Classic Xbox, when good capacitors turn bad..

The original Xbox, introduced to the US in 2001

The original Xbox, introduced to the US in 2001

I recently faced a rather depressing problem with my crystal edition Xbox. Having not used it for several weeks, I turned it on with the intention of watching a DVD. Only to discover the machine would not power on, the front power LED would illuminate for a few brief seconds and then go out. For all intense and purposes the Xbox appeared dead. Now I was left to unravel what had happened to cause the console to stop working. Several hours searching forums online and I discovered the original Xbox like it’s successor, suffered from design faults. Unlike the 360, the original Xbox does not suffer from the red ring of death, however the fault is just as bad.

Like any product, Microsoft produced the original Xbox in the most cost effect way available. One means of keeping the cost down is by using cheaper surface components. This is fine if your product is only intended to have a short operational life span. Introduced in 2001, the Xbox is now 13 years old, the first of what is now three generations of console to bare the name. Microsoft are more interested in the Xbox One and to a lesser degree the 360, leaving the original Xbox to the care of the retro gamer. Who must find ways to keep the console ticking when components begin fail. One of the most common failures is bad capacitors, which plagues all revisions of original Xbox motherboard included the last revisions, such as the crystal edition Xbox.

In part two of this article I will cover how to replace these bad components and hopefully bring my crystal Xbox back to life.