Microsoft XBox E74 Error Warranty

by jim on May 19th, 2011

Two days ago, as I was playing Mass Effect 2 on my XBox 360, I noticed that the visuals were getting weird. There were random pixels appearing all over the place on some screens, perfect on others. I knew immediately, since this had happened just one year ago, that my XBox was about ten minutes away from dying with a classic E74 error. You’ll usually see one red light (lower right quadrant) and an ominous all text message on the screen.

The E74 error is a generic class of errors related to video output, which can mean anything from a bad cable to a bad graphics chip. If you’re lucky, it’s just the cable and you can just buy a new one. Chances are… you’re not lucky. It’s probably a failure in the ANA/HANA (for HDMI) scaling chip because the chip has come loose. When you run the XBox for extended periods of time, it heats up. Normally, this isn’t an issue, except in the case of this one ANA/HANA chip because of how it’s seated and mounted. After a while, the chip can come loose and you’ll experience an E74 error. This is what happened to me.

There are a lot of home-brew fixes, from wrapping it in towels to holding the chip down with pennies, but the only real permanent solution is to open it up, remove the chip, and reattach it. You can usually find someone nearby willing to fix it for around $40 (some guy in his garage) to $100 (a store).

One nice thing is that there is a three year warranty on XBox’s for this specific error. I bought mine refurbished last November (yes, it’s only lasted six months) and was researching local repair options (I’m really not that interested in opening it up and doing it myself), when I thought to check the warranty. It turns out that the person who previously owned it had it repaired last May… so I was within a one year warranty. I had until May 21st (yes, that’s in two days) to request a repair. I got off lucky.

If you have an E74 error, how do you check if you’re still under warranty? Easy, head over to the XBox Service Center, register your console, and then request a repair. You will find out if you’re still under warranty (at which point you can request a repair) or learn when it expired. Be sure to indicate it’s a E74 error, so they know that the warranty is for 3 years, otherwise you may not get the correct answer.

And do it now… the last thing you want to find out is that your warranty expired yesterday.

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One Response to “Microsoft XBox E74 Error Warranty”

  1. Jeff Says:

    This happened to mine and it says my warranty is up for this but I only bought mine like 2 years ago, The summer after my 10th grade year and I just graduated. It said my warranty was up November of 2010

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