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KotakuAU: 360 FW update breaks very small number of consoles, MS will comp new 360S

FrankT

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Jan 18, 2007
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We’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.


“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.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/05/breaking-will-the-latest-xbox-live-update-affect-dvd-drives/

Thought the update wasn't due until the 19th? Is this impacting some beta testers? I'm one no problems here with a slim.

Update 1;

Checking 360 drives.com these are the 4 I'm seeing from the 60GB models;

Philips-LiteOn 16D2S
Hitachi-LG 3120L
Philips-BenQ 6038
Toshiba-Samsung H943

The first by far and away the most reported while the Hitachi and the Toshiba models the least I believe.


Update 2;

Some 360s incompatible with new dash?
May 18th, 2011


According to news from Kotaku, the new Xbox 360 firmware upgrade arriving imminently is incompatible with "a very small number" of consoles, and will prevent certain games from running on the console. The good news is that the platform holder will replace these machines with a brand new Xbox 360 S with 250GB hard drive.

It's a remarkable story, with Kotaku inferring that the new XGD3 disc standard - which adds 1GB of useable data to 360 DVDs - may not be compatible with a certain percentage of Xbox 360 DVD drives. However, the truth behind this incompatibility appears to be somewhat more involved. Since the arrival of the beta version of the new dashboard, hackers have been reverse-engineering it and finding a number of surprising additions never seen before in previous upgrades.

Firstly, this new release is the first that will actually see the drive firmware being rewritten by the Xbox 360 itself. Any one using a current hacked DVD drive will find that updating to the new dash instantly kills their ability to run pirate software, with the hacked code completely expunged from the DVD drive. Microsoft has employed a wide range of DVD drives in its machines from launch - the best guess is that not all of them can be flashed directly, necessitating a swapped console.

This new firmware doesn't just open up the additional 1GB of space previously set aside for the outdated, compromised security scheme - it features a completely brand new anti-piracy mechanism. In the past, previous attempts to foil piracy (such as AP 2.5) only worked on certain drives, with the feature disabled if you had older hardware. With the new system, it seems that the anti-piracy measures are so deeply embedded that they cannot simply be skipped in the same way.

We've also heard a number of reports that the new security protocols go beyond simply updating the dash. Multiple developer sources have told us that Microsoft has upped its game here significantly, and is now calling on studios to help get involved in combating Xbox 360 game piracy. According to this information, new APIs are being worked on that programmers can add to their titles which perform additional scans of the DVD during gameplay, not just when the game is booted as is currently the case.

Burned copies of Xbox 360 games are not 100 per cent identical to the originals, so hacked DVD drive firmware masks the differences with on-the-fly patching. Microsoft's hope is that in-game checks will be far harder to isolate and patch, and with control of these features in the developer's hands, pirate copies of games could even be "downgraded" into playable demos - for example, they could become non-functional after a couple of levels' play.

XDG3 is clearly a big deal for Microsoft - as evidenced by the company effectively giving away free Xboxes to ensure compatibility for all its userbase - but whether its new anti-piracy measures will be enough remains to be seen. The firm's last effort - AP2.5 - was dispensed with in a matter of days, and already drive firmware hacker "commodore4eva" is claiming that he has defeated the new countermeasures introduced in the beta dash...

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-new-xbox-dash-doesnt-work-on-all-drives

Update 3: Not the FW after all apparently.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-05-18-xbox-disc-errors-unrelated-to-firmware

Those hoping the upcoming new Xbox 360 firmware will bork your console and thus qualify you for a shiny new one could be out of luck.

Microsoft has told Eurogamer this evening that the disc read error reported by users has nothing to do with the new firmware.

Instead, the problem is tied to an already released software update that changed the way your Xbox 360 reads discs.

In other words, if your console isn't already borked, you don't qualify.

"This issue is unrelated to the upcoming release that has been in public beta," Microsoft said.

"Additionally, this disc read error message is tied to a change in the disc reading algorithms in a recent software update and is not specific to older or newer versions of Xbox 360."

This morning Microsoft confirmed it was aware of 'disc unreadable' or 'disc unsupported' errors that were preventing "a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail game discs".

"We are also able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console," Microsoft said.

The new Xbox 360 firmware is rolled out from tomorrow.

Update 4, Major Nelson;

Clearing up some confusion
Clarification time! The console replacement plan that is the subject of some of today’s headlines today is related to a previous update, NOT the system update that has been in public beta and will be deployed shortly.

The new disc format that is part of the beta has been rigorously tested across all Xbox 360 models and there are no known compatibility issues.

Hope that clears a few things up.

Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

permalink: http://majornelson.com/2011/05/18/clearing-up-some-confusion/
 

Wario64

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Jun 6, 2004
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Dammit, I had no problems in the beta. I guess I won't be able to take advantage and get a new X360. lol.
 

D4Danger

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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.

I hope mine breaks.
 

Wario64

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Jun 6, 2004
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Jtyettis said:
So it's legit. In the beta I assume?

I think they used data from the beta to determine which users have problematic X360s through Xbox Live user info. So they're sending the warning out ahead of time before the update goes live and sending them a new X360.

They probably found a pattern...I wonder what they're gonna do for X360s that don't go on Live, lol
 

FrankT

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Wario64 said:
I think they used data from the beta to determine which users have problematic X360s through Xbox Live user info. So they're sending the warning out ahead of time before the update goes live and sending them a new X360.

