Users Of Older Xbox 360s Say Grand Theft Auto V Crashes Their Console

Users Of Older Xbox 360s Say Grand Theft Auto V Crashes Their Console
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

It seems the launch week of a hotly anticipated game can’t pass without a problem keeping some folks from playing. Several tips and complaints we’ve received, and a long forum thread backing them up, allude to a specific problem facing Grand Theft Auto V: the game appears to crash on older models of the Xbox 360.

This thread in — which is not an official site — is full of users with something in common — Xbox 360 models manufactured (or refurbished) between 2006 and 2008.

“I’ve probably reinstalled the game about 10 times now,” said one user. “I’m thinking it might be my 20GB HDD? After I installed the game I probably [have] a couple hundred MB left. Could it possibly be a problem that I don’t have enough excess memory after the install?”

While hard drive size would seem to be an ideal culprit (the game has a mandatory 8GB installation, and older consoles typically have a 20GB hard drive) others say they run into freezing issues even with the larger capacity drives they bought for the machine.

“Same problem here. Xbox from 2006, original 20gb model, sent in for repairs in 2009 for RROD,” said another user yesterday. “I bought a 250 gb hard drive for it, but otherwise it’s the same console I’ve had for years. I can’t play for more than 30 minutes without the game freezing on me, and I’ve tried every troubleshooting step I’ve seen here and on other websites.”

He said he contacted Rockstar, got a form response advising him of steps to try and that he replied they didn’t work. “I hope they find a fix for this problem soon, since the common denominator seems to be older Xbox 360’s.”

The freezes seem to happen early on — “the cut scenes after the first mission,” said one persistent user, who said he tried 20 times to get to a check point only to have the game freeze up on him at random afterward. Another gamer with a 20GB Xbox 360 (“with no HDMI port”) tried installing the discs to different locations (hard drive for disc one, USB for disc two and vice versa) and then not installing disc two, and still encountering freezes.

“20 gig 360 here. Having random freezing happening as well,” says another user. “I’ve tried everything as far as installing with no success. Obviously the game is unplayable like this. Having a friend lend me a xbox, but this is ridiculous…”

I’ve reached out to a Rockstar representative to ask if the publisher is aware of any issue specifically affecting older models of the Xbox 360. If they reply (it’s a weekend) I’ll update this post with any response. This user, the one who originally opened the thread on, said he was told by a Rockstar Support agent that “They are still in the process of gathering data and trying to determine if this is something that is patchable — at least that is what I was told.”

One user said he contacted Xbox Live Support, which provided the following steps for addressing the issue. “It worked for me,” he said.

1. Delete all GTAV game data.

2. Clear system cache three times.

3. Delete marketplace data from storage system items.

4. Unplug console for three minutes.

5. Install disc 1.

6. Power off, do not insert disc 2.

7. Restart.

8. Install disc 2.

9. Play.

While he did not encounter the freezing after three hours of play, another user said he still did after 30 minutes.

Rockstar’s official troubleshooting statement asks users to delete all Grand Theft Auto V installation data, clear the Xbox 360’s cache and re-attempt the installation. “If you are still experiencing the error, please try installing to a different memory device.”

If you have similar experiences with older consoles — or even newer ones — or have encountered helpful workarounds, by all means, share them in the discussions below.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @owengood.


  • I have one of the older Elite models and while I’ve only had one freeze then crash so far it chugs like crazy when you swim in the ocean, if your above the waves the frame rate drops immensely, to the point where it feels like it will freeze any minute.
    Another area iv’e noticed major slowdown is in tunnels with a lot of cars

  • I chose to get mine on PS3 because my old Elite 360 is making weird noises. Plus my Gold subscription ran out…

  • Thankfully I bought a new Xbox about three years ago and gave the old one to my (now ex) girlfriend.

    I’d like to imagine her new boyfriend bought GTA and is having these problems MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • I have a 20GB Xbox. Pre-elite model. Red ringed once but I have magic hands so it didn’t last long 😛

    I installed GTA V on a 16GB USB drive and it works perfectly. Not a single problem.

  • It’s a fiendish plot between Microsoft and Rockstar to make us all buy new 360’s, Mwahahaha.

    Seriously though, I’ve got a 60 GB and I’m about 12 missions from the end of the game, it’s been running perfectly the whole time.

  • It seems people have already forgotten that the 20GB HDs were notorious for having slow read speeds, thus why it was better to run GTA IV off a disc when it came out than it was to install it.

    I suspect that’s the reason this is happening.

    • While hard drive size would seem to be an ideal culprit (the game has a mandatory 8GB installation, and older consoles typically have a 20GB hard drive) others say they run into freezing issues even with the larger capacity drives they bought for the machine.

      • Size shouldn’t matter too much. Granted however that 20G ends up being about 12G after the OS and what it reserves. I still believe it could be due to the access speed of those drives.

