Your Xbox 360 Care Guide
Proper care and maintenance of your Xbox 360 will help you ensure that the console survives, that your game discs are safe and intact and that you enjoy your investment to the utmost. Proper care can also help you avoid common problems that lead to the 3 red light error (Red Ring of Death), the 1 red light error and the 2 red light error. However, no amount of care and concern can completely eliminate these conditions, simply due to the fact that they are caused by inherent design flaws. That said, proper care will extend the life of your console.
Location, Location, Location
The first thing that you need to consider is the location of your console. Most gamers have been conditioned by older consoles that did not have such stringent care requirements. However, the 360 does require very specific placement.
- Do not place the 360 on a soft, cloth surface. Always set the console on a hard, uncluttered surface to ensure proper airflow to the interior of the console.
- Never place the console on top of another device, such as a cable box, entertainment system or DVD player that generates additional heat.
- Never place your console in a tight, enclosed space. Bookshelves and confined shelves within an entertainment center are not the right location. The Xbox 360 requires open air to ensure proper airflow to the interior components.
- Do not place your console over (or near) an air conditioner or air conditioner vent. The contrast between the cold exterior air and the hot interior components can cause condensation within the unit. This liquid can short-circuit the console, causing damage and even fires.
- Never place your console inside a freezer or refrigerator to cool down. The extreme temperature difference can crack the motherboard, speed up the deterioration of the solder and force the GPU out of contact with the motherboard.
- The Xbox 360 power supply should be plugged into its own outlet. Never use a power strip or a splitter. This can reduce the power flow to the console and create error codes, as well as damage the power supply or console.
- The power supply should be placed in an open area with plenty of ventilation to help ensure heat distribution. Never cover the power supply or place it within a confined space.
General Cleaning and Care
Like all other electronic devices, the Xbox 360 requires cleaning on a regular basis. The frequency of these cleanings will be determined by the conditions in your home or other play location.
- Ensure that all ventilation panels are clean and free of dust. Dust and debris can clog the ventilation panels, cutting short the airflow to the interior components and helping the console overheat.
- Clean the DVD/game tray on a regular basis. You can use a simple DVD cleaner for this purpose; however, it is vital that you keep the laser lens clean, in order to avoid Disc Read errors. Clean the drive once per month, roughly, though more frequent cleaning will be needed for extreme playing amounts.
- The Xbox should be kept clean and dry at all times. Never keep the console in an area where standing moisture may be; this can induce condensation in the interior of the console.
Using the 360 requires its own set of care instructions. These will help you ensure that you do not encounter additional problems during game play.
- Never change the orientation of the console while there is a game in the drive. The Xbox 360 does not have a mechanism to hold the disc in place. By changing the orientation of the console, you can scratch the game disc, rendering your game disc unusable. In addition, do not bump, tip or hit the console while a game is in the drive for the same reason.
Tips for Game Care
Caring for your game discs is just as important as caring for the console. Dirty games can add dust and debris to the DVD tray, causing problems. In addition, poorly maintained games can easily cause Disc Read errors that cause frustration and anger.
- Return your games to the case after every gaming session. This will keep your games clean and safe for future use.
- Clean any dirty games by hand, with a clean, dry, soft cloth before placing it in the console.
- Avoid placing scratched discs in your console if possible. The 360 is very sensitive to scratches and dents; these usually lead to Disc Read errors.