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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

no surprises at the lack of nouse in some people

Gods, I work selling preowned consoles and pc gubbins to the general populace and am ALWAYS getting people trying to sell in 360 disks with lovely big rings carved into the disks... every single one of them has a 360 sat vertically "like on the tv ads".

Of course, it's not just 360s that will do this, and console sat on its edge has a chance to do it.. 360s just seem to do it if you walk past them heavy footed :P

LIE IT FLAT YOU NUMPTIES!

The people behind the tills listening to the PA play alestorm while swigging coffee and explaining to you very very very slowly that your console chewed the disk knows what they are on about.

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Anonymous Coward

@Excuse (MS)

Count me as another victim, I've lost hundreds of $$ in games because of trashed disks and my xbox has never been moved.

I have a friend who works in a video/game rental store that quit carrying xbox titles because the disks only last a few weeks.

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Alien

Get over it

Bloody yanks are just lawsuit happy. Get over it already. The bloody company put disclaimer stickers on new units so you idiots won't tilt them while a disc is spinning. What kind of idiot tries to tilt the unit while I disc is spinning up in it anyway? Someone who wants to break something and sue the bloody company who made it just to make a fast buck?? BLIMEY!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Duh...

Is a spinning disc inside an XBox or anywhere not just like the spinning bit of a gyroscope?? The whole point of them being that they'll try and continue to spin in whatever orientation they are in when the frame (in this case the XBox) is moved. Now XBoxen are not gyroscopes and can't accommodate this freedom of movement... surely people should understand the pretty simple physics involved here and that this would cause excessive forces and hence damage. I mean who hasn't held a bike axle with a spinning wheel attached and moved the axis perpendicular to the plane of the wheel to feel the forces involved??

(And pity the fools for buying anything MS made/wrote/cobbled together from spare parts)

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Paris Hilton

WTF!!!

WHO THE FUCK TILTS ANY BLOODY FUCKING DEVICE (SHORT OF A PORTABLE CD PLAYER) WHEN ITS ON???

Yes I know angry post but common Im not the only one who finds this stupid. Blame the fools for doing it not M$ on this one.

/PH because people tilt her around when shes working

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re: 55000 morons on the loose alert!

I wonder why neither Nintendo nor Sony have been sued for something like this, given that all consoles use spinning discs... Is it that only morons buy Xbox? Is it that for some reason Xbox owners feel the urge to shake their consoles once they have inserted discs? or is it a quality problem in that little piece of cr@p?

So, 55000 morons on the loose, or a company that doesn't give a dam about the quality of its products... I'd like to hear what Occam has to say about that

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Unhappy

Death by feline

My 360 was positioned horizontally, and my cat jumping up onto the cabinet (not even actually touching the xbox itself) caused disc death. It doesn't take much.

The screaming you hear during an earthquake isn't your terrified neighbors- it's your pissed-off xbox-playing neighbors, who all just lost their discs at once.

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Srsly???

Ok I admit the XBox has it's issues and certainly M$ as a whole does (and we all know I have zero love for M$ or any of it's figure heads). But come on, blatant stupidity is blatant stupidity. Unless the units have laptop style drives with a press clip spindle, tilting any of them while the disk is spinning is asking for trouble. Sounds to me like this is yet another lawsuit for the sake of filing a lawsuit.

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Flame

echo chamber

Dozens of posts claiming people are stupid to move an Xbox while it is reading a disk & the law suit is frivolous, totally miss a couple of major points:

1) This is happening with Xbox 360's and only Xbox 360s'- to the point that about 55,000 complained (how many didn't?). If there was an army of idiots out there juggling players while the disk was spinning, you would expect similar large numbers of Wii, PS2 and PS3 owners to have problems. They don't. Wii owners have other problems such as flying remotes, but no class-action law suits on scratched disks. On the other hand MS had to put aside $1 billion for Xbox warranty repairs - mostly RRoD, but also scratching.

2) MS claim it only happen when people tilt the player; but plenty of evidence including a repair shop that conducted a test on a batch of machines, say that it happens without tilting the player.

3) MS keep swapping the DVD player used in the 360; as with most consoles they are trying hard to keep the cost per unit down, but experts have pointed out that they are missing some components like a clamp or bumpers that would make the drives more robust. I doubt lawyers jump into class-action lawsuits with MS's army of evil lawyers without having a modicum of evidence.

4) When you scratch a game disk (which spins for hours on end during logn games) you potentially lose an expensive game. Not like burning a disk & finding you have a coaster. Not just a slightly scratched disk either; people are talking about the optical reader mech, grinding a channel into the disk killing them.

5) Advice to keep the 360 horizontal, level & stable, may not work anyway, and ignores the expected operating environment - MS publicity shots pretty much always show it vertically. Often they operating with kids jumping around (watch somebody playing Guitar Hero), sub-woofers pumping, maybe sitting on the carpet in front of or beside the TV. Not totally unexpected that the 360 might vibrate or move a little. Most devices work fine; including my old PS2 with the kids yanking on controller cords and jumping around the floor with eyetoy. My laptop even works fine while moving & tilting the player; I just tried it, though it was only about the 2nd or 3rd time I ever used the optical drive in the HP.

