XBOX 360 – Three Red Lights of Death Repair Manual
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Contents 1. Reasons why this works 2. Getting prepared 3. Opening the case 4. Removing the motherboard 5. Removing and preparing the heat sinks 6. Fixing the heat sinks 7. Check point 1! 8.Check point 2! 9. Other tips and tricks
Reasons why this works. When Microsoft designed the 360, they chose a slightly unusual way of mounting the heat sinks to the processors. When the console is running, there is a tremendous amount of heat build up inside the case. This causes the motherboard to flex against the X-Clamp support plastic (see picture 1) which in turn can cause the solderedjoints on the processors to come away from the motherboard itself. This results in the Red Lights of Death. Due to the inefficient design of the heat sink clamping method, this is a very large problem. Although Microsoft haven’t (as of yet) come up with a decent design fix. On the latest ‘Elite’ versions of the console they have used epoxy resin to ‘glue’ the corners of the processors down to stop theflexing that causes this error (see picture 2). Whether their fix will stand the test of time remains to be seen. What the modification contained in this manual achieves is to alleviate board flexing and apply uniform pressure to the processors. This uniform pressure is enough to ‘remake’ the faulty joints resulting in a working console. Also, because the pressure on the processors is uniform theheat sinks do a much better job of dissipating the heat build up.
Getting prepared To perform this modification, you require some tools and some specific screws and washers. If you have purchased this document as part of the repair kit, you will have everything you need to perform this modification. Item T8 Torx Screwdriver T10 Torx Screwdriver 5mm Flat washers (B&Q avf-064968) 5mm x0.8x10machine screws (B&Q avf-069918) Arctic Silver Thermal Compound Thin Terminal Screwdriver Wooden Skewer or similar (must be THIN) Qty Req 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Cost Each £3.00 £3.00 £1.30 £1.30 £4.50 £1.00 £0.50 Total £6.00 £9.00 £10.30 £11.60 £16.10 £17.10 £17.60
Prices are for guidance only. Your mileage may vary – you can purchase sets of Torx screwdrivers for about £10.00. Do not substitute thescrews/washers with a different brand or size. The size of these is crucial for the modification to work as intended.
Opening the case
Firstly, remove the front face plate from your Xbox: Take a look at the front of the Xbox 360 and insert your thumb into the door that covers the two USB ports on the right of the unit. With your other hand squeezing the upper and lower sides of the face plate,pull out the face plate with your thumb. With not much effort, the face plate should come away from the unit with ease. I wouldn’t force it however –if it doesn’t want to come off easily it will be catching on something. You don’t want a trashed console case after all your efforts.
After the face plate has been pulled off you will see a silver Microsoft sticker covering both halve of the case;remove this – goodbye warranty! There are four clips locking the top half of the case to the bottom half. Do not attempt to wedge the clips out at this point, we need to remove both grey plastic endplates first. With care, gently bend outwards, the right grey ventilation shield on the right side of the unit so that you can see a bit inside. You will notice that the grey side piece attaches to boththe bottom and top white chassis. Look through the holes on top of the unit to locate the areas where the grey side pieces attaches to the white housing. What you need to do is take the thin skewer and push down, through the white holes (located on both the top and bottom of the Xbox 360) where the clips of the grey side pieces connect. Slowly pull out the grey pieces away from the unit while...
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