Microsoft incorrectly disabling Xbox 360 consoles suspected of modification

May 29, 2011 / 08:15 PM EDT / (@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.

E66: Targeted Xbox Patch Packs Pitfalls [SideQuesting]

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  • AdamBoy64

    Whoa. This is pretty serious stuff.
    Microsoft are better than this. At least, I really hope they are.

    That’s pretty rough for all those people having their consoles bricked with the update.

    • http://gematsu.com/members/admin/ Sal Romano

      In related news, my Xbox 360 recently E74′d while my baby cousin was playing a Viva Pinata demo.

      Anybody know how to fix it? I kind of want to get back to Deadly Premonition.

      • Zero

        I found some videos on youtube with possible fixes. Most of them seem to be “temporary”, though. :(

      • maikel19

        The same when i played Tomb Raider demo on my first 360………
        look for “X-Clamp”, people say it works!

    • DarthXehanort

      Sadly… They’re not better than that. :|

      • whiteferrero

        lol. they’re not. remember that trouble with their OS. ahh, the good old days.

        • DarthXehanort

          How could I forget? Hell, software issues aside, let’s not forget the hardware issues.

          Sure, I’ve gone through some 360 units like most 360 owners, but… My last 360′s disc drive destroyed disc 2 of Lost Odyssey. :(

          • whiteferrero

            :(

  • http://gamingmilitia.com Eric

    With the whole ordeal with sony and the hackers recently, MS would be in for some serious crap if they actually disabled consoles. I cant see them actually doing that as that breaking a boundary beyond just banning people from live. Not even sure thats legal.

  • RyougaZell

    Why do I get the feeling that if you sent your Xbox to be checked they’ll modify it themselves instead of accepting their mistake?

    It could be an strategy to sell more units too =P

  • http://www.youtube.com/tezchi TezChi

    Damn, scary stuff.

    As for the fixes, I have tried a few with previous RROD’s Ive had, and none have worked for more than a few hours. I always just ended up buying a new system.

    I hate the reliability of the 360 to start with, and this is making it even more of an issue

  • Zero

    To be honest, I haven’t gotten a replacement since my last 360 died for the 2nd time.

    With Gears 3 on the horizon, I’d kinda like to get one on the cheap. Got all my saves and data on usb, and still have a wired controller that I use for some PC games.

    Of course, if Epic would release it on PC or PS3 then I wouldn’t need a 360…a guy can wish. Gears 2 never made it to PC though, so chances are slim, even slimmer for PS3.

    With that said, this new E66 error is worrisome. I don’t want to get a new 360, update, and then run into a silly error.

  • http://xcite79.1up.com Keegs79

    I would be furious! This though happened to someone I know that has a modded console. I hate people who pirate. It drives me crazy.