An Xbox 360 and a Very Lucky Towel

As I posted earlier, without taking the time to see what I was bidding on, I purchased an Xbox 360 for only $130… that didn’t actually work.

Thursday afternoon, it showed up at my house, and Friday night (once I had gotten back into town), I hooked it up to see just how badly it was screwed up. The front of the console now sports a “ring of light” around the power button. This ring of light is like a primitive message center. It has 4 quadrants: top left, bottom left, top right, and bottom right. On a fully functional 360, this ring lights up green, and then, if you only have 1 controller hooked to it, then the top left quadrant will stay green. If you have 2 controllers, then 2 quadrants stay green, etc, etc.

Mine, however, was not fully functional. The startup screen didn’t even come up on my TV. I never even got any error message to flash across the screen. All that happened, was 3 of the quadrants flashed red continually (the top right quadrant was blank).

So I immediately searched through Google to find out what 3 flashing reds meant. There was a link at Microsoft support that was semi-helpful. it explained the problem, but certainly didn’t offer any possible solutions, since they want you to send it to them for $140 and let them fix it. So I kept looking.

Another site explained how to get more specific information from your xbox, which I won’t get into here, though it is pretty interesting. My error code was 0020.

I then found this link which had some great tips, but they all included taking the Xbox apart, which I was not going to do. I might let someone else do it, but not me. So what if I had bought a hunk of junk. At least it still powered up. I was very doubtful that it would continue to do so once I opened it up. It would be very similar to a drunken game of Operation.

And then I found this site. According to the article, someone claimed that they had had the same problem mine did, and so they wrapped it in a towel (sounds like they might have some anger managment/bondage issues to work out), turned it on, and left it that way for 15-20 minutes. If you don’t know much about electronics, they produce heat; actually, all things that use energy produce heat as byproduct, and just like your computer, the xbox has fans and vents to help keep it cool. So wrapping it in a towel while it’s powered on causes it to overheat.

But according to this guy, once he unwrapped it and let it sit for about 10 minutes, it worked. Now, this idea is pretty ludicrous. It’s hard to figure out exactly what this trick does to actually fix the unit, but the crazy thing is, a lot of other people tried this. And almost every single one of them claimed it worked. And not just for 30 minutes. Some of them had been playing for months, for hours at a time, and still not had any problems.

So, I figured that I couldn’t make the problem any worse…

I wrapped my xbox in a towel, turned it on for 20 minutes, turned it off for 10, and I’ve been playing it ever since! 🙂 I’m never washing that towel again (not that I do much washing anyway; that’s what I got married for! 😉 ).


21 thoughts on “An Xbox 360 and a Very Lucky Towel

  1. An excellent find…be sure to link in the site with the towel info (in case others choose to follow in your lazy footsteps…it’s not linked in at the moment). This is truly the path to the lazy side!

  2. LOL, you know, had I read this anywhere else I would have laughed at the idea of that actually working. That is amazing!

    You should turn around and sell your magic towel on Ebay and recover some of that cost!

    By the way, now that you have a 360, you need to get XBox Live. A friend of mine once said that if you don’t have XBox Live you only have an XBox 180.

    If you already have Live or are planning on getting it, my gamer tag is L J Gremlin (with the spaces). If you are considering it, let me know. I have a ton of “free” hours that came with the games I have purchased.

  3. I guess I should have read more than just the top blog. Now I see that this one isn’t your first 360. I’m currently on my second unit. I got the “red light” on the first one and sent it in. This one works 98% of the time. I can’t play Madden online though, it freezes. It also freezes up during NCAA 07 and sometimes during Gears of War and Ghost Recon.

    However, I’ve never had it freeze on FIFA 07 online but it freezes up fairly often while playing FIFA offline.

    I would have already sent this one back in, but I’m lazy…

  4. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.

    A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
    More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

    I believe the Guide is in need of an update! 😀

  5. I may have to agree with Jay Grem on this one. This is not just a “lucky” towel…nay, my friend. This is the glorious magical towel of the lazy side. It should be enshrined (or sold for a good price). Wield it proudly.

  6. Uhh, sorry but,…I think I’ve already put that towel in the washing machine…Do you think that will rid it of any of it’s “glorious magicalness”?

  7. Thought I’d give a further update (and Jay, this is my only 360; the other Xbox I referred to was just a plain old original Xbox). I got the three red lights again this past weekend. I tried the towel trick again Saturday night, and it worked, but only for about 1 minute. I think Lauren’s going to drop it off at the shop for me tonight. We’ll see how that goes…

  8. Well, well,…Jim O, can I contribute at least some of the blame for Nathan’s “condition” or “state of mind” to you? You said yourself that you are a lifelong master of the lazy side…

  9. By the way, thanks Graham, for the info on Hitch Hiker’s Guide. I’m rather inclined to read those books now that I know how insightful they are.

    But wait! …the lazy side is telling me that there is a movie…

  10. I cannot lie– there are some lazy genes in the pool–but I doubt they’re swimming much ( they are too lazy). Actually, I used to work at being lazy, but to become a master you have to learn that lazy is a state of being and working for it is counter-productive. What I’m trying to say is that a true master of the lazy side may actually work, but NOT at being lazy, for a master is capable of being lazy without expending any effort to exist in that state.

  11. Hahahahaha! IT WORKS! Although it may well be an unknown problem, we know how to fix it. Wrap a towel around it to clear it’s sinuses. Might as well call it “the head cold error”. Tons of people have the 0020 error.

  12. You are the man. You have saved my system. He is not lying this method WORKS and you will save yourself a lot of hassle, stress, and OF COURSE MONEY. Words cant even explain the relief…..thanks big time.

  13. I am also a person with a three red ringed console. I’ve had my console since launch and it has been working perfect up until this very day, may 5th.

    I’ve always laughed and looked down on people for having broken 360’s because mine always worked and I figured it was people not giving the console enough ventilation space or mistreating it.

    I guess karma finally caught up to me and now I’m paying the price. I have now wrapped my console up in a few towels like you said in the video and now I’m waiting….waiting for this to hopefully cure my 360.

  14. Tried the whole towel thing….

    dont know if it that i didnt use enough towels..or if im wrapping up wrong….

    but ive tried it a few times and sadly its not working for me…..

    i’m gunna try it again in the morning for a whole 30mins

  15. … didnt work…….

    looks like im having to ship it of for repairs….

    lucky i’m still within warranty

    what sucks so much though is that ive only had it for about 7-8 months

  16. whats happening is there is 2 heat sinks which are set on your cpu/gpu.. basically what ur doing is a resoldering.. it heats up to where the heat sinks resolder themselves to your mother board.. it can however produce corrosion and further mess up your 360.. but most have found it worked 🙂

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