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Xbox 360 Power Supply Replacement

Posted on January 17th, by Shaun Merrigan in Gaming, News, Tech. Comments Off on Xbox 360 Power Supply Replacement

Xbox 360 Power Supply Replacement

If you own one or more Xbox 360 in its various incarnations, including the newer 360S and 360E, you have likely experienced a power supply failure. These units all use an outboard power supply which plugs into the wall outlet at your local voltage, and connects to the 360 by a special power cable. I say special cable because the cable and plug design has charged numerous times over the years. The failure modes that I have experienced go something like this:

1) The power supply (“brick”) begins to get noisy on power up, but then settles down to its former noise level in a few minutes. This behavior continues for a few weeks or months. At this point I generally take the brick outside and blow it out with a super duster (canned air).
2) The noise level of the brick does not abate after a few minutes of running; it remains at an irritating level and begins to increase with time. At this point I may try to blow out the brick again, but this generally has no effect.
3) The noise level becomes unbearable; it could be grinding, howling, whirring, chattering. For example like this, or like this. You get the idea. Power supply failure is imminent at this point.

Generally, the cause of all this type of noise is the small internal fan inside the power supply. Given that the problem is fan noise, and not a much more serious electrical problem (in which case you should not use the power supply at all), the power supply should be replaced. While I have had some limited success in re-lubricating the original fan, I don’t think it is worth the effort. I would rather replace the power supply with a new one.

So where can you find a replacement power supply? I would strongly recommend a visit to the Microsoft Xbox support site, where you will find all the information you need, described in very clear detail: Microsoft Xbox Support. As I stated at the outset, there are numerous cable and connector configurations, which are dependent upon the exact age and model of your Xbox. This page describes them completely. A very simple way to obtain a legitimate, correct power supply is to order it through Microsoft. There are several reasons for doing this:

1) The replacement brick will have the correct wattage and cable configuration (Microsoft derives this information from the Xbox serial number).

2) The replacement will be approved by the electrical standards body in your country (UL or CUL for the US and Canada):

UL and cUL

UL and cUL

3) The pricing is competitive and the shipping is free (at least for Canada: $43, shipped, including all taxes as of this writing)

Note that there are many places to purchase these power supplies on the web, eBay, Amazon, etc.  However, many people have reported issues with replacement power supplies purchased on these various outlets.  These issues range from the replacement being DOA, or being louder than the old power supply, or the wrong cable being supplied, or lacking the proper electrical standard approval.  Counterfeits, knock-offs and poor quality junk abounds in this market, unfortunately.  Personally, I will pay the extra $5-10 and buy a guaranteed, certified replacement from Microsoft, particularly as I use Xbox 360’s as Media Center Extenders, and I often leave them powered for continuously for days.

Shaun Merrigan

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