"To play this disc, put it in an Xbox 360 console."
January 28, 2008 3:56 PM   Subscribe

My Xbox 360 is just over a year old, and out of warranty. Naturally, it starts acting up. Whenever I insert at game disc, I get the message "To play this disc, put it in an Xbox 360 console."

From research I've done online, it seems that the unit is now dead, and I have to cough up the hundred bucks and ship it back to Microsoft, but the weird thing is, it will still play movies just fine. This leads me to believe that it's a software problem, as if the laser or DVD-ROM were dead, it probably wouldn't play DVDs, right?

Has anyone experienced this problem, or better yet, gotten around it without sending the unit in for repair?

What I've done so far:
  • Tried it with multiple games. They all throw the error. They're also mostly in pristine condition, but I have cleaned them nonetheless, to no avail.
  • Turned the console on and off, unplugged it, left in unplugged for extended periods of time.
  • Made sure it's not overheated - it is currently on end on a hardwood floor, but I've also tried it on horizontally on a small table by itself.
  • Tried booting without the hard-disk attached
posted by GriffX to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Response by poster: Er - I should clarify - I think that it's a firmware problem, not a software problem. I'm certain it's not the games.
posted by GriffX at 3:58 PM on January 28, 2008

Didn't they extend all warranties to three years?
posted by Kellydamnit at 3:59 PM on January 28, 2008

Response by poster: Not for all of them - I think my unit falls into an unfortunate valley because of when I bought it (i.e. not one of the first generation fault-prone ones). Anyhow, Microsoft says I'm out of warranty, and I don't see them budging on that, myself.
posted by GriffX at 4:06 PM on January 28, 2008

Have you tried cleaning the laser in the 360 drive?
posted by mphuie at 4:17 PM on January 28, 2008

Response by poster: Using one of those CDs with the little brush on them from Radio Shack? That always looked like trouble to me - have you used that on yours, or do you have another method?
posted by GriffX at 4:20 PM on January 28, 2008

From the warranty:

The term "Warranty Period" means: (i) as applied to the Console, a period of one year (three years for conditions that cause three lights on the ring of light on the front of the Console to flash red)

Any way you can make Three Red Lights appear? :-)
posted by swhitt at 4:26 PM on January 28, 2008

Actually, if you tell them you have the red rings of death (I'd use the online form rather than the phone), they'll just send you a box. If it's anything like my experience, they'll be too backlogged to take the time to check what's actually wrong with your box and just send you a new one. (I had a DVD drive error too, but a different one than you).
posted by mdbell79 at 4:35 PM on January 28, 2008

Do not under any circumstances use CD cleaners with the little brushes on them. Ever, on any device. They should be taken off the market like lead as a candy ingredient. Get a can of spray-air/data-duster.
posted by rhizome at 4:39 PM on January 28, 2008

this sounds like the sort of message you'd get if you put the disk in a dvd player. If you boot in to the OS with a disk in the drive does the bar at the bottom display the name of a game or say "play DVD"?
posted by subtle_squid at 4:57 PM on January 28, 2008

Seems to be a problem that I've heard more about recently. I'd try to induce RRoD and send it in.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 7:06 PM on January 28, 2008

I'm currently on my third 360, and the first two started out displaying this error message, then progressed to randomly crashing and freezing, then finally died with the unholy trinity of red lights. My current unit just recently started displaying this message again occasionally, so I'm sure I'll be sending this one back within weeks.
posted by influx at 12:46 AM on January 29, 2008

I know this is probably not the case for you, but I've had this problem with a single disk before. It can be disk specific, even though this particular instance of the problem seems general. Have you tried swapping disks with a friend to see if their disks play in your 360 and yours in theirs? This will probably show that the issue is with your box, but might also provide New Data on the issue.
posted by heresiarch at 7:26 AM on January 29, 2008

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