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Weekly Roundup – Broken Xbox Edition

Written by Nickel - 11 Comments

Just about a week ago, our Xbox 360 crashed with an E74 error. The bad news is that this error code signals a “General Hardware Failure.” The good news is that it’s still under warranty. In fact, this problem is so common that Microsoft has extended the warranty to cover it for three years.

Unfortunately, when I went online to print out the shipping label to send our console in for service, the Microsoft website couldn’t produce a printable image. I tried in multiple browsers, both Mac and PC. Ultimately, I had to call in for help. Based on a bit of Googling, as well as the response of the CSR, this appears to be a known issue.

Here’s the funny thing… Instead of e-mailing me a pdf of the shipping label, as you might expect the largest computer company in the world to be capable of doing, they were reduced to sending the label to me via snail mail. It finally arrived on Saturday, so tomorrow I’ll be package up our Xbox and send it away for repairs.

And with that… Here are some recent articles that caught my eye…

Finally, Matt’s article on “Breaking Free From a Culture of Temptation” was selected as an Editor’s Pick in the Best of Money Carnival. Have a great week!

Published on July 19th, 2009 - 11 Comments
Filed under: Link Love

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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11 Responses to “Weekly Roundup – Broken Xbox Edition”

  1. 1
    Gwen H Says:

    Here’s a thought – don’t bother to get the Xbox repaired. Then you don’t have to deal with the PITA known as Microsoft. Believe it or not, life does go on without an X-box or other gaming system in the house. Instead of wasting hours and hours playing mind-sucking video games, you’ll be amazed at how your productivity shoots skyward. You might also get to know your family again. ;-)

  2. 2
    Colin Says:

    Here’s a thought – don’t listen to Gwen H. since she apparently doesn’t understand that not everyone spends hours playing “mind-sucking video games” on their Xbox. Our family uses it as a media center extender to watch the occasional NetFlix, to display new pictures to our entire family, to listen to music while working around the house and to act as a DVR for the 4 channels we get via rabbit ears. The few hours a months that I do get to play a “mind-sucking video game” is after a long day and usually with my wife. Nothing like a little Halo co-op to build teamwork between spouses. :) It is definitively worth getting fixed, despite MS’s lackluster customer service.

  3. 3
    Jeremy Says:

    Wow, who peed in Gwen’s Wheaties this morning?

  4. 4
    Engineer@EADFL Says:

    I have helped several friends repair their xbox of death issue. Most of the time it is heat related due to their inadequate cooling.

    There are many sites out there that walk you through fixing it if you are interested in taking that route.

    Most of the time you can tear it down, clean it up, put new thermal compound on the heat sinks and add an aftermarket fan and it will work great for the rest of it’s life.

    But as you say, if it’s under warranty still, hopefully they can turn it around pretty quick.

    Good luck.

  5. 5
    Flexo Says:

    Here’s a thought – thanks for including my article in your roundup, Nickel! (And bring on Rock Band Network!)

  6. 6
    Gwen H Says:

    Nobody peed in my wheaties. I just know from personal experience what a time-waster any kind of electronic entertainment can be – Xbox, TV, etc. And I also know from personal experience that the more gadgets you have, the more time you’re going to spend trying to talk to customer no service to get it resolved. We’ve always listened to music while working around the house, but we’ve never needed a fancy, expensive electronics system to do it. Just a plain radio works fine. And by attaching a large monitor that I bought secondhand to my computer, we can watch Netflix on demand without a fancy system to extend it to the TV.

    I also find Colin’s denial of playing mind-sucking video games, but then admitting that he does play them with his wife, interesting to say the least. There are many other activities that go much further toward strengthening a marital relationship than trying to kill each other in a video game (I don’t just mean sex, either).

    Finally, families should do more together than stare at the TV. Start a vegetable garden and work it together, which saves on groceries and teaches kids valuable skills. Get outside and go on a day hike or a horseback ride. Experience life firsthand, not through the TV.

    Gwen H

  7. 7
    Colin Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more Gwen; I am a firm believer in the family experience, but frankly, your assumptions could not be more wrong.

    Surely you understand that different activities are enjoyable to different families? My wife does a wonderful job raising our family and she enjoys working in the house. She is an avid seamstress and artist. I enjoy working on electronics, repairing and renovating our home and playing the guitar. As a family we very much enjoy hiking, camping, traveling and playing board games with family and friends. You need to understand that playing a game or owning a game console does not automatically put you into a category of “time waster” or “under achiever,” it is a hobby just like any other hobby. In the future, it would be a good idea for you not to assume so much when you know so little about a subject and/or person.

    For clarification, I never denied playing the occasional video game; I merely stated that there are many other uses for a console that perhaps you were unaware of and when my wife and I play a game together we never “kill” each other, we always work together as a team. You really should step out of 1972, pour yourself a new bowl of Wheaties and give gaming a shot… you might just enjoy yourself.

    Colin

  8. 8
    MikeS Says:

    It’s interesting that Gwen is giving Colin a hard time for wasting time with his electronic equipment, but has a monitor attached to her computer to watch Netflix.

    Don’t judge what other people do for relaxation. If it works for them, fantastic. The world is filled with enough stress that people need to do what they can to relieve it.

  9. 9
    Jesse Says:

    Good luck with the Xbox repair. I just sent mine off for the third time. The first two “repairs” did nothing to solve the problem: it was back to giving me the red ring within half an hour after setting it up. At least this time they sprung for overnight shipping.

  10. 10
    ZippyPee Says:

    Hey Gwen……..go eat some more granola bars and put on your Teva’s……..you got a lot of nerve injecting your boring life scenarios into everyone thoughts…..You should shave your pits and your legs and come out of the woods…….Woodstock is over….LOL

  11. 11
    Debbie Says:

    Funny thing, my son’s X-box just did that to him yesterday he got the labels off line and is shipping back today.

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