I just purchased a 360 that doesn't work to give myself something to play with. The only thing I have noticed off hand is that the power button/light assembly is missing. I can get the unit to power up by pressing eject on the DVD player, but I get no video. Are the lights required for the boot process?
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These red leds(also know as the red ring of death or RROD) around the power button is a way for the xbox to tell you that something is wrong. Different combinations usually have to do with different errors. I recommend that you send it to a repair shop or back to microsoft if the warranty is still good. Don't forget to give them any relevant information and which leds were flashing. Also an error code would help them alot.
You will have to update the wii to play newer games. Your controller problem if it does show a led light on the remote then its synced. If its just not showing you a hand on the screen then its probably your sensor bar. If your controller will not sync and all four leds flash then I would push the button on the console and push the button the remote then just try hitting the a or b buttons. I've also had to slap the remote after hitting the sync buttons to get it to sync. The update thing is normal though.
Who exactly is "They"? By my understanding, the X-box 360 Arcade is NOT backwards compatible, meaning it cannot play original x-box games. The only one i know of that can is the X-Box 360 elite.
Now then, if you go online to the X-box live Marketplace, they have quite a few original x-box games available for download, but you have to pay for them :( These downloaded versions WILL work with the 360 Arcade
You have to recover your gamertag for these arcade games to be played again, it's like an anti - piracy feature of the Xbox 360System not to allow data transfer wihtout prior notice. On your new Xbox 360 System:
• press the xbox guide button
• if your are signed in to your profile, you have to sign out first
• after signing out, press the Xbox guide button again and select recover gamertag
• on the next page, confirm on the prompt and follow the onscreen prompt to recover your gamertag
This should allow you to manage and play your downloaded Xbox Live Arcade Games.
There is a Microsoft KB article on this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/911152
I would try that and see if that helps. Also try removing and reapplying the faceplate. Did you recently move/bump your 360? If so, I could see the KB article applying to your situation.
BTW, what makes me think its user error is the fact that you specify that important 5-10 second window. If a button or something is pressed down permanently, it has a tendacy to be like clock-work, while hardware errors/failures with the 360 seem to be more towards random restarts and failures.
If all else fails, just call MS and see what they can do. You may want to repost with exact details of what is going on, your Xbox's condition (dusty?), and what changed to make the event begin.