Update: Halo 3 truly hates me

I played up through the fifth mission on the system I borrowed from GamesRadar before Halo 3 gave me the disc read error — the one most other people are getting, right before The Ark. So no, let’s change that list entry from the previous post:

  • Radar’s console, my hard drive, my disc = yes…but only for five levels

Stranger still…now the brand-new console doesn’t seem to want to read any discs. Maybe it’s just overheated, but I tried four or five known good games and nothing. So another update:

  • Radar’s console, Radar’s hard drive, any disc = no

I am afraid I killed a Halo 3 console by playing Halo 3. I am not kidding.I am also not crazy and I am not alone. Reading those threads is very interesting. People are trying different discs on different consoles and getting the same bad results — including “now my 360 won’t read any discs” — so there’s clearly something up. Those threads offer some theories, including corrupt hard drive data — which would explain my save file being valid yet invalid at the same time. But I step back from this, and I see the 360 apocalypse. If the biggest game of the year is responsible for damaging user data or worse, user hardware…well, to coin a Kaz phrase, the console wars is over.

Meanwhile, at Paul’s suggestion, I have tried moving my save file and my profile to a memory card and running the game without a hard drive plugged in; it still refuses to run.

  • My console, no hard drive, my save file, my disc = no

I don’t know what to do now, except wait. If it turns out that I have to delete my save file and start again, I will — a small hardship, and maybe I’ll find some darned skulls on the second lap. But I don’t want to buy new hardware and I don’t want to start a new gamertag. I have done absolutely nothing wrong as a consumer; I have not tried to make the game or system do something it was not designed to do. I just wanted to play Halo 3. And since I cannot fix the problem, my only hope at this point is that Bungie — which has addressed the whole “Halo 3 doesn’t run at 720p” kerfuffle, but not the “Halo 3 reports disc read errors” issue — is secretly working on a title update to fix it for me and for everyone else who is similarly affected. Blind faith is all I have at this point, because neither Bungie nor Microsoft has made any public statement about this, despite two very lengthy threads at xbox.com and bungie.net.

I don’t think getting upset about a problem ever solves a problem, but even I am running out of patience. I literally had problems with Halo 3 from the moment I turned it on — I started out with the save bug on the very first level and had to delete the file to start again. I didn’t know it was going to be a harbinger of doom. It just wasn’t supposed to be this way.

This much I know: What’s happened to me has happened to other people. The question is, when will it happen to you?

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