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Thread: Repair the red ring of death

  1. #1
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    Repair the red ring of death

    ok first of all HATS off to the guys out on Xbox Scene for coming up with the fix and shaking out the wrinkles

    ive only edited this Tutorial on the parts that i myself personaly have done to improve the repairs through trial and error and i have never had a box returned to me for further repairs

    If you are one of the few who is not familiar with the Xbox 360 Red ring of Death than consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, a large number of folks know all to well from their own experience. Fortunately for those who have not opened their console for any reason Microsoft has extended the warranty of ANY console experiencing the 3 red lights failure for a full three years from the manufacture or purchase date.

    NOTE: If you are getting the three red lights and you have not opened your console by all means call Microsoft first at 1-800-4MY-XBOX this will get you in touch with customer support.

    For the rest of us who have opened their console for one of many reasons like adding a suped-up case or even a well overdue cleaning for that matter, there is a viable solution; the "x-clamp fix".

    For most consoles only the GPU x-clamp needs to be replaced, but some also require the processor clamp be replaced as well. For this tutorial we will be doing both clamps at the same time. We suggest you do both right away since even if yours does not require the processor clamp replacement it will not hurt to do it and it only takes slightly longer to complete the fix.




    SO here we go

    We have found a combination of hardware we like best. We went with a longer screw than some recommend for ease of installation. We use 16 of the M5 x 1mm washers, 8 Nylon M5 x 1mm washers and 4 M5 Cheese head 12mm screws.
    (note on the nylon washers I prefer to use metal as the nylon will heat up and not last as long was first thought)
    but the choice is yours !!!!!!

    these kits are available on ebay for around 2 sterling
    or your local hardware store for about the same amount
    plus the thermal paste that is required

    if buying from hardware store like screwfix.com my personal choices of hardware
    are as follows

    16 x Socket Button Screws A2 Stainless Steel M5 x 12mm

    Socket Button Screws A2 Stainless Steel M5 x 12mm Pack of 50 - Screwfix.com, Where the Trade Buys

    and 32 x Flat Washers BZP M5 Pack of 100 (2 for the bottom of the board and 2 for the top of the board for each bolt)

    Flat Washers BZP M5 Pack of 100 - Screwfix.com, Where the Trade Buys

    with the above hardware i have not as yet had a Red Ring Of Death box that i have repaired returned to me or anyone else for further repair



    To install this you will need to disassemble your xbox 360

    to save some time please look here on how to take apart your 360
    How to open/dissassemble a 360 case

    Remove the DVD drive by loosening the tape in the front of the console, lift the DVD drive and detach the two cables from the motherboard at the rear.
    Remove the fan shroud using a small slotted screw driver or any other small flat tool to push the tab holding it in place and lift up and out.as in pic below





    Next, unplug the fan. Then lift up on the steel flap holding the fan in place while pulling it toward you.as in pic below


    Remove the power button / wireless controller board using your T8 driver. There are three screws; one is hiding behind the plastic LED lens cover.as in pic below



    Remove the all 8 heat sink screws (T8) holding the processors to the chassis.
    and Remove the remaining motherboard screws using your Torx T10.as in pic below




    At this point the motherboard will lift out. The GPU heatsink is a great place to lift the board up and out.as in pic below



    With the motherboard removed we can now access the X-Clamp that we will be replacing. This is a somewhat tricky part and care should be taken to not be to aggressive and end up damaging the board. We begin by wedging a small flathead screwdriver between the clamp and the stud. Then gently rock the screw driver back and forth and the clamp will eventually work its way up and off of the stud. The third will become very easy to remove and then it will just pop right off.as in pic below



    With the clamp(s) removed the heat sinks just lift off. Some heatsinks are more difficult to remove than others because the heatsink paste is still sticky. Using your finger to push the stud through the hole works great for the more stubborn ones.as in pic below



    Once the heat sinks are free we are able to use our 1/4" nut driver, wrench or pliers to remove the studs.as in pic below



    IMPORTANT if you are going to use the bolts i used as in the screwfix direct links above then there is NO drilling of case required
    my own choice was and still is to mount the bolts with 2 washers on them directly to the underside of the motherboard
    Last edited by ricky_uk1; 02-04-2009 at 10:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    Repair The Red Ring Of Death Part 2

    Now that everything else is prepped its time to clean and prepare the processors themselves. Start by removing as much of the old heat sink compound as you can with a tooth pick. If you cannot get your hands on some ArctiClean, then use something like goo gone and a Q-tip to remove the excess compound from on and around the processors die. Alcohol will work also but it is no where near as effective at removing the old sludge. Follow up the job with a little alcohol to remove any leftover goo gone or other foreign oils or debris.



    The processor dies should be clean and shiny.
    as in the pictures below




    Next we need to apply a thin coat of thermal compound to the die. The old adage "a dab will do ya" definitely applies. Notice in the photo on the top the amount of compound we have used; this is more than enough. You are looking for a skim coat similar to the thickness of plastic wrap. The photo on the bottom is a example of what you should NOT do. Silver based compounds can have adverse effects when in contact with electrical components not to mention the thermal compounds efficiency is greatly reduced when too much is applied.