So why the legion of people blaming the user? Think about it; there is more to it than just the odd failure due to idiots

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Unhappy

Tilting.

This occurs even if you just BUMP IT/PICK IT UP WHEN A DISC IS LOADED AND NOT BEING ACCESSED.

Believe it or not, a lot of people actually have their xbox's on coffee tables/floors/etc while using them, even a SLIGHT BUMP on a coffee table causes the drive to lose gyroscopic integrity and eat the disc.

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Gold badge

Of course they can be sued

What the hell is with all you "Duh, just don't tilt it?" types. I mean seriously this drive ***IS*** defective. As Adrian Jackson says, ever heard of a CD Walkman? (Well I'm guessing "no", but...) this thing would go in a pocket or bag *while you are jogging*, and read CDs... without scratching them!

This lawsuit seems to be covering the early units that did not have warning stickers, etc. (Note a warning sticker is a pretty lame fix for a design defect.) For all of you saying "well you wouldn't put a DVD player on it's side" 1) DVD-ROMs *do* work just great on their side. HP for one seems to LOVE mounting drives that way. 2) DVD players aren't shown in ads sitting on the side and the case isn't really shaped welll for it, unlike XBoxes.

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Gates Horns

your all missing the point

the xbox360 is so lacklustre that 55000 people resort to tilting their consoles for entertainment.

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@Mark (first post)

The trouble is that you don't even have to "shake it around" - even just tilting the console (say for example your wife decides to dust and just tilts it a bit to dust underneath) was causing the problem. It is basically an issue with the drive not securing the discs well enough. I agree - if you decided to play a game of football with your 360 while playing a game though, you could expect it to cause problems.

"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 tilting the console with a disc inside could result in disc damage"

I loved this line from the article, or at least what they consider a fix. As opposed to actually resolving the problem by fixing the issues with the drive itself, they stick a label on it to say that any sort of movement may cause scratched discs.

To all the people defending it, saying you shouldn't move any device when it's on, I call complete bullshit on that statement. I've owned laptops with DVD drives for years that you can safely move around (or even accidentally knock a bit) while the drive is in motion without scratching crap out of your DVD's. None of the other consoles have ever suffered this problem to my knowledge - so that only leaves it being down to either shit design or production (or both).

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Unhappy

Scratched discs eh? Meh, I'm used to it!

I've had my Xbox 360 for almost 3 years, it's been scratching my game discs since the day I got it and not once have I moved it whilst a disc has been spinning in it. I complained to Microsoft and got their standard 'Moving it will scratch discs' response... their tech support person refused to comment on me explaining that I had an original Xbox sat next to my Xbox 360 and it has *never* scratched a disc, bottom-line - Microsoft refused to do anything about it.

I have to say though that not all my game discs get scratched as it has a lot to do with the type of game, for instance games that required lots of preloading such as Oblivion or Bioshock means that the disc spins more frequently increasing the probability of a disc getting scratched.

All I do now is resurface a disc when I get a 'disc unreadable' error and when the extended warranty runs out I shall take it apart, remove the drive and either fix it by placing some foam pads on the underside of the drive bay (which will prevent the disc from 'tilting' towards the laser assembly) or replace it with one that has been properly treated (as the ones in the early XBox 360's should have been).

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Gates Horns

re: Srsly (part 2, return of the fanboi)

"But come on, blatant stupidity is blatant stupidity. Unless the units have laptop style drives with a press clip spindle, tilting any of them while the disk is spinning is asking for trouble."

And yes, it is. So why are you assuming there's no stupidity on MS's part here?

Desktop CD units can be used vertically. They aren't laptop drives. They work. PS2 doesn't use laptop units. Nor the PS3. They don't mind being moved in the slightest.

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Gates Horns

re: Fanboys *rolls eyes*

Good for you.

55000 people don't. And as has been said above, either idiots only buy the XBox or your characterisation of what is causing the problem is incorrect.

So, do you dance with idiots or are you wrong about what these people are doing?

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Gates Horns

re: WTF!!!

Indeed. So why are you assuming that it's shaking the XBox that's doing it? Because that allows you to assume blame on the users, not your beloved Microsoft? You're an NBMer.

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Bottom Line

You get what you pay for !

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Re: PS2

My PS2 is the only device I've had scratch a disc - my cat knocked it over when it was in a vertical position, and sure enough, big scratches ensued. So that can do it as well.

Ever since, I keep all my consoles horizontal. Particularly that PS2, though that's more to do with it now having a hard drive in it, which leaves the machine quite absurdly top-heavy.

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No movement required

My 360 has scratched disks consistently, despite remaining perfectly immobile and horizontal in the bottom of my TV cabinet. It has done this despite being replaced twice - the jury is still out on the current replacement.. not sure if it still has the same Samsung drive in it.

Not all CDs/DVDs are perfectly balanced or have spindle holes that are completely concentric. You can usually identify these disks as they can be considerable noisier during access due to the increased vibration.

Saying that this only happens when the unit is moved or even jogged is bollox!

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