Last Friday, I bought an Xbox 360 at my local K-Mart. It was probably a mistake getting it from K-Mart, but I sort of decided to buy it on the spot, didn’t really put much thought into it. After getting my Xbox 360 out of it’s box and all hooked up, I started wishing I had made the purchase directly from Microsoft instead. All is fine and well now, but I had nothing but problems for a few hours after setting the Xbox 360 up.
Right off the bat, I had three red lights on the Ring of Light. Not good. I followed the steps Microsoft suggests, after unplugging and re-plugging everything to the power supply, I finally got a green light and the Xbox 360 booted.
At this point, I did the initial configuration on the Xbox 360. I setup my profile and just started playing Need For Speed: Carbon. That didn’t last long though, the 360 started freezing up every minute or two. I kept rebooting it, hoping for a better result, but nothing.
After a few reboots, and barely getting a profile created in Need For Speed, I was presented with the error seen to the left. Click the image to make it bigger, sorry for the shitty picture. My heart really sunk at that point, the description of the E71 error message is rather disappointing: “E71: possibly a dashboard update error, there is no solution at present the console must be sent back to MS for repair.” There’s a nice post over at the xbox-scene forums that covers error codes and what to do about them. After finding the meaning of the E71 error message, I set out getting my Xbox 360 on my network. I was hoping a network connection would force the 360 to check for a dashboard update or something…anything.
Getting my Xbox 360 online wasn’t a problem, the hardest part was finding an ethernet cable long enough to go from my switch in the office to the living room. Once I had the network cable in the Xbox 360, I turned it on and it immediately said there was an update to download from Microsoft. It must have grabbed an IP really quickly from my DHCP server and checked for updates. Had I not had a DHCP server running, I may not have gotten the update. I don’t think I could have gotten into the dashboard to manually configure tcp/ip settings for the 360. It would have frozen up and that would have been it.
Anyway, the update downloaded and was installed, and my Xbox 360 was rebooted. After that, the 360 finally came up and my freeze problems were gone. So, if you’re having all sorts of flaky issues with your Xbox 360, try getting it on a network with an internet connection and see if it’ll download a dashboard update. I haven’t had any problems with stability since the initial update was downloaded, thank god! I really didn’t want to have to send my brand new Xbox 360 into Microsoft for servicing the day of purchasing it.
If you are experiencing problems like I was and this fix works for you, please let me know. This has probably been written about elsewhere, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it.