Countless Xbox 360 owners have experienced the dreaded Xbox 360 E74 system error.

The Xbox 360 E74 error is characterized by a screen displaying “E74” and the console will flash a red light around the power button. The E74 looks a lot like the RROD on the Xbox 360. Both the RROD and the E74 are caused by the console overheating.

Several factors contribute to the overheating problem. These factors include: playing with your Xbox 360 for hours on end with no downtime, placing your console in a narrow space or somewhere that does not have adequate ventilation, placing your console on a long, shaggy carpet that will prevent the console from Ventilate properly, or do not periodically dust the vents. Only one of these factors or a combination of them can cause your Xbox 360 to overheat.

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

There are countless E74 fixes available on the Internet. Anything from wrapping your console in a few towels to completely replacing the computer chips. With so many solutions available, it is very important that you do your homework before deciding which solution is right for you.

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

1. Place Xbox 360 on a hard / smooth surface. Surfaces such as carpets are not good for placing the console while you play as they prevent proper ventilation.

2. Do not place the Xbox 360 near other electronic devices such as a Blu-Ray player. Heat from the Blu-Ray or other device will only compound the overheating problem.

3. Dust the vents on your Xbox 360 regularly. Dust buildup around the vents can cause improper ventilation.

4. Try to limit yourself to playing with the console for hours and hours. Giving the console breaks will greatly help its performance.