Question about Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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2 red light error heatsinks wont heat up

Replaced xclamps and added artic silver five and when i try to over heat it the heatsink will not heat up the heatsinks are ice cold

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2 red flashing lights means your console overheated you just needed to let it cool and or check the fans and other cooling components, and by the sounds of it not heating up you have cooked the chips by trying to fix it so you console is basically a paper weight now, sorry

Posted on Nov 13, 2009


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My Gateway NV79 laptop overheats and shuts off.

Want to make sure we're both on the same page.

Statement One;
"Took laptop apart, removed any dust,...."

A) Fan Assembly:
Did you remove ALL dust/dirt from the Fan's blades, center hub, and surrounding cage? (Shroud)

This would require the additional use of Q-tips, and/or a small soft brush, besides the can of compressed air for computers.

Critical areas on the fan, is where the fan blade meets the center hub, and along the outside edges of the blades.

Removal of dust/dirt from these hard to get to areas generally requires use of an additional tool, rather than just air.

Granted, it may be possible to remove dust/dirt from these critical areas with just compressed air, BUT, you DO NOT want to spin the fan too fast.

Spinning the fan faster than it was designed for, may cause premature failure of the Fan's bearings.
Fan doesn't spin at the correct RPM's, and or may spin intermittently.
(Spins, slows down, maybe stops. Then spins again, and over, and over)

( Yes, it is not uncommon for the fan to spin at ALL times. Revolutions Per Minute may increase, as the heat increases, from the task at hand)

This is why Short Bursts of air are used to clean the Fan.

B) Heatsink:
Did you clean out the fins of the Heatsink t-h-o-r-o-u-g-h-l-y?
Plus the filter at the end of the Heatsink?

1) Cooling Tube:
The slightly flattened copper Cooling Tube is filled with Nitrogen.

The Nitrogen greatly helps transfer the heat from the Cooling Tube plates, which sit on the top of the Processor, and GPU, (Graphics chipset), to the Heatsink.
If there is a pinhole due to poor manufacturing, the Nitrogen will have escaped.

A rarity, granted.

Statement 2)
Artic Silver 5 thermal paste.
Nice stuff.
BUT, Artic Silver 5 contains real Silver.
Silver is a Good conducting medium. Good for heat, AND electricity.

Using Too much Artic Silver 5 can lead to drastic detrimental issues.
When the Processor heats up to operating temperature, it heats the thermal paste up.

If there is too much Artic Silver 5 used, it will ooze off the top of the Processor.
This ooze will then ooze over solder joints, and onto the pins of the processor socket, causing a Short Circuit.

Not a direct issue here with your problem at present, but wanted to state it.

The top of the Intel Core i processor (Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, were used in the NV79 model series ), and the bottom of the plates which sit on the processor, MUST be t-h-o-r-o-u-g-l-y clean.

If a thermal pad is used it Must be removed Totally.
If thermal paste was used it Must be removed Totally.
NO residue of Any kind left behind.

This is why a non-static scraper, such as an old plastic credit card, is used to scrape the two surfaces, then Isopropyl Alcohol administered with Q-tips, is used.

Isopropyl Alcohol is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE!
Use in a Well ventilated area, with NO sparks, or flames present ]

Both surfaces need to be clean enough to eat off of. (Literally)

{ The Cooling Tube assembly is fastened to the motherboard, and Processor, and GPU; by the plate which sits on top of the Processor, plus the two screws in the Fan Assembly.

The 4 screws in the 'Processor plate' need to be tightened down E-V-E-N-L-Y
In a criss-cross fashion, and each screw is tightened down in increments.
(Tighten one screw until it touches, then go to the screw in the opposite corner. Tighten until it touches. Keep criss-crossing until all 4 screws TOUCH.
Then lightly tighten one screw. Criss-cross over, and lightly tighten this screw. Keep criss-crossing until all 4 screws are - Lightly tightened.
Now go back, and fully tighten all 4 screws using the criss-cross method )

IF, the processor plate is not tightened down properly, it can lead to the plate sitting at an angle. The plate will not be sitting perfectly flat of top of the Processor, and the plate which sits on top of the GPU }

Looking at the Cooling Tube/Heatsink/Fan Assembly, it looks too small to be adequate,

The Intel Core i processors run pretty hot. (90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit )

The Processor, and the GPU, (Graphics Processing Unit), are the two major hardware components, that put out the most heat.

