byMatthew-BBY10-03-200803:17 PM - edited 10-10-200811:04 AM
Research for post done by Aaron-GS
It's never fun when your favorite electronic gadgets aren't working properly. You can't watch your favorite TV shows, record movies, or even play video games. On top of the frustration of having to deal with mechanical failures, there may not even be a guide available to help you decipher what's wrong in the first place. As such, here are a few suggestions that should help owners of Microsoft Xbox 360's address one of the most commonly reported issues with that console: the "Red Ring of Death."
Each Xbox 360 comes equipped with a ring of four LED lights that surround the power button on the console itself. During normal operation these lights should remain green. In the event of a hardware failure however, one to all four of these lights will instead display red. The severity of the failure is generally indicated by the number of lights that appear at any given time, with four lights indicating a minor technical issue and one light indicating a severe problem.
Four red lights normally indicate that the Xbox 360 cannot detect the audio-visual (AV) cable. This typically means that the AV cable has not been connected correctly, may not be fully inserted into the console, or simply might be defective. In each of these instances, there should not be any signal displayed on your TV. It is important to note though that this error does not occur on Xbox 360 models that have a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) AV port.
To resolve this problem, you may wish to try disconnecting and reconnecting the AV cable. Make sure to clean the connections first using a dry, soft and clean cloth, as surface contaminants (dust, lint, pet hair, etc.) may interfere with the signal. In the event that double-checking your connections does not work, you may need to try using a different AV cable instead. Remember that if you're not quite sure how to connect these cables yourself, you can always visit the following website for step-by-step instructions on how to do so:
Whenever three red lights appear, this is often what most Xbox 360 owners will refer to as the actual "Red Ring of Death." This unfortunately means a general hardware failure has occurred and that the unit may need to be shipped directly to Microsoft for service and repairs. Before doing so however, it is strongly recommended that you verify what color the light is on the unit's power supply. This light should remain green, even if red lights appear on the Xbox 360 console.
In the event that the light on the power supply is red, the power supply may have either overheated or may not be receiving the correct electrical current. If this light is orange, the power supply may not be correctly connected to the wall socket or console. If this light is not illuminated at all, this may be a sign that the power supply has come unplugged or has failed entirely. Regardless of the color the light is on the power supply, you'll want to follow the steps below:
1) Disconnect the power supply from the console and wall socket.
2) Allow the power supply to cool for several hours, especially if it is warm to the touch.
3) Reconnect the power supply.
If the three red lights remain (and the power supply appears fully functional), you'll need to contact Microsoft for further assistance.
Two red lights then, is usually an indicator that the Xbox 360 console has overheated or does not currently have proper ventilation. This can usually be solved by moving the console to a more opened area and allowing it to cool for several hours. Remember that just like any other electronic device, Xbox 360's require air circulation to remain within their ideal operating conditions. By keeping the console in an enclosed area or near a heat source (such as a radiator or heat register), you may be inviting hardware failure due to excessive internal heat.
Lastly, one red light typically indicates that the console's hard drive may have encountered a problem. Generally it is suggested to remove the hard drive and all connected components - then reconnect them - to resolve this issue. If the single light persists despite doing so, again you may need to contact Microsoft directly for further support.
Should repairs prove to be necessary, service requests can be made by either calling Microsoft's toll-free hotline at 1-800-4MY-XBOX (1-800-469-9269) or by visiting the following website: