UPDATE 4: As NeoGAF user zorlaczerhero has pointed out, the issue could have potentially been caused by a bursting capacitor (although it wouldn’t explain the occurrence of the leakage on more than one event, unless multiple capacitors burst, which would have inevitably caused CynicalAnarchy’s Xbox One to stop working completely). Check out a video below of a bursting capacitor below:
A couple of users on the Xbox Support forums are complaining about quite an unusual issue with their Xbox Ones. Their Xbox Ones were allegedly leaking a liquid that was leaving a milky-white residue, from inside the console itself.
From all accounts, it seems that it could be the thermal compound leaking out (a heat-conducting compound that sits between a chip and its heatsink, to help channel generated heat from a graphics/CPU chip to the heatsink to dissipate), though the compound itself would have to have been applied quite liberally to leak out. Seeing as the Xbox One’s huge heatsink-fan assembly sits at the full right-front of the console, near the vents, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch for the compound to leak out if too much was accidentally applied during assembly.
Usually, most thermal compounds, especially ceramic-based ones, are not electrically conductive, but might be capacitive (though they can hold a charge; they can’t transfer it). So even if the above issues are true, and thermal compound is involved, it would not typically cause an electric shortage on the console.
UPDATE 1: N4G user TIER1xWOLFPACK has suggested that it could very well be capacitor fluid that might have leaked out of the vents. It’s a very plausible explanation as well, considering the people complaining about the issue did mention an “oily” liquid, which describes adequately how the liquid escaping from damaged capacitors looks like. In the case of a damaged capacitor, the people having the issue should definitely contact support and send in their Xbox One’s for repair, since if a capacitor leak is the case, then they could have some serious issues down the line.
UPDATE 2: CynicalAnarchy, the Xbox One owner who originally reported the leaking liquid issue, has updated the thread with two (admittedly pretty low-resolution) pictures showing the milky residue on top of the Xbox One. The residue seems to be on the vent, right above the main exhaust fan of the Xbox One.
UPDATE 3: CynicalAnarchy contacted us to tell his story in more detail. Read his comments below:
“…I didn’t just take a picture as soon as I saw the residue I waited two weeks then I came here to the forums, to try and find out if I was the only one with the problem, and then today, I posted the pictures and contacted microsoft, like the person up there suggested. I take relative good care for my xbox, I’ve only place my controller or the mic on top of the xbox, I haven’t spilled anything on it and the oily sticky ness you see in the pictures is me trying to wipe it up earlier in the week, hoping the problem went away. I’ve read a few off the comment on the sites saying I’m a fake or a troll cause they don’t see any xbox one games on my recent games, Both AC4 and BF4 are xbox one games, the only ones I have. I can assure you this is not fake, I don’t have an actual camera, but I’ll see what I can do about getting a better picture.”
(Note: As far as Xbox One games not showing up on recent activity, this is a known issue and the feature hasn’t been activated yet. Currently, Xbox One game stats DO NOT show up on one’s Xbox website activity feeds e.g., I myself play my Xbox One version of Call of Duty (last played a week ago), but my own activity feed shows me playing it last on November 30th, 2013.)