Home Gaming Fearing the Reaper – Gaming's cold hand of death

Fearing the Reaper – Gaming's cold hand of death

4 min read

If you’re an Xbox360 user, than you’re probably peering suspiciously at your white box’s power button, chomping away at the bloody stumps that once were your finger tips. Don’t worry, I’ve been there too. Fearfully awaiting the day that your green ring of fun turns a darker shade of red and abruptly gives you the proverbial finger. Alas, that day awaits most of us.

Most Xbox360 users have had to face the cold shoulder of the RROD or Red Ring of Death, as they like to call it. Don’t get me wrong, there are still those select few who are joyfully riding along on Lady Luck’s coat tails.

I happen to be one of those blessed few that have yet to look away from my crosshairs, mid Halo, only to realize that my gun reloading issues are not the result of my controller batteries running dry, but a bit more severe. Well, even if you are standing on the edge of Xbox harakiri, watching your machine shallow dive to its ultimate demise, don’t fear! There are now numerous websites available claiming that: “You can fix your RROD in 5 easy steps…FREE!” Do you know what the problem is with these sites? They’re fakes…the elusive pot of gold…The Lochness Monster, and about as helpful as Ronald McDonald in a Fat Camp.

There are about as many fabled solutions for sorting out your troubled console, as there are Xbox fanboys supporting them. From some logical solutions like unplugging the power, to purely ridiculous ones like wrapping it in a warm towel and leaving it on for 30 minutes.

For those of you that are now sprinting towards your microwave at lighting speed, towel in hand, ready to get gaming, I’m sorry to say that it’s a myth. It works, but is only a temporary solution. I had the painful privilege of helping a co-worker cope with the untimely passing of his gaming muse thanks to the RROD, I know how it goes. And trust me, he tried it all! Googled every Xbox self-repair site he could. Bought the bonding gels, replaced the heat syncs and even exchanged the cooling fans.

And yes, if you were wondering, he even tried the fabled towel method. And yes…all of them worked but only temporarily. He would just start getting into a goal scoring run for the ages in a heated round of UEFA 2008 and then just as he hit that B button to go for that winning strike…when RIP Xbox once again. Then he’d move on to the next method, only to be faced with the excitement and ultimate disappointment all over again. 

So Xbox users, I feel sorry for you. I truly do. And this is probably one of those few times when I am allowed to sit back and gloat in the limelight that comes with being a Playstation3 owner, if only it weren’t for another silent assassin that has made its way into the gaming world. And that efficient killer is called the dreaded Orange Light.

Playstation owners are now experiencing the Playstation’s equivalent of the RROD and they have skilfully named it: The PS3 Killer Orange Light. And just as with the Xbox360, there is no cure or website that is going to help you fix it. The only solution at the moment? Send it to Sony and wait for them to email you back telling you it’s going to cost you between R2900 and R3500 to fix it. Wow, thanks for that little nugget of customer satisfaction Sony! So, you swallow your pride, scrape those coins out from in between your couch pillows and shuffle along back to your nearest electronics store only to lose all your save files, trophies and media files. What a great way to spend a Saturday.

But guys, when it comes down to it, you know ultimately we will be back. Standing in line, black box or white stallion in hand, eagerly awaiting our turn to have another go at Gears of War or Killzone 2. It’s what makes us gamers. That persistence to not let anger and emotion cause us to give up. If we get beaten down, be it online or in our living room, we take it on the chest and just keep going. We’re electronic juggernauts. The Conquerors of Worlds.

We are those foot soldiers that run fearlessly through the bullet fire and grenade smoke on a daily basis. We are those muscle monsters that stand toe-to-toe with Mike Tyson without a twinkle of self-doubt in our eyes. We are able to do this, simply because we love it. That’s why you know as well as I do…when the Reaper does come along, we’ll be ready for him, because if he takes my black beauty from me, I’ll be starving for a month maybe, but I’ll be back in line, ready to save the world from the Locust Horde or the fight of the Helghast alliance once again.

That’s just who we are. Gamers till the very end.

Last Updated: April 28, 2009


  1. Banana Hammock

    April 28, 2009 at 13:22

    Lol, not a bad article but you know we all actually call it the YLoD (yes a simple 360 rip off to give us the Yellow Light of Death), which a few people have managed to fix by re-flowing the soldering. But if that doesn’t work and you’re out of warranty the R3000 fix is just plain crazy!


  2. spl0it

    April 28, 2009 at 14:36

    Most people would have their 360’s fixed without cost to themselves, unless they voided the warrantee with some unsavoury behaviour.

    I’m on my 3rd 360′ everytime Mid has just given me a newer , quiter model


  3. WitWolfyZA

    April 28, 2009 at 14:55

    Whats the point of this article??? Its like your saying… Xbox sucks.. and PS3 sucks but we waste money buying it anyways… My xbox got the E74 error 2 times in one month. If it dies this time im taking on marathoning lol


  4. SlippyMadFrog

    April 28, 2009 at 16:23

    I’m still on my first 360. The manufacture date of my box is May 2006, crazy stuff. No RROD but the console continuously thinks I’ve inserted a DVD into the console when it it’s a game. It only takes after I have ejected the disc about 5 to 7 times. Anybody got a fast and free fix for this? 😉


  5. SlippyMadFrog

    April 28, 2009 at 16:26



  6. SlippyMadFrog

    April 28, 2009 at 16:32

    Oops, please ignore this comment.


