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Crap! Xbox error E74

So I don’t know how many of you read or kept up with my original Xbox E64 post a few months ago, but this is a kind of a continuation of my my original Xbox troubles. When my first gen Xbox got an E64 error I tried repairing it without success. So, to replace it I bought a previously RROD’d and fixed Xbox 360 off of Amazon market place for the same price it would have cost to repair my original Xbox (see comments below). The replacement console worked well enough for 4 months until it suffered an error E74. Since this Xbox had been previously RROD’d and x clamped fixed, overheating it with the standard tricks wouldn’t work. So I had to get my original Xbox professionally repaired.

Turns out just repairing my original Xbox in the first place would have been much cheaper and easier, but that’s how you learn right? I was lucky with my original Xbox that after opening the Microsoft seal didn’t break so I was able to send it in…the replacement console on the other hand would surely be rejected by MS repair since it had obviously been altered (x clamped). So now my only remaining choice for the replacement console is some guy on eBay who gives it a 75% chance for rumbling to life again by re-flowing it “professionally”. I say that with air-quotes because it really isn’t a professional service, but rather tinkering that has been perfected by practice but with a real possibility of failure.

So, here are the lessons learned from my Xbox error experience:

  1. If you get an E64 on your 360, and your Xbox power light flashes green continuously after a reboot chances are you have a fried DVD drive firmware. If you don’t have a DVD Key backed up your Xbox is now trash, so if you have an intact MS seal, send it in for the $99 repair.
  2. If you buy a replacement Xbox 360 (xclamped and/or previously RROD’d & baked) make sure you use an additional fan when playing Fallout 3 or GOW 2 to avoid overheating it. Even later generation Xbox 360’s have serious heat management design flaws that will cause an E74 without extra ventilation over time.
  3. After your Xbox warranty expires you may want to consider opening it to:
    -Improve the cooling permanently by changing the OEM fan and/or adding cooling.
    -Backup the DVD drive key.

I hope this post will help someone avoid the problems I had with my consoles…and by problems I mean an E74 like this one:

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July 6, 2009

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2 comments found

Comments for: Crap! Xbox error E74

  1. Post author: 
    David Vielmetter

    –UPDATE–
    So I finally got around to sending my RRoD’d replacement console away for repair a few days ago and was shocked to discover it lying back at my doorstep just 5 days later. After opening and anxiously plugging it in, I am happy to report that my previously Xclamped and RRoD’d replacement Xbox is fixed and lives again!!

    I used eBay seller nismogtp to do the work and paid him the $34.99 after reading his advertised 76% success rate of fixing even previously worked on Xbox 360 consoles.

    Considering the alternative to a 5lb piece of hazardous waste (broken xbox 360) I can now say that the $35 dollar was an investment well worth it even if the Xbox only lasts a few months.

    I’ve bought a used 20Gb hard drive and a power brick for the fixed console on eBay and now I’ve got myself a gaming console for the bedroom.

    I’ll keep you posted if my newly fixed Xbox breaks again.

  2. Post author: 
    David Vielmetter

    –UPDATE–

    Argh! Another Xbox E74 after repairing my Xbox just a week and a half ago. So lets do the math on this one (sigh) $35 repair plus $9 shipping is $44 total repair cost. Now take 23-14 = 9 days of Repaired Xbox fun. Divide $44 by 9 and I’ve spent $4.80 for each day of using my previously repaired Xbox. Unfortunately I only actually played it 4 out of the 9 days…that makes me sad.

    So what have I learned from this experience? It is NOT in fact a better idea to buy a previously RRoD’d xbox from Amazon. If it has overheated once, chances are very likely that it’ll happen again even with extra precautions like an additional Intercooler fan and elevated wire rack to allow good air circulation.

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