Introduction: Proper Care for Your 360 and 360 Hardware

Picture of Proper Care for Your 360 and 360 Hardware

If you're one of those people who want to take really good care of your 360, then this is the Instructable for you.

This is my first instructable, so please give me some feedback on how I did or how I can improve.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

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Here is a list of materials that you will need for the process:

compressed air
polishing cloth

Nyko Intercooler (EX model)
small screwdriver (the ones for glasses usually work best)

Step 2: 360 Dusting

Picture of 360 Dusting

Take your can of Compressed air, point at the 360 as shown in the pictures. Only give bursts of air as this is more effective than holding down the trigger. Holding the trigger down also creates a layer of frost on the outside if your aren't careful. If the bottle does get cold enough, then the air pressure will be cut down to less than 10%. The main targets are the vent holes and the cracks between the 360's case parts.

Also, you should think about getting that dust out of the disc drive. Even though you are spraying the dust back in the disc drive, it is also coming out of another place, because you have so much air pressure. The disc drive is sealed up pretty tight, so you can guarantee that the dust is not getting inside of your 360.

The AC adapter also has vent holes and a fan inside of it, so don't forget to dust the vent holes on the adapter.

The dust that you blow off will not enter your system, it only bounces off of the plastic it's sitting on and gets into the surrounding air.

Step 3: Polishing

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Polishing is not difficult on the 360. Just polish the parts that are shiny, such as the power button, disc drive faceplate, infrared receiver, and if you have one of the earlier models instead of the new ones, the side of the HDD. You can find a polish cloth at your local convenient store for less than a buck.

Step 4: Xbox 360 Motorized Filter

Picture of Xbox 360 Motorized Filter

Dust can easily get inside the 360. I tried just placing filters on the vent holes, but it still got dust inside of it (I guess the filters weren't rated for small dust particles).I did, however, build a motorized one. Just take a look at the pictures below. It also didn't work as well as I thought, but that is just the filter. I will be replacing the filter on it with a better one. If you're interested, I will be making a Instructable in the near future for one. It won't look like this one though. Mine broke after these pictures were taken, but that was from me accidentally stepping on it when it wasn't in use. Just goes to show: Watch where you're stepping!

Step 5: Keeping Your 360 Dust/Debris Free

The simple way to do this is take some of the filter material(shown below(i will include a picture later, I'm having to spend some time with my grandparents, so I don't have my camera right now)) and cut it into pieces, those resembling the size and shape of the vent holes on the 360. You can just place them on the vents or you can tape down the sides with a little tape. If you're using tape, use painter's tape or some of that other tape you usually find in schools, it's like "Scotch" brand "Magic" tape or something like that. I have tested this filter material on multiple projects and the airflow is actually better than that blue filter material you saw in step 1! It also catches the dust better too.

Step 6: Inserting the Intercooler (optional)

Picture of Inserting the Intercooler (optional)

Because of many rumors around that Microsoft can run secret tests over Xbox Live, this step is to be avoided. If you have a 360 with an intercooler, take it off immediately. If you do want an intercooler, but don't want it to void the warranty, look around the internet and try to find someone that has modded one of these to hook up through a wall adapter, instead of the 360's. This has the same effect at cooling you system, without Microsoft knowing. If you would like me to mod or make an intercooler forthe 360, please leave your suggestions and ideas in the comments section, and I will get to them ASAP.

Step 7: Cleaning the Controller's Cracks (optional)

Picture of Cleaning the Controller's Cracks (optional)

Take the screwdriver and place it down into the crack. Turn the screwdriver so it fills as much of the gap as possible (see picture below). Gently scrape the gunk out of the crack, take it out every once in a while and blow out the loose crud with the compressed air. The gunk that normally builds up is the oils from your skin as you play. It's not toxic sludge or anything like that, so don't be grossed out (cause it's probably yours).

Step 8: Extra

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Always keep your batteries charged (unless they're disposable), this gives you an upper hand when you're in mid combat in Halo3 or Call of Duty and your battery runs out. And keeping your battery charged will keep up it's "memory" or how much juice it can hold. It's memory decreases over time, but keeping it charged makes it take longer to deplete.

If you're taking your 360 different places, don't just put it in a cardboard box or in a bag. Get a good reliable case for it, it keeps it protected and if you get the right one, it allows you to play it while it's inside of the case. The one that I have is Naki-World's G-Pak 360. This is the only one so far that I have found to do exceptionally well. It's cheaper than other cases, but does a lot better. It also allows you to play the 360 inside the case without it overheating, because they have large vent holes on the sides. Intec has an aluminum case, but I have 2 of them and they have already broke. The aluminum also bends very easily. In a shortened note, DON'T BUY THE HARD CASES!!! They don't last very long.

