Repair Xbox 360 - Do it yourself

By: Elliot Jarves

Learning how to repair your XBox will save you some major money. Microsoft will not tell you how to fix these errors. They'll ask you to send your system back to them for repair. The typical cost for a repair can be as much as $140 plus shipping and handling. Also - they do not always guarantee a fix!

As quoted from Microsoft themselves:

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said Thursday it expects to spend more than $1 billion to repair widespread hardware problems in its Xbox 360 video game console after a large number of them broke down.

Microsoft said it would extend the warranty on the Xbox 360 to three years after too many of the consoles succumbed to "general hardware failure," but the company provided few other details about the extent of the problems.

"We don't think we've been getting the job done," said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, which also makes the Zune digital music player. "In the past few months, we have been having to make Xbox 360 console repairs at a rate too high for our liking." (end quote)

What Causes The 3 Lights Error?

There are a number of different reasons the 3 red lights error happens and below are the most common causes:

Cause 1: Overheating. This has got to be the most common cause of this error and the good thing is it can be easily resolved. If you think the Xbox 360 has got lots of very high end gaming components within, similar to a top of the range gaming PC.

The difference is that the Xbox 360 has them crammed in a much smaller space so will need lots of ventilation to be able to get rid of the heat it produces.

If you are keeping your Xbox 360 in a display cabinet with the doors shut, then you could and probably will run into this error, make sure that the 360 can breathe on all sides.

Cause 2: The GPU. This is a major talking point and no one is quite sure if this is gospel but a lot of resources blame the GPU and the special coating they put on it with in the Xbox.

Cause 3: Warping of the Motherboard. Another reason you may find yourself searching for an Xbox 360 repair guide is because the heat that the Xbox 360 lets out actually warps the motherboard. This would make the solders come loose and eventually you would end up with the 3 red lights.

It's ironic that the majority of Xbox 360 owners have done just that, sending the units in for repairs and paying through the nose. I have found that most of the owners are technically savvy and could do the repairs themselves. Just as I found out the other day, when a friend of mine revealed to me that he had been purchasing broken Xbox 360's, repairing them cheaply and reselling them. Uhmmmm........I smell a potential little gold mine here.

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