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XBox Red Light Fix: Repair the Ring of Death

November 22nd, 2008

xbox-three-red-light-fix.jpgAlthough it is a relatively powerful gaming console, the Xbox 360 has been fraught with complaints from consumers due to high failure rates, which are estimated to range between 5 and 35 percent depending on the source. Similar to the infamous “blue screen of death” (BSOD) that indicates problems with a PC, Xbox failures result in a “red ring of death” (RROD) indicated by the presence of one to four flashing red lights that appear when a user attempts to turn on the console. For the remainder of this article, I will list the Xbox red light fix methods that other people have used to repair the ring of death and return to their former gaming glory.

1. Check your power cords and connections. If you have four red lights, this usually indicates that the AV cord is unplugged or not connected properly. This can be fixed by simply plugging in the cord or disconnecting it and then plugging it in again. You can also wipe the metal area (the end that plugs into the console) with a cloth before plugging it into the correct socket. Finally, you can check the connections of peripheral devices such as controllers or joysticks to rule this out as the source of the problem. Interestingly, this is probably the easiest issue to fix even though all four red lights form a complete “ring of doom.”

2. Wait for the Xbox to cool down. Most of the problems that people are having originate from some type of overheating issue, and in cases where you have two red lights showing, you may be able to return to normal gaming after letting the system cool down for a while. It is advisable to keep the console in a relatively cool, dry place if possible and avoid exposing it to any external heat sources that could exacerbate the overheating problem. It is also a good idea to clean off any dust, dirt, or other contaminants that may be blocking ventilation.

3. Although controversial, you can always try the “towel trick.” Some people who have the problem with three rings showing and are looking for a relatively quick Xbox red light fix have seen their consoles recover after wrapping it in one or more towels, waiting for 15 to 30 minutes, and then turning it off and back on again. Frankly, I’m not sure why this method would work, but enough people have reported positive results for me to at least mention it here. Other people have reported that this is only a temporary fix and eventually the three red lights return. The method is controversial because it can actually cause overheating problems to become worse as the towel can trap heat inside the unit.

4. If your console is still under warranty, you can simply ship it back to Microsoft for repairs. If you have the three red lights and don’t mind waiting, Microsoft will eventually either repair the unit and send it back to you, or send you a refurbished unit as a replacement. Most users report that this can take up to four weeks. After the warranty expires, repair costs generally range from $100-$140.

5. If your Xbox is out of warranty or you do not want to wait, you can try to fix it yourself. If you have tried the other methods without success and have narrowed the problem down to a hardware failure (this is generally what either one or three red lights mean), you can do your own fix for less money than what Microsoft would charge you for repairs. Fortunately, there are products such as this Xbox 360 repair guide that can help you pinpoint the source of the problem and explain step-by-step methods for how to fix it. The guide also includes helpful video tutorials and is backed by a generous refund policy in case this does not work for you.

Meanwhile, if any of you have successfully tried other methods for Xbox 360 red light fix repair that are not listed here, please include these in the comment section below.

15 Responses to “XBox Red Light Fix: Repair the Ring of Death”

  1. comment number 1 by: Rich Russell

    The towel trick is supposed to work because some of the problems are caused by dry joints on the circuit board. Getting the unit hot enough, by use of the towel, can temporarily improve the connections at these joints. It can also damage some of the chips, causing them to fail much earlier than they would have otherwise. Not recommended!



  2. comment number 2 by: Jules

    After trying the towel method a few times and failing, my cousin forwarded me a recommendation from howtofixyourxbox.blogspot.com of how to do the xbox red light fix… The guide he recommended worked great for me. It’s been 4 months now and no more problems!! =)

  3. comment number 3 by: gabriel

    my xbox just got a red light. when im trying to connect my controller, it doesnt want and after like 3 tries it just turn red on the xbox. all the 4 things are flashing not staying there, they appear dissapear appear dissapear.

    thank you


    p.s: i tried all the tricks

  4. comment number 4 by: Rob

    yep.. I hate those xbox porblems i had all kinds of them but I succeed to fix them
    with the easy and safe guide.
    try it..

