Saturday, October 4, 2008

Red Ring of Death

While in Israel, I purchased a couple of games for my Xbox 360 on eBay. Wait a couple of months, and get that $60 game for $20 including shipping.

But when I got home, I had an unpleasant surprise: I turned my Xbox on and got the dreaded “Red Ring of Death”. RRoD is the codename for a general hardware failure, signaled by 3 flashing red rings on the front of the console. You might say it’s like a bluescreen on a PC (or a frozen rainbow cursor on a Mac), only worse: restarting the console doesn’t help.

RRoDs are common in early Xboxes, due to shoddy components and QA procedures used by Microsoft, the Xbox overheats, sometime frying some of those cheap components. Microsoft has since improved the quality of the product, but many of the older system are still failing.

Since my machine is at least 2 years old, I wasn’t that surprised – just disappointed. My warranty has run out, but I called the Xbox support line anyway (1-800-MYXBOX) and was delighted to find out that MS took responsibility and retroactively extended the warranty for Xboxes suffering from RRoD.

So, I sent my console to their support center (they pay for the shipment and the box) and have just received a different (new or refurbished, I can’t tell – but it’s not my original) console, an apology letter and a free Xbox Live month.

So now I’m happily fragging terrorists in Rainbow Six Vegas 2.
Thanks Microsoft! (for the great service, not for creating the problem in the first place smile)

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