I thought I was in the clear as far as the 3 red lights goes for the XBox 360… it happened, I was under warranty, Microsoft send a cardboard coffin, and I sent it back. End of story.
Oops, it happened again. There’s no free lunch this time. Even if I paid the $100 to MS to repair it, they would only give a 90 day warranty on their work. So, either buy a new one (with a massive extended warranty, of course) or try to fix it myself. After attempting to buy a new Arcade unit for $200 at K-Mart twice, but failing both times because they were out of stock, I went the fix route.
Oooh, that’s a dark and scary part of the internet. Everyone’s trying to sell you their $40 guide on how to fix it like the pros. Plus they tout how their guides are not scams (a good indication of scamminess), and how they will make you a better person. I kept digging, though, and found help on my brother‘s recommendation:
It actually worked. I used the video as a general guide. The only thing I had to do “off the books” was convince the xbox to get out of the three red rings mode. I’m not sure I did this the best way, but I unplugged the fan and powered up for about 2 minutes. Even though the three red rings keep flashing, all the parts warm up decently (but can get too warm, that’s the part I’m not sure about). After a 30-minute cooldown, the xbox booted just fine.
Along the way, I came across these other reputable/useful links:
I played Gears of War 2 for 30 minutes, no problems. It logs onto Xbox Live just fine. And, we’ve gone through the movie Dinosaur today with no issues. Perhaps it will live long enough for me to play up some Mass Effect 2!
Update: Not long enough for all of Mass Effect 2… see also this new post.