The Xbox 360 Repair Saga: Shoot the Surge Protection?

As I reported recently, my Xbox 360 died. And so, I called 1-800-4-MY-XBOX today to order my coffin in the wake of the new warranty extension. While I was on the phone, the rep (a friendly Canadian fellow) informed me that my surge protector had probably caused both of my 360 deaths.

My immediate reaction was a disbelieving “What?”

The explanation (which he said comes from somewhere up the Microsoft chain) is as follows:

The Xbox 360 is highly sensitive to reductions in power, and even the slightest cut in power can cause things like the fans and even the DVD laser to malfunction. Surge protectors can cause this, and probably 90% of the consoles they see have all failed in 6-12 months of being plugged into a surge protector.

Well, my two systems did die in that window, and they were both plugged into a surge protector. But does this explanation even make sense? I’m not an electrical engineer, nor a physics expert, so it’s not really my place to say. However, perhaps someone out there in the vast expanses of the world wide web can weigh in on this topic.

Is it the power? Or is this just another misdirection?

UPDATE: Upon further research, similar reports are appearing in a number of forums, and a Knowledge Base article seems to say the same thing. From that article, “Plug the power supply directly into a known good wall outlet. Do not use extension cords or power strips.”

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About Mark Methenitis

Mark Methenitis is an attorney in Dallas Texas. Mark received his Juris Doctorate and his Master of Business Administration from Texas Tech University and his Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas.

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