Too bad.

This is getting a little ridiculous. It seems that Microsoft will ban you from Xbox Live for just about anything these days, including fan modifications.

Over at Maxconsole.net, Malloc posts an email he received from a man whose friend’s Xbox 360 was banned from Live for having a fan modification. Apparently voltage is easy to detect through Bios settings, so installing a huge fan is going to undoubtedly raise red flags.

When his friend contacted Microsoft customer support in regards to ban, they confirmed that he was indeed banned for using a custom fan, as opposed to the stock one.

“…Microsoft have started banning xbox 360’s with modded cooling. So if you’ve done the 12v mod your in risk of being banned for it…. How do I know this?? Because a friend of mine just had a nice chat with Microsoft About why he was banned and they explained it was because he had non-stock/modded fans.”

Given the 360’s tendency to overheat, this is sad news, especially considering that your only other option is to purchase a Nyko Intercooler, which reportedly drains too much power from the console and causes a general hardware failure.

I know that Microsoft extended the warranty on all consoles to three years, which is great and all, but it’s still entirely possible for your system to go kaput after the warranty is up. Banning users for trying to save their $350 console that’s prone to breaking is pretty much bullshit.

UPDATE: Chad Lakkis, our glorious leader here at Ripten, contacted Microsoft’s PR company earlier today regarding this claim. It is his understanding, based on the conversation he had with the individual at Edelman, that Microsoft is capable of scanning an individuals console and the company has indeed banned users from XBL for “modding” their Xbox 360.

While he was not able to obtain a quote regarding this specific incident involving a fan, he did obtain the following statement:

“As part of our ongoing efforts to keep Xbox LIVE safe and secure for the more than 8 million members of our community, it is our policy to ban modified consoles from the Xbox LIVE service. We have found that a small percentage of gamers are playing with modded boxes which would potentially compromise the gameplay experience for other gamers on the service. We believe that even one modded console on the system is one too many. That said, if one of our customers feels like his or her console was wrongly banned from the service, he or she can contact 1-880-4my-xbox.”

I have to say, I’m really glad that Microsoft has a dispute system in play now. They’ve had more than a few wrongful bans, so it’s good of them to acknowledge that and give those unfortunate souls a way to clear things up.

It’s important to note that this incident is simply one guy’s side of the story, and I apologize if I didn’t make that clear. Another thing I want to make sure people know is that this isn’t simply snapping a fan onto your console, this involves opening it up and tinkering around with its guts via this method or something similar.

Now I’m not saying that I think that the fan banning is justified – if it’s even true – but in Microsoft’s defense, they’re being perfectly straight with us. If you mod your console in any way, shape, or form, they reserve the right to ban you. And it sounds like they do have a way to remotely scan it, so don’t try to be sneaky.

I’ll let you know when we get a response about the whole fan situation.


  1. That´s how Microsoft will keep Xfailure 360 on sales in 2008.
    I´m on my second xbox and this time i build my own external cooling device that keep the it fresh even knowing that this one has the falcon mobo.
    i´m really impressed with sony improvement on the 40gb model, i let the console running for 2 days playing and downloading stuffs and it was less warm then the xbox on the dashboard after while.
    I just wonder the day that they will start ban people that watch those hd-dvds p0rn on xbox and give allegations that live don´t allow perverts. LOL !!!

  2. wow. this has just made me really angry, so this post will probably be all over the place. my xbox red-ringed since i got it, the towel trick saved it for about a year until it finally gave up the ghost. i think it took about 40 days for the whole process of getting it repaired to happen.

    that’s over a month lost because of their design fault. now for the people we hear about that get dead consoles 3, 4, a dozen times because they get shitty refurbished 360s may see no alternative than to screw with the fans. then they get banned because MS are too incompetent to support their own product

  3. This DOES suck but what you imbeciles don’t realize is that this is America, we DO have options. If you don’t like how a company supports their product, THEN DON’T BUY IT! It really is that simple, I mean common, if you’re going to read reviews as well as see that other people are having issues with a certain product, then why on earth are you going to buy it? And if you did buy it first off and are having these problems, don’t sit on the internet and whine about how the company sucks, get off your lazy butt and do something about it!

  4. microsoft should be a little more fan friendly, they seem to forget that they made the mistakes with the 360 in the first place. and they screw you on those damn points . by the way is there anyone like me who has been on xbl since the begining and not recieve the 500 points? and since when did cust service start using non english(or limited). Hell I can’t even explain problems to them!

  5. All you have to do is get an intercooler fan. Which is a three fan setup that plugs into the back of your Xbox 360 for about $19.99. It sucks the heat out real efficiently. Keeps my box cool. And you can buy it at most retail outlets. So whats the problem here anyway.

  6. Ok, while i agree the RROD is a problem that needs to be fixed (which it has been now with the new chipset released recently…hopefully) If they allowed you to mod your fan…then you could mod otherwise and it would be harder to detect whether you are modding for illfounded reasons or simply to save your xbox. The bottom line is, they HAVE to ban people who mod. If you wish to not be banned, leave it stock, keep it in a cool area, put a box fan near it if you wish…but opening your console and modding it will get you banned, as it should.

  7. “And it sounds like they do have a way to remotely scan it, so don’t try to be sneaky.”

