My XBox 360 has died - can anyone help me revive it?

Mods - I really don’t know if this should be here, in GQ, or in MPSIMS. CS seemed most appropriate to me, but if you think it should be moved, I defer to your greater wisdom.

Anyhow. My (about 2-month-old) XBox 360 was working fine Friday night. Saturday, I turn it back on, and it won’t read any discs, either games or DVDs. When I put a disc in, I get the message “reading”, then, after less than a minute, the message “open tray.”

I’ve contacted Tech Support, and their solution is replacement - they are sending me a box in which I am supposed to ship off my XBox. That could take weeks and I’d rather avoid it. Anyone have any knowledge about fixing this error at home? (I’ve looked at official and unofficial troubleshooting sites online, but found nothing on point).



If this were a PC, you could just replace the faulty component, but XBoxes are not meant to be openned. That said, it could just be dust, so get yourself a canister of compressed air and give your XBox a good blast.

Yeah, I have already attempted the Super NES compressed air method - the use of fully-inflated cheeks - to no avail. I’ll try using actual compressed air next.


Try blowing out the power supply, too. And put it somewhere to cool down.

Is it from the first batch of boxes?

In any case, we sent out Xbox 360 out to get repaired and it came back in 48 hours. It’s quick, they pay for it, and you get a new machine. I’d advise you to go for it, personally.

Hie thee to the Llama. We had an Xbox with one of the original sucky drives in it. We replaced it successfully with one we purchased on the Llama’s site.

I call shenanigans. We opened ours, did the operation and no problem. Besides, if they weren’t meant to be opened, how do people mod them ? :stuck_out_tongue: They’re just computers, after all.

This morning, after having used compressed air on the power supply (having previously blown out the disc tray to no avail), I put in a game (Oblivion) and it didn’t work. I decided to put in a DVD (a West Wing disc) and, lo and behold, it worked!

Hmmm. I put back in Oblivion and the two DVD discs I had earlier used to test the XBox. Still not working. I put in a different game (Madden). No luck. I put in another DVD (Northern Exposure) and it worked as well.

Finally I put in a Sports Night DVD. I got a different message: unrecognized disc.

What in the name of Sam Hill is going on here?


Can’t be region coding. Uh. Can you try a hard reset on the sucker now?

Hm. That clears the hard drive cache… not it, but handy.

Can’t find a way to reset it.

Yah, my first thought when some discs worked but not others was region coding, but it is set to the US.
I also thought that I had randomly selected discs that all turned out to be scratched, but the Madden game is essentially new (only in the machine once before).
I’m befuddled. I’ll do the hard reset when I get home, but I doubt it will solve the problem.


You got yourself one of dem der evil librul XBOXs that will only play left leaning media. Oblivion and Madden are traditional, masculine games, so they won’t work. West Wing and Northern Exposure are shows with a clear liberal bias. Not sure about SportsNight though. Maybe, with sports in the title, the ULDD (ultra liberal Detection Device) immediately put it on the too conservative list and refused to play it.

Hamlet, guess what were the two DVDs I originally (and still can’t) get the XBox to play?

The Bourne Identity and a disc of Stargate.
I think you are on to something. When I get home, I’ll try a disc from PBS - Bill Moyer or the like - to confirm.


Ah! I’ve heard of this behaviour before: basically, the machine is scratching your DVDs. See the Llamma (see the edit).

Well, that’s annoying. But it makes sense, because the disks that didn’t work were ones that had gotten some/a lot of use in the xBox and those that worked had never been in the xBox.

Mrs. Sua

I’m not yet buying this. First of all, the Madden had been in the xBox all of once before I used it as a test disc after the problem started. Second, I never moved the xBox until (again) after the problem started. Third, why would the problem suddenly appear with three (now five) discs literally overnight?


I know you haven’t been moving it, but if you read all the edits at Quartz’s link, it does say that this problem has been happening to some xBoxes that weren’t moved.

Madden I can’t explain, but this might explain why other disks we’ve been watching have been acting up over the last few weeks… which would mean the problem didn’t appear overnight.

Anyway, I hope you’re right and that’s not the problem, because it would mean we’d have to replace some disks. Grr.

Are your speakers (particularly the bass or sub-woofer) on the same surface or very near the XBox? Could they be causing the vibrations necessary to start the scratching?

No speakers nearby. And we have eliminated scratching as the problem. We put in a DVD that worked for a while, then stopped (no scratching or other sounds). We took the DVD out and put it in the Missus’ computer. Worked like a charm, and no visible scratches on the disc.


Can you check to see if there are circular scratches on your Oblivion disc?
My Xbox360 was working fine until I started playing Oblivion.
After a few hours of continuous gameplay, I got an error message saying that the disc was dirty.
And, lo and behold, there were some brand new scratches on it.
This happened several times, until Oblivion stopped working.

After extensive searching on the Internet I found out that this is a problem common to a small percentage of Xboxes.
I contacted the distributor and got a new copy, and contacted Microsoft to have my Xbox360 replaced.

I had a new Xbox360 within a week and it is working fine now, no scratches, nothing.
In short : get your 360 replaced, don’t temper with it yourself as you will void your warranty.