Red Ring of Death Nightmares Are Over, Says Microsoft

By  |  Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

rrodAre the Xbox 360-killing problems that cause the infamous Red Ring of Death gone? And will people who send in their consoles for repairs have to cycle through the process multiple times to get a real fix?

Over at Edge, Kris Graft put those questions to Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg, who said the console’s biggest technical woes have come to pass. “We’ve put the worst behind us on this, but we know there are a few lagging systems, and so we want to take those and make it right,” Greenberg said. Asked about the technical nitty-gritty of hardware updates, Greenberg wouldn’t answer, saying that Microsoft’s attorneys “would not allow me to say that.”

In the summer of 2007, Microsoft fessed up to an “unacceptable number” of defective systems. We’ve heard of failure rates as high as 30 percent — which I’m skeptical of — but the company never provided specifics. In any case, all console owners were given an extended 3-year warranty should any red ring problems arise.

Since then, new Xbox 360s received an upgrade. These so-called “Jasper” models feature a new motherboard and a smaller, cooler-running GPU. This is huge, because ATI’s original graphics card was at risk for overheating, thus warping the motherboard and putting undue stress on solder joints. Greenberg said the improvements that went into the new models also go into repairs.

In stores, different Xbox 360 models aren’t clearly marked on the packaging. If you’re considering a new console, look for “12,1A” where the power information is listed on the back of the box. Greenberg, always restrained when he’s talking about this stuff, told Ars Technica last month that Microsoft obscures that information because it wants customers “to buy with confidence,” he said. “They shouldn’t, you know, get hung up on the internal components of the device.” (Read: We don’t want them to worry that it’ll brick.)


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50 Comments For This Post

  1. annonymus Says:

    Microsoft is a reliable company but the flaws in the xbox 360 must be resolved or removed entirely for what ever xbox is to come

  2. darklurker Says:

    Great, now if they’d just fix the disc-scratching problems so I can quit replacing discs for my kids…

    Microsoft “reliable”? Hardly ever…

  3. brian Says:

    the disc gets scratched when the system is moved while the disc is still in the tray. if your kids take the disc out before it is moved, the disc won’t be scratched

  4. Saul Says:

    they aren’t EVER going to fix the xbox 360… EVER! because mine occasianally freezes every so often, annoying. Not to metion that ive gone threw 3, yeah 3, xboxes that have gotten the 3-ring of death. I cant play rockband 2 anymore because it cant read the disk. same problem with need for speed most wanted. the entire xbox 360 line needs to get replaced with a new xbox that can handle alot of game play, wont scratch screw up my game disks, will let me play the games that i want to play, and be reliable enough to not freeze up and give me the occasional 3-ring of death. i have a broken xbox 360 that needs to get fixed and they expect me to pay another $119, not going to happen. ive forked so much money into the games alone, $65 per game… not to mention extra for the drums and guitars on rockband and guitar hero world tour. the xbox 360 is a VERY poor gaming system… if your not into “HALO 3” or “HALO WARS” buy a play station 3. the xbox 360 console is souly ment for the halo trilogy and only the halo trilogy… and by the way… microsoft doesnt even make the halo trilogy, BUNGIE DOES! Microsoft needs to either stick to making Personal Computers or trying to come up with a new console, the 360 failed in my eyes, so accept the failure and move on.

  5. Jonathan Milov Says:

    3 ring of death means that the GPU is loose

  6. ryan Says:

    i’ve had a 360 for over a year now and have not had it freeze on me once. my system works just fine and always has. maybe u should just be more careful with your system if ur tired of spending money on it. Microsoft does by the way own part of halo, that is why halo wars wasn’t even made by bungie.

