Xbox360 Hard Drive

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xbox Xbox 360 HDD

Xbox360 Cables & Adapters

Problems with the Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 problems stem from the fact that Microsoft was in such a rush to put them out, that the research and development stage; where they catch all the bugs, was glossed over. This is what caused the 3 red light error and all the problems that people have been having. It’s gotten so bad that Microsoft has extended its warranty from 1 year to 3 years specifically for this problem.

The Cause Behind the Red Rings of Death

The Xbox 360 is not properly vented to cool and as a result overheats. This causes a phenomenal amount of problems all in itself. Because of the inability to cool the solder (which is also made of material not suited for high heat) gets small cracks in it. As the motherboard extends and flexes during play the small cracks in the solder quickly become large cracks that eventually separate the GPU and possibly CPU from the motherboard causing massive failure.

How to Weed out the Red Ring of Death

The lights in your ring of lights will determine if you have the Red Ring of Death error. The lights in quadrants 1,3, and 4 are normally green, if yours are glowing an angry red, then yes you very well may have the Red Ring of Death. First try the following tests to rule out any other potential problems.

Your power supply light should be glowing green. If it is glowing red or orange then your console may not be getting sufficient power. If the power supply is fine then try simply rebooting your system. If the lights are gone when it turns back on then you are fine. If that doesn’t work try removing all the cables, shutting the console down and rebooting. If you have tried everything else you can remove your hard drive. Shut the console down and remove the hard drive. Once removed reboot the console without the hard drive in it. If the lights don’t do anything then replace the hard drive and reboot. The Red Ring of Lights should be gone.

These are not commonly things that actually fix the problem and more often then not it is the Red Ring of Death error and not any of the others.

How to I Repair My Console?

If Microsoft covers you under warranty it is highly recommended that you send your Xbox 360 in to be fixed by them. If you have no warranty left then the good news is that you can repair the problem yourself.  This will cost you about $150 and can leave you without a console for a couple months. This is fairly simple and with the proper guide and tools you can do this in about an hour or so.

To repair the Xbox 360 yourself you will need to do something called the “X-clamp” fix. You will also need to adjust the cooling system. You must remove all power chords and controllers prior to beginning the repair. You then need to remove the hard drive and such to get down to the GPU and motherboard. Once you have removed the X-clamps and the heat sinks, you will also need to clean the residue off. You can then apply new thermal paste and make sure when you remount the heat sinks they put significant pressure on the GPU and the CPU to maintain connection with the motherboard.

1 Red Light Error

Other common errors in the Xbox 360 are the 1 red light error. When the 1 red light error appears you will see it in the left quadrant of the ring of lights. Below are some common error messages you may get on your Xbox 360.

E45, E64, E65, E66, E67, E68, E69, E71, E72, E73, E74, E76, E79.

These errors can all be attributed back to the Xbox 360 overheating and having the GPU detach itself from the motherboard. The X-clamp can fix this problem as well though this error is not covered under Microsoft’s extended warranty plan.

The E74 error seems to be the most commonly found problem. This code is a result of the GPU loosening from the motherboard. The AV cable or ANA chip may fail it is far more likely that the overheating has caused the error.

Does the Xbox 360 Have Other Errors?

There are many other errors that the Xbox 360 can encounter. Some problems come from an incomplete download of software updates. If this occurs you can perform a full system reset. Another very frequent error is a disc read error. If you have a lot of disc read errors happening try cleaning out the DVD. If that doesn’t work and you are still receiving a lot of the errors you may need to purchase and replace the DVD drive.

Scratching of the discs is also a very large problem. While the discs may be being handled properly, it won't matter if you are moving the Xbox 360 with a disc in it. Chances are it will become scratched, as there is nothing holding the disc down once it is in the console. To maintain your game playing from your discs make sure your console is always empty before you move it

The “black screen of death” is another very common problem that seems to be happening more frequently. Some warnings signs you may see before this happens is, flashing bars, trailing streaks, pixilation, and poor image quality. While these may show up before the “black screen of death”, many times you will have no warning at all

The first reason for this can be the AV cable. This does not happen very often but is possible and worth checking first. Try a different set of AV cables. Also make sure you try the Xbox 360 on a different TV to eliminate TV failure. Check the HDTV and TV settings on the AV cable to be sure they are on properly.

As a general rule most of these errors still have the underlying problem of the overheating. Once you have performed a full fix, you will be able to enjoy your console.

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