Fix your Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death (RRoD) by yourself, no wrapping in towels or soldering irons required! If you no longer have a warranty on your Xbox 360 and it has developed the dreaded Red Ring, there is hope. You can still easily repair it.

As most of you know, the RRoD is a sign displayed by the 360's "Ring of Light" when there is a general hardware failure. While this can be caused by any part (or lack thereof) of the 360, the general cause is most often excessive heat, which stresses the solder joints on the CPU and GPU. Over time, these joints can become separated, which causes the Red Ring to appear after a few years of use, usually when you have a new game to play and you've taken the day off.

This method requires nothing but mere screws and washers. Seriously: no overheating your console, no adding new fans (although you can add them if you like), no towels. Ever since I did this I haven't had the console freeze up once.

Step 1: Before We Begin...

Before you even think of unplugging your 360 let's work in a bit of intelligent forethought.

For starters, why would you need to repair the console yourself? If you have a working warranty I highly suggest you send the console to Microsoft for repairs, as a repair will void your warranty. While Microsoft has dropped the ball on product quality in an effort to get the 360 out before other consoles, they picked up the proverbial dirt-covered ball by extending all warranties to 3 years.

If you plan on actually reviving the 360 don't use the towel trick. What it does is overheat the inside of the console by blocking fan intakes, temporarily doing something to make the 360 run for a brief period of hours to days. While it may be the quick and easy approach, it also overheats every other component in the 360, which is never good. It can cause chips to fail, capacitors to dry out, release the magic smoke, and possibly spark a fire. So, unless you hate your Xbox something fierce, don't do this.

And of course, if you're on your 4th Red Ringed Xbox 360, and are considering buying a PS3...


I would hate to see someone give up the pinnacle of gaming due to a simple flaw over a Blu-Ray player with gaming functionality.

So, if your warranty is void, or you're about to join the dark side of gaming, read on!

