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3 red lights on xbox 360 - Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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What is the Red Ring of Death?
When Microsoft designed the Xbox 360, they attempted a innovative method of mounting the heat sinks to the motherboard. During normal operation, the temperature within the case is very hot. Which in turn causes the motherboard to flex against the x clamps. It is this flexing, which results in the soldered joints around the processors coming away from the motherboard. The fault is indicated by the now infamous 3 red lights!
Recent Xbox 360 Elite's have been upgraded with a stronger epoxy resin to glue the processors down. Whether this will work, only time will tell!
The X Clamp fix
The modification detailed in this guide, alleviates the flexing of the motherboard and maintains uniform pressure on the processors, this in turn ensures the heat sinks are far more effective in dissipating the heat build up.
Kit list
Torx Screwdrivers T8 & T10
Pliers
Artic Silver Thermal Paste
Thermal Paste cleaner (nail varnish remover!)
Thin flat bladed screwdriver
8 m5 10mm bolts
8 m5 steel spring washers
24 m5 1mm width washers
Step 1 - disassemble the console
Stop and take a look at your warranty, is it still in date? If so contact Microsoft for a replacement! If not, then proceed.
Remove the front face plate by placing your thumb into the USB door, applying pressure on the side panel, you will be able to lever the cover off. Do not force it!
Once removed this will expose the Microsoft warranty sticker. Next, we need to remove the side panels.
They are kept in place by 3 lugs on each side, which can be seen by looking through the ventilation holes. Using the thin screwdriver (or wooden skewer), push the lugs through the holes, whilst gently levering the grey side panel up. Once you have released a couple the panel will lift up quite easily. You will have to remove one of the rubber feet, to access one of the lugs and the hard drive if you have one.
Once both panels have been removed, we can move onto the case itself. On the rear of the case are 6 retention slots and 4 clips on the front of the case.
Unclip the front clips using the thin screwdriver, and gently lift the front up about an inch.
Now locate the rear 6 retention slots, and again using the thin screwdriver, push gently into each slot, you should hear a click each time.
Once all 6 have been released, you will be able to lift the top halve of the case off.
Flip the console over, and you will notice 14 silver screws and 8 black screws, remove these using the Torx screwdrivers.
Once all removed, turn the console over and remove the case.
This will expose the motherboard and DVD drive. To remove the DVD drive, simply lift upwards and unclip the cables from the rear of the drive.
Now you will have access to the white plastic fan shroud, which lifts out by unclipping the retention hook at the top of the shroud. Unclip the cable to the fan.
At the front of the console, you will notice a daughter PCB, by the power button. Unclip the white power button cover and remove the 3 screws with the T8 screwdriver.
Unplug the daughter board, this will enable you to lift the motherboard out carefully.
Once you have the motherboard out, you will notice on the underside 2 x clamps.
To remove the x clamps, you will need to pry the clamps off the metal studs. Insert the thin screwdriver into each corner of the clamp, gently levering each one until they are released. If you do 2 corners at a time, it is easier. Take your time, it is essential we do not damage the motherboard.
Once the clamps are removed, flip the motherboard over and gently remove the 2 heatsinks by lifting them up. The low profile one is the GPU heatsink, the main cause of the problem!
Using the Pliers, or small spanner, remove the four bolts on the underside of each heat sink. The bolts are no longer required.
Now we need to remove all traces of the old compound from the heat sinks and processors. Start by using a plastic scraper, usually supplied with the thermal paste or an old credit card! Take extra care when cleaning the processors.
To remove the remaining compound, use the nail varnish remover or if you have it compound cleaner, only a little is required.
With the processors, we are trying to obtain a mirror finish on them!
Now apply a little dab of compound to each processor and spread with the plastic card, we want a thin film across the top of the processor, no more no less.
Now we start the process of re-fixing the heat sinks.
Place a spring washer on each bolt (m5 10mm) followed by a steel washer, insert the bolt through the underside of the motherboard and then place 2 steel washers on the bolt. It is essential we have the correct width between motherboard and heatsink.
In order for the bolts to stay in place whilst attaching the heat sink, I stand the motherboard on its side and screw the bolts in a couple of turns until they have purchased.
Once all 4 have been attached, we need to systematically tighten each bolt, so start top right, then bottom left, bottom right and top left. This ensures the heat sink is uniformily tightened and not one side at a time. Repeat on next heat sink.
We can now plug everything back in, apart from the fans.
Turn the console on, we want it to overheat in order for the changes we have made to reset. Looking at the power bottom, wait for the 3 red lights to go to 2 red lights, this could take a couple of minutes. Once we have 2 red lights, leave the console on for about 5 mins.
Now turn the console off and let it cool down for about 1 hour.
Now we come to the test, plug everything back in including the fans and turn the console on. You should now be looking at green lights.
If you have green lights, re-assemble the console.
If you have red lights, we have a couple of procedures to follow, do not worry, some consoles take a number of attempts before the fix is successful.
First, loosen the screws holding the heat sink in place and with the fan disconnected run the console with 2 red lights for another 5 minutes, then allow to cool.
Once cooled try the test again with everything plugged in. still getting red lights?
Check the thermal compound is not too thin on the processors and before tightening the screws up, run the console again for 5 minutes with 2 red lights. Tighten screws up and allow to cool. Run the test again after an hour. If you still have red lights, run the console again with the fan disconnected for a longer period of time on 2 red lights, before allowing to cool.
It is normal for the console to take about 3 attempts to get all green. If none of the attempts work, gone back to the beginning and start again. Do not give up, this fix has been 100% successful for me.
Once you have green lights and you have put everything back together, run another test to ensure you still have the green lights, remember you will not need the 8 black screws for the case.
It is advisable, to run the console on low settings for about 20 days and keep it well ventilated. Fan upgrades are available, which run more efficiently.
For more detailed instructions and video's visit: http://bestxbox360repairguides.com/
Enjoy your Xbox!
Steve Thornton offers insight into the information product market, researching a number of niche topics and resourcing products in those areas.
Please take time to visit the estore at: http://www.lobbythornton.com/estore
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Thornton

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: red light on my xbox 360

Turn console of, hold sync button down wich is the small white button next memory card slots, while holding turn on console and wait till it boots. If this does not work go to system blade, select memory, press y on the HD symbol, press xx left bumper right bumper xx, select yes. This will restart your console from scratch though all profiles and saved data will be lost, but it will clear any corupt data.

Posted on Sep 16, 2007

ryanriopel28
  • 130 Answers

SOURCE: xbox 360

Send it in to Microsoft. They'll fix it for free. "If a customer has an issue indicated by the three flashing red lights, Microsoft will repair the console free of charge -- including shipping -- for three years from the console’s purchase date."

http://www.xbox.com/en-CA/support/petermooreletter.htm

Posted on Dec 04, 2007

  • 10 Answers

SOURCE: As playing Xbox 360 system shuts off two red lights occurs.

Two red lights mean your 360 is over exceeding the inside temperature. Your fan must not be working at all and your 360 is overheating tremendously. That is what I know about the 2 red lights. Im not sure what to tell you to fix this but to just call 18004myxbox.

Posted on Mar 15, 2008

SOURCE: fix xbox 360

the famous red ring of death caused by overheating stick a fan behind it!

Posted on Jul 15, 2008

SOURCE: xbox 360

The 3 red light error is a CPU and GPU chip error that overheats.

Nearly all of these problems are caused by overheating and you can fix them yourself.

I used the blog below to fix mine and it took about 40 mins:

http://xbox3603redlights.wordpress.com/

Posted on Nov 02, 2008

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