  7. Grimace Says:

    I’ve never had a problem either. Had mine for almost three years now. Works perfectly, always has. Every game works fine, none have been scratched. I got the “Intercooler”, the extra cooling fans thing that snaps on the back of the console. Got it with the box, and kept it on from day 1. its a little louder, but a small price to pay for an xbox that never overheats. Either way, i had an extended service plan through circuit city who as you may know is going out of business. So I called em up, and made up a bunch of problems like non responsiveness, freezing during gameplay with no error code, stuff like that, and sice they’re not doing in store repairs anymore, they’re issuing refund checks in the exact purchased price including tax. So I’m gonna take my 400 bucks and go upgrade!

    Hey does anybody know if the ring of death and other hardware failures have been fixed for new models?

  8. Jared Newman Says:

    Grimace, look for “12,1A” where the power information is listed on the back of the box. That indicates a newer model, which is less susceptible to RROD.

    And for the record, I’ve never had any problems with the Xbox 360 that I bought a year after launch. Still, I keep the console well-ventilated, in a TV stand that’s not covered in the back. Can’t be too careful.

  9. COBOGO Says:

    Fix Red Ring Of Death Problem using this step by step repair guide

  10. threedfa Says:

    So small GPU huh. What does that mean the graphics are going to be horrible now. If you guys are still getting the red ring of death I fixed mine with this sites guides and I’ve been playing it for a while now without any problems. It was the first guide they have listed.

  11. Austin Says:

    They don’t necessarily put the newer GPU model into the xbox if it needs to be repaired. I sent mine in three weeks ago, got it back. It still had the same old GPU. (It says on the box they send it back in) and it broke after 3 days of getting it back. I had to send it in again and am still waiting. I hope they put in a better GPU this time. I don’t want it breaking again.

  12. john whesman Says:

    If Sony lowers the price of the PS3 to 299 bucks xbox360 is doomed, I say go for the extra hundred bucks and get a PS3. Microsoft rushed this box out on the market to beat Sony and thats all there is to it, I to have gone through 3 xbox360s, all RROD. Cleary who ever designed this didnt test it or doesnt know that heat kills any electronic component, simple electronics 101 will tell you that.I think the know they had a piece of crap and sold it anyway hoping all the Halo freaks would buy 3 or 4 systems just to play halo. Sorta feel sorry for all those bone heads who paid over a thousand bucks on ebay for this thing on release date,

  13. Darth Moops Says:

    So we should spend $300 to see if M$ has finally gotten it right? Or pay the extra $100 and go with the proven PS3?

  14. tristan Says:

    the only way to get a scratched disc is either if you move your console or you take the disc out during play in which case it might not stop spinning when it ejects. The proper way to do it is to go to the dashboard wait till the disc stops spinning (TIP: turn autamatic disc startup off) and then eject it (i figured out that if you also go to the dashboard to turn of the console using the guide then your console will stay in good condition)

  15. tristan Says:

    and john the problems rarely occur anymore
    but there is alot more xbox360 only games then halo 3
    there is gears of war 2, left 4 dead, Halo wars, etc. (look on wiki there is a couple pages full of them)
    (and that new NATAL technology)

  16. Daniel Says:

    lol great a bunch of ps3 fans boys were real quick to jump on this. Umm the ps3 is doomed now because the new models out lost backwars compadability because of dropping the price from 600 to 400 wow big improvement, not and it’s the slower of the 3 consoles here’s why. Game designers fill the empty blueray disc space with game data already on the disc ( in other words copying) and fill the gaps, thus making it to where the disc reader doesn’t have to travel as much, this is why it “Seems” faster. Finally the ps3 netowrk sucks! Oh and we 360 uses still have backwards compadability. So before you go running your mouth deffending that over priced useless system sony pumped out at least have some facts under your belt. I’ve made some people cry before because i proved them wrong in this little debate of which is better.

