You Win Microsoft

I was hoping the title would have read "I win", but that's not the case. It all started with Saints Row 3. I picked it up after Christmas with part of an Amazon gift card. When it got here I popped it in and started installing it, as I do with any game I know I'm going to play a lot. Two minutes into the install process I see this:

I doubted my new disc was scratched, but I thought there might be a chance because it was shipped to me from the land of Amazon. I tried the install a couple more times, and the error persisted. So I tried playing the game without an install, but it froze within the first 10 minutes, every time. Bummer. I wrote Amazon about the bad disc and they promptly sent a replacement. The next game had the same problem. Uh oh. That meant the problem was my Xbox.

This is where I had take a deep breath and quell the boiling rage inside me. This is my fourth Xbox. The first one died within a month back in 2006 (I was able to swap it out for a new one at GameStop), the next three all red ringed, and were replaced by Microsoft under their extended warranty. This one isn't covered by the warranty. Which means I could either send it to Microsoft for $100 or buy a new one. With the next Xbox likely a year or two away, I could go without one until then, but then I wouldn't be able to review 360 games. I'm lucky enough to make money off my game systems, but that requires me having them. Actually buying another system isn't what bothers me. I just don't want to reward Microsoft with more money for the poor build quality.

And so I turned to YouTube. I searched for my problem and found a few suggested fixes--they all involved taking my system apart. My console is out of warranty now and I'm definitely not paying Microsoft to "fix" it and send me another broken refurb, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

All it took was my Xbox, some screwdrivers and YouTube.

Removing the cover was the toughest part. Those little clips in the back were hard to wiggle free.

I took the interior cover off and the disc drive popped out with little effort.

I carefully unscrewed the disc drive casing...

And cleaned the laser and got rid of all the dust inside the system. Then I put the system back together, which was super easy, and hooked it up again. I started the install on Saints Row and waited.

Success! The game installed. I took apart an Xbox and fixed it! I'm the most amazing person in the world! Hooray!

And then the game froze. Noooooooo! From there I tried a few other YouTube and Microsoft suggestions--changing hard drives (I had an old 20GB in a drawer), changing position, clearing cache--but nothing worked. I hoped this would be a story of triumph, a satisfying DIY fix. Nope.

Later today, I got a text from someone interested in buying the TV stand I listed on craigslist. They just paid for my new Xbox. You win Microsoft.

8 Comments
8 Comments
Posted by yeah_write

I was hoping the title would have read "I win", but that's not the case. It all started with Saints Row 3. I picked it up after Christmas with part of an Amazon gift card. When it got here I popped it in and started installing it, as I do with any game I know I'm going to play a lot. Two minutes into the install process I see this:

I doubted my new disc was scratched, but I thought there might be a chance because it was shipped to me from the land of Amazon. I tried the install a couple more times, and the error persisted. So I tried playing the game without an install, but it froze within the first 10 minutes, every time. Bummer. I wrote Amazon about the bad disc and they promptly sent a replacement. The next game had the same problem. Uh oh. That meant the problem was my Xbox.

This is where I had take a deep breath and quell the boiling rage inside me. This is my fourth Xbox. The first one died within a month back in 2006 (I was able to swap it out for a new one at GameStop), the next three all red ringed, and were replaced by Microsoft under their extended warranty. This one isn't covered by the warranty. Which means I could either send it to Microsoft for $100 or buy a new one. With the next Xbox likely a year or two away, I could go without one until then, but then I wouldn't be able to review 360 games. I'm lucky enough to make money off my game systems, but that requires me having them. Actually buying another system isn't what bothers me. I just don't want to reward Microsoft with more money for the poor build quality.

And so I turned to YouTube. I searched for my problem and found a few suggested fixes--they all involved taking my system apart. My console is out of warranty now and I'm definitely not paying Microsoft to "fix" it and send me another broken refurb, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

All it took was my Xbox, some screwdrivers and YouTube.

Removing the cover was the toughest part. Those little clips in the back were hard to wiggle free.

I took the interior cover off and the disc drive popped out with little effort.

I carefully unscrewed the disc drive casing...

And cleaned the laser and got rid of all the dust inside the system. Then I put the system back together, which was super easy, and hooked it up again. I started the install on Saints Row and waited.

Success! The game installed. I took apart an Xbox and fixed it! I'm the most amazing person in the world! Hooray!

And then the game froze. Noooooooo! From there I tried a few other YouTube and Microsoft suggestions--changing hard drives (I had an old 20GB in a drawer), changing position, clearing cache--but nothing worked. I hoped this would be a story of triumph, a satisfying DIY fix. Nope.

Later today, I got a text from someone interested in buying the TV stand I listed on craigslist. They just paid for my new Xbox. You win Microsoft.

Posted by zyn

My Xbox did the same thing, however I didn't get any error message--it just displayed "insert disc" on the disc option. Instead of taking apart the Xbox, I just packed it up. I play on my bro's Xbox S model now.

Posted by Bam_D_Leprechaun

thart sucks, I had a 2nd generation 360 til the last week of it's extended warranty (it RRoD) and got a new one from Microsoft, once they announced the new slimxbox I had decided to get it, and sold my old box to a friend for 150$, so essentially, i got one for half off.

I'm always scared of opening up consoles, i mean i build and break down PC's like all the time, but that's because i know what i'm doing.

Anyways, great to see you're getting a new one thanks to Craigslist.

Posted by Mijati

On the upside you'll get a new slim and the difference in them is huge. I occasionally play on my old elite and can instantly hear the difference.

Posted by Aetheldod

:( bummer duder , I did wanted a success story as well

Posted by Canteu

This is the new RROD except it always takes longer than the warranty to happen.

I've had this happen to 2 of my 6 xboxes. Once it happens it basically means "hey twatrash, buy a new 360!"

SUX

Posted by Lavapotamus

Mine has needed to be repaired for the past year (scratches game discs), but I've refused to send it in for the same reason you wanted to resist. I'm not paying Microsoft to fix a fault of their own design.

Since I don't have a PS3 and my laptop isn't too powerful, I'm still buying downloadable titles on XBLA. So I guess I'm really just undermining my own crusade...I don't know what I'm going to do with all those licenses once my console finally kicks the bucket, though. I've never had so many problems with a console/its manufacturer before, so the whole RRoD/game-scratching/overheating thing has made a pretty negative impression on me.

Posted by yeah_write

@DarkDude: True. My brother was in town for the holidays and brought his slim with him. I was definitely jealous of its size and lack of noise. Also, I believe the built in wi-fi is wireless n, which beats the a/b on the wireless dongle on my current system.

It was a great experience, opening up that Xbox and tinkering around inside. Too bad it didn't have a happy ending.

Silver lining: I'm a pro at the first 10 minutes of Saints Row 3