No 'Red Ring Of Death'-style disasters for Xbox One, says Microsoft

General Hardware Failure

When a failure of one or more hardware components occurs, Q1, Q3 & Q4 flash red. Unlike the one light error, there is no error code displayed on the connected display."

This rather terse description in Microsoft's documentation was of little comfort to those who experienced what came to be known as the 'Red Ring Of Death' on the original Xbox 360. For many, it was pretty much game over for their consoles, which had to be professionally serviced and repaired, or simply replaced. 

It was a chapter that undoubtedly dinged Xbox's reputation, although the fact that the Xbox 360 recently celebrated its 26th consecutive month as the world's best selling console certainly indicates that gamers don't hold a grudge over it. All is forgiven, it seems, but perhaps not forgotten, as Microsoft's Phil Spencer this week referred back to the Red Ring Of Death to reassure gamers that it's learnt valuable lessons since then. 

Speaking with Edge Online, the head of Microsoft Studios said that the company learned a lot from the Red Ring Of Death, and is "confident" that the new Xbox One, announced earlier this week, won't face the same hardware woes as its predecessor. 

"The last Xbox was Trinity [the Xbox 360 S] and our success rate on Trinity was very high," Spencer said. "We learned a ton from the 360 launch and we took care of our customers with the extended warranty, but I think Trinity is telling." He added: "Xbox One is built by the same Trinity team with the same learning that went from the Xbox 360 into Trinity, and I'm confident in the quality of the new box." 

Source: Edge Online | Lower image via Microsoft

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Lol yeah, the team that learnt a lot from the xbox 360's original problems decided it was smart to put the internal hard drive right next to the CPU/GPU heatsink... Because the numerous studies that google and others have done showing heat and reduced hard drive life just obviously aren't true...

I believe RROD is caused by BGA Processor shifted as the solder melts due to heat. It was an 8 year old processor technology which has a lot to do with heat. I believe that processor has gotten better in term of low powered and less heat. So far MS has quality product, I have 6 year old xbox 360's hard drive and still working.

There was also an issue where the earlier Xbox 360s used relatively thin PCBs, making it more likely to flex as it was heated, add that to the weak BGA joins, and you had a recipe for CPU desoldering

minster11 said,
I believe RROD is caused by BGA Processor shifted as the solder melts due to heat.

Some analysts claimed it was simply the wrong solder for that application (Apparently they designed the chip package in-house). It was an earlier lead-free solder, and as it annealed due to running at high temperatures, intermetallics formed, which are brittle and prone to cracking.

Mordkanin said,

Some analysts claimed it was simply the wrong solder for that application (Apparently they designed the chip package in-house). It was an earlier lead-free solder, and as it annealed due to running at high temperatures, intermetallics formed, which are brittle and prone to cracking.


Indeed it is, the classic (expensive) fix is to remove the cpu and solder balls and put on LEADED solder balls and reflow it back onto the board!

I predict overheating, clogging on vents at rear of console and CPU fans / heat sinks getting clogged with a layer to carpet **** dust within a few months and causing overheating.

MrAnalysis said,
I predict overheating, clogging on vents at rear of console and CPU fans / heat sinks getting clogged with a layer to carpet **** dust within a few months and causing overheating.

Be nice if they didn't make it so damn hard to open it up and blow the dust out, huh? Can't really blame them. Afterall, 99% of the people that opened up the system would end up trying to hack it. Dust removal is a gateway excuse to illegal activity.

MrAnalysis said,
rear of console

its not 'rear' in xbox-1 case, its upper as there where the fan & vents located.

so yeah, if you stack something-else/stuff above the xbox-1, without allowing a proper airflow,
it might became problematic later.

And if you're stupid enough to stack something on top of obvious air vents, then quite frankly you deserve it if/when your console blows up/melts.

TCLN Ryster said,
And if you're stupid enough to stack something on top of obvious air vents, then quite frankly you deserve it if/when your console blows up/melts.

do not underestimates the people stupidity, people can be extremly stupid sometimes,
they excited about new xbox-1 chasis design, as now they will able to stacks something above it.

And thats why the xbox-1's form factor is the least criticized element of xbox-1.

Nintendo also learn something from flat surfaced NES, so they design the SNES in way that no stuff will able to stacked above it.

Edited by Torolol, May 25 2013, 7:32pm :

This is the least of my concerns.
I'm more concerned that I have to drop $5k on a new home theater/TV/Cable Provider that actually support HDMI spec needed to get the console to work as it appeared in the reveal.

I'm still giving it a few months. Maybe a little bit more. Going to wait to see if not other type of problems appear. Likely to be purchased on the next Halo installment (if is planned for 2014... Hope it's for 2015 though)

Meanwhile I'll be grabbing Zelda HD

warwagon said,
Just wait until the non removable hard drives start prematurely dying.

Like any other hard drive in a PC/laptop might? Odds are actually pretty low that they will but in either case I expect there's monitoring that will go on and you'll get a message or something.

On the other hand, I still have 10+ year old IDE drives that work, just not connected, but still work fine. And on that note, I doubt the hdd in the X1 will get used to the extent a main PC drive can from time to time depending on the work done on it.

Well. Remember that all games will be installed and loaded from the hard disk, which means it will be used constantly. Maybe this will be a modified WD drive which will sport a much longer life span.

Jose_49 said,
Well. Remember that all games will be installed and loaded from the hard disk, which means it will be used constantly. Maybe this will be a modified WD drive which will sport a much longer life span.

Yeah, but it's going to mostly be doing reading not many writes and I doubt there will be any fragmentation so don't expect much if any thrashing going on.

They did say it's a "custom" hdd though, don't know what they mean at this point but I'm guessing that it could be a hybrid drive maybe? Large cache but also a good chunk of NAND which will help performance but also reduce how much the drive works. It could thus spin slower and so on. Just a guess though.

warwagon said,
Just wait until the non removable hard drives start prematurely dying.

Nobody said they were non-removable. Only that they were non-user-serviceable. There's a difference. Besides, even IF that happens outside of your warranty, there's nothing stopping you from buying a fast USB 3 external drive and using that to store everything.

At this stage it's a whole lot of unknowns though, so let's wait and see, shall we?

warwagon said,
Just wait until the non removable hard drives start prematurely dying.

I have to agree - Our Sky HD+ (DTV/PVR) box came with a 500GB drive that's already failed & the 640GB Samsung/Seagate I used to use for DTV/PVR in a media server is on it's 3rd replacement but serving in a PS3 this time round.

I don't have a lot of confidence in fixed single 2.5" spinning disks for long term use in a PVR setup.

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