Xbox 360 12v Fan Mod




make your xbox 360 fans run at full speed for maximum cooling.

This modification will invalidate any warranty that you may have on your xbox, if you have warranty left on your box i strongly suggest you do not attempt this or any other modification that requires opening the xbox 360 unless you are prepared to face the consequences.

Yes this does make the xbox 360 quite loud, the use of a potentiometer could allow for a variable fan speed but i didn't have one to hand at the time of doing this mod.

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Step 1: Introduction

This modification will invalidate any warranty that you may have on your xbox, if you have warranty left on your box i strongly suggest you do not attempt this or any other modification that requires opening the xbox 360 unless you are prepared to face the consequences.

The writing below is the theory on why i did this mod... it is not necessary for you to read it.
My xbox 360 was getting extremely hot and causing my games to freeze and at one point even gave me the red ring of death, so I set about trying to find a way to keep it cooler after doing some looking and probing with my vault meter. After looking at the fans in the back of the xbox i noticed that theyre listed as 12v, but when i attached my volt meter to the fan pins they are only drawing a 5v current. This is because when the xbox is relatively cool the fans are kept slow to keep the xbox quiet, and as it heats up the fan speed should increase, however this doesnt always work properly so i set about finding a 12v source to power my fans, i settled on using the dvd rom drive power cable. Well thats the background covered now to set about opening the 360.

To start with we will need some tools:
Torx screwdriver size T-10
2 small flat blade screwdrivers
Wire strippers, or sharp knife
Electrical tape

Step 2: Removing the Case

Picture 1.

First start by removing the faceplate, this is fairly easy, with the xbox on its side, give the base end a firm tug and the faceplate should pop free, don't be scared of pulling to hard, these things are fairly robust.

Picture 2.

Next step is to remove the bottom and top vent covers, to do this use one of the small flat bladed screw drivers, by looking into the holes on the side of the case you should see 3 plastic tabs by pushing against these you can free the vents from the case, there are 3 plastic tabs on each side.

The Top is slightly more tricky. the front tab's are set higher so can't be accessed through the ventilation holes in the side of the case. to unclip these look at picture 3 for guide on how to get to the tabs.

one of the tabs for the top vent is hidden behind one of the rubber feet as shown in picture 4.

Step 3: Removing the Case (continued)

in image one i have circled the 7 clips that hold the back of the case together, these each need to be freed to allow the case to come apart. i will attempt to explain how i do it which i believe to be the easiest way i have discovered.

this is where the two screw drivers come into place.

as you can see in picture 2 if you start at the end of the box with the power connector and push a screw driver into each of these holes, you should hear a distinct clicking noise when the clip is depressed.

once these two clips have come undone use one hand to hold this end of the xbox apart using a small amount of pressure to make a gap between the two halves of the box

now push one of your screwdrivers into the middle of the fan ventialtion section, there are two clips here which come apart with very little force.

now push slightly harder with your hand that is holding the box apart, and proceed to press in the final 5 clips above the video port of the xbox each of these should make a distinct clicking noise as you work your way to the opposite end of the box.

now you have the back spread far enough so that the clips won't go back together turn the box around and unclip the large clips on the front (picture 3).

and remove the base section of the xbox.

Congratulations you have just completed the hardest part of this mod.

now look at picture 4, place your screw driver inbetween the black part and the plastic and pry these apart it should come off with very little effort

Step 4: You've Nearly Got the Box Apart.

I have circled six screws in red, this is where the t-10 screwdriver comes in, remove these screws from the box, once removed take hold of the box turn it over and then remove the top section.

You should be left with what looks like picture 2, except mine has some lights and bits in it.

Carefully lift the dvd drive from the box and remove both the cables from the back of the box as shown in picture 3. then also remove the cables from the points where they are attached on the motherboard.

Step 5:

picture 1 is an image of the DVD-drive power connector from the xbox 360. i have circled the ground and 12v connections on it.

now i couldn't get any pictures of the next steps as my camera died so i will do my best to explain...

take the dvd-drive power connector, take the two wires that would connect to these two points on the motherboard and strip them half way down, it is important that the original connections remain intact so when stripping try not to break the cable.

from these bare pieces of wire attach a short length of wire to each then wrap the bare wire in insulation tape to prevent any shorts.

you should now have two pieces of wire coming from your dvd drive cable. these need to be attached to the fan inside the xbox, the fan wiring is like this.

red + brown need to be attached to +12v
blue and black need to be attached to Ground

picture 2 showsd how my wiring looked afterwards.

Step 6: Re-assembly.

reconnect the dvd power and sata cables to the motherboard

reconnect the cables to the dvd-drive

replace top of the case, flip over and re-insert the six screws,

place on the bottom panel clipping it together at the front first then at the back

replace top and bottom vent covers.

replace face plate.

your 12v mod is now complete.

turn on your xbox and let it run cool.

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    42 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I did this much more simply, I found the speed control transistor within an inch of the fan connector and soldered a wire from the 12v side to the output side on the motherboard, took an inch and a half of wire.

    Just use a continuity meter, or Digital meter set to Ohms.  The 12v at the DC in connector will show a connection to one leg of the transistor, the large tab on the transistor will connect to the + side of the fan.

