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Picture of Fix the Red Ring of Death! (Without Towels)

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.

 
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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...

FIX IT, REGARDLESS OF WARRANTY!

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!

Step 2: The Suspected Cause

Picture of The Suspected Cause
xclamps.JPG

So, knowing what I've written, you ask yourself, "Self, if the 360 is baking its processors to the point that they'd separate, why aren't the heatsinks holding them tightly to the main board?" That's a very bright observation!

The problem is pictured below (the second image, silly). Those two X-shaped pieces of metal are what try to hold the heatsinks onto the CPU and GPU. Problem is, they aren't springy enough to do the job. The heatsinks have a tiny amount of wiggle room and the motherboard is free to warp from heat. That prohibits proper heat dissipation and allows the processors to break away from their connections. I blame bad design from Microsoft's need to get the 360 out before the PlayStation 3. But now isn't the time for blame. I bet you're about ready to buy one of those Blu-Ray players that come with gaming functionality.

So now we've determined that those "X-Clamps" need to go. The next step lists parts needed.

Step 3: Parts and tools needed

Picture of Parts and tools needed

To secure your heatsinks tightly to the motherboard (and the metal case in the process) you will need:
===================
4 5x20MM Panhead Machine Screws (keep length between 20 and 40 MM)
4 5x15MM Panhead Machine Screw (must be no longer than 15MM!)
44 #10 Washers
===================

And for your English measurements (thanks to ajmontag for providing these):
***********************
4 3/16" x 1" Panhead Machine Screws
4 3/16" x 1/2" Panhead Machine Screws
44 #10 Washers
***********************

These 5x20MM (3/16"x1") screws will be used to secure the CPU heatsink.
The shorter screws will be used for the GPU, and 15MM is the most you can get into it. The 1/2" fits just fine with room to breathe.
About 44 #10 washers. These will be used to keep the motherboard firmly in one position. Nylon washers aren't necessary; there are no traces or components to be touched around the screw holes. But if you feel you must have them, I will not stop you from purchasing them.

And while you are working with the heatsinks, you may want to apply new and better thermal paste to them. I suggest picking up a tube of Arctic Silver 5.

Tool-wise, you'll need:
A drill or drillpress to widen screwholes in the metal case (with a 3/16 drill bit)
A torx 9 and torx 6 screwdriver to remove screws from the 360's case
A 1/4 inch wrench or socket to remove the X-Clamp posts from the heatsinks
A phillips-head screwdriver for those machine screws (or flathead if that's what you got)
And a tiny flathead screwdriver to pry off the X-Clamps.

Anything else like tape and steel scrubbers should be kicking around in your house.

Step 4: Gettin' to buisness: Remove the heatsinks

Picture of Gettin' to buisness: Remove the heatsinks

Right, first thing we gotta do is open this sucka up. I'll point you to the tutorial I read, because opening the 360 is an Instructable in itself.

http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=2610&p=2

You need to remove everything from the metal case (if you can't get the fans out, that's fine). Set the motherboard on a clean surface, like a newspaper. Put the DVD drive, screws, plastic case and other parts someplace where they can't get harmed.

Now you gotta remove the heatsinks from the processors. This is very nerve-wracking. I used a small flathead screwdriver, and pried two or three of the X-Clamp's legs from the posts attached to the heatsinks. But if the blade of said pointy object were to slip, it could take out a bunch of tiny parts as it scrapes across your motherboard. The solution?

Put a piece of corrugated cardboard over the motherboard, where the screwdriver blade would rip through. :D . So if it were to slip now, it'll just hurt a severed piece of a box.

You'll want to pop off 3 of the bracket legs because the 4th one won't have anything holding it on. Once you get the clamps off, the heatsinks will come off on top side of the motherboard (you may need to tug on them a bit if the thermal paste is sticky). The next step deals with the heatsinks themselves.

Step 5: Stripping the heatsinks

Picture of Stripping the heatsinks

Once the $10 heatsinks are freed from the $200-some motherboard, you need to remove the 1/4 inch thingamabobs (X-clamp posts). Use a 1/4 inch nut driver, wrench, or adjustable wrench to get them off. Sit them and the X-clamps in a bag/parts drawer; you won't be needing them again. Take a metal scrubber and remove the thermal gunk from the heatsinks. And, while we're at it, get a toothpick and carefully scrape the gunk off the CPU and GPU. Nothing better than powering on a reborn 360 with clean heatsinks, no?