        • exactly, HDD size doesn’t matter at all. and the units with 60GB or the upgraded 250GB models are failing. so access speeds on the drive end isn’t the fault.

          that’s why myself, (and MS and Rockstar, if you look at their support fix) seem to be thinking it’s a cache memory issue. It seems to be affecting pre 65nm CPU units. Which would have the Xenon, Zephyr or the Opus MB’s. All 3 boards use the same CPU, so have the same cache.

          • yeah, maybe it’s how GTA treats the CPU cache or the eDRAM?, it in the least is most likely happening on the board end rather than the Disk end as there seem to be multiple HDD’s involved, all of which would all have different Disk buffers.

            Hopefully Rockstar and MS can create a patch for it.

  • I’m not entirely surprised that this game might not run on older machines that probably aren’t running the exact same hardware (even though the specs are supposed to be similar). It runs great on my 2 year old S-unit, but my previous unit was having issues with most games which is why I retired it. I felt like it was a few loading screens away from crapping out complely.

  • I have an older Xbox (not sure of the year but about this time) and have had no issues, pity I can’t say the same for my launch ps3 that couldn’t run TLoU and died the day before GTAV released *sigh*

  • I’ve got a slim – only had it crash once. I finished a mission and was taking a photo at the same time it was trying to save. It didn’t like it one bit.

  • While it does sound like its more common in certain console configurations, I’d be interested to see how many of the people who have GTA V related console errors have played a game other than GTA in the past year or so.

    I’ve spoken to several people who’ve bought GTA who didn’t even have their consoles plugged into the TV until it came out last week. Don’t forget this console generation is about 7 years old now, that’s plenty of time for people who don’t play games regularly to lose interest and pack it away.

    I’ve you’ve got a first year 360 that’s been sitting in a cupboard gathering dust since GTA IV came out I’m not surprised you’re having stability issues. It might not be Rockstar’s fault in many of these cases.

    • The other thing possibly in play here is the age of the console. While it seems that some do work, a lot of the problems seem to be related to the older consoles. You have to remember how long the XBox360 has been out for, some of these consoles are pushing 8 years old, so they may be on their last legs.

      While they may run the older games fine, I don’t doubt that GTAV is probably giving them a decent stress test.

      Essentially, while they may have similar or the same specs, these parts degrade over time, especially since the consoles can run pretty warm in a home entertainment environment (tucked away in a shelf under the tv)

      • Yeah I reckon you guys are right here. I hadn’t played my console for over 2 months until GTA 5 came out. I have noticed that my newish ‘S’ console gets pretty warm while playing it. Dust built up, as well as the inadequate cooling in an older console would definately raise that temp more.
        It definately pays to pull the case apart every now and then and clean it out. Microsoft doesn’t want you to but you should, for you and your wallets sake.
        While you’re at it, get some M6 screws and get rid of the damn X clamp on the CPU.

  • I’ve got an old Elite. I’ve had two lockups. Both times operating Michael’s TV, oddly, and one point where the screen turned pink for a few seconds.

    Sounds like it could have been a lot worse.

  • Funnily enough, my boyfriend’s Xbox which I’m using is pre-Jasper and it hasn’t died. His PS3 (came out a month after release) died yesterday after a few hours of game play.

  • ive got my launch 360 in the study. i havent tried yet. ive managed to get enough game time on the slim xbox in the lounge room. i dont have high hopes.
    i am also considering installing the second disc as the only thing that has ever died on my 3 xbnoxes is the disc drive in 2 of them. i dont like the idea of a constantly spinning drive on my old consoles

  • “8. Install disc 2.”

    I thought you weren’t meant to install the 2nd disc? Or does it force an install?

    I have a PS3.. but I do remember reading something about not installing the 2nd disc..?

  • I have a Gears of War slim and I was able to play fine until I beat the story. It froze in the credits and I was unable to get past the opening load screen. Uninstalled, deleted all data, cleared cache. Same issue over and over. I took the game back and exchanged it. I’m trying the new discs today.

  • i have an older white xbox, not sure the year as i don’t play it too much. installed the game on a 16 gig flash drive played it for 3 hours. next day everytime i tried to play it crashed within 3 minutes. i’ve deleted all my data and reinstalled disk 1 on the flash drive and the problem still persists. sigh. this is why i play computer games over xbox. :/

  • I have an Xbox 360 Elite model with 120GB HDD. GTAV played just fine for me for up to about 7 hours. After playing a few missions with Trevor it constantly freezes in completely random places…nothing expected at all…walking, driving, riding atvs…now I can never even make it to a mission before it freezes.

    The game was freezing within 10 minutes of play and every time I tried to turn it back on the freezing would happen more quickly each time to the last time were it lasted less that 1 minute.

    Now the Xbox will no longer turn on because it now has a Red Ring of Death (RRoD). The Elite version was suppose to be the model where they fixed the RRoD forever but GTAV found a way to make it happen.

  • I have the xbox slim aswell but this stupid shit still happened to me i havent played it in 2 years because of this problem. And its sad how theyre not even trying to help those with this problem.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!