The Red Ring of Death

Updated: August 12th, 2007

So there I was last night watching a movie and enjoying the 4th when I got the Ring of Death on my Xbox 360. At first I thought “Ill just turn it off and on again it will be fine”. But its as dead as Anna Nicole Smith. Now I might understand if I was playing some game like Forza 2 and the system crapped out on me but all I was doing was opening the tray to get the movie out. And this happens after all the reports of the 33% failure rate on the 360.

Ring of Death

So what I thought I would do is keep this post updated with a time line of getting the console sent back in, repaired and returned to me. I hope its just a new console and not a repaired one but that’s just hope. Lets begin.

Edit: After posting this I saw the letter that Peter Moore put on about extending the warranty of all the consoles that have had or will have the ring of death to 3 years from the date it was purchase. Good timing and about time.

July 4th, 2007 – Console shows the 3 red rings after pushing the open tray button after watch a movie.

July 5th, 2007 – Called Xbox support and Max (there so friendly automated answering machine) told me to take the power off the console and remove the hard drive and and then plug the power brick back into the console. Did so and still have the rings. After about a 20 minute wait I got a real person. She sounded older but was very nice. Told me to do the same thing that Max did but this time to plug the power brick into the wall and not the surge protecter. Did that and the rings are still there. After going over my info she gives me a number to put on the console and said the a box would be showing up in 7 to 10 days for me to ship my console back to whoever going to fix it. So it should be here between July 12th and the 17th. Here is the support page if you get the three red rings.

July 8th, 2007 – There is a post over at Aeropause that is telling what Mark Methenitis was told about not plugging in your system to a surge protector is pretty much the same thing that I was told. There is even a Microsoft Knowledge base article that says the same thing. This is what the person at 1-800-MY-XBOX told Mark.

The Xbox 360 is highly sensitive to reductions in power, and even the slightest cut in power can cause things like the fans and even the DVD laser to malfunction. Surge protectors can cause this, and probably 90% of the consoles they see have all failed in 6-12 months of being plugged into a surge protector.

July 16th, 2007 – The box to ship back my 360 showed up today. I was thinking that it would be a little better box then it was. It looks like an office box with two Styrofoam ends, a plastic bag and a return label. I will drop it off sometime tomorrow and track it. Some photos of the packing are up on Flickr.

July 17th, 2007 – I dropped off the box to be shipped and the guy there asked where it was going. Before I could even answer he asked me “Xbox?”. I told him yes it was and he said ok. I told him I needed the tracking number and as he went to get me a copy of it I asked if he has been getting a lot of 360’s in to ship back and he just said “Yep.”. This doesn’t look good.

July 21st, 2007 – The Xbox showed up at the repair place in TX. on the 19th. Here is the tracking info. Now I wait.

07/19/2007 12:08 P.M. DELIVERY
07/19/2007 6:18 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
07/19/2007 5:15 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN

07/18/2007 11:24 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
07/18/2007 9:01 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN

07/18/2007 4:26 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
07/18/2007 7:01 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN

07/18/2007 6:02 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
07/18/2007 5:26 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN

07/17/2007 9:38 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
07/17/2007 8:23 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN


July 25th, 2007 – UPS called today and said a package for me would be coming tomorrow. I did ordered anything else so I guess this my Xbox. The only problem is that there times for dropping it off sucks more then the cable people. It should be here ‘sometime‘ between 8am and 7pm and I have to be the person who signs for it.

July 28th, 2007 – I now have my Xbox but its not the one I sent in. Seems they have given me a new Xbox 360. Not a big deal but the manufacturer’s date on the back is only 4 months past the one I sent in. So that means that nothing was fixed, only replaced. That also means that I could get the red rings again. Not cool. But I did get a free month of Xbox Live. Guess I will use it if I get the red rings again.

August 12th, 2007 – During all this, Erica Ogg from CNET Networks was asking me some questions for a story she did on the Xbox repair process. You can read that story here.


  1. I hope yours is working because my stop working after 4 days. They gave me the same crap about a extension cord. Which I live in a area that has brown outs. So you can begin to believe that a surge protector could cause some much problems. Waited 1 and 1/2 to get a system back for 3 days. THey had better get it right this time or I will go completely ballistic.


