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Fix Your Crashing X-Box 360 With String 686

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the at-least-you-have-one dept.
mkraft writes "A gamer fed up with his new Xbox 360 crashing every 20 minutes has fixed the problem by raising the power supply off the ground with some string. Goldeneyemaster over at the GameSpot forums indicates that the main reason for his Xbox 360 freezing up is the power supply overheating. The solution is to lift the power supply off the floor and allow the air to circulate better around it."
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Fix Your Crashing X-Box 360 With String

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  • by Egonis (155154) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:20PM (#14123972)
    And sadly, it's probably a better quality fix than MS would provide on Warranty
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:23PM (#14123990)
      Right, an Open Source power supply wouldn't have these problems.
      • Re:Quality Repairs (Score:5, Informative)

        by ZorinLynx (31751) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @01:12PM (#14124251) Homepage
        Any decent power supply shouldn't have these problems.

        If a power supply gets hot enough to fail under normal conditions, it's not a very efficient or well-designed power supply.

        Modern switching power supplies should be able to function at temperature extremes without failing. Power supplies are mature technology; there's really no excuse for this.

        Maybe MS should have gone with a well known high quality PSU maker like ASTEC for this.

        -Z
        • by demonbug (309515) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @02:27PM (#14124613) Journal
          Maybe MS should have gone with a well known high quality PSU maker like ASTEC for this.


          Yeah, too bad they went with their own out-of-ASTEC solution on this one, huh.

        • Re:Quality Repairs (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Aqua OS X (458522) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @03:00PM (#14124747)
          Eh, there are always excuses for stuff like this.

          People manufacture or design bum power supplies all the time. It seems like once or twice a year there is a story on Slashdot about a major power supply recall. At least this one hasn't burned someone's living room down yet.

          Who knows what happened with this incident. When I see an ID mishap such as this, it's usually because some idiot at a manufacturing plant in BFE didn't adhere to a design spec.

          Since this problem didn't seem to show up with during the small preliminary manufacturing runs, and designers / engineers usually run heat and environment tests, it could probably be a problem with final manufacturing.
        • Re:Quality Repairs (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ad0gg (594412) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @03:24PM (#14124840)
          Umm yeah... Thats why maintainence at my building decided to shut off the air conditioning unit over the weekend. I came back monday to find a bunch of dead PSUs in my server room. Thats why all real servers come with two PSUs because PSUs don't fail.
          • Re:Quality Repairs (Score:4, Insightful)

            by nzkbuk (773506) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @04:32PM (#14125098)
            Well the question has to be asked, what temp did your server room get to?
            Where I work we keep the data center at 20C, if 1 unit fails the temp usually rises to about 25C, if 2 fail (it's happened once during a hot summer) the temp rises VERY quickly. I've seen the average temp at 65C, I'd hate to guess what some of the temps were inside the servers who didn't have the thermal protection enabled in bios.

            I've seen mobo's that have been lightly burnt / melted around the CPU socket.

    • Re:Quality Repairs (Score:5, Informative)

      by letxa2000 (215841) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:35PM (#14124055)
      Wouldn't it be easier and more reliable to buy a power supply that functions without overheating? As long as it provides the correct voltage and is rated at the correct number of amps, there's nothing special about a given power supply.

      • Re:Quality Repairs (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Misroi (834266) *
        Wouldn't it be easier and more reliable to buy a power supply that functions without overheating? As long as it provides the correct voltage and is rated at the correct number of amps, there's nothing special about a given power supply.

        well afaik a power supply has to deliver constant voltage as well as clean power. I'm guessing your run of the mill "cheap" power supply wouldn't be able to deliver and the console would crash all the time. If you had access to a good clean power supply, then I don't see a
        • Re:Quality Repairs (Score:5, Informative)

          by fredistheking (464407) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @02:55PM (#14124725)
          The value of clean power is grosely exaggerated these days. Constant voltage is the real problem. An insufficiently rated (W) power supply will have trouble maintaining voltage expecially under varying loads. This is usually seen by crashes during games and random power downs.

