Feeds

Microsoft extends Red-Ring-of-Death cover to fresh Xbox fault

E74 - a failure in any language

Security for virtualized datacentres

Just as Microsoft had recovered from the Xbox 360's notorious "Red Ring of Death" fiasco another big hardware error has begun slaughtering its boxes.

The Xbox 360 "E74 error" has become enough of a problem that Microsoft is now covering it under the console's extended three-year warranty reserved for RRoD failures. Redmond is also retroactively covering the issue, reimbursing customers who've already paid for E74-related repairs.

Gaming sites that have been tracking the error, most notably Joystiq, indicate the E74 error has become increasingly frequent since mid-2008. It's believed most E74-related issues are caused by solder on the Xbox 360's ANA/HANA scaling chip coming loose rather than the RRoD's CPU/GPU problem.

Before the error, the console usually displays graphical glitches such as lines across the screen or static. The box's final death rattle comes as the on-screen E74 error message informing the user in several languages to contact Xbox customer support. There's also typically a single red light lit up at the lower right quadrant on the "ring of light" on the front of the console.

Standard warranty for the Xbox 360 is one year, but Microsoft had extended the warranty for RRoD failures to three years after the error proved a source of an "unacceptable number of repairs." Until today, E74 was only covered by the Xbox 360's normal warranty - so E74 victims footed the repair bill after the year was up.

Microsoft is now including E74 failures in its extended three-year warranty. Customers who already paid for E74-related repairs will also automatically receive a refund within four to 12 weeks, the company said today.

From Microsoft's E74 support page:

While the majority of Xbox 360 owners continue to have a great experience with their console, we are aware that a very small percentage of our customers have reported receiving an error that displays “E74” on their screen. After investigating the issue, we have determined that the E74 error message can indicate the general hardware failure that is associated with three flashing red lights error on the console. As a result, we have decided to cover repairs related to the E74 error message under our three-year warranty program for certain general hardware failures that was announced in July 2007. We have already made improvements to the console that will reduce the likelihood of an occurrence of this issue.

Hopefully, Microsoft learns its lesson here and will spend a little more on parts in the future to save millions of dollars in repairs.

Oddly, these hardware failures haven't turned into a PR nightmare for the company. Sure, the Xbox 360s shoddy insides have received a fair share of flack from the press, but the console still sells extremely well - certainly better than Sony's PS3 which, by most accounts, runs as solid as a rock (albeit an enormous and expensive one). ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.