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 Xbox 360 technical problems! PARTEA I

Vezi subiectul anterior Vezi subiectul urmator In jos 
AutorMesaj
Cristi
Sysop
Sysop
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Numarul mesajelor : 21
Data de inscriere : 18/06/2009

MesajSubiect: Xbox 360 technical problems! PARTEA I   Sam Iun 20, 2009 1:18 am



The Xbox 360 video game console
is subject to a number of technical problems that can render it
unusable. Many of the issues can be identified by a series of red
lights flashing on the face of the console; the three flashing red
lights (nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death")
being the most infamous. There are other issues that arise with the
console, such as discs becoming scratched in the drive and "bricking"
of consoles due to dashboard updates. Since its release on November 22,
2005, many articles have appeared in the media portraying the Xbox
360's relatively high failure rates.
There has been legal action taken attempting to hold Microsoft
responsible for the failure rate among the Xbox 360 and provide
reasonable compensation for those affected.




Three flashing red lights


When a Microsoft Xbox 360 console experiences a "general hardware"
failure or "core digital" failure, three flashing red lights appear
(known as the "Red Ring of death" or the "Three Red Lights of death")
around the power button, in lieu of the four green lights indicating
normal operation. Warning signs may include freeze-ups, in which the
screen has strange, spontaneous graphical problems in the middle of
gameplay, such as checkerboard or pinstripe patterns on the screen, the
sound is frozen and changed to a strange, static-like sound, and the
console only responds to pressing the power button to turn it off.
These events may happen once or several times until the general
hardware failure occurs, or not at all. Just because an Xbox freezes
once in a while does not mean that the error will follow. When the
error does occur, the user attempts to turn the console on and the
three red lights are seen and the console will not function.
Some have confused General Hardware Failure with a similar looking
error warning where four red lights appear, in which case the console
does not detect an AV cable is plugged in.[6]
The four lights can sometimes also be seen when power surges or very
brief power outages occur while the console is running, in which the
console needs to be unplugged and plugged back in again to reset the
error. Two red lights appear when the system is overheated. In newer
consoles, there can be three lights flashing with a green light
flashing in the center for power outages
Response to rate of failure


In the early months after the console's launch, Microsoft stated that the Xbox 360's failure rate was within the consumer electronics industry's typical 3% to 5%.
Nevertheless, Microsoft has not released its official statistics on the
failure rate of the various versions of the console; the company's
press relations policy is to focus on the prompt resolution of any
technical problems.
On July 5, 2007, the Vice-President
of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division published an
open letter recognizing the console's problems, as well as announcing a
three-year warranty extension for every Xbox 360 console that
experiences the "general hardware failure" indicated by three flashing
red LEDs on the console.
A source that has been identified as a team leader and key architect
in the creation of the Xbox and Xbox 360 and a founding member of the
Xbox teamprovided insight as to the high rate of failures. The interviews
suggest that Xbox 360 units that fail early in their life do so because
of problems in the system design, parts supply, material reliability,
and manufacturing issues as well as a system not tolerant to faults.
These issues were alleged to be the end results of the decisions of
management in Microsoft's Xbox team and inadequate testing resources
prior to the console's release. A second source cited that, at one
time, there was just a 32% yield of one of the test production runs. 68 of every 100 test units were found to be defective.[
In February 2008, during the Game Developers Conference 2008, Microsoft announced that the "Failure rate has officially dropped", but without mentioning any specifics. The same month, electronics warranty provider SquareTrade
published an examination of 1040 Xbox 360s and said that they suffered
from a failure rate of 16.4% (one in six). Of the 171 failures, 60%
were due to a general hardware failure (and thus fell under the 3 year
extended warranty). And of the remaining 40% which were not covered by
the extended warranty, 18% were disc read errors, 13% were video card
failures, 13% were hard drive freezes, 10% were power issues and 7%
were disc tray malfunctions.SquareTrade also stated that its estimates are likely much lower than
reality due to the time span of the sample (six to ten months), the
eventual failure of many consoles that did not fail within this time
span and the fact that many owners did not deal with SquareTrade and
had their consoles repaired directly through Microsoft via the much
publicized extended RROD warranty.
On October 17, 2008 a class action lawsuit was filed in California against Microsoft over the RROD problem.Causes


