Microsoft incorrectly disabling Xbox 360 consoles suspected of modification
posted on 05.29.11 at 08:15 PM EDT by (@salromano)

Microsoft is in a bit of a pickle tonight. If you’ve recently updated your Xbox 360, and in the aftermath were greeted with an E66 error, then you’re not alone.

Our colleague and E3 partner, Alex Rubens, brought this update to our attention which, according to Microsoft support, is remotely disabling Xbox 360s suspected of modification. Rubens is a victim of the error, except he’s never actually modified his system.

“Sir, this error code is associated with modified consoles,” he was told by an Xbox Support rep. “This is happening because you modified your console and are trying to connect to Xbox Live, which violates the terms of service.”

When asked to elaborate on the definition of ‘console modification,’ the rep replied: “According to our policies, we cannot disclose how exactly it has been modified. Just know that we have a system in place that does multiple checks and that is how we KNOW that your console has a software modification.”

Further conversation with the rep led down the same road. Rubens told him he was ‘110 percent sure’ his console had never been modified.

The rep responded: “Well, if you are so confident, pay $100, send your modified console in to our repair center; we will prove that it has been modified and send it back to you in without repair.”

More questions from Rubens usher the same response from the rep: “we cannot disclose that information.” He only confirmed that the Xbox Policy and Enforcement department was behind the update, to which the rep said he’d transfer him. Unfortunately, he was not transferred to the department, but to Xbox Support once more .The woman who answered said that Xbox Support does not have the number for that department, so there wouldn’t have been any way the previous rep could’ve transferred him.

A good lot of Xbox 360 owners with unmodified consoles are experiencing the same issue, according to this forum thread on Xbox.com. Several users have contacted Rubens confirming their disabled Xbox 360s, as well. Reportedly, many Xbox 360 owners with modified consoles are stepping out of the smoke, untouched.

Stephen Toulouse, Xbox LIVE Director of Policy and Enforcement, refutes claims that their department had anything to do with it.

“You were given incorrect information,” Toulouse told Rubens on Twitter. “I’m looking into it now. We do not disable consoles. Just ban them from Live.”

We’ve e-mailed Microsoft for comment.

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