  2. I had problems as soon as I bought it. I had a hardware issue that they fixed, then within 2 weeks had hard drive issues. They repaired it and it lasted about a year and a half. Then the ring of death, I was told it was out of warranty, so I had it fixed here in town. The ring of death came back however, and now theysay it has been “tampered” with. I wish I had saved and bought a PS3 instead.

  3. Im on my second xbox, the first crapped out and I pleaded to get it fixed for free. Xbox wanted 140 to fix it and i flipped, the damn thing (with games and all peripherals) already cost me over a thousand dollars! It was mostly because it wasnt under the warrenty anymore. ( I also told them i would go PS3). They relented. So i was sent back a crappy old refurb, that made a funny noise when it ran. It also had a crappy faceplate, and i lost my hard drive, no one tole me ever in the whole process to remove it. I had to package the xbox myself also.
    Now that crappy one they sent puked out as well, and they tell me it might take two months to get it back. I love my xbox, IF THE DAMN THING WORKED!!!! I hate being without it.
    Cant wait to see what happens to me next, im just glad they extended the warrenty, at least it was easy this time.

  4. I called for the box on august 8th and I received it on the 14th. I then tracked the thing all the way there:
    -ADDISON,IL, US 08/15/2007 9:19 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    -HODGKINS,IL, US 08/15/2007 9:50 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/15/2007 11:06 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    08/16/2007 4:56 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    LOUISVILLE,KY, US 08/16/2007 7:18 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/16/2007 2:18 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    NASHVILLE,TN, US 08/16/2007 4:20 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/16/2007 6:43 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    MEMPHIS,TN, US 08/16/2007 10:59 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/17/2007 1:45 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    08/17/2007 11:57 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/17/2007 3:30 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    AUSTIN,TX, US 08/17/2007 7:36 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/17/2007 8:06 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    08/17/2007 8:52 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/17/2007 9:09 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    08/18/2007 12:12 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/18/2007 3:05 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    MC ALLEN,TX, US 08/20/2007 2:00 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    08/20/2007 8:05 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
    08/20/2007 1:20 P.M. DELIVERY

    I checked the status of my repair nearly every day at
    After it “arrived at the service station” it did not change until August 29 when I received a new serial number on my list. With this new serial number came the inability to check my status of my repair because it just said no pending repairs. I called 1-800-MYXBOX or whatever and the automated message man sent me through to check my status. It says: repairs on your console are complete, please allow 5 days for your console to ship.
    Thats it… I don’t get any information about when it shipped/ tracking number or when I need to be home? THATS INSANE!? So I am still waiting here for my UPS guy to show up and me not to be there. Hopefully he will leave a note or something and allow me to get there and sign for it.
    I just hope they don’t send me a refurbed hunk of junk that I will need to send back right as Halo 3 comes out.

  5. I said a few years ago that if Microsoft were to gain a foothold in the game industry you’d see game consoles that don’t work and extremely poor customer service. And now it has come to pass. Is any of this surprising knowing what their business practices have been in the PC industry?

    People talk about Sony’s “arrogance”. But what of Microsoft’s utter contempt for their own customers? They will walk all over them so they can establish another monopoly this time in the video game industry.

  6. I got the three red lights, like everyone else that owns a Xbox 360. But mine was 4 days before halo 3. I had halo 3 per ordered for 3 months, but what ever. I called them September 19 and told them about the red lights, they then said it will take about 5 days for the box. I got the box September 28. I sent it out and called them and got a tracking number. It got to them October 3. I called them the day it got there (today) and first i got a guy that didn’t care at all. He said that my 360 is here but he can’t tell me anything about yet. I then call 3 hours later to get another guy thinking maybe he can actually tell me something. All I wanted to know is how long will it take until they shipped it out so i can get a tracking number, but, he said they haven’t repaired it yet but I should wait about 10 days for my 360. Another hour or two go by and I get impatient, I call to get another guy just to see how long it takes for them to repair my 360. This guy says that it has been shipped out and he gave me a tracking number. I wrote it down but it turned out that the tracking number he gave me was the one for the box in the beginning process, but i dont care anymore. Ill just wait for a couple of days and see what happens. So thats where i am right now.

