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I have an Xbox 360, and hope to have it for a long time. What are some long-term solutions for preventing the famous Red Ring of Death from occuring?

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4 Answers 4

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So the first step is to understand what the Red Ring of Death actually is caused by. This particular error is very broad, and can be caused by anything failing on the motherboard, such as bad soldering, bad heatsink application, to poor parts. So unfortunately, a lot of times it's not a matter of if you'll red ring, but when. Now there are some options which I'll detail in order of cheapest to most expensive.

Cheap Solution

Nice and free however not really reliable. Make sure your Xbox has lots of room to breathe, keep it in a cool place with lots of airflow, and don't leave it running for long periods of time. This will minimize your chances of something going wrong. However a red ring can still occur, but this will give you the best chance of preventing it.

Moderately Priced Solution

Here's where things can get a little tricky. If your warranty has expired (or if you really don't want to deal with Microsoft's warranty system, then pop that sucker open and add some aftermarket stuff, (Rims, spoiler, some rad decals!). Seriously though, there are some aftermarket solutions that will help your Xbox out, and won't cost an arm and a leg. I'll go over two types of products, but there are always more out there.

  • RRoD kits - Yup you can use them before you red ring as well. the kit normally includes some extra heatsink pads and thermal paste as well as the tools needed to open up your Xbox and apply them. The advantage here is that you're in control of the quality of the application here, so take your time. I've used these kits a few times and always been successful, so applying them ahead of time will add to your system's lifespan.
  • Fan kits - These are replacement cooling system for your Xbox. Since the primary problem is heat, upgrading the cooling inside will keep that nasty heat away from your precious components.

Expensive Solution

Expensive yes, but also quite simple. Buy a new Xbox. Yeah, it's pretty obvious but it does work. The newer Xboxes (I can't attest to the Xbox slim, but the newer old Xboxes this applies to) have better parts, and are less likely to fail. Plus having that manufacturers warranty is pretty nice too.

So there you have it, options are always good.

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The big thing with the red ring of death is heat. There are rumors that it can be caused by other events, but those appear to be in the minority.

With heat, there are a few things to be careful of:

  • Keep the vents unobstructed (the more space the better)
  • Keep the vents dust-free
  • Provide adequate ventilation for your system (having a 360 in a closed entertainment system, even if nothing else is in there / on, there needs to be a place for the heat to go.)
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Over-heating is one of the potential causes, so good ventilation to prevent it from overheating - don't block the vents and make sure there is good airflow around it.

Also try to stand it on a desk or other surface rather than on the carpet to avoid picking up dust.

You still may be unlucky, as poorly soldered joints and other such hardware failures may still lead to failure.

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Don't overheat it. Don't put stuff on your console especially when it's on. Keep it free from dust. AND you need to be lucky because even if you follow all these instructions, you may stil get it.

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