The 360 Curse strikes again

I’ve had my (Falcon chipset, I believe) HDMI-generation 360 Pro for almost two years now and aside from the occasional slightly disconcerting red ring of death it’s served me well. (When I say that, I mean that every month or two when I turn it on it gives me a three red ring hardware error that clears up upon restart. This has never lasted or been other than slightly inconvenient.)

Until tonight. My friend and I were playing Earth Defense Force, and suddenly the screen goes black. “WTF?” Well, we figured it was just the game crashing. It’s been a while since we last played but I think EDF did that occasionally. So we reboot. And launch…and the screen turns to snow. Reboot, put in Arkham Asylum instead…snow. Well, that didn’t look good, but we figured maybe it had overheated and some cooling down would do the trick.

So eventually he leaves, I turn the 360 back on…and I get four red rings. Off, back on, and it boots to the dashboard fine, boots up Arkham Asylum fine…and then snow. Starting to get seriously worried. I checked and found that four red rings means a cable problem. Well, I swapped the HDMI cable for the one I was using with my PS3, and just in case, used that port on the TV as well. Four red rings. Long shot, but I switch to the old component cable the 360 came with. It boots up fine…boots Arkham Asylum…then snow. And then goes back to four red ringing on reboot.

At this point I am absolutely positive the cable is not the problem, but that’s as far as the troubleshooting guides go. Any ideas what might be going on? Might I be able to fix it myself, or am I fucked and in need of a new 360?

Yeah, 4 rings (as opposed to 3) is supposed to mean a bad cable connection, but it sounds like you tested that already. If you’ve tried unplugging/replugging both ends of the connections, with different cables/types of connections, it must be a hardware-death problem.

The cable connection problem must be happening internally. Since you’ve had the red ring of death before (3 lights), I’d turn in the console for a replacement for that problem. That way you don’t have to pay repair costs. I’d have done that earlier anyway when you first encountered the RROD. Anyway, now might be a good time to do it since you can still get your console back before everyone is playing Modern Warfare 2. Heck, depending on shipping timing, you might even get it back before Brutal Legend comes out.

My 3-year-old 360 RRoDed this week - put in a repair request last night. I feel your pain. :-(

Out of morbid curiosity, are there any significant 360 exclusives coming up in the next month or two? And by that I mean games that aren’t on either PS3 or PC, as I still have both of those available to me.

ODST just came out. I think Magna Carta 2 is 360-only, if you’re into JRPG-by-way-of-South-Korea. Forza 3. That’s all I can think of.

I just invoked my Best Buy return policy on my 3rd XBox last night. I now have an Elite unit. 4th Xbox. Holy crap.

Oh, one more thing before I invoke the whole Microsoft repair sequence - should I be backing up my saves? I’ve heard you often get an entirely different refurbished console.

Don’t send in your HD - you may or may not get the same console back, but they don’t need the HD.

Ah, okay, thanks.

And lo, when I go to the Xbox website it says I have an Exchange Pro and a warranty that expires in 10/15/2010. And when I fish out the e-mail that informed me that they’d received the broken console (days after they’d begun the repair phase) for the repair request number and check that, it informs me that they’re done and shipped, and checking the UPS tracking number, it’s on schedule for Wednesday. The nightmare will soon be over!

And maybe sometime in November they’ll get around to telling me so. :P