1) adding cardboard on the heatsink may slightly increase airflow, but it will also make it harder to dissipate heat because you are insulating it.<br><br>2) the reason that you had to drill holes is because a metric and an SAE bolt are NOT the same.<br><br>3) if you do reasearch you will learn that multiple developers (such as rockstar) complained that the xbox 360 was holding them back due to an inferior storage medium (dual layered dvd vs bluray)
<p>ok, two things. One, the ps3 is not the dark side of gaming. It is a blue-ray player, where you can access the internet (provided you have wifi) for free, and it nearly never has problems. It's a less expensive version of the xbox. (Sorry, but I hate to hear the ps3 vs xbox vs PC turf wars)</p><p>Two, I find it easier to just send it to a repair shop. No, not a Microsoft store, just a normal beat around the bush computer store. It's never failed me yet. Didn't lose any data, either.</p>
<p>I completely agree.</p>
Im so glad ive never had to face the Red Ring of Death
<p>wouldbe been nice to know this doesnt work on the elite. Took apart my system for nothing, completly different heatsinks man wtf</p>
<p>No, it will work on elite also , provided that the GPU core ( central area of the GPU) pins -78-94 have not pulled away , However if you have what's called an GPU edge failure ( pins on the corner of the GPU have broken free from the board ) This method should be effective in restoring normal operation , for a while , and the second failure ,will prove almost imposable to get a solid recovery . </p>
<p>I'm sorry Ryan, the Elite wasn't around when I wrote this. PM me and I can help you on the right track.</p>
Hey man could u make a video for this please?
Sup jake I also have 360 elite n currently facing red ring of death I would be grateful if u can help me
Hey Jake. I also have an elite. Rode hard for about 8 years. (SN ending 82205). 3ring <br>I just started account here and have not found pm option. <br>Your awesome assistance would be appreciated
<p>Hmm , I have reviewed most repair that have you SCREW down the GPU and CPU , as these repair will work 80% of the time , IT WILL WARP THE PC BOARD , and when it fails again , it's trash . ( unserviceable ) I have a solution it's called BETTER HARDWARE , and heavy duty GPU Clamp , I will POST A LINK for it , if people are still trying to repair their older 360's , </p>
<p>Hello, i recently found a xbox 360, it had the red ring of death and a hard drive, so i take the hard drive and plug it in to my other xbox, this other xbox immediatley gets the red ring, any ideas how to fix that or why it happened?</p>
<p>Red ring means there's a hardware problem, so I believe something is wrong with that hard drive.</p>
<p>Hehe! For some reason, my WHOLE Xbox 360 red ringed, and survived perfectly!</p>
<p>awsome! Thanks</p>
<p>what happens when you reach 4 red rings of death</p>
I signed up to say thank you for this tutorial. It worked! :) <br> <br>Also thanks to the guy that gave those conversions on the 3/16 bolts to what Home Depot has them as: 10-32. <br> <br>My only variation was in putting 1 neoprene washer on top of the 3 metal ones for each bolt on the bottom. Made 4 on the bottom the right size as they have a little play but snugged down evenly. <br> <br>Lastly, I found that the #10 washers' (as sold at Home Depot ) outter diameter was too large as they wouldn't stack evenly on the two bolts that are right next to each other. I used #8 washers instead. The inner diameter was just big enough to put the bolts through but small enough on the outter than they did not overlap on those close bolts. <br> <br>Thanks again.
<p>I had this same issue. Thanks for the heads up on the #8 washers!</p>
<p>My xbox 360 has a red dot in the middle and makes a loud noise if you can help me plz </p>
<p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jkEhJDBqILE" width="500"></iframe></p><p>How to repair xbox360 without opening the console. Try it guys, it worked on my xbox :)</p>
<p>LMAO unpluggin the remote actually fixed mine thanks a lot you're a life savor sir</p>
<p>Nice article, very helpful...</p>
<p>Found this old 360 with the RRoD figured I could take a look at it before he threw it out, and to my astonishment, it worked after simply cleaning out the fins and putting in some new thermal paste. Thanks for the walk-through really made the difference.</p>
<p>Outstanding! This just saved me so much money! I spent 8.50 for the hardware at Home Depot and about an hour to fix it. Took some time to get the screws set just right, but ultimately worked perfectly. Excellent instructions. They were detailed enough to make the job straight forward. The only issue I found was with the 3/16 inch drill bit - I had to make the hole slightly larger (7/32) for the screws to fit correctly.</p>
<p>I wonder if Microsoft still honors repairs on older 360s. I have 4 that have RROD and they are just sitting around as useless paperweights. Crazy how durable the original XBOX was and how shoddy the 360 was. </p>
<p>SO geeky &lt;3</p>
Spilt milk on my xbox started too RROD. Tried this and its been working evee since. I alsp applyed silicon around the vents on the top peice then reinstalled the metal cover.
I think is useful to say that you have to take in place exhaust at the first turn on, otherwise console will overheat. Also, my GPU cooler have some extension with the pipe, so I don't have any space to bolt on another fan to the CPU cooler. Who also have this type of console, I found useful to make the same extension of the exhaust over the CPU just like over the GPU he made in this tutorial.<br>Also, I tried without X-clamps, but for some reason, I still believe that the X-clamps is better because I'm not sure about the tension I made with the screws, so, I'm back with the clamps.<br>This tutorial was very useful. Thank you!
Ok so we did this tutorial to the letter and the red lights went away. But now, when we start it up none of the green lights flash on in the usual way they are supposed to during startup. No red lights, no green lights. We have not tested it on a tv yet so we dont know if any of the graphics are going through, but we just think this is unusual because normally the green lights always show up. Any suggestions? BTW we started out with the E 74 error code and one red ring in the lower right corner. <br />
Bad hard drive connectio.
One ring and an E74 code isn't the RROD, it's only the first ring. What it means is that your cables aren't connected properly, and that's all it means. <br /> A simple guide to red rings is:<br /> &nbsp; 1 quadrant = cable connection error<br /> &nbsp; 2 quadrants = overheating of system<br /> &nbsp; 3 quadrants = internal system error aka RROD<br /> <br /> All you need to do is properly connect your cables, however, doing this tutorial wasn't necessary and if you didn't do it right you may have shot your system :(, if you did do it correctly, then your fairly safe in the future from the true RROD.<br />
and four quadrants for not having the AV cables in the back lol
4 red lights is more commonly a cable problem, more specifically an av cable problem.
E74: AV cable error... There is a problem with the AV cable, try using a different AV cable. If the cable is known to be working then there is a 90% chance it's a scaler chip problem (the &quot;ANA&quot; or &quot;HANA&quot; chip connected directly to the AV cable) in rare cases it is the GPU. http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/repair/Xbox-360-error-codes.htm
actually... the power plug being loose or only being plugged in half way will display a 3 light... just thought I'd clarify that...