The heatsink plate which sits on top of the Processor looks to be adequate, but the heatsink plate which sits on top of the GPU, does Not.
(The little rectangular tab of metal, that protrudes from the processor Cooling Tube/heatsink plate )

Heat has to transfer FROM the GPU, to the heatsink plate which sits on top of the Processor, THEN to the Cooling Tube.

Most designs have the GPU plate attached directly to the Cooling Tube, and not the above design.

Means to me, inadequate surface area of the GPU plate, and poor heat transfer to the Cooling Tube.

This is an issue that has also plagued HP laptop models, such as the DV2000, DV6000, and DV9000 series models,

Not posted for the reworking of the BGA surface mount for the GPU, but for the added surface area for the GPU, shown starting at 12:04 in the video.

To conclude:
1) Make absolutely sure ALL cooling system components are C-L-E-A-N.

2) Ensure that the Artic Silver 5 was applied properly, and not too much was used.
Ensure that the heatsink plate of the Cooling Tube for the Processor, is sitting perfectly flat, and not slightly tilted.

Ensure that the top of the Processor, top of the GPU, and bottom of both plates which sit on them, are p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y clean, before applying thermal paste.

3) Add an extra cooling surface for the GPU

4) Make S-U-R-E the fan is spinning at the Correct RPM's, and not spinning intermittently.
(You can watch with the laptop partially disassembled )
Check to see if the Fan has any perceptible side-to-side movement.
Means the bearings are bad.

5) IF, due to constant overheating, the GPU has loosened in it's BGA surface mount to the motherboard, (Solder connections), it can cause overheating, also.

Something to think about.

[ BGA = Ball Grid Array
To explain the BGA surface mount, compare to an older Intel Pentium 4 processor, and it's Socket 478 processor socket.

The processor has the contact pins. (478)
The processor socket has the matching socket holes. (478)

With a BGA surface mount there are no contact pins.
There are Solder Balls on the chipset.
With a BGA surface mount there is no socket, nor socket holes.
There are Copper Pads on the motherboard.

The chipset (In this case a GPU), is set into place with the Solder Balls lining up with the matching Copper Pads, on the motherboard.
Heat is applied at a specific temperature, and length of time.

This action melts the Solder Balls, which solders the chipset to the Copper Pads. (Solders the chipset to the motherboard)

Excessive heat over time can partially melt these solder connections, which causes a poor connection.
The poor connection/s create resistance.
Resistance creates Heat ]

{ Chip and Chipset are slang terms for I.C.
Integrated Circuit ]

For additional questions please post in a Comment.


Nov 24, 2011 | Gateway Computers & Internet

1 Answer

My Xbox froze then it displayed three red ring around the green power indicator.

ur EX-box to be could be really broken or an easy fix try turning on ur xbox with two q-tips in the holes were the fan is and stopp both fans untill u overheat ur xbox till the three lights turn to 2 light on the left had side the wait 1 min if that the unplugg and let it cool down to room temp the boot it bak up

if that dont work try opening ur xbox and take off the two metal heatsinks inside and use some isophyrol (bad spellin ) clean all that gunk off untill its like a mirror then buy some artic silver thermal paste stuff and put a grain of rice sive squirt on it and spead it over the mirror parts of chips under heatsink put it all back together try again boot it still.... nothing...try removing xclamp and replacing them with bolts

okay try this try takin every single thing off the board dvd , fans, heatsinks ,hardrive just so ur left with ur board now go preheat oven to 230 uk 475 usa and now get some tin foil and cover all the capacitators with the tin foil ther the black lookin battery things and cover any plastic parts aswell now put on bakin tray FLAT and cook for 10 mins this is in my opinion lat hope

Nov 26, 2010 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

System just stops playing and 2 red lights come on

Your system is overheating.

