BREAKING: The Latest XBox LIVE Update May Affect DVD Drives

BREAKING: The Latest XBox LIVE Update May Affect DVD Drives

BREAKING: The Latest XBox LIVE Update May Affect DVD DrivesWe’ve just had a look at a verified email, sent from Xbox LIVE customer support, claiming that a recent update to Xbox LIVE is preventing “a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail discs”.

The email, which was verified via this twitter post from Xbox Support, offered the user in question a new Xbox 360 in response and a free year’s subscription to Xbox LIVE.

BREAKING: The Latest XBox LIVE Update May Affect DVD Drives

“Checking my e-mail earlier today,” said Avery Penn, “I found a rather interesting message from Xbox Customer Support, saying that a software update is stopping some Xbox 360s from reading game discs.

“Saying they were able to detect this issue over Xbox Live, Microsoft went on to say that, after jumping through all the necessary hoops, they’d send me a brand new Xbox 360 S and a year’s free Xbox Live. At this point, my jaw hit the floor.”

According to Avery, his 360 was still playing discs at the time the email was sent and, just for reference, his console was 60GB Pro from 2009.

The email was most likely referring to the Xbox LIVE update which is being phased in between May 19 and May 30 – an update which reflashes the DVD drives to a new stock firmware, and adds support for new XGD3 disk format. It’s this update that allows an extra GB of usable storage on game discs.

That would most likely mean that the games Avery’s Xbox 360 wouldn’t be able to read haven’t even been released yet – explaining why his 360 could still read currently available game discs.

We’ve contacted Microsoft for a response on the issue, which we’re currently awaiting – and we’ll update the story accordingly. In spite of the obvious issues, which may affect a good number of Xbox 360 users, we’re impressed by the pre-emptive work of Xbox’s Customer Support – as was Avery, who was seemingly happy with the situation.

If Microsoft continue to pre-emptively solve these issues, then more power to them, but problems may arise if users find themselves unable to play new games released in the future.

More news as we get it.

Thanks to Steengo for the heads up.

Sincere pologies to Avery Penn – you can check out his original post on Reddit here.


  • Apparently the update includes a firmware update for DVD drives – beta testers were sent a copy of Halo Reach in the new format. I’m guessing some of the older drives can’t be updated, so theyre just replacing them.

  • Wow. From the look of Avery’s stream, he hadn’t come across any issues before he got the email. He also stated his console was a 60gb Pro from 2009.

    I wonder how they worked out his console won’t be able to cope with them? Specific type of DVD drive, perhaps?

    Nevertheless, it’s very interesting. Will look forward to what MS have to say about the initiative, and the factors behind it in more detail.

  • Interesting, I wonder if affects a particular model of 360?

    As I’ve still got a PAL Launch model from March2006. And this was a concern of mine when I read about these new discs a few months back.

    • Yeah, but y’know what’s great?
      They detected it remotely… notified him beforehand… and made a valid and expensive compensation effort.

      Doing so has probably engendered a great deal of brand loyalty.

      • In his post he was talking about how he was a microsoft fan for life, etc, etc. So you’re right on the money.

    • Hey, imagine if this had happened with Sony. Their compensation would have been only replacing the drive with a new compatible one and you probably would’ve had to pay for the shipping not to mention you’d have to wait a week or two after your drive stops working to here from them about it.

      • No they wouldn’t. Sony aren’t stupid enough to release firmware that renders hardware inoperable.

          • No the just release a console with no voice support for online games. Now the whole network is dead becuae the PS3 is completly hacked now and they cant do anything about it 🙂

        • Actually they are. There was a firmware update that caused the YLOD in some consoles.

          Your move.

          • I’m not sure what your beef is with Sony mate but Kotaku has generally been a place that is troll free. Could you please return to joystic??

            Also- Sony sent me a brand new ps3 when it bricked for free- I just had to pay to post the dud console to them.

          • When mine YLOD’d they replaced it for free, didn’t even ask for a receipt and it was free postage.

        • Hahaha is that a joke… Sony aren’t exactly a great example of firmware updates and lets not talk about the 25 plus days it took to restore psn and the week or so it took to notify customers… Bravo MS for once you came through with some quality

  • Dear Microsoft,

    I would also like a new XBox 360 S and a year’s free XBox Live gold.



  • Is this in Australia?

    I’m wondering if it wasn’t a launch model 360… in which case, there wouldn’t be too many to replace.

    • Article says it was a 60Gb from 2009, so definitely not a launch unit.

      You’d assume it must be a *really* small set of them that can’t be updated if they’re choosing to actually release this firmware update anyway and just replace those consoles.

      It’d be interesting to know if there’s some way you can identify exactly which units are affected (serial number, perhaps?) If so, it’d be worth scouring the 2nd hand retailers for one, pick it up cheap, then have MS immediately swap it over for a brand new one for you.

      • Me and Seamus were just discussing this. It must be a small number for this move to be cost effective…

        • Remember a few weeks ago when they reactivated all the remotely banned consoles… and then deactivated them again?
          Was this what theye were testing for?

          Also, cost effectiveness is hard to quantify when you’re talking about negative publicity. It may be worth taking the hit over… MS has some very deep pockets.

      • It will likely be a specific revision of a specific DVD drive.

