Xbox Errors Explained
While your Xbox 360 can be an incredibly enjoyable investment, it can also be frustrating and problematic. The reams of information written about Xbox repairs and fixes are a testament to how many errors actually occur with the console. While the 3 red light problem, the 2 red light problem and the 1 red light problem are all relatively common, many players are unaware that more information can be gleaned to help identify and correct the problem.
Xbox Error Codes
In addition to the flashing red lights within the Ring of Light on the front of your console, the TV screen may show an actual error code. These are useful in determining the problem the console is experiencing, as well as developing a plan of action to help remedy the situation. Here are the most common Xbox error codes, including all E7X and E6X codes, as well as an explanation of E74.
E45: Possible dashboard update corruption problem.
E64: DVD Drive Error – Drive timeout or incorrect firmware; frequently caused by very scratched discs, though other causes are common, as well.
E65: DVD Drive Error – Most often caused by a DVD tray/drawer that did not fully close.
E66: DVD Drive Error – DVD model, version or software do not match. This can occur when a different DVD drive is installed in the machine than what was originally installed from the factory. Firmware/hardware conflicts are the usual issue.
E67: Hard Drive Error – Possible disc error with the hard drive, though hard drive connection problems can also cause this issue. To ascertain if the hard drive is responsible, remove the drive and attempt to login to the console.
E68: Voltage Error – This means that insufficient power is being supplied to the console. Check the fans for proper operation, accessories consuming excess voltage or problems with the power supply (power brick). This can also be caused by modifications to the case or interior of the console. First, remove all accessories and peripherals, ensure the light on the power supply is green and reattach peripherals and accessories one at a time.
E69: Hard Drive Error – This code is very similar to E67; attempt the same remedy as mentioned above.
E71: Unknown Cause – Attempting to resent the console can alleviate this error, as can resetting the cache in the console. However, not all attempts are successful and many consoles must be returned due to this error.
E72: No known cause or troubleshooting steps as of now.
E73: General Hardware Error: Ethernet port – This indicates an internal error with the Ethernet port of the console. The problem can be physical or driver related. No trouble shooting steps are available for this error.
E74: Often associated with the 1 red light error, this error code may have multiple causes. Chip related problems are usually responsible. The X-clamp replacement method and replacing the thermal protective coating can help alleviate this issue. The general consensus is that a loose or improperly mounted GPU chip can be responsible.
E76: Ethernet Error – This code is very similar to E73. Ethernet controller chip malfunction is the usual cause of this error.
E79: Hard Drive Error – Physical disc problem or internal connection problem between the hard drive and motherboard; this can also be a sign of file corruption, according to some researchers. Troubleshoot the same as for E67.
A Note on Underlying Causes
While the error codes may present a picture of dissimilar causes for console malfunction, many of these have a single underlying cause. That cause consists of excess heat generation and faulty construction on the part of Microsoft. It has become general knowledge that the lead-free solder used for the GPU and CPU chips is sub-standard, resulting in hairline cracks forming during heat-induced expansion. These cracks are responsible for breaking continuity during motherboard flex and often lead to unseating the GPU from its mounting location on the motherboard.
The single best method to deal with the majority of these codes is to remove the case of the Xbox and modify the system. As a note, if you have a warranty remaining on your Xbox, this procedure will void that warranty. You are advised to send the console to Microsoft for repair or replacement.
Modifying the X-clamps holding the heat sinks to the GPU and CPU, as well as replacing the thermal protective coating on the chips, themselves, can help alleviate the symptoms of these errors. In addition, modifying the X-clamps will place uniform pressure across the GPU and CPU chips, helping to ensure proper connectivity.