Ef You Treyarch...

My Xbox 360 Died

Tuesday April 21 2009: Today before work I decided to try playing an original Xbox game on my Xbox 360. The game played fine and I decided to stop playing. Before turning everything off I put in a Xbox 360 game just to put the disk I had in there previously rather then leaving it out. I come to find that now the 360 will not read any disks at all. I tried a music cd, a dvd and multiple 360 games. Music CD’s not read at all. DVD’s read where it notices that there is a disk in the drive but won’t play any content just goes to a black screen. 360 games kinda spin and make a clicking noise from the drive and take me to a screen that looks like THIS. If you don’t want to click the link it says “to play this disk please put it in a 360 console”.

I’ve had the console for less then three months so I’m hoping I’m under warranty. For the most part I’m guessing the drive motor has gone bad because the disks hardly spin. Doubtfuly anything is stuck in the drive I’ve tried meticulously cleaning all the disks I’ve played in the drive with a soft disk cleaning cloth and using compressed air on the disk and the drive. Also I’ve tried multiple power cycles and removing all cords and letting it set for over an hour with no power connected. Tomorrow I will contact Microsoft support and see if they have any ideas or hopefully my warranty is in effect and I can just send it in and get another console. This post will be updated with all findings.

UPDATE 1 April 21: Alright lets get shit started. Had a crappy day at work and to make matters worse Grand Rapids is a gloomy rainy place. I get home from work and find my recept to the 360 grab all the stuff I  can find regarding it. Also tried playing games on it one more time. Got some extra compressed air from work and grabbed an flawless disk from my collection. Also blew some air into the DVD drive lightly to see if maybe it was just a hair or some fuzz stuck in there. No dice, the console still clicks away and will not read a disk and will take me to the same message I posted above.

Charge my phone get all my ammo ready and call Microsoft’s support number. Right off the bat it plays that silly 360 startup noise and I’m irate because I’ve heard that thing like 35 times today troubleshooting this piece of crap. The lady starts talking and told me to make sure I registered my console online prior to calling. Of course I didn’t do that so I hang up and proceed to register.

Apparently you can do a repair request online. Microsoft could care less if you are bullshitting them or not they just know their consoles are broken and it costs them less to repair them rather then doing anything else about it. The registration process is simple. Seems the warranty on my xbox is longer then I thought.

Oddly enough there is a part where you can “explain your issue” but they only give you 1000 characters to do so. Here is what I put in the box for good measure but if you read what I wrote above it’s mostly just an abridged less bloggy version of the same stuff.

I decided to try playing an original Xbox game on my Xbox 360. The game played fine and I decided to stop playing. Before turning everything off I put in a Xbox 360 game just to put the disk somewhere rather then leaving it out. I come to find that now the 360 will not read any disks at all. I tried a music cd, a dvd and multiple 360 games. Music CD’s not read at all. DVD’s read where it notices that there is a disk in the drive but won’t play any content just goes to a black screen. 360 games spin and make a harsh clicking noise from the drive and take me to a screen that says “to play this disk please put it in a 360 console”. I’ve had this 360 for two months with light usage. Doubtfully anything is stuck in the drive I’ve tried meticulously cleaning all the disks I’ve played in the drive with a soft disk cleaning cloth and using compressed air on the disk and the drive. Also I’ve tried multiple power cycles and removing all cords and letting it set for over an hour.

After doing all that it shows me at least one bit of good news.

Also made sure to grab a copy of the “Terms & Conditions” to give a proper read though. Oddly enough you have to be 18 years of age to have Microsoft fix your bunk console or your SOL. Weak…

After that I got to a confirmation  page telling me they are sending me my shipping box and pre-paid packaging (should take four days). Also they provide a link for Download packing instructions an exciting PDF of how to send Microsoft your worthless console (no disks, no cables, no face plates, remove the HD).

For the most part I’m pretty sure I will not be returned the same console that I send in. Before shipping it out I’m going to use a sharpie and put my initials on it just to see if I do or not. Also I’m very concerned that I’m not going to be returned a console with HDMI. Moreover getting somebody elses refubished box doesn’t sound that appealing to me. At least I know the usage of the new Xbox I purchased. The machine I get in return better be prestine. Also just the day before I applied an extra year of Xbox Live Gold access on this console and I’m going to lose a month of it reparing the console.

Currently I’m sitting in “Repair order submitted” status and that is about it. So far no nasty tech support calls pleading for help. Got my repair order in and will make sure to keep everybody up to date with how this goes. Would have loved some extra characters on the “explain your issue” section so I could have told them “I’m blogging this experience on http://vanlandw.com/ and you better return me a 360 with a bloody HDMI port and give me three months free of XBL”.