  17. aaron Says:

    ima big fan of halo3 and ive hade my 360 for 7months no ring of death

  18. Nick Says:

    I have had a PS3 for under 2 years and it just broke. $150.00 to fix it plus tax. Can anyone make a reliable system that isn’t a piece of crap? I payed more so I wouldn’t have issues like this. If PS3 is so reliable why does it only have a 1 year warranty? I am considering buying a xbox 360 to have while the ps is getting fixed but I hate to support a company that makes it’s customers go through what everyone has went through with this red ring bs. These companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

  19. kenobi4444 Says:

    I got the original XBOX because it was the only system that had Knights of the Old Republic when it first came out. And then KOTOR was released later for PC. I didn’t mind, my PC wasn’t very good at the time and I wasn’t going to be able to play it on there anyway. Then KOTOR 2 came out, again, only for XBOX, so I got that. Great games, by the way. When the XBOX 360 came out, I had no reason to get one, there were no games I wanted to play for it. I was never a fan of Halo. But, then they released Fable 2, and I was a fan of the first Fable. So, I got a used 360 on ebay and I played Fable 2 and it was great. I only had the system for about 4 months before I got the red ring of death. Because I wasn’t the original owner, the warranty is void. I don’t want to pay $119 plus shipping for Microsoft to fix it and then it will probably break again in a few months. I would be better off buying a new one if they truly fixed the problem, because they’re only $199. But, there’s only one game I want to play for it. I’m hoping Fable II is released for PC, but I would think that would have happened by now.

  20. whyowhy Says:

    My 4th Xbox has just gotten the red ring of death, again. I got this system back in july, i don’t get how they haven’t figured this out yet

  21. Rich Says:

    I think the 30% rate of failure is understated greatly. Almost every person I know has had the the red ring once if not more. Also the 3 years is based on the original date of purchase. Meaning that if you got your 360 and had it repaired you do not get that 3 years extended. I had mine repaired and the replacement then got the red ring and I was told I had to pay to repair because of the original date not the date they sent me a replacement box. I could see if they repaired the original system and gave it back to me but they only gave me a refurbshed system in exchange. By the way it took 4 months to get the replacement back that I think is crazy since all they have to do is get my box and send out a replacement right away. I am ready to go to Sony for my next system and I have been with xbox from the very begining. i want my original xbox back that never had a problema nd still works today!!!

  22. tyler Says:

    I had my 360 for two years without a single problem. And i play ALOT!!i recently sold my faithful 360 because i am buying the modern warfare 2 limited edition console. I really hope its just as faithful.

  23. zach Says:

    if it failed why did you buy 3 ? and tell your kids not to move it or lay it on its side and it wont be as likley to happen . although MS needs to fix the huge problems,its still good console. it competes very well with the ps3 and came out years before it!

  24. Jenn Says:

    We bought our console in 2007 and had the first ring of death last year. Now, just a little over a year later, the red ring of death came back!

  25. paul Says:

    whats microsoft going to do about the people who have had to buy 3 or 4 or more xbox360s due to the obvious 100% failure rate of older machines.
    i think some if not all should be given a new console free of charge. thats if they have really fixed it, that i dont beleive.
    notice how the lawyers jump in to cover things up as he speaks.
    am sick of all the bullshiting and lies and crappy machines, all the covering up microsoft has done and there lawyers, i wonder what would happen if we just started all of us taking microsoft to court, i think the evidence speaks for itself. and we have had no appology which i think we all deserve some type of appology, by mouth or by check. or cash. i like cash appologys. lol

  26. paul Says:

    who are these people who havnt had any problems with there xbox360s, are you all microsoft lawyers.
    maybe bill gates, everyone i know has had a faulty xbox360, everyone and everyones dog, some more than 1. i even know people who have had 7 to 9 machines all with red ring of death issues, i fix them an i have fixed upto 30 machines in the space of 2 weeks. hows that for figures and percentages.
    i have 2 on top of my wardrobe f’d one of them was the machine i bought on release day, which lasted 1 year and 1 month. then i fixed it, and managed to keep it going for 2 years. but it died. but i payed alot of cash that day, an they was charging you for fixing them back then.and i wasnt going to pay out more money when i had payed out enough for the machine already. so i learned to fix them myself. 😛

  27. XboxXpert Says:

    As long as u dont play to long and keep ur xbox away from tight shelves so it has space to vent u shold be fine and not get rrod and KEEP IT OFF THE CARPET!

