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Microsoft has never officially released any information indicating the true cause of the problem.
Therefore, any information available to the public has come only from third party analyses.
68 of every 100 test units were found to be defective. In June 2010 Microsoft released a new "slimmer" Xbox 360.
Years after leaving Microsoft, Moore recalled preparing to tell then CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, of his planned response to the incident, "we've got to tell Steve, here's what we have to do: we need to Fed Ex an empty box to a customer who had a problem - they would call us up - with a Fed Ex return label to send your box, and then we would Fed Ex it back to them and fix it. These models indicate hardware failure differently from the original; The outer ring segments cannot turn red anymore.
The 3 flashing lights can also be caused by power surges; if the console is connected to an outlet that receives a power surge, it may have a failure and the 3 lights will appear as long as the console is plugged into the outlet.
Turning off the console, unplugging all power cables and plugging them back in, and restarting the console may fix this issue in some cases.
Since its release on November 22, 2005, many articles have appeared in the media portraying the Xbox 360's failure rates, This error was soon nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death", echoing Windows' Blue Screen of Death error.
Warning signs may include freeze-ups, graphical problems in the middle of gameplay, such as checkerboard or pinstripe patterns on the screen, and sound errors; mostly consisting of extremely loud noises that can be affected by the volume control, and the console only responds to pressing the power button to turn it off.
German computer magazine c't blamed the problem 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.However, many of the issues can be identified by a series of glowing red lights flashing on the face of the console; the three flashing red lights (nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death" or the "RRo D") being the most famous.There are also other issues that arise with the console, such as discs becoming scratched in the drive and "bricking" of consoles due to dashboard updates.In the early months after the console's launching, Microsoft stated that the Xbox 360's failure rate was within the consumer electronics industry's typical 3% to 5%. People who experience the problem will find that they have to send the Xbox 360 away for repair or replacement and it may take up to 3 weeks to repair or replace.
On July 5, 2007, Peter Moore, 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 from the original date of purchase for every Xbox 360 console that experiences the "general hardware failure" indicated by three flashing red LEDs on the console. 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. During the time of the Xbox being replaced, Microsoft and UPS will keep the client(s) updated with the current status of where the Xbox is and whether it is being repaired or replaced.
Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery platform.