Sunday, January 03, 2010

Circle of Death

Sometime while we were gone, the Adorable Husband's xBox gave up the ghost. They are apparently susceptible to overheating (the cause of most of the failures that were reported in the last few years, and the primary cause of the Red Circle of Death displaying on the front of the thing.)

Hmph. Our poor housesitter thought they'd done something to kill it, but it was just a coincidence of timing.

So I googled for help to fix it. Microsoft is no help ("send it in! We'll fix it! You'll get it back in four weeks and oh, by the way that'll be $$$"), and there are some pretty iffy sorts of suggestions on the web -- including wrapping it in a towel to induce overheating to re-flux the solder on the board.

It's apparently a design flaw. The clips holding the motherboard in place slightly flex the board, causing all sorts of problems, including cracking the connections and not having a clean seat on the heatsink. It's possible ot take the whole thing apart and reseat the heatsink, which usually works, but I was told today that doing so might actually make the xBox Online thingy think that you've hacked your machine and it will suspend your membership. Wha?

So we're stuck between trying to fix it, somehow (since it's waaay out of warranty) and just surrendering and buying a new one. Nice racket, eh?

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