Instructables
Picture of Reflow Xbox 360
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So your Xbox got the dreaded Red Rings of Death... What to do? The way I look at it you can do one of three things. 

1) Send your console in to a big corporation, wait a month, and get a console that'll break in another month.
2) Throw it out or try and sell it. You could make $40 or so and put it towards a new console.
3) Try and fix it yourself. Now there are several paths you can take to "fix" your box, and hopefully this instructable will make this task less daunting (and explain the right way to do it)

So lets get started!

 
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Step 1: Fixes that DONT WORK

The problem behind the Red Rings (9 times out of 10) has to do with cracks, whiskers, and other issues with the solder balls under all of the BGA chips on the 360 MoBo caused by constant heating/cooling cycles. 

The Towel Fix-
People think that by wrapping their 360 in a towel and running it for excessive periods of time, the internal components will reach the melting point of lead-free solder (217C), and the bad joints under the BGAs will reflow, fixing the problem... I'm not even going to explain what's wrong with that picture. 

The Penny Fix-
By putting pennies underneath the GPU heatsink/on top of the RAM chips, the extreme pressure on the RAM BGAs will (in some cases) push the chip down enough that the bad joints make connections. Now this is all good and dandy save the fact that neither the solder balls nor the RAM were meant to take that kind of pressure, and this fix will only lead to more broken joints.

The "X-Clamp" Fix-
This fix utilizes the same basic principle as the penny fix. By removing the stock heatsink clamps, you can hold the CPU and GPU heatsinks on with machine screws. The idea is that you can over tighten the bolts causing the heatsinks to exert more pressure on the processors, pressing the broken solder joints down until they make connections. The issue with this is that more pressure inevitably leads to more broken joints... which leads to more pressure, which leads to more broken joints... the vicious cycle continues until you get micro fractures in the chips and your console is dead for good. 
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xbox.james28 days ago
Sunset Overdrive White Xbox One Unboxing

http://xboxforsale2.blogspot.com/2014/10/sunset-overdrive-white-xbox-one-unboxing.html

omendata11 months ago
Dont waste time using a heat gun or any of these towel or clamp methods on the chip - bad bad bad idea!

Take the chip off the board - clean the board chip area and the chip itself completely of solder using a heat gun and some bga flux then use copper braid to get the last remnants off!

It is then a matter of re-balling the chip using a stencil.
Putting it back on the board is slightly tricky getting it lined up but all thats left is to flux it and melt it back on.

There is a good tutorial on the net from a bunch of guys who supply all you need for about £30 - you will of course need a decent reflow solder station.

If you are not prepared to do it right then hand it in to a specialist!
Thunder63222 years ago
I only own a heat gun that has twelve heat settings on it. Is it okay if I don't use exact temps. I have never done this before, but I am planning on it.
i also tried this with my laptop and a crappy 2 temp heat gun. first temp was for 100 seconds, and the second was done incrementally closer to the gpu for 20 seconds, then 100 more seconds on low while backing away from it. to this day it is still working.
Do you remove the gummy looking pads that cover the four chips on the underside by the x-clamps when you secure it to the griddle, or is ok to leave them on during the reflow?
bshi022 years ago
I live in korea and It is nearly impossible to buy below items or alternative for following this repair guide.
Aoyue 968 Reworking Station
-Rework Nozzle #4141
-Modified Presto Griddle

I plan to do traditional soldering way(by hand BGA soldering), instead of doing this reflow process which require many equipments.
Is it possible only to use 30 watt soldering iron for resolering solder joints near or underneath of GPU chipset?
and this traditional soldering can take place of reflowing process?
I'm sorry for my weird English and double posting on step 10,and thanks any replies in advance.
No,

As the joints that need soldering are mounted underneath the chip, in a matrix format, it wold be impossible to get your soldering iron under there and resolder every single joint.
ken261012 years ago
My 360 doesn't even get the RRD. We get nothing at all. We had the power supply tested and it is working just fine. Anyone got any suggestions?
Maybe your connections from the socket for power to the board is busted
94todd2 years ago
the towel method DOES NOT MELT THE SOLDER, the lead free solder has a melting point that when doing my xbox mod, i had to buy a new solder gun because the one i used didnt get hot enough, what this does is it trips a temp sensor and turns off the console, this can also be done by opening the console and unplugging the fans, which i have personally done several times, or by putting some kind of non metal stick through the holes in the back to lock up the fans. if the console got hot enough to melt the solder, it would melt the plastic components of the console, as well as probably quite literally burst into flames.
Could I use this same process on a PS3?
bshi022 years ago
I live in korea and It is nearly impossible to buy below items or alternative for following this repair guide.
Aoyue 968 Reworking Station
-Rework Nozzle #4141
-Modified Presto Griddle

