It never fails! You purchase one of the hottest gifts for your child and the thing breaks. In most cases this would simply warrant a disgusted shrug and maybe a stern talking-to with your child. But when the gift is a $400 piece of electronic equipment it can be easy to have a conniption!
The XBOX 360 is an incredible gaming console, but one burdened with a number of problems. From overheating issues to the “blinking lights of doom” to any one of a dozen error codes, when the XBOX 360 goes down, it goes down hard! It can leave you frustrated, angry and cursing a certain multi-billionaire.
But, before you drive yourself insane, there are some at-home repairs you can try to cure your XBOX 360’s ills. Keep in mind that DoItYourself.com is not responsible for any damage that may occur to your XBOX 360 and these repair tips are not guaranteed. They have, however, been successful for others, and when you’re staring at a $400 paper weight, they may seem worth the effort.
There are lights on the front of the XBOX 360 which will sometimes indicate what’s wrong with the console. For instance, if all four of the lights blink simultaneously, the XBOX 360 is shot, broken, kaput. But, some people have had success resuscitating their XBOX 360 by doing the unimaginable – overheating it.
It’s true; when you get the four blinking lights on your 360, try placing a towel over the machine. Turn the 360 on and let it run for about 10 minutes. Then remove the towel. There have been some cases in which this has permanently fixed the problem and others where it was only a temporary fix, but for the majority, the machine started working again.
Certain lights on the front of the XBOX 360 could a code for something that is wrong. Let's number the lights: Top left is #1, top right is #2, bottom left is #3 and bottom right is #4.
If lights number 1, 3 and 4 are blinking, turn the 360 off, unplug it, disconnect all the power and A/V cables. Wait a few minutes and reconnect everything making sure that all of the connections are tight and secure. Turn the 360 back on. If the problem persists, turn it off, disconnect all the cables and remove the hard drive. Then, without the hard drive, reconnect everything and turn it back on. Turn it back off, disconnect everything and re-attach the hard drive. Put everything back together and turn it on. The XBOX should power up normally.
If lights number 1 and 3 are flashing red, the 360 is overheating. Let the machine cool off thoroughly; it could take a few hours. Do not try placing the 360 outside in cool weather or in the refrigerator or freezer! This will cause even more problems. Once cool, make sure that there is nothing blocking the XBOX 360’s ventilation openings when it is in operation and don’t place it near a source of heat like a radiator or furnace vent. Plus, you don’t want to keep it in a bookcase or other poorly ventilated area. If it overheats often, you may have to have it serviced by Microsoft to replace the thermal compound.
If only light number 4 is flashing red, the XBOX 360 is having a hardware problem. This is usually accompanied by an on-screen error code. Here are a few of the most common ones:
E64, E65 or E66 – These three error codes refer to the DVD player. There could be a firmware issue, the tray may not be closed or one of many other DVD issues.
E67, E68, E69 or E79 – These four error codes indicate a hard drive problem. Try removing the hard drive and reinstalling it.
E71 – Dashboard update error. Perform the Console Reset listed below. If unsuccessful, the 360 will have to be serviced.
E73 – This is an Ethernet port error.
E74 – This is typically a problem with the A/V cables or connections. Check your connections or try a different set of cables.
E45, E72 and E76 – The reasons for these three error codes are currently unknown.
How to Perform a Console Reset on the XBOX 360
Performing a console reset will often clear out any bugs or problems with your XBOX 360. Just be warned that a console reset will clear all game updates.
- Select the “system” option in the menu
- Under the System folder, choose “memory”
- Press Y on the game controller
- Press X, X, Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X, X
- You should see a message that reads, “Do you want to perform maintenance on your XBOX 360 storage devices?”
- Select “yes”
Remember, none of these at-home repairs are guaranteed and you should perform them at your own risk. DoItYourself.com is not responsible for any problems that may arise with your XBOX 360 nor responsible if you void your warranty.
Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.