    HOW NOT TO DO IT


    Now to the Bolts
    This is when i choose to install them
    adding 2 washers to the bolts place a bolt in each of the 8 holes where the xclamps where removed
    and use some tape to hold them in place. This makes it much easier to keep everything in place. If you choose not to do this that is fine... but when your cleaning up a bunch of washers and starting over again don't say you wer'nt told


    the picture below shows my own Elite with the bolts inplace including the 2 washers
    ive made it a larger picture so you can have a closer look





    Now reinstall the motherboard, you may have to adjust the positioning of the screws to get them to fit through the motherboard.Now with the motherboard in place install the final two washers, a nylon one first followed by a steel one.(REMEMBER I PREFER TO USE METAL WASHERS ONLY AS IN THE SECOND PICTURE OF MY OWN ELITE) Again it is extremely important to have TWO washers between the heat sink and the board. One nylon washer first to protect and isolate the motherboard and one steel... just to be redundant that makes two washers.





    Place your heat sinks onto the screws and hold them in place with one hand while carefully putting a couple of turns on each screw to keep the washers from falling off. I place the unit on the edge of a table and from below poke my screwdriver through the tape and turn the screw in a few threads. Do not tighten any of them completely yet.
    Now that everything is in check, peel the tape off of the screws and prepare to tighten them down. Turn each screw gently until you feel a little resistance. Do this to every screw before actually tightening them down. Now similar to the technique used in mounting your wheels on your car or bolting down a head on your motor; begin to tighten each bolt slowly in a kitty corner fashion making sure to evenly distribute the pressure across the processors die. Tightening down one side and then the other can result in a cracked processor die. With your large screwdriver put the final turns on each screw. You really cant make them too tight unless you actually strip out the heat sink which would require quite a monkey fisting.




    Now your ready to complete the fix. Reconnect your power button assembly/wireless board. Plug your fan back in but do not reinstall it in it's original location yet; also DO NOT put your fan shroud back in yet. Connect your DVD drive so as to not get banned from Live for powering up your box without the drive connected. Now with your Xbox basically re-assembled except for the fan shroud, plug your power and video cords in and proceed.



    Now for the most important part and most likely the point where the majority of people who were unsuccessful completing this fix failed.This step requires you to overheat your GPU. Many tutorials tell you to unplug your fan and turn it on until it overheats. There is one major flaw with this approach. The thermosistor for the overheating protection of the 360 is contained within the CPU. The problem is that the CPU overheats without any airflow before the GPU is able to get sufficiently hot to "reflow" the BGA solder connection that has failed.


    In order to cool the CPU but not the GPU it is again important to have your fan shroud removed. Now take your fan that IS plugged in and lay it on top of your DVD drive with one of the fan's over the top of the CPU. This will keep the CPU plenty cool to prevent it from overheating while the GPU will get smokin' hot; like burn your finger hot!. as in the pic below


    Now power on your 360. Some boxes may just work at this point because just pressure alone was enough to make the GPU's connection good. I still like to overheat even those just to make sure I don't have to deal with it again. So now you should be getting the three red lights like your were expecting. You want to overheat the unit for at least 10 to 15 minutes. The key is in the lights; as long as it is flashing the 3 red lights (1,3,4) then your are in good shape and the overheating process is working. What you DO NOT WANT is for the unit to actually overheat giving your TWO flashing red lights (1,3) at which point the 360 cuts off power to both the CPU and GPU preventing them from actually getting hot. Again is probably the difference between someone who succeeds and someone who fails.


    Now that you have sufficiently heated the GPU, power down your Xbox 360 and let it cool down completely (ten to fifteen minutes should be more than enough). Replace your fan shroud; you should now be fully assembled except for the case itself. At this point you should cross your fingers and power your box back on. If all went well your should now have a working 360! Congrats!
    If it did not work for you its not completely a bust yet. I suggest tightening the screws down even more and overheating yet again... some units are stubborn!
    Happy Gaming for those who were successful!



    i hope this helps anyone who has had this problem
    like i said ive fixed loads and loads of 360s with the RED RING OF DEATH


    if i can be of any help please just ask

    Here are a couple of good vids to watch
    YouTube - XBOX 360 Repair 3 Red Lights Fix Rrod X-Clamp
    YouTube - X-clamp-Fix in only 4 Minutes by www.x-clamp-fix.com

    and some good info
    X-Clamp-Fix - X-Clamp-Fix DIY Kit X-Clamp-Fix




    Once again thanks to the Xbox Scene people

  3. #3
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    ics of my xclamp fix on one of my machines my Elite








    excuse me for the crap pics
    its been a long day

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    Thanks for the guide. I've been trying to see if I can DIY my RROD but I'm scare that I'll end up screwing up the motherboard.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj111 View Post
    Thanks for the guide. I've been trying to see if I can DIY my RROD but I'm scare that I'll end up screwing up the motherboard.

    the way to look at it then is this

    Your 360 has the RROD so in most cases it wont be working anyway
    so just do as it says above
    if you screw up the motherboard which is very very unlikley then you have not lost anything as it wasnt working anyway

    just get the screws and give it a go m8 you aint got nowt to lose but lots to gain

  6. #6
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    That's true. I guess it cant go any more 'dead' than it is already.
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