I’m writing this out of sheer frustration with my X-Box 360.  Never before has one seemingly small problem caused so much anger and a plethora of various “solutions,” none of which have worked.  Perhaps some of you have experienced this before?  Let me first post the problem, then I’ll explain my basic setup, then I’ll tell you every single step to resolve the issue I have tried.

This is how it is: for almost all intents and purposes, LIVE is working.  It connects me without any hassle and I can pretty well connect with any random person (or persons) that it puts me in a game with — I’m currently a Left 4 Dead junkie.  The one thing LIVE won’t let me do, though, is connect to LIVE parties or private chats with my friends.  Is it me or does it make no sense that I can connect with everyone else in the world yet LIVE suddenly has a problem if I want a private chat with a friend?  Is it asking too much?

Here’s my setup.  I have an X-Box 360 Arcade with a refurbished 20gig harddrive.  I use a wired connection where I plug directly into my Belkin 54G wireless router.  That router hooks straight to my modem, a Speedstream 4100.  My ISP is Windstream DSL, which I have through Alltel.

In the past I’ve used Comcast High-Speed to connect with, but as I’m at my parent’s home for the summer, I’m having to deal with what they have.

Now, here is EVERYTHING that I have tried to resolve this issue.

I’ve opened all the necessary ports (and then some) on my router AND my modem (TCP: 139, 80, 3074, 53, 2074, 21; UDP: 137, 138, 88, 3074, 53, 2074, 21, 5352, 36094, 20723, 33372).  I’ve assigned a static IP to the Xbox itself where all of these ports were open — I’ve even assigned a DMZ to that IP.  I’ve also tried assigning a DMZ from the modem to the router.  I’ve ran the “Test X-Box LIVE Connection” numerous times and there are no errors or yellow triangles to be seen anywhere.

I have also phoned 1-800-4MY-XBOX and after we tried all of that all over again, the only thing the guy suggested I do is unplug everything for ten to fifteen minutes and then try plugging it back in… Needless to say, that also didn’t help.

And just to make sure I was not crazy, one of my friends and I spent hours yesterday playing with different people on LIVE that WEREN’T our friends.  Afterward we then attempted to connect with each other again, and again it would not work (he has no errors or yellow triangles either).

Am I mad or does this just not make sense at all?  What do you think?

Have you or do you have any LIVE problems like this?

(Personally, I think X-Box LIVE gets off on being withholding!)