  28. paul Says:

    to say that your an xboxxpert. you dont seem to know alot about xbox360s.
    its a re4al shame. yes what your saying is half true.
    and it helps to keep it off the carpet, an out of tight shelfing does help.
    but i did this from the very start anyway, an it is also a good idea to keep your power unit in a well ventilated place. but none of this has anything to do with the red ring of death, it isnt the cause of the rrod.
    the real cause is that the cpu and gpu processors are getting extreamly hot,
    the gpu’s heatsink is far too thin and needed to be alot bigger, the soldering used on the chips is crap, an the the gpu’s heatsink shouldnt be underneath the systems dvd drive unit, the heatsinks are inadequate. there just simply not good because they made sure you couldnt remove the processors by soldering them into the moverboard made it a really bad design flaw. if they had thought about the heat these chips give off at long periods of time they would have been better fitting the cpu an gpu like they do in computers so you could clip in the processor, theres no pc’s you could fit the xbox processor in anyway so it wouldnt have mattered so much. also.the new x clamps microsoft have fitted are really crap, an you can move the heatsinks around with little pressure at all.
    the clamps are just not strong enough, they are cheap and badly designed anyway. they dont do the job well enough that they are designed to do.
    i could go on and on about this. i think i have covered most of the problems. oor just one more, an that is the paste that they are using for the heatsinks and cpu and gpu’s. the paste is rubbish, its not good enough an it drys up. the past usually drys up after a year 8 months to a year the paste is drying up. an i think this could be one of the main problems.
    i think the main problem is microsoft, an that they keep making these machines in a cheap and nasty way, the motherboards flex too much when they are hot. there too thin. they actually tried to glue the cpu and gpu down hoping this would put an end to there problems. so what does that tell you about microsoft, glueing things down omg. cheap cheap cheaP.
    it was a really bad idea. an the guy who thought of glueing the edges of the cpu and gpu should be fired. cos it is obvious to me that it wouldnt work and it hasnt, you cant glue them down to get more support, it doesnt stop the solder from braking. it was a cheap fix and for the effort they put into it. am not surprised we are still getting problems with these machines. glue. lmao
    ive had enough now. think i covered all the problems. an i just want to say, pull your head out of your arse microsoft and fix the problem. otherwise its not going to go away an its going to come back and bite you in the ass. FIX IT

  29. Paul Says:

    This message is for kenobi, I don’t know if you still have that box or not but the warranty is NOT void. All you have to do is call microsoft on their xbox repair line and tell them you bought it used from ebay. They’ll transfer the registration information to yours. It takes a couple minutes but it’s rather painless.

  30. dingaz Says:

    I am so sick of these people at Microsoft saying that they have fixed the Xbox. What a load of rubbish… I am on my 2nd xbox and have just suffered my 3rd RROD, 2nd time on this machine. My machine is 1 of these newer consoles which supposidly is less likely to get it but it has. I dont believe a console especially from a company as big as Microsoft should have to be put on a well ventilated cabinet with all these other limitations so it may stop it from overheating. I do though, follow these instructions to try and prevent this from happening. I upgraded from a PS2 which i had for about 5 years without ever a hiccup which included spending its whole life on carpet, transported in cars and occassionally bumped around. This xbox seems to be kept on egg shells or otherwise failure is imminent. What a load of rubbish…. Obviously they dont have enough money from the countless xbox games, guitar hero, dj hero and xbox live gold sales that I give them. U would think they could build something half decent

  31. frank Says:

    well so much for this plague being over, my 360 just pooped last night, 12, 1A as well. I went so far as to build my own stand so the console can be off the ground and all the vents open with a fan lightly blowing on the outside of the case. I was considering buying a new xbox but after reading this and seeing I own one that isnt supposed to poop took a poop I will be introducing my console to a friend I like to call Mr. Sledgehammer.

