Why doesn't my XBox 360 know it's an XBox 360?
June 25, 2008 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Borrowed Call of Duty 4, for the XBox 360, from a friend, and each time I try to play a message appears informing me that I need to insert the disc into an XBox 360, which is where it is. The message is static, and when trying to do anything with the controller, the DVD control overlay appears. What's going on here? Google searches point to some similar experiences, but not much in the way of solutions. The disc has been cleaned several times and while not in perfect shape is certainly not damaged beyond playability.
posted by boombot to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your drive is crapping out on you. Does this happen with other game disks?

You are seeing the error message built into the disc, intended to be displayed by DVD players when you try to play the game in them. Your xbox is not recognizing it as a game, but it can read it and tries to play as a DVD player would.

Unfortunately, the only solution I've heard of is calling up Microsoft and ordering a coffin to send your box in for repairs.
posted by utsutsu at 9:59 AM on June 25, 2008

I had this happen to me with Halo 3 and it truly sucks. Especially because the error message doesn't seem to make sense. That's because the drive is reading the disc as a DVD and not a game and you're getting an error generated from the disc, not the drive. The only way to fix the problem is going to be by getting your Xbox fixed. You may be able to have this done for free but I'm not sure, I eventually gave up and stopped playing Xbox completely. Your welcome Microsoft. However, there is a way to bypass the problem and get the game to work but it's going to take some patience.

1. Turn on Xbox.
2. If game doesn't load, turn off Xbox.
3. Repeat.

If you feel like you're not getting anywhere you can throw in a few steps between 1 and 3, like eject the disc then turn off Xbox, eject the disc drive and close the drive then turn off the xbox, eject the drive to turn on the Xbox and close real quick, eject the disc to turn on Xbox and let it load to Dashboard then try the game. You may also adjust the box's position. Try standing it vertical.

At one point it took 30 minutes of repeating on/off for the game to load, and that was when I decided enough was enough. I haven't turned on my box since. But the game always loaded, eventually.

Good luck.
posted by trueluk at 9:59 AM on June 25, 2008

This is a well-known hardware issue. You should contact warranty service to get it fixed. Eventually it die completely.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:02 AM on June 25, 2008

Yeah, you need the coffin. On the upside, the coffin supply technicians are among the nicest tech support guys Mr. F and I have ever dealt with, and they shouldn't give you any crap about it.

You also won't have to send in your hard drive, so no worries about losing saves. (Ours had the Red Ring of Death seven missions into Halo 3, which made losing the HD a major concern.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:05 AM on June 25, 2008

Before you send in your console, make sure its actually your 360 that is borked and not the COD4 disc. Tried any other games?
posted by wongcorgi at 10:28 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

FWIW I had my XBox die a few months ago. I also had weird stuff happen similar to what you describe. I didn't get the red ring of death until I was on the phone with Microsoft.

Customer service was actually a good experience. I didn't have my receipt, and I had never registered it. No problem. I had a working unit back in exactly 14 days and it's been fine since.

Get on the phone with them right away. It's gonna flat out die soon.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:28 AM on June 25, 2008

You can also do the return completely online via xbox.com. Just go to the support section.

This is the route I took why my Xbox360 recently red-ringed, and my experience was great. I recieved the pre-paid shipping box in about 2 days from requesting it, shipped the Xbox back late on a Friday afternoon, and had my machine back the following Wednesday. On top of that, it was MY machine(I checked the serial#), and they packed in a free month of Live!Gold.

I was really surprised after all the horror stories I've read online.
posted by owtytrof at 10:32 AM on June 25, 2008

I had the same thing happen to me when my xbox was on it's way out. It only did it with my copy of Fight night Round 3, but I got the red rings a couple of weeks later.

Xbox will charge you $100 to replace the drive if your warranty is expired. However, they will fix the red rings for free, so it may be worth waiting until it completely craps out on you.

A friend of mine suggested wrapping my xbox in plastic and letting it run for a while to kill it and cause the red rings on purpose.. not suggesting you do that or anything..
posted by adustum at 10:40 AM on June 25, 2008

Force red ring and send it in ^as above.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 10:58 AM on June 25, 2008

Response by poster: I find it maddening that DVDs and other games are fine, will COD continually fails, but had suspected that death was near.

I've already gone through the red ring exchange twice. Does that mean the warranty reset for this sort of stuff?
posted by boombot at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2008

Have you tried the COD disc on another Xbox? You mention that the disc is not in 100% perfect condition; it's possible that a single scratch in the right place maybe preventing your Xbox from reading it correctly. I would try another Xbox to test that possibility -- that would explain why your other DVDs/games are fine.

As for the warranty, I don't recall Xbox support telling me that my warranty got reset/extended after fixing my RROD. I'm sure a quick call could answer that question.
posted by rdhatt at 1:22 PM on June 25, 2008

Response by poster: Future reference for anyone who stumbles onto this thread:

posted by boombot at 2:06 PM on June 25, 2008

If it is a bad console, I highly suggest selling the repaired console and buying a new one for yourself. You are likely to just get another refurbished system in return and it will fail again eventually. Buy yourself a new falcon, or wait for jasper and hopefully avoid dealing with this again.
posted by utsutsu at 8:39 PM on June 25, 2008

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