A countless number of Xbox 360 owners have experienced the dreaded Xbox 360 E74 system error.

The Xbox 360 E74 error is characterized by a screen that displays “E74”, and the console will flash one red light around the power button. The E74 is a lot like the RROD for the Xbox 360. Both the RROD and the E74 are caused by overheating of the console.

Several factors contribute to the overheating problem. These factors include: playing your Xbox 360 for hours upon hours with no down time, placing your console in a tight place or somewhere that doesn't get proper ventilation, placing your console on long shaggy carpet that prevents the console from ventilating appropriately, or failing to dust the vents periodically. Just one of these factors or a combination of them can cause overheating of your Xbox 360.

Now that you know what can cause overheating, I am ready to reveal to you the difference between the E74 and the RROD. The singular difference between these two problems is the component of the motherboard that is defective. For the RROD, the CPU and/or GPU chip becomes detached from the motherboard. As for the Xbox 360 E74, the display chip is the defective component. Both problems are caused by overheating, it is just a different component on the motherboard that becomes defective.

There are a countless number of E74 fixes available on the Internet. Anything from wrapping your console in a few towels, to completely re-balling the computer chips. With so many fixes out there, it is very important that you do your homework before you decide on the fix that is right for you.

If your console doesn't have the E74 or any other system errors, you probably want to keep it that way. Abide by these 4 guidelines, and maximize the life of your Xbox 360!

1. Place Xbox 360 on hard/smooth surface. Surfaces such as carpets are not good to place your console on while playing, as it prevents proper ventilation.

2. Do not place Xbox 360 close to other electronic devices such as a Blu-Ray player. The heat from the Blu-Ray or other device will just compound the overheating problem.

3. Regularly dust the vents on your Xbox 360. Built up dust around vents can lead to improper ventilation.

4. Try to limit yourself from playing your console for hours upon hours. Giving your console breaks will greatly help it's performance.

Source by Jordan S Scheller