Most unreliable console system: Xbox 360

Xbox 360


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.

Xbox 360 iXtreme 1.51 firmware DVD hack

360drives

My Xbox 360 RRoD again, but I was able to recover it and I updated the DVD ROM firmware to boot! I installed the iXtreme 1.51 (which has the ability to read new format games) using the Jungle Flasher beta utility. I downloaded the utility and the iXtreme bios as a torrent off the Pirate Bay, however the utilities are available off of Xbins. The package includes the original bios for all the possible Xbox drives since you will need to go back to factory default bios to install the iXtreme 1.51 bios. You can not update to the new version of the bios from an older one.
My drive is the Hitachi 78FK. Each drive has its own procedure for flashing the bios. I had the iExtreme iXtreme 1.4 flashed, using the Maximus utility, before I got the RRoD. In order for the Hitachi drive to be flashed you need to connect the DVD drive to your computer using a SATA connection and because the power connector on the xbox dvd drive is special you need to have the power connected to the  xbox 360 to power the DVD drive. You can get a connectivity kit to make this part easier for the next time you need to flash the drive The DVD drive then needs to be put into “Mode B”. For the iXtreme 1.4 firmware I used a Slax 2 linux distribution to get the drive in mode B. But the Jungle Flasher utility took care of that from a single utility. I was able to put the drive in mode B, flash the drive with the original bios, and the flash it with the iXtreme 1.51 firmware. It took me a few tries to get it working right. I needed to installed .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 and install the IOPort drivers, but after that it worked great. This is all documented with screen shots in the installion manual. Good job to Team Jungle for getting this all in one tool working.

Now I can go back to playing Halo Wars
🙂

Update 5/4/09Jungle flasher 1.59 is available

Xbox 360 RRoD Fix

This is an updated post to my last post Xbox RRoD really Sucks. I did get my Xbox 360 to work after following the i-hacked xbox fix video. This is how I did it.

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.

Materials Neededxbox360_screws_tools

  • 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.

heatsink_spacing1

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Xbox RRoD really sucks

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

Penny  trick
Penny trick

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.

Update: I fixed my Xbox using the screws. See my latest post.

xbox 360

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