Last night I was enjoying some Chinese food, wine, and Lips with my friends. It was getting late and, being a gentleman, I decided to walk Amy back to her apartment (besides, she's a total hottie). I left my Xbox 360 Elite in the capable hands of my roommate, who was belting out Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees." When I returned home, the red rings appeared.
At first, I was startled. Did my roommate's singing kill my Xbox 360? Nah, it couldn't be. I reset the system and was greeted by error E79. "That's no good," I thought to myself. I reset again and saw another E79. Next, I rushed to my computer to find out what the hell error E79 meant. A lot of people suggested taking out the hard drive and putting it back in, as well as disconnecting and reconnecting the power supply. That didn't help. In fact, things got worse.
After trying out the suggested troubleshooting, I started receiving error E71 in addition to E79. There were a few times when I'd get to the dashboard, but when I tried to do anything, the system would freeze. The whole thing was perplexing.
I purchased this Xbox 360 Elite at the end of September 2008. Its manufacturing date is listed as April 25, 2008. The system received proper ventilation and I don't do anything stupid with it. Why me?!?
Before I go any further, I want to make it perfectly clear that this whole affair will not have a substantive impact on my future Xbox 360 coverage. Stuff breaks. I understand that. It sucks that it happened to me, but I'm happy that my system is covered by a warranty. Besides, it's a great opportunity to go through an experience that many of you have gone through. It'll be fun to talk about it with you guys, compare notes, and jump through the various hoops with you by my side.
I've been purchasing consoles with my own money since the original PlayStation, and I've never had a problem with any of them. This whole getting-your-console fixed thing is new to me. I guess I've been lucky. Although I suppose it was only a matter of time. Still, I was totally surprised that a console less than four-months old crapped out -- particularly an Elite, which consumes less power and generates less heat than older models. Then again, a great friend of mine at THQ had to get his Elite repaired last month. Like I said before, stuff breaks.
Random numbers: Out of the five Xbox 360 consoles that have passed through this household (I live with other people in the gaming business), this is the second one that red ringed. Strangely enough, my launch system is still alive and kicking (gave it to a friend in Thailand), while my Elite is...not so elite. Ha!
So far, my red ring experience has me more amused than anything. I don't feel irritated at all, though I am disappointed that I won't be able to play Uno on Xbox Live with a dear friend of mine that's dealing with cancer (miss you!).
I hope you'll join me as I go through my red-ring adventure. I'll be chronicling my dealings with customer service, shipping off my 360, and (hopefully) receiving a repaired model. Consider this my attempt at making the best out of a bad situation. You guys that can help me, have fun with this whole ordeal!
Now for the next step. Do you think I should call customer service? Or should I go through the Xbox.com web site? I really have no idea what I'm doing here (like I said, this is my first console failure) and would love to have your input.
Are the hold times long with Microsoft's customer-service reps? Does Microsoft make it difficult to find the area for repair requests on Xbox.com? Let me know! Your valuable advice will be used in the next installment of [prepares dramatic voice] Raymond's Red-Ring Adventures!!!