is the main reason I avoid it since I can't send it to repairs if it breaks down. But if I were you I'd send the last pic to Microsoft saying Yours Sincerely, 3Drealms. :p
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 04:53 AM by Hyperactive Slob Hyperactive Slob is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Llama Gibbz's Avatar
    Imo,microsoft should replace any unit that failed twice with a elite or at least a new console.
    They really should be sued.
    Nobody would tolerate stuff like this if it was a certain make of a new automobile.
    Why put up with it for a $400+ console?
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 07:17 AM by Llama Gibbz Llama Gibbz is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Joe Siegler's Avatar
    Also, they changed my registered serial number on my 360 page
    That was one of the problems. I was showing no registered console on my account, and when I tried to add the one I had, it was telling me that there was "some error".
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 07:44 AM by Joe Siegler Joe Siegler is offline
  14. Old Comment
    London_Midge's Avatar
    I got the same error, but I called them anyway and they apparently entered the number for me when they sent me the coffin, because when I signed into the site a couple days later it was just there.

    I'd check the site again in a day or two and see if they did the same for you, because it'll let you keep track of what's going on.
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 11:02 AM by London_Midge London_Midge is offline
  15. Old Comment
    Joe Siegler's Avatar
    I intended on doing that, Midge.
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 01:19 PM by Joe Siegler Joe Siegler is offline
  16. Old Comment
    Kalki's Avatar
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 02:09 PM by Kalki Kalki is offline
  17. Old Comment
    bobthefish's Avatar
    [quote] Let me be more clear. Very few good games *I* like. I have three games for my PS3. Two of them were downloaded from the Playstation Store.

    And the one "real" game I have just came out a week and a half ago. Mine came with Motorstorm. Sold it. [/quote]

    well, if your farmilliar with the playstation store, i suggest you go get the free gt: hd concept game. i quite enjoyed that, and it cant hurt, cause its free. (its under downloadible games>racing. i think its the last page, but im not sure.)
    also, i dont tend to like adventure games, but uncharted blew me away.

    and yeah, i got that same ps3 pack. the 80gb that comes with motarstorm. i didnt much like it either. one of my favorite things about the 80gb is that EVERY ps1 and ps2 game works with it. (in theroy, tho i have not come accross one ps1 game or ps2 game that doesnt work, and i have about 50 ps2 games, and 60 ps1 games)
    Posted 03-16-2008 at 04:10 PM by bobthefish bobthefish is offline
  18. Old Comment
    Llama Gibbz's Avatar
    The "one ring" image gave me a good chuckle.:D
    Posted 03-17-2008 at 06:35 AM by Llama Gibbz Llama Gibbz is offline
  19. Old Comment
    Steve's Avatar
    Well, I've had TWO die on me as well. It's a real bitch :o I have the elite and it hasn't given me any problems...

    Yet :eek:
    Posted 03-18-2008 at 08:32 PM by Steve Steve is offline

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