  5. comment number 5 by: fixxbox360redrin

    thanks for the share and info. I also tried these new tools and they worked for me.

  6. comment number 6 by: andy

    Just in case you haven’t checked…

    I was getting the dreaded three-light ring of death and was very close to shopping around for a replacement (after losing a fairish clump of hair to stress) when I thought to re-check all my connections just to be sure. Both my a/v cable and the power plug were loose, so I seated them firmly. That still didn’t do it, but I thought “what the heck, while I’m here,” and tried plugging the power cord into a different socket. Voila! Back in the green. So, just in case you haven’t, check to make sure it’s not just the position of the plug. I’m not sure why one socket made a difference over the other, but I’m not complaining…

  7. comment number 7 by: vasilii

    Ring of death xbox fix is discussed in this article for those of us who are out of warranty.

  8. comment number 8 by: Ian

    Hi ppl got sum good tips goin on but has any1eva expiesienced 1 red light as a pose t 23n4? Pls ta

  9. comment number 9 by: Anonymous

    how do i fix it on regulAR xbox! not xbox360

  10. comment number 10 by: Ronald

    XBOX 360 red ring of death may be a minor issue that you can be fixed by yourself. Remember, you are not the only one to suffer this problem! Because I had help so many people to fix the same problem now. You are so lucky to be there. I share a guide for you - It make me like a pro to help my friends and many people. Don’t waste money to find someone to fix it yet! It is too expensive to send back to Microsoft repair if your machine is out of warranty!

    I had solved the XBOX 360 three red lights flashing problems after I bought one of the above guides. The author of the book is really kind and helpful to his customers. Maybe you can buy it and share what you have learned!

  11. comment number 11 by: martin

    my xbox red ligths were weird.
    yesterday i hadnt played my xbox in a while and did for an hour te day before and hour that day and later decided to play for half an hour(cause with my first red lights i hadnt played in ages and the same with my second) then i was happliy playing my game and paused it to eat something and then OMG THE FREAKING SCREEN WENT WEIRD. it went like and creamy white colour with feint zigzagy orange lines across the screen and then i thought i would try to unpause the game so i did and nothing happened and i looked at my xbox thinking WTF and saw the red lights (most people get them when they turn on their console but i got mine playing a game lol) so i switched my xbox off. switched it on again and the menu wouldnt appear and the xbox wasnt making the usual noise and WTF the red lights had gone alough the xbox wouldnt work then i tryied to get the game out and it took me a few times of furiously pushing the open tray button on the xbox before it eventully came out and then i just put the xbox off/on/off/on/off/on/off/on and then for some reason the startup video with the xbox smybol was spinning round then froze then i put it off/on and the menu came up fine so i thought “what the hell is wrong with this piece of dog dump” lol so i tryied to play a demo (pgr4) and it was playing it fine and on the second lap i was in a corner and it froze so im looking at what i should do but i think i should send it back to microsoft last time i send it and it was free and i got it back after two weeks! which was good but idk if this one is going to be free lol ffs these xbox’s are turning about as unreliable as a dell motherboard lol

  12. comment number 12 by: jack

    I did everything the exact same way that you showed it, and it’s working. Thanks.

  13. comment number 13 by: jack

    Hey I have a question. I have the 3 red lights and it’s annoying but if i wait it will work fine. What is wrong? I get this multiple times.

    Thanks, Jack

  14. comment number 14 by: Paul

    Microsoft said they fixed the problem with the introduction of a newer chip, but the problem is still there. You can get a do it yourself guide which helps you fix the problem. Easy to use. It’s what I did.

  15. comment number 15 by: Alex

    I just fixed my XBOX 360 ring of death with the first site this review recommended. It really freakin worked!

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