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Microsoft Insider Details Xbox 360 Red Ring Problems

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the about-time-some-explained-that dept.

XBox (Games) 415

kylemonger writes "A blogger at the Seattle PI has interviewed a Microsoft insider about the Xbox 360 project. The insider purports to have the background story on the 'red ring of death' (RROD) failures and why they are so common. 'RROD is caused by anything that fails in the "digital backbone" on the mother board. Also known as a core digital error. CPU, GPU, memory, etc. Bad parts, incompatible parts (timing problems) bad manufacturing process (like solder joints), misapplied heat sinks or thermal interface material, missing parts, broken parts, parts of the wrong value, missed test coverage. Any one or more, on any chip, or many other discrete components, would cause this. And many of the failures were obviously infant mortality, where they work when they leave the factory and fail early in use. The main design flaw was the excessive heat on the GPU warping the mother board around it. This would stress the solder joints on the GPU and any bad joints would then fail in early life. There are also other significantly high failure rates in other areas, like the DVD.'"

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Caused by NIGGERS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122672)

Niggers causin' problems!

Ron Paul, MD

Mod Racist Parent Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123212)

This is so incredibly offensive I have to speak up. Ron Paul loves all races and freedom.

Who is defaming Ron Paul by linking him to blatant hate speech?
Is it Mitt "Future Mass Murderer" Romney?
Is it John "Off His Rocker" McCain?
No, it has to be Mike "Hitler" Huckabee. That dirty trick playing Satanic Preacher has gone too far! Quit your dirty tricks, you sorry excuse for a Hypocritical Baptist Minister.

Mike Huckabee is the real nigger hater here, but he doesn't hate spicks as much as Mitt Romney does. There are so many options for the racist voter in the Republikkkan party.

Re:Mod Racist Parent Down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123532)

Naa, the nigger haters are in the democrat party.

Senator Byrd was in the KKK. Yea, he's not now, but if a repub was EVER in the KKK, we would never hear the end.
Bill/Hillary are racist since they want all blacks to be on welfare.

Re:Caused by NIGGERS! (0, Offtopic)

strtok_r (1223902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123238)

Aspie. [aspiesforronpaul.com]

Red ring of death (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122680)

It's terrible! [goatse.cz]

Red (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122684)

Ring
of
Niggers

Sometimes I hope Microsoft AI conquers the world (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122686)

Because you just know it's going to fail.

Re:Sometimes I hope Microsoft AI conquers the worl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122772)

yeah lol

micro$oft 3

Xboxen dying? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122712)

Oh noes!
Now the niggers won't be able to play Double Dribble and Dr. J vs. Larry Bird! Or whatever the niggers play on the video game systems these days.

RON PAUL '08

Re:Xboxen dying? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123098)

I'm sorry, but that's damn funny

To catch a ring. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122716)

At least their diagnostics were comprehensive enough to catch all those failure modes.

Re:To catch a ring. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123042)

  • Women are flaky and unreliable.
  • Women are emotional and illogical.
  • Women only live in the emotion of the moment, do what feels good at the time, and justify their actions to themselves after the fact.
  • Women are manipulative and use guys for free drinks and dinners.
  • Women are fickle and have short attention spans.
  • Women are self-centered and self-interested.
  • Women primarily go to clubs for attention and validation from men.
  • Women constantly test men, try to devalue them, and try to make them jump through hoops.
  • Women try to make men suck up to them and put them on a pedestal.
  • Women think their pussies are made of gold and sell them to the highest bidder.
  • Women don't know what they really want.
  • Women are confused and hypocritical. They'll profess to dislike whorish behavior then blow a guy in a bathroom that night.
  • Women are programmed to want to get knocked up by an Alpha Male then ensnare an unwitting Beta Male into raising the child for her.
  • Women will cheat on their partners coldly and unemotionally.
  • Women are slaves to how their friends and society sees them. They want to sleep around, but have to be discrete about it.
  • Society's expectations have given women all kinds of weird hang ups up about sex and hooking up. Their minds are full of strange rationalizations and justifications.
  • Women aren't happy for long in a relationship and you have to constantly keep them on their toes and off-balance to stay with them.

Stop... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122726)

stop.
niggertime!

Sincerely,
Dr. Ron Paul

In hindsight (current Xbox owners) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122776)

would you buy it had you known? Are you happy with it, with the games and online play and/or potential as media center and all that taken into account?

