What happens when my Xbox makes the sound but won t turn on and the power box has a orange light?

There are a few potential causes when an Xbox console powers up but does not fully turn on, leaving the power supply light orange. The most common reasons this can occur include a loose power cable connection, a faulty power supply unit, an issue with the AV cable, a problem with the console’s motherboard, or a software error preventing startup.

Quick Overview of Potential Issues

Here is a quick overview of some of the most likely culprits when an Xbox console attempts to power on but gets stuck on the orange power light:

  • Loose power cable – If the power cable is not fully plugged into the wall and Xbox, this can prevent enough power from reaching the console.
  • Faulty power supply – The Xbox power supply converts AC wall power to the DC power needed for the console. If it’s malfunctioning, it may not provide sufficient power.
  • AV/HDMI cable problem – Issues with the audio/video cables can prevent video output and full startup.
  • Motherboard problem – If the Xbox motherboard has an electrical short or component failure, it may not boot up fully.
  • Software glitch – Corrupted system software or a bug could get the console stuck during the startup sequence.

The following sections will go into more detail on each of these potential issues and how to troubleshoot them.

Checking the Power Cable Connection

One of the simplest solutions to try first is making sure the power cable is plugged in correctly. Here are the steps for this:

  1. Fully unplug the power cable from both the back of the Xbox console and the wall outlet/power strip.
  2. Visually inspect both ends of the cable for any damage or bent pins.
  3. Plug the cable back into the wall, making sure it is going all the way into the outlet and is held tightly in place.
  4. Plug the cable firmly into the back of the Xbox until you feel it click securely in place.
  5. Try powering on the console again to see if the issue is resolved.

If the cable connections seem fine, the next thing to check would be the power supply box itself. But a loose power cable is one of the simplest fixes to rule out first.

Checking the Power Supply Unit

The external power supply box that comes with an Xbox console converts the AC voltage from your wall outlet to the specific DC voltage levels required by the Xbox motherboard and components. If this power supply unit becomes damaged or dysfunctional, it can cause startup problems.

Here are some steps for checking the Xbox power supply:

  1. Confirm the power supply’s light turns solid orange when connected to AC power.
  2. Feel the power supply to check if it is getting abnormally hot, which could signal an internal fault.
  3. Listen for any abnormal humming or buzzing sounds from the power supply.
  4. Unplug the supply from AC power, wait 60 seconds, and reconnect it to see if the issue persists.
  5. Test the power supply with a different electrical outlet in your home.

If you suspect the power supply is defective, the definitive way to confirm is trying a different working Xbox power supply if you have access to one. If using a known-good supply fixes the startup problem, then you can be confident your original supply needs to be replaced.

Power Supply Replacement Options

If testing confirms the Xbox power supply is malfunctioning, here are a couple options for replacing it:

  • Buy an official OEM power supply from Microsoft or major electronics retailers that is compatible with your specific console model.
  • Purchase an aftermarket power supply from third-party electronics vendors; make sure to check reviews/reports online about reliability and performance first.
  • Find a used/pre-owned official power supply from specialty gaming stores or resale sites.

When buying a replacement, double check that the power supply supports the exact model of your Xbox console. The connectors must match perfectly in order to work.

Issues With AV or HDMI Cables

Problems with the audio/video cables that connect the Xbox to your TV could also prevent a full startup sequence. Damaged, loose, or incorrect cables can cause a black screen and other issues.

Try the following troubleshooting steps related to the AV/HDMI cables:

  1. Inspect cables for any bent pins, damaged connectors, or splits/cuts in the wire jacket.
  2. Ensure cables are inserted fully into the ports on the back of the Xbox and TV.
  3. Try disconnecting and reconnecting each end of the cable.
  4. Verify you are using the correct cable type – HDMI for HDTVs or AV for older standard definition TVs.
  5. Attempt using a different high quality AV/HDMI cable if available.

If the Xbox outputs video correctly with a different cable, then you can determine the original cable was faulty. Purchasing a replacement high-speed HDMI or AV cable that matches your TV’s connections would address the startup problem.

TV Connection Settings

Also check that the correct input source is selected on your TV corresponding to the physical port where the Xbox is connected. Typical input setting names are HDMI 1, HDMI 2, AV, Component, etc. Select the matching input on your TV so that video signals from the Xbox are displayed properly.

Motherboard and Internal Hardware Problems

If you’ve confirmed the power supply, cables, and connections are all working properly, startup issues may indicate a problem with the Xbox console’s internal electronics.

Some common motherboard faults that can cause startup problems include:

  • Short circuit – Damage causes an electrical short disabling functionality.
  • Failed capacitors – Capacitors can bulge/leak and prevent proper operation.
  • Blown fuses – Power surges can blow out protective fuses.
  • Faulty solder joints – Cracked solder joints disrupt electrical connections.

Unfortunately, most internal electronics issues require opening up the console to diagnose and repair. This is typically beyond the ability of casual users and best left to experienced repair technicians.

Some options if you suspect an internal hardware problem:

  • Find an local independent game console repair shop with good reviews/reputation.
  • Search for an experienced IT technician able to do component-level electronics repair.
  • Contact Microsoft support to inquire about sending in for official repair service.

The specific fault will determine if it’s economically viable to repair versus just purchasing a used replacement console. In some cases, extensive troubleshooting may be required just to identify the exact internal problem.

Corrupted Software and Firmware Problems

In some situations, startup and boot issues are caused not by hardware faults but by corrupted software or firmware problems:

  • Buggy system software update – A bad update may cause crashing, freezing, or failure to boot.
  • Faulty game patch – Game patches have been known to disable Xbox startup in some rare cases.
  • Virus infection – Console viruses, though rare, can sometimes cause boot problems.
  • Failed flash – A console firmware flash failure can brick the device.

If you suspect a software or firmware problem, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Force a hard reboot by holding the power button for 10+ seconds.
  2. Boot the console into Recovery Mode to try options like Reset This Xbox.
  3. For failed system updates, download and install the update again from scratch.
  4. Use Xbox Startup Troubleshooter features to diagnose and fix software issues.
  5. Perform a Factory Reset to wipe all software and start fresh.

In severe cases like a failed firmware flash, you may need to consult with Microsoft support and pursue warranty service or paid repair options.

Preventative Steps

You can take proactive measures to avoid software/firmware problems down the road:

  • Maintain active antivirus software on the console.
  • Avoid “hacking” the console to reduce corruption risks.
  • Only install trusted games, updates, and patches from reliable sources.
  • Restart the console fully once per week to clear memory.


Orange light problems during Xbox startup likely stem from power delivery issues, faulty cabling, defective internal hardware, or software bugs. Methodically check each potential culprit starting with the easiest fixes like cables and connections. For probable hardware failures, seek assistance from experienced repair technicians to troubleshoot and determine viable options. Firmware and software issues may require wiping the console to factory defaults after backing up your data.

Quick troubleshooting checklist:

  1. Verify power cable connections are tight on both ends.
  2. Test power supply with known good one or check for overheating/noise issues.
  3. Inspect AV/HDMI cables for damage and try swapping cables.
  4. Check TV input matches Xbox physical port.
  5. Consider internal electronics faults and pursue professional repair.
  6. Rule out software bugs by hard resetting, reinstalling updates, factory resetting if needed.

With consistent testing, you can identify the specific cause of an Xbox powering up but not fully turning on and displaying the startup sequence. Address cables, power, hardware, or software issues accordingly to get your console running again.