Xbox 360 Troubleshooting
The Red Ring of Death
The Xbox 360 is an excellent system. They have improved the graphics, the online gaming, and options that are available to you. The only problem with these systems is the major error that they experience. The 3 red light error causes your Xbox 360 to crash. You will then need to perform an extreme fix.
So exactly what causes the Red Ring of Death or 3 red light error? Will my Xbox 360 be affected? Is there anyway to tell ahead of time or to prevent it? What can I do if it happens?
Unfortunately there is no way to tell ahead of time if your console will be affected or not. There are a few signs that could suggest it is coming, like distorted graphics. These could also come from AV errors and scratched discs. So you pretty much have to wait and see what's going to happen. Then if your console crashes or you get the error you can deal with it then.
The two biggest causes of the 3 red light error is, one; the heat sinks are not large enough to properly cool the Xbox 360 down. The second is that the material the solder is made out of is not sufficient to withstand the heat that the Xbox puts out. The solder becomes brittle very quickly from the excess heat. So when the motherboard heats up and expands the solder's small cracks become large and the GPU soon disconnects from the motherboard. When this happens your machine will crash.
So what do I do?
So the 3 red rings have gone from the pleasant green to a gross red, now what? There are a few Xbox 360 troubleshooting tips you should try prior to sending your console away or ripping it apart. The first is to simply reboot your console. If it doesn't work check your power bar. The light on the power bar should be green. If it is red or orange this means there is not enough power to sufficiently power your Xbox 360 or that the power bar has a problem. If your power bar is fine, shut the Xbox 360 down, pull out all controllers and cords and plug them back in securely then reboot. If that doesn't work try, removing the hard drive and booting without it. If the error doesn't show up again then put back the hard drive and reboot.
How Do I Fix It?
As mentioned previously if you still have warranty on your Xbox 360 it is highly recommended that you send your console back to Microsoft, as any work you do to it will void all warranty. If you no longer have warranty remaining on your Xbox 360 there are a couple options you have. You can send your console away for about $150.00, though you may not have a console for a few months. The other option is to fix the console yourself. That will take you just a little over an hour and be much cheaper. If you decide to pursue the fix yourself, it is a great idea to have a manual and a step-by-step video with instructions. Download Mac OS X Games - You can find all that information here.
What is the 1 red light error?
Microsoft classifies this error as a "hardware failure”. The error presents on your TV with and EXX code and each code is specific. Here are some of the most common error codes.
- E45 – Unknown error
- E64 –DVD drive error
- E65 – DVD drive error
- E66 – DVD drive error
- E67 – Hard Drive error
- E68 – Hard Drive error
- E69 – Hard Drive Error
- E71 – Unknown error
- E72 – Unknown Cause
- E73 – Ethernet error
- E74 – AV cable error
- E76 – Unknown error
- E79 – Hard Drive error
The most common 1 red light error is E74. The Xbox 360 E74 error seems to be caused by the loosening of the GPU chip. To figure out what part of the Xbox is truly affected you must find the secondary error code. The E74 repair for the Xbox 360 requires the same repair as the 3 red light error. Microsoft will not cover this error on the extended warranty though.
To discover the secondary error follow the steps listed below.
- Turn on the Xbox 360
- Hold the sync button and the eject button simultaneously
- The ring of light will flash the first number of the code
- Repeat each step 3 times (total of 4 times)
Does the Xbox 360 Have Other Errors?
There are many other errors that the Xbox 360 can encounter, though most of the problems with the Xbox 360's can all be traced back to the 3 red light error and the overheating problems. There is also the 2 red light error.
The 2 red light error is classified as "overheating”. The first thing you need to do is to make sure that your power supply light is green. An overheated power brick or low power going to your console can cause this error. Once you have eliminated the power supply problem, you will need to look at how your Xbox 360 is set up. Make sure all the vents are unobstructed and not sitting on a covered area, such as a couch or tablecloth. If that isn't the problem make sure your Xbox 360 isn't sitting on top of another device that puts out heat, such as a DVD player or satellite box. If you have fixed all these things then you will have to perform a similar fix as to the 3 red light error. Though this problem is not covered by the extended warranty so you most likely will have to fix it yourself.
Once you've gone through all these steps and repaired your Xbox 360, you should be able to enjoy it once again. Happy gaming!