Or is it now an expensive doorstop, that you would buy NOW just to stick-it-the-man-oh-they-lose-money-with-each-unit-sold reasoning?

Re:In hindsight (current Xbox owners) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123454)

Yes. A 1000 times yes. This is the second time my xbox failed (on it's way to Texas so sayeth UPS), the 1st time I shipped it away. I'm kind of going through a low grade withdrawl. I stupidly created an unreadable gamertag since I never thought I'd be playing with people who don't know me. Over the year I had my xbox it changed how I entertained myself. I didn't go out drinking as much, going to movies as much, and I watch A LOT less TV. The xbox had nearly killed TV for me entirely, which in the midst of a writers strike is fucking painful. But I had been at the point where I'd play the occasional RPG, but mostly I had a regular game or series of games with people I'd met on xbox live. It's social and relaxed, got it's share of pithy comments (why bother sticking with games filled with asshats when you got people who aren't asshats to play with), but also competative. It's a complete entertainment experience. One I clearly partook of too often, given my symptomatic reaction. But just Gears of War, I've played that for about 500 hours for $60 bucks. Even if you include the price of the console, that's just dominating value. I've considered buying a second "spare" xbox to use in case of repair. And this might be the addiction talking, but with just one Gears of War game a year, it makes a certain twisted economic sense. Then since I was the only guy who had a 360, cause I was the only one of my friends who had an HD tv, my place was something of the cool place to hang out. Now, I'm jittery, posting AC on a laptop, as I sit in the dark. Alone.

Your question boils down to was my life before "400 dollars better" than it is now. Yeah. Easily. Thank god for superbowls and superbowl parties.

Which is why it is funny... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122782)

... that a common "fix" for RROD 360's is to wrap them in a towel. This causes the bad ROHS solder balls to expand and make better connections.

Calling Shenanigans... (5, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122784)

Even though I just sent in my third XBOX 360 for RROD repair after the great XBOX Live failure of 2007/2008, something about this interview just doesn't seem right. Why would a Microsoft "insider" risk their employment spilling well known issues about the XBOX 360 as "secrets" to a blog very read. That doesn't sound like a good career move.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (2, Informative)

hdon (1104251) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122812)

The informant has chosen not to reveal his identity. Did you even read the article? Bad form.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122956)

The informant has chosen not to reveal his identity. Did you even read the article? Bad form.

"Funny thing. In the middle of '03 I tried to convince our director of "innovation" that we needed to do motion control, simple and intuitive controllers, and focus on family oriented and just plain fun content. Well before the Wii came out. He completely disregarded it. Oh well. I bet they wish they had that decision back as a do over."
Way not to reveal your identity.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123116)

I don't know how likely this is, but if I were spilling company secrets I would intentionally make it seem as though the leek were coming from someone else. It's possible that some of the things are simply there in order to shift the suspicion onto someone else. There were a few other instances in the article where the informant made some comments that would make it easier to trace the leek back to some person more easily, but it's possible that they've been placed there carefully in order to draw the suspicion off the informant rather than to him.

It's also possible that his statements are true, but the manager that he made them to is no longer employed at Microsoft. There are a few other possible cases where reveling this information doesn't cost him anything and even the case where he doesn't care if he's fired from the job so whether or not the leek is traced back to him is irrelevant.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123262)

I'm guessing that the manager isa tool/PHB and ignores what his employees tell him so probably just doesn't recall anyone ever mentioning anything about motion control.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (0)

dustmite (667870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123352)

There are other kinds of managers? :) In my experience there are only two possibilities, the manager likes the idea and it becomes "his idea" and quickly forgotten who suggested it, or he doesn't and it's as if it was never suggested, either way I'd say he's safe.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (2, Funny)

dustmite (667870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123306)

Just FYI, you mean "leak", a leek is a vegetable - sorry, I don't normally troll spelling/grammar, but it was mildly amusing reading your post and thinking of the vegetable each time :)

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (5, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123088)

In the middle of '03 I tried to convince our director of "innovation" that we needed to do motion control, simple and intuitive controllers, and focus on family oriented and just plain fun content.

