Posted on: October 15, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 8

The Xbox 360 is a very reliable gaming and home entertainment appliance, but like many powerful home computers, it can crash. Crashes and hang-ups can occur in the middle of a game, or during the start-up sequence. One common problem that may reveal a serious problem with your Xbox 360 is the “Red Ring of Death.” Here are some ways to repair the problem.

Xbox 360 Error Indicators

The Xbox 360 has five LED lights that flash either green or red. A quadrant of lights surround the main green light that indicates that the power switch is on. Under normal operation, each of the four lights that glow green represents a controller connected to the Xbox 360 (up to four controller units can be attached to the Xbox 360 at once). If you’re an Xbox 360 user, you should be familiar with the error codes represented in the indicator ring when they glow red:

  • Fourth quadrant goes red means that the machine encountered a hardware failure. An error code is usually displayed on the screen.
  • First and third quadrant go red means that the machine has overheated, and the cooling systems of the Xbox 360 have been engaged. The error indicators will continue to flash until the machine has sufficiently cooled.
  • First, third, and fourth quadrant go red is known as the Red Ring of Death, or RRoD. When this happens, your Xbox 360 has encountered a critical hardware error. No error codes are shown on the screen.
  • All quadrants go red is an indicator that the audio/video output is not connected, or there’s a hardware failure with the Xbox power supply.

Causes of RRoD

The Red Ring of Death is caused by a hardware failure. Sometimes the problem may be temporary and may require a quick restart of the system, but there are some occasions that you may need to perform user-serviceable repair tasks. The RRoD may be caused the following:

  • Defective parts
  • Power surges that damage the power supply or the electrical parts of the Xbox 360
  • Shock and mechanical damage that may be caused when transporting or carrying the machine


When the RRoD occurs, it’s best to call Microsoft Customer Service to have them repair or replace the Xbox 360 as long as it is still under warranty. Do not attempt to repair an Xbox 360 on your own; the machine is composed of many parts and components that can only be repaired by qualified service technicians trained by Microsoft. Before calling up the Microsoft hotlines to have your Xbox 360 repaired, there are some things that you could do to check if the RRoD problem is a minor glitch or a one-time only occurrence that you can still get around with:

  1. Restart the system to see if the glitch happens just once.
  2. Check all the power cords, jacks, and other cables plugged into the Xbox 360. You may need to remove and re-insert the cables and cords and make sure that they’re secure before turning on the Xbox.
  3. Try removing the internal hard drive from the Xbox 360 and check to see if you still have an RRoD problem. If the RRoD appears only when the hard drive is inserted and secured to the Xbox 360, you may need to have the hard drive repaired or replaced.
  4. Check the power supply for any defects and have it replaced.
  5. If the RRoD still appears no matter what you do, you either need to call Microsoft’s service hotline or fill out a console repair form from the official websites of Xbox or Microsoft Corporation. Repairing your Xbox on your own does not guarantee the repair or validate your warranty, and you may end up doing more harm than good.

The Red Ring of Death can spell frustration and disappointment for many fans of the hugely-popular third-generation gaming console. With these steps, you can repair the errors that may get in the way of your gaming experience. Interested in learning more about computer? Check out types of buses in computer For more information regarding this article, read how to fix an Xbox.

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8 People reacted on this

  1. it does not have to be under warranty it is a manufacture error so they have to fix it for free wither you have a warranty or not as they produced the problem not you

  2. Thanks!!! I almost bought the lifetime warranty from best buy when i first got my 360! Thanks again!!!

  3. Wish I would have done some research before trying the towel trick cuz I destroyed my unit and had to buy a new core! I have some friends tho that have had success with James Dean’s Guide which promises to have your system fixed for good in under an hour or your money back. Thanks All, TOM!

  4. When I got the red ring(3 rings) I just used an air compressor and I used it on the fans in the back and a lot of dust came out and its been working fine ever since but every like month or two I just do it again just to be save. So just do what I did and you do not turn it in unless you have all 4 rings red because I do not know if it works on that because I never had all 4 rings turn red. Hope my advice helps 🙂

  5. My “BOX” is very reliable,especially after two kids and many hours being played. I even have the original body it came in….

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