My story began on a summer’s day while walking with Charles “Japanese Dude Girl” Moran. We talked about the Xbox 360s and the dreaded Red Ring of Death. At the time, it was supposedly based on an obvious design flaw, called an XClamp, which we heard could easily be fixed by the appliqué of 3 dollars worth of screws and washers. At the time, it seemed fool proof. We ordered pre-made repair kits and some broken units.
Before I get started, let me clarify what the Red Ring is. Even though you’ve heard the term Red Ring of Death, it’s actually an umbrella term for a coded numerical language based on a sequential pattern of red lights that appear as you press the sync button and eject button four times. The series can then be deciphered, for example: 4 lights 1 light 4 lights 2 lights translates to error code 0102, a general hardware failure. And there are thousands more errors like this, all pre-programmed. (more…)