The “Red Ring of Death” is the worst error that can hit your console. It can also be called the 3 Red Light Error or the RROD. This error causes instant “death” to your Xbox 360. Don’t despair though if you have any warranty remaining it is covered and if you don’t you can fix the problem your self in a little over an hour.

The 1 red light error also has a high level of reported incidents among Xbox 360 gamers. Once you have put out the money for a gaming system like this, you want to see it running smoothly to be able to enjoy it. What is the Red Ring of Death? What is the 1 Red Light Error? Can I repair them?

Many companies are rushed to produce anything new they are scheduled to release. Research and Development are a key component to the final outcome of the product. Microsoft has been heavily criticized for its’ lack of R & D before the release of the Xbox 360; because of the lack of R & D the potential errors that have now hit the Xbox 360s’ were not caught and prevented.

The 3 Red Light Error is classified as a “General Hardware Failure.” This error is affecting up to 17% of the Xbox 360’s. When the 3 red light error hits your Xbox 360 the lights in quadrants 1,3, and 4 will glow a brilliant red instead of the usual green. There are a few troubleshooting tips you can try before having to perform a major fix.

Try rebooting your console and see if the error returns.

Check your power supply and make sure that your light is green and not red or orange. If the power supply is displaying a red or orange light instead of green then this will need to be addressed first before attempting to fix any other problem.

Try turning off your console and removing all the cables and reconnecting them firmly and rebooting the Xbox 360.

Try taking out the hard drive and booting the console. If the
error lights do not return put the hard drive back and reboot.

If none of the above troubleshooting tips have worked and you still have the red light error, you will have to go a bit further to fix the problem.

The first thing you need to do if you encounter the 3 red light error and troubleshooting does not fix it, is to figure out if you have any warranty left on your gaming system. If you have warranty left (the warranty has been extended from 1 year to 3 years for the 3 red light error) then you are encouraged to send your console to Microsoft to be fixed. If you attempt to fix it yourself you will void any warranty you have left. If you no longer have warranty on your Xbox 360 then you can do the repair yourself or you can have the console sent away to be repaired. If you opt to send your console in and pay for it you are looking at about $150 and up to two months without your console. You can easily repair the system yourself in just over and hour. There are places you can get a step-by-step guide to repairing your Xbox 360.

What cause the Red Ring of Death?

The cause of the Red Ring of Death in the Xbox 360s is that its’ cooling system is less then efficient. The GPU and CPU heat sinks are too small to properly cool down. The solder that was used to attach the GPU and CPU to the motherboard is lead free subpar. This lead free solder is not able to keep up with the high temperatures that the Xbox 360 puts out during play; because the solder is unable to stand the high temperatures of the Xbox 360 it gets small hairline fractures in it and becomes brittle.

When the motherboard expands and flexes, as you play your console, the solder moves. This results in the small hairline fractures turning into larger cracks. As the cracks get bigger eventually the GPU works itself loose from the motherboard causing your Xbox to shut down.

How do I repair the 3 Red light Error?

The 3 Red Light Error can easily be repaired. You will need the proper tools and new thermal protective paste. You will need to adjust the cooling system to optimize your heat dispersion and perform and X-clamp fix which will replace your old protective paste and provide the adequate pressure to keep the GPU and CPU properly connected to the motherboard.

Are there other Xbox 360 Errors?

Another common Xbox red ring problems are the 1 red light error. The 1 red light error is the most common error next to the 3 red light error. The 2 red light error does not present as often. The 1 red light error will send the 4th quadrant of light blinking red. Microsoft defines this error as a “hardware failure”. There should also be a code on the TV, such as E74 or E65. Each code means a different thing and you will need the specific one if you call for technical support.

There seem to be many reasons that the 1 red light error may appear though they all seem to have the same underlying cause. The heat that the Xbox generates during play can cause havoc to all the internal parts. The most common reason for the 1 red light error is the error E74, which is an AV error.


It is possible that the AV cable itself has actually failed though is very uncommon.  The most likely cause of this is that the GPU chip has worked loose from the motherboard. This error is not covered by Microsoft’s extended warranty and you will have to take care of it yourself.

The 1 red light error can be repaired in the same manor as the 3 red light error. Performing this repair should also help insure that any of the other numerous things that can go wrong with your Xbox won’t and you will be able to enjoy your console and games.

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