XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair

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Bob in St. Louis

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The current console (my fourth unit) has lasted longer than the rest of them, but looks like this one died last night. The failure code I get is "0102" which is technically considered an "unknown" failure (Google search for: "360 0102". or "360 RROD"). But with a little research there's thousands of teenage kids with videos on YouTube showing various ways of fixing the solder joints on the CPU and GPU that have broken due to stress caused by heat cycles. Some of them (Google search for: "360 towel method") seems just about stupid. It seems the easiest way to resolder the many microscopic solder joints is to heat the entire unit to the point where the solder melts and re-connects all of the joints at the same time (Google search for: "360 reflow"). Some guys use heat guns, some use pancake griddles, some disconnect the fans and let the unit overheat, some wrap the entire console in a towel and let it cook itself. You get the idea. There's also a lot of talk about removing the factory the "X-clamp" (Google search for: "360 x-clamp") as it puts undo stress on the unit. There's also talk about placing stacks of coins on the RAM chips (Google search for: "360 penny trick") which is suppose to put pressure on the broken solder joints. I won't be doing this one either.
Since I don't have a heat gun, I'm going to try the fan disconnect method. Also, I'll be removing the O.E. X-clamp and replacing with nylon and steel washers with new bolts and heat sink paste.

Of the thousands of videos on the net, I've found most of them VERY annoying. It seems they've all got music playing while you watch somebody take their unit apart.  :roll: Like they're making a music video. I did find a three part video > HERE < that is one of the most tolerable videos. At least the guy is explaining what he's doing as seem to have his head out of his butt more than the rest of them I've seen. If the "fan method" doesn't work, I'll go purchase a cheap heat gun.

I won't be taking pictures as tens of thousands of people have already beaten that dead horse.

I'll let you know what I find. But I was wondering if any of you have repaired/modded your 360s and if you had success?

more soon...

Bob

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #1 on: 9 Mar 2009, 04:07 pm »
I've got the unit apart thanks to VERY good instructions with lots of good photos found > HERE <.
Things look as expected; Lots of the heat sink paste has oozed away from where it needs to be.
Off to the store to buy bolts, washers and paste.

Bob

p.s. Great way to DIY a tool to get in the case, but not necessary if you've got patience and a few small flat screwdrivers.
« Last Edit: 9 Mar 2009, 10:28 pm by Bob in St. Louis »

Philistine

Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #2 on: 9 Mar 2009, 04:53 pm »
Good luck with the fix Bob.

I bought a 360 as a Christmas present for my 8 year old, after reading all the RROD history I searched out a Jasper board in order to find a console with better reliability.  Somehow I think I'll need the fix though at some point down the road.  The good news is it's kept him quiet for hours and he's playing Live with his cousin in the UK, and found new buddies all over the US.   

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #3 on: 9 Mar 2009, 05:17 pm »
Thanks man!  :thumb:
Yea, I searched for "Jasper board" in the hope I could buy just that component but turned up empty handed.
Looks like it's a factory thing and can't (yet) be purchased separately. With a little poking around on Ebay, just to see what's out there in the way of consoles, it's amazing how many broken consoles can be purchased by the dozen:o
Almost makes me want to go into business fixing 360s and reselling them. Might have to give that a second thought if this repair/mod turns out successful.  aa

Just got back from the store. Spent $14 on bolts, metal washers, fiber washers (can't find Nylon) and Di-electric grease.

More later...

Bob

dweekie

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #4 on: 9 Mar 2009, 07:08 pm »
Hey Bob, I went through all that a couple years back. I bought a broken 360 for really cheap and fixed it up (tempting for me since I've been a nerdy computer modder for some time).  The case is the biggest pain, followed by removing all the old thermal gunk they cake on to the GPU and CPU.  It's been working fine since then. 

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #5 on: 9 Mar 2009, 07:12 pm »
Hey dweekie!
Cool seeing you here!! :green:
What method of 'heating' did you use? Just curious to know from someone I trust.

The latest:
This article talks about just how important the thickness of the washers is. I'm here to tell you what...they should have printed it in bold font just how important this little tidbit of information is.  :?
I'll be spending the rest of the day shaving fiber washers to reduce their thickness.  :duh:
This blows.

"Llamma.com" sells a 'kit' that contains everything you need. Just buck-up and pay the money. I cheaped-out and was in a hurry. My goal was to have this finished today and didn't want to wait on the shipping of (what seemed like) expensive washers. You're not just paying for the washers, you're paying for their knowledge of what thickness washers to use.
This blows.

I've drilled the holes, installed the bolts and washers, complete with masking tape to hold it all together, installed the mother board and began tightening the bolts. I had them all pretty tight when I noticed the circuit board was being contorted horribly.  :o
Colorful expletives came to mind.
Have I mentioned how bad this blows?

I'm beginning to have visions of taking the entire mess and running it over with my truck.
But my wife has already told me how cool I am. Can't give up now.

more later...
Bob

dweekie

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #6 on: 9 Mar 2009, 07:41 pm »
Sorry about all the problems.  It's not a true diy project unless you run into issues........  :duh:  I told myself I'd probably be better off selling eveything broken and buying a new Jaspar if my original first gen (not fixed up) 360 ever broke.  By heating, I assume you mean the very last step?  It's been a while, so I can't be exactly sure.  I think I just disconnected the fan and left it on until the overheating signal came on, then tightenend everything down.  Even when cold, the first bootup seems to show the RROD immediately, and overheating is required to get it booted up again - I thought my mod failed at first since rrod still showed up right away.  Good luck, and hopefully everything works out in the end.