          The internal power circuitry of the cpu/mobo can easily "clean up" noisy power with a simple network of capacitors, however if the voltage is too low it can do nothing.
      • by tdvaughan (582870) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:59PM (#14124176) Homepage
        Actually, they did investigate other power supplies. However, all the ones they tested actually fit neatly away out of sight. So they had to produce their own, freakishly large, one.
    • This absurd situation is the direct result of buying a sysphisticated piece of electronic hardware from a software company. And not just a software company, from a huge software monopoly.

      This kind of thing, and hell, this precise situation, would never happen in a company that is run by engineers. Real engineers, not software engineers or sanitation engineers. People who have been rigorous trained in the behavior of physical materials when acted upon by systematic application of an energy
      • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @02:14PM (#14124556) Homepage
        This absurd situation is the direct result of buying a sysphisticated piece of electronic hardware from a software company.

        Microsoft has produced sophisticated hardware before, for example Z80 coprocessor cards for Apple IIs. This let Apple II users run CP/M back in the day.

        OK that was a while ago, more recently we have keyboard, mice, joysticks. Not quite sophisticated, even when you toss in force feeback

        The above may not qualify as sophisticated by it does show that they are also a hardware company to some degree.

        And, uh, you are aware that the XBox360 is a followup to something called the XBox? I think that little piece of hardware may fall in to the "sophisticated" category. ;-)

        ... a huge software monopoly

        Irrelevant. Apple enjoys an equally monopolistic position over *it's* customers and Apple is able to design some very nice hardware.

        This kind of thing, and hell, this precise situation, would never happen in a company that is run by engineers.

        Like a hardware company named Apple, a company that has been producing sophisticated hardware for nearly 30 years? Oh yeah, they've never shipped with bad power supplies, bad batteries that could catch on fire, ... nope never could happen. For the flamers reading: Apple is primarily a hardware company, they are merely most famous for their software (well until iPod) and that software is the hook, the justification, for buying their more expensive hardware (have to cite the Mini as a break in that historical trend - not in a literal sense but in a practical sense). This is why they will not offer Mac OS X for the standard PC architecture.

        If use of Apple offends you we could use HP (pre-Compaq), Intel, or a host of other companies to prove the same point.

        • by King_TJ (85913) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @02:33PM (#14124636) Journal
          Yep, no mod points right now, or I'd give you one. Honestly, these days, it makes no difference who a company consists of for judging the relative quality of a hardware product they might produce. All that really matters is if they've got the money to bring it to market.

          You can bet that the XBox 360 power supply was produced over in China, Taiwan, Korea, or another nation like that, where everyone else's power supplies get built too. Why does Apple have all of these well-known hardware screw-ups despite being primarily a "hardware company" full of engineers doing R&D? Same reason! When you hear complaints of inconsistent color and "pinkish edges" on the new 23" Cinema displays, exploding batteries on one model of older Powerbook, failing backplanes on revision A iMac G5's, and much more - they're primarily due to failures due to lack of quality control on shipments from these 3rd. world countries. (EG. Faulty capacitors caused the backplane problems ... just as they caused motherboard problems for Asus, Abit, and most others last year. All a result of a Chinese capacitor company trying to save money by using inferior electrolyte in them.)
          • OMG, did you seriously just call Taiwan and Korea "3rd world countries?" Hell, have you ever been to Hong Kong? In Korea they watched televised videogame matches like we watch American Idol. Do you even know what the term 3rd world means? Not that I'm arguing your point, one way or the other, but still.
          • by fermion (181285) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @05:09PM (#14125232) Homepage Journal
            This is really the fallacy that has undermined the productivity of the industrialized world. It is true that if one has money and motivation, over time one can develop expertise. This expertise does not happen over night, nor is it permanant. The asian manufacturers have slowly built expertise over time, starting small with low quality products, slowly increasing quality and effeciency until they reach an acceptable level of quality. Likewise, the American, and even European manfucturers have lost thier expertise by concentrating on lowering prices rather than maintaining quality.