And if you have a Memory Unit... Keep the case!!!! The case protects it from humidity and dust in the air.

I believe that concludes my instructable. Thanks for reading guys... and also the girls out there who also play video games.

Step 9: Upcoming Instructables

Well, it looks like plans have changed again. This time I'm keeping it this way. I will not be able to work on the Xbox projects I have wanted to do for reasons unknown. Because of my career choice and other stuff such as college, I am changing my plans to PC building/modding/etc.

I am sorry for any of you who were looking forward to those projects.

My first Instructable for PC Building will be a Portable, High-Powered, PC. Most of you might be thinking: "That's what laptops are for!"... Yeah you have part of a point, but for most of us energy users out there, we want something with much more "kick" if you catch my drift. I'm not letting out any more details until it is built. Date of completion: No later than the end of this summer. Reason for taking so long: budget, custom case, custom cooling system, and custom modding. All worth the wait.


Wally_Z (author)2011-04-12

Please don't tell me you run your Xbox when it is on the black case made of cloth. The way it is pictured in the intro of this Instructable. It doesn't degrade ventilation that much but it's not a very good idea.

Wally_Z (author)2011-04-12

As you may have noticed from the many comments about the Intercooler, is that it SUCKS. This video explains the airflow and how to improve performance on your Xbox:

Jeebiss (author)2008-08-17

I seriously hope you do not run 360 in that case. With both the case, and the intercooler attached, the restricted airflow level is high.

MrNintendo (author)Jeebiss2008-08-18

I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but I don't understand what you're talking about. The intercooler doesn't restrict the airflow, the vent holes on the side allow much more airflow than it needs. The intercooler won't affect the airflow by restricting it, it should improve it.

macwhiz (author)MrNintendo2010-06-25

The intercooler pushes air into the xbox and the internal fans pull air out so an intercooler will work better if you flip the fans in the intercooler like I did

Jimbobjoeyman (author)macwhiz2010-09-18

thats so stupid
sorry to be blunt but it is the intercooler pushes air out of the 360 and so do the stock fans.
by flipping the fans aroud you have stopped the hot air from leaving your 360 because the intercooler will overpower the stock fans and stop them from working

The intercooler has been rumored to push so much airflow through the case as to overcome the rotational capacity of the internal stock fans, significantly shortening their shelf life. I've never had a heat problem with mine, but then again, I don't run it inside of any enclosure, soft or otherwise. My 360 seems to run pretty darn cool all by itself, so I consider myself lucky.

yolarrydabomb (author)2008-05-22

Intercooler Drains the power on your board and causes RROD. Some Intercoolers can melt the plastic. Microsoft picks up information Fan Speed, Voltage, etc from live to make sure nobody modding so if I was you, remove it off your 360

junits15 (author)yolarrydabomb2010-08-30

the 360's PSU is a 203 watt unit. The 12v rail can supply 16 amps! the intercooler can melt, but MS cannot find out, they don't give a sh*t if you have an intercooler. It dosnt cause the RROD, that is caused by poor manufacturing on MS's part. The stuff that gets you kicked is JTAGing and reflashing your dvd drive's firmware not an intercooler.

MrNintendo (author)yolarrydabomb2008-05-23

I already took off my intercooler, but thanks for your concern. I'm in the process of making a more efficient one. The only problem is that it will have to draw off a power outlet for maximum air flow. If I didn't have to have a great amount of air flow, I would just hook it up to the USB port.

yolarrydabomb (author)MrNintendo2008-05-24

Yeah I was thinking about buying intercooler and rewire it to a DC plug-in or something.

You know there is one just like that bit instead it serves as a stand, I heard it doesn't draw power from the 360 and does not cause the RROD. I can't quite remember its name though.

It is called a 'Pelican Fan Stand'. They are easily found on eBay.

wait does this fan replace the one on the inside. im getting confused cause i was under the impression that it went on the outside but you said it would void the warranty. Personally i think the ones on the outside are a waist of money. Just buy a new internal fan to replace the stock one and it will cool the xbox just as well as externals...even better actually. and it doesnt make your xbox big and bulky ( and they can light up to :D )

Yeah but what happened if you cut the speed cable coming from the fan so you could use the cooler??

junits15 (author)2010-08-30

I don't know why people are so afraid of getting kicked off of live. MS has no way of knowing if you have an intercooler, its analog hardware. There are no diagnostics tests that anybody could run to show that there is an intercooler, because its not sending data to the machine.

cmolle (author)2010-03-17

There is a new version add on fan from Nyko - the Intercooler TS

This one has its own power supply and it senses the air temperature - it will keep running after the XBox is turned off to help cool it down.