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #7 on: 9 Mar 2009, 08:03 pm »
Ok cool.
I just fired it up and got the RROD. This is to be expected since we really haven't "fixed" anything yet. The "fixing" is actually done by the overheating process. So far, I've just done the mods to the heat sink attachment mechanism. The article I was reading (HERE) talks about assembling just enough of the unit that it'll work electrically (but still looks pretty Frankenstein at this point). Then you set the fan over the CPU, but let the graphic processing unit cook itself into submission. This is suppose to take 10-15 minutes. I've been staring at the RROD flashing for about five minutes....I'm waiting to see smoke.
No...serious...I'm waiting to see what Microsoft smoke looks like.
Or...should I call it "Microsmoke"?   :rotflmao:

It just seems so WRONG to purposely heat a delicate processing unit (and the chips that surround it) to the point where you've softened the solder.
Jeez man, that's hot.  :?

I've got Grace Knight singing to me. Trying her best to calm me down.  :lol:

more (very) soon...

Bob

dweekie

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #8 on: 9 Mar 2009, 08:31 pm »
Sorry you may be missing the smoke.  The thermal protection should kick in and prevent that from happening  :duh:  I'm not sure why it was so tempting to constantly stick my finger on the burning hot heatsink during the process.....  :roll:

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #9 on: 9 Mar 2009, 08:44 pm »
Well it's good to hear I'm not the only dumbass to voluntarily burn himself for the sake of curiosity.  :lol:  :thumb:
I've got a few fingertips that are a little "numbish". It is amazing how hot that little processor gets!!

After 20 minutes "cook time", I still had the RROD (3 lights as it's always been).
I didn't find much information about what exactly is suppose to happen when it "fixes itself". I assumed the RROD would go away.  :dunno:
Out of desperation, I thought it would be a good idea to disconnect the fans totally and see what happens. It took less than one minute for the three lights to turn to two (signifying over heat). At that point I unplugged it (as a large percentage of the folks say you should do in the first place).
Now I'm just waiting for it to cool down. Next I'll give a gentle snug on the bolts and fire it back up.
I think I'll let the skeleton stay as it is for several days with daily use to see what happens.
If this doesn't work I'll spend a few dollars on a heat gun and really cook it good.  :icon_twisted:

more in a few...

Bob

p.s. So far I've got over 8 hours in this project. Lots of things on my to-do list that didn't get done on my day off.
In hindsight it may have been worthwhile to buy a new one. The base model is $200 now-a-days.  :roll:

mcullinan

Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #10 on: 9 Mar 2009, 08:48 pm »
Resident Evil just came out too! Got a 9 out of 10... Hurry you dont want to miss it!
Mike

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #11 on: 9 Mar 2009, 10:25 pm »
Mike, you'll be happy to know...........


.................... I'VE GOT GREEN !! ....................


I decided to reassembled the entire case, just cause I've got little young 'uns that might stick a finger in there.
So far, it's been on over an hour with nothing but....... GREEN  :green:  :banana piano: :bounce: :thankyou: :smoke:
 

Bob

dweekie

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #12 on: 9 Mar 2009, 10:31 pm »
Congrats :)

Philistine

Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #13 on: 9 Mar 2009, 10:44 pm »
Great news Bob, lots of Brownie points from Mrs Bob tonight :dance:

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #14 on: 9 Mar 2009, 10:54 pm »
Thanks guys! Yea I'll get some points for saving a few hundred dollars. Maybe a hug or two from the wife and kiddies.  aa

Since the 360 is known as a loud obnoxious monster of a machine, I thought now would be a good idea to place some material in there to dampen/absorb the vibrations. I would have preferred to use single sided foam tape, but didn't have any. All I had on hand was the "grip tape" you'd use for something like a tennis racket. I bought a couple rolls of it on accident one day since it looked so much like electrical tape (why does Home Depot stock tennis racket handle wrap? :scratch:). As it turns out, the stuff is pretty good for many uses.
The hard drive is MUCH MUCH quieter than it used to be. No more buzzing, humming and growling (at least for today).

I was testing the unit with Pink Floyd "Pulse". Looking pretty good.
Then my son came in and wanted to "test" it with Call of Duty II.  :duh: :lol:
Oh well, I guess that's the point.  :wink:

Time will tell if the tweak/repair/mod works.

Bob

mcullinan

Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #15 on: 9 Mar 2009, 11:05 pm »
Sweet! Good going!
Mike

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #16 on: 19 Mar 2009, 06:00 pm »
Ten days later the unit is working perfectly. It's not only seen daily use, but had a full blown torture test over the weekend. The neighborhood kids probaby racked up 20 hours on it Saturday and Sunday alone.
I won't bump the thread anymore, but I may edit it occasionally to update the operational status of the unit.

Bob

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: XBox360 broke. RROD (Red ring of death) Attempting a repair
« Reply #17 on: 12 Apr 2009, 11:11 am »
Final update:

A little over a month, not a single glitch...no RROD...no seize...no bad stuff at all.  aa
I'd say the mod was successful. The unit has been used a couple hours every weeknight as a DVD source. It get used by my kids heavily on the weekends for gaming with the other kids from around the neighborhood.

Now if I can only figure out why the PS3 keeps locking up.  :roll: :duh:

Bob

EDIT: Two and a half months later, with daily use, the unit is working perfectly. Not a single seize, lock-up, glitch, or 'bug'.  aa
« Last Edit: 23 May 2009, 02:10 pm by Bob in St. Louis »