What Is the Red Ring of Death on XBox 360?


When people think of the Xbox 360, they always think about the dreaded "Red Ring of Death." The Red Ring of Death is something that commonly happens with the Xbox 360 and can be fixed under warranty.

What to look for

  • There are several different types of flashing red lights for the 360, with different meanings. The Red Ring of Death is when there are three flashing red lights on the front of your console where you power it on. The only light that is not flashing is the upper-right quadrant.

What it means

  • One of the reasons this could happen is because the cords connected to the Xbox 360 may have come loose or completely disconnected. Check all of your cables to make sure they are plugged in all the way and try turning on the console to see if that works. Another reason that the three lights would be flashing is because your Xbox 360 has overheated from keeping it on or from playing it to much. Turn your Xbox console off and let it sit for one to four hours, then trying turning it back on and rebooting it. Lastly (and most severe), your Xbox has had a hardware failure. There is no way for you to fix this at home safely.

What to do if it is a hardware failure

  • If you get the Red Ring of Death and it you have tried everything else, you need to call Microsoft. Microsoft's phone number is (800) 4MY-XBOX. They will then send you a box to send your Xbox 360 back to them. Once Microsoft looks at the console and concludes it is, in fact, the Red Ring of Death, they will most likely send you a refurbished Xbox 360 (not the one you sent them). Before you send your Xbox 360 to them, make sure you remove your hard drive and any cables connected to the console, because they are only going to mail back the Xbox 360 console.

What will void the warranty

  • Microsoft does have a warranty on the Xbox 360 to cover the red rings. There are stipulations, and if you don't follow those stipulations it will not be covered under their warranty. Some things that will void the warranty are if any of the stickers on the console are removed or tampered with. There is a sticker under the face plate that has Microsoft's name on it and the sticker that has the product number that is located on the back of the console. Another main reason the warranty would be voided is if the console looks tampered with in any way whatsoever.

Ways to Prevent the Red Ring of Death

  • There are some precautionary measures you can follow to try to prevent the Red Ring of Death. For instance, never play the Xbox 360 for longer than eight hours at one time. This could cause the console to overheat. Make sure you have your console in an open space. You can also buy a small fan that connects to the Xbox 360 to keep it cool or just get a floor fan and have it blow on the console. When purchasing the Xbox 360, try to purchase one that has the latest manufacturer date because they tend to be more reliable.

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  • Photo Credit Photo from Microsoft
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