Update 2 April 23: Another day another reason why I shouldn’t spend money. Today driving home from work I received two phone calls from 1-215-441-3000. On the second call I figured I should answer it just in case it was something important. I get a greeting from a Korean guy.

I am from xbox and I need to confirm your address.

Like an idiot I just blurt out my entire address without asking him why he needs to confirm my address or even who he is. Blindly trusting Microsoft with my information I just gave my home address to “Mr. Xbox”.

Curious about what the ’215′ area code Wikipedia once again for the billionth time answered my question. Finding this odd that Microsoft would call me from Philadelphia I struck up a conversation with jjafuller. Told him the number that called me was 1-215-441-3000. He sent me along THIS link in return.

First thing I see is this…


NCO Financial Systems, Inc. ****
( Also goes by the name of NCO Portfolio Management)
507 Prudential Rd
Horsham, PA 19044-2308
Phone: (215) 441-3000
Fax: (215) 441-3923
Web Address: www.ncogroup.com
Caller: NCO Financial Systems
Caller Type: Collection Agency

For awhile there I figured I just got totally scammed or somehow I forgot to pay Obama enough in taxes. Looking a little deeper I see…

I was called from this number about my xbox repair, it seemed a little sketchy, but i called the xbox customer support number and they confirmed that i was called by them and didn’t have anything to worry about. I’m not sure why they would share a phone number with this NCO company.
Caller ID: 215-441-3000
Caller: XBox Customer Support

I guess I understand why they use a service like this but still if you look into it all just feels very very bizzare and bush league even for Microsoft. The guy on the phone did say that my “pre-paid shipping box” should be sent next week but still not a very nice experience and I just wasted two hours blogging this experience online. Beware…

Update 3 April 24: Last night at about 12:23 AM I received an email from UPS…

This message was sent to you at the request of MICROSOFT/UPS SUPPLY CHAIN SOL to notify you that the electronic shipment information below has been transmitted to UPS. The physical package(s) may or may not have actually been tendered to UPS for shipment. To verify the actual transit status of your shipment, click on the tracking link below or contact MICROSOFT/UPS SUPPLY CHAIN SOL directly.

Looks like my pre-paid shipping is on the way and the cardboard to send my dead 360 to the Lords of Videogames is being sent to me. My status is “Shipping Information Received” presently and I don’t have much else to say about this right now.

Update 4 April 25: Got a message from my friend Thomas when I was slumbering.

farquja: got the rd rin

farquja: not under arranty yet their sedin me a free box to shit so IDK

The most important fact is Microsoft is going to send Tom a free box to shit in. Mostly they should just let him keep an extra 360. Yeah Tom’s original warranty has probably elapsed but in response to the RROD Microsoft extended the warranty on all 360′s to three years for every Xbox 360 console that experiences the “general hardware failure” indicated by three flashing red LEDs on the console. It’s shameful how much these things fail. Worst investment for the future ever. At least they got them covered but when Xbox 720 or whatever comes out MS is going to give a shit less about that $300 investment you made. Buyer beware without question on these things.

Update 5 April 28th: I swear I’m not making this up. I’m getting ready for work today hoping the shipping box comes today so I can take it to UPS before work and get it out ASAP. After shave/shower I went to the mail depot at my place and sure enough the return box came. I was going to take a picture of it but of course my camera doesn’t work (kills brand new batteries if you leave them in and of course I left my last set of batteries in there). While I was packing up the 360 for shipping I get this message from my friend vanbergs (dead truth no embellishing in the least).

vanbergs: guess what vanlandw
vanlandw: what
vanbergs: my xbox just red ringed
vanbergs: it’s dead
vanlandw: lol

That is THREE Xbox 360′s in my miniscule social inner circle who have had Xbox 360′s die in the past SEVEN DAYS. Just insanity what a piece of garbage Microsoft should be ashamed. Keep in mind my Original Xbox is still running strong even with modifications. On my way to work today I’m going to get this shipped out by UPS. If anything interesting happens in the next few weeks I’ll make sure to post it here. This whole saga is a lot more interesting then I would have ever thought it would be. Any of my other readeship have any techincal problems with their 360′s I would love to hear about it.

