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Fixing The Xbox 360 Red Ring Of Death

Sep 16, 2008
Estimates vary as to the exact rate of failure of the Xbox 360 but it is certainly at an unacceptable level. It has been reported that some UK based repair centres are now turning them away as they can no longer cope with the demand. There are also unconfirmed reports that machines are being sent abroad for repair. This leads to delay and frustration for the end user.

Why do we put up with it? If you bought a kettle and it didn't boil water, you would take it back and demand a refund. Yet, when it comes to computers, software and the like, there is a tradition dating from the early years, that we accept problems. It may be bug ridden, it may not do what it is supposed to do and we may have to battle for hours to get to perform, but we just do it.

Maybe a few years ago there was a macho element to it. We were pioneers in the brave new world of computing. If there was a problem, you didn't run crying to your mother, you got under the hood and fixed it or worked around it. We used to try to out do each other with the size of the problems we had overcome. It was a badge of honour. We laughed at the fact that we had spent big money on something that didn't work.

But shouldn't things have moved on by now? We are talking about a piece of consumer electronics, a game, and not a cheap one at that. Isn't it reasonable to expect it to work? If it fails due to a manufacturing fault, you should be able to get a replacement unit or your money back and in a reasonable time. The problem has been highlighted now, as early machines, just out of warranty, begin to fail.

The response from Microsoft is that the Xbox is a complex product with a lot of components and there are many things that can go wrong. A Microsoft statement said: "There is no single root cause or systemic issue with any of the Xbox 360 consoles." Isn't the fact that they fail a single issue? I would say that this Microsoft ducking the issue. They should be accepting responsibility and pulling out all the stops to solve this problem.

In the mean time what can we do for ourselves? Instead of spending money and accepting delays, what about going back to the good old days and breaking out the tool kit. One UK repairer that is still offering repairs reports only a 70% success rate. And yet, many of the problems are easily dealt with. Dry joints between the main Xbox components, the CPU and GPU, and the motherboard are a major cause of failure. After long periods of play, expansion due to overheating causes these electrical connections to fail.

Some people have tried to overcome this by what is known as the towel trick. This involves wrapping the unit in a towel and leaving it switched on for a while. This causes extreme overheating which may be enough to slightly melt the solder and remake the connection. While this may work in the short term, the end result will be the destruction of some of the delicate electronics and the death of your Xbox.

But if you are willing to take the lid off your Xbox and wield a soldering iron, you could save yourself money, time and frustration. You can even boast to your friends about how you overcame the beast. With a little bit of guidance, you can have your Xbox up and running in less than an hour. You could end up being the go to guy for Xbox repairs in your area.
About the Author
Read the reviews, choose your guide and get your Xbox 360 back in business. Visit http://www.xboxwise.com/repair-xbox-360/ and find out if this is an option for you. It could take you less than an hour to repair your Xbox.
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