We had just put our daughter to bed when my wife enthusiastically said she was going to go downstairs to play Burnout Paradise for a bit. I took a few minutes to finish making my lunch for the next day and headed to the basement to watch my wife play. Halfway down the stairs I could see she was just watching TV, not ripping through the streets of Paradise City. I looked at her and was just about to ask her why she wasn’t playing when she asked, “What’s that all about?” and pointed at the Xbox 360.
I turned my head and saw three little red bars. Flashing. The Red Ring of Death.
My first reaction was to swear. For the year and a bit that I’ve had my 360 I’ve never experienced any problems whatsoever. The day I got it, I literally unpacked it, put it on its open and well-ventilated pedestal, and haven’t touched it since except to load and unload games, and even then it’s not like we play it all that much. The very reason I got the Elite version was because I had heard it was less susceptible (if not immune) to the Red Ring of Death.
I powered the console off and back on again. The red lights reappeared and I swore again. I powered it off once more and started digging around for my receipt, cursing under my breath the entire time that I was now going to have to send this “stupid piece of garbage” to Microsoft to have repaired. The one bright side to the situation, I thought, was at least I’ll have something to blog about. To that end, I decided to grab my camera to take a picture of the red ring to feature with my post.
I turned the console back on, camera at the ready, only to have it boot up successfully. Weird. I played for a few minutes, expecting it to crash any second, but it didn’t. I did some searching on the web and discovered the Microsoft support article that I’ve linked above. I read with interest the part about looking at the light on the power supply after turning the console on. Apparently, the Red Ring of Death can appear if there were any recent power surges, and as luck would have it, the lights did flicker while I was upstairs making my lunch.
I checked the power supply and saw a yellow light. I turned the console off, unplugged the power supply and plugged it back in after a few seconds. I powered up the 360 again, the power supply light turned green (yay!), and the console booted up fine.
I was relieved, concluding that the RRoD was caused by the power surge and not a hardware failure. To be honest though, I’ll forever be a little more on pins and needles every time I power up that stupid piece of garbage that I love so much.