RRoD or simply the red ring of death refers to the four LEDs surrounding your Xbox 360’s power button. As much as the console is an older generation, it still has a lot of life as a classic but fun and budget streaming box, and gaming machine. However, like other machines, it can break too.
If you see the red LEDs on the front flashing instead of starting, you need to get it fixed. Ideally, when the console is operating normally, you’ll see a solid green on the upper left quadrant of the ring. However, when the console experiences an error, one to four of the lights will flash red.
Don’t worry though, your console isn’t dead yet. The error usually shows on original Xbox 360 consoles, as the current models – S and E – have only one visible LED and they show error codes instead.
What to do when you see the Xbox red ring of death
One red LED
This indicates hardware failure and displays the E-74 error on your TV. You can fix it by doing this:
- Power off the Xbox
- Disconnect any devices or cables from the console
- If there’s an external hard drive attached, remove it too
- Reconnect the power source and reboot the Xbox console. Connect all accessories and controllers one at a time until the error trips again to show there’s a problem with one of these or they’ll connect without issues
- Shut down the console and plug in the hard drive and then restart the Xbox and check the drive. If you see the error, shut down the console and check with Microsoft for a replacement or repair
Two red LEDs
This indicates overheating on your console. To fix it, shut the console down and unplug or remove anything next to or around it. Check if there’s anything blocking the fan or cooling vents. Next, move the console to a different open space and let it cool for an hour before rebooting it.
This indicates general hardware failure, but you need to cross check to make sure it’s the actual problem. To do this:
- Check the power source for a brick next to the power cable that connects into your device. If it’s green, the console is the problem
- If the light is red or orange, unplug the power source and check your Xbox on a different power source. Don’t plug into any other device; just make sure the red LEDs don’t light up. If the red LEDs are still there with a green power source light, you have to replace or repair the console
Four red LEDs
This indicates that the cable connecting your console and TV is faulty or not working as it should. To fix it, shut down the console and unplug the cable completely from both devices. Wait a few minutes and reconnect again. If it still won’t work, you can replace it from a gaming store or online. Before going to the store, check if your console has an HDMI port, and if your TV has one too, use a HDMI cable.
A tech writer specializing in Windows, Android, iOS, and software.