What I did when I saw the red rings of death

Red rings of deathIn the back of my mind, I knew it was probably going to happen. The big question was when? That answer showed up on Friday night when one of the gamers in my household turned on the Xbox 360 and was greeted with the infamous red ring of death.

His reaction? "Hey look at this!" It wasn’t anger as much as excitement and awe. 

He reacted as if a movie star had finally entered the house after promising to show up many times before. I have to admit, it was sort of thrilling (in a warped sort of way) to see the infamous three rings of red.

I have read about it, talked about it and written about it. But here it was-that three-eyed monster staring me right in the face. I guess it’s sort of like passing a car wreck…it’s unfortunate, but you can’t help from looking.

After the initial novelty of seeing the red rings wore off and the reality of the situation sunk in that I had a busted Xbox 360 on my hands, it was time to take action.

Many of you out there haven’t seen the red rings appear on your machine (yet), so just in case you ever do, here’s a brief description of what I did to get the repairs on the way.

I knew right off that when I called Microsoft, they would be asking for my 360 serial number. So I copied it off the back of the console first. It’s on the right hand side and if you have your wireless 360 adapter back there, you’ll have to detach the thing to get the number.

Hopefully, you will have registered your 360, but just in case you didn’t, a receipt of your purchase may work when you talk to the rep. I registered my machine a couple of days afterwards so I was in like Flynn. The next thing you do is call Mighty Microsoft at their toll free number at 1-800- 4MY-BOX. Cute, eh? The reps are there everyday between the hours of 6AM-10PM PST.

After I dialed the number, I was transferred to a voice menu that had a guy that sounded much too happy to be working there. I selected the option for warranty repair and was greeted with a voice recording that said, "Hi, we’re experiencing higher than normal traffic at this time. We’ll get to you as soon as we can…" or words to that effect.

"Great," I said to myself. "I’ll be on hold for probably an hour…" But to my surprise, a scant few minutes later, a voice came on and said, "Hi, my name is Jeremy. How can I help you today?"

I explained my situation and he directed me to go to my Xbox and turn it on. I did so and he instructed me on some trouble shooting techniques. Gee, I’m suddenly an employee of Microsoft! I removed the hard drive. I turned on the machine, told him what colored lights I saw and he said, "You’ll need to return your machine."

He said that he would send me a prepaid mailer for me to send my borked 360 in and that it would take 3-4 weeks to repair. "What?!" I said. "That long?" He explained that repairs can be shorter, but they were just covering themselves if they needed more time. He gave me a case number and said I could check in anytime to see what status of repair my 360 was in.

The whole process went really smoothly, and it was painless (except for my 360 biting the big one). Hopefully, when my unit returns, I’ll be able to get Halo 3 up and running again…but the next 3 weeks are going to be a ball buster in waiting.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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