How to Get an Xbox 360 Fixed for Free by Microsoft

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It's something every Xbox 360 owner dreads. You are ready to take on some aliens in Halo 3, only to discover that when you fire up your Xbox 360 you have the dreaded red ring of death. This indicates a general hardware failure. This problem is difficult to fix, but the good news is Microsoft will probably fix it free.

  • Make sure your problem is a general hardware failure. There are other hardware problems that you can probably fix on your own. For instance, if you get an indicator in the second quadrant, that means your Xbox is overheating; turning it off for a while will probably fix the problem. If you get four red rings, your AV cable is not connected properly. Disconnect the cable and reinsert it.

  • Call the service center. Once you know it is a general hardware failure, you need to get on the phone with Microsoft at (800) 4MY-XBOX. An assistant will have you unplug the cables and remove the hard drive, so do this before you call. Once you talk through it and identify the problem, Microsoft will send you a package to ship your Xbox in.

  • Remove the nonessential parts of your console. Before you send your Xbox, detach the cables and store them. Remove your hard drive and keep it with you. Remove any game discs in the consolej.

  • Send your 360. The packaging Microsoft will send you has paid postage. Read the instructions that come with the package to ensure that your console ships safely.

  • Wait patiently. The whole process shouldn't take more than a few weeks. The good news is you should get a working console back at no cost so the gaming can continue. You may also receive a game or a free month subscription to Xbox Live as a bonus for your trouble.

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft extended their manufacturer's warranty to cover your Xbox 360 from general hardware failures to three years instead of one. This extension only applies to the red ring of death and not other hardware issues.
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