back to article Microsoft knew about Xbox 360 disc-scratch problem, employee claims

Microsoft knew prior to the Xbox 360’s launch that the console can damage discs if gamers tilt the unit while a disc’s spinning inside, documents from a lawsuit focused on the problem reveal. The revelation was made by Hiroo Umeno, a Microsoft programmer, in an ongoing case that was filed with the Seattle District Court in July …

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Gates Horns

Bastards

Microsoft really haven't done themselves any favors in terms of hardware with the Xbox 360 have they?

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Stop

idiots......possibly

I just cant understand this. I can't be the only person that sets up consoles/cd\dvd players/computers, in a place that means im not going t ohave to move it around, after i have put a disk in.

Im not taking the p1ss here, can anybody give me a reason why you may NEED to tilt the damn thing in the first place???

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TEQ

55000 morons on the loose alert!

Someone please explain to me what kind of moron tilts their console about? Do these same people tip their dvd players up whilst they’re watching a film? Perhaps after loading the dishwasher, they lay it on its side? No? Well they should be told not to be so fucking stupid with their consoles then.

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Ash
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Seriously?

Changing the direction of motion of a rapidly rotating disc causes it to collide with objects in close proximity?

Do they not teach kids in school over there about "momentum"?

The mind boggles...

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errrrmmmmmmmmmm

why would you think that it would be ok to tilt it while it was in operation anyway?

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Bronze badge

Not sure I understand ...

So, in normal operation, you put a disc in the player, go sit down on the sofa and proceed to play the game, right?

What possible reason would there be, after having put the disc in, to pick up the player and tilt it forward or to the left?

I can accept the odd case of your cat jumping up on the shelf where the player is and knocking it over.

Maybe it's a case of 55,000 idiots seeing a sticker which says "DO NOT tilt the player forward or to the left after inserting disc!" and saying to themselves "Gee, I wonder what'll happen if I do that?"

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Pirate

Why mess with it while its switched on?

One simple question.

Why would you even consider messing around with your 360 while it is switched on and

running. Anybody who does deserves what they get.

You don't pick your TV or your DVD player up while it switched on and move it around the room and lay it on its side. because guess what it would get damaged or something would break. Guess what people DVD players radios 360s all have movie spinning DVDs and Cd's and guess what happens with any sudden movements to the CD area. that's right SCRATCH. grow up shut up come live in the real world and stop pratting around with your electricals while there in use and have games spinning in the drive or I'm going to come along and point and laugh at you for being so stupid

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Anonymous Coward

Lawsuits?

I hope they fail. What sort of great spangly macaroon moves a drive when it's spinning?

Even a laptop-style drive with spring-loaded clips on the spindle carries *some* risk of this.

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common sense?

tilting a console with a disk spinning inside can damage the disk? I didn't really need a warning to spot that one, as i have half a brain. Jumping up and down next to the console while the disk is spinning probably has the same effect.

Maybe a warning that using 360 disks as a frisbee can damage them should be added too!

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Gates Halo

Nonsense

Is this not nonsense? If I started shaking my 360 around while it was powered up and spinning a disk, something would likely get damaged. I'd expect that. And I wouldn't blame MS. I don't need a warning label to tell me that.

If I ingested my 360, it would likely cause a lot of damage to my xbox and myself. I didn't see a warning label stating that, it is in fact a guess. I don't need a warning label to tell me that, nor would it be MS's fault for providing me with the xbox.

MS should replace the disks as a goodwill gesture and issue letters to people who request a disk swap telling them not to be so stupid in future. In those words.

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Always keep disk based drives horizontal!

Seems folks are daft enough to move a 360 whilst its playing a disk or keeping it on its vertical axis.

I dont think you should ever use a disk drive vertically unless the drive mechanism has a laptop syle drive with the spindle clips that hold the disk in place. They may say you can but nahh dont trust it.

I always keep my 360 laying horizontal and I havent had a scratched disk at all in over two years.

Keep em flat guys!

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Anonymous Coward

In other news...

... people need air to live.

Its kinda obvious that moving the drive around while a disc is spinning is likely to cause issues. Someone tell these people to get some sense.

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Flame

Fanboy Rampage

You're all a bit defensive aren't you? I can pick up my laptop with a CD spinning and it's fine. If this was about PS3s causing CD damage from people shaking them I expect you'd be all over it shouting about how crap Sony hardware is. You can't though, because we're not heard any such stories. So maybe 360 users are just a bit more violent with their beloved console?

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Wow. Feel the hatred...

I suppose none of the people claiming that anyone daring to move a CD is mentally challenged ever heard of such a thing as a CD walkman? Plenty of spinning disc devices can cope with being tilted while in use, including most games consoles, and some of them can cope with relatively violent movement.