Were employees lined up outside this director's door to extol the virtues of motion-sensitive controllers? If not, a sufficiently-motivated manhunt could probably narrow down who this person is fairly quickly.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (3, Insightful)

tiffany98121 (1094419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123302)

unless he knew the guy didn't work there any more, and that's why he felt safe in divulging that detail

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123174)

The informant has chosen not to reveal his identity. Did you even read the article? Bad form.
That doesn't mean he's safe from fear of being discovered. There's no such thing as 'anonymous' on the internet. Should it become a priority to find who made a post, it could be done. And, considering Microsoft's vast army of lawyers... Welp, I know I wouldn't take that risk. That doesn't mean somebody else wouldn't, but it is still a valid question to ask.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (1)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122840)

Maybe its me... but I doubt most whistle blowers think about their career much when spilling the beans to the press...

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (1)

neverhadachoice (949216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122868)

"great" xbox live failure?

whingexcore.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (1)

AgntOrnge (718563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123040)

I gotta agree with you. Bad grammar, typos, and spelling mistakes aside this "interview" reads more like a bad collection of posts from the xbox.com forums. Nothing new but what everyone else has guessed ALREADY. The last half was basically speculation and hearsay. Then again this is the interwebs... There was even such a high level of disbelief expected the author felt the need to quailfy his own credentials in an attempt to make this garbage sound real.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (1)

Schmiggy_JK (867785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123268)

http://www.8bitjoystick.com/archives/jake_inside_source_reveal_the_truth_about_xbox_360_red_ring_of_death_failures.php [8bitjoystick.com] Why go back to the original source. It isn't just some random blog post.

Re:Calling Shenanigans... (1)

Schmiggy_JK (867785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123286)

"not" even.

2nd time's not the charm (5, Interesting)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122836)

I also don't think they considered that DVD drives generate heat, so putting and OEM-style DVD unit directly over a low-profile GPU heat sink wasn't too bright. Meanwhile, there's plenty of empty space in the corners of the box. I understand software companies aren't particularly good at making hardware, but really...

Re:2nd time's not the charm (3, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122862)

Actually, Microsofts' hardware is top notch, or atleast it used to be - it's been quite a few years since i bought something from them. Mice, trackballs and keyboards were particularly good.

Re:2nd time's not the charm (2, Insightful)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122948)

Notably, none of these things had a GPU, CPU, heatsinks of any kind.. They did have a nice solid feel and reliable switches though.

Re:2nd time's not the charm (1, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122974)

Actually, Microsofts' hardware is top notch, or atleast it used to be

They're just average now, at least the ones I've used.

I don't think Microsoft does much hardware in-house anyway - it's all just badge engineering.

TFA actually says the 360 team was under resourced because they just didn't have the people to do the work, though this quote was the most telling;

MS was so focused on beating Sony this cycle that the 360 was rushed to market when all indications were that it had serious flaws.
Microsoft rushing a product to market before it's ready. Who'd have thunk it...

Re:2nd time's not the charm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123104)

MS input devices are all manufactured under contract from Logitech.

In fact, Logitech *designs* most of them under contract as well.

Re:2nd time's not the charm (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123554)

Microsofts' hardware is top notch, or atleast it used to be - it's been quite a few years since i bought something from them. Mice, trackballs and keyboards were particularly good.

You are quite right - Logitech have made some nice hardware for Microsoft. The Xbox is not made by Logitech.

Re:2nd time's not the charm (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123444)

I understand software companies aren't particularly good at making hardware, but really...

That's FUD and you know it! If anything Microsoft's hardware is _better_ than their software. I won't use any other mouse but a Microsoft mouse on any of my Linux servers or workstations!

(I won't forget the smiley this time :)

Preventative measures? (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122844)

I've managed to avoid a RROD for over a year now, which makes me wonder if I'm perhaps treating my console better than some other RROD victims are. What sort of things would cause those different parts to fail?

Re:Preventative measures? (3, Funny)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122880)

What sort of things would cause those different parts to fail?

The sun coming up, basically.

Re:Preventative measures? (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122964)

...in the basement?? preposterous!!

Re:Preventative measures? (2, Funny)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122936)

I have had my 360 since a few months after the lauch and I have never had any RROD problems with it either.
Then again, I'm having good luck with Vista so I guess I'm inversely jinxed.

Re:Preventative measures? (4, Funny)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123068)

I have had my 360 since a few months after the lauch and I have never had any RROD problems with it either.
Then again, I'm having good luck with Vista so I guess I'm inversely jinxed.
There's a Mr Satan on Line 2, Mr Chrutil. Something about coming over to collect payment.

