Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Dreaded Red Ring of Death!

A whole year of problemless gaming on my Xbox 360 and the inevitable has finally happened...I got the dreaded "red ring of death!" Yes, all of those months hearing about how people left and right were becoming victims of this terrible hardware failure had me scared at first, but as the months rolled as did my Xbox I developed a false sense of security, as if I had God mode activated lol. I found myself relishing in the fact that I had the one Xbox out of a million that was not infected, and letting others know about it on forums when they complained that they got it. Now I'm the one complaining, and it just plain sucks.

In light of this unacceptable occurrence, I decided to do a little research and find out why exactly this happens and what to do(and what not to do) when it happens. First of all, every Xbox 360 has a ring of light around the power button with four quadrants. When all is well the light should be green, which means everything is working properly. When a quadrant or quadrants turn red, you're in for some major troubles! If the first quadrant is red(top left), it means you have a general hardware problem and should test your plug connections and restart. If the problem is indicated in the second quadrant, it is merely overheating, as too many all-nighters on Call of Duty will do that to a system. You should unplug the system from its power supply and let it sit to cool down. Also, it might be a good idea to search for a new spot to sit your system, like in a more open part of your entertainment center for better air circulation. If the problem is in the third quadrant it's just another hardware failure. If all four lights are flashing , this is probably the easiest problem to fix. This is an issue with the AV cable not being properly inserted into the back of the console. When three quadrants are flashing red, you're pretty much screwed lol. This is the "Red Ring of Death" and usually means a trip to the repair center or a new console.

The "Red Ring of Death" is a major hardware malfunction that is caused by overheating of the motherboard causing the solders that hold your GPU to melt away. The vibrations of your Xbox will then knock the GPU loose, and cause this malfunction. Why Xbox consoles easily burn out has a lot to do with their hardware design. The LSI heat sink was reduced to accommodate a DVD drive. This compromise in the cooling system has led to widespread pandemonium in the gaming community!

I have put together some indications of the "RROD" to help you know when this is about to happen. 1: You're screen freezes up, or gets choppy graphics (like the old Nintendos used to do when the game wasn't in all the way lol)

2: The sound freezes up

3: Console has no response when you power up

4: Message that says "Disc Unreadable" has also been reported right before getting the "RROD."

If this ever happens to you(happens to about 30% of all consoles sold!!) you should call 1-800-4my-XBOX. If you still have a warranty, it will be fixed for free, if not, be prepared to spend about 140 bucks for the repair and not to mention a rather lengthy 4 week wait for your troubles. Please DO NOT use the towel trick on Youtube, this has been reported to cause fires and permanent damage to the console. There are some fix tutorials out there if you want to risk opening up your console and handling the circuit board, but not recommended if you still have a warranty. Let's just hope Microsoft doesn't make the same mistake twice when it comes to the next system.

-skiLLz in kiLLz

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