Getting flashing red lights on your console after your Xbox 360 stops working is a frustrating experience. If you don’t understand the meaning of these lights, it’s impossible to know what you should do next.
For starters, there are four different light patterns or error codes to be aware of. Each error code denotes a specific type or class of problems. The error codes and their meanings are listed below:
1.) One red light.
This indicates a hardware problem. Turn off the console and remove the cables. Then reattach the cables and turn the console back on.
If it still flashes a one red light, then repeat the process with the hard drive. Power off the console, detach then reattach the hard drive and turn the power back on. You should also do this with the memory unit if your console has one. Power off, remove, reattach, and then power on again.
The point of this procedure was to ensure that the hard drive, cables, and memory unit were securely attached.
2.) Two red lights.
Two red lights mean that the console has over heated. Your Xbox needs to cool down so turn off the power and allow a few hours of rest time. The Xbox has a marginal cooling system at best and can’t handle abuse of any kind.
It is extremely delicate in this regard. It should only be used in cool and well ventilated environments. Don’t place it next to other electronics (they put out heat), ovens, stoves, or in direct sunlight.
Keep your Xbox out of any and all enclosures. The fan vents draw in a lot of air for cooling purposes. So it’s important that they not become clogged up.
Keep these vents clean of dirt and dust. Placing you Xbox on shaggy carpeting or on very soft surfaces like the top of your bed covers can also obstruct air flow into the fan vents.
3.) Three red lights.
Three red lights indicate a hardware problem with either the console or with its power supply. The three red light condition has two basic causes. Either the Xbox is starved for power, or it is running too hot.
First check to see if it’s getting enough power. The power supply has a light on its side. It should be green, if not, start checking the power cord connections. Make sure that your wall outlet or power surge protector aren’t at fault.
If too much heat is causing the 3 red light error, the problem may be caused by the way that you are operating the Xbox. It could also be caused by an internal defect. You should first rule out operational causes by using the recommendations for the 2 red light error. If you are still having problems, then an internal component needs replacement or repair.
4.) Four red lights.
You have an AV cable that is either loose or damaged. Reattach the cable or get a new one if required.