T Nation

X Box Freezing Up

I’ve been having a problem with my XBox (NOT a 360) freezing on me. The screen will go black with the message “There’s a problem with your DVD/XBox game. Disc may be dirty or damaged.” Or something like that.

The discs aren’t dirty or damaged, as this has happened with games fresh out of the shrink wrap (Madden '07 is the worst). It happens most frequently with EA Sports games. The newer they are, the more they freeze up. I’ve had this XBox for about 4 years.

I don’t want to buy a new one, and I don’t want to buy a 360 yet. Is there anything I can do to fix it? I’m not exactly Tim the Toolman, but I can work a screwdriver if I need to.

This almost never happens with my kid’s games, and it has never happened with a DVD. Usually it’s only with Madden, though Fight Night and EA’s baseball game have given me problems too. Also, sometimes I have difficulty getting the game to start up at all. I will get an error message in the startup menu saying pretty much the same thing, that the disc may be dirty or damaged, which it never is.

Any ideas?

It sounds like it is overheating. The early X Box’s ran hot as balls, especially if it was laying on carpet or somewhere air couldn’t go underneath it.

I don’t know for sure if this is the problem, but I had something similar happen with my xbox. I kept getting the same message you are and it turned out that the dvd-drive was dying.

The only thing I find unusual is that it is only happening with some of your games. Eventually mine got so bad that I couldn’t even play anymore. I’m not sure if you can find anyone other than microsoft who is willing to fix it and I’m sure that they will charge an arm and a leg for it.

I just finally traded it in at eb games and used the credit to get a new xbox, it doesn’t matter if it works or not as long as you give them all the hookups and the controller they still give you the credit. I will say that this was about two years ago and I got a pretty good price for it, I think they are only going for about $45 now as a trade in. Hope something in here helps you out.

~james

or theres a lazer problem.

Toss it. Costs too much to repair. Just buy a refurbed one with a warranty.

This is an omen.

YHVH wants you to buy a 360!

If it is an overheating problem, you can always pull off the heatsink and use some quality thermal paste and re-apply the heatsink. I’m sure there are links on the web showing how this is done. Check xbox-scene.com in there tutorial section.

You can buy new DVD drives for them relatively cheaply on ebay or other online stores. It isn’t hard to replace the drive yourself.

I’m with nephorm. Do not toss it. It is relatively easy to put in a new drive. You can get them on ebay pretty easily. There are also a few repair guides for the xbox on ebay that could help you diagnose the problem and tell you step by step how to fix it. Good luck!

BTW, you could probably still get more than 50 for it on ebay if you just wanted to get for a new one. People buy non-working or buggy systems all the time b/c they are so easy to fix.

The thompson brand of dvd drive on the original xboxes had known defects, acknowledged by m$. You may even still be able to get yours serviced for nothing from M$. Right before I got the 360 last year I had my og xbox replaced because of it, almost 3 years after I purchaesd it USED.

http://www.llamma.com/xbox/Repairs/xbox_dvd_version_comparison.htm

give it a shot. either way its def on its way out.

[quote]Frank Castle wrote:
The thompson brand of dvd drive on the original xboxes had known defects, acknowledged by m$. You may even still be able to get yours serviced for nothing from M$. Right before I got the 360 last year I had my og xbox replaced because of it, almost 3 years after I purchaesd it USED.

http://www.llamma.com/xbox/Repairs/xbox_dvd_version_comparison.htm

give it a shot. either way its def on its way out. [/quote]

Great website, thanks. Apparently my kid’s games freeze less often because they are on simpler media (CD vs. DVD). I’ll take a crack at cleaning the laser and mirror, and maybe adjust the pot if necessary. If that doesn’t work I’ll just get a new DVD drive. They are around $30 on ebay.

You can get “broken” Xbox for peanuts on ebay. I bought 2 dead ones from the same guy to get fans to replace mine who was too noisy. Shipping was more expensive than the consoles.

The only caveat is that some parts are “married” together. For example, you can’t take the hard disk from one xbox and drop it in another without first relocking it with the destination’s eeprom key.

The DVD drive also uses a non-standard connector, so you can’t just drop any DVD drive in it, at least not without a bit of soldering.

Tons of info about xboxes can be found here: http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php

We don’t really get a whole lot of details from your story here. I think the best thing to do would be some troubleshooting?

  1. Is your TV/X-Box plugged in? (If yes, skip to 3.)

  2. Plug in TV/X-Box.

  3. Do you have a cat? (If no, skip to 5.)

  4. Has your cat recently been giving your X-Box an unusual amount of attention? (If yes, skip to 6.)

  5. Do you have any small pets that have recently gone missing? (If no, skip to 7.)

  6. Unplug X-Box and dislodge dead rodent. Replace any chewed wires.

  7. Do you have any small children? (If no, skip to 10.)

  8. Does the XBox DVD tray open smoothly? Does any part of the Xbox feel sticky? (If no, skip to 10.)

  9. Unplug X-Box. Remove gum/candy/mashed cherrios from X-Box.

  10. Do you or your roommates ever drink excessively? Do you have a dog? (If no, skip to 13.)

  11. Does your X-Box or the carpeting around it smell terrible? If the carpet is a lighter color, do you see a noticeable yellow stain around the X-Box? (If no, skip to 13.)

  12. Throw out X-Box. Seek a professional carpet cleaner.

  13. Do you have a spouse/significant other? (If no, skip to 17.)

  14. Does your spouse/significant other complain about you spending too much time on the X-Box? (If no, skip to 17.)

  15. Pick up your X-Box and lightly shake it up and down. Do you hear a rattling sound? (If no, skip to 17.)

  16. Replace X-Box and spouse/significant other.

  17. Check your X-Box gamertag. Are you rated in the top 10 for any game? (If no, skip to 19.)

  18. The X-Box is only rated for up to 10,000 hours. Replace X-Box.

  19. Have you developed any of the following disorders recently? High blood pressure, oppositional defiant disorder, bloodshot eyes, headaches, Tourettes-like sydrome, bleeding knuckles, depression or anxiety? (If no, skip to 22.)

  20. Visually inspect X-Box. Does X-Box appear to be smashed or dented? Do you see imprints from the soles of your boots/shoes? (If no, skip to 22.)

  21. You play too much CounterStrike. Replace X-Box.

  22. Please call Microsoft Technical Support @ (800) 936-5700.

I’ve had the same exact problem, my xbox just doesn’t seem to like EA sports games, have no idea what the problem is though, my dad is a big computer guy and he took it apart, cleaned the laser and looked at it and nothing seemed wrong to him, guess the drive is just worn down I don’t know.

A recently released adapter that lets you replace your Xbox OEM drive with a LG-8164: http://www.divineo.com/cgi-bin/div-us/zz-xb-81new.html

That drive is much faster than the OEM one, so you should experience improved loading times too.

[quote]Donut62 wrote:
It sounds like it is overheating. The early X Box’s ran hot as balls, especially if it was laying on carpet or somewhere air couldn’t go underneath it.[/quote]

All Xbox’s run hot as balls, including the 360. People are still reporting a 1/4 failure rate with the Xbox 360. While I like the system, it would be nice if Microsoft could realize a gaming system that didn’t brick on over 20% of their customers.