Post I.T. - Washington Post Technology Blog Frank Ahrens Sara Goo Sam Diaz Mike Musgrove Alan Sipress Yuki Noguchi Post I.T.
Tech Podcast
The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

My Ex-Box 360

Mike Musgrove

Well, for whatever it's worth, it finally happened to me: My Xbox 360 flashed the dreaded red ring of death last night, meaning I am now in possession of a deceased game console.

Mike's XBox 360.

I can't say that it was a surprise. Xbox 360 failure rates have been so high that Microsoft announced this summer that it was extending its warranty from one year to three years.

But what timing! I'd just gotten my hands on an advance copy of this summer's upcoming & greatly-anticipated title Bioshock. I'd just made it through the game's first cutscene last night when the screen froze. A few reboots later, it was clear that my Xbox wasn't going to make a comeback. Guess I'll be doing yardwork this weekend after all.

Microsoft's Xbox support line has decent hold music, at least.

By Mike Musgrove  |  August 17, 2007; 10:31 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
Previous: AOL Revamps Game Site | Next: Skype Outage Continues Today

Add Post I.T. to Your Site
Stay on top of the latest Post I.T. news! This easy-to-use widget is simple to add to your own Web site and will update every time there's a new installment of Post I.T.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

So if you're not going to be playing Bioshock this weekend, can I call dibs on your copy? :)

Posted by: Adam | August 17, 2007 1:06 PM

You might want to try blowing the dust out of your 360 with compressed air. I know it has worked for other people.

Posted by: Zeph Greenwell | August 17, 2007 1:17 PM

Was this your launch xbox 360? Almost made it to 2 years, thats gotta be some kind of record. I'd like to see you update us on the progress of the repair process, the good, bad, and ugly. Hopefully someone at Microsoft is watching and can help approve the process.

Posted by: Mark | August 17, 2007 1:30 PM

I just got my 360 back from repair. It was the fifth time I had to send it in. This time was by far the best experience. They told me it would take 4-6 weeks, and I had it in hand in three. They also sent me a new power supply, even though I know that was not the problem (this time). Then, about a week later, I received a letter from fed-ex with a prepaid xbox live card (1 month). I didn't even have to call to get this! Oh yeah, and when I made the call to get the process rolling, I actually got somebody in the U.S. who spoke english very well and knew what he was doing. Overall, it was a great improvement on the process from what they had been doing.

Posted by: Mike | August 17, 2007 1:38 PM

Ouch man. I'm on my third Xbox 360 so you have my deepest sympathy.

BioShock is simply wonderful; a game I plan on buying this Tuesday when it's OFFICIALLY (I'm looking at you Toys-R-Us) supposed to hit the street. Hopefully you can get replacement soon.

Posted by: AB | August 17, 2007 1:54 PM

I'm always kinda surprised to hear the accounts of people who have had to trade out Xbox 360's multiple times and don't seem too bitter from the experience.

Thanks for the compressed air tip, I'll give it a shot before arranging for Microsoft to send the coffin.

Yes, it's a launch Xbox 360 -- and no, you can't have my copy of Bioshock !

Posted by: Musgrove | August 17, 2007 1:59 PM

Um yes, it happens. My bro and friend in FL have had no issues. I on the other hand, am now waiting on my 5th console (although between me and u, I think it was the power surge that hit my house that did it this last time which was sad becuase MS sent me a brand new one for my 4th, but that's here-nor-there). They offered me a free game for my issues, but I had them all, dumb thought I should have took another one. Anyway, should have it back in a few days now they say. Over all I'm still a super 360 fan. It's my most valued posession I own. Just in time for Bioshock!!!

Posted by: foo man ju | August 17, 2007 2:49 PM

How about I got my 4th console back from Microsoft on last Thursday and on Saturday morning (two days later) I had 3 rings again. You think I got offered a replacement game?

Posted by: DCplayer | August 17, 2007 2:57 PM

I had a zero hour console & until two weeks ago it worked perfectly. When I played Shadowrun I noticed it got really hot. And after 3 hrs of play it froze. I think the newer games use a lot of the Xbox power which in turn leads to heat issues.

Microsoft replaced it at no charge & I was up & running in about 2 weeks.

I abused my Xbox, playing 4-5 hour sessions 3-4 times a week. My roomate left it on once over the weekend. Now I have it to auto turn of.

The key is keeping it cool. Mine is on top of my big screen with nothing around it.


Posted by: Trick | August 17, 2007 3:11 PM

I am currently impatiently waiting- a second time- for my Ring O' Death Box to be returned, knowing it will be a refurbished machine with other possible issues. Having The limited edition of Bioshock coming on Tuesday; I guess means that I can put a doll apron on the "Big Daddy" figure and have a playhouse tea-party with my 4 year old. (not really- children's therapy is expensive.) Good luck with Microsoft tech "support"

Posted by: Underdog 72 | August 17, 2007 3:32 PM

I've had my Xbox 360 replaced, and received the free one-month subscription card for Xbox live.

