According to a survey commissioned by the CNET UK, 60% of Xbox 360s have had hardware failures. According to the survey 47% of Xbox 360s have failed within the first year of purchase. I have personally become part of this statistic. I have gone through 3 Xbox’s within 2 years. I was able to return the faulty Xbox to Best Buy under their warranty plan. At some point I discovered that you could mod the Xbox to read game backups. After the third Xbox, the BestBuy warranty expired and I thought Microsoft may have fixed the issue so I modded the Xbox. Well a few months after that, I got the RRoD again. Now I was stuck. No store warranty and no Microsoft warranty since I modded it. After looking online for a fix, I found this long term solution. This worked for a while but I got RROD again. I am considering getting an Xbox 360 Arcade since it is $199 now and has HDMI output. I’m going to give it one more try and then might get a PS3.
Open the Xbox 360
Use this guide to open the xbox, http://www.xboxchopshop.com/catalog/man_360_open.php, as mentioned in the i-hacked post.
Notes about opening the Xbox 360: I used a small screwdriver and leverage to pop the tabs in the back of the xbox. You will hear a popping noise when you push on the small tabs. This can be very frustrating to get the cover off. I recommend getting the Xbox 360 Unlock toolkit from www.mod-chip.com for this part and save your sanity.
- 8 M5-.80 x 10 Machine Screws (Lowes part number: #138433)
- 16 #10 Flat Washers – Nylon (Lowes part number: #139065)
- 16 5mm Flat Washers – Metal (Lowes part number: #13831)
- Torx T10 screw driver
- Torx T8 screw driver
Notes on materials: You can purchase these parts online and save yourself a little headache, but if you are like me and can’t wait I found similar parts at a local hardware store but I did have to make a few modifications which I will talk about later. You can also use 3/16 inch machine screws and the smallest washers that fit on the screws. The M5 screws have a better thread fit than the 3/16 inch however.
I feel the washers are the most important of this modification. The parts list include metal washers and nylon washers. I have read that the nylon washers are used as insulators to prevent shorting, but I feel all you need is the nylon washers not for insulation but for cushioning. The reason the washers are so important is because they provide the proper spacing between the motherboard and the chips. Improper height of the washers will either prevent the heatsinks from contacting the chips or create the possibility of over-tightening and damaging the chips.
Tip: Place the washer(s) on the motherboard an look to see if the top of the washer lines up with the top of the chip then you will know you have the right height.
My Xbox 360 displayed the 3 Red Ring of Death (RRoD) last week and I’m understandably perturbed. Now I’m no stranger to the RRoD (this is my third), but in the previous instances the Bestbuy warranty allowed me to simply exchange the defective unit no questions asked. I figured after the first 2 times the third times a charm and Microsoft had figured out the bugs and fix this issues. Right?! Wrong! Here I am again 3 years later and now my warranty is expired. To top it I had modded the DVD to play “backups” of my games, thus voiding any manufactures warranty. I heard there were some “fixes” for the RR0D and I figured I had nothing to lose. Apparently the issues is caused from overheating and potentially the CPU/GPU getting separated from the motherboard. I tried the penny trick and it
worked once, now it’s RRoDing again. I also added a fan to try to cool the system down further (See pic).
The next “fix” I found involves bolting the CPU/GPU down with machine screws. We’ll see how that goes.