My XBox rant

Saw a post from Cameron Reilly about why modding Xbox hurts everyone and it made me think about my own Xbox woes. Not that too many people care, but I thought I'd whinge about it anyway.

Anyways, had some problems (and still having some probs) with my Xbox reading discs. These discs can be brand new games (Like my new copy of Hunter: The Reckoning - Redeemer) or just other games that seem to work on my friends units. It quite often says it can't recognise the disc, or stops midway through a game complaining that the disc has a problem. Also has many probs reading DVD movies but thats another story.

So I thought I'd ring up and see about getting it checked out and repaired coz the drive must be out of alignment or something. Guy answers phone and tells me that he can't help me on the phone, that I should package up my Xbox, they will come and pick it up (ohh cool I thought), should be done within a week or two, then ship it back to me (even cooler...). However, even if nothing is wrong with the XBox, this is going to cost me $180. Considering I can get a brand new XBox with a game for about $230 now I think (thats Aussie dollars) I would think that I am much better off simply buying a new one (which means I would have two XBoxes in my house - my wife would be so impressed :-). What I would fear is that they'll stick one or two new games in, might work ok, ship it back to me with nothing but a buff and polish, $180 down the tubes, and a “we couldn't find anything wrong with it”. I think I'll just wait it dies completely a buy a new one ... hopefully the “XBox Beast“ promotion or something similar will be in swing then.

Oh well, back to killing Zombies in Hunter....


  • Paul,

    I'm experiencing similar problems of late, mainly with the discs from my Official XBOX Magazine subscription, but occasionally with retail (as opposed to demo) discs. With the demo discs, I'm sure part of it is that they're not very good about QA, but I have a feeling that as the console gets older, it's more prone to this type of error. I may try using a CD lens cleaner kit and/or disc repair kit to see if I can reduce the frequency with which I see the error since, like you, I'm loath to drop another ~$200 on a replacement for a console that's only a couple of years old.

  • I think I'll give the CD lens cleaner and/or disc repair kit a go first. Boiling your discs sounds pretty gruesome to me.

    Scott, have you actually tried this with success?

  • Paul, my manager had a similar problem with his son's xbox recently and experienced all sorts of support issues and then recently his xbox started working mysteriously. Who did you ring for support?

  • Cameron,

    I rang the support number from the site. It is 1800 555 741.

    If you call them, I would be interested in how you go.

  • I had the same problem when I first got mine. I took it back to the store, and got a replacement. I haven't any problems with my second unit.

    If I'm not mistaken, MS outsourced the production of the XBox to a company called Flextronics. Apparently, MS needs to evaluate Flextronics' QA Process.

  • I'd still send it in. I've never seen anyone with a problem of any sort send in an XBOX and be nicked a fee because there wasn't something wrong. And turnaround time has been great ... most folks I've spoken with have had theirs returned in under 5 days.

  • I had probs with my XBox before and while I admit getting through the first tier of support was a bit rough - once they determined the problem, the service was like nothing I had ever experienced. A box came, I shipped the console off, it was returned within a week or so. No charge and everything worked great. I deal with a lot of hardware and subsequently have to RMA things a lot - no other company has compared.

    I'd def consider calling support again - that $180 fee just doesn't seem to jive with my own experiences and other stories I have heard. Is it possible you were talking to someone who may have been misinforming you?

  • Amanda,

    Remember this is $180 australian dollars though, not US. Mind you, here in Oz, a new system costs something like $250 (no games) so its a hard call.

  • Hey Paul, I'm Canadian so trust me I can respect the value of a dollar more than anyone. Our dollar is worth even less than yours :)

    I just can't imagine that they would charge you $180 to fix it considering my own personal experiences I have had.

    It bothers me to see someone having such an unpleasant experience when dispite a couple of annoying initial support calls - my technical service experience was excellent.

    Anyhow hope it all works out for you and that you don't lose faith. If you ever do get it working again and happen to play on Live! look me up (PunchingBoot). Cheers.

  • Thanx for the kind thoughts Amanda, and I will probably end up getting it fixed anyway (or perhaps buy a new console for not much more). I do love playing it, and my kids will kill me if I dont.

    When I do get Live!, I will look you up. Thanks again.

  • Ok...I'm having problems with my xbox. It keeps giving me a message that the disc I'm using is dirty or problem is ITS NOT. It does it for every game despite the fact that it's brand new. I've been reading up on the internet on sites such as these about similar problems and I can't believe how frequently they happen yet microsoft is making people (like me- conveniently just out of warranty) pay to repair a problem which is THEIR fault in the first place.

  • I'm having problems too. What should I do if I don't want to send it in and spend money on it. Is there a way to fix it myself?

  • I mean fix it and not spend money on it.

