Another Xbox 360 Dead

That’s right folks, almost exactly three years after my first Xbox 360 died (from the exact same issue), my replacement one has also just bit the dust.  What is hilarious is that is was doing something so complex as streaming a video from my Media Center PC.  Strenuous indeed. 

While my Xbox is technically out of standard warranty, because I am once again getting the three light, red ring of death, my warranty is extended 3 years which would expire in December of 2010.  Sadly unlike last time, they don’t send you a box, so I have to find adequate shipping materials to send it to them asap.

Categorized as xbox

Xbox 360 and Netflix

Netflix streaming straight to the Xbox 360 has got to be the coolest thing ever.  Last weekend we watched two movies that way.  I just wish they would get more movies on the streaming feature.  Screw DVDs moving forward.  It’s all about the streaming media.

Categorized as xbox

Fixing the 360

My last post about my 360 was way back in February.  In it I described how, after purchasing Crackdown, and attempting to play it, my Xbox360 died.  At the time, I called Xbox Support and haggled with them to fix it for free, eventhough it was out of warranty.  I just had to pay for shipping.  Anyways, about a month after I had called, and then didn’t actually ship it in, Microsoft actually extended the warranty of the original lot of Xbox360s and they now send you a box to ship it back in with a pre-paid UPS label.  At the time, I didn’t think that I actually qualified for the extended warranty, so I still wasn’t really in a hurry to ship it back.

Well, I never followed up with that story, mostly because I never sent it in.  In fact, it’s still broken, sitting in my new place.  Last Friday, one of the guys I work with on my new project (he’s an from a different company than I am, but not the client) came to the my company’s main office because we needed to meet.  Well, turns out he’s a pretty damn good Halo 2 player.  Needless to say we played a few games on Friday.  Ever since then, I’ve been itching to play again.  Sadly, at the customer site, there’s not a game room (lame, I know).

Anyways, I had told him about how Crackdown had broken my Xbox, and that my laziness was preventing me from utilizing my $400 piece of gaming awesomeness.  For the last 3 days, he’s been hounding me about getting it fixed, and why I haven’t called it in.  Then I hear, on all place NPR, about Halo 3.  I had completely forgotten that it comes out in Sept. 

Needless to say, something needed to be done.  I still had the old reference number from when I had called in before, just in case they gave me a hard time.  Well, I called them up.  It was amazing how easy it was to deal with the people this time.  Last time I called, there was this huge long voice mail redirection service.  All of that was gone.  I actually didn’t have to push any buttons at all before talking to a support person.  She simply asked for my serial number and address, which I gave her.  I then told her the issue, and she asked if I had been through all the troubleshooting steps.  I had, back in February, so I said yes, and she didn’t harp on it!

Unfortunately, with the move, I had to give her my old address.  It needed to be changed, so I let her know.  The address change procedure apparently takes 2 hours to do, so she said to call back 2 hours later.  Ugh, but whatever.  I suppose I can wait two hours.

Another new feature I was told about when I first called in was the self-service website.  You can go to and actually do all of this over the web.  So, after hanging up with her, I figure I’d at least check it out.  I signed in with my Passport ID and mapped my Xbox serial number to it.  Low and behold, my address showed up there as my new one.  It must have propagated through the system already (2 minutes later), so I called back.

Sure enough, it had.  The gentleman asked me to verify it, and we were all set.  Another thing I noticed on the website, was that my Xbox was still under warranty (score!).  That means I definitely don’t have to try to wrangle free work again either.  He updated his system so I get one of the pre-paid boxes in the mail, and that was that.  As soon as he did it, I could even see the warranty status change on the webpage. 

That was slick.

Sadly, for Microsoft, my two reference numbers between the two calls increased by 1,354.  That’s a lot of support issues within a total of about 15 minutes.  Still, not nearly as bad as between February and today where the reference numbers increased by 13,122,883.  Regardless, in 4-6 weeks, I may have a functioning Xbox360 again, in the form of a repaired or new one.  It don’t think it’ll be in time for the launch of Halo 3, but it’ll be damn close.

I’m just so glad that MS has listened and made their customer support 100x better now.

Categorized as xbox

Crack Kills

Well, Crackdown that is.  That’s right, it’s killed my Xbox 360.  Binford bought it and apparently tried to play it on my Xbox, and it locked up.  Resetting the box resulted in the red three lights.  I came home later, not realizing what had happened, and the Xbox booted up, I attempted to play Crackdown, I downloaded a needed update, and it locked up again.  Restarting it gave the red three lights.  After some fiddling, I got it to work again.  I then booted it without a game, put in the Halo 2 disc, and it worked fine.  Put Crackdown back in, and it locked up again.  Some more fiddling, it comes back on.  Play even more Halo 2, everything’s fine.  Put in Crackdown disc, locks up.  Unfortunately now, no amount of fiddling has gotten it to turn back on again.

Damn.  So I called Xbox support.  They run through everything to make sure it’s not the hard drive or the power supply.  It’s not.  I give him my serial number.  He comes back and says that it’s not under warranty anymore.  Well, it needs to be sent in because he can’t fix it over the phone, he asks if that’s alright.  Of course, I tell him no.  The damn thing worked fine before Crackdown, and now it doesn’t.  Hell, it even worked with Halo 2 just fine, but stopped as soon as I put the Crackdown DVD in.  Obviously this has nothing to do with my console and a whole lot to do with the game. 