That said, when my launch-day PS2 got knocked over while playing Tekken, dislodging and scratching the disc, I did the sensible thing. Shrugged and resolved to put it somewhere safer next time, that is, not sued Sony. Never had that problem with the 360, as it's neatly stacked under the TV at all times.

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So, there 55,000 people, all shaking their XBoxes around, are there?

These people must have biceps like elephant's legs. The idea that the dsic scratching was in any way caused by people picking the unti up and tilting it around is nonsense.

There's a well documented flaw with these units, that is damaging game discs - and it sure as hell caused by you average lardy Xbox player, suddenly developing a strong urge for physical exercise!

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Scenario

What happens, does the player pop in a disc and as it's loading thinks "hmmm, my console would look better stood upright" ?

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Ian

Hi

I stuck a knife in one of my discs and pulled it hard along and it's caused a massive scratch in it.

Can I sue Microsoft because they didn't say I shouldn't do this on my XBox 360's box?

This isn't an XBox only thing- I've seen plenty of devices that it has been suggested you shouldn't tilt during operation many DVD Writers and Bluray players for starters.

God only knows why you'd move such a device about when it's turned on.

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Strange...

I'm no fan of Microsoft, and I'm not a gamer - but I can't see why Redmond is taking flak over this.

Tilting a console whilst it's running can scratch disks?

Then don't bloody well tilt it!

Why on Earth should anyone want to do so whilst it's running?

Or is this (and the class action) proof that the stereotypical gamer is, indeed, of limited intellectual capacity?

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Gates Halo

what's next

"throwing your console out of the window and running over it with a steam roller may invalidate your warranty"

sheeesh

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Paris Hilton

It's the accelerometer, stupid!

To all those accusing us Xbox owners of being 'idiots'... The last laugh is on YOU, since WE heard MS updated the xbox BIOS to include an accelerometer. THATS why you have to tilt the console. Duh?!?11

//damn, no sarcasm icon...

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But you're computer people...

Console gamers have always been "different" to computer game players, yes?

Cut the console-rs some slack, guys!

Meantime, this did happen to us.

My kids leave the Xbox on all the time.

At 8 years old they're normal, not morons, and this is normal (if frustrating) behaviour for somebody their age.

Meantime my wife, perhaps not the most computer literate or mechanically minded, moved the Xbox which was not in use at the time... disk was still spinning.... £50 game ruined.

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Not what I expected

I know quite a few people who have had scratched disks and they *haven't* moved their console around while turned on. Unfortunately Microsoft refuse to replace the actual drive and instead you have to replace your games every month.

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Coat

Unlike the Playstation

Does no-one remember the original Playstation?

You used to have to tip it to get some disks to work. Near the ends of their lives, most PSXs were used sideways. Maybe the XBox users are old PSX owners trying to ... aww, who am I kidding. They're idiots.

@stefan

Here's some punctuation for you to use in your next post: "........,,,,,,,,"

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Anonymous Coward

Consoles get bashed a bit normally

I think it is normal to tilt the Xbox around once it is turned on because I might want to change the location of the xbox, or even plug in a memory card or new controller. I should be able to do it without concern for disc scratching.

Also the Xbox was designed to be used vertical or horizontal, so having it horizontal will stop scratching, fine. But fact remains that it should also be able to do vertical, it looks better vertical in my opinion.

Do newer revisions of the cosole scratch discs, I have not heard of this problem with PS2/PS3.

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LOL

All the Xbots defending the turd-box360.

Blind...

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Unhappy

mind you...

these are probably the same people that need to be told not to iron their clothes while they're wearing them

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Not just tilting

This is not just a fault with tilting the console, my 360 has scratched discs while perfectly still. It was made a little better after I moved it off my desk (which according to microsoft support, my typing could of caused the console to tilt too much). After making 100% sure the discs were being scratched without moving the console I phoned xbox support again, after what must of been close to an hour conversation I got permission to send in photo's of my discs. After sending in the photo's a week later I had had no response from microsoft. After phoning a 3rd time I was told abruptly that the xbox 360 does not scratch discs unless you move the console while it is in operation.

My general assumption is that due to manufacturing differences some xboxes are worse than others, mine being especially bad. Others you wouldn't have to tilt much to cause problems. Since microsoft refuse to acknowledge the issue theres nothing you can do.

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re: 55000 morons on the loose alert!

lol ... couldn't agree more, this is as bad as that tard who sued a fastfood chain because she dropped her coffee while driving and it burnt her!

