XBone; Dead on Arrival

This one is a slightly off-topic, but I’ve been surprised at how highly I’ve seen my page ranked in some Google searches already, and there isn’t a whole lot out there about the cryptic message of E305 00000001 80073CF, which I’ve recently had the misfortune of dealing with.

As I mentioned in a previous article, I had a taste of Destiny on my Xbox 360 last week, and I was quite pleased with it. I was considering moving up to a current-gen console. I have had relatively positive experiences with Microsoft over the previous two generations (one red ring of death in 13 years is a better track record than my PCs). Combining that with Activision’s offer of a free upgrade of the digital edition of Destiny from Xbox 360 to Xbox One (or PS3 to PS4), the recent un-bundling of the Kinect, a slew of pre-holiday promotions going on right now, and wanting to treat myself for the milestone birthday coming up, it was time for me to take the plunge.

Those same promotions I wanted to take advantage of had stock running low at local retailers, and I specifically wanted the Madden bundle (Free game that I would otherwise be buying? Score!) which was even harder to find. So I Purchased an Xbox One online over the weekend, and had it shipped to my home. Smurf followed suit, and we spent the next couple of days debating which games we were going to tear into first. My ears were tuned in for the rumbling engine of a UPS truck, and so I met a very surprised delivery guy at the door before he could knock. As he handed me the big brown shipping box with a confused look on his face, I grinned and said “Xbox.” That was all the explanation he needed, and he walked away laughing. I tortured myself with a couple more hours of work (working remotely, the blessing/curse of IT), opening the box just a little bit more during every loading screen or delay in message replies. Finally, all done for the day, I plugged it all in, booted it up and saw the following glorious screen…

E305 00000001 80073CF error message
“E305” translates roughly to “you had some bad karma built up”

Black screen of death on a new console, straight out of the box. Yay. Dejected, I pulled up the Xbox Support page as directed, and searched for all of the error code: E305 00000001 80073CF, then just certain pieces of it, getting no results on any of my queries (may have been related to the active Xbox Live Service Alert at the time). So I found the appropriate phone number and called support. After about twenty minutes of discussion I was directed to find a USB flash drive, and then go online and download a system update to apply manually.

The Offline System Update Diagnostic Tool, OSUDT1, is almost 2GB in size. OSUDT2, a second update, is about the same size. DON’T GO THERE YET, but there’s a link to the page you can download these from further down in this article to go there. Here’s the kicker: Neither of these updates worked for me. Several hours of downloading got me nowhere. But on a whim, I decided to download the 3rd package available, “restore factory defaults”, a paltry 20MB file. With it being a brand new console, it shouldn’t do anything, but I wanted to explore my options.

It worked.

I’m not saying this will work for everyone facing error code E305 00000001 80073CF or something similar, but the reset to factory defaults worked for me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that will ever face this issue. So here’s the steps to resolve it:

0) Don’t panic.
1) Locate a USB flash drive. Just about any size will do if the factory reset is required, but for OSUDT1 and OSUDT2 it needs to have at least 2GB of space available.
3) Go to http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/system/offline-system-update-diagnostic-tool.
2) IMPORTANT – Follow the directions at the bottom of that page to ensure that your flash drive is formatted as NTFS, this is not the default setting for most flash drives, so don’t assume yours is right.
3) Download the “Restore Factory Defaults” package.
4) Unzip this file, and place the contained folder (called “$SystemUpdate” or something similar to that) onto the root of your flash drive.
5) Power down your Xbox One, and insert the flash drive into the USB port on the back.
6) Press and hold the sync button (towards the front of the left side of the console) and the disc eject button (to the right of the disk slot). Continue holding these buttons down and press the power button on the console.
7) After about ten seconds, you’ll hear a couple of beeps, you can let go at that point. If you don’t ever hear those beeps, something went wrong with the process (might not have held the buttons, they’re tricky, or make sure you moved the right UNZIPPED files to the flash drive)
8) Watch the little green bar on your screen and hope.
9) If you’re returned to the same error message, then repeat the above steps for OSUDT1 and OSUDT2. OSUDT1 may give a different error, E301, which indicates that it doesn’t need to be applied. If none of those work, call support, or like they suggested to me, take the console back where you got it and exchange it.
10) Otherwise, if you see the following screen… game on!

Xbox One splash screen


I hope none of you ever have to deal with this issue. But if you do, and this works, you’re welcome. On the other hand, if anything catches on fire, don’t mention me when you call support / 911.

A year behind the release, and with one night of potential gaming lost to troubleshooting the issue above, I’ve got some ground to make up. On deck for me:
Diablo III
Madden NFL 15
Watch Dogs

– The Tabletop (and occasionally IT) General

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