Fix the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death




About: I study engineering at Virginia Tech. Long time instructables fan.
NOTICE: THIS METHOD IS BY NO MEANS GUARANTEED TO FIX ANYTHING. In fact, it may even be more likely to DAMAGE your system than fix it. STOP with the comments, I know this process is not scientific or exact. Hell, I'm probably wrong about most of the information here.

Like 30-33% of Xbox 360 users, I have had the misfortune of experiencing the red ring of death on the front of my Xbox. What this means is that your Xbox 360 is experiencing a hardware malfunction. There are several different ways that are rumored to fix this problem, however I will demonstrate the most widely used method, more commonly known as the "Towel Method"

This method is only temporary, there have been reports of users using this method frequently to keep their Xbox running. I urge that you contact Microsoft customer support and have them mail you an empty box (coffin) to ship your precious console off to Texas where it will be repaired.

Before you watch the movie or view the instructible, note that I have already used the method depicted here on my Xbox successfully, so I can't exactly replicate it (now that it's fixed) for the movie. When I get the Rings again I will redo the movie to show you exactly how it works.

For now enjoy my badly made and extremely corny movie.

Also Important
I don't suck at Guitar Hero, this was only a demonstration where I goofed up once because it was like 2 a.m. when I made the movie. For proof that I don't suck, I direct you to another of my videos. For additional proof of the same song but up close on the fingers, please go here.

Note: for whatever reason, my sound cuts out at the beginning of the movie, but the first sentence is: "Like 30-33% of Xbox 360 owners, I have expiuerenced the red rings of death." Enjoy!

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Step 1: Diagnose the Problem.

Different lit and unlit quadrants mean different errors in your 360. Below I have made an extremely badly drawn chart to show you what your error message means.

All four quadrants lit and blinking: A/V Cable malfunction
Solution: Push it in farther or buy a new one

Second quadrant unlit, all others lit and blinking: Overheating malfunction.
Solution: Use this Instructible, it works!

Third quadrant unlit, all others lit and blinking: General hardware failure.
Solution: Send it to Microsoft, this Instructible will NOT help.

If your Xbox has the second quadrant unlit, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Preperation

The materials needed for this fix are simple, two to three towels.

To prepare your Xbox, remove any controllers attached, discs in the drive, and your hard drive if you have one.

Lay the Xbox on a towel and wrap it up tight. Proceed to layer one or two other towels over this one to ensure that it's nice and toasty.

Step 3: Now We Wait...

Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and sit back and wait.

While waiting I took more takes of things I did awful for the movie, but you could....

1. Listen to music
2. Take a jog
3. Work on another Instructible
4. Surf the web
5. Start creating a beginner electronics project
6. ???
7. Profit

Step 4: Play!

If this method didn't work the first time, wait for the 360 to cool off then repeat the method waiting 20 minutes instead of 15.

I can't stress enough that this is a temporary fix however, and I strongly urge that you go to Microsoft's website and visit their customer support page. Microsoft has extended warranties on all 360s that receive this error by three years, so you should be covered for the damage.

Now go play some games!

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    338 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    dude ur voice sounds exactly how i imagined it while reading it lmao oh and last yr on dec 25 i got a xbox360 (i kno how late) and the very first time i turned it on guess what, RROD ! so i call up my gamer of a lil cousin and he said immediatly unplug it or itll crash and i did that only 3 times have i experience it and i did what my cousin said and it works fine after that, i didnt need the towel method at all so just unplug ur xbox like the power cord thing and ull be all good cos that kills the power going thro and that way it wont break! :) im a girl so im a handi tard haha

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    if you guys actually want a good system return your 360 and go out and buy a PS3. for one they don't break ( and if they do there is an extra processor as a backup) . you don't have to pay for Xbox Live because PS network is free and a lot better. and you don't have to buy all the Xbox exclusive products from overpriced microsoft like the hard drives of a bluetooth head set ( on PS3 any set works as with any laptop hard drive)

    17 replies

    can people stop saying ps3 or xbox is better then the other i mean they both have there pros and cons i mean come on there just consoles no need to try and make people buy something they dont want to


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    PS network doesn't have a good a gaming community. Thats why xbox can afford to charge for its services. This post is kinda old, but now as im sure you know, xbox has more services accociated with it, like facebook,youtube, zune and much more :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Agreed. PSN isn't very reliable, and is down for various reasons very frequently (Hacks, jailbreakers, modders, that guy at the server farm who always seem to spill his coffee on the PSN sever...). Also, PSN costs money after the first year to continue receiving good service, other wise your service is slower and laggier. Playstation 3 would have done a heck of a lot better if ALL the versions had backwards compatability, not just the first run consoles.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I was worried mine would die after about a year because many reported it, but it is now two and I am glad I bought it. I don't have to pay for my network, wifi was built in, it has Bluetooth, it still hooks to my computer on the network and I can watch stuff. Basically it was the best thing I have ever done.

    Actually, the PS3's do break. They suffer from something called the Yellow Light of Death (YLOD), and plus their network is always acting up, or someone is hacking into them.

    A Scary Ninjaslinger14

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thats all well and good, but all my mates who have ps3's say that they are good for single player games. But the online multiplayer is not very fun because nobody talks and everyone is to serious, The xbox is more of a community. And also, the cash you spend fixing your xbox is less than the extra cash you would have spent buying a ps3. But yeh the ps3 IS a better system, its a shame you can't have both a community and a good system to run it.

    daelansA Scary Ninja

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i dont actually have a ps3 but many of my friends do and i play theirs a lot :p and the xbox is much more... less straight forward (if you understand that) then the ps3, but gameplay and graphics and audio (at least on the games i played) are much better on xbox, but the prices of things are outrageous, like $100 for the wifi adapter, its crime.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    but you can just buy any old wifi adaptor for 8 bucks just dont buy a microsoft brand one


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    youd think that wouldnt you. thats what sux about microsoft, there stuff only works with their other stuff. good idea tho (not really, i mean its not ike everyone else who saw the prie didnt think that) and dont say just connect to a laptop and hop connections, you cant, i tried that too.

    Knex GuruC.D33

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Start, Connect To, Right click Wireless Network Connection, left click Properties, go to Advanced, check the boxes under Internet Connection Sharing, click OK.

     so true PS3 users are overly serious i had one and for 1month on Cod4 no1 even said a word shocking they must be on some serious ranking up