My Xbox 360 Elite was a little over a year old. A year and two months to be exact. I once heard that a 360 kept vertical has a longer life expectancy than a 360 placed on it's side.
I wish I HADN'T heard that, but I did. For that year of sweet, sweet Xbox 360 ownership, I didn't ONCE place it sideways, even though I wanted to.
So on the night of September 13th, 2008 as I went to fire up my 360 to check my messages, it started freezing. Freezing at the Dashboard. Which is weird because I figured if it was gonna crap out on me, it was gonna be during a GTA4 all-nighter or maybe a Gears of War marathon. After a few times turning it off and on to get past the damned freezing long enough to check my messages, I get the 3 flashing red lights.
Instead of calling Microsoft to request the repair, I went to Xbox.com, where I filled out an order form for my empty box to be sent to me. I'm pretty sure this is a new feature, and it made it a helluva lot easier. I selected the three flashing red lights option, which gets me a free repair since Microsoft extended the warranty to 3 years for that particular issue.
The box came a few days later and I shipped it off to the Texas repair center.