Step 6: Drill bigger holes

Picture of Drill bigger holes
RFcase_drilled.JPG

To use those 5MM machine screws, you'll need to widen the 8 screw holes in the metal case that previously secured the X-clamp posts. They are highlighted in the second photo.

To widen them, use a 3/16 inch drill bit with a drill press or hand drill. If you're using a hand drill, set a wooden block under each hole as you drill it to avoid warping the case. If you're using a drill press as I did there should be a steel pedestal with a hole for the drill bit to pass through, saving the case from serious FUBAR-age.

Have the bit spinning before you push into the center of the hole. Repeat this for all the holes. Make sure there are no burrs left on the holes or shards kicking around in the case afterwards. Bang it around a few times to get them out. The last thing you'd want is to have your 360 die from little pieces of metal shorting it out.

Step 7: The Fun Begins: Screws, washers, and more screwyness!

Picture of The Fun Begins: Screws, washers, and more screwyness!
screws_taped.JPG

So far, we've prepped the heatsinks and the motherboard case for these 5MM screws. Now we get to make sumthin' of it!

With the case sitting flat, fan hole in the back on the right, take note of where you need to stick these screws. The 4 holes on the left X are for your GPU, the 4 holes to the right will be for the CPU screws.

Now put the 5x15MM screws in the GPU screwholes, screwheads on the outside, so that they come into the case. Put tape over the heads to keep them from falling back out, as shown in the second photo. Now put the 5x20MM screws into the CPU screwholes and tape them just like the GPU screws. This tape is very important so don't take it off until I say so! Ha ha.

Lay the case flat again and all the screws should be poking up at you, as they are in the main photo. Place 3 or 4 5MM washers on each of them, the idea being to get them level with the motherboard standoffs. Use a straightedge to check. If they come up too short or too high the motherboard will get warped and you won't be fixing anything.

Now the fun begins. You gotta get the motherboard back in the case with the goal of getting the screws into those orange holes that the X-Clamp posts went through. All while you try to keep those washers on the screws! If they fall off at any point, you'll have to take the motherboard out, put them back on the screw(s), and repeat. So try not to do it, eh?

Tilt the case onto its right side (where the hard drive connector would be) so that you can reach the screws underneath. Angle the back of the motherboard into the case and push it all the way to the rear of the case. Lower the board until it gets held up by the rear CPU screws you installed (they should be the CPU screws if the screws were taller than the GPU screws). Now, untape one of those rear CPU screws and point it into its hole. Give it a few twists to hold it in place and thread the other one in. Now, while carefully holding the motherboard and those untaped screws, lower the motherboard until more screws hold you up and get them into their holes. Don't let those washers fall out!

When it's all said and done you'll have screws poking through those holes. Tape the heads back to the case so they don't fall out. Now press on the motherboard around the screws. It should be solid at each screw. If not you'll need to get back to those washers and pop another one on.

But if it's all nice and immobile throw two washers onto each GPU screw, one onto each CPU screw, and head to the next step!

Step 8: Re-installing the heatsinks

Picture of Re-installing the heatsinks

Now we get to mess with those screws one more time before the tape gets taken off for good. Before you put the heatsinks back on, put thermal paste onto the CPU and GPU dies (the silver shiny things). A paper-thin coat will be good. If you're using a silver-based paste, make sure you don't put on a ton because if it gets onto anything the silver's conductivity will mess with the other components.

Pick whichever heatsink you wanna put on first. Make sure the CPU's copper heatpipe is facing away from the GPU heatsink when you put it on. The GPU heatsink won't let the CPU heatsink on if you put it on wrong. The easiest way to get this right is to look at the smudge marks on the heatsinks, and match 'em with their processors. When you thread the screws on start each one off lightly, then get them up tightly. Try to get them evenly tightened to avoid having too much pressure on one side of the processor and too little on another. When it's all done right the heatsinks should not move at all.