            The knowledge needed to make a large project happen is wide ranging, and not always found in a textbook, and not always found with a consultant. Supply chains, economy estimates, component interactions, assembly are truly intersting and difficult problems. The simple act of asking someone else to build something, especially if you do not understand the product, can be a major pain. And the last point about using companies that sacrifice cost for quality. That is experience. Knowing who can be trusted, and who can't.

            Companies do have core competencies, and it when they merge and buy and consilidate in a fantasy that core compentencies and cultures do no matter that trouble starts. We make fun of their stupidy when the stock falls as cultures collide, but it is comments like the parent and grandparents that promote those bad decisions in the first place.

          • Just blaming Chinese capacitors doesn't work in this case.

            Joystiq or Spong had a comparison of the power supply for the Xbox360 (huge) and the 360 devbox sent to reviewers so they can play pre-release builts and games from other regions (huger, yes, that's possible, somehow). I assume they made the bigger power supply first and it worked fine. Then someone at MS decided size was an issue, they made a new smaller power supply but to do so they had to make it borderline overheating. Now people use that power

        • And, uh, you are aware that the XBox360 is a followup to something called the XBox? I think that little piece of hardware may fall in to the "sophisticated" category. ;-)

          The first X-Box was a big PC in a box. Literally, if you open it up, it's a bunch of standard computer parts. I'd call that "good marketing in getting people to buy a keyboard-less PC," but not sophisticated hardware design.
    • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Sunday November 27, 2005 @04:58PM (#14125188) Homepage
      Cast:
      Adrian Wapcaplet: John Cleese
      Mr. Simpson: Eric Idle

      Adrian Wapcaplet: Aah, come in, come in, Mr....Simpson. Aaah, welcome to Mousebat, Follicle, Goosecreature, Ampersand,
      Spong, Wapcaplet, Looseliver, Vendetta and Prang!
      Mr. Simpson: Thank you.
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Do sit down--my name's Wapcaplet, Adrian Wapcaplet...
      Mr. Simpson: how'd'y'do.
      Wapcaplet: Now, Mr. Simpson... Simpson, Simpson... French, is it?
      Mr. Simpson: No.
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Aah. Now, I understand you want us to advertise your washing powder.
      Mr. Simpson: String.
      Adrian Wapcaplet: String, washing powder, what's the difference. We can sell *anything*.
      Mr. Simpson: Good. Well I have this large quantity of string, a hundred and twenty-two thousand *miles* of it to be exact,
      which I inherited, and I thought if I advertised it--
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Of course! A national campaign. Useful stuff, string, no trouble there.
      Mr. Simpson: Ah, but there's a snag, you see. Due to bad planning, the hundred and twenty-two thousand miles is in three
      inch lengths. So it's not very useful.
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Well, that's our selling point! "SIMPSON'S INDIVIDUAL STRINGETTES!"
      Mr. Simpson: What?
      Adrian Wapcaplet: "THE NOW STRING! READY CUT, EASY TO HANDLE, SIMPSON'S INDIVIDUAL EMPEROR
      STRINGETTES - JUST THE RIGHT LENGTH!"
      Mr. Simpson: For what?
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Uuuh..."A MILLION HOUSEHOLD USES!"

      Mr. Simpson: Such as?
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Uhmm...Tying up very small parcels, attatching notes to pigeons' legs, uh, destroying household pests...
      Mr. Simpson: Destroying household pests?! How?
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Well, if they're bigger than a mouse, you can strangle them with it, and if they're smaller than, you flog
      them to death with it!
      Mr. Simpson: Well *surely*!....
      Adrian Wapcaplet: "DESTROY NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF KNOWN HOUSEHOLD PESTS WITH PRE-SLICED,
      RUSTPROOF, EASY-TO-HANDLE, LOW CALORIE SIMPSON'S INDIVIDUAL EMPEROR STRINGETTES, FREE
      FROM ARTIFICIAL COLORING, AS USED IN HOSPITALS!"
      Mr. Simpson: 'Ospitals!?!?!?!!?
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Have you ever in a Hospital where they didn't have string?
      Mr. Simpson: No, but it's only *string*!
      Adrian Wapcaplet: ONLY STRING?! It's everything! It's...it's waterproof!
      Mr. Simpson: No, it isn't!
      Adrian Wapcaplet: All right, it's water resistant then!
      Mr. Simpson: It, isn't!
      Adrian Wapcaplet: All right, it's water absorbent! It's...Super Absorbent String! "ABSORB WATER TODAY WITH
      SIMPSON'S INDIVIDUAL WATER ABSORB-A-TEX STRINGETTES! AWAY WITH FLOODS!"
      Mr. Simpson: You just said it was waterproof!
      Adrian Wapcaplet: "AWAY WITH THE DULL DRUDGERY OF WORKADAY TIDAL WAVES! USE SIMPSON'S
      INDIVIDUAL FLOOD PREVENTERS!"
      Mr. Simpson: You're mad!
      Adrian Wapcaplet: Shut up, shut up, shut up! Sex, sex sex, must get sex into it. Wait, I see a television commercial - There's