Re:Preventative measures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123070)

Mine just died last week. Heres the problem. In my experience there is nothing you can do to avoid it. Ive owned it for two years now with out a hitch. It has been sitting on a flat open area, in the same spot for two years, in a basement, in Canada. I still have and play my SNES through to my PS2. I try to take real good care of my consoles. So it would appear to a defect with the system.

Re:Preventative measures? (4, Insightful)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123246)

Dude, my SNES has PENNIES rattling around in it and it still plays. There's no excuse for the crap we put up with on these over-priced consoles.

Re:My SNES has pennies in it... (2, Informative)

secretwhistle (1116881) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123338)

Not only that, but most hardware issues could be resolved by a) blowing into the cartridge slot or b) into the cartridge itself.

Re:Preventative measures? (1)

Barumpus (145412) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123210)

I am on my second 360. my first was one of the original consoles purchased on day of release. That one is sitting in my closet due a failed DVD drive which finally gave out around October 2007. Due to being out of warrenty and the possiblity of more future failures, I went ahead and purchased a 360 Arcade and moved my HD/Wireless over to the new systems.

The new is set up the exact same as the old. It sits on top of the entertainment center fully exposed to the ambient air of the room. I set both in the horizontal position and not standing vertical. Both of my 360s see/seen usage of anywhere from as little as 4 or 5 hours up to 40 plus hours a week pending how much the kid plays. New game releases tend to increase the play time the most.

A friend purchased one on release day and upgraded to the 360 Elite. Neither of those have seen the first problem as of the time of this posting. But I do think I have cursed us both by posting this.

Preventative pictures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123564)

It would be more insightful to have break-out photos across revisions and versions.

The Xbox 360 Is Fundamentally Defective (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122874)

As recent as just a month ago in an interview with an Xbox exec and also statements from Bill Gates recently no definitive statement was made that any solution to the Xbox 360 hardware failures had been found and instead focused on what an amazing replacement program they had. That is shocking for a product that has been on the market for more than two years. With all of Microsoft's resources they still haven't been able to demonstrate publicly that a random sampling of whichever is their latest model can be operated with a staggeringly high defect rate.

Xbox 360s were dying in kiosks months to weeks before hitting the shelves in huge numbers.
Xbox 360s were dying at review sites in huge numbers around the time the system hit the shelves.
Xbox 360s have been dying for two years now and there is no sign that Microsoft will ever fix the fundemental design problems of the console.

Each new model is heralded as the one that 'fixed the RRoD problem'. And the failures continue. Each new model comes out and the very day they do owners start posting their RRoD problems.

It is common now for people to have gone through five to six Xbox 360s over the past two years. And people who have had to have their console replaced ten or more times is not rare.

Absolutely pathetic.

Microsoft has forever linked their name and the Xbox label with hardware failure and shoddy design. There never has been anything in the console market in the same league as the Xbox 360 hardware failure fiasco and almost certainly never will be again. No other company in the world has the necessary nexus of unlimited resources and incompetence that Microsoft posses to ever top this sad bit of console history.

Re:The Xbox 360 Is Fundamentally Defective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122992)

Microsoft has forever linked their name and the Xbox label with hardware failure and shoddy design. There never has been anything in the console market in the same league as the Xbox 360 hardware failure fiasco and almost certainly never will be again. No other company in the world has the necessary nexus of unlimited resources and incompetence that Microsoft posses to ever top this sad bit of console history.
That won't stop people from buying future Xbox's. Look how awful Windows always was up until XP. Still, people bought it. Look how awful XP was compared to OS X. Still, people bought it. Look at Vista. Still, people buy it (yeah, some downgrade to XP and others avoid it, but it's market share still continues to grow and it's market share surpasses both Linux and OS X).

For some reason people seem more than willing to tolerate a sub-par product if Microsoft makes it.

Re:The Xbox 360 Is Fundamentally Defective (2, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123138)

Windows succeeds for the same reasons the Xbox 360 will continue selling despite its reliability problems - software. It's the platform with the software people want to run, and nothing will change that unless the other platforms start getting killer apps.

Re:The Xbox 360 Is Fundamentally Defective (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123154)

bah, System was AWFULLY DISGUSTING until it became OS X. So, I don't get your point.

