Your Xbox 360 Has 3 Flashing Red Lights – Now What?

If you are one of the thousands of Xbox 360 owners who have experienced the dreaded Xbox 360 3 Red Lights Problem, you no doubt can relate to that sinking feeling one gets when their favorite gaming system goes down for the count. Reactions range from sad to mad to confused to “HELP!”. But in reality, when an X360 flashes 3 red lights, there’s really no need to panic, or even to get bent out of shape at all. The fact of the matter is you’ve got a lot of company. Every day the list of Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death sufferers grows by hundreds. So, what do you do next?

First of all, put the emotions aside. They do not get you any closer to solving the problem and back to playing your favorite X360 game. What will get you back playing is knowing what your repair options are and choosing the best one for your situation. Basically, there are 3 general courses of action that 99% of Xbox 360 owners should choose from. These 3 options are summarized below. See which one fits your situation, then take action and get the unit fixed.

Your 3 options are:

1. If your Xbox 360 is still covered by Microsoft’s warranty, by far your best bet is to ship it back to Microsoft’s designated repair facility and get if fixed by them. The up side is that it won’t cost you anything and will get done right and permanently. The downside is that you’ll be without your Xbox 360 for possibly 2-3 weeks. It’s a long time, but is worth it to keep your warranty intact and to get a professional, permanent repair.

If you Xbox 360 is not covered by Microsoft’s warranty anymore, you’ve narrowed your options down to two. They are:

2. Send your Xbox 360 out to a 3rd party repair service for the fix. The 3 red lights problem has become so prevalent that a small industry has sprung up specifically to capitalize on the business opportunity. These repair shops charge anywhere from $ 50-$ 75 and will usually get your Xbox back to you in 7-10 days. Like the Microsoft fix, it is done professionally and it is permanent. This option is best for people who would rather not pop open their Xbox and take a stab at fixing it themselves (see below). So if you are not technically inclined, or just want to be sure to get a fix that is done right, this is probably your best bet. If you are not comfortable popping open your Xbox yourself and doing some simple repairs, then contact a 3rd party repair service Google it. You should find some repair facilities in your general area.

3. This option is for the compulsive “do-it-yourselfer”. The fix for the Xbox 360 3 red lights problem is really not that difficult and can be done at home in about an hour using simple hand tools that most households will already have on hand. If you are comfortable popping open a computer to add a peripheral device or are just a die-hard “I’ve got to fix this myself” kind of person, you can buy an Xbox 360 fix-it guide for about $ 25. These guides take you step-by-step through the repair process and people using them are successful about 95% of the time. So if you are mechanically inclined, this option is your best bet. It’s fast and easy and you will be back playing your favorite game in about 60 minutes from the time you start the repair. It beats being without your games for a week of more.

This article has outlined the 3 options for fixing the Xbox 360 3 Red Lights problem. Which one you choose is dependent on whether you are still covered by your original warranty, whether you want to spend money having someone else fix the X360 for you, and how mechanically inclined you are. Each of the 3 options works. It’s just a matter of choosing the one that best fits your particular situation.

Craig Paulson is an avid video game enthusiast and an expert on the Xbox 360 gaming unit. He has helped many X360 owners with the Xbox 360 3 red lights repair and other Xbox 360 repair and maintenance items. His XBox360 repair site is located at

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