The fact that this one runs after the console is off makes sense - so I upgraded to it just to be sure my console survives longer.

timothy demaegdt (author)2009-04-29

just build an usb pc fan and place it on the side of the xbox

MaximReapage (author)2008-11-10

Memory effect is a think of the past. Newer rechargeable batteries have no such problems.


Thing* of the past.

jrod92 (author)MaximReapage2008-11-11

Not entirely true, it depends on the battery type. Nimh and Nicd suffer from it, thats why lithium batteries(lipo, liion) are so much better. The 360 rechargeables along with most AA and AAA rechargeables are all Nimh usually, so these do suffer from "memory effect", not as badly as Nicd though. Just every once in awhile use them til their pretty close to dead, then recharge them all the way. its called cycling and it should extend the battery life sufficiently.

tbird45039 (author)2008-10-24

hello estupido you cant compress air into a liquid!!!!!!!! nitrogen and oxygen by themselves is a different story.

MrNintendo (author)tbird450392008-10-30

True you can't compress air into a liquid. The compressed air in the container that I was using had a mix different gases such as nitrogen and oxygen, allowing it to compress into a liquid.

vicelord (author)2008-08-19

hello how are you all doing i have a question for mr.nintendo.....should i get the intercooler?because my mom doesnt give me allowance and i have to work for my cash so i need to save as much as i can to prevent rrod and is this is unrelated but can i use a usb 2.0 wireless network adapter on my 360 to access xbox live?

lapdswat (author)vicelord2008-09-30

if i were u i would not get the intercooler and i messes it up read my comment

ATImaster005 (author)vicelord2008-09-21

A few of my friends have the intercooler and they all hate it. I wouldn't bother. (And for everyone that was wondering, it does not void your warranty)

Sgt.Bacon (author)vicelord2008-09-16

you can go to and find out how to use your computer to hook it up to xbox live if your xbox is near your computer

MrNintendo (author)vicelord2008-08-22

Well it's completely up to you. How old is your xbox? If it's fairly new, only about 1-1 1/2 years old, then it doesn't really need it. Besides you could probably build one cheaper, just buy 2 pc fans from for a few dollars, find an extra USB cable lying around, cut and strip the wires, attach the red and black wires to the wires on the fan, place or tape the fans to the back of the 360 and plug it in. The USB wireless adapter though, I'm not sure, which one are you talking about? The one that was made for the 360 or one for a pc? If it's for a pc, I have no idea, sorry.

lapdswat (author)2008-09-30

first off for vicelord do not get the inter cooler and dude i have to agree with that guy who said stuff bout the intercooler i had 1 and after a few days i got the ring of death from that i was pissed so i took it off it works fine and a quick note just get a milk crate and put your xbox on it it works better than any intercooler

Sgt.Bacon (author)2008-09-16

yea, the intercooler is bad, my friend had one and in about four months his 360 killed off (rrod), on another note if you ask me, playNtrade is much better than gamestop, but if gamestop is closer go to it, gas is way to expensive.

djtomczak678 (author)2008-07-17

!DO NOT USE THE INTER COOLER TAKE IT OFF IMEDIATLEY! I used one it started getting loud after a while so I brought it to gamestop to trade it in and only got 1.50 for it and they said that there worthless and they can over time burn up the other fans on your 360 they also said the 360 was suppose to run hot the intercooler rushes air through the fans inside the 360 and runs them to fast and burns them up like if your running at you top speed and then you are pushed to go faster and you run out of breath and cannot run any more microsoft can run test on your 360 secretly over live and they can see fan speed voltage etc. all I'm saying is the fans are BAD

cbarnes0061 (author)djtomczak6782008-09-15

I can assure people that the intercooler will not burn up the fans on their 360. I have had one on my console for a year now with no problems and my console runs considerably cooler because of it. so long as you get the newer version of the intercooler it will be fine.

MrNintendo (author)djtomczak6782008-07-18

Thanks for the comment. I had removed my intercooler a couple months ago. About Microsoft doing secret tests over Xbox Live, is that just a rumor or has it happened to a few people. I had my intercooler in my 360 for a good 6 months while connected to Live. I had to send my 360 in for repairs (No it wasn't the intercooler, I removed it when I heard it caused problems, 5 weeks after that, my 360's OS started glitching up) and I got a brand new 360 back with a letter saying that they replaced my 360 for "a faster gaming experience". It didn't have anything on there saying that I had voided the warranty or anything.

djtomczak678 (author)MrNintendo2008-08-23

my 360 that i had the fan on before got hit with a power surge and i sent it in and the sent it back saying that i voided the warranty with the fan i jus bot a core system cus the hd wasnt on the 360 cus i was at a friends house

NICKSTER117 (author)djtomczak6782008-08-23

This is true, it broke my 360. I had to send it, they couldn't fix it so they sent me a new console. if your gonna make a fan for your xbox 360, make one that has its own power, not one that connects to your xbox 360 PSU.

vicelord (author)2008-08-19

how exactly do water-cooling systems work?

vicelord (author)vicelord2008-08-22

oh ok i understand the but another difference is that a watercoolings systems water doesnt leak since its used for indoor use unlike an airconditoner but since it uses a water block system shouldnt there be a tank were you have to empty on occasion or else suffer malfunction?