Re:The Xbox 360 Is Fundamentally Defective (5, Insightful)

NothingMore (943591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123190)

It is common now for people to have gone through five to six Xbox 360s over the past two years. And people who have had to have their console replaced ten or more times is not rare.
I wouldent call it "common" for people to have gone through 5 or 6 xbox 360's. I dont know a single person who owns a xbox 360 that has had it replaced 5 or 6 times. The RROD is a problem but saying 5-6 replacements is common is a bit of a stretch.

Re:The Xbox 360 Is Fundamentally Defective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123402)

And yet, despite knowing this, they're still outselling the PS3 nearly two-to-one. That says more about Sony than it does about Microsoft.

Re:The Xbox 360 Is Fundamentally Defective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123404)

Microsoft has forever linked their name and the Xbox label with hardware failure and shoddy design.

I guess they thought it goes well with "software failure and shoddy design".

Have they considered... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122898)

Contracting the job to another factory/company?

Xbox infant mortality? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122910)

Don't they burn them in? When I worked in manufacturing we always burned in newly
manufactured products for 24 to 48 hours. It drastically cuts down on infant mortality problems because only the survivors are shipped.

Re:Xbox infant mortality? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122962)

where they work when they leave the factory and fail early in use
They obviously have some testing standard. Whether it is a true burn-in though, I don't know.

exactly what I guessed. (2, Informative)

swschrad (312009) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122912)

initial articles about the RROD had quite enough evidence. warm, sometimes hot machine, dead and stayed dead. had it pegged right away as heat not getting out.

I grew up as a broadcast brat with dozens of 7-foot racks of nice, hot, red tubes around all the time. the physics never changes. as the temp goes up 10 degrees, the life expectancy of the parts goes down 50 percent. batteries, capacitors, resistors, insulation... semiconductor power output, read your spec sheets. heat kills everything. the use of electrons generates heat. you have to get rid of it. a 10 degree Celsius rise from room temperature puts most equipment at its knife edge. a 20 degree rise is going to be statistically quite significant in early failures.

you don't need an insider, or somebody pretending to be one, to take that to print. somebody decided to rush the product, make it cheap to make, and not do any thermal profiling QC.

voila, mass manufacturing of electro-corpses. ain't the first time. won't be the last. a smart customer will put their hand on a display unit, and if it's too warm, decide to not be an early adopter.

Re:exactly what I guessed. (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122970)

I don't buy the not doing any thermal QC. QA does it's job, the problem is Management cuts schedules for one reason or another and QA/QC is ALWAYS the first to get cut because of it.

Re:exactly what I guessed. (4, Insightful)

dj42 (765300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123030)

The "hand test" is pointless. *puts hand on the back of my computer* Well, I can feel warm air! My computer must have poor design when it comes to dealing with heat. Except that is how it is designed to work. I put it together in a way that funnels heat out the back of the computer. And I can monitor temperatures of my CPU, GPU, and hard drives, which could reveal a potential for failure. But sticking my hand on it is a sure fire way of figuring that out too?

Re:exactly what I guessed. (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123170)

If a 10 degree increase halves the life of the device, does decreasing the temperature by 10 degrees double it?
How about to -10 Celsius?
Thus, is my frozen computer [flickr.com] going to last forever?

(I think that a 10 degree variation from the optimal internal temperature is what should be avoided, but I am not a hardware engineer)

Re:exactly what I guessed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123196)

a smart customer will put their hand on a display unit, and if it's too warm, decide to not be an early adopter.

Guess that's why the smart retailer put the demo units in a plastic bubble, so you couldn't touch it or hear it.

Re:exactly what I guessed. (2, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123500)

What a load of BS. Yes back in the days heat was a big deal, going at 50 degrees Celsius was bad, but these days its less of a problem. My CPU is running at around 70 degrees Celsius, my GPU is at 80 degrees Celsius under load, my room however is at 20 degrees Celsius, so quite significant failures at +20 isn't happening.

Most new consumer hardware can sustain temperature to a point close to 100 degrees Celsius before critical failure happens.

Oh and smart consumer putting a hand on the product? are you fucking insane? The heat sink on my stuff will burn your hand under load.

Re:exactly what I guessed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123522)

I find it interesting that a 10 degree Celsius reduces the life expectancy by 50%. In chemistry, a 10 degree change in temperature usually doubles the rate of reaction. I wonder if the two are related.

