Nobody wants to see that red ring of death. While you might be pumped to buy the latest console because you want it, having to replace your gaming system because it died a premature death definitely sucks.
Fortunately, you have the power! Or at least, you have some power. You can follow these ten tips so you can enjoy your gaming console a lot longer.
Beat the Heat
One of the most important ways to avoid console death is to keep your console from overheating.
1- Keep Your Console Clean.
Grab an air duster can. You’re going to need it.
Dust tends to gather inside the console through the vents. The more dust you’ve got, the hotter the console gets. The cure? Blast that stuff out of there once a month.
2- Watch The Vents.
Some people make the mistake of resting the console on top of the vents, never really stopping to think they’re there for a reason.
Others let a bunch of stuff accumulate right next to the vents, blocking them off.
You want to make sure the air flows through the system at all times. So keep them facing outward, and keep them clear.
Got your console in a cabinet? Here’s a nifty DIY guide for keeping the air flowing in there.
3- Use a USB fan (sparingly).
A USB fan is a bit of a double-edged sword.
On one hand, it cools the system. On the other, it demands more power from your console because it’s hooked up to it through the USB.
Fortunately, there’s a couple of ways around the problem. Instead of trying to run the fan the entire time you’re playing you could wait until you’ve been playing for about an hour. It usually takes about an hour for your system to start getting hot enough to make damage a risk.
The other option would be to use a USB fan that powers up with a phone charger instead, one that comes with a stand for your system. This keeps the air flowing exactly where it’s supposed to go without putting any additional strain on your system.
Keep it Stable, Keep it Safe
Gaming consoles look more durable than they actually are. And they have quite a few fiddly bits that don’t take well to be bumped, battered, or yanked on.
4- Avoid Dropping Your Console.
This is something that shouldn’t happen if the console is in a single sturdy location. But if you place it somewhere precarious, like the edge of a dresser where a cat might get to it, or on top of a stack of books, you’re asking for trouble.
And sure, this may seem like a no-brainer. But people do it all the time.
Worse, they let the console hit the floor while it’s on. When that happens, the hard drive usually stops running. You may also suffer from circuit board failure. In fact, if you want to put yourself in a position to need a new console, this is one of the easiest ways to do it.
5- Stop Moving Your Console From Place To Place.
Moving your console around offers more opportunities to drop it, but that’s not the only reason why you want to avoid doing this.
The single most common gaming console repair we end up doing here at Batteries Shack involves swapping out the HDMI port. And that’s not an easy fix, mostly because the old one was soldered to the circuit board, and it needs to be removed. And the new one has to be soldered to the circuit board.
What’s happening to it?
There are 15 to 18 pins inside the port. And when you’re constantly moving your console from room to room, or even from house to house, those pins tend to get bent. This happens nearly 100% of the time. Consoles just don’t travel well
Watch Your Power
The thing about electronics is they tend to get testy when you juice them up with too much, or too little, power.
6- Always Use A Surge Protector.
Surge protectors keep the voltage flowing to your console steady. And contrary to popular belief, lightning isn’t really the problem. Most of the time, our own appliances cause surges, especially the HVAC system when it powers on or off.
Any major surge in power can damage either the power supply or the circuit board. The console might run a little while before dying, but death is definitely on the horizon.
Be Gentle With Delicate Internal Mechanisms
In fact, people tend to forget consoles are full of delicate parts. All of them need protection, but here are three trouble points we see all the time.
7- Just Replace The Disk Already.
If you put bad or dirty disks into your CD player you’re going to fry your Blu Ray laser lens. This goes double for cracked disks.
And no, wiping them down with peanut butter neither works or helps. Instead, it just gums up your CD drive with a whole bunch of peanut butter.
Instead, check every disk before you put it into the computer.
8- Don’t Be Cavalier About System Updates.
You know that message that says, “Please don’t turn off your console” during system updates?
If you’re not careful, you’ll experience a different kind of interruption. Weak WiFi that drops the signal can be just as bad as turning the system off right in the middle of an update.
So make sure the signal is strong. Or, better yet, plug your system directly into the router during updates.
You’re trying to avoid corrupted data, and it’s a big concern. Once you’ve got corrupted data in your hard drive you might have to wipe it to fix the problem. Which means you’ll lose all your saved information.
Of course, you don’t have to go straight to the nuclear option. Sometimes you’ll find success by using safe mode. To enter safe mode, turn off your console. Wait 5 seconds. Hold down the power button until it beeps twice. Let go. This should take you to the safe mode screen. From here, you can try to update again.
9- Make Some Space.
Stop holding on to old data you don’t use anymore. Old games, photos, or music tracks need to get deleted if you’re not actively using them.
Leaving a bunch of items in your system you don’t use anymore slows your console down. This doesn’t kill it per se, but it does make your games way less fun to play.
We’ve kept many people from throwing out their “slow, buggy consoles” by demonstrating that they just need to clean out the data clutter.
10- Schedule Regular Maintenance
Like any electronic device, game systems sometimes wear out. Mechanical parts fail, chips get confused, fans run down and die so they aren’t cooling the console anymore.
And while you can’t stop it from happening, you can swap out the parts that get worn out the fastest. Like your fan, and everything that runs it, to make sure it’s at peak performance, so your system doesn’t overheat. but if you need help getting your broken Xbox fixed or PlayStation repaired you can visit our local store today.
Which of course brings us full circle!