Now we get to test it out!

Step 9: Testing, testing, three, six, tee...

Picture of Testing, testing, three, six, tee...

Hook your 360's AV and power cable in and plug the RF board (the circuit board that has the Ring of Light LEDs) back into the 360. Otherwise you won't be turning it on. :D

Turn it on without the fans plugged in, checking to see how fast the heatsinks heat up. Getting hot in less than a minute is excellent. Now plug in the fans and put on that plastic fan shroud. Turn it on again and it should boot up normally, assuming you did the heat test (if you didn't plug in the DVD drive, the center LED will blink green).

If it goes RRoD instead, unplug the power cable, re-insert it and try again. If you cannot get the console to boot, press down on both the heatsinks with even force and power it on again. If it boots, power it on with only one heatsink pressed upon. If it boots with that particular heatsink pressed on, power the 360 off and keep re-booting until you find the problem corner(s) on the heatsink that needs tightening.

The idea is to tighten any heatsink corners that aren't tight enough in order to allow a good connection for that processor.

So if it boots up normally and you can play a game for at least an hour without it locking up, you've worked your magic and the 360 can be re-assembled! Have a beer, rent a movie, eat some gummy bears, do whatever it is you do to treat yourself because YOU DID IT!

The next step goes over some measures you can take to prevent overheating.

Step 10: Afterthoughts and Shoutouts

Picture of Afterthoughts and Shoutouts
fan tie-in.JPG
improved_fan_shroud.JPG
GPU_shroud.JPG

Now that you've resurrected your console, what can you do to prevent such a travesty from happening again? As you see in the main photo, I attached a small fan from a PCI graphics card onto the CPU heatsink and wired it into the 360's fan power supply. With it pushing air through the heatsink (or pulling it in if that's your view) the air coming out of the exhaust is actually cool!

NOTE: There is word on the interwebz that Microsoft will ban you from Xbox Live for installing new fans. You have been warned.

Since there's no room to easily add a fan to the GPU heatsink, the next best thing you can do is optimize airflow. While the 360 has dual exhaust fans, most of the airflow goes to the CPU heatsink. By adding cardboard to the fan shroud and covering the top of the GPU heatsink as depicted, you can improve airflow even more as you've just devoted a whole fan to it.

And if you really don't like the stock fans in the 360 you can always buy 3rd party replacements. There's Talismoon's Whisper brand of fans with LED accents. I can't say anything on quality as I haven't used one, but they seem to be quite popular. They can be found at http://www.Divineo.com.

And now onto the shoutouts:
Thanks to Google first and foremost (LOLz), Xbox-Scene.com and it's members for their endeavors in resolving this issue, and RBJTech for the idea of adding cardboard to the fan shroud. Thanks to both those sites for all the info that I mixed and matched to create this tutorial.

Oh yeah, and a special thanks to Cheerios for providing better airflow than Microsoft could.

Instructables FTW!

-Dr. Professor Jake "Biggs" Turner

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BrandonB229 days ago

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.

SO geeky <3

DNAP42015 days ago
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.
TimB2127 days ago
I suggest not including clear cut bias in your guides. It adds nothing, and only has the potential to be a distraction. I support all 3 consoles. Don't include nonsense the PS3 is better than a bluray player. Ironically in 2015 the XB1 wants to be a media player that plays games. Very amusing that's why you shouldn't be snide
Jake Turner (author)  TimB2126 days ago
Thanks for reading!
Jake Turner (author)  TimB2126 days ago

I wrote this 7 years ago at the age of 16. The Internet was a different place then, I've since moved on from snide comments.

Well I didn't realize that, makes sense. Thanks for the reply.
igor_harris1 month ago
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.
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.
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.
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.
A simple guide to red rings is:
  1 quadrant = cable connection error
  2 quadrants = overheating of system
  3 quadrants = internal system error aka RROD

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.
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 "ANA" or "HANA" 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.
its E74
read above comment. but your partly right...
try plugging in the av cable then trun it on
1 red ring isnt the ring of death
did you google it? i think i found a site with fixes for it but idk what the link is anymore.