Electronics industry newspaper EE Times
reported that the problems may have started in the graphics chip.
Microsoft designed the chip in-house to cut out the traditional ASIC
vendor with the goal of hoping to save money in ASIC design costs.
After the multiple product failures, Microsoft went back to an ASIC
vendor and had the chip redesigned so it would dissipate less heat.[20][21]
One possible cause of the General Hardware Error may be cold solder joints. The added mass of the CSP chips (including the GPU and CPU) absorb the heat flow that allows proper soldering of the lead-free solders on the motherboard,
therefore, the solder has not properly melted underneath these chips,
which can lead to voids (air bubbles) and weak spots in the solder
known as cold solder joints. Because of prolonged constant temperature
changes inside the console, the voids cause cracking. Some people claim
this issue does not exist, and claim it is caused by a confusion over
this issue. They have suggested that the dull appearance only suggests
that the joints are cold soldered, as lead-free solders, even when
properly soldered, take on a dull appearance that non-professionals
might mistake for a cold solder joint (as the older lead/tin solder
solder-joints became dull when not heated sufficiently). This
suggestion is, however, rejected by the majority of experts. Lead-free
solder requires a greater amount of heat (213 degrees celsius) to
solder properly when compared to older lead/tin solders (185 degrees
celsius).
The Nyko Intercooler
has also been reported to have led to a general hardware failure in a
number of consoles, as well as scorching of the power AC input.
Microsoft stated that the peripheral drains too much power from the
console (the Intercooler power cord is installed between the Xbox 360
power supply and the console itself) and can cause faults to occur, and
stated that consoles fitted with the peripheral will have their
warranties null and void. Nyko has recently released an updated
Intercooler that uses its own power source. Nyko claims this problem no
longer occurs with new versions of this cooler. However, Microsoft
still considers it an unlicensed add-on and will void the warranty of
machines showing signs of its use. There is no data available to
indicate whether the Intercooler decreases the chance of hardware
failure. However, if the Intercooler fails, it can hinder rather than help the overheating problems.
The game console heats up during use, and given enough time, the
temperature inside can reach very high levels due to insufficient
cooling. An overheated Xbox 360 is indicated by both left quadrants
lighting up red. Because of the way the Xbox 360 is constructed, this
may result in stresses building up between the delicate ball grid array solder joints of the CPU and GPU and the motherboard, causing them to break. The problem is exacerbated by the specific type of lead-free solder
used, a type which is more brittle than the older tin/lead solder that
was used in the past and the GPU's location directly underneath the DVD
drive. Microsoft needed to make room for the DVD Drive, so it shrank
the heat sink.
German computer magazine c't,
in an article titled "Jede dritte stirbt den Hitzetod" (tr. "Every
third One Dies of Heat"), published in July 2006, blames the problems
primarily on the use of the wrong type of lead-free solder, a type that
when exposed to elevated temperatures for extended periods of time
becomes brittle and can develop hair-line cracks that are almost irreparable.Also, according to the same article, Microsoft has created an internal
account, funded with more than $1 billion, dedicated to addressing this
problem. The fund would only be fully depleted by $100 in repairs to
every existing Xbox 360, or complete replacement of every third Xbox
360 ever made.
The article also revealed that representatives of the three largest Xbox 360 resellers in the world (EB Games, Gamestop and Best Buy)
claimed that the failure rate of the Xbox 360 was between 30% and 33%,
and that Micromart, the largest repair shop in the United Kingdom,
stopped repairing Xbox 360s because it was unable to fully repair the
defective systems. Because of the nature of the problem, Micromart
could only make temporary repairs, which led to many of the "repaired"
systems failing again after a few weeks. At that time Micromart was
receiving 2,500 defective consoles per day from the U.K. alone.
The console's design utilizes heatsinks,
vented openings, and fans to aid in dissipation of heat, but the
potential still exists for excessive heat buildup inside the console if
these measures become insufficient. Users are advised not to obstruct
air flow to the enclosure vents or power supply. Problems associated
with overheating include reduced system performance and instability
that may result in crashing
or hardware failure. Xbox 360s with "Falcon" motherboards, which use
the smaller device geometry 65 nm CPUs, are reportedly less susceptible
to these failures.
According to the October 2007 issue of The Official Xbox Magazine, there are reports that new Xbox 360 Elites
and newer Premiums, as well as officially refurbished units, have
larger heatsinks. It has yet to be determined how far this fix has gone
in alleviating the issues.
Some third-party manufacturers have also introduced external cooling
devices that attach to the console, and claim to help prevent the
console from overheating.
However, reports indicate that some such devices can do exactly the
opposite, including the attachment melting on the console itself,
possibly damaging the internal microprocessors, and voiding the product
warranty. Also, when the attachment is powered by the Xbox 360's power brick,
it might overheat the power brick, causing even more problems.
Third-party cooling devices are available which use their own power
sources....



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