    This way you are using the intended power traces for the Fan and adding the minimum of wire to an out of the way place.  I would be careful of jumping the bottom wire and make sure not to pinch it in the case.

    I did the GPU side fan, it is the transistor on top of the motherboard, the CPU side transistor is on the bottom of the motherboard.

    For what its worth this is an original console and it seems to have a memory problem.  I have clamped and overheated the GPU and CPU, but it will freeze randomly without regard for the temperature of the heatsinks.

    I put some heat transfer pads on the bottom mem chips, and graphics card "ramsinks" on two of the top RAM and the two other chips toward the back.

    It played for 4 hours without a crash after the ramsinks, I might turn up the other fan to 12v as well, for a $15 console it is doing pretty well actually.

    6 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    to undo this could you just cut the wire?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I did a little research on the way you did the mod. The reason I bring this up is I’m looking at putting in the 12 volt mod myself and you’re method seems clean and simple enough. Not having to cut wires and run them across the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) without connectors is a real plus.
    FYI, on 360 Elite model the component is not a transistor, it is a MOSFET. The three legs of the devise are as follows. The leg on the right is called the Source, that’s from where you’ll be picking up the 12 volts. The center leg you’ll notice is not connected, that’s because the top tab is actually the same point and it called the Drain, that’s the output of the device. The leg on the left is called the Gate. That’s what allows the connection between the Source and the Drain of the device. IE… the more current that’s present on the Gate the higher the output voltage and the more air flow there should be.
    Here’s what I discovered on the Elite: The Gate and the Drain are connected to one side of two resisters on the top side of the board. The other sides of these resisters are tied together and head off toward the Graphics chip, PN X802478-003. This chip controls the HDMI section of the Graphics chip set. The way these two resisters are connected creates a voltage divider network that the graphics chip set is somehow using as a cooling feedback reference voltage and is testing it.
    IE… the higher the feedback voltage the more cooling should be supplied to the unit, the lower the voltage the less cooling.
    With this in mind I’m wondering if this will affect using the HDMI output to the monitor or if one is using the Red, White and Yellow leads from the A/V cable does this make a difference. As there’s no Data Sheet on this chip set, thank you Microsoft, will it affect the unit’s ability to operate in the either mode? So I’m asking if anyone has tried this on a 360 in both the HDMI and the Composite video modes and does it affect it? This would be great to know information for all of us.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Here is the CPU Fan transistor on the bottom side of the motherboard.

    The GPU transistor is on the top side and is identical.

    I just used a jumper wire to connect the 12v + leg to the Output tab for the fan.

    I recommend this PDF of all the Headers and Connectors on the board:

    Picture sources:


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    BTW my fan connector is only a 3 pin connector so you're board is most likely older and may be a little different.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    There is quite a discussion here, I just found these as someone PM'd me asking about the transistors.

    Not affiliated, just providing some info for people curious about it.

    I recommend this instructable if soldering irons on computer boards isn't your favorite thing to do.

    nice work. checkout my 3 fan video card mod i made -


    5 years ago on Introduction

    makes xbox loud but does work! I used a different solder point though as it was easier. Xbox may be loud but dont notice it with volume and being immersed in a game!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Just curious, but how the hell do you get a 5 volt current?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    would a jasper model be 360s?, cause ive opened mine and, let me tell you, it is packed tight in there


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, using the 12v linefrom the DVD drive is NOT a good idea. It has led to 3 red light errors in the past. There are MUCH better places to get the 12v from....namely on the bottom of the PCB where the power connector is soldered to the board. The pad is large enough to solder larger gauge wire to and have a more reliable connection. Using the dvd 12v line can cause power fluctuations on the line and could cause all kinds of unforeseen issues.

    6 replies

    That’s probably because the DVD’s power source is picking up motor noise from the DC motor brushes in the fans and looking at the etches that lead into that socket they are very small and that can make them subject to noise pick up. While this may not be an issue, at this time with every unit, as the fans get older and the brushes ware down a little the noise will increases. Additionally the drive can be affected making the system think there’s an issue with the drive and cause an error indication. I know this seems a little over the top but as a retired Test Engineer having worked in electronics for over 20 years I’ve run into this kind of issue before. Just an FYI the larger the etch the less it will be subject to the noise.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    the power fluctuations from the DVD drive as well can alert Microsoft while you are online to think that you have a chipped system, and they are seriously cracking down on them now!  it was even on CBC Radio's national news broadcast


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Microsoft can NOT read the power consumption of your Xbox 360 and therfore can not ban you for it. the only way they can tell your system has been tampered with is because of modified hardware... such as extra components or non-standard dvd drives. 


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I already have my cold cathode lights soldered to this point on the under side of the motherboard, so i am aware of it. However, I have been using my way for a long time with my console and have not yet developed a problem, also there are multiple 12v lines into the DVD-drive and the fans them self draw very little current away from the dvd-drive. I would never suggest wiring multiple fans or lights to the dvd-drive power cable. as this would likely draw current away from the dvd-drive, but at least with my method you don't need to solder and you don't need to take the motherboard out of the tray.