Why Red Lights on Xbox 360 Consoles May NOT Be a Hardware Problem
So, you’ve just unlocked Sgt Johnson in Halo 3: ODST on your xbox 360 and suddenly you hear static noise, and the screen goes all funny. The graphics look all distorted and your beloved gaming machine has frozen. The controllers are unresponsive.
It’s does happen from time to time, most consoles do it every now and then. So you do what you have always done in the past. You flick the power switch off at the wall and then power back on. Your console starts up, but now alarmingly there are flashing red lights on the front console, and the screen is blank.
Ouch! The red lights on xbox 360 consoles is a status code it uses to indicate there is a problem of some sort with the console. I can tell you it’s happened to me more than once, and rates high on the list of my all time annoying situations! What can be done if you’re in this situation?
Well firstly, the number of flashing lights is significant. The actual number of flashing lights is important when trying to figure out what went wrong.
Three flashing red lights is generally an indication of there being a hardware problem in your xbox, and it’s generally (but not always) related to overheating issues inside the machine.
You see virtually all modern consoles (the powerful ones anyway, sorry wii owners) run hot, because they are so powerful. All that power comes at a cost, and apart from electricity and noise, a lot of heat is generated by this machine.
It appears that Microsoft cut some corners and reduced the size of the heat-sink on the cpu to accommodate the DVD drive). And many would argue that the fan is not powerful to suck out all the heat.
As a result in some 360’s over time the heat sink might move, or the silicon gel not do it’s job properly and you get a freeze at first, but then the red light problems start.
The X-Clamp was Microsoft’s answer to the problem, but in many cases this needs to be re-fitted with new screws and washers and a general clean up needs to take place inside the unit to get it working.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to fix if you are handy with a screwdriver (or actually even if you are not!), and the DIY solution is great for those of us who have an out of warranty box and don’t want to shell out $ 140 and wait 6 weeks for a Microsoft fix.
There are a bundle of online guides showing how to do it yourself, but make sure you understand what the problem is with your game console before starting. Many of the free videos out there often conflicting advice.
One tip I can pass on is to tell you not to use the “towel trick” to fix a dead machine. The purpose of this “trick” is to overheat the machine in order to “reset it”. So this is generally only useful if you have already fixed the problem, and need to “reset” your console so the fix takes effect. Using the towel trick under any other circumstance, can actually compound the problem, so be careful.
Also you should note that not all red lights on Xbox 360game consoles problems indicate hardware problems. Some indicate that a cable is not plugged in correctly (for example).
So make sure you know what the error is before trying to fix it! It pays to be careful before blindly following someone’s advice when fixing your Xbox. Take the time to find a reputable source, and you will be up and gaming again in no time flat!
All red lights on xbox 360 consoles are not necessarily a problem. Learn for yourself how to identify the different error codes and find out how to fix 3 red lights if they are showing on your console in one hour.