Console Freezes (Tried Wizard) and Looking for Advice

Hello all,

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.
All advice appreciated - thanks in advance.
 

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Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 10 Applies to:

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Hi,

So your console started freezing about three weeks ago, was this around the time the latest system update was released?

Could you try deleting the system update and re- updating your console manually using a USB flash drive as described in the following thread please.

forums.xbox.com/.../166045.aspx

I can't guarantee it will fix your issue but it's worth a shot.

To delete the system update Locate your hard drive in the storage section on your console Press LB,RB,X,LB,RB,X Follow the prompt to delete the system update
Broccoli, tiny trees of green goodness.

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@v G O R D O N v:

Thank you for your reply; I know that "buy a new console" is a likely last resort. I'm appealing to the forum first to see if the problem can be resolved without needing to buy a completely new system. I did, however, test both machines without the ethernet cable plugged in - no change in behaviour. The internet connection is very likely not related to this problem.

@ThingOnAString:

Thank you for your advice. I uninstalled the system update following your instructions. I then restarted the console, declined the update request, cleared the cache and shut down the console. Then I downloaded the update, unzipped it to a USB stick, and plugged it into the front port of the XBox. When I booted it up, I was prompted to install the update. After doing so, I restarted the console.

Unfortunately, the machine's behaviour has not changed. In fact, as I write this, I'm looking at a frozen picture of the Bungie splash intro that plays when I start up Halo Reach.

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Hi again,

It seems strange that two consoles with separate hard drives exhibit the same behaviour. Do you use a power surge protector at all? If so try connecting the console power pack directly to a mains outlet bypassing the power surge protector. It is also worth trying a different power outlet just in case that is faulty and not the console.

As you state the problem is gone once you remove the hard drive it leads to one conclusion, it's the hard drive but you tried another hard drive and that was the same so that kind of throws that theory out the window maybe.

It seems you've done a pretty good job of testing things, may I suggest you backup your profiles etc and format the drive to see if that helps any.

Broccoli, tiny trees of green goodness.

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Thanks again for replying with your suggestions. I have a few testing updates, and admit that I have to replace some presumptions I'd made in earlier testing.

First, I tried moving the power adapter to a different power outlet, away from the power bar-connected tv set up. Both Xboxes continued to freeze after 5-10 minutes of use.

Then I managed to find another 175W power adapter. I really thought this would be the solution, but even the different power adapter in its own plug did not resolve the problem: both consoles continue to freeze after 5-10 minutes of use.

I reviewed Gordon's advice and my own testing and swore that unplugging the ethernet cable did nothing, but at this point I was out of options. But when I unplugged the ethernet connection and rebooted the machine and wasn't signed into XBox Live, I was able to play the Xbox for over 30 minutes continuously! This worked for both machines. And like clockwork, within 5-10 minutes of plugging in the ethernet connection, the console freezes.

This sounds consistent so far, but didn't address why removing the hard drive solved the problem. So I went back to that. I tested it three times on each machine, with no hard drive installed, skipping the sign in and, with the ethernet cable plugged in, started up Gears of War 3, Dark Souls and Reach. Every time, both consoles froze. So I have to update my presumption that removing the hard drive solved the problem. Maybe it lasted a few minutes longer the first time, leading me to believe it worked.

So where I'm at now is this:

  • no ethernet cable plugged in: console works fine, I can play each of them for 30+ minutes, regardless of hard drive or power adapter.
  • ethernet cable plugged in: console freezes after 5-10 minutes of being plugged in, regardless of whether it started that way or not (ie. I plugged it in after playing for a bit and signed in).

I've been able to quickly power on the console with the ethernet cable in, download and install updates quickly, power off, unplug the cable and start it up again with no problems. So it seems that after a certain period, having the ethernet connection is bad. But it takes a few minutes for that to happen. I'm going to bring my console(s) over to a friend's house to test whether it's my router or not. But I doubt it, given how many devices my router currently serves just fine at home.

If I find out that, even at my friend's house, having an internet connected Xbox causes it to freeze, what should I do? Because at that point, I'd be willing to bet it's firmware or software, which means that Microsoft is preventing me from using a service that I'm paying them for.