Put your hand on a Wii sometime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123540)

The Wii gets hot too. Especially, counterintuitively, in standby mode, so it's practically scorching 24/7 (because the electronics are on for WiiConnect24 but the fans stay off). And yet it doesn't have the pervasive reliability issues.

It's called 360 because... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122914)

it's called 360 because of the trip it takes
from microsoft, to you, back to microsoft, to you again

http://bash.org/?806949 [bash.org]

Re:It's called 360 because... (1)

koko775 (617640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123548)

Assuming you're on different ends of the circle, wouldn't that be 480 degrees?

Re:It's called 360 because... (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123598)

I thought it got the name because 360 F is the melting point of 63/37 solder.

Nothing new! (5, Insightful)

superash (1045796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122930)

The insider purports to have the background story on the 'red ring of death' (RROD) failures and why they are so common

What background story? Cheap parts, not enough testing blah blah...Where are the specifics?...and the causes mentioned for RROD were already known ages back.

I rarely got such heat failures... (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122980)

Maybe because whenever I purchase computing equipment (be it a desktop / laptop / console) that generates enough heat to scald my palms, I always buy those mini desktop fans and point it to the thing the whole time it's on...

Q: My HDD died MS wants $100 to replace... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22122984)

So yeah, my HDD died and it's gonna cost $100 to replace, is there any way to force a RRoD so they'll fix my xbox under warranty?

Re:Q: My HDD died MS wants $100 to replace... (5, Funny)

Wuhao (471511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123016)

Have you tried playing it?

Re:Q: My HDD died MS wants $100 to replace... (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123294)

I am waiting for my 20GB drive to fail so I have a reason to get the 120GB version. It might be a good time to upgrade for you. Not trying to be funny here.

Re:Q: My HDD died MS wants $100 to replace... (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123232)

Wrap it in a towel and stick a blow dryer onto it.

Re:Q: My HDD died MS wants $100 to replace... (2, Informative)

Enuratique (993250) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123304)

So yeah, my HDD died and it's gonna cost $100 to replace, is there any way to force a RRoD so they'll fix my xbox under warranty?

Sorry Charlie, they make you send back JUST the Xbox itself - no cables, power supplies, or hard drives. So the only possible benefit would be the free month of Xbox Live that comes with the repair and the outside chance you received updated hardware for your troubles of forcing a RRoD.

Re:Q: My HDD died MS wants $100 to replace... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123376)

Close up all the air vents. Wrapping the unit in a towel or two would do a fine job.

Then start playing a really GPU intensive game, something like Gears of War. The GPU will heat up the PCB, the PCB should bend, soldier joints will break, and the unit will display your desired red rings.

I wouldn't ordinarly suggest causing a device to fail. But the thing is, the exact same design problem that causes most red rings is very likely to have caused your hard drive to fail. Hard drives often fail prematurely when exposed to excessive heat for extended periods of time.

Because heat kills hard drives and excessive heat is the 360s largest issue, Microsoft should definitely include HD failures in their free return policy. But until they do, I suppose the above method is the only way to receive fair treatment.

When will people learn (2, Insightful)

Matt867 (1184557) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123008)

You simply cannot trust a product from Microsoft not to screw up. I seriously doubt any of us Windows users haven't had to reformat at least once (of the Windows users here anyway). I bought a Zune and it was dead in a month. On top of that me and 3 friends got x-box 360's one way or another and 2 of them got the 3 RRODs(I honestly don't use my 360 much, this computer completely blows it away as far as gaming, it can boot 3 different OS's, it allows me to network myself without paying a forced subscription fee, AND it doesn't get hot enough to warp its own motherboard. Beat that Microsoft.)

Re:When will people learn (1)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123308)

Mass Effect.

Microsoft wins? >_>

Re:When will people learn (5, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123346)

I bought a Zune
Well there's your problem right there.

Honestly. You're ranting about how bad Microsoft is and how stupid anyone is to buy a Microsoft product, but you go on to give an entire litany of all the products you repeatedly purchase and how they repeatedly suck. Apparently, you haven't learned your lesson, and by your own standard, are a fool.

this computer completely blows it away as far as gaming, it can boot 3 different OS's, it allows me to network myself without paying a forced subscription fee, AND it doesn't get hot enough to warp its own motherboard. Beat that Microsoft.
Well given that your machine boots XP, or as I strongly suspect given your apparent propensity to purchase anything Microsoft, Vista, I don't think Microsoft has to beat that. They have your money, and another customer on the upgrade treadmill.

