I mentioned earlier that during my initial encounter with Grand Theft Auto IV my relatively young Xbox died after merely an hour of gaming. Since then I’ve dealt with severe ineptitude with Xbox customer support, including a week and a half delay on an empty box that is merely a two hour drive from my house (for those in southern Ontario, the distribution/repair centre is in Toronto). Despite being covered by warranty, the entire process, needless to say, is a large pain in the ass. And this is my second time in only 10 months. With that figure in mind I decided that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and sunk some time into researching methods of avoiding the dreaded Red Ring of Death.
Firstly, you may of may not of have heard of the method of subsuming your 360 in a mess of towels to further overheat you box which in turn magically fixes it. This method is merely a temporary fix. A bandaid on a gangrenous wound, if you will. Well it has been reported to have an uncanny success rate, it merely delays a growing problem (some report a 2 week life extension). And given that the repair center may vary well be sending you back the same 360 in the condition they deem repaired, I certainly wouldn’t stress the box with anything more than gaming.
So, what’s the best way to prevent ever getting the RRoD? Well, unfortunately no matter what you do this nagging problem occurs on a lottery basis, and from my personal experience the odds are pretty good (though not the basis for my opinion, in line to pick up my empty box from Purolator was another fellow getting his empty box, which was also delayed for over a week. What are the odds…). However, since the root of this evil is heat (damn you Lucifer and damn you Prometheus!) providing a well ventilated environment for your Xbox is the best chance you have of lessening your odds. This includes keeping the box away from walls and confined spaces, off warm/hot surfaces such as stereo equipment or the front burner of a stove, and never (ever) place your Xbox 360 on the carpet. Doing so and flipping the on switch can kill your box in no time (some stated so in as little as 15 minutes!). Also, watch out for you heat-vents and/or radiators. And be aware of the vents on the Xbox 360 itself and ensure they are fully exposed. I’ve also heard suggestions that you keep your power brick off the floor or even install a 3rd party vent to your Xbox but I can neither confirm or deny the effectiveness of either.
In what is perhaps a promising turn of events, however, is that after less than 12 hours in the repair centre, Xbox has informed me that my console is already on its way home! Good luck to all those who are red-ring free and for those that have loved and lost, my condolences.
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