If it's past the warranty, any reason not to open the case up?

#1 Posted by BBAlpert (1583 posts) -

I've got a 360 from 2008 that's worked fine up until yesterday, when it started crapping out with 2 flashing red lights. It'll start up, and run for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes before the fan starts to get louder and louder and louder and then dies.

The 2 red lights thing seems to mean that there's an overheating problem, and I can't imagine that there's any less than a crapload of dust clogging the thing up. So my options seem to be send it to Microsoft and pony up $99 or whatever the non-warranty repair cost is or break the little sticker seal, open the case up, and clean the gunk out (and hope that it's what was causing the problem in the first place). The only reason I haven't already tried this is that I have a feeling that Microsoft might not even attempt to repair systems that have already been opened up.

Any thoughts, guys? Or maybe a decent way to clean some of the dust out of a 360 without disassembling the whole thing? Thanks.

#2 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

The warranty is extended if a RRoD occurs. Contact Microsoft to see if you're within your extended warranty, it's worth a shot.

#3 Edited by AndrewB (7691 posts) -

@BraveToaster: It was extended to 3 years from the date of purchase, so a 2008 console would have expired last year. Also, that was for the three red ring error code, and this is two?

If your plan is to pay the out-of-warranty repair costs, I wouldn't open the thing up. You can just blow the crap out of it with some cans of condensed air. There are enough openings in the case to get at a lot of it. I'd also forget sending the thing back for repairs and either buy a now dirt-cheap version of the S model or do the perhaps not possible (depending on your gaming habits) thing and wait for the new, perhaps/maybe/probably/likely/hopeso backwards compatible successor to the system.

You should also note that opening the 360 pretty much requires a special tool, and uses a Torx T8 screwdriver, so you're going to have to pay something either way.

#4 Posted by deox (229 posts) -

I had a similar issue with my 360 a few years back and I did decide open it up and take a look. I found it full of dust and my dog's fur, which was indeed causing it to overheat. After cleaning it out I never had the issue again. I'm actually still using that same console today, I just make a point of cleaning it out every few months.

#5 Posted by SexyToad (2722 posts) -

Open it up. If you know how to disassemble a but, you won't break anything. I have open my Xbox 360 before. It's not very hard. Look up a tutorial before hand though. There's a special way to take off the case. The overheating problem would likely be because of the fans. So open it up and see if the the fans are moving. If they are, clean up the Xbox a but. If not then make a way to cool off the Xbox, or buy a new set if fans.

#6 Posted by kgb0515 (405 posts) -

Yeah, I had mine repaired by a local video game store for $30 because I was afraid to mess with it. I know that some of the old systems had some issues with those cheap x-clips under the main circuit board that would cause it to flex, and they replaced that too. Other than that, they just cleaned it, put new thermal compound over the CPU heatsink and put it back together. Runs like new now. I'm pretty sure I will just do that myself next time and save the $30.

#7 Posted by BBAlpert (1583 posts) -

Thanks for all the feedback guys.

@BraveToaster said:

The warranty is extended if a RRoD occurs. Contact Microsoft to see if you're within your extended warranty, it's worth a shot.

@AndrewB said:

@BraveToaster: It was extended to 3 years from the date of purchase, so a 2008 console would have expired last year. Also, that was for the three red ring error code, and this is two?

If your plan is to pay the out-of-warranty repair costs, I wouldn't open the thing up. You can just blow the crap out of it with some cans of condensed air. There are enough openings in the case to get at a lot of it. I'd also forget sending the thing back for repairs and either buy a now dirt-cheap version of the S model or do the perhaps not possible (depending on your gaming habits) thing and wait for the new, perhaps/maybe/probably/likely/hopeso backwards compatible successor to the system.

You should also note that opening the 360 pretty much requires a special tool, and uses a Torx T8 screwdriver, so you're going to have to pay something either way.

I don't know if Microsoft's warranty would make the distinction, but I'm pretty sure the infamous RRoD generally referred to the 3 light code. Either way, it wouldn't hurt to send MS Support a quick email to ask if they can do anything about it.

@kgb0515 said:

Yeah, I had mine repaired by a local video game store for $30 because I was afraid to mess with it. I know that some of the old systems had some issues with those cheap x-clips under the main circuit board that would cause it to flex, and they replaced that too. Other than that, they just cleaned it, put new thermal compound over the CPU heatsink and put it back together. Runs like new now. I'm pretty sure I will just do that myself next time and save the $30.

I'd be willing to pay 30 or 40 bucks to have someone fix it for me, but I can't think of any places around me that would have that kind of service (except for Gamestop and I don't know if I'd trust them with my system). On the other hand, I really haven't been using it for much more than XBLA games, so I'm not sure it'd be worth the $100 to have Microsoft fix it. I may just have to live with never finishing Mark of the Ninja. Or buy it again if/when it comes out on Steam at some point.