      this nude woman in a bath holding a bit of your string. That's great, great, but we need a doctor, got to have a medical opinion.
      There's a nude woman in a bath with a doctor--that's too sexy. Put an archbishop there watching them, that'll take the curse
      off it. Now, we need children and animals. There's two kids admiring the string, and a dog admiring the archbishop who's
      blessing the string. Uhh...international flavor's missing...make the archbishop Greek Orthodox. Why not Archbishop
      Macarios? No, no, he's dead... never mind, we'll get his brother, it'll be cheaper... So there's archbishop Macarios, his brother
      and a doctor in the bath with this nude woman, two doctors and a dog....

  • by Voltageaav (798022) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:21PM (#14123973) Homepage
    Don't get me wrong, I love the Xbox, but my first one was one of those that cought on fire. Why am I not surprised that there are problems with the 360 at release?
    • by Egonis (155154)
      Now, I wonder...

      Why didn't they do more in-depth burn-in tests of these?

      I mean, sure, defects are common in manufacturing, but something as simple to detect as overheating?
      With a unit of this cost, one would think that their engineering team would have, at the very least, warned that overheating 'may' be an issue.
    • by tehshen (794722) <tehshen@gmail.com> on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:29PM (#14124020)
      That's not a problem, it's Microsoft's new Prometheus(TM) special effects technology!
    • All MS jokes aside (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paranode (671698)
      It sounds like this one guy (is this the same one we heard about days ago?) just doesn't know how to properly ventilate electronics in the first place. Is he sticking it in some closed-off cabinet sitting between a cable box and a receiver or something?



      And 'fixing it with string'? Sounds more like 'fixing it by allowing it to get some AIR'...

      • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @01:11PM (#14124246)
        It sounds like this one guy (is this the same one we heard about days ago?) just doesn't know how to properly ventilate electronics in the first place. Is he sticking it in some closed-off cabinet sitting between a cable box and a receiver or something?

        I fail to see why this would be considered 'misuse' of the Xbox. It really ought to be able to live anywhere your stereo does. Especially with an external power brick that is dealing with much of the heat.

    • by garagekubrick (121058) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @02:24PM (#14124602) Homepage
      You should contact the legal firm of Spiro Moss Barness, etc... They are one of many firms united in a class action lawsuit about the Thompson DVD drives that were used in the Xbox. Microsoft seem to have been aware of the lack of quality in these drives as later models used different manufacturers. Despite this, if you talk to their customer service reps, they continue to ask you if your discs are dirty despite the fact you tell them you just bought the damn game.

      I don't give a rat's ass about Sony's problems. I'm here to ask about the awful consumer experience I had with my original Xbox and what exactly is the truth about this new product. Here are links that show what a known issue those drives were.

      http://sentientcreations.com/xboxIssues/problem.ph p [sentientcreations.com]

      http://www.llamma.com/xbox/Repairs/xbox_dvd_repair .htm [llamma.com]

      Now there's an entire market based upon replacing your Xbox's DVD drive with a better one such as Samsung.

