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Red Ring of Death Troubleshooting

by Louie Doverspike
  • Overview

    Around the circumference of the XBox 360's power button is a glowing ring of light. This ring typically glows green to indicate use. However, every once in a while, the ring will turn glowing red for three-fourths of its circumference. This is the infamous "Red Ring of Death" and it indicates a hardware failure. There can be many causes and many solutions.
  • Failure Rate

    While there is some debate about the XBox 360's actual failure rate, all users who receive the Red Ring of Death can find some assurance in the fact that many other people have suffered a similar fate and that it is likely not your fault. While Microsoft has admitted to an early failure rate of under 5%, many people believe the rate may be as high as 20% of all XBox 360 consoles.
 
  • Early Symptoms

    If you experience hiccups in animation, jarring freezes or distorted audio, turn off your XBox immediately. Often such symptoms precede the Red Ring of Death. While overheating does not cause the Red Ring, it may increase your chances of a hardware failure. If your XBox begins flashing with half the ring lit red, turn it off immediately, as this is an indication of overheating.
  • Power Source

    One common source of the Red Ring of Death is a faulty power source. This can either be a case of your socket not delivering enough power or a poor connection. Check to make sure that your XBox power adapter is plugged in correctly and that the connection is flush with the back of the system.
  • Replacement

    If the problem is not the power source and not resolved by leaving the system off to cool, then you will likely have to return the system to Microsoft. In response to the high failure rate, Microsoft extended all warranties by three years, meaning that your system is likely fully covered in case of failure. Call Microsoft and they will send a you a shipping box to send in your failed system. You can expect to receive a replacement system within a few weeks.

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