#8 Posted by AndrewB (7691 posts) -

@BBAlpert said:

I don't know if Microsoft's warranty would make the distinction, but I'm pretty sure the infamous RRoD generally referred to the 3 light code. Either way, it wouldn't hurt to send MS Support a quick email to ask if they can do anything about it.

I'm quoting from Wikipedia here, but they have a source.

To aid customers with defective consoles, Microsoft extended the Xbox 360's manufacturer's warranty to three years for hardware failure problems that generate a "General Hardware Failure" error report. A "General Hardware Failure" is recognized on all models released before the Xbox 360 S by three quadrants of the ring around the power button flashing red. This error is often known as the "Red Ring of Death". In April 2009 the warranty was extended to also cover failures related to the E74 error code.The warranty extension is not granted for any other types of failures that do not generate these specific error codes.

Only thing covered after the initial 1 year warranty are these two issues, up to 3 years.

And since it's a general overheating error and not the actual RRoD, I'm not sure that having it "repaired" with the typical x-clamp fix would help. But I'd still give MS a shout and see what they have to say. Worst that can happen is you say no to their offer.

#9 Edited by BBAlpert (1583 posts) -

I did a customer support chat with a friendly fellow named Jeffrey at Microsoft, and what he told me about the repair policy for 360s was basically that...

  • If the seal sticker hasn't been broken and the system is still under warranty, you can send it in for repairs/replacement for free (or for the cost of shipping or whatever)
  • If the warranty period has passed (which is the case for mine), you can send it in for repairs/replacement for $99/119 (depending on whether you file the claim online or over the phone, respectively)
  • If the seal has been broken, indicating that the system case was opened up, it CAN be sent in for repairs/replacement (regardless of warranty period, since the broken seal voids the warranty anyways) for the non-warranty price of $99/119, provided none of the components have been swapped out or removed.

In other words, that means I'm safe to crack that sucker open and clean whatever gunk has built up inside it over the years, and still be able to send it in for them to fix if the cleaning doesn't work.

Unfortunately, I opened it up and found the insides surprisingly clean. I cleaned out what little dust I could and reassembled it, but that hasn't seemed to help much. At least I know that I can still have them fix/replace it for me for much less than the cost of a new system.

Edit: Turns out this is not the case, I talked to another person at MS referred me to the specific section of the service agreement that says "we don't have to fix shit if that sticker is broken"

#10 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -
@BBAlpert said:

I did a customer support chat with a friendly fellow named Jeffrey at Microsoft, and what he told me about the repair policy for 360s was basically that...

  • If the seal sticker hasn't been broken and the system is still under warranty, you can send it in for repairs/replacement for free (or for the cost of shipping or whatever)
  • If the warranty period has passed (which is the case for mine), you can send it in for repairs/replacement for $99/119 (depending on whether you file the claim online or over the phone, respectively)
  • If the seal has been broken, indicating that the system case was opened up, it CAN be sent in for repairs/replacement (regardless of warranty period, since the broken seal voids the warranty anyways) for the non-warranty price of $99/119, provided none of the components have been swapped out or removed.

In other words, that means I'm safe to crack that sucker open and clean whatever gunk has built up inside it over the years, and still be able to send it in for them to fix if the cleaning doesn't work.

Unfortunately, I opened it up and found the insides surprisingly clean. I cleaned out what little dust I could and reassembled it, but that hasn't seemed to help much. At least I know that I can still have them fix/replace it for me for much less than the cost of a new system.

This is untrue in my experience. MS refused to repair my 360 (even after I had paid the $108.25) because the assholes at UPS threw the shipping box too hard and it cracked some plastic off the back of the xbox near where the power cable plugs in. The fuckholes at MS said they weren't going to repair it because it looks like it had been tampered with and attempted to open. How the fuck that's possible I'll never know since the cracked plastic wasn't anywhere near the seal, and the seal and screws were completely untouched. I was livid.
 
They WILL NOT repair your 360 buddy.
#11 Edited by BBAlpert (1583 posts) -

@MrKlorox: Oh dear, that's not good. At least there is still one or two more things I can try to fix it myself (I only cleaned the dust out of the top part, and haven't even looked at the X-clamp thing that a lot of the "fix your xbox" articles online talk about adjusting.

#12 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Open it up and fix that shit!

#13 Posted by s10129107 (1213 posts) -

OPEN HER UP!

#14 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Unless the policy changed since 2010 (I think's when my incident occurred), you're out of luck regarding official repairs. I wouldn't be surprised if the pissed fans they ripped off complained enough that they adjusted their policy, because getting the runaround even after you paid is a rage inducing experience.
 
However one thing will never change:  If they can find any reason not to repair your system, they're going to exploit the hell out of it.

#15 Posted by BBAlpert (1583 posts) -

You were right,

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