  32. Paul Says:

    What they need to do is bring you another xbox360 when yours fails,
    no charge.
    when they send the box to pick up your broken xbox360.
    they also send the replacement xbox360. so you dont have to wait.
    Playstation use to do this with playstation2s.
    its much better, really shows that they care about you being without a console.
    microsoft just care about getting the lies out, an making sure there alright. never mind the guy with a wardrobe full of broken xboxs an the people with many many broken xboxs,
    we try and get away with as many as we can. this is how they think.
    they dont seem to care how much money you spent buying these consoles.
    can you imagine how much money microsoft is making…,.!!!!!!!!
    for the people out there willing to buy 1 2 3 or 4 or 5 consoles.
    they must be loving it.
    ITS OUT OF ORDER. just like the system OUT OF ORDER

  33. Paul Says:

    Did you notice how they told everyone that its been fixed.
    even robbin hood wore a mask. ROBBERSOFT

  34. Conor Says:

    i read in one of the comments about the ‘jasper’ console, that is sent out if you had your console repaired? I bought my xbox 2007, a year later it broke, RROD. I had only got live about 4 months, before this i wouldn’t have played more than 2 hours a day. After recieveing the ‘jasper’ console, i had it for around a year, admitedley i would have played it alot more, but it was well maintained and kept in a well ventilated area. 2 days ago, (now 7/2/2010) i was playing online, after leaving my xbox to download a game demo for around 2 hours, i turned the xbox on after the download was complete and it froze, i knew it was RROD. True to that, i turned it off, then back on and it failed to start. Microsoft really does need to sort this issue, i put my money and faith in a console that would not perish after a year, so why do they continue to fail? Another point to make would be, actually getting the xbox sent away can be trick enough. Microsoft acknowledge that the failure is on their behalf, yet they expect us to organize the whole shipping to them. Which unless you are a regular shipper (so to speak) is confusing. UPS (the delivery service) which are the company in charge of delivering the xbox to and from microsoft’s centers, as in the first case of my RROD would not collect my xbox in reasonable times, they always came around times when i was at school/parents were at work. It should be down to Microsoft to collect and return (free of charge, as it is on their behalf) if the RROD incident occurs.

  35. Paul Says:

    personally. i dont know how they can fix the console, i do. but it would take a drastic change in design. they would need to put in a stronger motherboard, because under heat it stresses too much,
    a new stronger motherboard.
    move of the dvd drive away from the gpu enabling a better heatsink to be fitted. (not going to happen) but, is the main problem amoung others.
    Better paste used on the heatsinks fitting, paste is too dry, an doesnt last. ( paste gets hard an brittle flakes away from where it is needed.

    What we could do to fix this for sure.
    when you get a new xbox. it would have to be new. or half way through its yearly life. You would need to take the dvd drive out of the machine,
    fit a heatsink on the gpu identical to the heatsink on the processor.
    this wouldnt leave any room for the dvd drive,
    you would need to keeep the drive out of the machine, make a housing for the drive, an sit it on top or beside your machine.
    You would then have an xbox360 that would last. not sure fr how long.
    because when the machine turns off, you really need the fan to run. until the machine has fully cooled. another problem, is when you turn off your xbox360, the fan cuts off stright away. meaning that your gpu is still extreamly hot. after an hours play or so. an it has no cooling at all.
    leaving the board to flex an break solder under the gpu chip.
    Maybe they should let sony look at it for them, they cant seem to fix it themselves. maybe i should work there. 🙂
    This is why i know the jasper will have the same faults.
    the machines design flaws, have not been fixed.
    its not just the size of the chip thats the problem. its the cooling thats the main problem. and they havnt fixed that.
    You know somethings up if we have to think of a fix for them.
    its obvious they dont want to spend the money needed to fix it.