They probably found a pattern...I wonder what they're gonna do for X360s that don't go on Live, lol

Interesting, there are a lot of 60GBs out there. Not sure what drives would be impacted, but you would think they would delay the update first to see if there would be a SW fix.
 

infinityBCRT

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I still wonder if its really just 1gb that they are adding to the disc space? Or are they also introducing a hybrid disc (2 DVD layers, 2 Bluray layers) that would allow them to theoretically release Xbox 360 and Xbox 720 versions of games on the same disc?

Just a wild theory but it just seems odd that reducing the security space on the DVD by a gig would cause some drives to crap out. Not unless they are doing something really weird like "overburning" the security sector beyond the standard size of a DVD.
 

codswallop

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I have a 60GB Pro from 2008, interesting to see how this goes. I wouldn't mind a new S and a year of LIVE though...

infinityBCRT said:
Not unless they are doing something really weird like "overburning" the security sector beyond the standard size of a DVD.
Something like that would make sense if some older drives couldn't the disc format they're using. It would also mean that Microsoft records the details about which Xbox you actually use on LIVE, which is something I wouldn't have even thought about, but makes sense.
 

FrankT

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infinityBCRT said:
I still wonder if its really just 1gb that they are adding to the disc space? Or are they also introducing a hybrid disc (2 DVD layers, 2 Bluray layers) that would allow them to theoretically release Xbox 360 and Xbox 720 versions of games on the same disc?

Just a wild theory but it just seems odd that reducing the security space on the DVD by a gig would cause some drives to crap out. Not unless they are doing something really weird like "overburning" the security sector beyond the standard size of a DVD.

Well I've been asking the question of a Blu Ray drive 360 for years, but few have been able to answer the tech side of that. Interesting speculation no doubt.
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
Mar 15, 2007
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This is an awesome solution from MS.

Kafel said:
Yes, it's been like that forever. The games that require a certain version of the dashboard, will update your system.
 

Crisis

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Feb 12, 2006
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infinityBCRT said:
I still wonder if its really just 1gb that they are adding to the disc space? Or are they also introducing a hybrid disc (2 DVD layers, 2 Bluray layers) that would allow them to theoretically release Xbox 360 and Xbox 720 versions of games on the same disc?

Just a wild theory but it just seems odd that reducing the security space on the DVD by a gig would cause some drives to crap out. Not unless they are doing something really weird like "overburning" the security sector beyond the standard size of a DVD.

No idea why they have issues with some 360s not being able to read the drive but the 1GB they're freeing up is because Microsoft's DRM scheme on the 360 discs takes up about 2GB of space right now. It also doesn't work, as we've seen with some high-profile game launches being spoiled by pirates. So it's an updated DRM scheme that happens to not take up as much space.
 

WEGGLES

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Fingers crossed it busts mine. I hardly play it, so to go a couple weeks with out in exchange for a shiny new one wouldn't be terrible.
 

FrankT

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Well with his console still being able to play the current discs it does seem like the update is most certainly part of the equation as he is showing no current problems as is now.

Wario64 said:
I think they used data from the beta to determine which users have problematic X360s through Xbox Live user info. So they're sending the warning out ahead of time before the update goes live and sending them a new X360.

They probably found a pattern...I wonder what they're gonna do for X360s that don't go on Live, lol

Coming back to this though. A lot of people in the beta. Probably lots with a 60GB and I think we would have heard from some of those here so it seems like it maybe more than just the drive perhaps.
 

Four_Chamber

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May 3, 2009
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Microsoft with proactive and preemptive good customer support?

This is bizarre given how secretive this industry generally behaves. Oh well, props to them. I wish I had remembered to sign up for this beta :( My launch 360 is stll workng but a slim would look mighty nice.
 

Zerokku

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Jul 9, 2009
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Wario64 said:
Dammit, I had no problems in the beta. I guess I won't be able to take advantage and get a new X360. lol.

Hahaha. My thoughts exactly when I saw the headline
 

Gospel

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Some tools are going to abuse this the dick out of this and ruin it.

Sucks, because I wanted to be one of those tools.
 

Hartt951

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Rahxephon91 said:
Hmm I have a launch 20Gig. I wonder what will happen.
Me too. I'm the the beta though and have had zero problems and haven't got an email. I would love a 360S, I hope to God my Xbox breaks.
 

FrankT

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Hartt951 said:
Me too. I'm the the beta though and have had zero problems and haven't got an email. I would love a 360S, I hope to God my Xbox breaks.

You played the disc right? I'm thinking it has to be something more than just a drive, but we could technically narrow the drives down on the 60GB SKUs. I just think we would have heard something before this from someone with a 60GB here in the beta. Seems to be more than the drive if I have to guess.
 

Hartt951

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Jtyettis said:
You played the disc right? I'm thinking it has to be something more than just a drive, but we could technically narrow the drives down on the 60GB SKUs. I just think we would have heard something before this from someone with a 60GB here in the beta. Seems to be more than the drive if I have to guess.
Yeah, I played the disk, watched the Netflix, played Bulletstorm and the Gears 3 Beta. Everything works perfectly fine.
 

sangreal

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Trouble playing disks? I still use my launch day 360 so I have to fear just turning it on