Check whether the fans are running. If not, that's the problem, check whether they are jammed or faulty (replace, check power).

If they are running, then take the 360 apart completely, take the motherboard out of the case. Remove the heatsink (the lower one). Use rubbing alcohol to remove residual heatpaste from the heatsink bottom and from the GPU (the thing that the heatsink was covering).

Reapply (thinly but completelty) GOOD thermal paste (e.g. Artic Silver nr 5). Replace the heatsink by either using the xclamp or use washers and bolts/nuts (google for x-clamp replacement) while you're at it.

Or take it to someone who can do this for you :) (I'm in the Netherlands, but otherwise I'd be happy to help you out (

Jun 16, 2010 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

3 Answers

My system turns on but no video only audio whats going on i even bought new av cables still same

Hi its about to go into RROD quick fix to tell if it is sometimes this works

Turn it around see the fan holes, with it turned off stick two small screwdrivers thru the holes to stop them spinning, turn it on watch the lights on the front, soon it will blink 2 red lights let it go for about 10 minutes then turn it off at the wall,take out screwdrivers, wait for about an hour to cool by itself, dont help it Turn it on at the wall and 90% of the time it will come alive again if not do it a second time If this helps give us a tick so to help others This is temporary untill you get it fixed by a professional to fix them properly and if its under warrantee MS is the best way to go otherwise you have to heat it with infared heat or a rework station clamping is basterdation in my opinion I use the rework station and about 95% are still going Good Luck

Oct 23, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

2 Answers

Xbox 360 immediately goes to 2 red rings (on start-up)

Temp sensor might be bad or there might be a short between the board and the sensor.

Oct 04, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

3 Answers

How do you fix error 0031 on xbox 360

This error is caused by a faulty/cracked RAM brick, however it can also be caused when the heatsink is shorting out a resistor or like a bad solder joint under the GPU. If your xbox still under warranty send it back to Microsoft, if not try the xclamp fix. You could also try to Loosen your screws and make sure the heatsink isnt shorting out a resistor.You could Replace the faulty RAM brick or Cold joint/Shortcircuit under the Southbridge and/or Replace dvd power cord. Short in the dvd drive cord or the cord is in backwards.

Sep 21, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

My computer extremely overheat?

It is possible that the heatsink compound has annulled and no longer working as it should. Most companies use a cheap Aluminum Oxide heatsink compound that is prone to this issue. I would suggest remounting your heatsink with new Silver based compound (I use a brand called Artic Silver, but I am not sure if it is available there). Please be aware that this can be a difficult procedure and if done improperly can cause worse issues with your PC.

Aug 17, 2009 | Computers & Internet

2 Answers

Xbox 360 no sound no picture

did you check if your cable was switched from hd to standard or for any frayed or ripped wireing also check the connections it could be the tv is set to another channel just the small stuff like that or hold the power button the the xbox til it turns off

Aug 14, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

While taking off the Xclamps,

Once you scratch the motherboard you cant do anything about it, there is no hardware out there that will replace it, and Microsoft sure wont fix it for you since you have opened it up and broken the warranty. It sounds like you tried to fix the 3 red lights error, you know of you sent it of to Microsoft without touching it they would have fixed it for free.

Jul 29, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

Xbox 360 solid green light in the middle

hey gandylt, i had the exact same problem happen to me acouple days ago. i bought an additional working xbox 360, and i decided to up grade the cooling. anyway let get to the point.

There were three things that i did that solved the problem.

1.) I removed all heatsinks to find that i did an crappy job on applying the artic silver, it was everywhere. so one thing u want to do is make SURE THERE IS NO THERMAL compound on the motherboard PERIOD! the thermal compund can act like conductors, therefore if its all around the motherboard it can actually BRIDGE two different flow routes on the motherboard which isnt good at all. So Clean the mother board with 90%+ Alcohol.
2.) Second i reapplied the artic silver 5 in an very thin layer! its important not to have too much.
3.) Third. i didnt tight the heatsink bolts so tight like i did the First time. tight them but dont tight them too much.

Those were the exact 3 thing i did to get my 360 recovered from the following error. good luck guys!

Mar 26, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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