      Microsoft's support solution: clean the disc. No matter how many times you tell them the disc is brand new, they say it's a dirty disc.

      http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb; en-us;8167 [microsoft.com]

      Then there was the power supply issue. A recall in which power cords were issued to cover up shoddy circuitry that could and did cause house fires. Mostly due to bad soldering. In the recall, older Xboxes were given power cords with breakers, so in the event of a short, you may burn out your Xbox but at least your house won't burn down.

      http://s4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/ar/t 215.htm [invisionfree.com]

      So a few weeks ago we started to see Xbox 360s in demo retail models showing the dreaded Error 74. Photograph of it here.

      http://joystiq.com/entry/1234000480066825/ [joystiq.com]

      Now we have reports of crashes that yes, are online and could be from a vocal minority, but I have never heard of or owned a console that crashes the way photographs show us is happening to the 360 - and let's remember the people complaining about it are the ones who braved the cold and the nuisance of picking one up.

      http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/xbox-360/hours-old-an d-pgr3-crashing-like-mad-138978.php [kotaku.com]

      Now apparently there is a fix in the form of suspending the power supply. People are finding it's working. Ergo, the power supply is defective. Just like the one on the original Xbox which was RECALLED.

      Whatever marketing spiel Microsoft want to give, I want for them to answer one thing. What exactly is Error 74 and Error 79 - what does it mean is happening to the box. They have refused, as they did with the Thompson DVD drive, to let us know what is going wrong. Even if it isolated. Does it bode poorly for the future? Why is there a SPECIFIC error message already in the box's OS that is happening to people?

      Now we know for certain that the machine is not only prone to overheating, there is an inbuilt error message related to it.

      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/907533/ [microsoft.com]

      And did you hear about how the tech support person told that guy to "wipe his video cables with a soft cloth"? Too rich.
  • by JohnPerkins (243021) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:21PM (#14123977) Homepage
    Well, at least you don't have to lift the console itself this time around....
  • Rubber feet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:22PM (#14123978) Homepage Journal
    Not having seen one, ( nor will i buy one ), but i would imagine that a set of LARGE rubber feet would raise it enough to get some air flow..

    Oh, and keep it out of the carpet..
  • quick! (Score:4, Funny)

    by weorthe (666189) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:22PM (#14123980)
    Somebody patent this!
  • Reminds me (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bananatree3 (872975) * on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:22PM (#14123984)
    This reminds me of the massive original Xbox powercord recall...Seems like Microsoft has had some power control issues.... (hehe) ____________________-- Mirror for gamespot forums [mirrordot.org]
  • Xbox360 Ad: (Score:5, Funny)

    by shdwtek (898320) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:23PM (#14123985)
    A great, fast, good graphics gaming console! The XBox360! Yours now for only $399... no strings atta...
  • by inkdesign (7389) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:23PM (#14123987)
    Hello,

    Your string is on its way!

    Thanks,

    Microsoft Support
    • by DJStealth (103231) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @01:18PM (#14124286)
      Dear Customer,

      We have decided to deny your warranty request to replace the external power supply and deny your request for a complimentary Microsoft XPCool Strings(tm).

      The reason for this is that you have not used your unit according to the specifications.

      As per the instruction manual included in MS Word format on the XBox 360's hard drive, it clearly states in section 361.27.5a(iii) the following:

      "As an additional winter bonus, we have provided you with a power supply that doubles as a personal block heater, this block heater must be set up by suspending over the cardboard box provided with the XBox360. Failure to do so can cause system instability or fire.

      If your friend or family member has thrown away this box, please purchase an additional usage license for that friend or family member as you are clearly in violation of the EULA (as this the console is provided with a single user license); we will provide you with an extra box for power supply suspension along with the additional license upon request"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:23PM (#14123992)
    I built an anti-gravity system for my Xbox 360 using magnets. Now if only I could figure out why the drives keep getting erased.
  • In summer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ward.deb (757075) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:24PM (#14124001)
    I'm wondering what will happen next summer, problems will get even worse.
    • Re:In summer? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mkraft (200694)
      There's a good possibility of that; though in winter people in cold climates tend to have the heat on. If the heat vent is close to the power supply...