I plan to do traditional soldering way(by hand BGA soldering), instead of doing this reflow process which require many equipments.
Is it possible only to use 30 watt soldering iron for resolering solder joints near or underneath of GPU chipset?
and this traditional soldering can take place of reflowing process?
I'm sorry for my weird English,and thanks any replies in advance.
wildboy1.52 years ago
thank for the inf
wildboy1.52 years ago
im with you i hate it
Anasazi293 years ago
I cant get this to work. I bought all of the exact items. I have about 12 xboxes. I have tried 3 so far and nothing. still RROD. I check the error codes they have and all of them say CPU/GPU overheat. I cant figure out what I'm doing wrong. I even did a test motherboard and lifted the gpu off of one by up'ing the heat to 530.
out of the 3 that I've tried, I have tried each several times. 10 - 15 times total, so far.
I'm going to turn the air flow up and try hotter. and go from there.
Airflow rate makes a huge difference and varies between stations, another reason to just give it to a pro/specialist. Nice tut, but I would use slightly longer times and you make no mention of flux, once you have burnt that out (which might have already happened.. dam unleaded solder) then all the heat in the world wont fix ur box! But if I need to tell you that then you probably should just pay the 50dollars and give it to a pro and make it their problem, plus they should give u a warranty. If you follow this method (and this has to be one of the best ones I've seen) then you might get up to another year or so out of it, if it's done correctly you should NEVER get another RROD ever again! (at least not for 10-20 years by which time ur 3rd DVD drive has died anyways ;-)
Dude if you really have 12 xboxes and you cannot get one to work then you are definitely doing something wrong. email me you phone number and I'll take a few minutes out to show you how--I get 9 out of 10 xboxes fixed from 3 rrod (1 rrod is fixable with reflow but only last so long, eventually it will stop working for good). Email me @ staller519@gmail.com.
ten775 years ago
If you mess up ur x clamps, just replace them with bolts http://www.instructables.com/id/Fix-your-Xbox-360-360-MKII-x-clap-replacment/
two fixes for the price of one!
Danthaman ten773 years ago
Bad idea!! Good way to kill a mobo, those X-clamps are tensioned for a reason!! Just give it to a (good) local pro.. I could go-on all-day why it's a bad idea to try this urself... money/time/health/xbox/sanity but don't listen to me.... Go ahead don't spend the one-off 50 or so dollars and get a warranty, waste it on tools etc.. that you will only use once if you get it right.. which isn't likely unless you have the qualifications/experience/methods etc.. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for DIY if you're studying specialised SMC techniques at tech-college etc then this is one of the better tuts I've seen, and if you read it properly you would know why using so-called 'x-clamp' kits are a bad idea..
Anyway.. GTG fix some DIY RROD stuff-ups... Good Luck :D
jotausa4 years ago
Hi everyone I follow the steps to reflow   my xbox 360 but still has the three red lights,
am I doing wrong
Trying to do it yourself... Seriously, there's a lot of good reasons to get this done by a pro, it's kinda like exhaust on a car, even if u spend years learning how to do it correctly (something that can't be even 50% covered in an internet tutorial) then you still have to pay for the equipment etc.. not to mention health issues all to find-out it's still not right.

This is one of the better tuts I've seen, but even if you work somewhere with all the BGA- re-work equipment, it's probably not worth it.

Find a good pro Xbox repaired locally and make it their problem, For 50 or so dollars it's just not worth the hassle plus u should get a warranty.
three red lights isn't the 'red ring of death'. it's some other internal failure. actually, maybe not. i remember one itme my friend's 360, i think we accidentally pulled out the controllers while playing a game, and three red lights came on. we panicked, but we said, 'it's not the ring, it's only 3 lights.' To make the 'red ring of death, ALL 4 LIGHTS have to be red. Best way to fix your problem, buy a PS3. Free online and better graphics. What's not to like?
red ring of death is 3 rings, I know this, 4 rings means either no AV cable detected(or it is inserted incorrectly), which is easily fixable, just unplug the video, and hit the on switch, tell me what it says, plug the video cable back in, and it works. 3 rings actually means "General Hardware Failure" they can be falsely triggered, as in your scenario(I can force a 360 to display RROD, the 3 rings, but I won't tell you how), but you did have RROD.