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I don't think you need a new console, I have the original Pro version and just updated to the lastest firmware and it works without issue, so I would eliminate hardware as being the cause. Make sure it's properly ventilated, give it space to breathe. I think it's profile or network related.

 

I would check the Active Downloads queue (hit Xbox button on controller, go to Marketplace tab and select Active Downloads), make sure nothing is being downloaded or queue'd up. I would also check your HDD and see how much space you have left, maybe try deleting some demos.

 
Then go to Network Settings, select Wired or Wireless, then execute the "Test XBOX live Connection".
This will answer any network issues.


If all is ok, log off and create a new silver profile, see if you face any issues at all.
Last but not least, you can try deleting your profile and then recovering it.


Don't delete any of your saves/items or anything. Select profile only.

Link: support.xbox.com/.../profile-move-delete

Then just recover.

*Not sure what ramifications come if you try this, so no guarantees.

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Hi,

It may be worth a shot at resetting the consoles network settings to the defaults as described in the link below.

-

support.microsoft.com/.../978976

Broccoli, tiny trees of green goodness.

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@romeoteknik

Hi! Thank you for your advice! It's comforting to know that there's another Pro out there that isn't having the problems I'm encountering right now. I checked my Marketplace window - no active downloads on my account at this time. I've long since given up trying to keep my game saves - both machines' HDDs have been reformatted a few times since I started dealing with this. I reformatted it again, just to be sure. It's got 225GB space left, and no change in behaviour.

I did the network diagnostics as recommended by you and by ThingOnAString. It uncovered an interesting problem - my router's uPnP hadn't been enabled, so I changed the settings on my router and rebooted it. I thought that could definitely have solved the problem until 6 minutes into a YouTube video, the box froze.

I followed the next suggestion and started creating a new silver profile. Literally as I was creating the new profile the console froze! Sure, I was taking my time choosing his clothes, but still...

I tried deleting my profile and recovering it as suggested but again, no dice there. The console still freezes after about 5-7 minutes.

@ThingOnAString

I followed your advice and reset the console's network settings to the factory default. It's how I uncovered a potential problem with my router set up, but unfortunately it didn't resolve the problem. When I test the XBOX LIVE connection, it says everything's "up".

I gave one of the systems to a friend of mine to test out as his place to see if he's having the same problems. If he doesn't, then it must have to do with my network set up at home. If he has the same problems, then it's likely not network related imo.

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Back up everything on the console and reset it to factory settings!

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So I have an interesting update: my friend called me and told me that the Xbox I gave him ran just fine, even with an ethernet cable plugged in: he played for over 30 minutes without issue. I plan to trade him for the other system to see if the results are similar, but right now it indicates a network problem or problem involving the network setup and the XBox. We both use the same cable provider - Shaw Cable - but we have different modems. Mine is a Cisco DCP3825, which is a combination modem and Wi-Fi/4-Port Ethernet router.

I've been looking on the interwebs for anyone else with problems with these two devices together, but haven't found anything yet. I'm grateful for all of the suggestions so far. Allow me to summarize the findings:

  • set up: Cisco DCP3825 Modem + Wi-Fi Router, connected to multiple internet capable devices via Wi-Fi and ethernet
  • problem: console freezes after 5-10 minutes of use consistently whenever the ethernet cable is plugged in - when it's not, the console works fine
  • problem appears to be scoped to just my set up - at a friend's house with the same internet provider but different modem, the problem did not occur
  • Xbox Live Connection test results in all checkmarks - Network, Internet, Xbox LIVE, all Live Status markers "Up"
  • IP settings are set to Automatic, DNS settings Automatic, no Alternate MAC Address specified (though when I tried to change it, the Xbox could no longer connect to the network)
@FH BRoWNtoWN
Thank you for the suggestion! I have reformatted the hard drives multiple times and reset various settings in the machine to their factory defaults, following the Microsoft support guides. I haven't seen any change in behaviour.

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Hi Tibbsy,

Assuming your friend doesn't have the same issue with your console at his place is it possible to connect your console directly to your modem bypassing the router.

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the easiest test of course would be to simply not have your console connected to the Internet at all and then see if it still freezes, that would prove it is or isn't a network issue.

-

Please keep us informed as I am very interested in this and it can be added to my database of solutions for other users.

Regards

ThingOnAString.

Broccoli, tiny trees of green goodness.

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