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tilt me baby

I can't think of another disk based console that's ever had this problem, in fact I believe this suit has an expert stating that other manufacturers take steps to avoid this problem (many of which it appears Microsoft investigated and ruled out due to cost). Bear in mind the disk replacement only counts for Microsoft software, so be careful around your 360 when playing 3rd party titles! You'd think they'd have thought this through, especially considering they designed the 360 to be used on its side... or maybe they did think it through but thought "forget about the users", as the lawsuit alleges.

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Gates Halo

Doh!

Well you'd expect the disk to get scratched if you move the machine around while its in use. Only an idiot would do this with any machine

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Gates Horns

Customer expectation

Hey, as an oldie I'm happy to avoid tilting drives. I remember when people would 'prove' that a vertical drive was impossible.

However, most people now exect their portable CD drives and hard drive based ipods to cope with tilting, jogging and a lot more besides. Kit has to be designed to cope with the odd bit of abuse. The Xbox can't claim exception circumstances, there's a clue in the term 'consumer hardware'.

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Anonymous Coward

@Adrian Jackson: CD Walkman

I guess you and I are just a couple of old farts, these youngsters don't

remember anything before flash players.

Floppy drives used to cope with a good old shake, and the hard drive seems up to it. Does the PS3 have a no tilt warning?

Perhaps a die on tilt feature like pinball machines would be a good addition?

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Joke

Hmmmm

Washing machines leak water if you turn them on their side too. Anyone up for a class action?

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Stop

WTF? a "fix"???

"It’s worth noting that Microsoft has already issued several ‘fixes’, including a disc replacement programme for gamers and a warning sticker placed on new Xbox 360s that titling the console with a disc inside could result in disc damage."

So could Ford have gotten out of the Firestone types problem by putting a warning label on them "WARNING: Using these tyres can cause you to crash"?

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Gates Halo

Why in god's name would you tilt a console while there's a disk in it?

What are they doing? Feng Shui? I can't say I've ever felt the need to tilt any console I've ever owned, as far back as the Mega Drive, though I may have angled my ZX Spectrum askance during Daley Thompson's Decathalon. Especially not whilst playing anyway.

Microsoft should have thought more deeply about designing their console for morons.

I can't believe I'm using the Saint Bill icon.

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Gates Horns

Excuse (MS)

Mine was left flat and still scratched discs from day one. I got a load of tosh from an MS-employee, telling me to keep the unit horizontal, on a vibration-free surface etc. I reminded her that I've never seen this happen with any other optical disc readers/writers I've purchased over the years. I highlighted her to the well-documented problem to which she made no comment. If MS knew nothing about the problem, wouldn't she be surprised and a bit more sympathetic?

There's an identical DVD-drive available for PCs: these units have a protective resin around the laser housing, the XBox ones don't. When the disc spins up, it knocks against the housing and the give is all in the plastic of the disc. This happens when the XBox is reading data from the disc; typically when lots of data is required for the application running (graphically-intensive routines).

Eventually, the disc wears out at the spot and is rendered unreadable.

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Alert

Portable DVD/CD players...

Dont have this problem so it *could* be considered logical to extend this to other DVD players/consoles.

However the xbox is a data drive and spins many times faster, but who knew that? I did, but im not your average Joe.

MS should have had a better centre disc capture mechanism, or a suitable warning. ie this is not an ordinary DVD/CD drive!

Many consoles are stored beneath/beside the telly and pulled out for use, resulting in frequent (and not unanticipated) movement...

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Gates Horns

Sounds familiar to me.

Sorry, I have to post this anonymously for reasons that will become clear...

I used to work for Compaq at a time when they were feeling the squeeze, shortly before they were snapped up by HP.

They were working on a secret rnage of budget, unbadged, non-compaq branded desktop PCs that would be sold direct, and via stores like PCWorld.

My job was to evaluate the components they were using for quality and failure expectency.

One of the components was a CD ROM drive. In order to save a few pennies per build the drives had the normal tray loading device with a spindle, but they did NOT have the usual magnetic spindle cap that drops down to stabilize the disk once the tray is closed.

The result of not having the spindle cap was that any rotational movement of the drive would result in the disk crashing into the tray and or drive case and damaging the disk beyond use.

Sounds like MS Penny pinching to me in this case too.

Someone will have worked out they will save more in construction costs than they will eventually and inevitably pay out in a class action suite.

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Moving Console around is normal

I think it is normal to tilt the Xbox around once it is turned on because I might want to change the location of the xbox, or even plug in a memory card or new controller. I should be able to do it without concern for disc scratching.

Also the Xbox was designed to be used vertical or horizontal, so having it horizontal will stop scratching, fine. But fact remains that it should also be able to do vertical, it looks better vertical in my opinion.

Do newer revisions of the console scratch discs, I have not heard of this problem with PS2/PS3.

