Categorized | Xbox 360

Xbox 360: Surviving the Red Ring of Doom

We have all heard the horror stories and for many owners of early generation Xbox 360 consoles, the Red Ring of Doom/Death (also known as RRoD) is the eternal boogeyman lurking in the shadows of the Microsoft console.

What makes RRoD so ghastly for players is simple fact that it count compromise and destroy all your progress. But before we get into that, let us see what RRoD really is. The term “Red Ring” comes from the three quarter-circle red indicator lights that appear on the console once it experiences any form of general hardware failure. In short, RRoD is actually a visible symptom for a wide range of potentially dangerous issues with the console.

In a few very rare cases (such as voltage spikes/power surges), fixing the RRoD simply require plugging the device from the power outlet and giving it time to cool down before resuming play. Most of the time, users will have to send the device back to Microsoft for replacement or take it to a third party to have the console fixed.

Many players prefer to take the system to a third party developer. Despite the fact that Microsoft is manufacturer of the device (and is most suited to fix it) player tend to pass up on this service since they have a policy of completely wiping out all data on the console. This means that all game data, save files, media and more are completely removed from the system. With many games averaging at least 20 to 30 hours to finish, many gamers are not too happy with the prospect of having all their gaming hours be lost.

So what do you do when you get hit by RRoD? The first thing that players should do is to check on all the quick troubleshooting steps. This usually involves letting the device rest, checking if the vents are blocked or if the power brick is heating up. If the console still does not turn on properly, it is time to take it to a professional. While there are plenty of online tutorials and how-to guides to take apart your Xbox 360, applying thermal paste and even installing a third party cooling system, these are not recommended. Not only do they void warranty, but unless you yourself are a professional in handling delicate electronics, attempting to do this on your own could lead to disastrous results.

As always, an ounce of prevention is indeed better than a pound of cure. In the case of the Xbox 360, making sure that your system does not overheat is a key factor in maintaining a long life. First off, store the device in dust free area –if you can spare a small sheet to cover it with, do so. Keeping out the dust allows the system to cool itself better –naturally, remove the cover when you need to play it. Next is to ensure that you run the system in a cool, well-ventilated area. This means that all the vents should have ample room to ‘breathe’. Do note that not only does the console need to be checked; the power brick also requires similar attention as well.

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