Posted on June 27, 2007,

My Xbox360: 2006-2007

I thought it never would happen to me.

I suppose I can only blame myself, as my invincible ego could hardly let me believe otherwise. After playing a rousing game of Saint’s Row, my Xbox360 locked up. “No big deal” I thought, as this sort of thing had happened before. I mean its Saint’s Row, there’s a song dedicated to how buggy it is. (Still a great game btw) So, ego firmly in place, I reach over and reboot the system.


All of a sudden my Xbox360 makes horrible screeching sounds reserved for dial-up modems and dying seagulls. Then the screen flashed twice, and the console shut itself off. At this point my vocal response landed somewhere inbetween “Uhoh” and “Oh #@%!” How could this be happening? After hearing countless stories involving this dreaded “red ring of death”, I always dismissed them as hyperbole.


That’s when I saw it, the infamous three flashing red lights.

So what do you do in this situation? I always hear about it happening, but not what they do to fix it. After some looking, I went ahead and dialed the Xbox Support line. The automated voice for Microsoft gives this whole weird “I’m a cool dude” vibe, where he acts casually uninterested about whatever problems you have. Once I got by the automated voice that kept reminding me to “Chill-ax Bro-seph”, I was able to get in touch with an operator.

Let me say this. Regardless of the inconvenience of having to send in your console to Microsoft, at least they make it easy on you. In 10 minutes they had registered my console, verified my address, and gave me the tracking numbers for the box they were going to ship me. Once I get the box, all I do is drop my console into it, and then give it to the nearest UPS station. All postage paid by Microsoft.

So say what you will about “SUKBOX360″, my experience dealing with them was infinitely times better than dealing with my CD read errors on the PS2. See it’s not a new thing, and I’m baffled at the negative reaction to hardware issues. I had to wipe NES games on my pants and hold the cartridge down with a shoe in order to get it to work. SNES games faced similar issues, and don’t get me started on the lengths I went through to keep my PS1 up and running.

So after my brief and productive chat with Microsoft, I settled in for the 3-5 days for my box to arrive. Then, a whisper in the wind (Will) told me of a mythical “towel” trick that has been known to temporarily fix the problem. What did I have to lose? I’m already sending it to Microsoft. For those of you uninformed, here’s how this trick works:

Guess what? It actually worked. I am still going to send my machine off to Microsoft, as I’m sure the funny smells that emanated from my machine during the towel trick were not good for the console’s longevity. For now, I’ll just play Halo 2 in the hopes that an Xbox game will not require as much processor “juice” as a next-gen title. Here’s hoping.

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1 Comment on My Xbox360: 2006-2007


On June 27, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Ours locked up not too long after we got it. At first we thought it was Oblivion issues, as anyone who has played Morrowind on the original Xbox can tell you – console versions of these games have problems. Well, unfortunately it was the console, so we sent it back sans the hard drive. Problem was customer service – they never sent the box to ship it in, and I had an actual argument with a rep trying to tell me that yes I DID get the damn box. So, after speaking with a supervisor, I assured him that we were not running some “free cardboard box” scam, and would he please send us another. Three days later the said shipping parcel arrived, UPS picked it back up the next day, and four days later I had a brand new Xbox 360 to put my hard drive into. So, even with a few flaws – the 360 customer service was better than the service at your average Starbucks or KFC.