Thursday, November 29, 2007

"One Light, Two Lights, Three Lights More..."

The XBox 360 3 Red Lights Problem isn't limited to 3 Red Lights. Did you know that you can also experience a 1 Red Light Problem? How about a 2 Red Light Problem? Yep. Although these XBox red light error cousins of the Red Ring of Death aren't as common, they're certainly every bit as frustrating. Here's a little more about them.

First off, you need to see which of the red lights on your XBox are red. It's a diagnostic code that points you in the right general direction of the source of the problem.

One Red Light
If you see the lower-right light in the 4 light circle flashing red, you're having a hardware problem. More specifically, a hardware failure of some sort. Here's what you should try first. Turn the XBox 360 power off, disconnect all of the XBox's external cables, reconnect them and power the unit back up. If you still see the lower right light flashing red, disconnect then reconnect the XBox's hard disk drive cable and power the unit back up. If the same light is still flashing red, power off the XBox, disconnect the hard disk drive cable again and power the XBox back up with the hard disk drive cable disconnected. If the flashing red light goes away, more than likely the hard disk drive on the unit has crashed. You need a new one. With Microsoft's new extended warranty, you should be able to call them at 1-800-4MY-XBOX and arrange to ship the unit back for a no charge repair.

"Two Red Lights Anyone?"
If the 2 left lights in the 4 light circle are flashing red, it means that the temperature inside the XBox 360 unit has exceeded the "safe" temperature operating range. You need to power off the unit and let it cool down. If you don't, you're risking more hardware damage. Also, check to make sure that the cooling fans inside the XBox 360's main unit are operating (you can hear them whirring) and the system has ventilation. Sometimes it's just a matter of putting the XBox on a hard surface (it doesn't like carpeting; tends to reduce cooling), or taking it out of an entertainment console (this also reduces ventilation).

Three Red Lights (aka "The Red Ring of Death")
Three Red Lights is by far the most common of the XBox 360's "Red Lights" problems. What you will see is show in the picture at the upper left corner of this page. The light in the upper-right corner is the only light that does not flash red. This also indicates a hardware failure. A couple simple diagnostics are to check the lights on the power supply. When you turn on the XBox unit, the power supply light should be green even if the 3 lights on the front of the unit are flashing red. If the power supply light is red, you have an electrical problem. Try plugging the XBox 360 unit into another wall outlet and power it up again. If the power supply light is orange, it means that the power supply is not connected to the main XBox console correctly. Try disconnecting the power supply, them reconnecting it. If the power supply light turns green, but the 3 red lights still flash red you need to look into your options for fixing the 3 Red Lights problem (see articles below).

If you want to get your XBox 360 back up and running as quickly as possible, you may want to looking into downloading one of the XBox 360 3 Red Light fix-it guides that are available. I've reviewed the top 4 guides for you at this site.

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