General Hardware Failure" errors on XBOX360
Three red lights on the Xbox 360's ring indicator representing a "General Error requiring service of the Console or Power Adapter," commonly nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death."
Three flashing red lights around the Xbox 360 power button instead of the one to four green lights indicating normal operation represent an internal problem that requires service. This error was soon nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death", "Red Lights of Death" or "Red Ring of Doom" by users, echoing Windows' Blue Screen of Death error. Warning signs may include freeze-ups, graphical problems in the middle of gameplay, such as checkerboard or pinstripe patterns on the screen, and sound errors; mostly consisting of extremely loud noises that can be affected by the volume control, and the console only responds to pressing the power button to turn it off. These events may happen once or several times until the hardware failure occurs, or not at all. If the console freezes occasionally, the error will not necessarily follow. The technical problems seem to affect some generations of consoles more than others. e.g. Xenon or Zephyr. Those problems may also cause some freezing screens.
This error code is usually caused by failure of one or more hardware components, although it can indicate that the console is not receiving enough power from the power supply, which can either be due to a faulty power supply or if the power supply cable is not fully inserted into the console. The 3 flashing lights can also be caused by power surges; if the console is connected to an outlet that receives a power surge, it may have a failure and the 3 lights will appear as long as the console is plugged into the outlet. Turning off the console, unplugging all power cables and plugging them back in, and restarting the console may fix this issue in some cases.
Distinct from the General Hardware Failure is a similar-looking error warning where four red lights appear, in which case the console does not detect an AV cable is plugged in; however, this error code is not generated on models equipped with the HDMI connection. The four lights can sometimes also be seen when power surges or very brief power outages occur while the console is running, in which the console needs to be unplugged and plugged back in again to reset the error. Two red lights appear when the system is overheated.
On the Xbox 360 S model, the power button utilizes a different design that does not incorporate the same style of lighting that past models used. A flashing red light means that the console is overheating, similar to the two-light error code on the original model Xbox 360; however, an on-screen message also appears, telling the user that the console will automatically power off to protect itself from overheating. A solid red light is similar to the one-light error if an "E XX" error message is displayed and a three-light error code if the error message is absent. More recently, Microsoft has reinstated the use of the ringed LED lights on the panel of the touch sensor on models made after mid 2011. Microsoft released no reason for the reinstatement of the ringed LED lights on the Xbox 360 S.
General Hardware Failure" errors on PlayStation 3 (PS3)
Yellow Light of Death
The indicator light on the PlayStation 3 starts green, switches to yellow, and then quickly switches to red, and blinks indefinitely.
The PlayStation 3 will display this error for two different reasons. To determine what is causing the error on your console, turn the console on, and listen closely for the fan. If the fan powers on briefly, and then switches off, you have an issue with the motherboard. If the fan does not power on at all, then you likely have an issue with the power supply.
The most common cause of the YLOD error and the PlayStation 3 failing to boot is a hardware malfunction on the motherboard. The error is caused by the failure of the solder joints between the CPU and GPU and the motherboard. This error can be fixed by re-soldering the chips to the motherboard, and, while not a 100% guaranteed fix, it is the best option for repairing the YLOD. iFixit offers both kits and guides to facilitate this fix.
For the PS3
One cause of the PlayStation 3 not booting is a faulty power supply. A much smaller percentage of PS3 consoles will display the yellow light as a result of a faulty power supply. If the power supply is faulty, then it will need to be replaced.
PS3 Doesn't Read Optical Media
There are two models of Blu-ray drives for the fat models of PlayStation 3, each with parts specific to their own model. The easiest way to tell which kind of drive is in your PlayStation 3 is to take the drive out and look at it. If the drive has an exposed control board on the bottom of the Blu-ray drive, the Blu-ray drive's model number is KEM-400. If there is no exposed control board, then the Blu-ray drive's model number is KEM-410.