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The Red Ring of Death is when three flashing red lights around the Xbox 360 power button instead of the one to four green lights indicating normal operation represent an internal problem that requires service.
This error was soon nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death", "Red Lights of Death" or "Red Ring of Doom" by users, echoing Windows' Blue Screen of Death error. Warning signs may include freeze-ups, graphical problems in the middle of gameplay, such as checkerboard or pinstripe patterns on the screen, and sound errors, and the console only responds to pressing the power button to turn it off. These events may happen once or several times until the hardware failure occurs, or not at all. If the console freezes occasionally, the error will not necessarily follow. The technical problems seem to affect some generations of consoles more than others. e.g. Xenon or Zephyr.
This error code is usually caused by failure of one or more hardware components, although it can indicate that the console is not receiving enough power from the power supply, which can either be due to a faulty power supply or if the power supply cable is not fully inserted into the console. The 3 flashing lights can also be caused by power surges; if the console is connected to an outlet that receives a power surge, it may have a failure and the 3 lights will appear as long as the console is plugged into the outlet. Turning off the console, unplugging all power cables and plugging them back in, and restarting the console will fix the issue in this case.
Distinct from the General Hardware Failure is a similar-looking error warning where four red lights appear, in which case the console does not detect an AV cable is plugged in; however, this error code is not generated on models equipped with the HDMI connection. The four lights can sometimes also be seen when power surges or very brief power outages occur while the console is running, in which the console needs to be unplugged and plugged back in again to reset the error. Two red lights appear when the system is overheated.
On the Xbox 360 S model, the power button utilizes a different design that does not incorporate the same style of lighting that past models used. Due to this, errors are indicated by a flashing red light in the middle of the power button, dubbed the "Red Dot of Death" by some. The Xbox 360 S also has a issue with the power block on the power cord. It has three settings which are: Red, Orange, and Green. Red is an issue that either the person affected needs to un-plug all the cords on the block (except the one that is attached) and wait a few seconds and plug the cords back in or your power block has been broken or made wrong. If the quick fix does not work you should contact Microsoft and request a new power block. Orange and Green are not issues. Orange is stating that the Xbox 360 S is not turned on and power is not being used. Green is stating that the Xbox 360 S is on the power flow is normal.