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360's tend to lock up before the "red rings of death". You get this when the system overheats and has problems with the solder coming loose. Mine took a little over a weak before it got the red rings after it kept freezing after a few min.'s of playing.
It could be overheating because the fan is not getting enough air out. try cleaning the console itself outside and using can of compressed air to get any buildup in the vent holes and fan cleared. There are a few FAQS on this site to learn about a few tricks.
feel free to comment if you have any questions. Hope this helped and remember you have a three year waranty on your xbox for the red ring and E74 error!
Salutations nofear2313, The "Ring of Death" is a known issue with Xbox 360's and Microsoft has actually extended their manufacture’s warranty to 3 years to cover this type of problem. I would contact 1-800-4MYXBOX to see how to get the unit serviced. Hope this helps. Jon Go Ahead. Use Us.
Over heating wont turn on http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=599216 http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=606431 http://copronymous.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/fix-for-the-3rlod.pdf
Does it matter what game you play? Do you get any blinking red lights on the console? If you do, check out this link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/907534
It gives you a few hints of what you can try.