Sunday, October 17, 2010

How I permanently fixed my xbox 360 RROD

If you mess anything up, not my problem, these steps worked for me. Opening your Xbox will void the warranty. Adding a fan to the gpu will get in the way of the dvd drive. You can skip this step if you want your xbox to look the same.

This guide will include how to reflow, penny trick, and adding 12v fans to gpu/cpu.







Here is a ranking of how well each fix does.

1 day fix
reflow (Heat Gun; baking in oven at 275F for 2 hours will be more permanent)

1 month fix
penny trick

permanent fix
adding 12v fans to help with cooling

There are many youtube guides on how to take apart the xbox 360, so check them out. I am using an old jasper 360 for this guide.

Things you will need

Reflow
Heat Gun
Tin Foil

Penny Trick
8 pennies
electrical tape
thermal paste

12v fans
50mm fan
AMD cpu cooler (hsf)
Soldering Iron
Solder
Wire or twist ties
4x .5in 4-40 screws
thermal paste


Reflow
This will attempt to melt the solder and make new connections. This isn't a good permanent solution because you are not doing a full reflow... But it is needed to make the 360 work again.

Remove the mobo from the enclosure. Remove the gpu heat sink. Clean off the thermal paste on the gpu. Nail polish remover works great. If you don't feel like waiting, then lightly scrape it off with a napkin... You want to concentrate on the gpu, ram, and south bridge. Apply tin foil that looks something like this.



Make sure the capacitors and all plastic parts are covered up. The heat gun WILL melt them. My heat gun had 2 settings, low an high. First you want to warm (not incinerate) up the board. Always go in circular movements, don't sit on one spot. Warm up the front and back for about a minute each. Then turn it to high and put more concentration on the gpu, ram, sb. The ram is the 4 rectangle chips above and to the right of the gpu. I didn't heat the back for this. I did this for about 3 minutes. More concentration on the gpu than anything else. Some guides tell you to heat the cpu... I recommend NOT doing this. After the 3 minutes, turn the gun back to low. You want to gradually cool down the board. So use the gun at a distance, front and back for about a minute each. Then let it sit for about 20 minutes.


Penny Trick
This will act as better heat sinks and give the board more support from warping.

Grab 8 pennies. Group them into 4 groups of 2 stacked pennies. Wrap electrical tape around them Turn the mobo over and throw away the nasty looking white thermal stuff from the ram chips. Put SMALL amounts of thermal paste on the 4 chips and place your wrapped pennies on the chips.



I found that even after the thermal paste cured, that the pennies will not stay. So I fastened them down with electrical tape. It doesn't matter that it touches any of the electrical stuff, electrical tape is an insulator.



Time for the hard part.


12v fan additions
This will permanently fix the problem. It will solve the heat issues that the gpu/cpu generate.

WARNING: Adding a new hsf to the gpu will result in not being able to put the dvd drive back in. I Had to mount the dvd drive on top of the case. Here is how I did it.

I just had this AMD cpu hsf laying around.


Edit: I found out that it is very hard to find something that will fit. You might have to buy something and fasten it down with wire. I do not have any recommendations for those with X-Clamps on their xbox's; sorry.

This was actually a perfect size. The holes barely matched up with the old gpu heatsink holes. The holes are about 58mm apart. My hsf has a 70mm fan on it. The dimensions of the heat sink are 70mm X 77mm. If you have anything too fancy or too big, you will have to use a file or dremel to size it up. If your hsf has heat pipes, try not to break those as it will ruin the effectiveness of the pipes.

I went to Ace hardware with my hsf and found that 4-40 screws worked perfectly with this. They basically tapped themselves with little effort when I screwed them into the hsf. I bought 4x .5in 4-40 screws at 9 cents a piece. I placed the hsf over the gpu and screwed it into place.



Time to find a decent 12v source. The pins that the double fan thing was plugged into are not a good choice. It will speed up and slow down the fan speed based on temperature. I prefer a constant 12v source that will keep the fans running at a high rpm all the time. I will however use one of those pins for a ground.

MS is sneaky and makes no effort to make any sense in wire placement. the 4 pin plug on the double fan thing is deceiving. The brown wire is NOT ground, but instead the blue wire is. I went ahead and soldered the ground wire (black) of the hsf to this pin on the back side of the mobo.


The blue wire you see if from another fan I added.

For a constant 12v source I found that this mosfet looking chip is a good source. It is located near where the memory card plug ins are.



From here you should be pretty good. But I noticed when you plug this in, the cpu heat sink gets mad hot within seconds. So I decided to add a fan to that as well. I salvaged a small 50mm fan from an old PIII rig. I soldered it to the same ground and 12v source. I attached it to the heat sink with twist ties. I recommend wire, or something that won't melt on you... I used the washers that came off of the gpu heat sink when I took it off. I stacked 2 of them to act as a standoff between the fan and the cpu heat sink. Also, make sure to move the wire/twist tie out of the way of the fan, I later moved it to the side of the fan housing.





So now plug her in. I only had to do the heat gun trick once to get this to work.





The additional fans will fit back into the original xbox 360 enclosure. Unfortunately the there is no room for the dvd drive. Once I find a good place for it, I will post it. The 50mm makes a low hum noise, but that's expected with small fans. Make sure that the intake holes on the 360 are clear.