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This ‘fix’ for 4chan’s Xbox One prank only makes things worse

Deleting System32 from your PC will not make your Xbox work again.


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Dec 11, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 12:02 am CDT

You’ve just turned your brand new Xbox One into a $500 paperweight thanks to some bogus instructions from 4chan. With tears in your eyes, you search the Internet for a fix and stumble upon these instructions.

Whatever you do, don’t follow them.

Eager to double down on the success of a 4chan prank that bricked some gamers’ systems last week, someone posted these new instructions on how to fix your damaged console to the image forum 9gag. But like the first set, these will only cause heartache.

Although the Daily Dot has yet to approve my expense request for an Xbox One, from the looks it, these steps probably won’t breathe life into your Xbox—but they will mess up your computer. That’s because they call for removing Windows’ System32 folder, an essential part of the operating system and one of the Internet’s longest-running gags.

“As a trolling scheme, System32 is typically presented as a virus and instructions are given on how to delete it without prompting a warning message,” Knowyourmeme reports. “While it is likely that ‘Delete system32’ scheme has been circulating online since the early 2000s, the trick became a well-known trolling device through its usage on 4chan in late 2006.”

/b/’s original Xbox One instructions promised to let Xbox One owners play Xbox 360 games on their new systems. The prank played into gamers’ frustrations over the limitations Microsoft placed on the Xbox One, including one that restricted game-sharing.

While the latest set of instructions were originally found on 9gag, chances are they could have made by /b/. 

According to a screengrab from now deleted /b/ thread, the community seems to have raided 9gag’s comment thread with claims that the “fix” actually works.

Photo by mastermaq/Flickr

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*First Published: Dec 11, 2013, 5:01 pm CST