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What Does The Xbox 360 Ring Of Lights Mean?

Updated on March 14, 2013

So what is the ring?

All Xbox 360 consoles have a ring of light - which is a circle of LEDs, with a green LED in the middle. This ring is used to indicate to the user what state the Xbox is in, and allows the user of the console to find out what state the console is in. Each of the ring's quadrants has a number - one for upper left, two for upper right, three for lower left and four for lower right. This stays the same whether the consoled is vertical or horizontal.

Normal Configurations

The normal pattern of lights is the green LED is on in the centre, with the quadrants lighting up whenever a controller is connected - If three controllers are connected, then three quadrants will light up.

Error Configurations

Bad Stuff

When quadrant four (Lower right) lights up, this means that there has been a hardware failure inside your Xbox - A two digit error code is then displayed on the screen of your TV, the most common code being E74.

When quadrant one and three (Upper left and lower left) light up, this means that the Xbox 360 has overheated, and it has shut down to prevent further damage. The console will run the fans at full speed until the console has cooled down enough - when it has cooled down, you can continue playing your game.

When quadrants one, three and four light up you have the most common Xbox problem - Often called the Red Ring of Death. The Red Ring of Death means that there has been a general hardware failure - This can be caused by a variety of problems, for example it could be that there has not been enough much adhesive applied, one of the components has failed, or there is a faulty power cable.

When all of the quadrants light up, you have one of the rarest errors - This error is often caused by an AV cable not being plugged in. This only applies to old models that do not have a HDMI cable slot. If your Xbox has the four red lights, and you do have an HDMI slot, then it is likely that you have had a power surge or a power outage while the Xbox was running. The best thing to do in this situation is to unplug the system and plug it back in when power has returned to normal.

The Red Ring Of Death - RROD in action

This guy got his RROD from playing Halo 3.

Don't Worry! Be Happy!

Don't worry if your console gets these errors - Many consoles do. If you are reading this, you are most likely to have the two quadrants or the Red Ring of Death. Never fear, help is at hand - You can fix your 360 by utilizing any standard Red Ring Fix Kit listed below - They cost very little and are sold by many trusted sellers. I've had good experience with them myself. If you don't feel comfortable fixing your own 360, then send it to a repair store, but be warned, this can be expensive.

Red Ring Fix Kit's

These kit's are what I've personally used to fix my Xbox - They're cheap and affordable, and much less expensive than sending it to a dealer.

Reader Feedback

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    • takkhisa profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't have Xbox now but my little has it. Thanks for the info :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      I wish I would have found this sooner.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Usually this means the system is shot :(

    • CommanderNicole profile image


      6 years ago

      Helpful indeed. Great lens.

    • mechanicaleye profile image


      6 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      I didn't know about this. Great lens!

    • Jo-Jackson profile image


      6 years ago

      Very helpful and well-explained.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      ive got 3 red lights top left off accidentaly hit it with my foot so got it sent of to a mate who is studdying repairg at collage

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i have rrod and it really sucks

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      "Don't Worry! Be Happy!", I like that! I don't have an Xbox but now I am prepared!

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 

      8 years ago

      Very helpful lens. Thanks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      great lense!

    • FunkyJewelleryUK profile image


      8 years ago

      Really interesting lens. And helpful too! Nice work :)

    • shandigp profile image


      8 years ago

      Great to know this resource exists. Definitely bookmarking it for future reference--you know, in case.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      I had no idea this fix existed. Very helpful information. Thanks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens. Helpful info!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I looked at the RROD fix and it's legit! nice lens :)


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