      The problem seems more to do with air flow though. People putting the supply on a shag carpet or no doubt going to have more heat problems than people who place the supply on it's side up on a table. The supply probably should have used some extra heatsinks though.

      Still I am curious as to the ratio of people having problems in warmer clients to those in co
  • by confusion (14388) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:25PM (#14124003) Homepage
    What exactly was involved in the QA process for the 360? Were they in a refrigerated room for the tests? Did the not actually test the power supply? Were all of the components suspended from the ceiling?

    Jerry
    http://www.cyvin.org/ [cyvin.org]
  • by k00110 (932544) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:27PM (#14124007)
    Now you can tell your girlfriend to keep blowing on your Xbox 360 power supply while playing.
  • string (Score:5, Funny)

    by louden obscure (766926) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:30PM (#14124027)
    i read the headline to mean an exploit was found. then i read the article. oh, not a literal string, it is literally string. nevermind...
  • by jav1231 (539129) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:32PM (#14124034)
    "Improper suspension of the unit will cause overheating. Poor air circulation around the power supply will cause it to retain heat. Overheating may cause unwanted results such as system freezing, jerky video, slow performance, fire, violent and frequent bowel movements (an urgent need to have them, and an inability to control them), and sudden death. It is highly recommended that the unit be suspended a distance of at least 6" from any flat surface. Microsoft is currently developing technology that will levitate the unit without the need of any suspension device. Until research and development is completed, we suggest you elevate the unit using string, duct tape, corregated shelving, or your kid brother. We are certain that despite any minor inconvenienced listed above, you will enjoy your XBox."
  • by camperslo (704715) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:35PM (#14124053)
    If some power supplies are overheating during the cool season, we should expect even more problems next summer.

    I can see cooling being a big issue for the CPU and graphics chips which have to dissipate quite a bit no matter what, but the power supply? A well designed switching supply should have very low losses and run cool.
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:41PM (#14124081)
    If you have an Xbox 360, read the label of power supply. Post who manufactures it, and where it was manufactured. Perhaps there are other consumer devices that use power supplies from the same manufacturer that we should check for overheating.

  • by Datamonstar (845886) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:48PM (#14124120)
    CHEESE! That's right. Just stick some string cheese in the power adapter and it'll work like a heat sink and draw the heat from your console, making some tasty nacho sauce all the while. Microsoft has done it again! And if they manage to find a way to encorporate their version of the George Foreman grill into their next next gen console then I'll have everything I could even need!
  • by Flying pig (925874) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @12:57PM (#14124167)
    Only the names omitted. Years ago I worked for a company which supplied a maker of set top boxes. The customer complained that our component kept failing. I spent time in their lab trying to understand what was happening, went back and did extensive tests in our own lab, and could only conclude that the component was overheating badly.

    I went back to report and had a very hard time from the product manager (it was in fact so bad that half way through the meeting I told him I had to switch out of the language we were using back to my native English because I did not want a grammatical error to turn into an "admission" in a court of law.) But in the end he gave up.

    The engineers then gave me lunch and told me that everybody knew that the project manager had specified to the PSU manaufacturer that the unit had to work up to 35C free air - completely failing to allow for its being used on a carpet, on top of a hot TV, or even on top of the TV covered in magazines. Nobody could understand what sort of a house he must live in that he was unaware of how the box was actually likely to be used.

  • by Jaime2 (824950) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @01:11PM (#14124247)
    I used to hang the power supply brick out the window in the winter to get more run time from a C64 about 20 years ago.
  • by TheRealStyro (233246) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @01:18PM (#14124283) Homepage
    The technical/geek solution to an overheating brick (psu) is simple. Use some zip ties to attach one or two old slot a/1 HSF to the overheating brick. Don't forget to use a good load of Arctic Silver (or thermal pads if you are not l33t) between the HSF and brick.

    Two HSF @ $7.49 - $14.98
    Two Arctiv Silver tubes @ $8.99 - $17.98

    A reasonable total of $32.96 to solve yet another MS oversight.

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @01:19PM (#14124290)
    First of all, I want to mention I can run my Xbox 360 for a stonkin' forever without it crashing. I have taken a few steps though.