  7. I bought the XBOX 360 for my son who is a straight A student and I felt he deserved it. Lot more money than I wanted to spend but what the hec. Had it for around 8 months and OH NO, dreaded rings of death. Sent it in, listened to my son complain for about a month and finally got it back right at a month later-same unit serial # matched. Everything was going fine until…OH NO, dreaded rings of death again!!! Now to a 11 year old this is the end of the world, especially at Christmas when 90% of his Christmas list was XBOX games. Called up support and they are sending us a box AGAIN and this time I demanded to talk to someone so I could vent. Spoke to a Matt, id# 6708 who asked me a question right away…is your unit plugged into a surge protector? I immediatley said yes, because it is and he informed me that that is the problem. Well, needless to say I got a little upset because as usual, somebody is blaming someone else for their problem. I asked why hadn’t anyone told me this before and why isn’t that on any of the sites I have looked at for suggestions on what to do and he informed me that it is in the manual. I proceeded to tell him “you mean to tell me that all of these millions of blogs of people like me complaining about this piece of crap product have all caused it themselves by using a surge protector” and he said yes, that most of them probably were. Well, I owe it to the world to let them in on this secret- that it is your fault, you the consumer who spent your hard earned money, you who wasted hours talking to XBOX support and weren’t told this secret, you, you are the problem!!! When I get this next unit back I vow to not plug it into a surge protector, I vow to leave it in a well ventilated area and I vow to read the owners manual as I was so smartly reminded by the XBOX support man, Matt id# 6708. This isn’t XBOX’s fault, this isn’t an inferior product, this isn’t a huge waste of money since they don’t send you a new unit, they just “fix” the one you have…which by the way, breaks again 3 months later…This is my fault and I accept responsibility…now its your turn!

  8. I was the biggest Xbox fan around, but I haven’t even had my system for a year and I have the three rings. I’ve sent it in to be fixed but who knows if it will happen again. I hate to do it but as soon as it comes back, the 20 games, three controllers, battery charger, plug n play, and 4 months remaining of Xbox live will be in a package deal for some other sucker!!! I’m getting a PS3!!! I haven’t read anything negative about the system other than the graphics when compared to the 360. This whole three rings issue is a mess and I’m not going to deal with it. Goodbye 360!

  9. I bought my Xbox 360 on April 12th, 2007. The problems began on November 20th, 2007….a whopping 7 f*****g months after I bought it. Not a very popular malfunction that people experience but the disc drive in mine tends to fail while I am playing games. I will be in the middle of playing a online match of Halo 3 and all of a sudden the usual noise that the 360 makes dies altogether and this is a warning that a silent Xbox 360 is one about to be on its death bed. Now my Xbox 360 isn’t dead yet, it still works, but I know that it is and I wanted to get it fixed before my warranty is up and I am f****d. So I called Xbox and told them and they said they will ship out a coffin to me (mine is buried alive, lol) via the UPS 3 Day Select. I got mine in 5 days (imagine that). Now I live in Pittsburgh, PA which is far enough away from McAllen, TX where the repair center is but 3 Day Select is supposed to mean that you get your package in 3 days (bear in mind it is the holiday season but that doesn’t mean you can lie and get away with it). Here is the tracking info for the repair box being sent to me…

    12/18/2007 1:25 P.M. DELIVERY
    12/18/2007 2:16 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
    12/18/2007 1:03 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/17/2007 2:09 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/17/2007 9:42 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/17/2007 2:28 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/14/2007 7:00 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/14/2007 3:29 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN

    So I got the coffin on the 18th. From there I went on a 7 day drug binge and completely forgot about sending my Xbox 360 back (yes I said drug binge, so what? nobody is perfect, and besides, I have a legitimate excuse to abuse drugs, BOREDOM). So on December 27th, 2007 I finally take my 360 to the UPS warehouse down the street (lucky for me it is down the street) and give it to them to ship to the repair center. The UPS label that they gave me to put on the coffin to send back to them is a (that’s right, you’ve guessed it) a UPS 3 Day Select label, so the repair center should receive the package by December 31st at the latest. As I write this is has already been 5 days since I have shipped it to the repair center and it’s still in route to the damn place (imagine that). Here are my tracking results as of 4:00 am on January 1st, 2008….