  • Marc, sounds like your DVD has gone bad, same as mine. After thinking about it a bit, if the XBox is not reduced in price enough for me to warrant buynig a new one, I'll either sell off my game collection, or give it a shot at fixing it myself (hey, whats the worst that can happen...).

    Kevin, if I knew the answer to that, I would have done it by now ;-)

  • my xbox has been having the dirty or damaged problem to i am gona try a xbox lens cleaner but if anyone knows how to fix it without paying much please e-mail me at life is already getting boring without x-box.

  • I have recently got a game through box choice in the uk and it coming up with the error "disc cannot be recognised" i have cleaned the disc and there are no visable scratches!!! HELP!!!

  • my xbox wont read the cds and i need to get the number for xbox so i can get another

  • Xbox finally had a price reduction here in Oz. $240 for a new unit with one controller. Sure beats paying $190-$200 just for a repair.

    So I went and got a new one. My kids and me can now return to couch potato status :-)

  • the number to xbox support is---Xbox Telephone Support...Free Phone: 1800 587 1102

    Hour of Operation: 8:00am - 11:00pm

  • my xbox is doing the same thing, having trouble reading discs, then all of a sudden it stops working and says to call customer service. The lady tells me 91.00 to fix it,

    and that its not something wrong with all xbox's lust mine. hmmm

  • And to think, I have been bathing disc in ETOH for a year because my new Machine states " Disc is Damaged.." OK, mostly for the disk. Since Microsoft cant program its legal team to prevent this Xbox breaking the @#$% up. I'll surf for the nextBox on my eXplorer. And like my X, KILL BILL can kiss my black @#$%.

  • i've also had the same things wrong with my xbox,but you can fix the problem... only you'll have to do the same thing over and over to maintain it.see i opened my xbox and cleaned it my self. the lens tends to get real dirty.....not dirty with dirt ,but dirty from changing the discs . to open it take the pads off the bottom of the xbox to reveal the screws.once the box is open ,peel back yellow sticker and pull out the round disc support in the middle of the round hole .take a q-tip with a little window cleaner (trust me it really works) and just clean the lens. THATS IT ...I REALLY HOPE THIS HELPS YOU LIKE IT DID FOR ME

  • Thanks heaps for all the comments people. There are many suggestions in there and I never thought I would get such a response.

    Thanks again.

  • I was having the same "dirty disk" problem. Cracked open the case and cleaned the lens with a q-tip like shylilsista suggested and it seems to have helped. The problem is not totally fixed but it is better.

  • when i trun it on the screen changes colors how do i fix that

  • where do i get a lens cleaner made exclusively for game consoles HELP!!! in Australia

  • Check out xbox-scene dot com , Plenty of info on fixing the xbox and lots of links to parts and such. It also talks about how to tell which dvd drive you have- There are 3 types, they can be identified without opening the case. The VERY problematic one is a Thompson drive. But you can open the drive and do an adjustment to make it read better. Basically turning a Pot (potentiometer-Small screw that changes a resistance value) to increase the laser strength. Lots of helpful stuff. Also tells you how to replace the drive with a certain model pc samsung dvd drive, just look in the tutorials.

  • ya im having the same dirty disk problem and i dont no if i should take off the pads.....will they come back on?

  • I have the "disc not recognised" issue a lot but I usually just keep turning it off and on untill it works, sometimes I'll get mad and beat it up and occasionally that seems to work for some reason too. I can get it to work almost every time but it can take a while. I'm probably just going to wait for the 360s price to go down to combat the PS3, then I'll get myself a 360.

  • where can you buy a xbox lens cleaner in the bay area, USA??

  • my xbox has been having the same problems with my cleaner games and my games that are more scratched up and i still cant find a solution

  • xbox repair from was fast and they even cleaned my machine. Mine would not turn on and it was all dusty and dirty when I sent it. When I got it back it looked good as new. It came back fast and they e-mailed me one it was received and sent back. I just thought I would mention it since they seemed to be very professional as they stated. I am happy with the service they provided and my system works great now.

  • go to if that link doesnt work try google and type llama and go to lens cleaning you will need to unscrew 4 screws and stuff BUT DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO THE XBOX IF IT IS IN ITS WARRANTY DATE BECAUSE THERE IS A METALIC STICKER IF REMOVED AND STUCK BACK ON ( trying to make it look like you never did anything) IT WILL READ SOMETHING I THINK "VOID" WILL BE WRITTIN DIAGONALLY ITS LIKE TAKING THE SEAL OF A T-MOBILE SIM IT WILL READ VOID NOT MATTER WHAT!

  • when ever put in a game disk it said that it is dirty and the game wont play on my xbox 360 so how do i play the game.

  • where can i get my xboxcleaned

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