  36. on#8 Says:

    far from over…RROD last night. I use the console for gaming (1-2 hours per week max) and use the HD DVD player for DVD use. This is my 8th console since the fun began. This last console has lasted well over a year, so I do agree that some improvements must have been made along the way. Off to Best Buy to swap out for #9…best warranty use ever!

  37. Reece Says:

    I am not sure what all of you have done. I played my 360 nonstop for weeks on end. I had it three years from christmas last year. I had kept it in perfect working condition. I was planning on buying a new elite this year. I just recived the red rings of death. Trust me I know how to take care of it. I do wish to say this I was dissappointed in these replies. Most of you are only here to Bash Microsoft. They are humans just like each of you they make mistakes and are working to fix them. You all need to calm down but, you won’t. That is just porven you all are ignorant. I enjoyed my 360 and will always stay with microsoft. I am sounding ignorant here as well only defending the 360. The PS3 is a good system as well. Everyone I know says they enjoy the PS3 but, 400 dollars seriously. I understand its capibilities but, it is not all that great. I mean here let me take two games in total. One from each system and compare them. Mag from the PS3 is a horrible game who ever came up with the idea for 256 people multiplayer battles is a moron. Now for Gears of War 2 the single player is amazing and I cannot wait until Gears 3 but, the multiplayer is lacking. You see both games have flaws on both systems. Now to adress the secrurity and stablity of the online play. The PS Network is good in its own way but, it seriously got hacked this year. 1 guy was stealing people’s accounts and Points you cannot have this and be successful. Xbox Live is full proof. It has never been hacked and most likely never will. Xbox also offers free Netflix trail where as Playstation does not. This will change one in every ten thousand peoples mind. All of you will dissagree and say I am a moronbut, think about it. Which would you rather enjoy. This is what Gaming is all about ENJOYMENT FOR THOSE WHO PLAY IT.

  38. Paul Says:

    i dont know who you are reece and why you have a thumbs up. ?
    But you are full of it.

  39. Chrissy Says:

    Not only are the games crap…but they can't even make a system to play them…that goes for all the systems

  40. nick Says:

    Most video games arent fun anymore anyway…you need to train for a month to be able to play them…thank god for the emulators for all the old skool games:)

  41. Sam Says:

    My original nintendo STILL works….ya you need to do a couple tricks here and there…but it still works lol

  42. That Free TV Site Says:

    I also believe the 30% is underestimated…like said previously, everyone i know has had this happen at least once. Probably 90% of them have had it happen twice or more

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  47. BUY PS3 INSTEAD Says:

    You should be skeptical that the failure rate isn't above 30%! 6/10 of my friends who own Xbox 360s are unable to play at this moment because the console is broken! If Microsoft truly believed this was unacceptable then they should recall all Xbox 360s to eradicate this issue completely. How about the loyal customers who bought the Xbox early and whose warranties are outside of the 3 year range, should they be abandoned? The responsibility of the red ring lies with Microsoft, not the consumer, regardless of the time of purchase. Until Microsoft fixes this problem properly, it is clear that the standard of Microsoft's quality is to accept a failure rate of above 30%! Shame on Microsoft.

  48. double d's Says:

    i bought one 3 months ago after goin thru 3 of em its fixed hooray

  49. justin Says:

    ive had a xbox 360 elite and ive never had any problems with it for 4 1/2 years and 1 week ago it red ringed i think thats pretty damn good if you really think about it since the only reason the xbox red rings at all is because it was rushed to beat the ps3 to the stores

  50. Scrollalex4 Says:

    I cant get my system to work and i need help because the red ring of death has come and i cant fix it.All the youtube and information Im getting isnt working!!!!!! I need real instructions how to solve this problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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