Update 6 April 28th: Ok first off a note from flo on google reader..

a guy at works xbox died as well…..i was thinking of buying one, but not anymore

I don’t know this person but seriously these things are dropping like flies. Also I’m glad to see somebody after seeing all the recent problems deciding “NOT” to give Microsoft money. Personally I should have known better. I resisted for years but figured after waiting for so long I wouldn’t have any problems. I bought my 360 in Feburary 2009 I believe 3+ months after the most recent revision of the Xbox 360 was released called the “Jasper”. After reading this guide I come to find I’m one of the unlucky consumers who received a “Zephyr” release. Pretty much the first tech released (and most faulty) modified with HDMI support. Weak so weak…

Also as I stated earlier I drove to UPS before work. I walk into the customer center and the guy says to me the following immediately as I walk up to the counter..


Just by looking at the box I had in my hands the dude knew what I was sending. I ended up talking with him a little bit he said that he has scene “dozens” of these boxes recently and talked to me a little bit about the “red ring of doom”. Regardless if the UPS rep just knows what I’m sending by looking at the box that is pretty crazy.

Update 7 May 4th: Alright I let this disaster rest for the weekend. Sign on this morning to check the status of my UPS shipping. Really weak Microsoft they don’t even want my console. They should have had it Friday looks like they won’t get it till today at the earlest. This is the “status” of my delivery.


So I sent my console in last Tuesday and it looks like I lose another week of my “Gold Subscription” of Xbox Live in shipping limbo. Two weeks of dead Xbox and Microsoft still don’t have my Xbox yet and looks like they don’t even want to fix it. Yeah this saga is going to be another month long “ugh” for vanlandw.

Update 8 May 4th: Well apparently my xbox got delivered somewhere on 5/2/09. Looking closer at some of these things are just really bizarre. On xbox’s support page they list the following as the address for the “Repair Center”.

Ship to:
Repair Center
5700 South International Pkwy.
Door #18
McAllen, Texas 78503

Looking on UPS’s site it looks like my 360 got sent to MESQUITE,TX,  US. A simple google maps shows that apparently McAllen TX and Mesquite TX is 517 miles away from one another. Wonderful now if I even get my 360 back it’s going to have Swine Flu as Mesquite TX is right on the US/Mexico border.

Update 9 May 4th: Ok disaster diverted. Checking my repair status on xbox.com states I’m on the fourth step “Repair on Progress”.

We have received your console at the repair service center.

Who knows what happens from here. More or less a two-three week wait.

Update 10 May 12: Checked my repair status on xbox.com today and it looks like my repair is complete. The console is shipped and looks to have left MESQUITE  TX on 5/12. Oddly enough during this process I received no emails or status updates, phonecalls nothing at all. I haven’t checked my status in awhile so it’s nice to see it’s on it’s way back. The bad thing is I’m working a crap ton all week so I’m not going to be able to sign for the 360 when UPS sends it back. Looks like I should have it before the weekend that is great. I will make sure to keep everybody up to date on how this ends up.


In Transit – On Time

Scheduled Delivery: 05/14/2009

Update 11 May 14th: 5/14/2009 6:21:00 AM OUT FOR DELIVERY WYOMING MI More coming soon…

Update 12 May 14th:

Type: Package  


Delivered On: 05/14/2009
3:57 P.M.

More when I get the “EF” out of work

Update 13 May 14th: The update everybody (maybe two people) have been waiting for. My 360 was returned today. April 21′s was the day my Xbox died and May 14th was the day it was returned to me. Overall the turn around was what I expected. Luckily somebody in my building signed for the package so I was able have it today (it was a signature required UPS). Quick notes upon receiving my console.

1) Included is a very nice note addressed to “Dear Xbox 360 Enthusiasts”. Clearly I didn’t know that multiple people owned this Xbox but I understand what they are going for. Mostly it confirms they have replaced my 60 day old console with a history I knew 100% with one that I have NO clue what this console has been though prior to being shipped though UPS. New serial number. Also on the note are “apologies” and reassurances all that don’t make me feel that good knowing that the console I now own even “refurbished” I’m sure to some degree could have been sodomized by some insane person in their “man cave”. The note says “replacement” console not “new” or “refurbished”. Who knows what this console lived though.

2) They did give me a “one month Xbox LIVE membership card as a gesture of their appreciation”. My account has pretty much been worthless for three plus weeks so I’m glad to see they have reimbursed me for my subscription.

