Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My XBOX 360 died but the world did not end

- I've been getting a lot of freezes for about the past month and it's been getting worse. It started with saints row. Post patch I must have locked up ten times. No red lights or anything. The console just freezes with all lights still green. Then later on it happened once in gears, once in pocket bike racers, and about 5 times in rainbow six Vegas (single player)
- I had a near launch console (mfg date 11/25/05) so my warranty was automatically extended for a year. I had purchased the two year extended warranty from Microsoft earlier for $50 for 2 years.
- I decided it was time to call support (Sunday). My first call went to India and I explained the issue above and also that it happened in live multi player but mostly in single player. She insisted I get transfered over to the xbox live support because for some reason she thought it was a networking issue.
- So I get transfered. Then, I explain the whole story to the live support person, and she's says this is obviously a hardware issue and not a live issue so she transfers me back to hardware support.
- I get an American! He was really nice and helpful and obviously was a gamer. I explained my issue a third time and he immediately authorized a repair. They even shipped me a prepaid shipping box (coffin) so I can ship the broken xbox 360 back to them. I think if you have the extended warranty they will pay shipping both ways but if you are just under regular manufacturer's warranty then you have to pay shipping to Microsoft.
- The coffin arrived on Wed. I ship it out thurs. It arrives on Fri. They turn it around in 24hrs. I receive my replacement (refurbished - mfg date: 6/13/2006) console on Tues. Also, it has a Samsung drive (much quieter) vs my old Hitachi one. Overall not bad. It took 9 days total from my first call. I was without a console for only 5 days (including a weekend). I was actually pretty impressed.
- I played some saints row and a few hours of gears and so far so good (knock on wood)
- Basically if you have a console built before 2006, I highly recommend you buy an extended warranty before your mfg warranty runs out. After that you can't buy the extended warranty anymore.
- My original x360 was pretty flawless until around the fall update. I'm not positive that's what started causing the issues but the timing is just about right. Coincidence?

UPDATE: 4/5/07
- So far so good. The replacement 360 is still working fine.
- Some notes on what happens to your live purchases after a machine swap:

When you purchase something over live two things happen.
1) it is tied to your gamertag. That way you can bring your profile to a friends house and download an already purchased piece of content and play it there. On any other profile it becomes trial.
2) it is tied to the serial number of the box. This is so other profiles on your specific 360 can also play that paid for content. This happens at the time of purchase, NOT at the time of download.

If you have a different 360 after the repair process(as in my case) then it behaves like you signing in with your profile on a friends machine. This is true even if you kept your original hard drive with all the content still on there since as stated in #2 the console serial # no longer matches. At this point you are basically hosed if you don’t log in with the same exact profile that said content was purchased under.

Solution: Call support (at least 5 times) and eventually they will give you codes to give you the equivalent points needed to repurchase all the content (which will then associate that purchased content with your new serial #).

For me since I only have one profile in the household that really uses the 360 I haven’t had the incentive to go through the hassle of support to go get those points back (about $70 worth for me). I’m almost always signed into live so it doesn’t affect me much.

Oh and you if you do go the support call route you might want to wait a month to make sure your refurb 360 lasts. Otherwise you get to do it all over again.

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