He talks to his supervisor.  They won’t charge me for the repair, but I’ll have to pay to ship it there (normally Microsoft pays for that too, at least, when it’s under warranty).  I say that that is acceptable, and he gives me all the details I need.  I’m thinking about shipping it from work, that way Microsoft still ends up paying. 

This definitely gets me wondering how non-sensical this machine is.  It comes with a hard drive.  Actually, some do, not all.  Why are the updates not being applied to the hard drive?  That way, when something happens, you can just wipe the drive and start over.  Also, how is a game causing the thing not to boot anymore?  It’s just a piece of software that runs at a very high level.  There is no reason it should be able to influence how the machine runs.  And then there’s the fact that it is a closed system.  Everyone has the same thing, and the peripherals that do come out have to go through Microsoft.  How I’d love to be able to QA programs that only have to run with one configuration, and yet, they seem to not be able to do that.  Makes you wonder…

Categorized as xbox

Burnout Revenge

So, today I picked up Burnout Revenge for the 360.  It’s everything I like about it, only prettier.  Actually, scratch that, there’s a few new annoying things that I could do without.  The largest is playing on xbox live.  I think I was able to finish one group of races successfully.  What’s really frustrating, is that I was playing people ranked around 100, and was beating them, but then I’d get disconnected from the stupid EA servers.  Once I sign back in, I notice that my score has actually increased instead of decreased.  I think there’s some fixing that needs to be done there.

The other main annoyance with this version is at the end of a race.  To begin with, you seem to be forced into watching the review, which I’m not a big fan of, and then you can’t skip any of the awards, achievements, or unlocked cars.  Plus, during the achievement it seems to pound out your stars much slower. 

Overall though, it’s still a great game, I just wish I could play more online, because from what I have been playing, it’s quite fun. 

Guitar Hero

I know that Aaron has talked about Guitar Hero already, but I must put in my 2¢.  “It rocks.”  The game is incredibly fun.

Last night Aaron and I ran a few errands which included stopping by Crate and Barrel, and then hitting up the Best Buy.  Binford actually was the one who wanted to head up to Best Buy originally, but I had a $45 gift card I still needed to use there, so I thought it would be a good idea.  This is when Guitar Hero was purchased.  Needless to say, the rest of the evening comprised of jamming out. 

The only downside I see to it?  We don’t have two guitars right now.  Well, and there’s the fact that the controller isn’t wireless, but that’s already been solved.  I’ve been thinking about buying a child’s guitar toy and actually making my own controller, since that’s really all these are, with the potential addition of two buttons and a wammy bar.


More Gaming

As you can see from my gamertag below, I’ve definitely been playing with the Xbox360 more and more.  Unfortunately, that’s only really been from two games, PGR3 and CoD2.  I haven’t even started in on NFS:MW, which looks crazy fun from what I’ve seen Aaron play.  It’s crazy, there are days that I really want to just sit down and play, but when I actually can, there really isn’t enough time.  Between work, working out, Erin, and Everything Else™, I can’t say I have that much time to just play.  However, I am on the last section of CoD2, which means that if I ever finish it, my gamerscore should increase quite a bit (I’m playing it on Veteran, the hardest difficulty, the first time through).  Plus I just purchased a 12 (+ 1) month subscription to Live!, so I can play online, which when I actually did it in PGR3, was quite fun.  And then there’s more cool games that are coming out, like Alan Wake, Burnout Revenge (granted it is just a re-release), and others.

Oh yeah, and the D-Day invasion on Veteran mode, is, well, frickin’ hard.

Xbox 360 Part 2

As I’m sure everyone knows, the Xbox 360 was released on Tuesday. And you can read all about Erin and my adventure on Aaron’s site. Unfortunately, we came up empty handed. However, even if we would’ve gotten one, I think we would’ve resold it. Especially since they were going for more than double their cost.

The good about all this though, is that we will still be getting one, just probably not anytime soon. I’ve gone back to the company I had the preorder with, since it’s about the only place I fell I’ll be able to get it from anytime soon. In fact, the distributor that supplies Avindigo apparently says they should have some on Monday. Who knows if those have already been allocated though. I guess we’ll just have to wait like everybody else. I can’t wait to get it and play on the new plasma though.

Xbox 360

Well, I have some bad news about the Xbox 360.  Turns out my supplier (who will go unnamed), has just informed me that he won’t be getting any units from his distributor until December.  This is unfortunate, especially since I was hoping to take a trip on the 21st in order to get one.  Alas, I guess I’ll just have to try to get one at a brick and mortar store on the 22nd, along with everyone else.  Maybe it will be like when Halo 2 came out, and I won’t have a problem at all.  However, for some reason, I don’t think this will be the case.  :down:


I just want to thank Aaron for pointing me towards the awesome game, Sid Meier’s Pirates! It’s so basic, yet so incredibly fun.  In other news, it’s coming out for Xbox, well, today.  So, go rent it or something.  And if you don’t have an Xbox yet, shame on you.

Categorized as xbox