Red lights, no explanation (Xbox 360 annoyance #012)

Sony PSPDuring some late night shenanigans this past Friday, the power strip, which the Xbox 360 power supply and a host of other devices are connected to, was inadvertently kicked out of the wall socket. At the time, the Xbox 360 was streaming music from an iPod, while the visualization danced on a monitor. A nasty crackle & pop, followed by silence alerted us to the situation.

Once the power strip was reconnected, an attempt to reboot the 360 resulted in the appearance of the dreaded red lights. To make matters worse, it was the flashing three-light pattern (i.e. internal error). I quickly shut the console off and rebooted. To my delight, the welcoming green glow emanated from the circle of light and the startup logo appeared on the monitor. I watched as the Dashboard successfully loaded and then turned the console back off. It was all good-or so I thought...

The following morning I enjoyed a DVD on the 360, but when I attempted to fire up some PDZ co-op later that day, I had some trouble syncing the wireless controller with the console. I figured the battery was dead, so I plugged in the play-and-charge cable. I still couldn't get the devices to sync. I figured the battery must be really dead, so I pulled out a second controller and a fresh set of batteries. Nope, nothing.

Panic mode set in. I rummaged through some drawers and uncovered the hardware manual, but the instructions for connecting a wireless controller proved futile. I found that I could power on the 360 with the controller, but could not perform further actions. I also discovered that none of the USB ports recognized the iPod or a digital camera. I looked up the number for Xbox Support and picked up the phone.

After being led through the same useless connecting steps-multiple times-the rep issued a repair order. I was to receive a shipping box on Monday or Tuesday and would get a new or repaired unit within 8 days. There was no fee (and I didn't have to purchase the extended warranty repair plan). While the service time seemed reasonable, I was discouraged that Xbox Support couldn't offer any procedure or explanation beyond what I had already found in the manual. Wasn't there a diagnostics test I could run?

I dismantled the unit as advised, removing the cables, hard drive, and memory unit, preparing the 360 for shipping. Later I decided to plug the console back in-just the cables-so I could watch another DVD. For whatever reason, the media remote still functioned. For now, I was stuck with an overpriced DVD player. Sweet.

Other Xbox 360 annoyances: 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011

Xbox 360 delights: 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006

This article was originally published on Joystiq.