  7. bliksem_182

    April 28, 2009 at 16:34

    Well, the thing is, all of these are still xbox problems. as for the soldering, the reason for the hot towel method with the RROD is supposed to be to “re-connect” the soldering. but like I said, it’s all temporary. And the thing about the (i wanted to say Orange Light of Death but realised the abreviation is ORAL, so I’ll refrain from that) is that Sony will tell you that it could by a multitude of things wrong (from your hard drive to your GPU) so they’ll ask you to send it in. After that, usually comes the R3000 quote. Look, as far as self soldering things go…mmm…I wouldn’t want to disect my black beauty and start messing with things. And the xbox thing, as far as I also know, you only have so long of a warranty when you’re pretty much on your ace. I’ve seen guys go through the orange light and the RROD personally. So I’m not making it up. I don’t know how you were lucky enough to get machines constantly replaced. My co-worker get the fingered coz he bought his machine end of 2007 and I mine end 2006. Mine is fine…his is in pieces (he did that after he tried 5 different RROD quick fixes which all failed after a bit of working). So yeah, that’s why the article. Coz I’ve seen quiet a bit of people suffer under the RROD Reaper. And I’m the guy still crossing his fingers neither one of my systems freak out :cwy:


  8. Nick

    April 28, 2009 at 17:25

    I have had this same issue Slippy, Had the console replaced. Called Support and they were happy to give me a ref number. Problem is that yours aint so new, so i dunno if they will help.


  9. Nick

    April 28, 2009 at 17:27

    I think I am on my 5th or 6th Xbox 360, and I have not yet had a RROD, it has always been other issues such as disc drive problems, and freezing problems.


  10. spl0it

    April 28, 2009 at 18:24

    Some important info that you do not seem to be aware off
    IF your console is out of warrantee and still has its Warrantee sticker in place you can get it replaced for abour R900 including shipping.

    So again, there should be NO reason to try and fix it yourself


  11. Perspective

    April 28, 2009 at 18:40

    YLOD: 1-3% of all PS3’s
    RROD: 10-30% of all 360’s

    I bought both at launch, both are out of warranty, only one is alive atm…no more looking at the powerlight FTW!

    xBox 360 was fun while it lasted, but I’m getting my gamefix on PS3 from now on. Hell, for quite a while already. Just fork over the money people, only once every 7-10 years, xBox will never beat that TRUE pricetag.


  12. Like.to.Gamble

    April 28, 2009 at 19:12

    Too late , i have killed mine trying to fix it…


  13. bliksem_182

    April 28, 2009 at 19:16

    The warrantee thing you’re obviously talking about the xbox360 right? because i know first hand that sony, if out of warranty, doesn’t offer something like this. best friend of mine had the orange light. it was either fix (for almost R3000…his gpu was shot) or replace at his own cost. not his. so maybe xbox has something like that. and I can think THE ONLY reason they’d offer a service like that where they replace your machine for R900 (which is still at your expense, and shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place) is because they have had SO MANY machines come in with the RROD that they thought, hey, let’s be nice for a change and actually help our customers… :blink:


  14. spl0it

    April 28, 2009 at 21:17

    Yip, sorry I talking about the xbox 360


  15. bliksem_182

    April 28, 2009 at 21:21

    ah yes, there I can’t try and be macho. for my friend who watched his xbox perish, i feel sorry. HOWEVER, i’m sure when it finally died after his 5th self-repair attempt and he abruptly ripped the cooling fans off of it, ripped out the dvd drive with his bare hands and aggresively throwed it against the wall with brutal force leaving it shattered to pieces, that kinda ends your warranty once and for all as well… :blink: Poor little xbox :cwy:


  16. bliksem_182

    April 28, 2009 at 21:29

    no, not at all. I’m not saying either sucks. I’m saying that even though we will ALWAYS have problems with ANY of our systems (be it xbox, ps3 or pc) we as gamers don’t give up. Even though we know maintaining our addiction costs us money, in our eyes, it’s money well spent. That’s why I say: we have the RROD and the YLOD, but still, we keep buying new consoles when the old ones break regardless of the expense on our behalf. I decided to write this piece after a close friend of mine had lost his PS3 to the YLOD. So the next day, he went out and bought a new one. Okay, later that day his girlfriend did leave him. Something about him being able to spend money on a new console but not willing to take her out to dinner. Whatever, she was crazy as a fox anyway :whistle:

    If you want to leave your games and go run, good on you! That’s really great of you. I myself go to gym on a daily basis to keep up my fitness. I didn’t mean to sound like a fanboy to either of the systems, i was simply writing to say that I understand how our willing financial sacrifice towards our gaming addiction works. I myself have a game collection that if I put all the costs together over all the years probably has a collective value of about R40 000. Do I regret it?? HELL NO!


  17. BHW

    April 28, 2009 at 22:42

    Throwed !? :blink: :cwy:


  18. bliksem_182

    April 28, 2009 at 22:58

    Yeah, sad right? I was still like: So mate, if you want I can come over after work and we can take a look at your xbox together and see if we can get it to work. And he was like: o yeah, about that. yeah. Something might have happened. that truly was a sad day indeed, seeing that poor, defenseless xbox lying on there on the floor in agony :cwy:


  19. Fox1

    April 29, 2009 at 08:12

    I have read many articles on repairing the 360. The equipment to fix a console costs about R9000 to R12000. That’s just for the correct soldering equipment.

    And if you speak to professionals that repair consoles and motherboards for a living, they will tell you that the failure rate on the Xbox 360 Falcon models are extremely low.

    So no more watching the Power Ring :biggrin:


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