Is your Xbox 360 behaving strangely? If so, this may be the precursor to the red ring of death, which is a general hardware failure. It can be caused by a power supply problem or damage caused by excessive heat.

Here are the typical warning signs:

1.) At startup, a message appears stating that the disc cannot be read.

2.) The console freezes.

3.) Sound freezes or you hear static sounds.

4.) There are problems with the graphics. You see strange effects like pin stripes, checkered patterns, or anything that is obviously not part of the game.

5.) The only thing that works is the off button.

These problems can appear randomly as occasional occurrences. They may or may not occur with increasing frequency over time.

If after experiencing any of these issues, your console flashes three red lights after restarting it, then you have the red ring of death. A common human reaction to this is denial. This can happen if the machine seems to be working fine the next day and it is tempting to think that the problem has fixed itself. The truth of the matter is, you have an intermittent problem that comes and goes. Every time you get the Ring of Death, your Xbox takes more heat damage. Eventually it just won’t work at all.

The best way to deal with this is to rule out the simple causes first. One of them is that your Xbox is not receiving adequate power. Another is that the console overheats because it cannot stay cool. Is your Xbox getting adequate ventilation? Have you been playing for hours in a hot environment? Is there a build-up of dust or sand on the vents?

If these simple fixes don’t work, it’s time to get your console fixed. If your warranty is intact and you are willing to wait a few weeks, you can return it to Microsoft. If your warranty is void, Microsoft will still repair it for a fee (approximately $ 140- $ 150). There are some people who do a business fixing the three red lights error. This can also be expensive.

The cheapest way to do this is to fix it yourself. This is doable for many people, but you need to get good instructions. If you are serious about this, then you will buy a reliable guide ($ 20- $ 30) that has a money back guarantee. If you have used basic tools and can carefully follow the instructions, this is by far the fastest and most cost-effective solution.