Tip & How-To about Video Game Consoles & Games

Why the X-Clamp fix is useless - How to really fix the RROD

If you Google “Xbox 360 RROD” you will find countless web sites about the “X-clamp fix”.

Every web sites you find will say “MS screwed up only have the x-clamps hold the heatsinks on”

But if you have disassembled your Xbox 360, then you should think about that! All the X-clamps do is hold the heatsinks to the circuit board so that it’s easier to put the screws in!
The black screws hold the heatsinks in place, and when those are in there is no “wiggle” of the system.

The only reason some people report success with the X-clamp fix is that they “bake” the GPU. This is really what is fixing the system, NOT the bolt replacement.

The “baking” involves having the fan run on top of the CPU so the system doesn’t overheat, but the GPU gets very hot and this “reflows” the solder.

Reflowing is THE ONLY THING that will fix this problem.

There are several methods of reflowing. Here they are:
1. The “towel trick” – Wrap your system in a towel so it gets hot and reflows. This is dangerous because you have no control over what components get hot!

2. The “fan trick” - Stick something in the left fan so that it does not spin. This causes the GPU to overheat and reflow itself, while keeping the rest of the system cooler. This is still not ideal but much better than the towel trick!

3. Heatgun reflow – With the system disassembled, Wave a heatgun over the GPU for 40-60 seconds. This method is better because it offers localized heat only.

4. Hot air/Infrared Reflow – This involves using a rework station to reflow the solder. Ideally, flux is used to make the solder “stick” better.

All of these methods can potentially fix the RROD, but none will PREVENT it from happening again!

There are several ways you can improve the cooling of your system to prevent the RROD from ever happening again!

1. Buy an external fan. Stay away from the ones that use the Xbox 360 power connector. A USB or self powered fan are best.

2. Run the system without it’s case – Not pretty, but it works!

3. Cut the metal mesh out from behind the fans. The air being forced through those holes can really limit the air flow.

4. Replace the fan with a better one. A Talismoon whisper quiet fan moves 48 CFM (cubic feet per minute) while the stock fan only moves 29 CFM

5. Add an internal fan – Requires some soldering skills – The most common place to add a fan is on the GPU header. This is the heatpipe that extends from the GPU heatsink in front of the CPU (not all models have this heat pipe). Attach an INTAKE fan here. To be really effective you need to either cut a hole into your case or drills lots of small holes. If you do a good job, it looks great! Also requires soldering the 12v and ground wires to an appropriate spot – Google can help you find one!

So to summarize:
Replacing the X-clamps does NOTHING except cause you headaches.
Reflowing the GPU in 90% of cases is what’s needed.
Preventative maintenance of some sort is required to keep your system running. In other words, better cooling.

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1 Answer

red ring of death but it works off and on any suggestions

Hi, first of all check if you have any warranty as this fault is covered by 3 years warranty from microsoft, so check the date on the back of the xbox, if its less than 3 years old go to their website and enter your details and they will send you out another xbox in place of yours.

if its more than 3 years old or if its been opened before then you have 2 options either pay someone to fix it or fix it yourself.

now if your going to fix it yourself use google and type in how to fix rrod on xbox 360 then hit search and have a look at some of the sites, now the chances are the gpu chip will need reflowing now this can be done with a heat gun on its lowest setting, but getting this wrong can do more harm than good.

the best thing to try first is the xclamp fix, go and buy a xbox 360 repair kit off ebay make sure you get the heat sink paste with it, you can get these kits for next to nothing and if you find one with a repair guide then that will make it easier for you, without these parts you wont be able to fix the xbox anyway.

dont do the towel trick it dont work and it causes more harm to the circuit board so dont try that one.

just use google type in how to fix rrod on xbox 360 and look for a guide that shows you how to replace the x clamps with normal machine screws and renew the heat sink paste, its not hard to do and you will get a guide off google with pictures so im sure you can give it a go.

if how ever replacing the clamps dont solve the problem then use google again and type in how to fix rrod with heat gun on xbox 360 then hit search then look through the sites and look for a decent guide that shows you how to do this, dont use a hair dryer like some sites may suggest they just dont get hot enough to reflow the damaged solder under the gpu and cpu chip.

if you do use a heat gun make sure the circuit board is lying flat if its not you will do alot more harm than good so make sure its level.

i cant point you to these sites as its against site police but use google and you will find all you need and you should be able to get it sorted. if its less than 3 years old and you open it up then your warranty will be void and microsoft wont even look at it,

now i repair these for 20 quid plus parts so it comes to about 25 quid, but im in UK and the chances are your somewhere else in the world.

if you are unsure what your doing then please dont try repairing this yourself as you could do a lot more harm than good.

let me know how you get on or if you need further assistance ok

please rate this solution as i have a whole page of unrated posts, thanks

Nov 28, 2010 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

my xbox 360 has three blinking red lights and it wont work at all

Just do a google search for the rrod. There are many helpful sites and tutorials to walk you thru fixing it. If it is still under warranty I would have xbox fix it for free. I believe they have extended their warranty to three years on defective xbox 360 consoles. If your out of warranty though, you may want to try one of the fixes. I had to do the x clamp fix to get mine going again. Good Luck!

Aug 03, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

RROD xbox 360 help fix plz, no other sites plz

Contact MS support they fix it for free. Or goto www.llama.com if that don't work then google ti.

Dec 07, 2008 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

xbox 360 2 rrod

When you Ring of Death fix a 360 there are three types of screws on the bottom of the metal casing. Small black ones, short silver/bronze ones, and long silver/bronze ones. After your done X-Clamp fixing it, if you screw the short silver/bronze screws in too much, the screws ground the motherboard to the metal casing. Unscrew the short bronze ones a little bit and then try it. The 2 rings are a "False Overheat". I guarantee you, after you unscrew the short bronze ones that your 360 will not give you the error. Also do not put the small black screws in. They are not needed after you fix it. I wish you the best of luck.

Nov 20, 2008 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

the graphics are messed up for everything not just games


Looks like your console is heading for the 3 RROD, there will be 3 options available to you.
1. Providing your still in warranty and the warranty sticker is in tack, contact MS when you get the RROD and send it back to them for repair.
2. Get someone else to replace the X-clamps inside for modded ones.
3. Try the 3 penny/cents fix, just google it.


Jun 02, 2008 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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