Xbox 360 Red Ring Of Death Fix - How To Guide
Learn How to Fix the Red Ring of Fire with my Xbox 360 Repair Guide
The worst thing about the red ring of death or other Xbox 360 errors is that they will not go anywhere until you fix them. In this informative article, I will show you how you can fix the red ring of death error on your own. The method described in this article is extremely easy to follow.
Before we proceed, though, let me warn you, if you still have a valid warranty you should strongly consider send the Xbox back to Nintendo and having them fix it. Following these steps will void your warranty. If your warranty has expired, however, this guide will show you an exact, step by step action plan to fix the red ring of death error permanently. This will not only save you money, it will also save you a lot of time.
How to Fix Red Ring of Death—A Step-by-Step Action Plan
Fixing your Xbox can be narrowed down to two vital steps:
1) Disassembling the Xbox 360 case
2) Cleaning and repairing the GPU and CPU processing units
What You'll Need:
- Xbox 360 with the red ring of death error!
- A narrow, thin tool such as a small screwdriver or awl.
- A screwdriver.
- Arctic Silver, a thermal compound you can find in any computer hardware shop for $1-$2.
What Causes Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death?
Before finding a solution to any problem we have to find a cause. Basically, the red ring of death or RRoD is a sign of "general hardware failure." It is indicated by three red lights or three red rings near the power button. It occurs when the GPU (graphics processing unit) becomes loose. The GPU is fitted onto the motherboard, and when the motherboard heats up the GPU becomes loose. That's when the green lights turn into three flashing red lights. The vibration of the system usually loosens the soldering of the GPU, which freezes up your Xbox 360.
Now let's take a look at some specific steps to fix this error. Are you ready to start?
Disassembling the Xbox 360
Step 1: Remove the Hard Drive and Faceplate
The hard drive is the gray, thick piece on one side of the Xbox 360 console. It's easy to remove; there's a release button right on top of the drive that you can press, and then all you need to do is pull gently. You can get the faceplate off by putting your thumb into the notch of the faceplate and pulling.
Step 2: Remove the Heating Grills
Now remove the two gray heating grills on each side of the chassis. Each heating grill has six tabs. Press these inward toward the console in order to loosen the grill. You may need to use a narrow tool such as an awl or screwdriver to push in these tabs.
For the heating grill that was behind the hard drive, push two tabs sideways in the elevated section. After loosening these, you can push each of the other four tabs in and remove the heating grill carefully from front to back. This is the step in which you void your warranty because to remove this heating grill you end up having to puncture a plastic film behind one of the tabs.
Step 3: Taking Apart the Outer Casing
The Xbox 360 outer case consists of two pieces which are connected along a single seam. You'll want to remove the bottom shell. First, turn over the Xbox 360 case. You can pull the seam apart one side at a time, gently prying apart the four clips holding the two parts together. You can use a screwdriver or awl to wedge the two sides apart so that the clips don't reengage. With a fine tip screwdriver, poke the small rectangular holes in the back of the console. You should hear a click when you poke each rectangular hole. You should now be able to lift off the whole plastic bottom of the console.
There are 22 screws (8 black and 14 silver) in the metal case under the plastic case you just lifted off. Unscrew all of these and keep them in a safe place so that you don't lose any and remember which ones go where. Once you've done that, turn the whole Xbox 360 right side up again and remove the remaining plastic shell.
Step 4: Removing the DVD Drive
Now that you can see the internals of the Xbox 360, the first thing you will do is take out the DVD drive. Unplug the cables connected to the DVD drive from the motherboard and associated small devices and lift the DVD drive out. Make sure to unplug the cables from their other ends and remove those as well.
Step 5: Removing the Fan
Taking out the fan is pretty simple. First you need to take out the fan shroud, which is the funky shaped plastic cover. You can do this by twisting gently until it comes off. The fan shroud is clamped to the fan itself in one place, so be careful not to break the clamp. Then just unplug the fan and lift it out.
Step 6: Safely Remove the Motherboard
First you need to remove the plastic cover on the front of the RF unit. It's clipped on and easy to pull off. Remove the RF unit by unscrewing the black screw at each of corner and lifting it off. Now you can gently lift the motherboard out of the Xbox 360 case.
Cleaning and Repairing the GPU and CPU
Step 1: Unscrewing the X Clamps
The GPU and CPU processing units are located under the two heat sinks. In order to reach them, remove the heat sinks by turning over the motherboard and unscrewing the x clamps. There are four screws for each x clamp. Unscrew them while holding the motherboard vertical, so that the weight of the heat sink doesn't crack the motherboard when it's only partially unscrewed. Once you've taken out the x clamp screws, you can lift off each heat sink, exposing the processing unit underneath. I would advise you not to hurry with this step. Please follow all steps carefully to avoid damage to your Xbox 360.
Step 2: Cleaning the GPU and CPU
Next step is to clean the GPU (graphic processing unit) and CPU (central processing unit). This is a very important and critical step. Use a Q-tip or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean the surface of each unit. The rest of the motherboard may also be covered in bits of built up dirt or dust. You can use a dry cotton swab to gently dust the motherboard and get rid of excess dirt.
Step 3: Applying Arctic Silver
Now you need to apply some Arctic Silver thermal compound gently over the GPU and CPU. Once you've applied the Arctic Silver, spread it over the processing units in a thin layer with a finger or thumb, as portrayed in the picture above.
Clean any remaining dirt or dust off the bottom of the heat sinks before reattaching them. Then screw the x clamps tightly back on to the motherboard. Get everything back together and see that it is fitted properly. The most essential part of disassembling your Xbox 360 is remembering where everything goes! So make sure to reassemble the Xbox by following the same steps you took to take it apart, but in reverse.
Now, turn your Xbox 360 on.
I always like to educate people. So I tried to describe this whole process in my words. Videos can make this whole process even easier. If you need more help, I suggest you check out my website, which will surely help you fix your XBOX 360. You can find a link to it on my HubPages profile (just click on the little picture of me on the upper right).
I was inspired to write this article through my love of Xbox and the carelessness of Microsoft, which took such a massive toll on me. It all started when my Xbox 360 froze and there were three red lights showing near the power button. As a gaming addict, I was incredibly frustrated and unable to play any of my favorite games!
I did some research on the Internet and checked out some Xbox 360 forums where I learned that it was RRoD or red ring of death error. One of my friends recommended a professional Xbox 360 repair guide. I had no other options other than purchasing this guide because my Xbox 360 device warranty had expired, and I did not want to give $140 to Microsoft Support Center and wait for two months to get the console fixed.
After using the repair guide, I was able to fix the red ring of death problem in just two hours. It was an amazing feeling to know that my Xbox 360 was working again and I was ready to enjoy my favorite games. Some days later, I was able to fix the same problem with my friend's Xbox 360 device. Now I help people fix their Xbox 360 problems all the time. Since then, I have fixed many red ring of death problems in my neighborhood.