        This will be interesting.. It’s like a xbox Lotto where you could win a new console!

        Unfortunately I am already out. I have a 2006 Samsung MS25 drive so no chance of this being the same as his 2009 one!

        Good luck all.

        • Heya, I’ve got one of the Sammy MS28s. They’re great until the laser starts to fail!

          • My eject button has not worked properly for over 2 years and the spinning disc occasionally sounds like im kicking it…. but it still works (after a DIY RROD repair 2-3 years ago)!

            I love the old girl, but with the new 250gb slim i have, She is resting now. She’s in a better place… top of the TV cabinet.

          • Hmm one of my consoles does this when standing upright I have to press the button three times or more for it to open.. Or lay it horizontally and it works
            .. Buuuuut I had a launch 60GB ps3 that cost me $1000 and decided it didn’t want to read discs anymore because the drive defected Sony initially asked if I intentionally damaged it which they inspected it and gave me a brand new one… Took em a month to do it so I bought a Xbox in that timeframe

  • Wait a second. If your drive no longer works because of this you get a new 360 slim and year of xbox live?

    Am I reading that correctly?

    If so, what happens to your data on the HDD will they transfer it over?

      • I picked up a 250gb 360S to replace my (still working) launch-era Pro and I can confirm that it does not. The cable costs $30 or so.

        What I’m more interested about is whether they’d replace like with like, region-wise. I have a secondary 360 – a 60gb model from 2009 – but it’s Japanese region to allow for some cross-region import gaming. If they replaced it with a PAL region one I’d be pretty upset.

      • USB drive support.. up to 16gb! Even if you have to do a couple of transfers it is a quick and easy process.

  • Hi Microsoft,

    I would really like a new Xbox S, my current Gen 1 model is making click noises when I’m playing a disc and I don’t really like paying money again. Regards.

    ps. I would also like a years free Xbox Live Gold.


  • Fantastic – at least they’re getting on the front foot with this, turning what could’ve been another RROD/Brick backlash into some (finally) positive spin for them.

    Can’t say they aren’t learning from their mistakes!!!

    Just wish my Halo3 console hadn’t bricked itself last year – hmm, perhaps a repair is in order….

  • I am pretty sure I have that model sitting at home. I am though on a do not contact me microsoft list. Will just wait and see what happens.

  • The really wacky thing about the Xbox 360 is that DVD drives that were used back in 2007 models are still used in 4GB slim models and DVD drives used in 2008-2010 models are used in the 250GB slim models.

    Using my limited powers of deduction I’d say it is a combination of DVD drive and motherboard version. It would be nice if someone could twat this guy on twitter and find out which DVD drive and motherboard combo he has.

        • I knew what you were saying.

          The answer is, not really.
          They’ve changed the way DRM is written on the discs freeing an extra gig.

          Pirates, like hackers, thrive on challenges… and the more secure you make something, the more appealing they find it.
          How you get around that, I do not know.

        • it will for a while.

          Rumour has it, it is going to flash your dvd firmware everytime it starts. Meaning your firmware that lets you play pirated games is gone.

          Also them expanding the disc size will also make it harder for pirates (arghhhhh) to burn the game images to a DVD-DL.

          I give it about 1-2 months before they hack it again.

  • They took too long to inform us of the problem!
    I demand satisfactory compensation!
    I want a 7+ second bow from Bill Gates!
    Wait he doesn’t run MS anymore?
    He’s not Japanese?
    Well I guess that’s alright then.

  • Let’s hope they iron it the issue out before the beta period ends.

    I, for one, am quite happy with a Red RE5 edition 360. I got it to replace my first 360 – a Elite – when the optical drive started to wear out.

    The games loaded, but the drive sounded like a angle grinder. To make it worse, it was not covered by the three year warranty (as I did not get the three red lights) so I faced either paying 250+ to have it repaired or get a new one.

  • I also have a Halo 3 Xbox (bought on release), but i sent mine in in 2009 when it got RROD. I wonder if they updated the disk drive or i might also be an applicant for this! 🙂

  • My launch Xbox 360 RRoD’d on me and I don’t wanna pay $200 to get it fixed can I have a 250gb slim and 1 year Xbox Live?

    Kty ily Microsoft

  • I wish they did this for me with the Jan update. It caused my xbox 360 S to no longer read any discs – legit retail games and dvds.

  • I have no idea what my 360 is – it was originally a 2006 20gb but Microsoft decided to replace it last year when I sent it in on RROD with a new one (not S).

  • It won’t really affect pirates. I’d assume that most pirates wouldn’t connect to xbox live invade these things happened. If I had a hacked xbox 360 mine would stay offline

  • MARCK!!!!!!!

    what kind of player was or is a mark on my benq vad 6038 elite do you think it fails?

  • My Xbox could not read a game disc after the update but seems okay again now, I have a 2009 Pro with LiteOn dvd drive which is supposed to be the affected one but no email from Microsoft :o(

  • Been researching this issue for about a week now since I found out my son’s xbox is bricked. After the latest update it will no longer read any DVD. Period. Had been working just fine up till about mid May. Of course I found it was quite fun speaking with support. I was accused of lying, modding my machine and told that there was no update addressing the firmware of the DVD drive. But. For $119.99 they would repair. Nice. My son is currently enjoying his PS3 and hasn’t looked back.

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