    12/31/2007 2:05 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/30/2007 12:20 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/28/2007 11:28 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/28/2007 7:47 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/28/2007 6:49 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/28/2007 4:38 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/28/2007 11:17 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/28/2007 7:30 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/28/2007 5:14 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/28/2007 12:57 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    12/27/2007 10:09 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    12/27/2007 9:05 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN

    I am a little pissed off that my Xbox is messed up and a even more upset that it looks like I probably won’t get my 360 back for another 2 weeks at the least. Oh well…I’m probably going to rent a Xbox 360 from Rent-A-Center ($29.99/week) just because I miss my 360 that much. So I figure that since my 360 has just left the Dallas/Forth Worth Airport (it was driven all the way down there and now it’s on a is up with that???) on its way to McAllen, TX it should be there in about 24 hours or less. Then they have to fix it which will take about a week or so since there is a scheduled waiting time (first come, first fixed) and then it should take about 5 days (UPS 3 Day Select my ass) for me to get it back….I hope this helps anyone who wants a general idea of how long it takes for a 360 to get repaired coming from the North East, US. Generally about 20 days give or take. I’ll bookmark this site and keep you guys updated.

  10. does the repair status thing at xbox,com really work

    on there it says it will take up o two buisness days to be fixed or replaced. its beem 2 days and the thing hasnt change so…….has this happened 4 anyone else

  11. Mine took at least two or three weeks from the time I called them. But that was the time when it seems that everyone was getting the Red Rings.

  12. This is the second time I send my Xbox360 for repairs. This time around the agent asked me to also send in the power supply. I received my Xbox360 today and guess what? The power supply was not returned.

    When I called Xbox, the agent (who was very nice) told me I had to call back within 3 to 5 business days. Can you believe it! The agent told me that they were going to send an email to the repair center. I asked if they could just call someone at the repair center to investigate, but they could not do that.

    The communication technology between the call center (somewhere in asia) and the repair center (McAllen,Texas) is from the middle ages (email only).

    If I ever get back the power supply, I will never send the xbox360 in for repair again. I’ll switch over to the PlayStation.

  13. when i called customer support i got some lady on the phone that was talking to soft and didnt know how to spell california i was on the phone with her for 30 mins!!!!

  14. I resently got an xbox360 on ebay for about $125 plus $20 s+h. At the time I thought I had the deal of a lifetime. I finally got it in and two days later Red Ring of death sence then I have been trying to fix the problem. I would send it in to microsoft but it looks like it was tempered with. Also one of the cooler fans on the intercooler isn’t working, do you think that could cause the problem too? Somebody please help me.

  15. WOW!!!!!! I am a big video game addict and just got the red ring of death!!!!:( …… Now i dont know wat to do, i could send it in, but i fear that may take to long- and i cant go even a day without my damm 360!!!! Its the best money i have ever spent! I tried every freakin site it seems and still have no solution- every site i find, the solution just wont work, or u wil need to be some kind of scientific genius to figure out how to do it or have crazy sodering tools of some kind(like who knows wat he hell CPU and GPU means??) Im just a freak gamer who really needs help with this problem- and fast!!!! You can respond on this page, or e-mail me at SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!

  16. i got the red rings of death out of no where like everyone else and called microsoft immediatly cuz im crazy and am willing to talk to an indian woman for 45 min at any givn moment. well she said id get my coffin within a week I wated for about a week and a half and then said fuck it ill send it in myself. it was pretty easy and wish i did it in the first place cuz gears of war 2 jus came out. so it finaly got there after a week then everytime i checked repair status it said i had no xbox repairs associated with my windows live id. then i called xbox and had a nice repetitive conversation with max and then had a shity talk with a mexican and half the time i think he would start speaking spanish. due to some complications i had to make two new windows live acounts and all kinds of shit. in the end he told me my xbox was fixed alredy and has been sent to me. so now im tracking it and it just says orign scan and over this time my friend bought gears2 and has ruind half the story for me so what the hell do i do now. and just so i can. rlat with everybody else…………………………FUCK U MICROSOFT U SUCK AND HAVE NOTHING BUT ILEGEAL IMMIGRANTS DOING UR DIRTY WORK AND I HOPE BILL FIRED U ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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