E74 code meant your graphics card is shot. or maybe thats E 73 idk but if you were playing cod 5 or cod 6 or any other newer games and you saw random purple lines its the graphhics card.<br />
its E74
try plugging in the av cable then trun it on
1 red ring isnt the ring of death<br /> did you google it? i think i found a site with fixes for it but idk what the link is anymore. <br /> <br /> and you should try hooking it up to a tv, because if you dont then ALL of the red rings will blibk and mean you need to hook it up to a tv...try those ideas then come back. idk<br />
Alright i got everything put back together. But now when i power it on i get a red light on the power brick and the xbox wont come on. What did i do wrong?
<p>when i on the xbox only the red rings are coming.there's nothing working inside plss tell me how to fix it </p>
<p>I know someone who could find this useful</p>
<p>After having boxed my dead xbox 360 over 2 years ago, I figured she was done, well out of warranty and I wasnt going to send it into microsoft to pay. So i got the itch yesterday to search the net for possible fixes, came across this and saw review after review of how this fixed their system.</p><p>So, I embarked on the journey to try to fix my 360, if it didnt work no big deal couldnt break it anymore I thought. While doing stuff, like cleaning the cpu and gpu thinking I was destroying them somehow by rubbing them and during stacking the washers I was pessimistic, I was sure I screwed up or was just wasting my time. I didnt have any thermal paste lying around nor did I really want to spend any cash in what could be a complete waste of time and I read some ppl use toothpaste for temporary thermal compound use. Since I knew one of the keys is to overheat the cpu and gpu that optimal cooling was not terribly important at this pount, I used just some regular Colgate toothpaste. I would never operate the system with this, but figured it would be fine to test.</p><p>The hard part was making sure the heatsinks were level and even pressure is applied to the 4 heatsink bolts to the chips. At one point I thought I was tightening to much and thought I heard the board crack, yikes.</p><p>So, after mounting of the heatsinks, plugging in the cd drive, rf card, hdd, video out cable and power cable It was time for the moment of truth. I left the fans unplugged and powered it on, Greeted by the lovely RROD, within about 15 seconds I could feel the Gpu heatsink warming and then the cpu warming about 15 seconds later. I didnt really time anything, but the heatsinks got to the point they couldnt be touched within about 2 mins and I left it on for a little while longer, maybe 4-5mins or little less? I turned off the system and waited 20 mins.</p><p>Moment of truth, I powered on the Xbox 360 and expected 3 death red leds of what I had seen for such a long time, and then bam, green lights, WTH am I dreaming, then came the fimilar xbox sound and logo in the tv and went to the main menu, a menu I thought Id never see again in this sytem. I am stoked! </p><p>I turned it off for an hour to cool, hooked up the fans / shroud and powered it on and it worked again! fans came on and was humming along, what a glorious sound! I navigated the menu and played a game for a minute or two not daring to push my luck with the toothpaste thermal compound, going to get arctic silver now cause I know it works so its easily worth it to me to buy the $10 syringe of the stuff. </p><p>So in conclusion, it really does work as the others have testimonied on here and add my Xbox as another survivor of the curse of the RROD!!!</p>
<p>Update: So got the arctic silver 5 thermal paste, cleaned off the toothpaste with a lint free cloth, applies the thermal paste and spread it out with a clean credit card and tinted the heatsinks as described by arctic silver. Then I mounted the heatsinks amd took my time to make sure even pressure was applied to the cpu and gpu.</p><p>I go to power on the system and boom red ring, my mood drops to somber and chills go up my spine as I get ready to crawl in a corner sucking my thumb and calling for mommy. </p><p>I then un plug the fans and try the overheat trick again for 4-5 mins. Let it cool down for 20min and try again, rrod, ahhh tears welling up in my eyes.</p><p>I putma cloth on my hand cause those heatsinks are hot, and press firmly down first on cpu and power on, instant rrod, i try on a few spots on the cpu heatsink and instant rrod. I then go to the gpu heatsink and press down, turning the switch on it hesistated green and then rrod on my, but I was curious about the hesitation, I tried it a few times alternating pressure on the cou and gpu and the cpu instant rrod and gpu it hesitates, so Im thinking the gpu is off. So I fiddle around with the gou bolt, first tightening them and then it was instantly rrod. So back out th bolts and just hand tighten and then ever so slightly apply a little more pressure but no too much.</p><p>Power it on and boom she boots up no rrod and Im all troll face \:} So, I plug in the fans and power it in and proceed to play graphics intensive games for over and hour. I was very shocked at the fact the fans are barely spinning, compred to how it was before and even how it was last night with the el cheapo toothpaste thermal paste lol. i can really tell a difference the thermal paste makes, the heatsinks feel way hotter than last night but that just shows me the thermal paste is really doing its job transfering the heat. </p><p>Anyways, its working great but Im going to mod the fan to run off the 12 volt line of the HDD to keep it cooler and prevent warping the board further and causing me having to mess around with the rrod again. So, good luck to my fellow cursed xbox 360 friends, heres to getting your system back up and running, what are you waiting for, rio open your xbox 360 and bring your system back from the dead!</p><p>Peace out, Van</p>
It actually worked! I had it running for about 3 minutes and it got two red quadrants (overheated), is that normal? or did I do something wrong in the process? any help and/or tips would be greatly appreciated! sorry for the poor quality picture, my tablet's camera sucks.
<p>No problem with the new console ;)</p>
<p>Would the parts requirements be any different for a UK Xbox 360, as in what to ask/look for. Maybe a different term used over here than in the states. Anyone bought all the necessary parts from a UK supplier (Maybe B&amp;Q, Maplins for example)?</p>
Done the fixing of Xbox but now fans not working what has happened can it still b fixed and how
<p>Hats off Mr. Turner. Great instructable! I did this to the letter except instead of steel washers between the board and case I used Delrin (plastic) spacers that I made. They are .185 inches tall. Also used 2 nylon washers on every screw between the board and heatsinks. I have not played it yet but did leave it powered on for 10.5 hours straight with no issue. Will comment back if anything changes when playing. This console was given to me by a fed up friend that payed somebody $40 to repair it. That &quot;repair&quot; guy removed the x-braces but only bolted through the board, not the case. I personally don't advise this method because you are just weakening the whole thing by taking out the x-braces, in my opinion, making it worse.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Where to start... I get bored and reach for either a soldering iron or a keyboard. I have a short attention span. I love working ... More »
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