And I know it is RROD, I am on my 2nd 360, my first one 3 ringed on my, I also had a dead video cable once, it 4 ringed, and I have never had it overheat(which is 2 rings). 1 also is RRod, but generally is a different problem(usually involving the GPU).

So no, you are wrong, RRod Is 1 or 3.
I think we established that.....2 months ago. If you'd read the comments, you may have noticed hoihoi151 correcting me....now I don't mind being corrected, but another person stating the same thing 2 months after someone else, that's kind of annoying.
3 rings is RROD. you're going to hear it until the end of time :)
Wow.... way to argue your point....

Yes, RROD is 3-lights
Wrong bro.
(removed by author or community request)
Heyy, thanks for commenting. Not like this had been resolved another inch or two down the screen, or anything.
3 lights is the ring of death. its hardware failure.
hmm, but it's not a ring, it's 3/4 of a ring. plus, my friends 360 put three lights because we accidentally did something to the controllers, but we plugged them back in and everything was fine, soo...........if 3 lights is the 'red ring', then they should really call it something besides the red ring.
yes its 3/4 ring. rrod is a slang term for it. they couldnt call it THE 3/4 RED RING OF DOOM/DEATH 1 red light. System error 2 red lights over heated 3 read lights general hardware failure (rrod) 4 read lights AV connector is unplugged. sourced directly from microsoft.
sometimes the rrod is not in fact overheating but a different internal issue, i have been fixing xbox's for 4 years now so i know a bit about them, if doing the re-flow does not work check your Hannah chip it is the large black chip located near the av port here is a link to a picture the red box is the Hannah chip http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t259/option350z/f_360elitemobm_b1b37ef-1.jpg check for shorts or pins coming off, heat gun it too! if this still! doesn't work (which my personal xbox did) check your capacitors generally the 6.3v 2200 uf ones are the only ones that do this but check the tops of them if they are bubbling outwards replace them, and if this still does not work then you are just doing something completely wrong or there is an issue with your physical cpu/gpu chip or there is a problem with the etch happy fixing!! by the way great instructible! keep up the good work
Thank you.
What do you do if your hd only work intermitently but standard def works fine?
you open your xbox 360 and check the solder connections resolder it on anyway (heatgun it if you want) check connections again, check the etching. then put the xbox back together power it up see if it still malfunctions then get a new cable hope this works for you!!!
mgiljum jotausa4 years ago
yes
Danthaman3 years ago
You guys should really just give it to a pro and pay the 50-80$ .. you get a warranty (usually) you don't have to outlay hundreds of dollars you need to do it anywhere near effectively or have to do the SMT certification, you don't risk lymphoma that many techs get from SMC flux and you don't have the Head-f@$#

Find a local pro, that's a better use of your time, be careful there are lots of shonky operators you can go on xbox-scene and find one near you, ask them what equipment they are using and what qualifications they have.

BELIEVE ME IT WORTH IT! Then you can get back to playing, if done correctly (Full BGA repair with leaded solder, not reflow) then your Xbox will easily last another 10-20 years without ever RRODing. Also not all RROD's are the same it takes a lot of experience and technical knowledge to know how best to approach it. Pro's spend a lot of time (and charge extra) fixing other ppl's RROD-repair stuff-ups, sometimes it will work for a while but often M$'s design-flaws mixed with ppl's ignorance mean that it (usually)will get worse each time.

This guy's on the right track, but if u didn't already know the stuff here (that he got right that is..) then u probably shouldn't be wasting ur time/money/health/xbox when u can make it some else's problem :D

gfarnsworth3 years ago
methyl ethyl ketone is the best cleaner as it cuts through the thermal paste and draws most of the moisture out of the board for the re-flow which prevents de-lamination (cracking under stress)
joelyboy943 years ago
hi everyone,
could someone please help me find an electric griddle with temperature control with temperature markings on it from the UK please??
I can't find any!!!!!!

btw great instructable :)
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