    I trust you see the irony in this statement.

  8. im still on my first 360. a second generation one also. do you know how i avoid the red ring of death? its so ridiculously simple. i bought an intercooler pack. if you look at one, you will notice that they have a new conductor made out of a better metal thus no longer causing hardware failure or connection issues. if you are going to buy a next-gen console, i dont care what it is, buy the equipment to keep it. yes it costs a bit more but its worth it in the long run. besides danceofd3ath is right. if microsoft doesnt make an example of mods in one form or another, there will be mods that you dont want on Live and then you will be bitching about the lack or action by microsoft.

  9. Thanks Germ, i actually was prepared for a more hostile reaction to my comment. From what i have heard, the inter cooler is great…i have yet to look into one for myself, but i may do so.

  10. I see some very good points out there, but here’s the thing. Microsoft screwed it’s consumers by making a poor design with the heat sinks. Once you go over playing your xbox for over 2 hours, you’re putting our box at risk because the heatsinks are too small and the fans can’t do everything. So if they screw us with their cheap design, why can’t we screw with their product to make it actually work. We bought the item, and now we’re not allowed to do whatever the heck we want with it?

    I wil l admit, I just got RRoD and I made myself a better design for those heatsinks so they don’t get detached from the CPU and GPU anymore. But is that going to make my box survive for a long time? probably not. Some better fans would be great, but now I learn that isn’t a good option. I guess I’m going to have to invest in one of these intercoolers right?

    But now more on point here, you guys should realize that this has a lot to do with marketing reasons. Sure they want to provide safe and cheat-free gameplay online, but a whole other part of this is money. They know the 360 has it’s problems, and they know that people will pump a whole ot of money out of their pockets just to play their 360. This is all going to turn on them in the future though…

    Let’s face it, Microsoft sucks sometimes, but just buying a 20 dollar fan or cooler for your box is way better than installing fans anyway. Cracking the Xbox open is a real hassle itself…

  11. microsoft sucks butt. My refurbished xbox is just over a year old and now the RROD comes along and ruins it all. Since my refurbished box is over a year old the warranty doesnt cover it anymore and I have to pay for it myself. Its their faulty design not mine! Why do I have to pay the price?

  12. Ok.. I do agree that console modding TO A DEGREE should get u banned, but only if it gives u an unfair advantage. But modding the console so it actually performs at an acceptable level? Why should you get banned for that? Ill admit it I modded my console. Originally did the Xclamp fix after THREE months when I was on the virge of a E-74, year later Xclamp fixed failed so I did a reflow and applied the Team Hybrid fix. Should I be banned because not only did I fix my own console(not once, but twice) but I took care of a problem the M$ engineers just seem to cant take care of? Its totally unfair to give people who add in a better fan to keep their 300+ dollar investment working the same punishment as the people who flash or add in chips to allow the play of pirated games or give software mods to the system. In the name of repair, any modding in that regard should be allowed ONLY if it doesnt give a unfair advantage during gameplay. Otherwise yes u should be banned. On a further note, all 3 companies should allow us to do more customization software wise on the actual system interface. First thing I would do is remove NXE.. its more of a problem causer than its worth since its gonna cause GPU/HANA chip related failures more often.

  13. Fixing your own machine invalidates most manufacturers warranties, but if your machine is out of warranty why should i pay crazy rates to fix something i could fix in hours?
    Am i correct, you are allowed to make a backup of your software disks? How can you play them if you don’t have your machine modded?
    Microsoft has no solutions they cannot produce a good product Xbox nor a good operating system (pick one the best was xp)yet when their customers try to save time and money they penalize them. They will loose in the end less people signing up for live, less xbox sales, spread the word or maybe start a class action law suit.

  14. ****************************************************************************************************************SIMPLE FIX*************************

    -Buy a Cheap PowerSupply ($20) and rig your fan to that. That way when they scan your Xbox’s Bios they will see no voltage & think your fan took a SHeeeit. They cant ban you if bios see’s no voltage going to the fan…

    XBL Customer Service is a bunch of UBER Noob Towel Jockies that Bill Gates Pays probably 35 Cents an hour to. Avoid them buy just doing the mod I said…

  15. I myself have 2 systems that where banned for no reason not buying a 3rd they need to fix there errors

    but from what i was told by customer service
    from 800 number above is they dont have to tell me why and they will not fix them

    shrugs on xbl forums they say they can reinvestigate with you serial and console id but i doubt its a very fast turnaround

    as far as terms of use they can ban you for no reason it is stated #20 (shakes head )

    hopes they fix there errors as there are a number of people banned that are not modded

    1st system was running a whispermax fan
    2nd was stock

  16. you naive fool tommy g. what options? PC, PS3? you do realize that xbox360 is one of only 3 options, but even so, certain games are only released on xbox360. xbox's were made to fail, build your own pc! that way you know the quality of craftsmanship.

  17. MS is NOT being straight with you here. They are doing this to try and catch disabled modchips!

    If they detect ANY sort of modification that involves opening up your hardware (this includes repairing it yourself without using the official MS event log clearing tool that official repair centers have!) then it MAY have an undetected modchip in it. THAT’s the reason they are banning.