Re:When will people learn (1)

nelsonen (126144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123400)

The machine i am writing this on is my main PC, and it has been running the same install of windows XP since i built it in december 2004. Windows generally won't screw up if you don't let it get infected and don't install broken software. The single biggest cause of reloading i have seen at work is from busted supposedly industrial strength anti-virus software going beserk and then not being able to uninstall itself. Something like AV software that digs deep into the O/S and then fails isn't the O/S's fault, at least not by itself.

What I don't understand... (5, Interesting)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123014)

Is why it's still hot when the fans sound like a 737 revving for takeoff. The PS3 is pretty much silent, has more stuffed into the box, and has a nearly flawless record!

Re:What I don't understand... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123390)

That's just because they haven't sold any yet.

Re:What I don't understand... (4, Informative)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123426)

If you look at "take apart" pictures on the web, it looks like about one-third to half of the PS3 by volume is heatsink. It has a single large fan that spins slowly, vs. two small fans on the 360.

You can use the same principles to build quiet computers- large heatsinks with big, slow fans cool more quietly and more effectively.

The Blessing And Curse Of The Xbox/HD-DVD Crowd (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123022)

Both Microsoft and Toshiba have fallen victim to making a product that relies on the same Xbox/HD-DVD demographic. Almost entirely US based Windows using PC gamers who have a lunatic hatred of Sony(and think Nintendo is for the little kiddies).

That crowd will buy any product that is a competitor to 'teh Evil Sony'.

It doesn't matter that it is defective by design like the 360 hardware is.
It doesn't matter that it scratches or destroys your 60 dollar game disks like the 360 does.
It doesn't matter that the hardware is absurdly loud like the 360 is.
It doesn't matter that the format has lost almost all studio support like HD-DVD has.
It doesn't matter that the format is a technologically inferior on like HD-DVD is.

They will buy your product. They will continue to buy your product over and over again regardless of the number of times it fails. They will buy your product long after it has been proclaimed dead in the market and no longer viable.

Any that helps, in their minds, in the HOLY WAR AGAINST TEH EVIL SONY.

Easy sales for the two companies. They don't even have to try. The products will sell themselves to this crowd.

The problem, of course, for the two companies is the rest of the world will just stand back in disbelief. Microsoft and Toshiba have a guaranteed 15-20 million people in the US that will buy their products no matter how bad they are as long as they are 'not Sony'. And that is it.

It's like having a group of friends who will show up at your new restaurant no matter how bad the food is and keep you from ever realizing that your menu sucks and you will never attract customers outside your time group of loyal friends.

Re:The Blessing And Curse Of The Xbox/HD-DVD Crowd (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123058)

Sony fanboy much?

Re:The Blessing And Curse Of The Xbox/HD-DVD Crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123186)

Sad but true. Also applies to Microsoft's operating system. Buggy, insecure, poorly designed, yet it gets sold over better offerings.

I'm no fan of Apple or Sony, but those two options are infinitely better than the garbage Microsoft offers. If Microsoft wasn't so insanely wealthy and in the government's pockets, they'd be out of business for selling defective garbage by now.

Re:The Blessing And Curse Of The Xbox/HD-DVD Crowd (0, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123310)

Hahaha yeah, so long as we pretend that Sony entered the console business last Christmas, this makes sense. You've made a fantastic argument so long as reality isn't taken into consideration.

Re:The Blessing And Curse Of The Xbox/HD-DVD Crowd (4, Insightful)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123380)

Are you high? Don't buy first-rev hardware, and don't buy add-ons for "next-gen" video formats that are (a.) only marginally better than current-gen offerings and (b.) are in the middle of a format war. Problems solved. The 360, a gaming console, sold itself to the crowds because it has good fucking games.

And while I do know people that are MS-exclusive fans, I honestly have never met anyone who has said-- of virtually any product-- "I will buy a product from any random manufacturer as long as it's not X, Inc." Anyone who's that concerned about who the "Evil Manufacturer" is isn't going to just blindly choose any secondary option, especially not from Microsoft. They're not exactly a "warm fuzzies" megacorp.

cheap repairs (1)

ryu1232 (792127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123056)

The RROD makes me wonder if it would be cheaper to pick up a broken Xbox360 from ebay and fix it myself. I have read that a lot of repairs breaking out the soldering iron, and reapplying heating compound. I'd also like to know if anyone has purchased an xbox 360, and before using it, rebuilt/replaced the cooling infra structure. One common solution I have read about is using an antec usb laptop cooler underneath the unit as a precautionary measure. I'm not sure I want to spend $300 when I can fix xomeone elses with a dremel tool, some silver compound, and a soldering iron.