I absolutely recommend NOT putting your Xbox 360 in with any of your other audio or video components, but out on its own, so that it can readily cool off, as well as turning it off when not in active use. The over-heating issue is well-documented in several forums.

Thankfully, Microsoft's service has improved since my Xbox days--we had to get three of those in one year.

Posted by: Cool Mom | August 17, 2007 4:29 PM

I have a launch 360 that has not had a single issue the entire time I have owned it. No overheating, no freezing, no problems with anything. Which amazes me as I've taken the thing apart 5 or 6 times, internalized the hard drive, and played around with just about anything I could inside of it. From what I understand most of the recently repaired 360s are also coming with the added heatsinks to prevent overheating.

In case you did not know, Microsoft has now implemented a website which you can use to track the status of your repair. Everyone I know who has dealt with the 360 tech support(including myself when dealing with them for my brother once) had a very good experience and were very pleased with how things went.

Posted by: HardcorePooka | August 17, 2007 4:32 PM

good thing YOUR not biased...??
Did GM offer a three year warranty on the Fiero when they KNEW that the block cracked? know, i had one)
Did RCA offer to pay for your repairs on their 1990- 1998 TV's before they were sued with class action lawsuit?? know..I had one)
Did Microsoft realize that they had a problem and refund EVERYONE who payed for a repair for the 360 for the red ring of death AND the first years problems in good faith to help their consumers???...YES
Did Sony do anything for me when two of my PS2 consoles gave up after a little over a year...NO ( again, had two)
Funny how two different people view the same accident in totally different ways...

Posted by: Bill | August 17, 2007 8:09 PM

how did u get bioshock its not even out yet

Posted by: BT | August 17, 2007 9:20 PM

So why don't you get a PS3???? It's failure rate is only 0.2%.

Posted by: Sniper | August 18, 2007 9:15 AM

microsoft sux a phat 1 i just got my 360 back yesterday and it scratch my rb6 game so it wont read and they tell me they cant do anything about the game that there piece of crap 360 messed up and now i have 2 send it back in 2 get it fixed again well bill gates and micro u both r horrible i will be selling the 360 im done with microsoft i should have stayed with sony but the ps2 messed up on me when i first bought 1 also but at least the ps3 has not screwed looks like the wii will be victorius nintendo makes the best quality console as they have never had the problems micro and sony has had. so buy the wii dont let microsoft and sony screw u over cause they r running a SCAM!!!! they get ur money then they dont care about u after that every 1 should boycott micro and sony untill they can give us what we payed 4 and deserve a console worth our money and time so microsoft u have lost another customer thanks 2 ur ability to not give me what i payed 4 a working 360 good bye and good ridence

Posted by: Jacob Tyree | August 18, 2007 10:31 PM

I suggest you get yourself the PS3 my friend. 2 of my buddies have gone through the same process one under warranty and the other not. Both still awaiting response from Microsoft. well, bioshock sure did shock you up...
Internet Solutions India

Posted by: Internet Solutions India | August 20, 2007 8:36 AM

Go play some rock solid cartridge based gaming! You ever notice how only the original NES systems die due to design flaws but I have several 0 hour cartridge based systems that still work to this day. If they stop working all I need to do is clean the cart with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol.

Seriously new games cost too much money anyways! Better to spend it on liquor, food, clothing, and shelter! Oh and subscriptions to the Washington Post! (snicker)

Posted by: GamingTyrant | August 20, 2007 10:42 AM

I've had my ps2 since it was first released, no problems... i will not buy an xbox 360 even though i perfer microsoft. Are the rumors true that the ps3 is scratching the disks?

Posted by: Brad | August 20, 2007 11:37 AM

Mine just died after only 7 months of ownership. That $50 warranty from EB was well worth the price. They gave me a replacement no questions asked but I had to repay another $50 for another full year warranty.

Posted by: Sterling Park | August 21, 2007 12:55 PM

Im a mother of a 9 yr old who went and bought that xbox 360 and it has never worked and the place he bought it at would not take it back because my 9 yr old lost the receipt-so hes out of 400.00.whatcha got to say to that.what am i to do with the junked x box 360?

Posted by: deborah | August 21, 2007 5:35 PM

Finally, MS is doing the right thing!
My son's Xbox 360 gave him the three rings of death after one month out of warranty. I did my homework and went through a mess trying to get it fixed for free ... NOTHING. I made a report with BBB and wrote my congressmen and Senator.

I ended up paying a REDUCED COST of $100.00 plus shipping.

Today (8-21-07, I just got off the phone with MS about my refund ... No anawers about when! ... Not even a SOON.

Posted by: HYBRID | August 22, 2007 5:38 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company