    First of all, I separate the power supply from the 360. I have my 360 in a stereo cabinet, but I have the power supply behind the stereo cabinet on the floor. I did this because it was clear from the 24" power cable between the PS and 360 that MS intended this to be possible. Second of all, I cut some small holes in the back of my stereo cabinet for airflow. These are probably about 6 square inches total. Additionally, I don't close the cabinet completely, so I have some airflow out the front.

    I also have been experimenting with fans just to see the effects. Here's a set of measurments I did with the front opening cracked a bit. This is the temperature in the stereo cabinet space (about 8 cubic feet) containg the 360.

    0:00 - 73.4F (ambient)
    0:30 - 89.4F
    0:50 - 94.8F
    1:10 - 98.1F
    1:30 - 100.2F
    1:50 - 101.7F
    2:10 - 102.7F
    2:30 - 103.5F

    Then I turned on the fan in the cabinet and the temp dropped to 98.8F. With the fan on, I could close the front door completely and the temp still only rose to about 100F.

    Clearly this thing is a heat monster! If I measure the temp at the output fan it, it has risen over 115F.

    But, I have checked the power supply in back cursorily, and it just doesn't get all that hot on its own. This makes sense, given that if the PS is about 80% efficient, then only 50W is being dissapated by the PS back there, and 200W is being dissapated by the 360 in front.

    So, although I haven't had any problems, my recommendation would be first of all, get your 360 out of that confined space. It just generates too much heat for that. Second of all, even in a semi-confined space, get the power supply away from the 360, preferably get it into its own "cooling zone".

    For sure, do not put the power supply directly behind the 360 in any kind of smallish space! The 360 draws air in at the back, at the lower of the two fans (on the right if it is laying down). If you put the PS right there, it will not only block the airflow, making the 360 take in its own exhaust, but it will also heat up the intake air even further.

    My guess is people who are having this problem, and don't have the 360 in a small, sealed space are mostly just putting the PS in a bad place, and putting it on strings, is just a complicated form of relocating it so it isn't there heating up the 360 intake air.
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @01:27PM (#14124338) Homepage
    Back in the old days when I had my Atari 800XL, I upgraded it to 256K of RAM. The extra power draw was enough to cause the power supply to overheat and fail. The power supply was encased in hard plastic and had no ventilation. My solution was to place the power supply in a zip-lock baggie that was obviously open at the top to allow the cables to go out, but then the lower half was submerged in a pot of water. Worked perfectly until I finally came across a power supply that was ventilated.
  • 360 Degrees (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2005 @02:15PM (#14124558)
    I feel like a dunce. I thought the 360 was for 360 degrees in a full circle. But clearly it is for 360 degrees, the operating temperature of the power supply (you get to choose Fahrenheit or Celsius).
  • by losman (840619) * on Sunday November 27, 2005 @02:34PM (#14124640)
    I have contacted each of the cooling device manuafacturers and they are on this already. There is a new water cooling solution being produced specifically for the X-360 power supply and it will be at the affordable rate of $199.99.
  • Hmm. Tape takes care of DRM...

    String solved overheating problems...

    Does Staples or Office Depot sell stock? I have a feeling they could help me become very rich, soon...
  • by Dolda2000 (759023) <fredrik@dolda2 0 0 0.com> on Sunday November 27, 2005 @03:41PM (#14124910) Homepage
    From TFA:
    As a result, he was able to leave his machine on for a stonking seven hours without it freezing up.
    Indeed, even I thought that twenty minutes of uptime seemed a bit extreme even for Microsoft. With this fix, people are back to the uptime that can be expected from Microsoft products.
  • by trifakir (792534) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @04:00PM (#14124985)
    Hm, I've opened the PC, unscrewed the PS from the frame, suspended it on a string from the side of the desk, but the bloody Windows continues cras!@#$%^.....
  • by Solr_Flare (844465) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @04:27PM (#14125079)
    that the Xbox360 power supply was sponsered by Duraflame logs as part of an intentional relief effort to combat the rising costs of heating oil for homes.

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