It feels like I'm in an episode of House MD. Allow me to explain:
For about four years, my vanilla xbox 360 has served me faithfully. I would call myself a casual gamer, but I've put some good hours on it. About three weeks ago, the console started freezing after about 3-7 minutes of use. This behaviour has been consistent since then and has the following symptoms:
- the console freezes regardless of task: playing a game, installing an update; watching a video; or even just sitting on the dashboard;
- the power brick's light is green, the console's lights are green, and the controller's light is green when it freezes;
- the console is unresponsive to controller input - no dashboard access, no power off, no buttons or joystick input works;
- the console's hardware appears to respond still: the tray opens on push, and powers down when I press the power button.
I followed the Console Freeze wizard, as recommended on this site:
- moving the console and power brick on to the floor in open space - no change in behaviour;
- clearing the cache (when I was able to get to it before it freezing) - no change in behaviour;
- removing the hard drive appears to resolve this issue.
Slam dunk. The hard drive was faulty, so I purchased a new hard drive for the Xbox and installed it. After about 5 minutes, the console froze. Sigh. Maybe it was a dud drive, so to check that over, I gave both my "faulty" hard drive and my new hard drive to my buddy who also owns a vanilla xbox. He played with both hard drives for over an hour without issue. Not the hard drive, I guess. Bad wizard!
So now I'm thinking that my console's definitely got something wrong with it. It was far past warranty, and would cost me $130 + tax and shipping to get it refurbed. So I craigslisted an Xbox for $70 - I had the cables and everything, and found a seller that had the console in "excellent condition" but didn't have the cables or power adapter (I didn't ask why). No worries - it came with a controller and Fifa 12. Not bad. So I plugged the new system in and ... exact same behaviour. Now, I know it's craigslist and all but I think it's really unlikely that two completely different Xboxes can exhibit the same issues ... unless they have common parts. Which leads me to my current theory.
The only common part between these two machines is the 175W power adapter. I tried to borrow my buddy's but apparently the vanilla Xboxes went through minor revisions because his is 150W and has a different jack that is incompatible with (both of) mine :S So I can't verify that it's the power adapter at this time.
So I'm appealing to the forums now asking for help:
- Am I missing something in my assessment?
- Is there some way through Microsoft to get the the power adapter replaced? I only see repair forms for the console itself and I don't feel that $130 plus tax is a good price for just a refurbished power brick.