Microsoft Explains the E74 Code, SortaS

When Microsoft announced they were extending their warranty for Xbox 360s that received a E74 error, I was curious how different the code was from the red ring of death. Not very, it turns out.

I contacted the company earlier this week to find out what a E74 code meant and whether it was possibly just a rebranded red ring of death.

Here's what they told me:

Once a repair is made and a person gets their 360 back, does the clock reset for the extended warranty in regards to this error?
No. The same terms of the three-year warranty associated with three flashing red lights error apply.

We reported in 2007 that Microsoft was reworking their 360s to no longer give the red rings to report certain errors because people were sometimes misconstruing them. Is that the case?
No, that is not accurate.

Can a 360 still get a red ring error, aka the red ring of death?
Yes, the three flashing red lights error message can still be present on the console in the event of certain general hardware failures. We have made improvements to the console that will reduce the likelihood of an occurrence of this issue. The majority of customers who own Xbox 360 consoles have a terrific experience from their first day, and continue to, day in and day out.

Is the e74 code a replacement for the red ring of death?
No. The E74 error message can indicate the general hardware failure that is associated with three flashing red lights error on the console. This issue remains relatively narrow in scope and a very small percentage of our customers have contacted us about this issue. Again, we have already made improvements to the console that will reduce the likelihood of an occurrence of this issue.

But wait. What's with the contradiction? How can an E74 error message apply to the same hardware failures that are associated with a red ring if they're not the same?

"In some cases there is no difference. As we said, the E74 error message and three flashing red lights can in some cases indicate the same general hardware failure. However, it is not the same failure mode in all cases and there is no single root cause for these malfunctions."

So it sounds like there is an overlap between hardware issues that cause the E74 message and hardware issues that cause the red ring of death.