MrNintendo (author)vicelord2008-08-24

Not necessarily, there are 2 types, open-air systems and sealed systems. Open-air systems have a small tank that holds extra cooling fluid, since when liquid heats up, it expands. With that tank, it's less complicated, but it does have some drawbacks, one is space, the other I'm not sure about, all I know is there are a few drawbacks besides space. Sealed systems are more complicated, but they provide less space and usually last longer. With sealed systems, you must put the fluid inside without air bubbles. Just like brakes, you must not have any air bubbles in the system or the brakes won't function properly. As long as you keep debris out of the system, it will run fine.

MrNintendo (author)vicelord2008-08-19

They work similar to a fridge or a car's water-cooling system. A PC water-cooling system uses a different substance other than freon (found in fridges and Air-conditioners) and radiator fluid (Coolant for a car). The coolant is pumped through a series of tubes to the CPU and/or GPU. It passes through a Water-block (similar to a heatsink, except without the air cooling) that is attached to the Processor the same way a heatsink would. Since the coolant is colder than the Processor, heat flows from the processor to the coolant, making the processor cooler (Hot flows to cold (one of Newton's laws, forget which one)). The coolant is then pumped back into a small radiator, and a fan blows the heat from the coolant as it passes through the radiator, making cold again. Air conditioners work the same way, except it has another fan to blow the coldness of the freon through the house.

cotton (author)2008-08-17

i will tell you how they know you used uit your xbox hets burned by it maaalfunining and your xbox dosent rrod fast or at all

Jake Turner (author)2008-08-03

Hey man, great Instructable, it might be common sense like some people said, but it's a good collection of little things you might forget. There's a new Intercooler coming out this fall, it has it's own power supply and even cools after you shut down the 360. Might wanna look into that when it launches.

As for your next 'ible (taking a RRoD 360 and modding it after repairs), you might wanna try the method I laid out in this tutorial:

It works niiice.

MrNintendo (author)Jake Turner2008-08-03

Thanks man. But i do have a mod I am going to do, so your idea won't work, sorry. I am replacing the original air-cooled design with a simple watercooling system. The system will actually be inside the case instead of either most or part of it hangin' out of the case, making for a much neater project. Here'sHere's the watercooling system I will be using.

It is cheap and pretty good at cooling down any PC so far, so why can't it go into a game console? Another advantage about the system is that the pump, radiator, and fans are all one unit, so there is only one place to find to install it. The system has no tank, so it must not get any air into it while you're putting the coolant inside of it. But it does conserve space, and a tank can be added if needed.

Jake Turner (author)MrNintendo2008-08-04

Hey, there's nothing to be sorry about, that was just a creative suggestion. But I'd see why you wouldn't bother, no sense in it if you're removing the standard heatsinks. Anyhow, good luck!

MrNintendo (author)Jake Turner2008-08-04

Thanks again!

Storm950 (author)2008-07-26

Xbox 360's instruction booklet specifically tells you NOT to use compressed air.

MrNintendo (author)Storm9502008-07-26

Thanks for the tip, it must have not been in mine, I bought mine in October '07. Still running great and it hasn't overheated yet or gotten the RRoD.

Storm950 (author)2008-07-26

Yeah, anyway good instructable. I was planning to make one, but I might aswell just say my point here. 1. Leave sufficient space behind the Xbox to allow the waste hot air move away. 2. If it is getting hot, elevate it up off the surface on all 4 corners with something. 2. Get to know the hardware inside, I have an Elite and it was bought after April so it has a Falcon chip, I also checked on the box and this confirms this. Therefore it has been rumoured to reduce the chance of RROD. Hope this helps anybody, I am new to Xbox 360, I have an Elite. Bought it off a friend in pretty much mint condition with 5 games for £200. Great deal.

Head Wound (author)2008-07-22

Your Instructable is not bad at all. A lot of good advice there. Most of your Instructable I would say is mostly common sense, but that is assuming an individual Xbox 360 owners have an (not a rip on Xbox owners). Anyways keep up the good work.

MrNintendo (author)Head Wound2008-07-23

Thanks, and yeah it is mainly common sense, but the world is losing its common sense. I see a lot of people where I work that have lost most of their common sense.

djtomczak678 (author)2008-07-17

where did you get that carrying case i had a similar one for my ps2 and i realy liked it and when i got my 360 i wanted the same one but couldnt find it