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Got an out of warranty Red Ring 360 for free...

donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
A friend had a 360 that he had since launch, which recently died on him. He blamed it on the moisture in his basement because he usually doesn't leave it down there. I assumed if it was water damage, the thing wouldnt turn on at all. Plus, the powersupply glows green when I turn on the Xbox and from what I've read, if it was a shorting issue, the brick would glow red. (Please correct me if Im wrong.)

I think its just a coincidence that it broke when it was in his basement, considering this launch unit was working up until a month ago. The thinking is, that I pay 10-15 bucks for parts, and get a 199 console for that 10-15 bucks.

The console is all opened up, splayed for all to see and I am currently scraping off the old, hastily applied thermal paste. The common fix seems to be the "X-Clamp" fix. Anyone else have some experience with this? Is there a suggested kit to buy? Or should I go to Home Depot and buy my own parts?

donhonk on

Posts

  • El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I sent in my 5 year old Elite for repairs, expecting to pay $99 and instead got a free repair and a free month of Live.

    El Guaco on
  • donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Hate to say it, but Im well past the point of no return, considering I've broken a lot of seals on the inside and such. My warranty is very much voided.

    donhonk on
  • darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you're not comfortable doing you own repair, you can take it to a local shop. The Play n'Trade near where I work did console repairs. I think my 360 repair cost $50? The parts for doing it youself are pretty cheap, even if you do buy a kit.

    I had some time to talk to the shop owner before relinquishing my console to reapir, so I got a good feeling about the fact that he didn't outsource the repairs, and that he was really intimately familiar with both diagnosing the problem, the cause of the problem, and how to repair it. Some shops may not be so knowledgeable or reputable, though. (And Play n'Trade is a franchise, so YMMV.)

    The downside of heat sink repairs is that they will tend to prolong the life of the console, but in the end, it'll eventually die for good. Still, for free, or close to it, you do get a 360.

    darkgrue on
  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Hah. That's how I got my 360 too. well sort of. My friend gave it to me after 5th time it red-ringed on him, but it was still in warranty so it he got it fixed first.

    Tofystedeth on
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  • putthepinbackputthepinback Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    ive had good luck with the x-clamp fix. did it on my launch 360 that a friend had "case modded" and it is still running perfectly after a year or so.

    putthepinback on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2010
    http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/repair/xbox-360-repair.htm

    This guy has pretty damn good tutorials for repair and also sells parts.

    FyreWulff on
  • donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Thanks for the links and advice guys. On the subject of play n trade, Id like to fix it myself because its sort of a hobby of mine!

    donhonk on
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you get it back up and running perform the 12v fan mod (it'll sound like a jet engine) and the major one for me was the shroud mod. If you look at the shroud that fits over the GPU and CPU it doesn't do much for the airflow, the two fans just kind of blow in to it. If you cut a piece of card and place it between the fans, giving the GPU one fan and the CPU one fan then things'll run MUCH cooler.

    My machine is jtag'd so I can run a couple of programs to check the temperature. Performing those two mods dropped it from:

    CPU: 85c
    GPU: 75c

    to

    CPU: 49c
    GPU: 45c

    If the xclamp trick doesn't work you MAY need to reflow the solder. I wouldn't greatly recommend it but you can over-heat it on purpose to do this, that's why the "towel trick" worked for some. That's where people wrapped their 360 in a towel, turned it on and let it overheat for a while, then let it cool.

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Wait, I thought people used the towel trick to get their 360 to overheat and red-ring, thus turning it in for a free repair. I've never heard of anyone using a 360 after the towel trick.

    Tofystedeth on
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  • yellowdart2yellowdart2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The towel trick would sometimes fix the 360 temporarily, but it's definitely not a long term fix.

    yellowdart2 on
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Wait, I thought people used the towel trick to get their 360 to overheat and red-ring, thus turning it in for a free repair. I've never heard of anyone using a 360 after the towel trick.

    As per:

    http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/repair/ring_of_light_x-clamp_fix.htm

    Details below
    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.

    n 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!
    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 30 to 45 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.

    The towel trick is a bit of an "iffy" way of doing the above.

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Got a weird prob. Did the fix, put on new Arctic Silver, new washers and screws etc. After about 5 seconds it gives me 2 red lights instead of 3. (Im not plugged into the fans yet.) From what I can read on the net, this is overheating. Any ideas? Its in the open air, does it need fans that fast? I wouldnt think it would overheat so fast. Also, the thing gives me no signal on the TV. It doesnt get to the 360 boot animation.

    donhonk on
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    donhonk wrote: »
    Got a weird prob. Did the fix, put on new Arctic Silver, new washers and screws etc. After about 5 seconds it gives me 2 red lights instead of 3. (Im not plugged into the fans yet.) From what I can read on the net, this is overheating. Any ideas? Its in the open air, does it need fans that fast? I wouldnt think it would overheat so fast. Also, the thing gives me no signal on the TV. It doesnt get to the 360 boot animation.

    Get the fans back on and try again. Are the heat sinks on properly? Have you put the plastic shroud back on? If not you're not getting any airflow this could cause it. Before it overheats do the fans spin up to 100%? Have you put on TOO much Arctic Silver?

    Can you get a secondary error code? Turn the 360 on, wait till the lights are flashing.
    Press and hold the sync up button (the small white one), while holding that button press the eject button.
    The LEDs will now blink the first number in the code (as described below).
    Release the eject button and press it again.
    The LEDs will now blink the second number of the code.
    Release the eject button and press it again.
    The LEDs will now blink the third number of the code.
    Release the eject button and press it again.
    The LEDs will now blink the forth number of the code.
    Release the eject button and press it again.
    The LEDs will go back to the flashing lights.

    There are a number of sites that will then describe to you what the code means. You should be able to narrow down if it's the CPU or GPU that's overheating.

    Other suggestion (from a forum post):
    This sometimes will appear if the board was warped in a way to not allow the heatsinks to make good contact with the chip dyes. This usual happens to me when a customer does a xclamp replacement without using any washers which wraps the processors. Remove the heatsinks and see if you have an imprint of thermal paste on the heatsinks (acually the CPU heatsink because of your error code) if not then use machine screws so you can make contact with the chip. Good Luck

    It could be a faulty temperature sensor, is the gpu/cpu heatsink hot to the touch? As a last resort you could potentially force it to run: http://xbox-experts.com/tutorial/cut-the-cpu-temp-trace/

    The instructions there should tell you how to cut the temperature trace to the cpu (there's another guide somewhere for the gpu depending on which is overheating) so it won't be able to tell it's running too hot. That's a dangerous one though and I'm not responsible if you burn your media centre/house to the ground.

    Hopefully that should give you a bit to work on!

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Thank you for the help man, I love your suggestions and such but after I posted I tried a few things.

    Well, its a shame, I took off the heatsinks again just to check what was going on. Reseated everything, but now Im back to a 3 Red Ring. Also I have heated the GPU and cooled the CPU so it wouldnt shut off while I was heating up the GPU. Now Im back at square one basically. And heres another sadness, I cant get video no matter how hard I try. Tried syncing a controller and doing the video reset button combination.

    I think its kaput!

    donhonk on
  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You could always check with the shops and see if they'll waive the charge in the event that they can't repair the console. I'm pretty sure that's what the local shop in my town does.

    archonwarp on
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