The Xbox 360 has received much criticism because of its many technical issues. One of the most notable is the general hardware failure indicated by three flashing red lights around the power switch. In 2009, a survey conducted by Game Informer indicated that as many as 55% of Xbox owners had experienced this general hardware failure, also known as the red ring of death.

Causes of the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

The Xbox 360 Red Ring of death can be caused by several things. In some cases the Xbox may simply need to be restarted or the power supply replaced. However, the leading cause of Xbox 360 failure is overheating. The original Xbox 360 used solder joints that could not handle high temperatures and a smaller heat sink than in previous models. Although Microsoft has not confirmed anything, some believe that the smaller heat sink allowed too much heat to build up, damaging the solder joints and internal components. According to Aaron Greenberg, the director of product management for Microsoft, the faulty or insufficient hardware issues have been fixed, so future Xbox 360 units are less likely to experience the red ring of death.

Repairing the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

If your Xbox experiences the red ring of death, first check to see if the light on your power supply is green or red. If the light is red or unlit, try unplugging all of the cords between the wall and the Xbox unit and plugging them back in. Make sure they are not loose. You can also try plugging your Xbox into a different outlet in your house and using different surge protector. If your Xbox still doesn't work, let your power supply cool down and try again. You can also borrow a friend's power supply to see if the problem is with your power supply or the Xbox unit.

If the light on your power supply is green, try unplugging the power supply cords and plugging them back in, again making sure they are not loose. If this solution does not get your Xbox working again, it may have failed. If your Xbox is under warrenty, you are in luck. Contact Microsoft to get your Xbox repaired for free. If your Xbox is not under warranty, you will need to pay to get your Xbox repaired. You can also try repairing the Xbox yourself. There are several Xbox repair instructions available on the internet. Make sure the instructions are from a reputable source, or you may end up damaging your Xbox further.

Preventing the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

You can take several measures to prevent your Xbox from experiencing the general hardware failure that causes the red ring of death. Because the most common cause of Xbox failure is overheating, you should try to keep your Xbox cool. Use a fan or Xbox cooling unit to dissipate heat. If you have been playing your Xbox for several hours, let it cool down before you continue. Make sure you turn off and unplug your Xbox whenever you aren't using it. Don't let your Xbox sit on the carpet while you are playing it because the carpet will block the vents on the bottom. You can also turn your Xbox upside down so that the bottom vents face up while you are playing.