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Gates Horns

re Nonsense

Well, since the complaint is that you DON'T have to shake it about but merely tip it to the left or forward and that misalignment from horizontal (not violent movement) causes the disk to unlock and drive into the laser head, which doesn't seem to be a problem for ANY OTHER CD drive in a computer IN THE WORLD, I would say that someone somewhere sourced the cheapest shit drive around and didn't check to see if it was degraded stock and then sold it to a front-room games playing public.

But if you want to exaggerate just so you can defend Microsoft, go ahead.

We don't believe you.

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Gates Horns

Re: Seriously?

Doesn't seem to be a problem with iPods which spin MUCH faster and have heads MUCH closer to the disk. Doesn't seem to be a problem with ANY CD walkman. Car based CD players don't rip your CD a new one when you go over a speed bump while playing Slayer.

So why should these drives be so picky?

Because their cheap resourced shit sold for premium prices?

Probably.

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Gates Horns

"Always keep disk based drives horizontal!"

Uh, what about micro towers, or the desktop cases that can be stood on its side.

CD Drives in them don't dig into the media when the drive is vertical.

Did MS buy some extra-special ones that nobody else buys? Why?

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Gates Horns

Hmm

My bro had an xbox which scratched several discs, even though he never moved it and it was horizontal. Moving it why its working is a no brainer, you dont do it. Sounds like a case of mild propaganda blaming the customer for a problem that is actually MS.

My xbox is sat vertical and has never scratched a disc, but has had a new motherboard.

If it wasnt a fault with the machine they wouldnt issue new discs at all would they? Lets face it, the build quality if shoddy at best, they cut corners and they are paying for it now. Sadly so are some customers.

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Fanboys *rolls eyes*

@Mark

A mature and very constructive comment. Well done, keep it up.

I've had a 360 since just after launch and never had a disc scratched. But then again, I don't shake it about while it's running.

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Not just XBOX

I hate xbox but it's normal. it even happens with PS. but yeah if you tilt the machine while it's got a disk in it spinning, that's your fault not xbox's but there are articles out there that state that if you have your xbox or ps on it's side then chances are the disks will scratch. Most times it's due to being unleveled and when you spin somthing on an angle it's going to wobble all over the place. so anyone who buys the upright stands or just places these machines on their sides. well that's a risk you are going to have to take.

STOP SUING FOR STUPID ISSUES

IF YOUR MACHINE EXPERIENCES SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION AND BURNS DOWN YOUR GAME ROOM WHERE EVER IT MAY BE I AM SURE YOUR HOUSE WILL GO WITH IT, THEN YOU MIGHT HAVE A GOOD FIGHT ON YOUR SIDE. BUT A DISC? COME ON.

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Gates Horns

Typical Microsoft

Blame the customer. There is large amounts of anecdotal evidence that says it's not moving the 360 that scratches the discs, and that the 360 just decides it does not like your disc anymore. No movement required...

Still I suppose it gives the Xbox lovers out there a reason to let Microsoft off the hook (again) for making shoddy hardware...

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Stop

Replacement disc policy

In my opinion, software publishers, music labels etc, should all replace faulty discs and here is the reason why:

You have purchased a license to use the copyrighted works and you have not actually purchased anything else. Faulty media has not expired your license to enjoy the copyrighted works.

Many years ago, I was reinstalling my PC and the 2nd install floppy for Lotus 123 was bad - I blame the floppy drive because I never cleaned it. However, Lotus Corp happily sent me a replacement disk in exchange for sending them the faulty disk and enough postage for them to send me a replacement. That seems very fair and reasonable to me.

I think that any company selling works and who will not replace faulty media should inform people that they are purchasing the whole works and should therefore treat the media as a master - ie, the buyer can make further copies, resell, etc etc because they are owners of the works. In doing so, they don't need to furnish the new owner with replacement copies should their master fail.

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red ring of death...

they should stop complaining and just be thankful that they have had their xbox working long enough to scratch a disc!!!

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Paris Hilton

So, the answer is obvious.

The xbox359 was poorly designed and built crap. Don't buy it or games for it and you won't ever have a problem. Solved now, innit?

Even paris knows better.

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Re: Unlike the Playstation

My PSX (the last model before the PSone) sometimes had the "tilt me to work" problem as well. IIRC, it was because the laser cart couldn't move all the time due to the plastic gears wear and tear; tilting it would give the cart some help in moving, thanks to Sir Isaac Newton's best friend. ;)

Sony seems to have learned about this, because the PS2 and PS3 not only corrected this, but also are capable of working in both horizontal and vertical configurations. Why can't MS do the same?

By the way, my PSX system died early this year ... because of a power surge. I think it outlived most PSX's, PS2's, and a damn high number of 360's. Now that's quality!

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