Re:cheap repairs (4, Informative)

Blackknight (25168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123560)

I've done it, didn't even need a soldering iron. All you need is some 10-32 x 3/8 and 10-32 x 1/2 machine screws along with some #10 nylon washers. You'll also want some Arctic Silver paste to replace the cheap crap that MS uses on the CPU and GPU.

Take the system apart and remove the xclamps that hold on the heat sinks, clean up the old thermal paste and apply new stuff. After that you insert the screws (they thread right into the heat sink dies) and tighten everything down.

On my system I also had to cut out the little square panel that's under the processors, for some reason it was causing the board to flex and not boot.

There's a thread on how to do all of this located at http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=471958 [xbox-scene.com]

You may save a little money going this way but most of the broken systems I found on Ebay are still about $200, if you want to take a gamble and enjoy working on electronics it's a good option though.

Real problem (0, Troll)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123078)

In other news, MS disclosed in a press report that internet pirates were the cause of the failures pirates were also blamed for the slow Vista sales, and how Microsoft Bob failed.

GPU and the DVD drive. (4, Interesting)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123148)

The very first thought I had when I saw tear down photos of the 360 hardware around the time the console was first released was how idiotic it was to place the DVD drive directly over the GPU, which had a pathetically inadequate heatsink in comparison to the CPU. I am not any sort of engineer, but years of tearing apart and building computers led me to conclude that the particular arrangement of the GPU under the DVD was poorly thought out.

Re:GPU and the DVD drive. (-1, Flamebait)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123272)

"I am not any sort of engineer", you are right. You aren't.

Most probably cause of a red ring of death... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123206)

...is a vindaloo.

At least they are replacing the bad ones (1)

kyle6477 (1174231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123280)

Look at the bright side: they admit the failure and going their best to replace the bad Xboxes... My brother just got his back last week from his RROD. ~Silver~

OB Venture Brothers tie-in? (5, Funny)

Aereus (1042228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123332)

This reminds me of the episode of Venture Brothers where they go to the space station and it has a single red light labeled "Trouble" that blinks when any problem occurs... :)

Microsoft inventing their own terminology as usual (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123396)

"Digital backbone" and (my favourite) "core digital error". As usual, Microsoft having to come up with their own terminology for what the rest of the real world would refer to as "hardware flaw" or "engineering mistake".

We'd better start calling the RROD the "ruddy halo of definitive binary turkey washout".

Microsoft -- reinventing the wheel... into some kind of odd mix between a rhombus and a Moebius strip.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22123416)

Buy a Playstation 3.

I once hear from HP about ATI chips causing heat (-1, Troll)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22123494)

problems and they had to pull the laptops off the market. Microsoft's Xbox originally used the Nvidia GPU but Microsoft tried to shaft Nvidia and got sued for it. Microsoft finally gave in and paid up after Nvidia asked to see Microsoft's books but when it came time for the Xbox 360, Microsoft went with ATI. And now we hear that the GPU is getting so hot that it's warping a circuit board. Surprise! And that has got to be pretty hot to do that. Did you know what FR-4 PCB stands for? That is Fire Retardant 4( FR-4 ) Printed Circuit Board( PCB ). It is what a standard circuit board is made of. I thought the Fire Retardant part seemed appropriate. ;-)

Anyways, what the heck were they thinking when they designed these? Burning PCBs are not good and IMO, only should occur in failure situations not general operating conditions. So I'm wondering if they saw the spec's on the PS3 and figured they needed more oomph from their system and overclocked the GPU? That or maybe their original cooling designs were too noisy so they figured they could get away with 50% cooling and 50% less noise. Regardless, a whole bunch of other parts will also show failures if there's enough heat in there to warp or burn the PCB so it sounds like the majority of the problem is cooling and that seems to be a system design issue. IMO.

Red Ring of Fire... How appropriate.

How's the PS3 doing? I've not heard much in the way of failures there. Just stuff on slow sales due to pricing and the Blue-ray/HD-DVD wars. Any of those PS3 clusters showing signs of over heating?

LoB
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