3) They also sent me a “Xbox Quality Survey” that I’m going to be sure to send in ASAP. For the most part I will be 100% fair and when I get a chance to fill this out I will make sure to post my responses on vanlandw.com

4) Massive ugh here. Apparently now having a  new console I need to re-download all my previously downloaded content from Xbox Live Marketplace. The steps aren’t difficult but clearly I’ve downloaded quite a few addons and games so this might take awhile on my slow DSL. (UPDATE this wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be it doesn’t re download the content it must just authorize it for the new console it just takes a second per download)

5) The main thing that REALLY pisses me off is the condition my Xbox was returned to me. CLEARLY this is a refurbished box. There are scratches and smudges all over it. I have been able to use a swab to remove many of them but there are some that will not come off. There is sticky crap on the front panel I’ll need to really work hard to remove (Goo-Gone should do the trick). On the HDMI port you can clearly see the alterations they made to this Zephyr returned unit (I posted this link earler but it confirms the revisions of xboxes). Yes they gave me a refurbished first release MODIFIED for HDMI support Xbox in return. Personally I was hoping to get one of the newer models but that is not the case. I wish I had a camera that worked I would love to share photos of this. The manufacturing of this console compared to my PS3 and even my Wii is really shoddy. The metal encasing around the HDMI port doesn’t even match on both sides. Really bizzare. The HDMI cord fits but not as snug as it did on my first console.

Alright I’m going to test this sucka to make sure it even runs. More later….

Update 13 May 15th: Well I spent an hour with my refurb 360 last night. For the most part everything seems alright. The DVD drive try is not as “stiff” and smooth as my first xbox. Just a light push will close the tray where you had to use the button to close it on my old one. I played Half Life 2 Episode 1 for about an hour yesterday and left the system running for another hour with no problems. Operational and functional. Next week or maybe this weekend I will post the “finale” to this dark dark saga after hopefully being able to spend some more time with the console.

Category: Irate, Video Games


18 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    Too bad. At least the 360 lived a full rich life while it was working, especially considering that your ps3 was in a box the whole time.

  2. Vanberge says:

    That does stink man… I’m betting it’s under warranty – I would hope it at least has a 90 day.

    Do you still have your receipt?

  3. vanlandw says:

    JJAFULLER – My PS3 was in a box because I didn’t have a need to use it. Since upgrading my TV I’ve used my PS3 much more then my XB.

    VANBERGE – I believe I should have no problems in regards to the Warranty. I do have my packing receipt f/ dell and I can print off an invoice from them as well if needed. When I get home from work I’m going to try calling them and seriously hope for the best. The turnaround times I’ve heard on these are anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Major major suck. Seriously it lasted two months ugh. This is the first console I’ve ever had a problem with.

  4. Joto Cechg says:

    You guys play WAY too many video games…

  5. vanlandw says:

    Who as the gamerscore over 10000 cechg lol

  6. Mg says:

    Srsly. Spend your money on broads. Not technology.

  7. Jeff says:

    I have yet to find a woman I found worthy of spending money on.

  8. vanlandw says:

    I cannot imagine all the money I’ve spent on women. It’s quite sad to be honest. Regardless any woman worth having is not one I should feel like I have to spend money on. Maybe money “WITH” but on….negative.


  9. cechg says:

    Joto Cechg is not the real Cechg.

  10. cechg says:

    I just saw your response to my other post. I would be delighted to play some 360. however, it appears you will be 360-less for some time. hit me up when you get it back, and we’ll game

  11. Joto Cechg says:

    Oh yeah, lets go do some AB Flex and see who the real Cechg is!

  12. vanlandw says:

    Joto Cechg – Please reveal your real self. Maybe cechg is losing his mind and has a duel personality? Regardless Joto seems to be associated with the sublime directory and a quick google of “Joto” seems to reveal that this version of cechg is a mexican/spanish gay man?

    cechg – yeah the box to my 360 has just been sent so it will be prob three weeks till I get back on.

    Just so everybody knows I’m listening to Master P to heal my wounds of the death of my console.


  13. cechg says:

    Last I recall, “David” was working the border patrol in Texas-ish. Perhaps the mexican influce rubbed off on him, and he has finally embraced his anti-hetero heritage.

  14. vanlandw says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if David is playing the doppelganger cechg…

  15. vanderld says:

    You got it, Cechg. I was wondering how many posts it would take.

    BTW Wesley, I had the same problem with AT&T, only for me it was U-verse. After dealing with Comcast and AT&T, I am currently using rabbit ears for High Def TV and shit out of luck for high speed internet.

  16. almightyorb says:

    Coincidence? My Xbox died last week too, while waiting for a Street Fighter IV online match to start. Just shipped it out yesterday. This is my third time. I’ll be giving my PC and PS3 a lot more love from now on. It’s getting old already.

  17. [...] free internet on my day off printing off a UPS Ground label to have my 360 repaired again. On my previous post regarding the death of my console I’m still under warranty thus the repair will be free and [...]

  18. Exceptional post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this
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