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
JacobC122 months ago
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?
shaqirn4 months ago

when i on the xbox only the red rings are coming.there's nothing working inside plss tell me how to fix it

LexiM5 months ago

I know someone who could find this useful

VanL6 months ago

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!!!

VanL VanL6 months ago

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Peace out, Van

tuckh4207 months ago
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.
temp_-1349512554.jpg

No problem with the new console ;)

TazzyUK1 year ago

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&Q, Maplins for example)?

jmawson1 year ago
Done the fixing of Xbox but now fans not working what has happened can it still b fixed and how

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 "repair" 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.

Pretty awesome that this instructable is still getting the love after 5+ years. Probably that's because it works! It took some tinkering, but in the end the RROD was cured on our Xbox 360.



One thing to watch out for is that some models have different heatsinks. Mine didn't look at all like the ones in the pictures. Thus, 20mm machine screws turned out to be way too long for the CPU heatsink. I made do with 16mm screws, but even those ran into the lowest set of fins. 12mm would have been best, but between Home Depot and Lowe's, I could only come up with 4 of those, just enough for the GPU.



I think I scrounged about 4 different types of washers (nylon and metal) plus a set of neoprene grommets to get everything at the proper heights. Beware, standard #10 metal washers are too wide, they can only be used at the outer corners. Nylon washers seem best; they are nice and compact.



When it came to the testing phase, we had no joy at first. Some of the comments here indicated that it might be good to play with the tension on the screws, and to overheat the GPU and CPU purposely, to get the new Arctic Silver thermal paste under the heatsinks all nice and oozy. So I disconnected the cooling fans, screwed down the heatsinks a bit tighter (especially the one over the CPU, since it hadn't felt as warm as the GPU's), and ran the Xbox 5-10 minutes, until a slightly smoky smell could be detected in the air. And lo: the blinking lights on the front had changed! I was seeing the two lights for overheating instead of the RROD. So I unplugged everything, let it cool down for 20 min. or so, hooked up the fans again, and kapow! It booted!



It was nearly midnight when the magic happened, so I wouldn't let my sons play with it right away. But I did get some real big hugs before they went to bed :-) No problems in the days since.
puduhead1 year ago
I signed up to say thank you for this tutorial. It worked! :)

Also thanks to the guy that gave those conversions on the 3/16 bolts to what Home Depot has them as: 10-32.

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.

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.

Thanks again.
Joell5602 years ago
Thanks! Was able to play for 8 hours straight with out locking up!
A huge thanks to Jake for these instructions! Mine didn't work at first either. Kept getting 3 RROD when I turned it back on. But I put the rest of the screws back in and found I had over tightened the new screws for the heatsinks. I did the other screws as tight as I could without damaging them and loosened off the new heatsinks screws. Tried it again and it worked! So in my case it was about getting the perfect tension on all the screws for it to work. It took a few tries, the first time i released the new heat sink screws a little way after putting other screws back it still didnt work. i took a bit more off and it then it sprung to life!!
joegravelle5 years ago
still have rrod even after doing the entire instructable. I've spent about an hour adjusting the heat sink pressure and nothing works.
rrod is general failure, not always only one cause. it could be something else, thought that was said on the first page, coulda been a different 'ible though
Just tried this excellent guide (coupled with Llama's guide) and my $25 rrod 360 is working like a champ. The original x-clamps were nowhere near holding the heatsinks on. Probably 1/16" play between the heatsinks and the chips... the result was ZERO cooling for the CPU/GPU. The manufacturer apparently made up for slop in the design by using a ton of thermal paste, but even that couldn't provide the needed heat transfer to the heatsink in the end.

I'm happy that I can give this better-than-original xbox 360 to my nephew!
awesome deal, i got an rrod for $20
my xbox did get caught on fire (by an idiot who lit a candle and went to sleep) so i replaced the parts i neede to (disc drive) and swapped the pcb from mine to the new one to avoid a flash being needed, turned it on and guess what happened after about two mins of running? says it was overheating, then it red ringed three lights:( hopefully your 'ible will help so i dont need a new one(fire voids the warranty i think lol, don't have to worry about messing it up really, got a working one for $40 but would be nice to fix my old one.(in case of another incident)
Very nice!
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